Season eight of Dancing with the Stars premiered on Monday, March 9, 2009, as part of ABC's spring line-up. The show generally followed the format of previous seasons, with 13 couples, although there were some changes, including two new dances, and an occasional dance-off between the bottom two couples, in order to determine who will be eliminated. The show was again hosted by Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris. Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba all returned as judges again this season.
Originally, the season was advertised as the first U.S. season where a husband and wife would compete against each other: rodeo champion Ty Murray and singer-songwriter Jewel. The two had married the previous year after a ten-year courtship. However, just prior to the series, Jewel fractured both her tibias and was unable to perform. She was replaced on the show by Playboy model Holly Madison. Murray chose to continue on the show, and Jewel appeared during the season as a special musical guest.
Nancy O'Dell, the then co-host of Access Hollywood, was also originally announced to be on the show, but was forced to withdraw from the competition due to a torn meniscus, which required surgery. She was replaced by Melissa Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who won season 13 of The Bachelor. She only had two days to practice her first dance.
|Season eight begins with an all new set of dancers and an all-new feature in which a dance off will…|
|Week two of performances finds the contestants dancing the salsa or the quickstep.|
|The results from the first round are revealed. Jewel (who was forced to leave the show due to an…|
|Week three finds the performers dancing the fox trot or the samba.|
|The third results show also has a performance by singer Adele and the duo Hall & Oates.|
|Week four's performances include the Argentine tango and the Lindy Hop.|
|The fourth round of performances has led to two more contestants being released.|
|Week five performances has the contestants dancing the paso doble or Viennese waltz.|
|Week five brings another elimination for one team, after Grammy Award singer Etta James and Demi…|
|Week six in the competition finds the performers dancing the rumba or the jive.|
|The results of round six are revealed, along with a performance from Rascal Flatts.|
|Week seven finds the contestants participating in a 1960's themed group dance.|
|Week seven finds one more dancer removed from the show, along with a performance from Natasha…|
|Week eight of the competition finds the contestants dancing as a single and as a team.|
|Week eight of the competition finds one more voted off. Also, a performance by Robin Thicke, and…|
|Week nine finds the remaining contestants having to perform in two different dance styles.|
|Week 10 finds only four dancers remaining as they have two new dances to learn.|
|The results for week 10 are revealed as one more dancer is eliminated. Also, a performance from…|
|Week 11 is also the final week of performances for season 8, as each of the three remaining couples…|
|The season eight finale finds the remaining three celebrities performing a third dance before a…|