How 'Dancing With the Stars' Can Get Its Groove Back
We are two weeks into Season 29 on Dancing With the Stars and it's hard not to compare the show we once knew with the show we now have. In many ways, it's not fair to even compare the two seasons because COVID-19 is forcing parameters we've never had on the show. But last week's big flashy premiere was fun and exciting, but this week felt... awkward.
The pandemic is forcing a distance between the contestants, judges and Tyra Banks. That fun camaraderie viewers normally see in the skybox is replaced by plastic shields separating the couples in the balcony. Of course, safety is the #1 priority for everyone involved, but DWTS has lost some of that warmth and familial feel.
Banks is trying to find her rhythm in the House of Tom Bergeron, which is no easy feat. It's going to probably take her the entire season to feel comfortable in the ballroom neighborhood. With each week having a different theme, she doesn't have the luxury of finding a balance with the show's requirements. Just as one week ends, the following week brings a new set of challenges. We have to give her some room to breathe and remember Bergeron had 28 seasons to perfect his DWTS moves.
The other issue is that 15 celebrities are a lot to cram in during a two-hour show. Even though the in-studio band, bumpers and group numbers are sidelined for the season, there's no time to hear the critique of the judges. This will hopefully improve as the weeks go on and the cast gets smaller in size.
There are some easy ways to tweak the show that will help DWTS get its groove back even with a tremendous amount of changes in Season 29.
1. The producers can start by eliminating the Banks-led interview section over by the judges' panel temporarily. It might be helpful to introduce this segment later in the season once a few eliminations have happened. The judges' feedback is crucial at this stage of the game for not only the pros and contestants, but also the viewers at home.
2. Turn down the volume on the audience track. It's too loud on the consumer side and it drowns out anything Banks, the judges, or the contestants are trying to say.
3. Stop trying so hard. Seriously. Be authentically Dancing With the Stars. It's been a hard year for so many people, they just want to see everyone dance. With such a great cast, a spectacular set and an impressive premiere week, it's time to let the dancing speak for itself.
What are your thoughts about Week 2 of Dancing With the Stars?
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? We have weekly interviews uploaded with your favorite performers and choreographers from the dance industry.