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Clara Bush
Copy editor Clara Bush believes a comfy couch and homemade dessert are essential to a quality night of TV watching.




Dancing with the Stars: the good, the bad and the in between

"Dancing with the Stars" is always changing it up. But in the past two years or so, there have been good, bad and in-between changes made to the reality dance competition.

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

"Dancing with the Stars" is in its 18th season. It premiered in 2005.

Over time, the show has adapted to keep current. There have been host switch-ups, instant dances, partner switch-ups and more.

But are all of these changes good? Here's my take on the good, the bad and the in between.

The Good: Theme nights

Almost every week on DWTS has a theme. Latin night, Disney night ... some are simple, while others are more elaborate.

But the themes give the show focus, and they are fun.

Disney night was new this season. I loved seeing the cast dress up as Cinderella, Ariel and more. Plus, I love listening to Disney music.

But the best theme night, which has been around the past few years, is the most memorable year night.

Celebrities choose a year that meant the most to them and pick the song. Viewers get to see an honest, vulnerable side to the celebrities, or at least more insight into moments we remember.

Who didn't love Candace Cameron Bure (who played D.J. on "Full House") dancing to "Jailhouse Rock" as an homage to her years on the '90s sitcom. Not only that, but Lori Loughlin (Rebecca) and Andrea Barber (Kimmy) were shown during the rehearsal footage. As someone who owns the entire series on DVD, seeing a reunion brought a huge smile to my face.

The Bad: Host switch-ups

When the news hit that Brooke Burke-Charvet was out of her DWTS hosting duties, I was happy. I thought she was stiff and uninviting.

But then it was announced that Erin Andrews was her replacement. And she's just as stiff. Plus, she says things to the dancers that are way inappropriate. As funny as it may be to have a "DWTS baby," Andrews asking James Maslow of Big Time Rush about his relationship with Peta Murgatroyd really crossed a line.

In truth, though, no one can compare to Tom Bergeron. He has the talent and the experience to make a great host. But can we please bring Samantha Harris back? She at least knew what she was doing.

The In Between: Guest judges

I'm all for more opinions. Another opinion can be really helpful.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli are great judges. They have great chemistry and a good balance on feedback.

In recent seasons, the ABC reality competition has brought in a fourth judge from time to time. It can be fun, if it's the right person.

Former DWTS pros make great guest judges, because they understand the show and the process. Plus, they know the other contestants, which makes for great TV. Hey, Julianne Hough, did you ever "phone in" a routine?

But bringing in guest judges just for the sake of ratings is annoying. People like Robin Roberts and Redfoo of LMFAO are fun, but they can't offer true critiques.

The Good: Graphics makeover

This season, new graphics were implemented for when the scores are given.

It's a small detail, but the look is cleaner and up-to-date.

The Bad: Partner switch-up

This was just implemented this season. Viewers got to choose the new pairings using Twitter hashtags.

It was an odd week. Some people performed well with new partners; others crashed and burned.

It was only the fourth week of competition, so the celebrities were just getting into a good rhythm with their pros. Maybe if the switch-up happened at the halfway point, it would've worked out better.

Overall, it was gimmicky. There was so much hype around it, for just one week. To me, it wasn't worthwhile.

The In Between: The music

I liked the Harold Wheeler Band. They had personality. I was sad to see them go this season.

But, the new band, led by Ray Chew, is good as well. But, there have been a few technical malfunctions this season, and that can really throw off dancers.

Also, while it's nice to use pre-recorded music to get the true vibe of the song, the increased use of it is frustrating.

Live dancing should yield live music. Plus, as a musician, I appreciate that the band gives people jobs in the entertainment industry.

What do you think? What changes have you appreciated? Did you like the partner switch-up? Let me know in the comments.


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