Dancing with the Stars is a New Zealand television series based on the British series Strictly Come Dancing. The show introduces eight local celebrities paired with professional ballroom danceers who each week compete against each other in a competition to impress a panel of judges and the viewing public in order to survive potential elimination. Through a telephone poll, viewers vote for those couples who should stay. 50% of the public votes and the average score given by the panel of judges goes towards deciding who should leave. Proceeds from the voting will go to the celebrity contestant's charity of choice.
Dancing with the Stars has been popular with the New Zealand public. The first season, which was the highest rated timeslot programme, averaged 730,000 people per episode, while season two had an average of 804,000 and up to a million tuned into each of the season finales. The third season started in 2007 with 735,000 viewers, Season Four premiered in 2008 with 720,000 viewers while season five in 2009, opened with over 800,000 viewers, the highest of all previous season debuts .
The show is hosted by television personality, Jason Gunn and co-hosted by professional dancer, Candy Lane. All music is performed live by the "Dancing with the Stars band", led by musical director Carl Doy.