Wendy Williams always has a lot to say about Dancing With the Stars — despite only making it past one other person on Season 12 — and now she’s saying the show is partially scripted.
Wendy’s former pro partner Tony Dovolani is now dancing with NeNe Leakes on Season 18, and Wendy brought up scripting after talking about NeNe’s rehearsal walk-out.
"They also script what they want you to say," Wendy said on her show. "I know this as a participant, OK. I'm reading, I'm like, 'Wait, this is not how I'm feeling today, and I wouldn't say that. I'm not going to say that,' I would tell the camera, so instead I would say what I want to say."
You can listen to Wendy talk more about it around the 5-minute mark of this video. She says she didn’t like how her supposedly natural comments were scripted to sound so “angry black woman” and she talked to Tony about it off-camera.
Wendy was just on the TODAY show to promote her new romance novel, and she talked more about the alleged scripting. "When they put you in the room and you have to talk to the camera about your experience — you know, the one-on-one with the camera — I was letting people know that they script you what to say,” Wendy said. “And I would look at my partner Tony Dovolani and say 'Tony, I wouldn't say this.'"
So don’t say it. And if the producers tell them what to say — even if it’s just when they’re one-on-one with the cameras — why do so many couples get upset about what's shown in rehearsal video packages? Wouldn’t they already know what’s coming from the script?
But this is not the first time there have been whispers of producer manipulation, even beyond the standard reality show set-up where producers ask leading questions behind the scenes, then edit the footage a certain way. Everyone does that. As TODAY noted, Hope Solo alleged in her book that there was a "secret memo" out there saying she and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were going to be eliminated on Season 13, and earlier on Season 18 Sean Avery said he thought he was pushed off the show in a double elimination because he had a disagreement with the showrunner. So much of that stuff is kept behind the curtain, far away from viewers, so we’re just left with rumors and speculation.
Are you surprised to hear Wendy say DWTS is scripted? Did you already figure pieces of the show were scripted, since it’s reality TV and they want to tell stories a certain way? Share your thoughts in the comments.
DWTS Season 18 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.