top of page
  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Is It Time to Rotate Judges on 'Dancing with the Stars'?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Man, Season 24 is a hot one! I have so many thoughts running through my head each week — both positive and negative. I am glad that the show still elicits a reaction from me this far into the run, but I’m starting to think we need some fresh eyes on the judges’ panel.

Seriously, is it time to rotate judges on Dancing With the Stars?

We have seen this work successfully season after season on The Voice. A few judges will take a season off and come back refreshed and ready to work. Others like Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have stuck around consistently for 12 seasons. You might say the judges are almost too successful at the job because the panel is more successful than every Voice winner.

For American Idol, it’s been a mixed bag. The original trio of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson was gold, while Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey were a disaster. The best thing any producer can do is keep some judges consistent and rotate out one or two spots. The constant flux keeps the excitement and energy going.

I doubt the DWTS audience would mind seeing Mandy Moore step onto the panel for one season or inviting another top choreographer with ballroom experience to add their expertise. It wouldn’t be about firing anyone, it would be about keeping the panel in constant flux from fall to spring season.

Another way to add clarity to the panel would be to itemize what the judges are looking for. No more “Lift Police,” let the audience know exactly what the judges want in particular dances from frame to foot and leg action — educate us.

Let me tell you the Simone Biles smile-shaming message was heard loud and clear. While many of you agreed with the judges about her emotional content, the delivery of the criticism was not anyone’s favorite moment on the show.

The fact that we are only talking about the judges’ comments this week, and not one lick about the dancing we saw on that ballroom floor on Monday, is a signal that it’s time for a change. It’s time to shake things up a bit, drive more constructive criticism to the contestants and educate the audience about dance along the way.

I’m ready, are you?


Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet?

For weekly dance insight that goes beyond the surface, join our Patreon page for weekly dance news, twice-a-week podcasts and dance-industry analysis: Patreon.

Need a gift idea for a dance lover? Check out my Amazon page for gift ideas.

If you make a purchase using the link included, we may earn a small commission.

Looking to join a dance community? Dance Dish with KB is on Facebook! Don't forget to answer the two questions for admission to the private group.



bottom of page