The dancing competition show has had a really long run, and part of that is due to some of the show’s operational secrets. One such secret is that Dancing with the Stars maintains a list of celebrities who they want to come on the show. They ask most of these celebrities if they want to join every season. Of course, this leads to a lot of rejection, but some of those people eventually cave and participate on the show.
But what celebs have stayed strong and remained off the show? Here are 25 celebrities who refused to appear on Dancing With the Stars.
1. Caitlyn Jenner
Kim Kardashian competed on Dancing with the Stars in Season 7. Her partner was Mark Ballas, and when she was sent home it was kind of a surprise. Jenner was very supportive of Kim during that time. “I am very proud of her,” she said according to E! News. “She had a lot of guts to say yes to do this show with no dance background at all. Success is not measured by heights attained, but by obstacles overcome.”
But now that Jenner has transitioned, the show is interested in having her on. “I think Caitlyn would be great on the show,” co-producer Deena Katz told Gossip Cop. “I think right now she needs to figure out her life. Trust me, we will be fighting for her at some point. But for now, let Caitlyn become Caitlyn.”
However, it doesn’t look like it’ll ever happen. Jenner wasn’t even open to talking about it even though a public offer had been made. “There is not nor have there ever been any negotiations on this matter,” Jenner’s publicist said according to ET Online. “They inquired if she was interested in participating in the show and I said no thank you. That is the extent of the communication.”
2. Lance Armstrong
The show likes to jump on celebrities who have just been through a scandal. After the cyclist admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah, the show gave him an offer. He, however, also declined a $550,000 offer, according to Entertainment Weekly.
3. Bill Clinton
The former president is a favorite when it comes to the show, as they ask him pretty much every season to come on. He gave an interesting reason as to why he turns them down. “This is interesting — actually they contacted me once about this,” he said on The Rachael Ray Show. “And I told them I didn’t have the time to train for it. You know you actually go out there and train — you really work at it.”
But his wife has encouraged him to start learning anyways. “Just last night Hillary said to me, ‘You know, when I’m not secretary of state anymore, we should go take dancing lessons.’ So we’ll start with the tango.”
4. Demi Moore
The mother was pretty happy for Rumer when she won the mirror ball trophy. Both Demi Moore and Bruce Willis supported Rumer by going to the shows and watching her perform. So it makes sense that the producers might try to convince one of them to take a shot at winning themselves. Moore was offered a spot on Season 21, according to Closer Weekly, but turned it down.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
It would be interesting to see how the Facebook co-founder would do on the show. However, he’s too busy running the company to join and reportedly turned Dancing with the Stars down.
6. Sylvester Stallone
Dancing with the Stars has reportedly offered the actor a place on the show, but he’s still busy making movies like Creed and The Expendables 3.
7. Tiffani Thiessen
If you loved Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell then you probably would want Thiessen to join the reality TV show. However, she opened up about why she has said no. “I’ve been asked a few times, but my response to that is that I am an actor, not a dancer,” she told The Huffington Post. “I think I would rather be one of those 50 and above and going back to get into shape. They can ask me then.”
8. Gayle King
Oprah’s best friend has turned down the opportunity three times and revealed why. “I think it’s good to keep my public humiliation to a minimum,” she told US Magazine. “I would never want to embarrass my children ever … or myself! I can’t dance.” She however, is a huge fan and watches the show.
9. Bobby Flay
Some reported that Flay was joining Season 16, however, he reportedly didn’t want to “be known as that guy on Dancing with the Stars,” according to Eater. He then continued, “My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it.”
10. Lindsay Lohan
The actress hasn’t been working for a while so it might be surprising that she turned down a $550,000 offer to join the cast of Dancing with the Stars, according to The Huffington Post in 2003. This is sort of disappointing since a lot of people would tune in to see if she would fare well on the dance floor.
11. Jamie Lee Curtis
The actress has been in the crowd to watch the show live, so she’s definitely a fan. However, when the show asked Jamie Lee Curtis to put on her dancing shoes, she said no. “They’ve knocked,” she said according to NBC Los Angeles. “No one was home.”
12. Ricky Schroder
The actor landed on the list of wanted celebrities for the show. Alfonso Ribeiro was asked by a producer to refer some people for the show, including Ricky Schroder. “The one that she wanted I couldn’t get,” he said according to K Pop Starz. “She wanted Ricky Shroder [sic] and Ricky Schroder was like, ‘Eh, I don’t dance!'”
13. “Weird Al” Yankovic
DWTS producers asked the funny singer to try out his skills on the dance floor. “They asked me, and I said no,” he revealed to Billboard. “It’s not my thing, you know? It wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for me. I’m frankly not a big fan of reality TV — I know there’s a zillion people who watch the show, and it would probably be ‘good for my career,’ but I don’t know, it’s just not my thing.”
14. Martha Stewart
The business mogul takes risks. After all, she now has a cooking show with Snoop Dogg. But it doesn’t look like she has any interest in dancing. According to Us Weekly, she was asked to join the cast for Season 18 but turned it down.
15. Austin Mahone
The songwriter received an invitation to join Season 18 of the show. He passed up the opportunity, but there is hope he’ll be on a later season. “He wasn’t able to do it with his current schedule,” an insider told Us Weekly. Maybe we will get to see him show off his moves later.
16. Ann Coulter
The conservative political commentator isn’t afraid to show up on different shows to promote herself. She was on Comedy Central Roast in 2016 to promote her latest book, but she reportedly turned down Dancing with the Stars when she was asked to join.
17. Ben Higgins
There are multiple bachelors who have tried winning the mirror ball trophy, but Ben Higgins decided to sit this one out. There were some reports that it was because he wanted to focus on his relationship with Lauren Bushnell. It also could have been because he was working on his own reality show, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?
18. Tim Allen
The Home Improvement star turned down a DWTS offer, too. At the time, Tim Allen still worked steadily on television with Last Man Standing. Perhaps when the show is over, the funny man will decide to participate in Dancing with the Stars.
19. Kaitlyn Bristowe
The former star of The Bachelorette received the opportunity to dance on the show after she found love. But unlike former contestants, producers reportedly told her that she couldn’t do the show.
Bristowe revealed this when Nick Viall of The Bachelor joined the cast. The bittersweet news: It looks like the executive producer changed his mind after Bristowe revealed the unfair treatment on Twitter.
20. Queen Latifah
A few years ago multiple reports surfaced that the actress planned to join the show. But Queen Latifah disappointed many fans when she announced this was false. She also expressed she wouldn’t likely participate in the future.
“I performed on Dancing with the Stars so you might see me as a performer, but not as a dancer,” she told Access Hollywood.
21. Christine O’Donnell
The politician actually announced on Facebook that she received the chance to appear on the show. “I just got the Official ‘Ask’ from Dancing With The Stars!!” she wrote on Facebook. “Although I am utterly flattered, my initial thought was to decline, as 2 year old nephew has more rhythm than me, and my two left feet!! What do you think?” She ended up declining the offer.
22. Ann Romney
After her husband and former GOP presidential candidate lost the election, Ann Romney received an invite to join the cast. She later gave a reason why she declined. “I don’t think I have the stamina,” Romney confessed in an interview with SiriusXM’s Julie Mason. “I know what would happen — two weeks in, I’ll be flat on my back.”
23. Condoleezza Rice
It seems like Dancing with the Stars is really interested in getting politicians on the show. The former secretary of state was also offered to go on the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The politician however, just didn’t have any interest in being on reality television.
24. Richard Branson
The British business mogul was also reportedly asked to join the show, but he passed up the opportunity. Richard Branson however, never made a public statement about it, but it’s definitely an interesting casting choice.
25. Hillary Clinton
The show really loves Bill Clinton, and it looks like the invitation is open to his wife as well. The former presidential nominee was also asked to join the show, according to Us Weekly. She reportedly laughed off the idea and has no desire to dance on the show.
26. Jonathan Scott
When twin HGTV stars, Jonathan and Drew Scott, were approached to do DWTS, the latter brother signed on. The former brother, however, didn’t give in to sibling rivalry, according to People. Jonathan gave his busy schedule as an excuse.
“If I didn’t have 17 construction projects on the go right now that I can’t step away from, I would be there” he said. “They wanted us both to do it — they wanted Drew and I to go head-to-head.”
Fun fact: Jonathan also turned down the chance to star on ABC’s The Bachelor.
27. Russell Wilson
After quarterback Russell Wilson led his Seattle Seahawks to a 2014 Super Bowl victory, the NFL star confessed that ABC had asked him to do DWTS twice before. Wilson turned down the offer both times despite voicing his love for the show.
“I need to focus on my football career right now … But I will do it as some point, for sure,” Wilson said. “I love Dancing with the Stars. I love watching it. I love dancing myself. So hopefully I can win it.” Maybe he’s waiting for one more Super Bowl win.
28. Sean Spicer
Those who didn’t know Sean Spicer before his SNL parody got to know him as Melissa McCarthy embodied his mannerisms much to the humor of the American public. But President Donald Trump’s former press secretary won’t make his official TV debut anytime soon. Spicer reportedly turned down DWTS due this his “busy schedule.”
Prior to rejecting the offer, he was seen leaving meetings with executives at ABC, Fox News, NBC, and CBS. A source told TMZ it’s a good thing Spicer isn’t doing DWTS; evidently he’s “not a good dancer.”
Additional reporting by Ali Harrison.
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice