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A short, athletes-only spring Dancing with the Stars

A short, athletes-only spring Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron with Cheryl Burke and Terrell Owens during season 25. (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

Instead of a regular season, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars will air a short, four-week season late next spring, and all of its contestants will be athletes.

The all-athlete season was announced during the DWTS season 25 finale on Monday, and then in a follow-up press release, with ABC saying that it would be “a special all-athletes edition in the spring of 2018,” and its contestants would be “[10] athletes from all corners of the sports world.”

ABC News reported this spring season—Dancing with the Stars season 26?—would last just four weeks.

And Tom Bergeron tweeted that the season won’t start until “late April,” and said that will be the only spring season for the show. He also wrote that there’d be a “Regular sized season next Fall.”

In May, ABC announced Dancing with the Stars Junior, which was set to debut spring 2018, but the all-athlete season has apparently taken its place.

ABC will have American Idol starting in March, so its spring schedule is more crowded than usual, which may have contributed to a shortened, stunt season of Dancing with the Stars instead of a full season.

10 DWTS contestants, 10 athletes

Of Dancing with the Stars’ 25 winners so far, 10 have been professional athletes, and almost as many have been in the top three.

That’s led to questions about the advantage they have, and suggestions that the show stop casting athletes. (The same has been true of contestants who are dancers.)

With highly subjective audience votes playing a role in a competition that only awards a low-quality trophy as its prize, athletes aren’t guaranteed a win.

But they often seem a league or two above other contestants, like those who come from reality TV, so it’ll be interesting to see if the competition is elevated if everyone starts with a similar level of physical fitness and ability to adapt to ballroom dance’s physicality.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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