Celebs That Turned Down DWTS Invites

"Dancing with the Stars" has had hundreds of celebrities turn it out on the ballroom floor. And as any "DWTS" fan will know, the type of celebrities featured each season run the gamut. The 30th season was no different, with the cast ranging from former "Dance Moms" star JoJo Siwa to pop legend Melanie C (formerly Sporty Spice). Ahead of each new season, there's always a lot of speculation regarding who will be cast. And in July 2022, as some fans may have predicted, past winner Alfonso Ribeiro was officially announced as co-host of Season 31 (via Us Weekly).


After the announcement was made public, "DWTS" executive producer and host Tyra Banks said, "I've known Alfonso since I was 19 years old, and he always puts a smile on my face whenever I see him. Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as co-host warms my heart" (via Us Weekly). Both cast and fans alike are thrilled to have him back on the show in this new capacity.

Of course, the celeb hosts are just one piece of the puzzle. "DWTS" has to spend a lot of time pursuing their most desired stars, diligently sending out invitations, spreading a wide net hoping to catch an elusive white whale, or even a few guppies. Yet and still, some don't bite. So just who are these difficult-to-catch celebs? It's time to spill the tea.


Weird Al Yankovic isn't dead, but you still won't see him on DWTS

"Weird Al" Yankovic may be rightly worried after two TV shows — both based on comic book series' ("Paper Girls" and "Y: The Last Man") — released episodes with the ominous title, "Weird Al Is Dead."


Yankovic tweeted, "This is the second time in less than a year that there has been a TV show episode entitled 'Weird Al Is Dead.' Is the universe trying to tell me something??" We sure hope not! Although, his biopic is also being filmed when he is very much alive — when they're typically made posthumously — and that only adds to the foreboding message. "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story" is directed and co-written by Eric Appel, with Yankovic himself serving as a writer and producer and actor Daniel Radcliffe as the comedic singer. 

So while Yankovic is alive and well, we unfortunately won't see his Hawaiian shirts out on the dance floor. The star shared with Billboard that he turned down the offer from "Dancing with the Stars": "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."


Queen Latifah loves the show but doesn't want to dance

Who would not want to see the goddess herself, rapper, and actress, Queen Latifah on "Dancing with the Stars"? Due to her decade-long career, she was honored with the lifetime achievement award at the 2021 BET Awards. In a heartfelt acceptance speech, she expressed, "Black is beautiful. I was raised by strong Black women. We can't live without each other. Celebrate us, so together we stand stronger." 


Although we'd love to see her on "DWTS," the rumors stating that Latifah would join the show turned out to be false. "I performed on Dancing with the Stars so you might see me as a performer, but not as a dancer," she told Access Hollywood. Indeed, she brought the house down as a guest performer in Seasons 5 and 9. However, Latifah tweeted, "Love the show though, so I'll be watching just like you!" While one would guess that her TV viewing setup isn't "just like" ours, it's still nice to know that she watches along with us!

Jamie Lee Curtis will only put on dancing shoes for charity

Horror aficionados will forever remember Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, a babysitter stalked by Michael Myers, a psychotic escaped mental patient. Curtis debuted this role in the first "Halloween" film by John Carpenter in 1978, and eventually starred in seven of the 13 films. No doubt fans would be happy to see Jamie Lee Curtis on screen in any capacity — including "DWTS."


"Dancing with the Stars" did ask famed Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis to take part, but she was very against the idea. "They've knocked," Curtis told NBC Los Angeles. "No one was home." However, she's since softened her stance. The actress has since told E! News, "I would do Dancing with the Stars. If they gave me a million dollars to give to a charity... I would only do it if there was a big charity component." Maybe the hefty price tag will prove worth it to "DWTS" — even just to see the actress known for some very iconic dance scenes. We'll have to wait and see what happens in the future!

Bill Clinton just 'didn't have the time' for DWTS

Although "DWTS" extended an invitation to former President Bill Clinton, he chose to turn down the offer. As he admitted to Rachel Ray, "I told didn't have the time to train for it. You know you actually go out there and you train, you really work at it. So I had to pass." Reportedly, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama were also offered a spot on the show but each former first lady declined (via The Washington Post). Some politicians have accepted invitations, though, including former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer, former Texas governor Rick Perry, and former Republican U.S. representative from Texas Tom DeLay, per TV Insider.


While the show has asked members from both sides of the aisle, former host Tom Bergeron questioned if politics should be involved at all. In 2019, he took to Twitter, writing that he hoped Season 28 would be "a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations" (via Yahoo).

Unfortunately for Bergeron and viewers who agreed with him, his plea fell on deaf ears. After Spicer clumsily shimmied in his shiny, neon-green, puffed sleeves to "Spice Up Your Life," judge Bruno Tonioli asked, "What were you doing there?" It's like you were being attacked by a swarm of wasps" (via Vox). Hmm, maybe dancing and politics shouldn't mix after all.


Charlie Sheen has 'two left feet'

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Charlie Sheen began acting as a child, and sadly, his life has taken the same rollercoaster as many other child actors: flying completely off the track. His health has unfortunately not been a smooth ride either. In 2015, he went public with his HIV diagnosis (via ABC News). Sheen has faced a myriad of controversies over the years including substance abuse, domestic abuse, assault, and various other legal issues. Not to mention his infamous Hollywood squabbles and firings.


You would think his reputation as a troublemaker would have perhaps made him a less desirable candidate for "DWTS," but the series cast him for Season 28. Now, you may wonder why you didn't see him. Well, he left shortly before the premiere, deciding it wasn't for him. The actor told Us Weekly, "At the end of the day, I have two left feet and I just can't dance." The fallout from this decision caused him to lose out on a massive deal from ABC that included a pilot series, which was contingent upon his participation in "DWTS." It's pretty safe to say he burned this bridge, but you never know, his famous name seems to garner him endless chances.

Austin Mahone's schedule prevented him from saying yes

Singer-songwriter Austin Mahone took a page from Justin Bieber's book and began posting cover songs on YouTube at just 14 years old, gaining millions of followers, and signing to a label when he was just a teen (via The Globe and Mail). 


"DWTS" asked Mahone to compete on the show in 2018, but he allegedly passed because "he wasn't able to do it with his current schedule," an insider told Us Weekly. In the years since, Mahone hasn't been in the spotlight nearly as much as he once was. However, he remains active on social media and supports various charities. In mid-August 2022, he will join San Antonio Spurs' Devin Vassell in a "Back To School Drive" for San Antonio students (via KENS5). The event provides students with free backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as free haircuts. Who knows, perhaps with his schedule being more, he'll end up on a future season of "Dancing with the Stars."

LeAnn Rimes may still light up the stage one day

Two-time Grammy winner LeAnn Rimes had been asked to compete on "Dancing with the Stars" at least three times but has had to turn the show down due to schedule conflicts. "I haven't had the time," she told GAC (via Sounds Like Nasvhille). "That's a true commitment and a big workout. I would love to do it, but we'll see. Maybe one day; that would be fun."


Rimes isn't new to reality TV — she won "The Masked Singer" as the Sun on season 4. She quickly blew away the audience and judges panel, garnering standing ovations and tears. Rimes doesn't love competition, though. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she explained it was her least favorite part of the process. "I've enjoyed it, and at the same time, I don't love it because somebody is losing and I don't love that feeling," she said. "When it came down to everyone at the end, my dear friend was literally standing next to me and I had no idea that Aloe Blacc was with me on stage," she continued. "We've duetted together before and he's just such a great guy."

After Rimes' impressive performance on "The Masked Singer," we can't help but want to see her compete on "DWTS" even more.


Russell Wilson wants to win it ... but not yet

Football players have touched down into viewers' hearts over the many seasons of "DWTS." Donald Driver, Hines Ward, and Emmitt Smith, all won DWTS, while Jerry Rice, Jacoby Jones, Warren Sapp, and Jason Taylor finished in the top three. Will Russell Wilson join the fold? He's been invited but has turned the series down more than once.


"I need to focus on my football career right now," he told Access Hollywood back in 2014 (via USA Today). "It's one of those things where I'm trying to do as much as I can to win football games for the Seattle Seahawks and our franchise." Perhaps in part thanks to that focus, Wilson became the fastest quarterback to reach 100 wins in the NFL, according to The Shadow League.

It's hard to say when Wilson will retire, but maybe then he'll star on the iconic series. "At some point," he told Access Hollywood, "I'm going to definitely do it. I love 'Dancing with the Stars.' I love watching, and I love dancing myself, so hopefully, I could win it." We can't wait to see him dance to the top!

Ricky Schroder just doesn't dance

"DWTS" producers asked past contestant and now co-host Alfonso Ribeiro for a favor: invite "NYPD Blue" star Ricky Schroder on the show. That didn't go exactly as planned. As Ribeiro told E! News back in 2015, "The one that she [producer Deena Katz] wanted I couldn't get. She wanted Ricky Shroder and Ricky Schroder was like, 'Eh, I don't dance!'"


In the years since being invited on the show, Schroder has become a conspiracy theorist and, according to HuffPost, a "far-right extremist," making headlines for his tirades against mask policies, among other things. He filmed himself harassing Costco workers when asked to wear a mask in the store, calling them out and asking others to demand refunds. In another video he shared to Instagram, he can be seen burning brush along a river in order to send "smoke signals" for "true freedom." He warned his followers about mask mandates, saying, "We're in trouble," and captioned his video "John 3:16." Given his bizarre behavior, fans may be counting their lucky stars that Schroder doesn't dance.

Bobby Flay doesn't want to be 'that guy'

Bobby Flay is one of the most popular chefs on TV, landing him in the top 10 richest celebrity chefs in the world. He started in the industry as a fill-in busboy, after his father, a manager at Joe Allen's restaurant, had him fill in for the regular busboy (via Insider). He stayed, and thus began his culinary path. Soon, Joe Allen saw potential in the then-teen and paid to send him to Manhattan's prestigious French Culinary Institute. The high-achieving chef received the institute's Outstanding Graduate Award and is now renowned for his prowess in the kitchen.


The culinary master, however, has no interest in competing on "DWTS." His focus has always been on food. As he told Inc., "The most important thing to me is my restaurants, bar none." He told Zagat back in 2013 that he didn't want to become "known as that guy on Dancing with the Stars" (via Eater). He continued, saying, "My wife told me that she would divorce me if I did it." Considering he and wife Stephanie March have since divorced, what do you think he'd say if asked again? Hmm.

Trace Adkins won't be humiliated on TV

Country star Trace Adkins is one tough cowboy. The musician nearly died in two car accidents and survived the dangers of working on oil rigs — which included battling a hurricane on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico and severing his left pinkie while opening an oil barrel. He also nearly lost his legs in a bulldozer accident and survived a near-fatal gunshot through the chest by his ex-wife, Julie Curtis. The bullet passed through his lungs and heart. People Magazine rightfully dubbed him Mr. Invincible in the '90s. Adkins has had a lot of adventures in his life — but performing on "DWTS" was never one of them, and will likely never be.


Country music stars are no strangers to the series, but many have struggled to wow the judges on the dance floor. Even big names like Billy Ray Cyrus and Wynonna Judd fell short. The one exception was Season 16's Kellie Pickler, who won the mirror ball trophy (via ABC News).

Adkins isn't looking to follow in Pickler's footsteps though. "I've turned down 'Dancing With The Stars," he said (via The Boot). "I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna humiliate myself just to be on television." Instead, you'll be able to find him spending weekends on his tractor, as he told Us Weekly. Although we'd like to point out that dancing would be an arguably safer hobby, considering his history with heavy machinery.


Lance Armstrong flattered, but not interested

"Dancing with the Stars" asked Lance Armstrong to join the series multiple times, his publicist told Entertainment Weekly (via USA Today). "Although flattered he has passed on their generous offers," the publicist explained.


During Armstrong's long — and now infamous — career, he won a record seven consecutive Tour de France races but was stripped of all titles in 2012 due to evidence of doping (via ESPN). In 2013, he finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, after years of denying the fact. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he admitted to having blood transfusions to boost his oxygen levels as well as taking human growth hormone, testosterone, and erythropoietin (via The Hollywood Reporter). Armstrong said that he deserved the repercussions of his actions. He also attributed his decision to cheat to a "ruthless desire to win."

Competition doesn't seem to bring out the best in Armstrong, and "DWTS" fans don't tolerate cheating. Professional dancer Sasha Farber found this out the hard way after she shared an Instagram post explaining how to cheat the system to vote more times than allowed (via Heavy). Naturally, backlash ensued. With Armstrong's "ruthless desire to win" attitude, well, he might not be the best fit.