“Dancing With the Stars” and Disney Plus announced on September 16 that they’ve made a major format change to the way the show works, something a regular-length season hasn’t seen since 2006.
Read on for details and what this means for the show:
There Will Be an Elimination During the Premiere
In a press release on Friday, September 16, Disney Plus revealed that season 31 will feature an elimination at the end of the two-hour premiere.
The press release reads:
Fans will be able to vote during the live stream of the show in the U.S. and Canada via disneyplus.com/vote. U.S. fans can also vote via SMS/text. This season, live online voting will be available in Canada. With each subsequent episode, the live viewer votes will be combined with the judges’ scores to determine which couples may be in jeopardy of elimination.
One couple will be eliminated at the end of the premiere episode.
This is something the show hasn’t done since Kenny Mayne and Andrea Hale were eliminated on premiere night during season two. Instead, in the past, the show typically didn’t eliminate anyone in the first week in spring seasons; in fall seasons, they would either wait a week to send someone home, or at least have the elimination happen the next night (or on night three if there were two nights of performances) during the results show. The only exception was the truncated season 26 that was entirely made up of athletes; because of its shortened three-week length, two athletes were sent home on premiere night, but during a normal season, this hasn’t happened since 2006.
What does this mean for the schedule? Since we already know the finale is scheduled for Monday, November 21, it means there are going to be at least two double eliminations along the way in order to have four couples dancing on finale night.
However, one of the upsides of the show moving to Disney Plus is that the entire country can watch live and vote, plus so can Canadian residents, so that is probably why the producers chose to eliminate one couple on the first night.
The Press Release Also Revealed the Opening Number & The Pairs Dances & Songs
Additionally, the opening number by the pros will be “a dazzling opening number to ‘I’m Coming Out / About Damn Time (Purple Disco Machine Remix)’ by Diana Ross & Lizzo.”
The press release also teases, “For their first performance, the celebrity and pro duos will perform dances that include the jive, tango, quickstep, cha cha, foxtrot, salsa or Viennese waltz.”
The dance styles and songs are as follows (in alphabetical order, not performance order):
- Fitness model and actor Joseph Baena and pro Daniella Karagach will perform a jive to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas
- Movie star Selma Blair and pro Sasha Farber will perform a Viennese waltz to “The Time of My Life” by David Cook
- Comedian, actor and singer Wayne Brady and pro Witney Carson will perform a cha cha to “She’s A Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built, She’s Stacked)” by Carl Carlton
- “Good Morning America” contributor and WABC-TV New York’s weather anchor Sam Champion, and pro Cheryl Burke will perform a foxtrot to “Hold Me Closer” by Elton John & Britney Spears
- TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and pro Mark Ballas will perform a cha cha to “Savage (Major Lazer Remix)” by Megan Thee Stallion
- Heidi D’Amelio (“The D’Amelio Show”) and pro Artem Chigvintsev will perform a cha cha to “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & P!nk
- Country star Jessie James Decker and pro Alan Bersten will perform a cha cha to “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- TV star Trevor Donovan and pro Emma Slater will perform a quickstep to “Dancing with Myself” by Billy Idol
- Daniel Durant (Oscar-winning “CODA”) and pro Britt Stewart will perform a tango to “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce
- Teresa Giudice (“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”) and pro Pasha Pashkov will perform a tango to “We Found Love” by Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
- Vinny Guadagnino (“Jersey Shore”) and pro Koko Iwasaki will perform a salsa to “Tití Me Preguntó” by Bad Bunny
- “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd and pro Louis van Amstel will perform a cha cha to “Got To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye
- Jason Lewis (“Sex and the City”) and pro Peta Murgatroyd will perform a cha cha to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
- Drag queen superstar Shangela and pro Gleb Savchenko will perform a salsa to “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls
- Platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks and pro Brandon Armstrong will perform a cha cha to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
- Gabby Windey (“The Bachelorette”) and pro Val Chmerkovskiy will perform a jive to “As it Was” by Harry Styles
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.