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'DWTS' 2014 rumors: Harold Wheeler Orchestra axed from season 18?

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When "Dancing with the Stars" 2014 premieres March 17 on ABC, the Harold Wheeler Orchestra won't be on hand to usher in the festivities, according to a Jan. 31 Facebook post by lead trumpet player Rick Baptist.

According to Baptist, on Jan. 30, Wheeler informed members of his orchestra, which served as a fixture on the hit reality dance competition since the show's inception in 2005, that they'd been replaced by "records and a small electronic band" for the show's upcoming 18th season.

The move was allegedly made by "DWTS" producers in an attempt to "attract a younger demographic."

Baptist, who also worked on "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles," asked that fans concerned over the orchestra's removal contact with ABC entertainment to share their sentiments.

Show fans took to Twitter to share their opinions on the orchestra's ouster. User @LondonAftrMidn mused over the real reason behind the change and predicted trouble in the future, writing "No more Harold Wheeler Orch. A futile attempt at attracting a younger demo or a cost-saving measure? #SinkingShip"

User @KathyErdman2 expressed her sentiments bluntly, tweeting the network "@DancingABC How could you replace Harold Wheeler & his awesome orchestra! BIG MISTAKE!! #DWTS"

With or without live music, "Dancing with the Stars" 2014 premieres March 17 on ABC with an all new cast of celebrity mirror ball trophy hopefuls.


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