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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

The Changes That Are Coming To 'Dancing with the Stars' in Season 29

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Latest Article Updates: Aug. 24.

If you thought COVID-19 was going to be the only dramatic change to Dancing with the Stars, think again. In a blink of an eye, Season 29 will barely be recognizable to longtime viewers of the show. With so many changes happening in recent weeks, Dance Dish has compiled all of the information in one spot.

Be sure to bookmark this article because it will be updated as more news is revealed.

1. COVID-19: What does that mean for the show? Peta Murgatroyd recently revealed that temperature checks, COVID-19 tests every few days and some type of quarantine for the cast will be in effect.

According to Variety, there will be a quarantine in effect. Even though many pros are married to each other, they will be living apart during the season to protect everyone involved.

"The pros will need to live apart and will be unable to interact with each other. Producers told the pros — many of which are real-life couples — that they will not be able to live together, in order to stay safe during the pandemic"

2. Premiere date: The show will premiere on Monday, Sept. 14.

ET is reporting that the pros are expecting to start rehearsals next month. Producers hope to do the show live, but that could be taken off the table if it doesn't work with COVID-19 safety protocols. The pandemic is driving the story and the timetable on Season 29, which means plans are fluid.

3. Host: Well, this is where things really got interesting. ABC decided not to renew Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews' contracts. The loss of Bergeron, who has been there from the beginning, is a huge loss to the show. Will the viewers accept a new host in Tyra Banks? As of right now, the social media comments are brutal and even Season 19 winner and TV host Alfonso Ribeiro said he wouldn't have taken the job if it was offered to him because he understands the value of Bergeron to the show.

4. Executive producer: Banks is not only going to host the show by herself, but she's also an executive producer along with Andrew Llinares. Llinares has been an executive producer on DWTS since Season 26. The show has long-needed more diversity and this is where Banks could make some meaningful changes on and off-camera.

5. Judges: While this would have been a great area for DWTS to revamp after 28 seasons, Carrie Ann Inaba has stated on The Talk that all three judges are expected back for Season 29. Bruno Tonioli quarantine in Los Angeles, but Len Goodman is still in the U.K. Goodman should be able to get a business exemption to come to the U.S. to do the season, thereby avoiding the current travel ban. It wouldn't be a surprise if he was flying privately, given the fact that Goodman is 76 years old and in a high-risk age category for COVID-19.

6. Pros: The pros were announced on Tuesday, Aug. 18 with 15 pros this season. Artem Chigvintsev, Sharna Burgess, Alan Bersten, Brandon Armstrong, Cheryl Burke, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater, Daniella Karagach and Britt Stewart. Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold are out on maternity leave; Carson is due in January 2021 and Arnold is due in November 2020. Congratulations!

7. Format: This aspect of Season 29 is the vaguest of them all. On Good Morning America in July, Banks promised "new flavor," "next level," "still keeping the stuff that we know America loves" yet "it's going to be different." We don't really know what that means at this point, but expect some bigger changes to DWTS.

8. Celebs: We already know former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe is a part of the cast. Leaks are already starting to filter through the DWTS grapevine, including the possibility that Jerry Harris from the Netflix docuseries, Cheer, is joining the cast. His participation has not been confirmed, though. Pairings are expected to be revealed on the season premiere episode, but the celebs will officially be announced on Sept. 2.


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