During a Dancing with the Stars panel at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Friday (8/23) executive producer Andrew Llinares revealed a change in the voting process. Dancing with the Stars will go the way of it’s sister ABC competition, American Idol, and do real time voting. Fans will vote for their favorite couples throughout the live show, with contestants being eliminated at the end of the night based on those votes.
“I think, first of all, we’ve been off-air now for a year, so we want to make this season really, really special,” he said during the panel, which was moderated by Ginger Zee and featured host Tom Bergeron and former DWTS champs Rashad Jennings and Jordan Fisher. “Bigger, more exciting, and more fun than it’s ever been, which is hard.”
“One thing we are going to do, we’re going to introduce live voting throughout the season, which is something we haven’t done before,” he continued. “You’ll see a show, so you might see the Disney show, and then you’ll see the result at the end of that show, based on what happened that night. So, we get the immediacy of the results.”
One fan in the crowd shouted “West Coast!” according to the report in Entertainment Tonight.
“The West Coast can still vote, but it will be voting when the show goes on for the first time,” Llinares clarified, breezing right past why that’s a disadvantage. “What we love about it is, if someone comes and does a great dance that night, but say they didn’t have a great dance the week before, they can come back, they can redeem themselves… We’re voting based on these dances that actual night.” Yeah, but West Coast people will likely be at work, or in their cars, or putting dinner on the table when the show airs “for the first time.” DWTS producers are effectively leaving the West Coast out of the voting process.
American Idol solved the coastal problem by telecasting its live shows on Sundays, coast to coast simultaneously. This allowed fans to watch and vote together. However, it would be impossible for ABC affiliates to preempt weekday programing to accomodate an 11 week simulcast. Sorry West Coast, says DWTS producers. But not that sorry.
Other changes include keeping pairings a secret until Dancing with the Stars premiers live on Monday September 15. Good luck with that! The couples have to rehearse in the meantime. I anticipate that spoilers will reveal at least SOME of the pairings before the premiere–if not every single one. I’m going with all of them, actually.
And here’s a tidbit. There will be NO dance troupe this season. The troupe, which began season 12, consisted of professional dancers. They would perform as commercial bumpers, or dance alongside competing couples. Troup members like Britt Stewart and Hayley Erbert became fan favorites. Additionally, there are fans who wish Britt and Hayley were promoted rather than bringing on new dancers Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach.
Also, DWTS has scheduled the annual Disney Night for October 14
— Dancing with the Stars (@DancingABC) August 23, 2019