A new season of Dancing with the Stars premiered Monday night, and things were, well, different. Although the show tries to switch things up every so often, DWTS is undergoing several changes in season 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, one change that's unrelated to the corona virus is Tyra Banks replacing longtime host Tom Bergeron. But new host aside, there are a lot of changes to DWTS that will impace the way the show is judged, experienced, and more.
Len Goodman isn't judging.
Because of travel restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, Goodman was unable to re-renter the United States, where the show is filmed. According a statement from ABC, Goodman will "still be a part of the show in a different capacity sharing his ballroom expertise from London," even though he's not an official judge.
This is the second time Goodman has been unable to served as a DWTS judge. In 2015, Goodman took a break from DWTS due to scheduling conflicts and a desire to spend more time with his family, Us Weekly reported at the time.
With Goodman unable to judge this season, his seat is being filled by DWTS veteran Derek Hough. Hough has won the mirrorball six times as a pro, and this season he's handing out the scores with fellow judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
The show features an applause track.
With no live audience this season the show has implemented an applause track to give some life to the ballroom. During the premiere, viewers complained about the DWTS applause track, saying it was too loud and a little bit annoying. Hopefully producers will work out the kinks by episode two.
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