When it comes to honors to win on Dancing with the Stars, getting your hands on the Mirrorball is the first priority. But before you can do that, you pretty much need to get a perfect score.
And second to the Mirrorball, the most sought-after DWTS accolade is the first perfect score of the season (a 30 or 40). Historically, perfect scores are given out every season, but only one couple can be the first — and these pairs did it in their own unique ways.
The first-ever perfect score: Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo’s freestyle in season 1
Monaco and Mazo deserve a mention for being the first-ever DWTS pair to earn a perfect score, nabbing it for their last dance of the season, a freestyle to “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez. The only other pair to receive a perfect score that season was John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, but for a dance-off, not an “official” dance.
The first perfect score given to a non-winner: Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani’s samba in season 2
Though Monaco ultimately took home the Mirrorball following her perfect 10, Keibler’s flawless score wasn’t quite as much of a good luck charm: Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke won her season weeks later.
The first perfect score to come in the semi-finals: Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff’s tango
Monaco snagged her perfect score just before she won, Keibler scored it early on, but Lopez became the first to get it during the second-to-last week on DWTS, better known as the semi-finals.
The first perfect score after coming so close for weeks: Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas’ jive in season 6
Yamaguchi and Ballas were a force to be reckoned with on DWTS, racking up super-high scores all season. But after weeks of 27s and 29s, they still hadn’t cinched that perfect score. It came in week six, and arrived for a well-deserved jive.
The first perfect score for the only couple to receive one that season: Brooke Burke & Derek Hough’s foxtrot in season 7
Though other couples came close, no one else competing on the show’s seventh season managed to match their 10-10-10 from the judges.
The first perfect score in a streak of perfect scores: Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough’s instant rumba in season 11
These two got their first set of straight 10s in the show’s eighth week, and continued to get nothing but for the rest of the show.
The first perfect score to not make it into the top three: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy’s cha-cha in season 17
They may have snagged the season’s first perfect score in the sixth week of competition, but that wasn’t enough for Lauren and Chmerkovskiy to stick around past the top six — despite earning another set of triple 10s the night they left.
The first perfect score from four judges: Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy’s tango in season 18
There’s something about figure skaters on the DWTS stage — they always do well! Davis and Chmerkovskiy were no exception, earning top-notch scores week after week. And when their perfect score came, it was all the sweeter because it came from four judges.
The first perfect score won by a substitute partner: Alexa PenaVega and Derek Hough’s tango in season 21
PenaVega did pretty good with her usual partner, Ballas, but it was her tango with Hough that got the judges excited — and gave her the first perfect score of the season.
The first perfect score for a 16-year-old: Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy’s jazz in season 23
Hernandez just may be the youngest DWTS dynamo of all-time. For this Michael Jackson-inspired routine, she and Chmerkovskiy were awarded the first perfect score of the season, just four weeks into the competition.
Dancing With the Stars airs its results show Tuesday at 8.