Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles."Dancing With The Stars" is addictive; it has been since Season 1. But is what we see all there is? Of course not! What we see on Monday nights is a culmination of less than a week's worth of practice. By practice I mean dance practice, costume fittings, hair and make-up, then more practice and more pain and more suffering. We get little glimpses of some of that practice time on a weekly basis. Imagine working and training for at least 20 hours a week. Besides the two shows a week, many have careers, and then there is regular life with friends and family. How do you squeeze it all in? When do they have time to nurse those pains?
When you watch a show such as "Survivor," don't you see how rough life is for the contestants? Does it come across as fun without pain and suffering? Why is it that after a few weeks some of the contestants want to go home? They say things such as, "I didn't know it would be so hard." Give me a break. Have you not seen the show? Why did you sign up?
The same goes for "Dancing With The Stars" and a certain older dancer; you know who I mean, Kirstie Alley. People get upset with the snide remarks made about her. They say, "Awh, give her chance, after all she's 60 years old." Yes she is, and didn't she know that when she went into this? Has she never watched the show before? Didn't she realize that being a 60-year-old is just one of many handy-caps she would have to face?
Perhaps she needs the cash. Let's look at what the contestants earn. According to Gawker, just for signing up and appearing on two episodes, they get $125,000. Don't feel bad for the person booted off first, that person still gets $125,000. The next two episodes earn $10,000 each. The following two episodes earn $20,000 and the following two episodes earn $30,000. By appearing in the two final episodes, the payoff if $50,000. Add it all up, run and get your calculator, or I'll give you the total - the person who makes it to the end winds up with a total of $345,000.
Don't think they are sneaking money into the pocket of the winner when we aren't looking. The only other thing that the winner gets besides bragging rights is that really ugly mirror ball trophy. Do you want one on your mantel? If so, maybe you should apply for Season 13!
What about the pros, how much do they make? According to the fan site, dwts.org, the professionals earn $5,200 per episode. Wow, I would have figured it was a lot higher than that number! Supposedly, during early seasons of "Dancing With The Stars" the stars only earned $1,600 per episode. I guess the powers that be wanted to see how the show would play out. Personally, I don't think the stars are being paid enough. I'll have to put in a good word for them with the higher-ups!
- Kirstie Alley