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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

5 Things From 'Dancing With the Stars' You Might Have Forgotten

Photo credit: ABC/Adam Larkey.

With everyone on pins and needles waiting for an official Season 28 order for Dancing With the Stars, it's fun to look back on some of the things that made the show really special over the years.

The show began in 2005 with a set that looks fairly stark in comparison to the huge production value they use today. The costumes, the sets and even the lighting weren't as comprehensive as they are now. However the magic of dance — and those sequins — drew us all in.

1. Harold Wheeler:

Photo credit: ABC.

It's pretty special to have an 18-piece band with a bandleader on a contemporary show. That lasted for 17 seasons on DWTS until then executive producer Conrad Green talked about some of the challenges with using a traditional band.

“We feel that there are some types of music and types of songs, a lot of modern music, particularly, is so produced that it’s impossible for an 18-piece band to replicate that sound,” Green told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. “You get to a point where you’re forcing a band to try and do sound that they just literally can’t pull off.”

Ray Chew replaced Harold Wheeler as the band leader and they now use "sound recordings and a small electric band." Green admitted this was done to “attract a younger demographic.”

2. Results shows:

Back in DWTS' heyday, results shows were must-see TV. Besides finding out who was eliminated from the show that week, it gave the pros an opportunity to showcase their talents and often dance with major musical artists. It also gave the show filler time for the audience to watch the pros and contestants pick teams for team dances on live TV.

3. Macy's Stars of Dance: Design-A-Dance:

Have you been a DWTS fan long enough to remember Macy's Stars of Dance: Design-A-Dance? This started in Season 7 where fans had the opportunity to vote for their favorite pros or former contestants to create a dance. The song, dance style and costumes were voted on by the fans.

Derek and Julianne Hough even received an Emmy nomination in 2009 for their Design-A-Dance Jive Jerry Lee Lewis’ "Great Balls of Fire."

4. Spinoffs:

The first spinoff was not Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, it was Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann! It was based on the U.K. version called DanceX, which Bruno also starred, but it only lasted one season here in the U.S.

Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba each had a team of dancers and singers who competed against each other. The audience voted for their favorite team each week and it was up to the losing team's captain to eliminate one of their team members. The winning team was given a record deal with Hollywood Records.

5. Peak:

At its peak, DWTS was watched weekly by over 20 million households. That's an astounding number in 2019 because we watch television so different these days — streaming, mobile and YouTube has changed the face of the industry. In fact, 27.50 million people watched the Season 3 finale when Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke freestyle to "You Can't Touch This." Wow!

What do you miss from the good-old days of 'Dancing With the Stars? Share with us on Twitter or Instagram. To join our private Facebook group, Dance Dish with KB, click here.

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