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Fans Slam ‘Dancing With the Stars’


The ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 30 judges

Some “Dancing With the Stars” fans have strong opinions about why the ABC show is not as good as its British counterpart, “Strictly Come Dancing.” “Strictly Come Dancing” is the parent show of “Dancing With the Stars” — it began a year earlier in England and then the success of its first two seasons in 2004 is what led to “Dancing With the Stars” being launched in the United States. In fact, judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were judges on “Strictly Come Dancing” for most of its run, pulling double duty with the U.S. show, and several “Dancing With the Stars” alumni have been guest judges on “Strictly” — Jennifer Grey, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Donny Osmond.

Here is what the “Dancing With the STars” fans had to say about how the U.S. show stacks up against the British original and what they think “Dancing With the Stars” needs to do to improve.

Some Fans Think ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Isn’t As Authentic As ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

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In a Reddit thread, a commenter wrote that “Dancing With the Stars” lacks “that certain something that ‘Strictly’ has,” but they can’t quite put their finger on what it is { they just feel that “Dancing With the Stars” is lacking a “spark” that “Strictly Come Dancing” has in spades.

“Maybe it’s that the British one has a warmer feeling and doesn’t take itself too seriously; maybe it’s the celebrities cast; maybe it’s the balance of the judges; possibly even just the online culture surrounding it is more positive? I’m not sure, but it has a spark that the US show doesn’t,” wrote the fan.

This sparked a whole discussion of why “Strictly Come Dancing” is better than “Dancing With the Stars” to a lot of fans, with one commenter saying “it’s the authenticity” of “Strictly Come Dancing” that makes it better because it’s the “original version” of the show. Another user responded that “Strictly” has a better sense of “tardition,” whereas “Dancing With the Stars” keeps messing with the formula and making changes to the format. A third user wrote that on “Dancing With the Stars,” there are “far too many theme nights and not enough actual PURE dancing.”

One fan made a strong argument that it has to do with how much “creative control” the professional dancers have on “Strictly” versus “Dancing.”

“The creative control is so important,” wrote the fan, adding, “For example, Suni Lee clearly had a number of songs chosen for her that didn’t work for the style or her personality. Not having to deal with weird song choices also allows the ‘Strictly’ pros to better choreograph the chosen style as they aren’t fighting the music the whole time.”

That’s an excellent point, especially about Suni. She was visibly uncomfortable some weeks in season 30 because the show was asking her to be sexier and more grown-up than she was comfortable with — even the judges commented on that.

What Can ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Do To Improve?

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One commenter pointed out that “Strictly Come Dancing” is longer than “Dancing With the Stars,” though we think that poster meant they have more time on “Strictly” because they still do a separate results show.

They wrote, “The show is longer. Over two hours without any commercial breaks, which allows each couple to dance a full 90-second routine with judging, comments, scores with no rush, plus pro dances as well and a results show to boot. The allows the audience to really get to know each couple. If [‘Dancing With the Stars’] had the same amount of time on their show, it would be a different story.”

That is absolutely true, though U.S. shows are never going to be broadcast without commercials. But now that the show is cramming the elimination into the two-hour show instead of having a separate results show on the night following each week’s performance show, the entire thing feels incredibly rushed. And viewers definitely do not get to know the couples as well as they used to when “Dancing With the Stars” had a separate results show.

In a separate Reddit thread, one user said that “Dancing With the Stars” viewers don’t care about gimmicks like TikTok, they want “the heart back in the show.”

Another user suggested that “Dancing With the Stars” should get back to basics — “I loved the old packages that would show the couples’ real connection in rehearsal.”

That same user wrote something similar on the original thread, writing, “I loved the authentic nature of [‘Strictly Come Dancing’], I like the classic Ned of the couples walking down the stairs, and then them getting to talk to Claudia. All aspect of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ that I truly miss. I also feel like DWTS is trying to be ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and it’s cringey.”

They finished by saying, “‘Strictly’ seems way more difficult and overall much more impressive.”

What do you think, fans? Has “Dancing With the Stars” lost the magic that “Strictly Come Dancing” still has?

“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.

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