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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

'Dancing With the Stars' Should Ditch Theme Nights; There's Enough Drama Already

Dancing With the Stars had subtle undertones of Most Memorable Year without actually calling it that. The videos dug deeper into the celebrities' backgrounds and brought forth a Costco-size Kleenex box of emotions. It resulted in a stronger week of dance versus Disney Night.

The show has often been guilty of forcing narratives for many years from showmances to injuries. The one thing DWTS hasn't trusted is that dance is dramatic all on its own. Tonight, the producers threw out all of those devices and let it all happen organically, and guess what? The show was authentic.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house for Skai Jackson's tribute to former Disney Channel co-star Cameron Boyce. Johnny Weir on the ballroom floor was the passionate Johnny Weir we know and love from the Olympic ice. It was hard to contain the joy pouring from Justina Machado's soul and Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd smoldered in the Rumba.

Even after typing half of this article, the final moments delivered messy drama that no one anticipated — cue cards that had the wrong names of who was in the bottom two. While Twitter is erroneously pointing their fingers at host Tyra Banks before getting an explanation from ABC, the show now has to work its way out of a sticky situation. Everything must be precise to follow Federal Communications Commission regulations because it's a competition show and DWTS needs to quell the conspiracy theories that are bound to grow out of this misstep.

Week 4 from start to finish hit all of the emotional notes we ask for in a dance competition show — tears, heat, joy and some darn good dancing. It delivered an unexpected and suspenseful finish. So does DWTS even need to bother with a theme? It turns out a good old Foxtrot and Samba delivered something more than a two-hour Disney infomercial.

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Oct 06, 2020

Something that makes me happy about this Covid-limited season is the fact that there can be no cast-of-thousands "dances" - whoever can command the biggest ensemble gets the highest scores sort of competition. This season, it's all about the dance. We've seen better dances. Mostly, anyway. Tonight ended with a blockbuster performance that was a far cry from a Cha Cha. But, we got wonderful Samba, Rumba, Foxtrot and Salsa with very passable Jive. As you say in this article, the dance is enough. Now, if we could get a consistent reaction to what should be good dance instead of a dose of nostalgia it would be all good. I was sorry for Tyra tonight - the mess was not…


Oct 06, 2020

Completely agree! For me, in a perfect world, we would get themeless nights every week with song choices that actually correlate to the assigned dance styles. I think that would be a surefire way for the pros to choreograph more inspired and impactful routines. This show was in its prime earlier on when the routines spoke for themselves and the video packages mainly focused on how rehearsals were going each week. I hope at some point the producers could understand that they need to go back to the show's foundation instead of going in the opposite, overly-modernized direction.

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