DWTS: Val Chmerkovskiy Calls Season 29 ‘Shadow Of Itself’ Without Audience

DWTS: Val Chmerkovskiy Calls Season 29 ‘Shadow Of Itself’ Without Audience

DWTS’ Val Chmerkovskiy calls season 29 a “shadow of itself” because the coronavirus pandemic impacted the show’s ability to have a live audience.

Dancing With The Stars‘ Val Chmerkovskiy called season 29 a “shadow of itself” without a live audience. After making a few appearances in the early years, he officially joined the show as a professional dancer in season 13, where he was paired with Elisabetta Canalis. Other celebrities he’s competed with on DWTS include Sherri Shepherd, Kelly Monaco, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Tamar Braxton and Normani Kordei. He won the show twice, first with Rumer Willis in season 20 and then with Laurie Hernandez in season 23. He made it to the finals a total of seven times, including with Zendaya, who ended up as the runner-up to Kellie Pickler.

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The entertainment industry was completely turned upside down when the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. Reality shows had to pivot and make changes to deal with health and safety guidelines. Shows like American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent have had two seasons to evolve under the changing circumstances. So far, Dancing With The Stars has only aired one season during the pandemic. Last fall, celebrities and professional dancers took to the dance floor once again to show off their skills for the judging panel. But because of COVID-19 restrictions, there was no live audience in the studio to cheer on the contestants.

Related: DWTS: Val Chmerkovskiy Highlights Lack Of Diversity In Ballroom Dancing

In an interview with TV Insider, Chmerkovskiy showed his appreciation for having a live audience on Dancing With The Stars. While he doesn’t take in-person audiences for granted, he did admit that “this last season was a shadow of itself because of that element being gone.” He believes that the audience is a huge component to the larger equation that is DWTS–or any live show experience, for that matter. “What we create [is] one part and the other is the audience to share it with,” he added.

Val Chmerkovskiy and Sailor Brinkley-Cook

Fans don’t have confirmation yet on whether a live audience will return to Dancing With The Stars for season 30, which is set to air in the fall. Host Tyra Banks recently said that she doesn’t think live audiences will be back. But Chmerkovskiy is looking forward to returning for the milestone season. “I can’t necessarily talk about this season just yet…Hopefully, everybody is going to tune in and enjoy the best season ever,” he teased.

While not a requirement for these competition shows, live audiences bring a much-needed energy that can help the contestants when they perform and help with the excitement for the viewers tuning in. There’s a reason why many daytime talk shows added audiences-via-screens over the past year. Even though fans couldn’t be there in person, the hosts could still get feedback based on their expressions and applause.

Several TV shows brought back at least partial audiences in recent months, including American Idol. Late night hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert have happily welcomed back crowds. And many other talk shows are hoping to return to normal (or as close to normal as possible in this area) when they come back in the fall. So it seems like Dancing With The Stars shouldn’t have an issue doing the same by the time September comes around, especially with restrictions being lifted in California and across the country. Either Banks was just speculating or DWTS really doesn’t plan on an in-person audience. The coronavirus variants that are spreading could impact ABC’s decision, of course. Either way, fans can still look forward to a new group of celebrities competing on Dancing With The Stars for season 30.

Next: Dancing With The Stars: Which Stars Fans Want to See in Season 30

Source: TV Insider

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