PureDWTS Season 28: E! Claims Sharna Was Let Go Due to “Budget”

So the speculation on Sharna & Artem’s dismissal continues…and per E!, they think Sharna’s in particular may have been due to cost:

E! News has learned Burgess’ exit, which could just be for the season, was due to the budget of the aging series. DWTS previously took a cycle off to recalibrate after sinking ratings and is returning with some changes, including ditching the dance troupe and many extras previously associated with the reality series.

Now while that may not seem like anything worth reporting, I will say this: a source informed me yesterday that Sharna was, indeed, the highest paid of the female pros – she renegotiated her contract prior to season 27 (it may have even been prior to season 26), and it was for “quite a bit more than the other girls were making”. This would have been prior to the show taking a nosedive last year, and the folks in charge that agreed to it were the old crew (who would wind up getting canned and replaced by the new set of dunces prior to season 28). When the new crew of bigwigs (Llinares & Co.) took over, I’m sure they were told to find ways to cut costs – and I daresay it’s cheaper to let go of some pros that are costing too much and bring on newbies that you can afford to pay at a much lower rate (such as Daniella – this could also explain why the troupe was cut). So this theory about Sharna’s dismissal actually makes some sense to me…as for Artem, though, source said his contract wasn’t even old enough to come up for renewal yet, so it’s a bit murkier just why he was let go.

Now before any of you go off all half-cocked with questions like “UGH WHY WAS SHARNA MAKING SO MUCH MORE MONEY THAN THE OTHER GIRLS?! SHE DIDN’T DESERVE IT!!!”, something to keep in mind: oftentimes, contract pay rates have less to do with merit (although it helps) and more to do with how good your agent is at negotiating – plus, studies show that women are less likely to get raises than men, and half the battle is simply having the cojones to ask for the money in the first place and insist upon being compensated fairly. So if Sharna was commanding a nice lil salary from DWTS, I say “Good for her! #LadiesGetPaid”. Her contract pay may also have hinged upon her agreeing to stick around DWTS for awhile – like franchise players in the NFL, you can usually command a higher salary if you agree to a degree of exclusivity (i.e. DWTS has first dibs on Sharna each season, and reserve the right to forbid her from accepting any other offers). As for the inevitable questions like “But how was Sharna getting paid better than OG’s like Cheryl and Peta?!”, I recommend you reread our posts on how the pros’ contracts work, and keep in mind that once the pros are past their initial contract, they can negotiate on a season-to-season basis – which is where Cheryl and Peta are at this point, and a la carte one-season contracts never pay as well as multi-season ones (but the trade-off is flexibility – the pros are only contractually obligated to DWTS for a season at a time, and can do whatever they want after it’s over). I’m sure Jenna’s initial contract still has quite a bit of time left on it before she can renegotiate, and I’d venture a guess that Witney, Lindsay, and Emma have a little bit of time left on theirs as well – so none of them would be renegotiating just yet.

Thoughts on this theory for why Sharna was sent packing?