Throughout its sparkling 19 season tenure on ABC, “Dancing with the Stars” has played host to a whopping 211 different celebrities who waltzed, sambaed, quickstepped, and jived their way toward the reality dance competition’s big prize: the glittering mirror ball trophy.
The 211 famous folks all took to the “DWTS” ballroom with their own distinctive talents and personalities in play, and all enjoyed varying degrees of success from week to week. Some hopefuls, like Olympic gymnast turned season eight winner Shawn Johnson and former world ice dancing champion Meryl Davis, rose to pre-season expectations and cruised to the top of the heap. Others, including reality starlet Kelly Osbourne (season nine) and comedian Bill Engvall (season 17), shocked fans with such unexpectedly high doses of dedication and heart that they transformed themselves into some of the series’ most memorable alums.
Yet others, like Paralympian Amy Purdy (season eight) and war veteran J.R. Martinez (season 13), brought viewers to tears with inspirational stories of courage and determination in the face of potentially devastating life experiences.
Indeed, although some competitors saw their level of celebrity increase thanks to their time on the show, not every name on the alumni roster is a memorable one. In fact, in select cases, it’s hard to remember the contestant even setting foot on the ballroom floor, much less performing an actual choreographed routine with a pro partner. So in memory of those poor overlooked souls, here’s a look back at the most easily forgotten celebrity mirror ball trophy hopefuls in “DWTS” history.
Tatum O’Neal took part in ‘DWTS’ season two, and placed 10th –next to last– with pro partner Nick Kosovich. The pair actually scored well with their week one waltz, missing the top spot on the judges’ leader board by a single point. The success was short lived, however, as they stalled badly during week two with a rumba that earned just one point more than the mark posted by Master P, who was perhaps best know for walking across the ballroom while pro partner Ashly DelGrosso tried to desperately to make it look like he was actually dancing.
Perhaps trying to follow up on wife Lisa Rinna’s fourth place finish during season two, actor Harry Hamlin embarked upon his own ballroom adventure during season three. Unfortunately for Harry, the effort with pro partner Ashly DelGrosso didn’t pan out, and they finished just ninth. Not exactly a memorable outcome.
Former NBA star and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Clyde Drexler strutted his stuff on ‘DWTS’ during season four. Despite standing six-foot-seven, he and partner Elena Grinenko were easily overshadowed by other contestants, including the hot pairing of boxer Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and eventual winners Apolo Ohno and Julianne Hough.
She may be lovely, but Josie Maran didn’t make much of an impression on the judges– or fans– during season five. She and pro partner Alec Mazo were summarily sent home after scoring just 16 on their week one foxtrot.
All together now: Albert who? It’s Albert Reed, and he’s a model who competed with pro Anna Trebunskaya during season five. If good looks determined the big winners, they would’ve been shoo-ins for sure, but alas, they were shown the door early on, placing just 11th.
Toni Braxton is a multi-talented Grammy winner and reality TV star. She also competed on ‘DWTS’ season seven. Toni and pro partner Alec Mazo placed a respectable eighth out of 13, but somehow, it’s hard to remember her time on the ballroom floor.
Oh Belinda, we hardly knew ya. Although she enjoyed megawatt star status during the ’80s as the lead singer of the Go-Gos, Belinda Carlisle’s appeal must’ve faded considerably before she hit the ballroom to compete during season eight. Despite earning a middle-of-the-pack score for their week one waltz, she and partner Jonathan Roberts were the first couple sent packing from the competition. No heaven on earth there for Belinda.
Soap opera Jack Wagner was there in the ballroom for season 14, danced a few routines with pro Anna Trebunskaya, and then poof, he was gone. Other soap stars –including J.R. Martinez, Cameron Matheson, and Antonio Sabato Jr.– fared significantly better with viewers.
PBS host Tavis Smiley was the last celeb formally added to the ‘DWTS’ roster during season 19, and was paired up with pro Sharna Burgess. But he never seemed to fully embrace the competition, and was the second contestant sent packing.