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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Changes To Show Amid COVID-19 Pandemic; Derek Hough Joins Judges’ Table

Photos: ABC and JPI

Just how will Dancing with the Stars look and feel when it returns for its 29th season next Monday night on ABC?  Well, some answers finally surfaced from Rob Mills, head of Alternative Programming at the network, and DWTS showrunner, Andrew Linares.

Those changes include that all the celebrity contestants have relocated to Los Angeles, if they did not currently reside there, for the run of the show, so there will be no additional travel to keep safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Deadline, “The judges’ desk will be widened to maintain eight feet between each judge and dancers will be asked to stand at a distance of at least eight feet from the judges during the judging process.”  In addition, Derek Hough will be replacing Len Goodman at the table as one of the season’s judges.  Goodman lives in England and cannot make it to the US during the pandemic … but do expect to see Goodman remotely at certain times of the season.

There will be no live studio audience, however the show will tape live as it has in past seasons.  There will also will be no live band and the producers have redesigned the ballroom with extra screens and a new look to help with it appearing sparse of human beings in attendance.  In addition, large set pieces and extra dancers will no longer be part of the scaled-down version of the series.

The Sky Lounge will not be a place where the celebs and their dance partners can conjugate with their cast mates as in past seasons.  While the competitors can still watch each other perform live, they will be safely distanced somewhere in the ballroom.

For the celebrities and their dance partners safety – there will be no camera crews in the rehearsal studios, they will be replaced by remote cameras. The duos will be Covid-19 tested five times a week.

Linares shared, “They as a couple on the show will stay as a pod – they won’t come in to contact with the other couples to the point that we’ve got three set of married pro dancers and they will be living separately for as long as they’re in the competition.”

Tyra Banks will serve as DWTS new host and executive producer.

So, how will the pandemic effect DWTS for you, the viewer? Do you think the show can remain safe for all involved during the competition? And remember this year, we have three stars formerly from the soaps vying for the Mirror Ball Trophy: Chrishell Stause, Jesse Metcalfe and Anne Heche! Comment below.

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Completely not thrilled with the mirrorball lip gloss. It looks like Tyra is making the show about her. It’s about the dancing.

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Yep. It’s all about Tyra.

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Sounds like fun. Not.

Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Chrishell Stause Has a Comeback, Kaitlyn Bristowe Overcomes Injury, One Couple Is Eliminated

On Tuesday evenings second night of competition in the new season of Dancing with the Stars, three former soap stars took to the ballroom dance floor in a night which also featured for the first time this season … the viewers vote counting for 50% of the total score, and one couple being sent home.

The “drama” of the episode was if former ‘Bachelorette’ Kaitlyn Bristowe’s ankle would be OK enough for her to dance her routine.  With her being placed at the end of the show and then “wowing” everyone – it was hard to know how bad the injury was, but, as she detailed on the show she did receive a cortisone shot before performing and changed shoes to help her get through.

Photo: ABC

Meanwhile, Chrishell Stause, the former AMC, DAYS and Y&R star, currently on the reality hit, Selling Sunset, showed improvement, while ex- Passions, Desperate Housewives and Dallas star Jesse Metcalfe continued to bring the heat – although the judges want him to dance with less use of his facial expressions – and Daytime Emmy winner Anne Heche (Ex- Vicky/Marley, AW)  continued to be having the time of her life from her performances.

Here’a what went down…

Kaitlyn Bristowe and partner Artem Chigvintsev (Foxtrot): Performing to Leann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” and with the uncertainty of if she would dance at all, Bristowe, who wanted to be a dancer, got major kudos from the judges for her dramatic lines and moves fluidly through the dance floor and closed the night – combined total score of last week and this week 42 out of 60

Photo: ABC

Anne Heche and partner Keo Mostepe (Foxtrot): Performing to One Republic’s “Counting Stars”,  Heche revealed this was one of her favorite songs, and she also revealed this dance was to honor her two sons.  Although the judges did not feel Heche delivered as strongly with this performance than in the season opener, Anne still looked like she was enjoying every second of being on the floor – combined total score 36 out of 60

Chrishell Stause and partner Gleb Savchenko (Rumba):  Stause showed her vulnerability including sharing a story from her childhood past.  Then then duo danced to “This Is Me” from the Greatest Showman.  During the performance, Stause looked more fluid on the floor than the previous week and was praised for her improvement  – Combined total score 31 out of 60

Photo: ABC

Jesse Metcalfe and partner Sharna Burgess (Foxtror): This duo performed to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and played up their chemistry on the floor. The critique from the judges had more to do with Jesse not looking so intense, and also his posture, but all told they did well – Combined score was 38 out of 60.

Now to the first elimination:  Carole Baskin and Charles Oakley were the celebrities in the bottom two.   It was up to the judges to decide which celebrity would be saved.  Bruno picked Charles, but Carrie Ann picked Carole, leaving Derek to cast the deciding vote … and he saved Carole.

So what did you think of how Chrishell, Anne and Jesse did on last night’s DWTS?  Did the right celeb get sent packing? What did you think of Kaitlyn’s dance and ankle injury? Comment below, but first check out their dances.

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Dancing with the Stars

‘Tiger King’s’ Carole Baskin Gets Emotional In ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Preview Leading Into Tonight’s Competition

Dancing with the Stars returns on a special night on ABC, Tuesday September 22nd (8 p. m. EST) for the first elimination of the new season.

In a preview ahead of its airing, ABC released a promo featuring Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, who had scored the lowest tally in last week’s competition, breaking down in tears, in front of the cameras.

The impetus of the emotional moment was when Carole was talking about the impact the Netflix series has had on her life.  Baskin is paired with pro dancer Pasha Pashkov with whom she tells, “This is the absolute worst of this”, when recalling what she went through. For Baskin, did not like how she was portrayed in the series.

Carole runs the Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary in Florida and since “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” became a smash hit, she has found herself in controversy.

As viewers and the public now know, Joe Maldonado-Passage (AKA “Joe Exotic”), is serving a 22-year prison term for his part in in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin.

During tonight’s competition look for her and Pashkov to dance the Viennese Waltz to “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones further playing up her cat and tiger association.

Watch the preview below, then let us know: what do you think of Baskin’s sentiments? Will she be be first celebrity contestant leaving the ballroom tonight? Comment below.

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Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS: Anne Heche. Jesse Metcalfe & Chrishell Stause Make Their Ballroom Debuts; While Tyra Banks Bows As New Host

Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars got underway last night, and with the pandemic the changes were noticeable.

Judges seemed more than six feet apart at the table, gone was the Sky Box interviews, gone was the live band,  but we did get canned crowd applause and noise which was too over the top without any audience members truly in the ballroom.

Photo: ABC

Tyra Banks made her debut as the new host replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, while Derek Hough took over Len Goodman’s spot at the judges table. With all of that; soap fans were intrigued to see how three of the contestants would do in the scoring with their first dance of the competition.

Anne Heche and dance partner Keo Motsepe (Cha-Cha):  Here we go – for pizazz and going for it … and doing well, we got to give it to Anne Heche (Ex- Vicky/Marly Another World) although at times her foot work was off, she really sold this dance with her enthusiasm and spunk.  Judge Carrie Ann had high praise for Anne as a potential star on the dance floor, and the duo danced to Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start  Now, which we love. Judges’ Score: 18 out of 30

Photo: ABC

Jesse Metcalfe and dance partner Sharna Burgess (Quickstep):  Metcalfe (Ex-Dallas, Passions, and Desperate Housewives) looked intense on the dance floor and got some critique for his posture and foot work, but the quickstep is such a hard dance to pull off in the first place.  The duo danced to Stevie Wonder’s Part Time Lover.  And of note: Sharna fangirled out meting Metcalfe whom she loved as Miquel on Passions! Judges’ Score: 18 out of 30

Photo: ABC

Chrishell Stause and dance partner Gleb Savchenko (Tango): With mistakes that were noticeably caught by the judges, which they shared were about timing, footwork, and frame work, Chrishell (Ex-AMC, DAYS and Y&R) held it together and got through the dance in spite of it all.  She danced to Pink’s Raise Your Glass.  In a play on Stause’s Selling Sunset real estate gig and reality series, judge Bruno said Stause was “far from closing the deal” with that dance.  Judges’ Score: 13 out of 30.

At the top of the leaderboard after night one of the competition were: 18-year-old Skai Jackson with 21 points, as well as Justina Machado, then former ‘Bachlorette’ Kaitlyn Bristowe with 20, along with Catfish creator and host Nev Shulman.  At the bottom of the score board was Tiger King’s Carole Baskin with 11 points.

Watch Anne, Jesse and Chrishell’s performances below.  Then let us know, what did you think of their first dance?  Who impressed you from the entire cast? What did you think of Tyra as Dancing with the Stars new host? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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