ABC wastes 30 minutes on an insulting Dancing with the Stars recap

Dancing with the Stars decided to compensate for the absence of its four eliminated contestants not by shortening the performance episode to 90 minutes, but by wasting nearly a half hour on a pointless recap that clearly indicates they hate their viewers or are convinced most viewers are old people who tune in and fall asleep seconds later because the show starts after their bedtime.

The cast members weren’t even introduced until 28 minutes into the show. Tom Bergeron summarized these recaps as “judges’ favorite dances that brought our stars to this night,” and awful co-host Brooke Burke (oh, Samantha, come back!) even had the gall to read this off the teleprompter: “These critical insights will help you decide who shows the most promise on our stars’ journey toward the trophy.” Please! They weren’t “critical,” unless she means critical to ABC stretching out the episode to two hours.

The judges comments were summaries of what they’ve already said, and this is the kind of thing we expect on results shows or during the finale–not during the fifth performance episode. And even in results shows, Dancing with the Stars has done a decent job of making these kinds of time-wasters entertaining with Kenny Mayne’s SportsCenter parody. But this was unadulterated disrespect to the viewers who still bother to watch.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.