“Dancing With the Stars” contestants don’t compete for free. Each year the cast of the ABC competition series is paid handsomely to learn their way around the ballroom and, of course, the finalists receive the biggest paychecks.
But while the final three may go home with a nice chunk of change, it’s worth noting the prize money isn’t momentous for the first-place team. On Tuesday night’s Season 23 finale, one couple will walk away with the Mirror Ball Trophy, and virtually the same paycheck as the other two remaining duos.
As previously reported, a 2010 report from Gawker discovered the final three dancers each receive $50,000 for their appearance on each of the final two episodes. That figure was reconfirmed when Season 21 finalist turned winner Bindi Irwin’s contracted earnings were revealed. But it’s not just the finalists getting paid for their participation.
Bindi’s contract, as well as several others who have leaked over the years, reveal that stars earn $125,000 for agreeing to sign onto the reality show. Not getting eliminated results in a bigger, sliding scale payday for the stars each week they remain (more on that here). Finalists have the opportunity to walk away with a total of $345,000 if they stick around until the end.
Tuesday’s finale will see Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy; James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess; and Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold battle it out for the title of Season 23 winner. The race for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy kicks off at 9 p.m. EST on ABC. Check out our winner predictions before tuning in and share your picks in the comment section below!