All New Dancing With The Stars

Megha Parikh ‘21

It all started 15 years ago. Dancing With The Stars. Ex-host Tom Bergeron embarked on a journey in 2005 to host this dance competition TV show. Years later, the show is still a hit with celebrities like Nick Carter and Bindi Irwin to Bill Nye and Zendaya competing. This past July, however, the show took an unexpected turn. 


Ever since Bobby Bones’ controversial win in season 27, DWTS has been getting backlash from people questioning how the winners are chosen. The show waited a whole year before airing the next season, trying to tie up loose ends. DWTS made changes to ensure contestants who were truly improving their dancing would move on: the judge’s save. The save started last season, season 28, where the judges got to save one of the bottom two contestants who had the lowest combined judges’ score and viewer votes. This way, producers hoped to eliminate the controversy that happened over Bobby Bones, who won the season getting the lowest combined judges’ score; but the people voted for him and got him the mirrorball, the winning trophy. See, DWTS is a competition show where the winners are dependent on the judges’ score and viewers’ votes: judges score out of ten. Bones won season 28, with the lowest judges’ score, but the number of viewers that voted for him, blew his judges’ scores out of the question. He was the viewers’ choice, and won the mirrorball. 


Season 28 acted as a tester season for the judges’ saves. The ongoing season 29 took a detour, however, leading to an even bigger controversy than Bones’ win. In July 2020, Tom Bergeron left his career hosting DWTS. ABC released a statement as to why he left: to “embark on a new creative direction” [1]. The producer’s brought in Tyra Banks to be the new host, with the hope of bringing in a new audience. 


Tyra Banks is widely known for her show, The Tyra Banks Show, and America’s Next Top Model. She began the season a few weeks ago and fans are already questioning if she’s the right fit. Beyond her numerous outfit changes and different hosting style, Banks received a lot of criticism for  announcing the wrong contestants’ names. Monica Aldama and Val were said to be safe during the final elimination. But, at the final three couples, Banks announced that the bottom two were Anne Heche and Keo, and Monica and Val. The latter had to come back out to reclaim their spot on the bottom two. 


With the implementation of the judges’ save, Monica and Val were able to stay another week. Not only did the judges save Monica, but they supported Banks saying mistakes happen on live TV, which is exactly what DWTS is. 


Despite the mistake being completely technical, Banks dealt with the hate. During the live stream of the show, she emphasized that these mistakes do happen on live TV. While the show is taking all the precautions during this global pandemic, fans seem focused on Banks as the new host. Bergeron left Banks big shoes to fill, but she is adding her own twist to hosting, coming from her love for modeling with her passion for hosting.