The executive producer of Dancing with the Stars says the show has no real stakes and only requires effort on behalf of its celebrity contestants.
“It’s just about good old-fashioned effort for effort’s sake. No one is aspiring to genuinely be a ballroom dancer, so there’s nothing at stake beyond pride,” Conrad Green told the AP. He even admits that the show’s prize, a piece of shit mirrorball trophy, is just “a stupid trophy.”
As a result, Green says that the cast’s diversity is important. “We’re always looking to push that range with people you wouldn’t expect to do it or wouldn’t want to do it. For lots of people, it’s a nice way to get the audience familiar with you in a different light,” he said. Heather Mills’ participation “proved a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s incumbent on everyone in television to try to open up television to people with disabilities. They’re every bit as much valid contributors to television as anyone.”
This season, deaf actor Marlee Matlin is participating, and her dance partner, Fabian Sanchez, says that hasn’t presented a problem, as “she’s got a natural rhythm. She’s on time every single time.” The AP reports that he “has modified some of the dances slightly so he and Matlin maintain more physical or visual contact than they otherwise might.”