Why Aren't There Guest Judges On 'Dancing With The Stars'? The Season 21 Switch Is For The Best
By now you've probably heard that Len Goodman will not be returning to Dancing with the Stars this season. The judge, who is a ballroom legend, has been on the show since it debuted in 2005 — so his absence will definitely take some getting used to, especially since he's not the only judge who won't be showing his face. Executive producer Rob Wade originally told People : "We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno [Tonioli], Carrie Ann [Inaba], and Julianne [Hough]." So, naturally many of us have been wondering, who are the guest judges on Dancing with the Stars season 21? Well, it seems that producers have changed their tune and guest judges won't be featured this season — and I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that news, because I think it's a positive thing.
Dancing with the Stars has had many knowledgeable guest judges over the years, including Paula Michael Flatley, Abby Lee Miller, and Donnie Burns. But, some choices have been a little strange, since professional dance isn't their primary career focus (no disrespect to Cher or Ricky Martin, of course). And, more importantly, since guest judges don't appear consistently throughout the season, they lack context and can't see the contestants' progress. This wouldn't be a problem on a show that features solely professional dancers, but many of the Dancing with the Stars have never taken a dance class in their lives before joining the show — and the whole point is that they lack a dance background. Sometimes the contestants make amazing progress that should definitely be taken into account during judging.
In light of the recent news, Wade expressed that there will be more consistency if the judging panel is the same for the entire season:
Julianne [Hough], Carrie Ann [Inaba] and Bruno [Tonioli] are a great judging panel, and they’ve got a lot of experience between them … Sometimes if you have four judges, their comments can repeat themselves. And that’s not really entertaining for the viewer.
Even without any fill-in judges, there is a lot to look forward to this season — the show will air on both Mondays and Tuesdays on certain weeks, and the diverse roster of stars includes Nick Carter, Paula Deen (yes, really), Kim Zolciak-Biermann, and Bindi Irwin. Plus, some of our favorite pros will be returning to the dance floor. So, it's safe to say Season 21 will be just fine without guest judges.
Image: Adam Taylor, Aaron Poole/ABC