Dancing With The Stars is just months away from returning for its 31st season, more than 15 years after the show debuted. The show’s format has remained mostly the same over that time, although scoring changes and ways fans can vote have been tweaked over the years. When DWTS comes back, it will feature the second biggest change in its history. After two seasons of Tyra Banks hosting, the show is moving from ABC to Disney +, becoming the first American reality show to exclusively stream live.
DWTS is the American version of the long-running British show Strictly Come Dancing, which introduced the format of celebrities paired with professional dancers. Throughout the season, fans follow the stars as they learn to tackle an art form they are usually unfamiliar with as they compete for the coveted mirror ball trophy. Fifteen years after that modest first season aired, DWTS has become a significant franchise for ABC, with cardio dance DVDs, books, short-lived spin-offs, a game, and a successful tour featuring the pro dancers and a few celebrity contestants.
Although the first season only featured six contestants, the line-up was a sample of the kind of celebrities fans have come to expect on the show. There was a Bachelor franchise star, a beloved comic actor, a supermodel, an accomplished athlete, a boy band member, and a soap opera star. The season ran for six weeks from June 1 to July 6, 2005. Scroll on for a look at what the contestants are doing today.
Trista Sutter and Louis Van Amstel
The Bachelor franchise has been a part of DWTS since day one. Trista Sutter, who was the runner-up of the first season of The Bachelor and the first Bachelorette star, also helped inaugurate a third ABC show by appearing on DWTS. She must be a good luck charm because all three shows are still airing. Unfortunately, Sutter was the first contestant eliminated. Amazingly, while many Bachelor relationships have not lasted, Sutter is still married to Ryan Sutter. They have two children. Sutter’s dance partner was Louis Van Amstel, who appeared in 10 DWTS seasons, most recently in 2015 when he danced with Paula Deen.
Evander Holyfield and Edyta wliwińska
Boxing legend Evander Holyfield was easily the biggest star in the first season. Holyfield retired from boxing for good in 2012 at 50. After DWTShe appeared on Celebrity Big Brother UK in 2014 and took part in the Argentine dancing show Bailando por un Sueno in 2016. Holyfield’s dance partner was Edyta Śliwińska, who was last seen on DWTS in Season 22 when she danced with Geraldo Rivera.
Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts
Supermodel Rachel Hunter became the first in a long line of models to appear on the show. She has appeared on several other reality shows since, including RuPaul’s Drag Race and Hollywood Medium. In 2012 and 2013, she served as a judge on New Zealand’s Got Talent. She also starred in Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty for TV One, the state broadcaster in her native New Zealand. Her dance partner was Jonathan Roberts, who appeared in just seven DWTS seasons, making his last appearance in Season 9 as Macy Gray’s partner.
Joey McIntyre and Ashly Costa
Season 29 included Backstreet Boys singer AJ McLean, who will be the latest in a long line of boy band-ers to appear on the show. Back in Season 1, ABC brought in New Kids on the Block singer Joey McIntyre. He continues to perform with the group and was one of the celebrities on the 2006 DWTS tour. In 2019, McIntryre appeared on Broadway in Waitress. McIntyre’s dance partner was Ashly Costa, who appeared in the first three DWTS seasons. She returned for Season 10, when she was paired with Buzz Aldrin, but has not been back since.
John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jørgensen
John O’Hurley is a beloved character actor known for playing J. Peterman on Seinfeld and for hosting Family Feud and To Tell The Truth. O’Hurley continues to act on television and voice cartoon characters. His dance partner was Charlotte Jørgensen, who has never returned for another DWTS season.
Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo
Kelly Monaco is still seen on television almost every day. She plays Sam McCall on ABC’s General Hospital and previously starred as a different character in the spin-off Port Charles. Monaco was paired with Alec Mazo, who participated in five DWTS seasons. His last season was Season 9 when he danced with Natalie Coughlin.
Monaco and Mazo won the first season, but it was not without a controversy voting. Fans believed Monaco’s win was predetermined, so ABC aired a follow-up “grudge match” episode in September 2005, where Monaco and Mazo went up against O’Hurley and Jørgensen. O’Hurley won the special episode, and the winnings were donated to Golfers Against Cancer. Monaco later came back to DWTS to participate in the first All-Stars season in 2012.