Dancing With The Stars: Unexpected First DismissalsPublished on October 4, 2018. Updated August 25, 2020
Dancing With the Stars is extremely competitive for both the stars and their pro partners, but every season, someone inevitably has to be the first to go home. Being sent home in week one is discouraging and disappointing and while some first week exits fans definitely saw coming, others have been quite surprising. Take a look back at the most shocking first dismissals in Dancing With the Stars’ history:
12. Nikki Glaser
After some backlash with Dancing With the Stars: Athletes, the series returned to its regular self with season 27 and it proved to be one of the most talented cast of stars yet! Week one saw some of the stars soar on the dancefloor while others struggled to find their feet, but there was a clear loser of the night with Bachelorette alum Joe Amabile aka “Grocery Store Joe.” With so many of the stars landing with scores of 17 or 18, many assumed Joe would be the first to go, but that wasn’t the case. The second night of premiere week brought the surprising elimination of comedian Nikki Glaser and her pro partner Gleb Savchenko.
11. Penn Jillette and Monica Seles
Season six of Dancing With the Stars followed the format of previous seasons by having twelve couples compete, but the first elimination threw a big twist at fans. Week one of season six saw not just one couple, but two, get sent home! Magician and comedian Penn Jillette and his partner Kym Johnson were eliminated along with professional tennis player Monica Seles and her pro partner Jonathan Roberts. The move was very surprising and set the tone for the highly competitive season.
10. Trista Sutter
It may be hard to remember now but when the very first season of Dancing With the Stars debuted in June 2005 there was no way of telling how successful the show was going to be. The first season was considerably smaller than the rest with only six stars competing, and the first to be sent home was former Bachelorette Trista Sutter. There is some recognition in being the very first Dancing With the Stars contestant to be eliminated, but what made the elimination even more memorable and shocking was how well Trista did in comparison to General Hospital star Kelly Monaco, yet it was Trista who was sent home. In the first week, Trista and her pro partner Louis Van Amstel scored 18 points while Kelly and Alex Mazo scored only 13, and in the end Kelly Monaco went on to win the whole season!
9. Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones is one of the most intense Olympian competitors out there so when she joined Dancing With the Stars in season 19, many though her competitive drive, determination and athleticism would help her transition onto the dance floor. Unfortunately that wasn’t exactly what happened and despite narrowly escaping having the lowest score, Lolo and her partner Keo Motsepe were the first to be sent home.
Season 20 of Dancing With the Stars brought quite the interesting mix of stars to the dance floor including LMFAO’s Redfoo. Anyone who had seen LMFAO’s music videos knew that Redfoo had some moves and could definitely move to music so no one expected him to be the first one sent home! After the first week of dances, he definitely disappointed but did not do worse than Charlotte McKinney, yet Redfoo was still the first to go.
7. Barbara Corcoran
Shark Tank businesswoman Barbara Corcoran stepped way outside of her comfort zone when she joined Dancing With the Stars in season 25. While Corcoran and her pro partner Keo failed to impress the judges on night one and earned only a 14 out of 30, Corcoran’s enthusiasm for the show and to do better was infectious. Although she had already shown improvement by her second dance, she was still the first to be sent home which was surprising because of how much she wanted to be on the show! Fans love to see stars who are passionate about actually being on the show succeed, and Corcoran never got the chance.
6. Dorothy Hamill
Over the years, Olympians in general but specifically figure skaters and gymnasts have been known to do very well. When former Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill joined the show in season 16, there were high hopes for her, but the first week had her sent home in a very surprising way. Hamill had to quit the show because of an injury and fans were absolutely stunned as it was the first time since season nine that a celebrity was forced to withdraw. “It would be completely unfair for me to stay in this and have any of these people go home,” Hamill said of making the decision to leave.
5. Shannen Doherty
Season 10 of Dancing With the Stars had quite the interesting cast, and many were surprised to learn that former Charmed and Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Shannen Doherty had agreed to be on the show. In terms of celebrity, Doherty was definitely one of the most well-known to compete and after much time away from the spotlight it seemed many were excited to see her again. Things changed quickly however when Doherty was the first to be eliminated along with her pro partner Mark Ballas, but what was even more surprising was that she was eliminated before controversial reality star Kate Gosselin.
4. Diana Nyad
Some stars take on Dancing With the Stars not knowing what to expect, others just want to have fun, and others take the whole thing very seriously, and competitive swimmer Diana Nyad was one who took it very seriously. Although she scored an 18 out of 30, which is not bad for the first week, and did not have the lowest score, it was Nyad who was eliminated first. What made hers one of the most disappointing and surprising eliminations was just how badly she wanted to be there. “For nine years I’ve wanted to do this show,” Nyad said after her elimination. “I only wish I could’ve given [Henry] at least a couple more weeks.” Interestingly enough that marked Henry Byalikov’s first and only turn at being a pro dancer on the show.
3. Jake T. Austin
Heading into season 23 of Dancing With the Stars there was the usual buzz around which stars were expected to do well right away and Jake T. Austin was one of them. The actor who had starred on Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place and Freeform’s hit series The Fosters was not only young and athletic but there were quick rumors about a possible romance blossoming between himself and first-time pro Jenna Johnson. When Jake and Jenna were announced as the first couple voted off from the season, many were stunned. They had not received the lowest scores and with the added interest of a romance, usually fans like to keep those stars around to see what would happen!
2. David Hasselhoff
Over the many seasons of Dancing With the Stars, it has become a common complaint from viewers that the stars that are cast really aren’t that famous, but some seasons have brought in big names that are sure to boost ratings. In season eleven, the biggest celebrity by far on the cast was TV legend David Hasselhoff who was partnered with Kym Johnson. Although the Hoff tied with two other couples for the worst scores in week one, it was assumed that fans would save him because of his star power. After all of the hype that surrounded his participation in the season, it was truly shocking that he was gone in week one.
1. Pamela Anderson
Season fifteen of Dancing With the Stars will always be remembered as one of the best because it was the All-Stars season. Even with the best of the best competing however, someone still had to be the worst of the best and go home first, and that person was Pamela Anderson. In season 10, Anderson had surprised everyone with her dancing ability, and many were disappointed with how quickly she fell to the bottom of the leaderboard in the All-Stars season.