Ever since 2005, Dancing With The Stars (DWTS), a US reality show based on the British series Strictly Come Dancing, where celebrities partner up with professional dancers and compete against other stars, has already won 18 Primetime Emmy and 161 nominations. And throughout their 29 seasons, country stars have taken their own spotlights – some admittedly, not for the best.
And now that they’re on their 30th season, another country superstar is joining the stage to take on the challenge. But before we get on to that, let’s first take a look at all the country singers on Dancing With The Stars history.
Sara Evans (Season 3)
Representing Nashville as the first-ever country star to appear on the program in September 2006, Sara Evans was kept on the show by the overwhelming amount of fan votes. She may have sold out concerts, but unfortunately, she was not one born for the dancing stage. And for back-to-back weeks, she and partner Tony Dovolani scored at the bottom until she had to leave the competition to be with her kids during her divorce with ex-husband Craig Schelske. They placed sixth overall.
Sara definitely could have made more progress seeing how she was more athletic and flexible than the others, but it looked like she wasn’t making efforts to remember the moves as they performed. And if she hadn’t left, viewers wondered if she would have lasted long just by fan votes, but we’re guessing she would have still been in for a couple more weeks.
Billy Ray Cyrus (Season 4)
Gracing the stage of Dancing With The Stars, a country singer known for his debut single “Achy Breaky Heart” joined the cast on Season 4 and was partnered with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff. And there would be no sugar coating his performance on the show, despite placing a respectable top 5 rank, his dancing was so bad that he landed the bottom-most spot in every DWTS Country version list. In fact, judge Bruno Tonioli even described his dancing as ‘a crazy bear lost in a swamp.’ He also went on to achieve the lowest score in the four out of the eight weeks he was on the show. And in 2010, he was also nominated for the Best Worst Dancer award, but he lost to Kenny Mayne.
But let’s cut the man some slack. He’s not the worst dancer ever on the show, and many people suspected that he was casted to boost ratings – especially that one time when he and Smirnoff danced to his song “I Want My Mullet Back,” and Smirnoff’s wig did not come off at the end of their cha-cha. Everyone still remembers that.
Chuck Wicks (Season 8)
For a few seasons after Billy Ray Cyrus, country fans didn’t have anyone to bet on the show until Chuck Wicks was casted on Season 8. And he didn’t disappoint. He and his partner and then-girlfriend Julianne Hough raised the temperature onstage with their steamy performances that gave the show’s history some of its hottest moments. Their chemistry undeniably exploded, and fans loved every second of it. Although Wicks still needed more practice down the waist, the couple finished sixth.
After their elimination, professional dancer Julianne Hough announced her plans to devote more attention to her country music career and will not be participating next season. As for Wicks, he was just having the time of his life that he proved their critics wrong when they thought they weren’t going to last on the show.
Wynonna Judd (Season 16)
One-half of The Judds turned solo artist, Wynonna took on the challenge to dance with the stars on the show’s sixteenth season in 2013. She was paired up with Tony Dovolani, who was hot off his win from DWTS’ all-star season. But while she had a talented dancer as a partner, her journey on the show didn’t last long. The dancing duo were the first to be eliminated after their Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” Samba performance. And Wynonna burst into tears after that as she felt she disappointed a lot of fans and Dovolani as well.
But it’s not like we didn’t see this one coming after all. Although Dovolani’s really taking on the distractions with his moves, everyone can’t help but notice Wynonna, who was so stiff that Judge Len Goodman even compared her to Mount Rushmore.
Kellie Pickler (Season 16)
Wynonna Judd may not have made country music fans a whole lot proud with her performance, but another country star took on the reins for her and went home with the coveted mirror ball trophy that season. Partnered with Derek Hough, Kellie Pickler transformed from country queen to dancing queen in just a matter of weeks. Granted, she has shown the most natural talent than all the country stars who competed before her, but that alone can’t guarantee a win. Kellie was also definitely a hard worker that by the third week, she was already doing splits.
She really proved that country singers could rock the stage by dancing on it, too!
Jana Kramer (Season 23)
For season 23, Jana Kramer and partner Gleb Savchenko wowed the viewers with their performances, and they made it far into their season and almost made it into the finals. Kellie Pickler aside, this was the farthest any other country star achieved on the show. Although many still expected more from them considering Jana’s fit physique, unfortunately, there were a lot of injuries, and flu spells that season.
But what really drew people in with their victory was that Jana Kramer, at that time, was facing a marital crisis, opening about her abusive marriage. She undeniably inspired so many women with her strength on that stage.
Lauren Alaina (Season 28)
The American Idol 10th season runner-up took another shot at the competition stage by joining the cast of DWTS’ Season 28. Lauren Alaina definitely showed some really good moves with her partner Gleb Savchenko bringing them to a fourth place finish. In fact, the dancing duo earned a perfect score for their last dance.
But this competition was more than just dancing for Alaina. The country singer went through tough years battling weight loss, and the competition made her healthily lose 25 pounds. Not just that, but it was also a way for her to honor her late stepfather with a dance to her song “The Other Side.”
Julianne Hough is a professional dancer and a country singer. She joined Dancing With The Stars in 2007 and won two seasons with her celebrity partners. In the same year, she also released her first country single aptly titled “Will You Dance With Me” was released to help raise funds for the American Red Cross and broke through the last spot of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But in 2009, she decided to leave the show to focus on her country music career.
She released more singles, performed in tours, and even pursued acting. Then in 2014, she made her comeback on the show not as a dancer but as a judge until 2017.
Fans are definitely excited to see the country superstar, and it looks like he and his partner Emma Slater have the potential to win. Not only is he impressing judges, viewers, and fans with his amazing chops but also with his energy. He thoroughly enjoys all of their dances, and he is even sometimes caught singing along while dancing! And the chemistry between him and Emma is undeniable.
With their great moves and the country crowd pulling through for them, it wouldn’t be surprising if they take home the mirror ball trophy.
billy ray cyrus, Chuck Wicks, Jana Kramer, Jimmie Allen, Julianne Hough, Kellie Pickler, Lauren Alaina, Sara Evans, Wynonna Judd