“Dancing with the Stars” will hoof its way to its 30th season this fall. Who would’ve thought 16 years ago that this little six-week summer show would make it to the big 3-0? But here we are. Scroll down for everything we know about the milestone installment so far.
Debuting in 2005, “DWTS” pairs an amateur celebrity contestant with a professional dance partner who teaches them routines in styles ranging from waltz to salsa to contemporary. Those dances are scored by a panel of judges, but those scores only make up half of the results. Who advances to the next round — and who ultimately wins the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy — is half determined by the judges’ scores and half by the votes of viewers watching at home.
Athletes tend to do well on the show, with multiple ice skaters, gymnasts, and football stars winning the championship due in no small part to their physical conditioning, which gives them a leg up — pardon the pun — when it comes to the rigorous demands of training new routines every single week. Winners of the show have included Olympic champions Kristi Yamaguchi, Meryl Davis, and Laurie Hernandez, as well as Super Bowl champions Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, and Donald Driver.
Of course, when it comes to a competition where the fans have a say, you can never be too sure who will stay and who will go. But here’s what we do know about the upcoming season.