How Dancing With The Stars is Dealing with COVID-19

As you may have noticed, there are tons of new changes surrounding live TV due to COVID-19 safety precautions. All the new promos for our favorite shows like The Bachelorette and even the NFL and NBA look very different from what we’re used to. One show that has changed drastically is Dancing With The Stars. The pairings for this season are: Monica Aldama and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev, Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd, Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe, Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten, Justina Machado and Sasha Farber, Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong, AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke, Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess, Nelly and Daniella Karagach, Charles Oakley and Emma Slater, Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson, Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko, and Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart. 

To state the obvious, DWTS is a show that thrives off of a live audience. The couples are now dancing in a huge ballroom with only a handful of people there. Additionally, you must stay six feet apart from anyone who is not your partner. This means the judges, the host, the crew and the dancers all must remain socially distant from one another. Dancers can no longer have backup dancers with them when they dance, which was an element that I personally overlooked when they were there, but miss now that I know they can’t be there. 

Another change DWTS has made which caused a lot of controversy was introducing a new host, Tyra Banks. Tyra has hosted many shows in the past, but DWTS was a whole new ballgame. Many fans were disappointed that long-time hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would not be returning. Fans thought that Tyra would make everything all about herself, and not focus on the dancers and the pros. I am personally a fan of Tyra Banks, but I think her hosting DWTS has been off to a rocky start. I think she needs to be given more credit, hosting to a practically empty room where there are occasionally some awkward moments. Although there has been a lot of criticism, Tyra understands that she’s not going to automatically be liked. She said in an interview, “I have to show that I can be trusted — that I’m going to entertain them, that I feel them, that I see them. That I respect what this show is, but it’s time for them to come on this ride, so we can all take it up a notch. So that’s the work that I have to do. And I’m up for the challenge.” 

Salsa dancing Photo by Ardian Lumi from Unsplash

One thing that hasn’t changed is the intricate hair, makeup, costumes and sets throughout the show. Last Monday, September 28th was a themed Disney night, and they did not disappoint. Nev Schulman was transformed into Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of The Carribean with a spectacular set to match, as well as his partner Jenna Johnson. Also, a more obvious transformation was Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov into characters from The Lion King where they looked like actual tigers. Another notable dance with an amazing set was a Beauty and the Beast number performed by Vernon Davis and his partner Peta Murgatroyd.

All of the dancers have been doing great despite the challenges due to COVID-19. I am excited to continue watching and seeing how all of the dancers make progress and improve in their ballroom skills.