You asked about: Dancing With The Stars

We give you the lowdown on reality telly's Dancing with the Stars:

Where did it start?

Dancing with the Stars is actually a format of BBC television series, Strictly Come Dancing which has run in the UK since 2004.

It began in New Zealand the following year and is now into its third series here.

So what's it all about?

A number of celebrities get paired off with professional ballroom dancers and each week they compete against each other eliminating one couple each week until just one pair remains.

Judges pass comments on their performances and offer advice but telephone and text voters have the final say on who goes and who stays.

The longer a couple stays the more money they raise for their chosen charity.

Is it a big thing?

Dancing With The Stars is a worldwide phenomenon with the format now running in 29 countries.

Australia was the first country to adapt the BBC show and other versions have been produced in places such as Brazil, Ukraine, Israel, India and even New Zealand

In Hungary the show is known as Szombat esti láz, which translates to Saturday Night Fever.

Who are some of the celebrities who have competed in overseas versions?

Spice girl Emma Bunton, soccer demigod Diego Maradonna, former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and golden Olympic swimmer Inge De Brujin have all strutted their stuff in various shows.

How does it rate in New Zealand?

The show is a huge hit. It was the highest-rating series among all New Zealanders for the last two years. An average 804,000 people watched each episode in 2006, a big jump on the 730,000 people per episode in 2005.

The series finals in both years were watched by almost one million people.

Any defining moments for the show in New Zealand?

Possibly Norm Hewitt's haka during the Paso Doble in 2005 with now judge Carol-Ann Hickmore or ACT leader Rodney Hide's near spear tackle of partner Krystal Stuart.

Hewitt went on to win the 2005 competition, while former beauty queen, Lorraine Downs won last year's event.

Former True Bliss singer and NZ Idol judge, Megan Alatini, was favoured in a TVNZ poll to reign as dancing queen in this year's competition.

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