Dancing with the Stars Gets a Makeover
That’s because the Dancing set got a makeover during its hiatus, producer Conrad Green tells PEOPLE.
“We brought the backstage room to the front of the stage, so rather than have the contestants hidden away during the show they will be with the audience, front and center, and much more a part of the show,” Green says.
The "red room" will now be inside of the ballroom, enclosed by glass walls. There will be a balcony with a railing where the cast can stand and watch the performances live rather than on a monitor. This is now where Burke will interview the contestants after they perform and where they will receive the judges’ scores.
Also new this season: theme nights. You can already count on a movie night, which will feature dances from famous movies or dances to iconic music from films. There will also be a night featuring songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Green says.
The dance-off will return in the middle of the season when “the talent level tends to be pretty solid,” Green explains. "That’s when it’s nice to give one more chance, especially if they had a performance that wasn’t particularly solid. People have one last shot to redeem themselves.”
The eleven couples assembled this season will make the show “television you have to watch," Green insists. "You want to have an opinion in the morning. It will be live TV at its best."
No argument from two-time Dancing champ Cheryl Burke, who’s competing this season for her third mirror ball trophy with NFL star Chad Ochocinco.
“Everyone this season has great talent and great potential. We’ve got a vibrant cast -- everyone is known and has their own fan base,” Burke says.
All 11 couples, who have had only three weeks of training, will perform on tonight's premiere, and then again a week later. The judges’ scores, combined with the fan votes from both performance shows will be combined. On Tuesday, March 29, the first couple from season ten will be eliminated. For the remainder of the season, performance shows will air on Monday nights, and results shows will air on Tuesday nights.
Dancing premieres tonight (8 p.m. EST) on ABC. --Monica Rizzo
Tell us: Who will you be rooting for tonight?Craig Sjodin/ABC