Who is the new judge on dancing with the stars?

The new season of Dancing With the Stars has barely begun, and already there is plenty of drama. (And no, we’re not talking about Wendy William’s conspiracy theory that Christie Brinkley faked her broken arm.) Prior to the season 28 premiere, producers promised a few “creative tweaks” that would affect the show’s format, particularly the elimination portion. And ABC wasted no time, introducing the first change during the second episode of the season.

At the start of the episode, host Tom Bergeron announced that, as in past seasons, the viewers’ votes would be combined with the judges’ scores (using an algorithm that even die-hard fans can’t figure out) to determine the bottom two couples. This season, however, the judges would “have the power to one of the bottom two couples,” ultimately letting them decide who goes home each week.

The decision comes after years of complaints that the show has become a popularity contest rather than a dance contest. Specifically, last season when DJ Bobby Bones’ won despite having consistently low scores from the judges.

But, there is just no pleasing a DWTS fan. At least, not all of them. Many applauded the change, with one viewer asking for the judges’ opinions to be weighed even more heavily.

@DancingABC I love the new way the judges decide who gets to go home, even tho I disagree with tonight’s choice. Bravo on making changes for the better. #DWTS

— Jenny (@JennyLea55) September 24, 2019

Love the new changes, #DWTS!
No running up the stairs to be interviewed,
contestants leave the stage when safe and don’t take up time with needless hugging,
and the judges have the final say on elimination!
Great production choices! 👍🏻#DancingWiththeStars

— This Lady’s View (@thisladysview) September 24, 2019

@DancingABC I love the new way the judges decide who gets to go home, even tho I disagree with tonight’s choice. Bravo on making changes for the better. #DWTS

— Jenny (@JennyLea55) September 24, 2019

Now all we need is a way for the judges to decide the bottom two. #DWTS I want the judge’s save AND judge’s scores to count more heavily, say 75% to 25% for viewer votes.

— Libby (@3catsTN) September 24, 2019

Others, while hesitant, pointed out that the twist would ultimately save better dancers who deserve the trophy.

I don’t know why anyone should be mad about the Judge’s Save twist. Anyone that suffered through last season knows that we could’ve used at least 3 of them, and we only have one for the entire season! #DWTS

— Jack 🏝 (@tobestheturtle) September 24, 2019

Still, many were unhappy with the twist for a variety of reasons. Some felt it defeated the purpose of fans voting if, ultimately, the judges have the final say. Others thought it took the entertainment factor out of the show.

What’s the point of voting for #DWTS if the judges pick who leaves every week. Disappointing change.

— Kristi Figures (@KFIGS3) September 24, 2019

Oh, the judges get to have even more of the weight of the results on @DancingABC now? Public vote means so little? I’m done. #DWTS

— Lynnette (@LynnGull) September 24, 2019

DWTS Judges’ “changes in power” has really gone to their heads…the way the judges critique the dancers is just plain mean…we want to be entertained and they are ALL trying! May not finish this season out if this keeps up. #DWTS

— Kelly Clifford (@SynchroSk8rMom) September 24, 2019

Ultimately, as one fan pointed out, giving the judges the final say only does so much, as viewers can still “vote for the worse dancers” to make it through to the next round. That was the case this week, when singer Mary Wilson and her partner Brandon Armstrong wound up in the bottom alongside former NFL star Ray Lewis and his partner Cheryl Burke. Though neither pair had outstanding scores in the first week (Wilson and Armstrong were in a two-way tie for fifth with 17 points, while Lewis and Burke were in a two-way tie for ninth with 15 points), they were also not in the bottom two. Even Len Goodman said that “neither of these couples should begin this position.”

But alas, they were, and a decision had to be made. Carrie Ann Inaba voted to save Wilson and Armstrong because they “scored higher for reasons she believed in.” Bruno Toniolo chose to save Lewis and Burke “based on what I’ve seen the last two week and what I imagine I will see in the future.” The tie-breaking vote when to Goodman, who chose to save Lewis and Burke, sending the former Supremes singer home.

Only time will tell if this twist helps or hurts the show.

Leah Rocketto Senior Digital Editor Leah Rocketto is the Senior Digital Editor for Woman’s Day, where she oversees the website’s day-to-day, edits articles, and ocassionally writes.

HE’S the man with the sequinned jackets – and fan favourite Dancing With The Stars judge Julian Benson returns for another season of the RTE smash hit this year.

Julian is one of Ireland’s top choreographers and talent agents and calls himself “the people’s judge” on Dancing With The Stars.

6 Julian Benson is back as judge for season two of DWTSCredit: RTE

And the star – who opened up on his life with Cystic Fibrosis before the season two grand final – rejoined Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond for another series of judging this year.

Here’s the full lowdown.


Julian began training at the Performing Arts School of Western Australia and has gone on to choreograph numerous stage and TV productions.

He runs his own company – Julian Benson Management – which represents Irish acting, vocal and dance talents.

6 Julian with fellow judge Loraine BarryCredit: Kyran O’Brien

Julian has staged several shows over the years, including Celtic Fusion in the United Arab Emirates, the Crown Ball for Princess Anne and the 60th birthday concert for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber at the RTE Concert Orchestra in the National Concert Hall.


Julian says he looks for “passion, performance and personality” from the celebrities on Dancing With The Stars.

He said: “Each of us bring a unique flavour to the show and I’m ready to rumble with both of them if we don’t see eye to eye.

6 Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson on Dancing With The StarsCredit: Kyran O’Brien

“If there are disagreements, I will always stand by my opinions. Dancing is so subjective, we are bound to disagree, but no one is going to knock me off my throne!”

He added: “From the contestants, I’m expecting them to go out there and give it their all but I’m expecting high drama on the dance floor.

“There’ll definitely be a few dance divas, and even divos, but I’m ready for them.”

It wouldn’t be movie week without a showstopper ! @CGarveyDesigner @ClementineMac x pic.twitter.com/6TJFMSeRHF

— Julian Benson (@judgejulesoffic) January 29, 2017

The flamboyant judge is also known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to his glitzy jackets for live shows.

And he said he wouldn’t be toning it down for season two, revealing on spin-off show Can’t Stop Dancing: “More is more!”


Fans were left devastated when judge Julian Benson was forced to pull out of the first two shows of series two due to illness.
Julian was replaced by former Strictly champion Darren Bennett as guest judge for the two episodes – but returned to the panel for the third episode in the series.

6 Julian with Loraine and BrianCredit: RTE

Bennett – who is also creative director on Dancing With The Stars Ireland – previously filled in for Julian when he had to bow out of filming during the first series.

The popular agent missed a large part of the first series after being hospitalised due to illness – forcing him to watch the acts taking to the floor from his hospital bed.

A show spokesman told the Irish Sun last year: “Julian was fighting flu last weekend but this week it turned into full-blown pneumonia and he went into hospital. That’s where he remains.”

6 Darren Bennett with Brian and Loraine on the first episode of the second seriesCredit: Kyran O’Brien

Replacement judge Darren is a previous winner of the BBC’s Strictly after enjoying a successful career in international professional Latin dancing.

Show bosses revealed before the first episode of season two: “RTE can confirm that Julian Benson is unwell and will miss the first two shows of Dancing with the Stars.

“During his absence he will be replaced by guest judge and creative director Darren Bennett.”

Judge Julian previously told us he hoped to be fighting fit for season two. He said: “I’d describe it as a blip to be honest with you.

“It was just one of those things. Everybody has a moment. I enjoyed watching on TV, cheering everybody on but of course I wanted to be there.”


The brave DWTS judge told of his life with CF just before the season two finale and said: “It doesn’t define who I am.”

And he decided to go public with having CF because he wanted to help others.

The Sunday night telly favourite revealed the positivity his mum instilled in him and how he was always encouraged to do what he wanted to do.

He told the Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy: “I was like any other child. My mum worked this fantastic scenario where I went to school like everybody else, I knew – Julian gets up, Julian takes his medication, he goes to school, he does everything else – and I was encouraged to do everything that I really wanted to do.

“So for me I felt like everybody else.

“At the end of the day, I have CF – but CF doesn’t have me. It doesn’t define who I am.”

6 Julian Benson opened up about life with CFCredit: RTE

Julian discovered just a few years ago that his mum was told he wouldn’t live past 12 or 13.

But having come so far and achieved so much in life, he now hopes that telling his story can help others with CF believe in themselves.


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He said: “For the last few years, I always said to myself, ‘if I ever got to a stage in my life that I had a platform, and got to a successful point that I could maybe share my story to help other people believe in themselves, to just go for their goals and dreams, then I would share it.'”

And Julian was described as an “inspiration” as he took to the dance floor on the DWTS final just two days after the moving interview.

RTE 2FM star Eoghan McDermott said: “On Friday @judgejulesoffic told the nation he was given a life expectancy of 13 by doctors. Two nights later he blasts onto the dance floor at the #DWTSIrl final, slightly older! What an inspiration! Julian to win!

The Voice began its live voting rounds on Monday night, but there was a major flaw in the system.

As the show began, West Coast viewers pointed out that there was no way for them to honestly cast votes due to the show’s broadcast delay.

RT because the three-night LIVE #VoicePlayoffs begin NOW with performances AND results on @nbc. ?✌️ pic.twitter.com/bEymyN51iH

— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) April 17, 2018

Most of the U.S. gets to enjoy the show live as it happens, starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. However, NBC delays all its programs until 8 p.m. PT on its West Coast affiliates.

That means that when the voting windows open and close during live episodes, the west side of the U.S. is left out. They can still vote on the show’s official app and Twitter, but they can not honestly vote based on each performer’s nightly effort.

Dedicated viewers were very displeased with this delay, and took to Twitter so share their gripes.

“The REAL Time Vote is not fair for viewers who live on the West Coast,” viewer Andrea King wrote. “How are supposed to vote on the performances when we can’t see them?”

Viewer Lyn Meadows added, “Once again you all are disenfranchising the West Coast. Which, is where the show is filmed. Disappointed and frustrated!”

@NBCTheVoice The REAL Time Vote is not fair for viewers who live on the West Coast. How are supposed to vote on the performances when we can’t see them?

— Andrea King (@andikk65) April 16, 2018

Once again you all are disenfranchising the west coast. Which, BTW is where the show is filmed. Disappointed and Frustrated!

— Lyn Meadows (@meadowofhearts) April 17, 2018

Dear @NBCTheVoice I hate the real time voting. Just a gimmick to get people to watch commercials. And unfair to the west coast fans.

— The Mistaahj (@mistaahj) April 16, 2018

However, not all fans sulked over the broadcast delays. Some helped each other out by letting them know when voting windows open so they can at least vote for those they have been pulling for in recent weeks.

voting starts when the first person starts singing, I’m assuming it ends shortly after the last person is done. Alexa and Kaleb have sung, Tish is currently singing

— Karina Yuet (@karinaayuett) April 17, 2018

Happy Voice Monday!!! I have to admit that being here on the West Coast I’m going to be a nervous wreck waiting for the #TeamAdam voting window to open. I may even have to pull over to vote while I’m on my way home from work. Good luck #TeamAdam @adamlevine @NBCTheVoice pic.twitter.com/3CVSBnJmFX

— AdoreAdamLevine (@AdoreAdamLevine) April 16, 2018

Voting times:
East Coast: 8pm
Central Coast: 7pm
Mountain time: 6pm
West Coast: 5 pm
(Turn on notifications in the Voice app, it will tell you when to vote!)

— Austin Giorgio (@GiorgioAustin) April 16, 2018 3comments

The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo Credit: NBC / Trae Patton

‘The Voice’ live show changes the voting rules — and some viewers aren’t happy

From left, “Voice” hosts Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton (Trae Patton/NBC) By Emily YahrEmily Yahr Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment November 8, 2016

Election week isn’t always easy for the broadcast networks — just look at Monday night’s episode of “The Voice.”

Usually, when the show gets down to the Top 20 singers — the “playoff” round — three dedicated episodes feature all 20 performances, as well as the results. This season, because the presidential election took over the TV schedule this week, NBC decided to cut the live playoffs to a single, two-hour episode on Monday night — complete with real-time voting, whittling 20 singers to 12.

Those familiar with reality TV singing competitions might be thinking, “Wow, 20 performances in two hours sounds like a lot.” Indeed it was! The show felt incredibly rushed, which didn’t sit well with some viewers. But the bigger problem — according to a flood of social media comments — was that the West Coast didn’t get to vote for the Top 12 singers. The “instant results” were revealed after the real-time voting during the East Coast telecast, and those watching the Pacific time zone broadcast couldn’t participate.

Team Miley (Aaron Gibson, Ali Caldwell, Belle Jewel, Darby Walker and Sophia Urista) wait for voting results. ( Tyler Golden/NBC)

A scroll through Twitter and “The Voice” Facebook page shows that certain West Coast viewers weren’t happy about this development, though others were confused by the voting process in general. Host Carson Daly explained that to vote you could either download the official “Voice” app or retweet “The Voice” Twitter account, which would send out one tweet per artist. So theoretically, the West Coast could vote if they were following along online earlier . . . they just couldn’t actually see any of the performances.

In the end, the show combined the number of retweets and the votes from the app to declare the Top 8 singers chosen by America, two from each celebrity coach’s team — the coaches (Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys) also each got to choose one additional team member, rounding out the Top 12.

This voting method was a bit convoluted, and viewers only had a certain amount of time to vote. Given how quickly the episode moved, it was no surprise that some missed the voting window completely. Even the coaches seemed rattled by the speed of the show — Levine scrambled to choose his final contestant in the last seconds before the show ended.

Anyway, live reality competition shows have grappled with the time zone issues for years, especially as they incorporated things like “instant saves” via social media. And this is a rare problem for “The Voice” — one of NBC’s highest-rated series — and one that shouldn’t come up again anytime soon. If it does, judging by the reaction after Monday, NBC may want to figure out a better option that doesn’t enrage a segment of viewers.

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Dancing With The Stars Season 28 is in full swing, complete with a cast of new stars, a couple of new pros, and most controversially of all – a new voting and elimination method!

Big Changes in the ‘DWTS’ Ballroom

How Do I Vote?

For the first time ever, there is no call-in voting, but there are two other methods that can be used to support your favorite teams. The show explains the new system like this:

“Each Monday night, the live vote (via abc.com, the ABC app and SMS/text) will be combined with the judges’ scores and tabulated in real-time, with the bottom two revealed during the broadcast. And for the first time in DWTS history, voting has been changed this season where the judges will decide which celebrity up for elimination stays in the competition and which celebrity’s journey comes to an end … Moving forward with each subsequent Monday night, the live vote combined with the judges’ scores will be revealed during the broadcast.”

‘DWTS’ Voting Online

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson on Dancing With the Stars

To vote online, simply go to the “vote” page on the DWTS website during the live broadcast (8:00 to approximately 9:50 pm Eastern Time) and log in to your ABC account (you can create an account using an email and password if you don’t already have one, and you will only be able to do so from an American IP address).

Once logged in, you will be able to send up to 10 votes to each couple remaining in the competition.

‘DWTS’ Voting Via Text

Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson on Dancing With the Stars

Unlike with the previous phone call method of voting, the number is the same no matter who you are voting for; simply text the first name of the celebrity you are voting for (example, “JAMES”, “KATE”, “ALLY”, etc.) to the number 21523. Once again, you will only be able to send up to 10 votes to each contestant per phone number you are messaging from.

But Wait, What About The West Coast?

Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy on Dancing With the Stars

Unfortunately, due to the new nature of the elimination process, those in the Mountain and Pacific time zones will not be able to vote as the show is broadcast in their areas. However, if they log on to the website or text the number as the show is airing in the Eastern and Central time zones (so starting at 5:00 pm Pacific or 6:00 pm Mountain) their votes will still be counted towards that evening’s results.

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber on Dancing With the Stars

Who are you rooting for this season of DWTS? Let us know in the comments below!

“Dancing with the Stars” has reached the semifinal stage of the competition. After 10 weeks, “DWTS” is just one week away from crowning the season 28 champion. To make sure that your favorite couple remains in contention, you have to vote for them during the live semifinal on Monday, November 18. With the voting window closing during the last ad break, it is vital that you have all the info you need. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.

You get 20 votes to cast in two ways: 10 votes via text and 10 votes online at the official website. Before you can vote online, you have to sign up for a OneID account (you can do that via Facebook or with email address validation). You must be over 18 and living in the U.S. or Puerto Rico.

To vote via text, just do the following:

Text ALLY to 21523 to vote for Ally Brooke
Text HANNAH to 21523 to vote for Hannah Brown
Text JAMES to 21523 to vote for James Van Der Beek
Text KEL to 21523 to vote for Kel Mitchell
Text LAUREN to 21523 to vote for Lauren Alaina

Either way, you’ll have to be fast. The window for voting opens as soon as the live show begins at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. Voting ends just minutes after the five couples are finished. You can give one contestant all 20 of your votes or you can divide them around among the five stars still in contention to claim the Mirrorball trophy. (If you live in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, the only way to be an informed voter is to follow along with our live blog.)

At least one couple will be sent home based on their total votes and judges scores in week 11. Who do you think it will be? Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. Keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

When Sean Spicer first appeared on Dancing with the Stars in a giant neon green blouse, no one particularly expected his tenure to in the competition to last very long. A celebrity for the most 2019 of reasons, Spicer’s botched inaugural Salsa spelled immediate elimination. Yet, eight weeks later, he remains. His lingering presence on DWTS is baffling when considering the quality of his dancing and his abysmal judge scores. Now with only six dancer’s remaining, Spicer’s terrible average seems to be an afterthought. Equipped with a seemingly impenetrable wall of voters, he’s primed to make it all the way to the finale.

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Judges are also frustrated. In a post-show interview with Entertainment Tonight after the top six were revealed, the typically impartial Carie Ann Inaba said, “These people who are voting just to spite us or whatever reasons they’re having in their heart—listen, I respect you, but how about having a little respect for the people who are working their butts off dancing?” Throughout this season, Spicer has maintained an average weekly score of 17.8 points out of 30 from the judges. He is handily the weakest technical dancer left in the mix, landing below two other eliminated teams’ averages. An average that low typically guarantees a week one or two exit in past seasons, but that’s not the case this round. For reference, other dancers are regularly scoring in the 24-27 range from judges, Spicer remains in the 19-21 point area.

But judges’ scores only account for a part of the criteria keeping a dancer in the competition. The official voting FAQ explains the process as follows:

Fans like you get to vote for your favorite couple(s) every step of the way. Your votes will be combined with the judges’ scores, and the couple(s) with the lowest combination of votes and scores will be up for elimination…This vote will be online at ABC.com and by SMS text. Both methods of voting will end during the last commercial break of the live ET/CT broadcast, shortly after all couples have danced. Each week, voting is open only during the live broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones and will not be available during later broadcasts in the Mountain, Pacific, Alaska or Hawaii time zones.

Live voting makes up for those scores though, and as the competition narrows, Spicer lives on. While Dancing with the Stars keeps its voting algorithm fairly private, the notion is that a combination of viewers votes and judges’ scores keep a competitor in the competition. The voting method has changed in recent years, attempting to simplify the process by having viewers text in a single name to a five digit number. Some have complained that the new technology has its own set of glitches.

While I have nothing personal against Mr. Spicer I do blame the new format and technology glitches (or are they?) where voting doesn’t register conveniently (this was last week & guess who went home?) It’s made the program unwatchable. Does the BBC have a death toll for DWTS?🤷🏼‍♂️ https://t.co/ypI8gn2fsQ pic.twitter.com/hgS9hqbMk9

— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) November 5, 2019

Even still, similar personalities and scorers would have been voted out by now based on how much the judges’ scores drag down their overall average (see: Tucker Carlson, Rick Perry). Even with high popularity, low scorers typically don’t last past week two, maybe three. Spicer’s average—a full six points lower than the next lowest competitor—will carry him to week nine. And he hasn’t just escaped elimination—he’s never been declared to be in jeopardy of going home.

The most obvious explanation is to look at the audience votes that compensate for the abysmal scores. One potential explanation for the votes is the now-weekly appearances Spicer makes on Breitbart News Sunday to discuss DWTS. “There’s something about everything going on here and everybody out here in Breitbart Nation voting,” he said on the show, begging for votes. While every contestant has some version of an online campaign, Spicer’s is different—an online campaign to save him isn’t particularly being run by people who watch the show. Instead, it’s a wall of people—viewers and non-viewers—rallying to stack votes in his favor to make a political statement. (A shoutout from Trump and a prompt response from his base certainly doesn’t hurt either.) Even those rallying in the campaign admit that his dancing is terrible, but that’s not the point. The campaign to keep Spicer dancing is a troll-campaign attempting to carve out a place for Trump’s ideologies in the entertainment industry.

Vote for Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars. He is a great and very loyal guy who is working very hard! #MAGA https://t.co/JGvKANCRqZ

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2019

There’s still time to vote for @seanspicer!
Text SEAN to 21523 https://t.co/x1Oa9One9b

— America First (@AmericaFirstPAC) October 29, 2019

Get on it folks. Spicy needs you. 🌶 https://t.co/QBBJFUlOcG

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 22, 2019

Wanna create an emotional meltdown in Hollyweird? Vote for @seanspicer to win “Dancing with the Stars” tonight and every night he’s on. @seanspicer is a good guy and a brave sport to go on DWTS. Let’s show him some love! https://t.co/UNI7xXVtwh pic.twitter.com/hlb2LeUFar

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 16, 2019

The further you dive into conservative corners of social media, the more concentrated the campaign becomes. Echoes of “not being heard” and “not even a fan of the show” are frequent, but they all have the same refrain: vote for Spicer to make a point. The campaign urges conservatives to use their 10 votes to create wall of sorts, seemingly protecting Spicer week to week, placing popularity over skill and accomplishing the goal of keeping him on television.

Ok everyone. Let’s piss off those liberals!
Please help our very own Sean Spicer! Text “Sean” to 21523 right now!
And you can vote up to 10 times. Do it for America! 🇺🇸 Retweet to increase his chances!

— Trust the plan. 🇺🇸 (@Keep_Texas_Red) October 29, 2019

@Tom_Bergeron @DancingABC you do realize if you had kept you liberal mouth shut Sean Spicer would have gone home several weeks ago! Morale of the story don’t piss off Republicans… we vote! #DWTS #Trump2020 🇺🇸

— Sandy (@sandyedavis63) October 29, 2019

Jeez just called a dumfuck now stupid…you guys don’t GET it!! We KNOW Sean is the worst dancer but finally have a way for our voice to be heard not shut down like the left is constantly doing through fakenews & social media! I thought the dems LOVED the popular vote!🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/m5yGYFY1rv

— Marcat (@MarcyAnne9) October 29, 2019 — T.I.M. Miller Ret. Milt.🙏🚂🇺🇸 (@timm8466) October 28, 2019

Had a good laugh reading all of the enraged tweets of incensed libs who hate that @seanspicer is crushing it on #DWTS this season!🤣 Keep up the great work Sean! America’s got your back!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #MakeDancingGreatAgain 💃 pic.twitter.com/B0gvtaz2Ie

— Bradley Stein (@_BradleyStein_) October 29, 2019

I don’t really watch #DWTS28
But I will for good man @seanspicer and to vote for him to keep him as long as possible.
He’s also suctioning the crazy neon like green shirt to help veterans 🇺🇸
👍 https://t.co/cCNBYaJkF5

— 💞 🇺🇸✨🥀😳💬 (@Roxesays) September 21, 2019

While there’s no way to ensure where votes are coming from, that dual system of judges’ scores and viewer votes would indicate that fanfare—enough to compensate for bad scores—have to be coming from somewhere. And the votes for Spicer (placeable via text or Facebook) have been large enough to keep him well out of harm’s way.

And to all of that, I suppose the bigger question is what exactly is the end game? Clearly it’s getting Sean Spicer his own mirror ball trophy and a first place finish to “own the libs,” but beyond that—what’s the point? It feels more like a desperate grab for conservative relevancy in the entertainment industry its come to loathe.

Part of that vitriol feels reminiscent of past attempts to conjure up a place where conservative ideology fits in with entertainment. The reclaiming of Taylor Swift as a conservative hero was a bust. Roseanne’s reboot was dismantled after a rise of racist tweets prompting a swift boycott of ABC, and a boycott of Toy Story 4 percolated after a conservative group deemed a lesbian scene inappropriate. Taylor Swift is doing fine, Roseanne became The Conners, and Toy Story 4 is the third-highest grossing film of the year.

There’s something strangely appropriate that an online campaign could be what’s keeping Sean Spicer on a reality show. He is the machination of reality television’s most well-known figure, and the bowels of the internet prop him up in the same way that old voting hacks like DialIdol kept joke American Idol contestants in contention in the earliest years of the show. But this time, the ploy isn’t just a campaign to troll one of America’s most popular shows—it’s an attempt to make the statement that a mirror ball trophy represents relevance. And they’ll take what they can get, even if it’s on a dance floor.

Justin Kirkland Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.

Dancing With The Stars fans have had enough of Len Goodman. The longtime judge is notorious for his serious reviews of dancers’ performances, but he has been notably harder on contestants in the first two episodes of Season 28. Fans on Twitter were even calling for his retirement because he has been giving scores lower than Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli all night.

It’s time Len retires #DWTS

— Stefanie (@stefdarg) September 24, 2019

Can we go back to last season when Len was less grumpy? I get the judges were gonna be harsh this season, but Len is going overboard. #DWTS

— Stephanie (@Steph832) September 24, 2019

Throughout the second episode of Season 28 on Monday, Goodman was giving lower scores than his fellow judges. When it came time to give Queer Eye star Karamo a score, Goodman’s rating was two points lower than Inaba and Tonioli. His colleagues gave Karamo two 7 scores, but Goodman gave him a 5. The crowd in the audience was so shocked they fell silent for a moment.

These low scores have inspired some fans to call for Goodman, 75, to step down. Goodman has been on the show since it started in 2005 and was also a judge on the original U.K. show, Strictly Come Dancing, from 2004 to 2016.

Time to get rid of Len. He needs to learn to judge the performance they were given on its merits, not by what he wants to see or if it had gimmicks. He’s so lame.

— Chaz (@chazbass01) September 24, 2019

Len is toooo damn uptight and it makes me so upset !!! #DWTS

— Kalinaa Rose (@iHeartrose__) September 24, 2019

#dwts way to go crowd! Just keep drowning out Len with the Boos! He really need to be silenced! He is such an anchor! Can we just cut him loose and set the dwts ship loose. A 5, you gave Mr. charisma, Karamo. Len is awefule and has completely lost his way.

— Richie T (@RichTavalare) September 24, 2019

Goodman’s strict scores on Monday followed the big announcement that judges will get to save one of the final two couples. Fans at home voted throughout the night to decide which contestants could face elimination. The two with the least number of votes will be announced at the very end, with enough time left for the judges to pick one to stay another week.

Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


This is a breaking story and will continue to be updated.

Photo credit: ABC

The judges were harsher than usual during last night’s Dancing With the Stars premiere, but the celebrity who took the biggest beatdown of all wasn’t even a contestant on the show.

The Bashing of Beyoncé on AGT

After former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke performed a cha-cha full of fun energy and sex appeal, the judges had their say. Len Goodman commented unfavorably on the amount of “hip-thrusting and gyrating”, something he often points out as taking away from the actual dance content. But this time, he took it a step further, saying there was a lot of “Beyoncé stuff in there a fan of”. And viewers were NOT happy with that little name drop.

Twitter Defended Beyonce Post DWTS And We Are Here For It

really tho what does len have against beyoncé? #DWTS

— dev ? misses cq (@nasamrozak) September 17, 2019

omg why Len just diss Beyoncé on DWTS???

— z money (@bIuetintz) September 17, 2019

that old racist judge going “i don’t like the beyonce stuff” fire him @DancingABC #DWTS

— jared (@sansagrey) September 17, 2019

Genuinely just chaps my ass that Len actually name-dropped when pointing out something he didn’t like, rather than using a Lennish term like “frippery”. Makes me think he takes issue with the PERSON and not just the style of dance. #dwts

— Courtney (@putUincespence) September 17, 2019

Is Len Sexist, Racist Or Both?

The Beyhive is obviously very protective of their queen, but some fans have pointed out the possible deeper implications of Len’s words. Was he simply criticizing the dance as a cha-cha, or does he have other issues with Beyoncé and her style of dancing – which is important to note is considered very empowering to many women? (It’s worth mentioning Len has said something like this at least once for the past few seasons – often to women of color like Ally and Beyoncé herself – so that’s why it’s feeling like it might be more than just an offhand comment.)

Ally Brooke and Sasha Faarber for Dancing With the Stars Season 28

While talking to ET after the show, Ally and her partner Sasha Farber defended Queen Bey. Sasha said, “The first thing when she came down was a traditional Cha Cha step. So I’m like, ‘What are we looking at here?’ Beyoncé’s in right now, right?”

“We love Beyoncé!” Ally chimed in. “Who doesn’t love Beyoncé? Whatevs. Honestly, I had so much fun out there. Hearing the judges’ reactions was, of course, tough, but that’s OK. It’s just notes to get better. I knew this was day one and I want to grow more and more from here.”

Ally and Sasha scored a 5-5-6 for a possible 16 out of 30 points. Did you agree with the score and Len’s comments? Sound off in the comments below!

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Dancing With The Stars US fans has branded Len Goodman ‘rude’ and ‘a grumpy old man’ after a snide comment towards Fifth Harmony star Ally Brooke.

The popstar, who dazzled audiences with her rumba performance to Dreaming Of You by Selena on Tuesday evening, was left red-faced after she got shut down by the head judge.

After he praised her performance, pro partner Sasha Ferber and Ally cheered as he picked up on their Cucaracha during the routine.

Excited 26-year-old Ally then ran to Len, 75, and high-fived him as he held his hand up.

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While reciprocating the sign as the audience cheered, Len was heard through the crowd telling her ‘not to touch him’.

‘Don’t get overwhelmed,’ he was heard telling Ally, waving a finger. ‘And don’t touch me again.’

Ally was baffled by his cold response (Picture: ABC)

A baffled Ally responded: ‘I gave you a high-five!’, confused by his sudden attitude switch.

She walked away with a 24 out of 30 for her efforts.

The comment didn’t go unnoticed by fans of the dancing series (the US version of Strictly), who slammed him for his ‘grumpy’ demeanour.

I been telling y’all about Len #DWTS
He rude asf to almost everyone but he really had me messed up when he said what he said to Ally yesterday though

— 💫 Brandi B💫 (@FYew_Mean) October 1, 2019

Did Len just have some kind of panic attack or something? What was up with him telling Ally not to touch him?? #dwts @DancingABC

— KatieBrooke (@KatieBrooke429) October 1, 2019

Its time Len retires. He just told Ally Brooke not to touch him again. (She gave him a high five) #DWTS

— Tanya Stewart (@nopullme) October 1, 2019

I can’t believe Len snapped at Ally like that! “Don’t touch me again!” Seriously? She high fives you. Get that grumpy old man off the air! It’s just a reality tv show. #DWTS

— Heather Leigh (@jerseyluvbug) October 1, 2019

Len has been a head judge on Dancing With The Stars since 2005, and was head judge on Strictly Come Dancing from 2004.

Commuting between London and Los Angeles for 11 seasons, he eventually quit Strictly and was replaced by Shirley Ballas in 2017.

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He recently came under fire by saying he didn’t want same-sex couples on the series, saying he was a ‘traditionalist’ when it came to the ballroom.

Meanwhile over in the UK, the series is thriving as the team gear up for movie week – with a Pokemon Paso Doble, an ode to Mary Poppins and a classic callback to Fred Astaire all listed on this week’s song schedule.

After James Cracknell was eliminated in the first week of knockouts, who will prove to be the Box Office bomb of this week?

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC in the US, and is available worldwide on YouTube after air.

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One.

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