35 Celebrities You Won't Believe Did "Dancing With the Stars"
You may not remember all the soap stars, professional athletes, and politicians who have competed.
Since Dancing With the Stars debuted on ABC in 2005, the reality competition has attracted a wide range of talent—from soap opera actors and controversial politicians to former boy band members and iconic models. So many celebrities have appeared on the show over the years that it's hard to remember them all, especially when so many of them get eliminated too early to leave a lasting impression.
On Sept. 8, ABC announced the cast for Season 30 of Dancing With the Stars. This season's eclectic crop of celebrities includes Spice Girl Mel C, Beverly Hills, 90210 star Brian Austin Green, social media star JoJo Siwa, and The Office's Melora Hardin. Now that they're joining the ranks of DWTS contestants, we're revisiting some of most notable and surprising stars who have waltzed their way to glory—or at least tried.
Carole Baskin (Season 29)
Carole Baskin, one of the big cat enthusiasts made famous by the reality show Tiger King, competed in the last season of the show. She was the second celebrity eliminated, after pro basketball player Charles Oakley.
Wayne Newton (Season 5)
Singer and Las Vegas mainstay Wayne Newton was paired with Cheryl Burke for Season 5, but they only made it through Week 3, being voted out after a lackluster tango.
Tucker Carlson (Season 3)
A few years before conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson landed at Fox News, he landed on Season 3 of DWTS. Carlson failed to impress the judges and the audience and was the first contestant to be eliminated.
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino (Season 11)
Known for his antics on Jersey Shore, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino brought the same energy to Season 11. He was the fourth celeb to get the boot and infamously threw an on-air tantrum when he was given low scores.
Cloris Leachman (Season 7)
The late Cloris Leachman was 82 when she competed on DWTS, and the funny actor was a fan favorite. She claimed to The New York Times that she had been desperate to be cast and was passed over twice for being "too old," yet Leachman ended up finishing Season 7 in a very respectable 7th place.
Paula Deen (Season 21)
Controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen was eliminated in Week 6 of Season 21, when her jazz dance to Madonna's "Vogue" failed to move the judges.
Steve Wozniak (Season 8)
Sadly, the world never got to see Steve Jobs cut a rug, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gave it his all in Season 8 of DWTS. Woz was eliminated in Week 4, but didn't leave the ballroom before sending handwritten thank you notes to each of his competitors.
Chuck Liddell (Season 9)
MMA fighter Chuck Liddell hung around until Week 5 of Season 9 thanks to his showmanship and enthusiasm. Sadly, his Texas two-step to Brooks and Dunn's "Boot Scootin' Boogie" was the last routine he'd do on the show.
Amber Rose (Season 23)
Model Amber Rose was cast for DWTS Season 23 and paired with pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. They had an argument during practice for their Week 6 routine, leading Rose to walk out of the studio. She was eliminated that episode.
Sugar Ray Leonard (Season 12)
Sugar Ray Leonard may be a boxing legend, but his DWTS career was short. A cast member on Season 12, he was the third competitor to be eliminated.
Jerry Springer (Season 3)
Daytime talk show host Jerry Springer thought he would be eliminated right away when he appeared on Season 3 of DWTS, but he made it all the way to Week 7, where his foxtrot and mambo weren't up to snuff.
Denise Richards (Season 8)
The star of Wild Things and Starship Troopers—and now cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills—was eliminated in Week 3 for her less-than-satisfying samba.
Penn Jillette (Season 6)
Magician Penn Jillette was the first to go on Season 6 of DWTS, which was especially disappointing for his long-time professional partner Teller, who had made a bet that Jillette would win it all.
Buzz Aldrin (Season 10)
Buzz Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon and the second person to be eliminated on Season 10 of DWTS, cut after a foxtrot set (appropriately enough) to Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon."
Priscilla Presley (Season 6)
Actress Priscilla Presley may have picked up some dancing skills from her late ex-husband, Elvis, but that wasn't enough to save her from elimination after a rough rumba in Week 5.
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Evander Holyfield (Season 1)
Four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was one of the inaugural cast members on DWTS, but he only made it to Week 3 and is regarded by some as one of the worst celebrity dancers in the show's history.
Bill Nye (Season 17)
Scientist and TV personality Bill Nye knows how to teach kids, but he's less proficient when it comes to jazz dancing, leading to his Week 3 elimination on Season 17 of DWTS.
Martina Navratilova (Season 14)
Despite being commonly regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Martina Navratilova made an unforced error and was the first cast member eliminated on her season of DWTS.
Billy Dee Williams (Season 18)
There's no one cooler than Billy Dee Williams, but even Lando Calrissian himself knows when it's time to call it quits. The actor withdrew in Week 3 of Season 18 because of chronic back problems.
Lisa Rinna (Season 2)
Denise Richards isn't the only soap actress and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star to appear on DWTS—Lisa Rinna did it first, and made it all the way to Week 7 before being eliminated.
Mark Cuban (Season 5)
Shark Tank isn't the only reality series Mark Cuban has appeared on: The entrepreneur made it to Week 6 on DWTS, then got eliminated for fumbling a foxtrot.
Chaka Khan (Season 21)
"Queen of Funk" Chaka Khan was sadly the first to go on Season 21 of DWTS, delivering yet another foxtrot fail in Week 2.
Toni Braxton (Season 7)
"Un-Break My Heart" singer Toni Braxton should have made it further than she did, but her West Coast Swing was lacking, and she got cut in Week 5.
Barbara Corcoran (Season 25)
Businesswoman Barbara Corcoran didn't fare quite as well as her Shark Tank co-star Mark Cuban, becoming the very first person eliminated on Season 25 of DWTS.
Tom DeLay (Season 9)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was a surprising choice for Season 9 of DWTS. Who knows how far he would have made it if he hadn't withdrawn from the competition in Week 3.
Metta World Peace (Season 13)
He might have proven himself a star on the basketball court, but Metta World Peace's fancy footwork didn't carry over to the dance floor, and he was the first celebrity eliminated on Season 13.
Margaret Cho (Season 11)
Comedian Margaret Cho outlasted David Hasselhoff and Michael Bolton on Season 11 of DWTS, getting sent home for a sad samba in Week 3.
Vanilla Ice (Season 23)
Rapper Vanilla Ice has been known to "light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle." When it comes to the Viennese waltz, however, he does not have what it takes, leading to his Week 4 elimination on Season 23.
Chris Kattan (Season 24)
Saturday Night Live alum Chris Kattan was the first to go on Season 24 of DWTS, failing to impress the judges with a jazz dance to OutKast's "Hey Ya!"
Suzanne Somers (Season 20)
Suzanne Somers has had an eclectic career, from Three's Company star to self-help author to businesswoman. She will probably not be transitioning to professional jazz dancing any time soon, especially not after her Week 5 elimination on Season 20.
Geraldo Rivera (Season 22)
Former talk show host and political pundit Geraldo Rivera was the first celebrity eliminated on Season 22 of DWTS, after his salsa dancing proved as empty as Al Capone's vault.
Chris Jericho (Season 12)
Ironically enough, it was a tango to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" that sent WWE wrestler Chris Jericho packing in Week 6.
Lamar Odom (Season 28)
Former Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom was no stranger to reality TV when he joined Season 28 of DWTS, having been previously married to Khloé Kardashian. He made it to Week 4, then got eliminated for a vexing Viennese waltz.
Paulina Porizkova (Season 4)
Supermodel Paulina Porizkova had judged contestants on America's Next Top Model, so it was only fair that she got judged on Season 4 of DWTS, where she was the first person eliminated.
John Ratzenberger (Season 4)
You might know him from Cheers or recognize his voice from every Pixar movie, but you may not remember that John Ratzenberger was on Season 4 of DWTS, where he made it all the way to Week 7.