Fans of today’s television realize that programming is very different than it was a few decades ago. Now, the airwaves are inundated with so-called reality television. Everything is a competition show, whether it be surviving on a faraway island, or trying to beat thirty other people to be the American Idol. One reality show that continues to appear on the tube is Dancing with the Stars.
Now embarking on its 17th season, Dancing with the Stars seems to churn on with the same concept: Bring together a cast of celebrities and pair them with professional dancers as they vie to be the best dancing couple of the season and win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Well, to be fair, there will be one change this season.
Instead of there being two episodes a week, the show has been trimmed down to one. According to a CBS News piece, “Each week, viewers will vote for their favorites. A couple will be eliminated at the end of each episode based on judges’ scores for that night, combined with the public’s votes from the previous week.” It seems tough having the performance of a week earlier determining a couples fate, but the show must go on.
Producers of the show promised a star-studded cast this season, but what came out does not arouse the celebrity senses. The format of guests never really seems to change, with the show following a specific formula each season. It is a wonder that there have not been significant ratings drops or calls for some shake-up to make the show fresh.
The show always casts a sentimental favorite, and this season it is Valerie Harper. The former start of Rhoda and the Mary Tyler Moore Show has been battling what was thought to be terminal brain cancer. Her doctors told her she was dying, but she continued treatments. Whatever was being done worked, because her latest results say Harper is close to remission. With that said, Harper has decided to take on another challenge, which is dancing for millions of viewers.
An athlete or two are always cast on the show, and this season’s athlete is Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson played for several teams during his NFL stint, but he was always a better talker than he was a player. It will be interesting to see how that translates to his feet. Comedian Bill Engvall will also be competing on the show. He is another fast talker who will have to be quick on his toes.
Recent seasons have seen the show go to some younger stars, in hopes of grabbing another share of the market. This season is no different, as names like Corbin Bleu, Brant Daugherty and Amber Riley will join the cast. Riley is famous for her role on Glee, while Bleu comes in from High School Musical fame. Daugherty is known for his character on the show Pretty Little Liars.
The show also searches for stars in recent headlines; perhaps this is why Leah Remini made the cut. This former King of Queens star recently left the Church of Scientology and has been vocal about her experiences, throwing her into the spotlight.
A strange casting choice — because there’s always one — is Bill Nye. Nye, known as “The Science Guy” to his fans, will be this season’s Andy Dick type entry. Christina Milian from The Voice will also be a member of the cast.
DWTS seems to also cast former child stars; this year’s Chaz Bono is Jack Osbourne. The child of famed parents Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Jack offers another feel good story as he battles his own medical issues on a daily basis. Saved by the Bell fans will remember the character Jesse Spano, played by Elizabeth Berkley. She could be a favorite to win as she has plenty of dancing experience.
Finally, there is always one person who leaves people asking, “Is this person really a star?” This season’s example is Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. Snooki rose to celebrity status, basically for behaving badly on an MTV reality program. She does not come across as particularly interesting, but the show must want to grab a segment of the audience that giggles and fights a lot.