Before the routines even started on Dancing With the Stars Season 17, Week 5, host Tom Bergeron dropped a bomb: Based only on the viewer votes, one of the female celebs would be going home that night. Dun-dun-dun! The judges could change things with their scores, but the pressure was on.
DWTS loves twists, but this one felt scary and unfair. But what did the actual dancers think?
Val Chmerkovskiy, who is dancing with Elizabeth Berkley, wrote in his TODAY blog, "I don’t think telling the women they were in jeopardy at the start of the show was necessary. I’m not a stupid kid. I’ve been on the show for five seasons. That’s not a lifetime, but it’s enough for me to learn how this show works. There are certain strategies used to keep the viewers glued to their seats till the end of the show. I never take that out of the equation." Elizabeth added to On the Red Carpet, "That was not fun at the top of the show, but like anything in my life, everything, anything that has felt like a challenge, I use it as fuel."
Sasha Farber, who is dancing with Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, told OTRC, “It definitely lights a fire." Snooki confessed, “It scared me first. I was like, 'I don't want to do this now.' Then I was like, 'Hell yeah, let's do this.’"
Cheryl Burke admitted the twist initially didn't mess with her mind, since it was about a female celeb and she's dancing with a man. However, “After seeing all the girls’ scores tonight, they were all pretty high, [so] I thought for sure it was going to change. It was a little bit of a, ‘That's the way to start a show and then end it with a guy going home.’" Here’s Jack Osbourne’s creative take on it: “It's kind of like Game of Thrones, you think someone's going to win and ... become kind of the realm, and then they're killed off."
Karina Smirnoff told OTRC she had a little sigh of relief when they said it was a woman. "If they were to say it was a man, I would've been a mess." Her partner, Corbin Bleu, felt differently. "You know what's funny is, if they had said a man, for some reason I feel like something within me would've gone in survival mode. But I think because they said it was a woman, my nerves went up way more. ... ‘If I screw this up, it's going to change [to a man].’"
Peta Murgatroyd is also dancing with a male celeb, but she felt less relief than empathy. "I don't know, it just puts everyone in a shifty mood,” she told OTRC. “And especially the girls, too, like that's not fair. All the girl celebrities are going 'Oh gosh, is it me or is it not me?'"
One couple that definitely could've been affected by the twist was Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani, who ended up in the "not necessarily the Bottom Two" in the end. "I think it's not a great start to a show, but I'm not a producer," Leah said. "There's really nothing positive to say about that," Tony added. "That's really it."
Even the seemingly unflappable Derek Hough was… flapped. "That was crazy," he told OTRC. Amber Riley added, "It completely scared me." She went into Week 5 with more confidence since she had more rehearsal time and felt like she really knew her dance. "And then that happened, and I kind of just, like, turned into jelly on the inside. I got really, really nervous. ... It really completely shocked me. It was a reality check."
So the new twist messed with everyone’s minds, male and female, mostly in a not-so-great way.
Do you think they should continue “twists” like that, or give the cast a break? Sound off below!