Sam Johnson: None of the SMS proceeds on DWTS go to charity

Sam Johnson has been positively bursting with enthusiasm on Dancing with the Stars.

The Gold Logie winner has impressed week after week with his skill and storytelling and is tipped to be one of the show’s grand finalists next week.

But bizarrely, yesterday he told his followers not to bother voting for him.

On Facebook he told the Love Your Sister community, “….being that SMS votes cost 55c and NONE of the proceeds go to charity, I’m asking that you forget voting for me and consider donating 55c to cancer research instead? I’ve even created a special 55c button! Unforch it’s not deductible, because it’s less than two bucks. I cannot work harder for your donation and appreciate your consideration regardless xx.”

The show actually offers two ways for viewers to vote with a free vote online each day or unlimited via SMS at a cost of 55c per call.

In 2007 when Seven was screening DWTS it was also a talking point. Seven’s then-Melbourne general manager Ian Johnston advised that 50% of the net profits from phone polling went to charities – a figure he put at about 18c in every 55c. The remaining 50% went to Seven for licensing and production costs. Their website included Terms & Conditions: “The Seven Network will donate a percentage (%) of their share of revenue received from votes registered for each Celebrity, to the charity of each Celebrity’s choice.”

Last week Jimmy Rees dropped out of the show with some questions around monies used to save him and whether callers would be refunded.

Terms & Conditions:

30. In the final episode, the celebrity with the highest Total Score will be crowned the Dancing With The Stars winner and their nominated charity will receive a donation.
31. Judges may grant immunity from elimination based on the celebrity’s performances

32. In the event a celebrity is no longer able to participate in the Program for whatever reason or chooses at any time to exit, they will leave the Program’s competition and all voting for this celebrity will cease.
33. It is the responsibility of each voter to ensure they cast their Save Votes for a celebrity or celebrities who is/are still in the Program’s competition. Voters who submit a Save Vote by SMS for a celebrity or celebrities who has/have left the Program’s competition or submit a Save Vote by SMS with an incomplete or incomprehensible name will be charged for their message/s but their Save Votes will not be valid. The Promoter and Voting Service Provider accept no responsibility or liability for any costs incurred by voters who cast Save Votes for a celebrity or celebrities who has/have left the competition or who submit incomplete or incomprehensible votes.

A Network 10 spokesperson said: “The winner of Dancing With The Stars receives $50,000 for their chosen charity. The 55 cent voting fee covers the cost of the sms voting service provided via a third party. This has been standard across the season. There is no profit for this voting fee, hence 10 will donate $50,000 to the winner’s charity. Viewers can vote via sms or for free online via 10 Play.”

The show airs Live 7:30pm tonight and next Monday on 10.


  1. Dancing with the Star is different to I’m A Celebrity in that we have the opportunity to vote for free each day on 10Play ( but as a result of this I feel like our SMS votes aren’t going to charity, like I’m A Celebrity, but we are still paying the same price to the voting company.

    • That is, because 1- is giving us another way to vote, they aren’t receiving as much money through SMS, so they don’t have any proceeds to give to charity.

    • I agree, Gaz. I often think his comments and mannerisms after his dance routines are over-the-top and egotistical. I also think that Courtney would be a worthy winner.

  2. In 10’s defence there is absolutely nothing in either the on screen graphics or hosts voiceover about the voting that indicates part of the cost goes to charity. In fact, the onscreen graphic with the phone and text numbers features a sponsor logo if I recall correctly.
    Sam discouraging people to vote does seem counter productive though. If he won the whole thing and got $50,000 for the charity – that’s hell of a lot of 55c donations!

  3. I had a feeling the saves votes didn’t go to the charity unlike IACGMOOH, they mentioned it each elimination.

    On the other hand with Samuel Johnson stating don’t vote for him, doesn’t that mean he doesn’t want the $50k for his charity. I thought all charities would be grateful for the donation.

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