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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: Iman Shumbert & Pro Daniella Karagach Win The Mirror Ball Trophy Making Show History

Monday’s night’s season 30 finale of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars was markedly the best in the series history, with some of the finest routines delivered by the four couples vying for the Mirror Ball Trophy.

In the end, it was former NBA basketball player Iman Shumbert, who made history along with is pro dance partner, Daniella Karagach, when he beat out Jo Jo Siwa and her pro partner, Jenna Johnson for the top prize.

Photo: ABC

Rounding out the competition: fourth place went to The Talk’s Amanda Kloots and pro Alan Bersten, and the third spot went to Peloton instructor, Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke,

With the win, Shumbert becomes not only the first basketball star to make it to the finals, but the first-ever to win the coveted Mirror Ball,

The judges and the at-home audience were blown away by his final dance of the competition – an epic freestyle to Missy Elliot’s “Lose Control”  and “Bounce” by DJ Clent.  Iman is married to singer and dancer, Teyana Taylor.

After the big win, Shumbert told Entertainment Tonight, “Hats off to the work that we put in. I think me and Dani set our mind to that when we got that 40, that we don’t want to just to drop off now and just steam out of the competition. I think we just put in a lot of hours and when it was time to perform, it got easy.”

Check out Iman and Dani’s final routine below.

Now let us know, were you rooting for Iman and Daniella to win the Mirror Ball? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Dancing with the Stars

Derek Hough Tests Positive for COVID-19 Following ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Semi-Finals

Following Monday’s night’s semi-final battle of what couples would dance in next week’s season finale, Dancing with the Stars judge, Derek Hough, revealed on Tuesday morning that he has contracted Covid-19.

On his Instagram, Hough revealed he is fully vaccinated, but like others before him, is a breakthrough case.

This makes Hough the third person at DWTS, who publicly revealed they came down with the virus this season. Previously pro dancer Cheryl Burke and her celebrity partner, Cody Rigsby contracted Covid and were quarantined.

In his video statement, Derek shared: “Even though I’ve been fully vaccinated, I’ve just been diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID. I just found out and I feel OK. I feel strong. I’m currently taking advice from medical professionals to get better as fast as I can. I’m currently in quarantine.”

He added: “I’ll make sure to keep you guys all updated with what’s going on, but I just want to send my love out there to all. Stay safe.”

Because of Covid safety protocols, no word or mention has been made yet, if Hough will be judging next week’s DWTS finals, although he is canceling his shows in Vegas this week.

Photo: ABC

Last night’s competition saw a touching performance by The Talk co-host, Amanda Kloots, and her pro partner Alan Bersten, dancing to her late husband, Nick Cordero’s song “Live Your Life.” Cordero died of complications from Covid-19.

However, at the end of the night Kloots and Bersten found themselves in the bottom two along with Olympian Suni Lee and pro Sasha Farber.  In the end, the judges votes saved Amanda and Alan, and they will dance in the finals.

Photo: ABC

They join :JoJo Siwa and pro Jenna Johnson, Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagach, and Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke.  Sent home along with Suni and Sasha were Melora Hardin and her pro partner, Artem Chigvintsev.

So, do you think Derek will be back to judge the DWTS finals? Which couple are you rooting for to take home the Mirror Ball Trophy? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Derek Hough (@derekhough)

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Dancing with the Stars

DANCING WITH THE STARS Double Elimination: Olivia Jade and Val & Jimmie Allen and Emma Sent Home

Monday edition’s of Dancing with the Stars was Janet Jackson night where the remaining couples upped the quality of the competition with some of the best routines of the season to classic Janet. However, the night was also billed as a ‘double elimination’ before heading into next week’s semi-finals.

The couples that were “safe” and moving on were: Suni Lee and pro Sasha Farber, JoJo Siwa and pro Jenna Johnson, Amanda Kloots and pro Alan Bersten, Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke, and Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagach.

Photo: ABC

Landing in the bottom three were: Olivia Jade and pro Val Chmerkovskiy, Jimmie Allen and pro Emma Slater, and Melora Hardin and pro Artem Chigvintsev.

Then, host Tyra Banks revealed a shocker, that Lori Loughlin’s (Ex-Edge of Night) daughter, Olivia Jade and her partner Val, scored the lowest of the night combining the judges score and the at-home vote.  Olivia struggled to get the popular vote throughout the season while being a fierce competitor on the ballroom dance floor, landing in the bottom two, previously.  Loughlin and Jade had been at the epicenter of the college admissions scandal.

That left Jimmie and Emma and Melora and Artem for the judges to vote and who to save.  All the judges voted to save Melora, thus ending the dance journey for Jimmie.

Photo: ABC

The Talk’s Amanda Kloots and pro partner Alan scored high marks –  a 40 from the judges for their impressive Jazz routine to Janet’s “Miss You Much”. Also receiving a 40, were Suni Lee and Sasha for their Samba to “All For You”, and Melora and Artem’s for their Paso Doble to Jackson’s “If”.

Following the couples solo performances, they were paired in a dance-off opposite another duo for the first time this season.  In the dance-off, the couples were vying for extra points from the judges while dancing to the same type of routine and to the same Jackson song, side-by-side.

So, did the right two couples get sent home? Who are you rooting for from who is left in the competition to take home the Mirror Ball Trophy? Let us know in the comment section.

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