Bristol Palin, season 11
Bristol Palin was heavily scrutinized because of her mother’s politics. But being Sarah Palin’s daughter played a key role in keeping Bristol in the competition — whether or not she deserved it.
This gallery was originally published Sept. 2, 2015, and most recently updated Aug. 21, 2019.
Hope Solo, season 13
The world’s greatest goalkeeper certainly didn’t like her time in the ballroom, and it showed. In her autobiography, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, Hope alleged that the show was rigged and that partner Maksim Chermkovskiy slapped her.
Lolo Jones, season 19
The athlete’s unremarkable run was over before it began. She danced like a stiff in rehearsals and then made excuses for her poor debut, saying the sound effects threw her off. She was first to be ousted that season.
Sadie Robertson, season 19
The gal could move, but like Palin, she was dogged with accusations that right-leaning voters who watch her family’s show Duck Dynasty kept her in the ballroom.
Cloris Leachman, season 7
Look, she was charming as heck, and who doesn’t like to break records about being the oldest contestant ever? But the 82-year-old actress really had no business donning the Danskins.
Tom DeLay, season 9
The former House Majority Leader who promoted the “birther” conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama thought the show would help improve his image. It didn’t.
Floyd Mayweather, season 5
Paula Deen, season 21
The famous Southern cook tried to win back hearts after her now-infamous use of the N-word by donning some Danskins. But the butter-loving “celeb” was eliminated after six weeks.
Rick Perry, season 23
The former Texas governor who twice ran for president was booted three weeks into the competition. Sad!
Tucker Carlson, season 3
The conservative talk show host appeared in season 3. After he was eliminated, he said learning how to ballroom-dance was “like Einstein teaching addition to a slow child.”
Heather Mills, season 4
Paul McCartney’s ex competed with a prosthetic leg — but she never quite lived down her reputation among Beatles lovers as a gold-digging heartbreaker.
Kate Gosselin, season 10
The former TLC reality star proved to be a notoriously difficult partner for Tony Dovolani, who told Anderson Cooper “there was a lot of therapy involved” after they finished in eighth place.
Tonya Harding, season 26
The former Olympic skater admitted that she was seeking redemption by competing for the mirror ball trophy.