The 32-year-old singer and Zooey 101 actor is the latest celebrity to be added to the new season’s competing roster, joining previously announced celebrity contestants including Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madox and The Bachelor’s Charity Lawson. The season’s full lineup will be announced on Wednesday (13 September).
Speaking to Good Morning America on Tuesday (12 September) about the “unique opportunity”, Spears said: “I was offered a chance to work when my community cannot work.
“I figured I’ll do this and I will donate my weekly salary to SAG, WGA and just give back to them at a time where they can’t even give to themselves.”
DWTS, the American equivalent to the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing, is scheduled to premiere its 32nd season on Tuesday 26 September, amid the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strike.
In July, the actors’ union, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), made the historic decision to join its fellow screenwriters’ union, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), in the fight for a fairer deal.
The decision has effectively shut down Hollywood, leaving thousands of actors and writers out of work. Among both unions’ chief demands are an increase in wages, higher streaming residuals and improved working conditions.
Celebrity contestants on DWTS typically make an estimated starting salary of $125,000 (£100,200), which includes the rehearsal period beforehand and the two weeks of competition, according to Variety.
While those who make it to weeks three and four earn an additional $10,000 (£8,000) per week, week five gets an added bonus of $15,000 (£12,000), weeks six and seven land an increase of $20,000 (£16,000) each week and finally, those who make it to weeks eight and nine earn a whopping bonus of $30,000 (£24,000) per week.
Of his partnership with Spears, Bersten told the programme: “We get along so well.”
“He’s been wonderful. My family got to meet him,” Spears gushed of Bersten. “Wouldn’t rather do it with anyone else.”
The “How Could I Want More” singer went on to share her surprise upon seeing how eager her 15-year-old daughter, Maddie, was for her to join the show.
“She was like, ‘Mom, you have to do it,’” Spears recalled. “She’s an athlete, I think she kinda wanted to see me push myself.
“Even if I embarrass myself,” Spears continued, “I’m doing it for a good reason and hopefully giving back to a community that has literally given back to me since I was a little girl.”
Season 32 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere on Tuesday, 26 September, on ABC at 8pm EST, followed by weekly episodes airing every Tuesday.
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