"The Insider" Confirms 'Dancing With The Stars''s New Twist
Copyright 2009 Bob Damico / ABC "The Insider" has confirmed that "Dancing with the Stars" will premiere with 16 celebrities this season. Read on to find out what else executive producer Conrad Green had to say about the upcoming competition.
"This is going to be our biggest-ever cast," he tells "The Insider." "We are going to start big, and then about halfway through, we are going to do three double eliminations back-to-back. The middle of the season is going to be brutal when half of our cast goes in three weeks."
In order to have enough professional dancers to partner with the stars, Green says he will be adding Anna Demidova this season, but no one new -- the show already has used Chelsie Hightower, Dmitry Chaplin and Lacey Schwimmer -- from "So You Think You Can Dance." "We were turning into their alumni show," he jokes, "but we might bring in one or two new faces. We haven't decided yet whether to bring in new faces or more of our favorites."
As for the possibility of Paula Abdul joining the show, Green makes it clear that his judges table is full with head judge Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, but that the former "American Idol" judge might be a possible guest judge one week … or even a competitor.
"She has never been trained in ballroom and Latin," he says, "so that is a possibility as well. It is for Paula to work out. At the moment, the world is her oyster. Everyone wants her. At our show, we are great fans of Paula."
Green goes on to explain that the reason for so many competitors this season is twofold: 1) he needs to fill the two-hour timeslot, and 2) he feels it is important to change up the show from season to season. As a result, there will be more athletes, with some new sports represented, some very big personalities, some slightly eccentric personalities [think Cloris Leachman], and a couple of names where people will go, "What is that person doing dancing?"
As for all the speculation that Donny Osmond or Lou Ferrigno are confirmed for "DWTS" this season, Green is staying mum. What he will say is: "I love the fact that people want to be on the show. If people get in the press and say, 'I am on the show,' even if they are not, what can you do? I think our celebrity show is the one that most people want to be on because they realize it isn't degrading or demeaning in any way. You learn a new skill, and it is a wholesome family show."
The new celebrity cast for "Dancing with the Stars" will be announced on August 17 on "Good Morning America." Then the new season premieres on Monday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.