Dance Floor Face-Off! 'DWTS' vs. 'DWTS: Juniors'
Fans of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars are getting double the cha-cha (is that cha-cha-cha-cha?) this season, with the new kid-centric Dancing With the Stars: Juniors joining the lineup.
“They’re great shows in slightly different ways,” says executive producer Andrew Llinares, who works on both. One overlap: theme nights!
Plus, a bunch of celebrity kids, a 'black-ish' star, and a Scripps spelling bee champ!
On October 21 and 22, contestants will perform to songs from Disney classics. And for the October 28 and 29 episodes, “There will be more of the fun of Halloween for the children, and things might get a bit more sinister for the adults,” previews Llinares. We break down other ways that Juniors is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.
DWTS: Retired football player DeMarcus Ware, age 36, singer Tinashe, who’s 25, and former gymnast Mary Lou Retton, 50, are some of the Season 27 celebs.
JUNIORS: Contestants — all 14 and under — include spelling bee champ Akash Vukoti, black-ish’s Miles Brown and reality TV star Honey Boo Boo. Many are experiencing some big moments too. Vukoti had never held a girl’s hand before meeting his partner, Kamri Peterson!
Plus, she opens up about her 'Bachelor' fandom and thoughts on possibly earning her second Mirror Ball.
DWTS: Fan favorites like newly engaged Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson are back; Brandon Armstrong makes his debut as a pro.
JUNIORS: Each celeb is paired with both a young pro dancer and a grown-up mentor from the original show to help with choreography. “They’re all emotionally engaged in the process,” Llinares says of the mentors. “We’re seeing a side of [the pros] that in some cases we haven’t seen before.”
Want to vote for your favorites? Find out how here!
DWTS: The long-running team of experts Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli remain in their posts.
JUNIORS: Olympian and DWTS: Athletes winner Adam Rippon, Chmerkovskiy and La La Land choreographer Mandy Moore aim to provide a positive experience in the ballroom. “When you’re judging children,” says Llinares, “you want to do it in a very encouraging way.”
The reality competition has turned out to be a smart move for many.
DWTS: The coveted Mirrorball trophy
JUNIORS: “There’s going to be a new trophy, which we really love, revealed on the finale,” announces Llinares.
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, Sundays, 8/7c, ABC
Dancing with the Stars, Mondays & Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABCAlertMe
This article also appeared in the Oct 15 - 28 issue of TV Guide Magazine.