Dancing with the Stars is making tweaks this season, and a big one surrounds the show’s controversial voting system. According to Us Weekly, the upcoming 28th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition will feature a first-ever twist with live voting.
DWTS executive producer Andrew Llinares talked about the exciting changes for the long-running dancing show when speaking to a crowd at the D23 Expo earlier this week.
“One thing we are going to do is introduce live voting on the program this season, which is something we haven’t done before. You’ll see the result at the end of that show based upon what happened that night.”
While Dancing with the Stars airs live on the East coast, the EP promised that West coast viewers will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite celebrities. Llinares also hinted that longtime judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann Inaba will have increased power this season as he teased the panel will have a little more “oomph” in Season 28. Us notes that it is possible that the three judges’ votes could have increased power or carry more weight this season.
Last season, viewers complained that the popular vote overruled the expert judges’ votes after Bobby Bones beat out two much better dancers for the mirrorball trophy during the show’s finale last fall. Fans have since thought the voting system would be tweaked, especially after Tom Bergeron dropped hints that changes were coming. The longtime ABC 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.”
The DWTS veteran later addressed fan complaints about how Bones won last fall’s mirrorball trophy despite having the lowest scores on the Season 27 finale.
Bergeron took to Twitter to respond.
“As I’ve often pointed out, @mybobbybones won fair & square based on the voting rules of the show at that time.”
Bergeron’s mention of the voting rules as “at that time” had many fans thinking the voting structure will change going forward. According to Gold Derby, Bergeron also teased that while the three longtime DWTS judges will be back for Season 28, their number “10” paddles may not be seen for a while.
In another surprising change, the Dancing with the Stars celebrities and their pro partner counterparts will not be revealed until the show’s premiere next month.
The DWTS Season 28 cast includes Dawson’s Creek alum James Van Der Beek; Kenan & Kel’s Kel Mitchell; supermodel Christie Brinkley; The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown; Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown; The Office alum Kate Flannery; The Supremes’ Mary Wilson; Fifth Harmony’s Ally Brooke; American Idol Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina; former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis; NBA champ Lamar Odom; and this season’s most controversial contestant, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Pro dancers returning to the show are Alan Bersten, Brandon Armstrong, Cheryl Burke, Emma Slater, Gleb Savchenko, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe, Lindsay Arnold, Peta Murgatroyd, Sasha Farber, Val Chmerkovskiy, and Witney Carson. In addition, newcomer pro dancers Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach will join the cast.
Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, September 16, at 8 p.m. on ABC.