According to multiple sources, contestants on the ABC competition series make $125,000 for the show’s rehearsal period and their first two weeks on the air. If they make it to week three and beyond, they begin to earn additional fees each week. Sources say that the maximum contestants can earn is $295,000. By comparison, Spicer was making just under $180,000 during his time with the Trump administration, per a White House report released in 2017.
Contestants on previous seasons could, according to reports at the time, make as much as $345,000, but potential earnings this season will fall short of that number. Of course, the potential benefits of being on “Dancing with the Stars” go beyond the fee earned from the production. Many have used their time on the show to jumpstart their careers and landed lucrative new positions. Alfonso Ribeiro, for example, won Season 19 of the show in 2014 before he was named the host of ABC’s reboot of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” which launched in 2015.
Joining “DWTS” is Spicer’s most recent attempt at breaking into the media business. He was in talks to shoot a pilot for a televised talk show for Debmar-Mercury back in 2018, but that project has yet to come to fruition. In February, he joined the syndicated entertainment-news show “Extra” as a special correspondent. He also made a brief appearance at the 2017 Emmy Awards onstage with host Stephen Colbert, and was famously played by Melissa McCarthy on “Saturday Night Live.”
Spicer’s brief tenure as Press Secretary for the Trump administration in 2017 was marked by a contentious relationship with the White House press corps and the media in general, as well as repeated instances of Spicer making false and misleading statements on behalf of the President.
There has been a torrent of online backlash since Spicer was announced as a contestant on the show’s upcoming season. Host Tom Bergeron put out a statement on Wednesday following the announcement. Without explicitly naming Spicer, Bergeron said he and the producers “agree to disagree” about casting anyone politically divisive on the show.
“It is the prerogative of the producers, in partnership with the network, to make whatever decisions they feel are in the best long-term interests of the franchise,” he wrote.