It’s official — the new season of Dancing with the Stars has started, which means some of our favorites celebs have put on their fancy shoes and hit the stage to spin around with the professionals. This year, the titular stars include reality TV personalities like Grocery Store Joe, singers like Tinashe, and actresses like Evanna Lynch (freakin’ Luna Lovegood, everyone!), and they’re all competing for the Mirror Ball trophy — and, of course, the glory. But don’t feel bad for the losers who don’t make it to the end. It turns out that even from episode one, the celebs are scoring some seriously big bucks.
Though there’s no official cash prize by any means, competitors are still paid to appear on the show. Back in 2010, Gawker reported that dancing stars were paid on a sliding scale, noting that there’s a baseline pay day of $125,000 just for being cast and giving it your best shot during the first episode. If you make it to the third episode, you could land a $10,000 bonus, and another $10,000 if you’re not voted off before Episode 4. Episodes 5 and 6 could score you an additional $20,000 each, and you’ll get $30,000 in your pocket for the seventh and eighth episodes respectively.
If you make it to the last episode and you’re one of the final two competitors, that’s another $50,000. That means both the winner and the runner-up can leave with $345,000, not to mention their new rocking bod from all that exercise. And on top of all that, they’ll also like reenergize the following that they already had — or even find a new one. And the larger the following they have on social media sites like Instagram, the more they can leverage that audience into even bigger paydays from companies who want them to partner with them for sponsored posts.
And if you’re one of the show’s pros, well, forget about it. Wetpaint reports that the Dancing cast has some incredible net worths. Judges Len Goodman and Carrie Anna Inaba were rumored to make around $1.2 million a season in 2014, and host Tom Bergeron allegedly makes $150,000 for every single episode. Though we don’t know Julianne Hough‘s exact salary for her past seasons, we do know that she was able to turn her career as one of the dancers into lead roles in blockbuster movies and even a brief stint as a DWTS judge, scoring her serious Hollywood money.
It’s no wonder that plenty of celebs are clamoring to get on the show. Not only does it seem like tons of fun, but it also just comes with tons of money. Now if they’d just make a spin-off called Dancing with the Average American, we’d be a shoe-in for the role.