Tom Bergeron has posted a cryptic comment about the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars, and it could have fans doing a happy dance. The longtime ABC host posted a teaser about the upcoming season of the celebrity ballroom competition, and it has fans once again thinking that there will be some changes to the voting system after last season’s controversial finale.
According to Gold Derby, Bergeron issued a followup to a previous hint that changes to the show are coming. Bergeron captioned an announcement about the DWTS Season 28 premiere date, which shows veteran judges Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli, with a comment teasing that while the three longtime judges will be back, their number “10” paddles may not be. Bergeron included a winky-face emoji at the end of his post.
While Bergeron remained uncharacteristically silent when Dancing fans asked if this meant a new voting system would be in place for the new season, all signs point to that being the case. Now, fans wonder if the judges will be required to hold back their high-scoring paddles early in the season—or maybe not use them at all.
Bergeron’s comment that we probably won’t see the 10 paddles for a while is interesting, considering that last season’s front-runner Juan Pablo di Pace and his pro partner Cheryl Burke got a perfect 30 for their samba in Week 3 of the competition. Di Pace ultimately lost Dancing with the Stars to the much lower-scoring Bobby Bones, which had die-hard fans of the star-studded dancing show in an uproar. Bones’ win came as the result of viewer votes, which made up for his low-scoring dances.
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) July 2, 2019
This is not the first time Tom Bergeron has hinted that change is in the air for Dancing With the Stars. The host previously took to Twitter to reveal that after attending the first meeting of Season 28, the major takeaway for fans is, “We hear you.”
While Bergeron was vague, he later addressed fan comments about his post, most notably about how Bones won last fall’s mirrorball trophy despite having the lowest scores on the Season 27 finale. In a Twitter response to a fan complaint about Bones’ DWTS win, Bergeron wrote, “As I’ve often pointed out, @mrBobbyBones won fair & square based on the voting rules of the show at that time.”
Bergeron’s notation of “at that time” seems to hint that the voting system may not be the same for the upcoming fall season of the competition.
Dancing With the Stars voting got tricky several years ago when the show’s two-night format was scrapped. The loss of the Tuesday night results show made for those controversial changes in the voting format, as performance scores are now added to the viewer votes from the previous week, meaning a star can be sent home even if they give a perfect performance because votes are based on a previous dance.
In May, Deadline reported that ABC Entertainment president Kasey Burke revealed that ABC executives have pitched “some really fun format changes” for the show.
Dancing with the Stars Season 28 premieres Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.