Dancing with the Stars: This is How Much the Mirrorball Trophy Costs

The judges of Dancing with the Stars | ABC

If you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars, you’ve likely watched the final episode where the judges award the coveted Mirrorball trophy. One thing you might wonder is how much this shiny prize costs. You’d be surprised by the answer.

Here’s how much the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball trophy costs.

The first Mirrorball trophy

The first Mirrorball wasn’t as fancy as the one you see on the show now. What you might not know is the prize was first awarded on Dancing with the Stars’ sister show, British reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. James Yarnell, Dancing with the Stars production designer, told People it was “basically a Mirrorball on a stick.” His vision was for the Mirrorball to look like a trophy.

Getting fancy

Instead of handing the winners a ball on a stick, Yarnell decided to get fancy. He and his team spiced up the look of the prize by using a lamp instead of a stick. The designer told People he had a limited budget to work with, so he searched for inexpensive ways to dress up the trophy:

There was a limit to what I could spend, so I bought a 3-ft.-tall brass lamp, unscrewed it and took all the pieces apart. Then I reassembled some of the pieces to make basically what we can have today. The original one, the Kelly Monaco one, was literally part of a brass lamp and had it put on a wooden base with the Mirrorball on it.

A facelift

The Mirrorball went through some minor changes over the years. One change was to the trophy’s height. Yarnell said executives at ABC thought the trophy was too short, so the design team decided to make some last-minute changes. “We literally unscrewed [the Mirrorball] and — probably 10 minutes before we went live — we added a roll of parcel tape between the stem and the base and that elevated it by 2 inches. We covered it in gold paper and off it went,” says Yarnell.

The trophy changed again during season four, when it got an upgrade. The bottom of the Mirrorball was made from a lamp purchased at Lamps Plus, but the retailer ceased making that lamp. Yarnell told People the team chose to start casting the trophy and add a heavy acrylic base with a brass stem.

Who won the first Mirrorball trophy?

Actress Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo were the first couple to win the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball trophy. John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen were the runners up. Monaco later returned to the show for the all-stars season. She and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy finished in third place.

How much the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball costs

Although the Mirrorball looks expensive, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. People reports during the 2015 all-stars season the Mirrorball was painted gold and for season 20 it was covered in Swarovski crystals. However, looks can be deceiving. Says Yarnell, “there’s no such thing as a high-end mirrorball. So no matter how much we put into the trophy, how much we spend, it always has a $10 Mirrorball on top.”

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