"When they fired Tom Bergeron, ABC and BBC Studios promised a 'creative refresh' for Dancing with the Stars season 29. They delivered neither creativity nor a refresh for the ballroom dancing competition," says Andy Dehnart. "Instead, they gave us the same-old DWTS, just without its beloved host and with an audience-free set and a terrible audio mix that muddled new host Tyra Banks and the judges by piping in fake crowd noises, including fake cheers and even fake boos for an occasional negative comment. Sure, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba both have lighter hair. But not even the set was new: it’s the same set that was introduced last season, with bright lights and lasers, and now with a wider, physically distant judges’ table and angled video panels that cleverly cover the space where the live audience would be."
Dancing with the Stars has stayed relevant by casting reality stars -- especially this season: The ABC reality show has always featured reality stars. "But this season," says Ashley Lee, "...will not only be known as the one filmed with a new host, a familiar judge and under COVID-19-compliant guidelines. It will also be the one that unabashedly opened its dinner-party doors to the very famous faces of reality television. The group competing on the ballroom floor this fall includes Catfish creator Nev Schulman, Tiger King personality Carole Baskin, Cheer coach Monica Aldama, Selling Sunset realtor Chrishell Stause and Kaitlyn Bristowe, the ninth DWTS contestant from the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise. (Host Tyra Banks, whose America’s Next Top Model ran for 24 seasons, is no slouch when it comes to reality TV cred, either.)"