Season 24 of “Dancing with the Stars” was especially eventful, with multiple surprise eliminations and even a surprise winner. But were the surprises always good ones? After the May 23 “DWTS” finale episode, I convened with Gold Derby contributor Cordell Martin — who was also one of the season’s top predictors — to discuss the season, and also to brainstorm possible ways to improve the show for this fall’s 25th season (watch above). We asked our readers what they thought of those suggestions. Check out the complete poll results below.
First and foremost, our readers want to put a stop to experienced dancers masquerading as amateurs. “Dancing with the Stars” is ostensibly intended to showcase the talents of celebrities who are new to the ballroom, but every once in a while they cast a few ringers. Meryl Davis was an Olympic gold medal-winning ice dancer before winning “DWTS” in season 18. Then Alfonso Ribeiro won season 19 even though he started dancing on Broadway as a child. In season 24 “DWTS” featured actress Heather Morris, who used to be a backup dancer for Beyonce, and Normani Kordei, a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony who has trained as a dancer from a young age. But our readers say, “No more!” 36% of respondents want the show to put the kibosh on experienced contestants.
Another 22% would like to see a “judges’ save” introduced to the show, giving the judges an opportunity to overturn an elimination they disagree with. This season a judges’ save might have protected Morris, who was shockingly eliminated in eighth place.
Similar to that, 19% of our readers would like to see “DWTS” establish a dance-off in which the bottom two contestants go head-to-head to try to avoid elimination. This might have also saved Morris, who probably would have survived if she had danced against the next lowest-scoring competitor.
The show should introduce same-sex couples, according to 6% of readers. The show has always paired couples traditionally: male celebs with female pro partners, and female celebs with male pro partners. But a male-male or female-female team might introduce a new and groundbreaking dynamic to the competitive dance series.
Ten percent of readers agree with all of the above suggestions, while 7% don’t want any of the above changes to be made. What do you think would make season 25 better? You can keep voting in our poll here. You can also comment below, discuss this and more with your fellow reality TV fans in our forums, and keep up with all the latest Gold Derby entertainment news.