American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are both reality television shows that involve performing art on stage.

Comparison chart

American Idol versus Dancing With The Stars comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAmerican IdolDancing With The Stars
  • current rating is 2.71/5
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  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(21 ratings)
  • current rating is 2.52/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(29 ratings)
American IdolDancing With The Stars
Judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson have been judges since the show first aired. Paula Adul left the show in 2010. In 2009 Kara DioGuardi joined the panel with comedian Ellen DeGeneres making a panel of 4 judges in 2010. Len Goodman, Bruno Tolioni and Carrie Ann Inaba
Broadcaster FOX ABC
First Season 2002 2004
Content 12 contestants in the show with a different theme & celebrity mentor each week, critiqued by a panel of judges followed by a public phone in/text in vote within a specified time limit after which the contestant with the lowest votes is eliminated. Celebrities are paired with dance experts (mentors) and perform one dance a week. They are judged & scored by a panel of 3 experts followed by a phone in/text in vote by public. The two scores are added & couple with the lowest score is eliminated.
Based on A spin off show from British show Pop Idol created by Simon Fuller. The Idol series has shows 42 countries. Originally a British BBC production called Strictly Come Dancing. Franchise exists in 30 different countries.
Contestants Contestants selected from nation wide auditions with the general public. Contestants are celebrities from a variety of fields including TV, movies, sport and music.
Description American reality television singing competition to find new solo singer talent. First aired in the US in 2002 An international television show based on a dance competition between celerbrities. First aired in the US in 2005


American Idol is an interactive reality television show which aired in the U.S in 2002. Contestants are selected from a nation wide talent search in 10 different U.S cities. The same city is not visited three seasons in a row. Judges spend 2 days in each city and around 100,000 appear each day. A one hour show with a selection of auditions is televised each week.

In Dancing with the Stars, celebrities do not go through an audition process.


In American Idol 12 contestants sing songs from a different theme, artist or genre of music each week such as Billboard Top 100, Country, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson.

In Dancing with the Stars 10 celebrities are paired with professional ballroom dancers to learn a Latin dance such as the Mambo, Salsa, Cha-cha, Rumba one week and a ballroom dance such as Foxtrot, Quick Step, Waltz the next week.


Simon Cowell, music producer and Randy Jackson, Grammy award winning record producer have been judges on the panel since the show first aired with Simon Cowell featuring in his final season in 2010. Simon Cowell is the only Britsh judge. Grammy award winning singer and Emmy award winning choreographer Paula Abdul was on the panel for the first 8 seasons. Latin grammy award winning song-writer and record producer Kara DiaGuardi joined the judging panel in season 8 in 2009. In 2010 comedian, actress and Emmy award winning talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres joined the panel as the second female judge.

Judges for Dancing with the Stars have been Len Goodman, Bruno Tolioni and Carrie Ann Inaba.


American Idol:
Kelly Clarkson, winner of the First Season of American Idol singing Stuff Like That There

Dancing with the Stars:
Dorit Milman and Zohar Strauss doing Quickstep to Michael Jackson's Thriller on Dancing With The Stars 2010


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