Yesterday's eagerly-awaited cast reveal for Season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars” turned into a bit of an anti-climax for many. The Clicker on Today reports on Feb. 27 that the lack of well-known celebrity contestants and the absence of popular dance pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy are combining to be a big turn-off for many die-hard fans of the show.
A look at The Clicker’s Facebook page shows comments such as:
"'With the Stars'!!!???? Who the heck are 8 out of 11 of those names?" reader Julaine Schexnayder asked. "I have never heard of them so how can I care if they do well or not! I will bet you this, however, the winner will be someone with a well-known name today, not an unknown."
"Dancing With The Stars: where The Lawrence Welk show meets The Love Boat," Kevin Doyle joked.
And then there’s that nasty matter of no Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Maks has been with the show since Season 2 and although this is only the second time he’s not dancing, the fans were not amused.
"OMG! will I miss Maks? thats an understatement," Linda Benincasa Fabiano told us. "It will not be the same without him. Not sure if I will be as dedicated to the show now that he is taking a leave."
Kathi Johnson agreed, telling us, "(It's) disappointing, he was one of the highlights of the show."
According to the producers, the absence of Maks this season is simply routine. "We frequently rotate the professional dancers, so it is not unusual for them to rest a cycle,” ABC said in a statement.
But on Twitter, a reader who goes by JoJo pointed out, "The funny thing is they said they frequently rotate dancers, but I seldom see them rotate Derek (Hough) and Mark (Ballas), or Kym (Johnson)."
The new season officially kicks off on March 18 at 8 p.m. eastern time with a two-hour premiere. How this season will play out remains to be seen. But if you’re looking for male dancers, don’t forget there’s still one Chmerkovskiy out there. Baby brother Valentin is back this season, plus there’s a new Russian dance pro, Gleb Savchenko, from “Dancing With the Stars Australia.” Mark, Tristan and Derek are back, too, but there’s just nobody quite like Maks.