Tom Bergeron has been the charming and witty host of “Dancing With the Stars” for all of its 18 and counting seasons. He has seen stars and formats come and go. Who better to dish about the recent spate of celebrity judges than he? In a June 18 report on Enstarz, he does just that.
Bergeron recently spoke with Nigel Lythgoe, a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” during an interview with Variety. The two dance reality show experts talked about their respective shows and the subject of celebrity guest judges.
In season 18, “Dancing With the Stars” proffered a new guest judge on almost a weekly basis. While that can be fun for fans on one hand, Bergeron commented that it can become “problematic” after a while.
To his way of thinking, viewers want a hand in creating stars. They don’t want to be handed someone and told, here’s a big star. Instead, they want to take part in turning lesser known entities into stars as was the case with Simon Cowell or Randy Jackson. According to Bergeron, “There's a certain pride of ownership that viewers take when they latch onto something that hasn't been already dictated to them."
During Season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars,” guest judges included Robin Robert’s from the network’s “Good Morning America” show, RedFoo from the music group LMFAO, Latin singer and heartthrob Ricky Martin and the controversial Abby Lee Miller from “Dance Moms.” Also sitting in the judges’ seats during the season were former pro dancer Julianne Hough and former contestant and champion, singer/actor Donny Osmond.
Never before have there been so many guest judges in a single season and the tactic was no doubt employed to heighten interest in a show struggling in the ratings. One could argue that Abby Lee Miller and Julianne Hough at least had some functional expertise to bring to the judges’ table. Even Donny Osmond, who had successfully navigated his way to a championship might have brought some expertise worth sharing. However, the others had no real base of knowledge from which to judge, often making their comments ridiculous and their scores unrealistic.
Whether the trend toward guest judges appearing in season 19 will continue is unknown. Cast announcements are likely in late August with the season 19 premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” set for some time in September.