Pro Dancer Slams ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Changes

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ABC "Dancing With the Stars" Mirrorball

On a recent radio interview, “Dancing With the Stars” professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd threw a little bit of shade at former executive producer Andrew Llinares, who stepped down from the show in March 2022 and has since been replaced by Conrad Green, who was the show’s original executive producer for its first 18 seasons of the show. She also called the move to Disney Plus “sucky” for the fans.

Here’s what the pro dancer said about the recent changes at the show:


Murgatroyd Subtly Threw Some Shade at Llinares

Radio host Mario Lopez, who finished runner up on “Dancing With the Stars” season two alongside his partner Karina Smirnoff, asked Peta Murgatroyd in an August 2022 interview about “Dancing With the Stars” moving to Disney Plus and she said that while the show does need to “evolve,” she also said that everyone is pretty happy the show has swapped Llinares for Green.

“I think the show’s been on for so long, it needs to evolve somehow. They’ve tried different routes in the past — like our past [executive producer Andrew Llinares], he completely changed the show, from lighting to stage to everything. And now we have an old EP come back, Conrad Green … everyone’s pretty happy he’s back, he’s gonna take it back to kind of what it was, but we’re going to have it on this new platform, Disney Plus, so I think it’s going in the right direction,” said Murgatroyd.

She’s not the first person to say that they are happy to hear Llinares is out and Green is in.

Former host Tom Bergeron was on an episode of Vicki Abelson’s podcast “Game Changers” in June 2022 and he said much the same thing.

“I think in 2018, there was a four-week athlete season or something like that that I just thought was not produced very well, which was my first indication [that things were not going the right way],” said Bergeron, adding, “There were things where it just seemed like we were losing focus a bit, to me. I think the show got a little too big for its own britches sometimes, I think some of the production numbers were overly complex and the dancing kind of got lost in that.”

But he added that those things are “easy to fix.” What was a much bigger problem was that the show was “starting to disrespect the pros.”

“When you get into, as I think they did in the couple of years since I’ve been gone, I felt that they were already starting to disrespect the pros,” said Bergeron.

He continued, “You weren’t hearing their last names anymore, they weren’t able to do their own choreography or choose their own wardrobe and these are — I’ve worked with some of them for, they’re dear friends and I’ve known them for almost 20 years now. They know what they’re doing and these people who came in who thought they knew better didn’t know what they were doing. So that was the first thing.”

Bergeron went on to say that when he heard Green was returning, he messaged him to advise him to give more creative control back to the pro dancers.

“I texted [Green] … and I said, look, the first thing you need to do is give the pros their control back and their self-respect back and their dignity back because they’re the heart and soul of it, I think. You start minimizing the appreciation for what they can bring to it and you’re just asking to be canceled,” said Bergeron.


Murgatroyd Also Said That the Disney Plus Move Sucks For Some Fans

The show announced in March 2022 that it was moving from its home on ABC to Disney Plus, making it the first live competition series to air on a streaming service. Murgatroyd said that while it’s an exciting change, she thinks it is kind of “sucky” for some fans, which is a shame.

“I’ve had a lot of people say to me we don’t want to pay for Disney Plus, we won’t be watching. That’s the only sucky part because people might not be able to afford that streaming service as well, but there’s many plusses and a couple of downfalls with [the move],” said Murgatroyd.

This echoes a sentiment she expressed in an interview with Us Weekly where she said she feels “sad” for the fans who can’t afford Disney Plus.

“I do feel sorry for the fans who have been there throughout the years and years and years and now they can’t watch the show if they can’t [pay for it], so that makes me sad,” said the dancer.

To that point, pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, who happens to be Murgatroyd’s brother-in-law, did pay for 10 Disney Plus subscriptions for fans who can’t afford the streaming service, which is $7.99 per month on a monthly basis or $79.99 per year if you pay all at once, which lowers the per-month cost to $6.67.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.

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