Comedian Bill Engvall was front and center for the Dancing With the Stars Season 17 “previous dance experience” debates — kept in until the Finals by his loyal fans, who thought he was what the show is “about,” and frowned at by dance enthusiasts who felt he never should’ve made it that far.
Two months after the Finals, Bill is back to his other performing job, and still shaking his head over the DWTS drama. “I think the most hysterical part of being on the show is how seriously people take it,” Bill told the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA. “It’s not a dance competition. If it was, it would be on PBS and I wouldn’t have been asked. It’s a reality show. And I picked up on that early and so I just had fun with it. I gave them what they wanted.”
Don't take that to mean Bill slacked off. He said DWTS was the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life — but he knew his job wasn’t to become an expert ballroom dancer. “I knew what my role on the show was and that was to be the entertainer,” Bill, 56, added. “Why else would we Tango to ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise,’ which is not a Tango song at all.”
Yeah. If he really wanted to compete on the same level as Corbin Bleu and Amber Riley he could’ve gone for more serious costumes and music — and he did on occasion, like for his Argentine Tango — but it was better to find his own niche. He was never going to be better, technically, than them, so he had to give people a different reason to vote for him. It worked.
Anyway, Bill previously said he lost 25 pounds on the show and told the Press-Enterprise there wasn’t too much downside to the experience, “other than the groin pull.” He’s still close to fellow stars like Valerie Harper and Leah Remini, and he said there were no divas in the whole cast.
Hopefully that’s the case for Season 18 as well. That new season starts on Monday, March 17 and we’re guessing they’ll do the usual mix of experienced and newbie dancers. The regular debates will probably start up again, but as long as we have a likable group it should be another fun season.
Do you agree with Bill that DWTS is not a dance competition, it’s a reality show where the No. 1 job is to entertain? Do you want to see more fun entertainer types like Bill on Season 18 or would you prefer a season with stronger dancers like Corbin and Amber? Do you like when they mix them together?
Sound off in the comments below!