The hit series “Dancing with the Stars” (also known as DWTS) is a Primetime Emmy Award-winning show broadcast live by ABC. Each season, a star-studded celebrity cast partners with professional ballroom dancers to compete for the Mirrorball Trophy. A panel of judges and American viewers vote to decide who stays in the competition each week and who doesn’t make the cut. 

Everything You Need to Know About “Dancing with the Stars”

Here’s everything you need to know about DWTS, including what we know about next season.

What Happened Last Season?

Airing on Sept. 20, 2021, the 30th season of “Dancing with the Stars” was a rollercoaster of emotions for contestants, judges, and viewers. The 11-episode series experienced changes to the judges’ panel, two quarantines, and a landmark dance couple. The pandemic also affected multiple people on the show, and the winning couple set a new DWTS record. Here’s a look back at this groundbreaking season.

Who Were the Judges?

A panel of four judges scored the dancers this season. Len Goodman, a long-time judge, and ballroom dance expert, returned after a hiatus due to pandemic travel restrictions. Goodman was joined once again by Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, who have both been judges on the show since its inception. Joining the original trio this year was Emmy Award-winning dancer and choreographer Derek Hough.

Six-time winner of the Mirrorball Trophy, Hough filled in as a judge for Goodman in season 29 and was asked to stay for season 30. When he became sickened with a breakthrough case of COVID-19, he was temporarily replaced by his sister, Julianne Hough. An award-winning dancer and choreographer, Julianne has been a guest judge on the show before, and she is also a two-time winner of DWTS.

Who Was the Host?

Host Tyra Banks returned for a second season to help navigate viewers through this fun and energetic dance competition. Creator and host of “America’s Next Top Model,” Banks was ready to take on another reality TV competition when she became an executive producer and host of DWTS in 2020. She replaced long-time host Tom Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews.

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Who Were the Celebrity Pairs?

Fifteen couples paired up to compete on the dance floor in season 30 of DWTS. In order of appearance, the show’s pro dancers were partnered with the following celebrities:

  • Gleb Savchenko and Melanie C (popstar)
  • Witney Carson and Mike Mizanin (WWE wrestler)
  • Daniella Karagach and Iman Shumpert (NBA player) 
  • Val Chmerkovskiy and Olivia Jade (social media influencer)
  • Emma Slater and Jimmie Allen (country singer)
  • Artem Chigvintsev and Melora Hardin (actress)
  • Sasha Farber and Suni Lee (Olympic gymnast)
  • Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby (Peloton trainer)
  • Alan Bersten and Amanda Kloots (talk show host)
  • Britt Stewart and Martin Cove (actor)
  • Brandon Armstrong and Kenya Moore (actress)
  • Pasha Pashkov and Christine Chiu (actress)
  • Lindsay Arnold and Matt James (season 25 Bachelor)
  • Sharna Burgess and Brian Austin Green (actor)
  • Jenna Johnson and JoJo Siwa (dancer and singer)

Who Were the Finalists?

For nine weeks, 11 couples were eliminated from the competition. Season 30 finalists included the following four pairs of celeb and professional dancers:

  • Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten: Kloots suffered a terrible tragedy in 2020 when she lost her husband, actor Nick Cordero, to the coronavirus. Viewers followed the former host of “The Talk” on a journey of healing this season as she improved each week to make it to the finale.
  • Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke: Known as a celebrity fitness trainer, Rigsby danced his way into the finals with his partner despite a major setback early in the season. Burke had to quarantine due to a breakthrough case of COVID-19. The couple was unable to compete during week two but overcame the odds and stayed in the competition.
  • Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach: The height difference between NBA pro-Shumpert and his partner made for a tricky pairing, but the couple worked hard to overcome the obstacle. He might be big for a dancer, but Shumpert was light on his feet.
  • Jojo Siwa and Jenna Johnson: YouTube personality, singer, and dancer Siwa and her partner made history this season. They became the first same-sex couple to appear on the show. Dazzling and delightful, Siwa and Johnson showed it doesn’t matter who you dance with as long as you do it well.
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What Were Some of the Most Memorable Performances?

While season 30 was full of memorable moments, some dancers upstaged the rest with stellar and emotional performances. Amanda Kloots and her partner Alan Bersten delivered a stunning contemporary dance to a song written by her late husband, Nick Cordero, called “Live Your Life.” The team received a perfect score for this remarkable number.

Jojo Siwa left a big impression on the last night of the competition with two flawless finale dances with partner Jenna Johnson. The judges loved their cha cha/tango fusion dance to “I Love It” by Icona Pop, and their freestyle dance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was a pure celebration of being true to yourself (and even included a lift!).

Cody Rigsby stole the show during the finale with an epic freestyle that included three lifts of partner Cheryl Burke. Descending from above, Rigsby’s dance began with classical notes from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony but then transformed into a modern performance to “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” by Todrick Hall.

And finally, the way Iman Shumpert moved his partner Daniella Karagach around the floor and in the air during their contemporary dance earned the couple a standing ovation. His fast, high-energy freestyle to Missy Elliot’s “Lose Control” was his last and also best performance.

Who Won the Most Recent Season of “Dancing With the Stars”?

Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach won season 30 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Shumpert was the first NBA player to make it to the finals and the first professional basketballer to win. This trophy also marks the first win for Karagach, who has only been a dancing coach on the show for two seasons.

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What to Know About the Upcoming Season of “Dancing With the Stars”

Even though this last season of “Dancing with the Stars” experienced a dip in ratings, the series hasn’t been canceled by ABC, as it’s still a popular TV show among millions of Americans. Based on past renewal and release dates, it’s likely that DWTS will be renewed in March 2022 and return for season 31 in September 2022. Celebrity contestants will most likely be announced a few weeks before the start of the season.

Who Will the Judges and Hosts Be?

At this time, ABC has yet to announce who the judges or hosts will be for season 31. It’s likely that all or some of the current judges, who bring superb experience and likability to the show, will return. However, the DWTS host may change, as many viewers this season weren’t too pleased with Tyra Banks and lobbied for her replacement.

Where to Watch “Dancing With the Stars”

The premiere date has yet to be announced, but “Dancing With the Stars” will likely kick off its 31st season in September 2022 as part of ABC’s fall lineup. The show typically runs for two hours on Monday nights.

Missed this last season? Stream DWTS season 30 on the ABC app or at ABC.com. The entirety of all seasons can also be streamed on Hulu, Sling TV, and AT&T TV Now

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