As "Dancing with the Stars" has matured, ABC’s six-year-old dancing competition has evolved to the point where it’s sometimes not so easy to tell who the show’s stars are: the "stars" or their dancing professional partners, writes Brooks Barnes in The New York Times.
Part of what’s turning the equation upside-down is the "increasingly C-list celebrities," the story points out.
“There is this weird inversion of what the show was meant to be,” said executive producer Conrad Green. “Now when our celebrity competitors meet their dance partners, it’s the celebrity who is star-struck.”
Ricki Lake, the former television talk-show host, says she "melted a little bit" when she met her professional partner, Derek Hough, the story notes. The show’s co-host, Tom Bergeron, notes of the pro dancers that “to some degree they are responsible for keeping their celebrities on the air,” the article adds.
With the star power less this season than in previous cycles, it’s up to the program’s better-known dancers to pick up the slack, the story notes. The show returned last week for its 13th cycle, with 19 million viewers, an 11% decline from the show’s debut last fall, the piece adds.