The 28-piece orchestra is not returning to Dancing With the Stars for Season 18, which launches Monday, March 17. Fans have had a chance to react, mostly sharing frustration for the loss of such an iconic element of the show for 17 seasons. But what about some of the DWTS people who know Harold Wheeler and his band the best?
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba tweeted her reaction to the news on February 3: "I have true love and respect for Harold Wheeler and our incredibly talented group of musicians and artists that performed our music every week on #DWTS — all these years. I will miss their beautiful presence. We have always been a family. I will truly miss my musical family on DWTS. #DWTSBAND"
Former DWTS pro, and new mom, Anna Trebunskaya tweeted on February 4, “I'm sad that there will not be an amazing orchestra on Dwts. They were 1 of my fav part of the show. I will miss seeing them greatly:(."
Change is always hard, especially when you’re so fond of a familiar presence after nine years. But DWTS is an expensive show — think of all the people they pay, including six figures each to about two dozen celebs a year, plus pros, judges, hosts, wardrobe, lighting, stage crew, and the 28-member band. And this show must be seeing a major revenue loss from the viewer drain of the past few years, especially since The Voice arrived on scene.
It was only back in December 2012 when the rumor came out that DWTS might drop the fall season completely. It was bad enough to lose the Results Show, but any business losing profit has to look for ways to cut costs and regain revenue, and for all we know some of the money saved by cutting the band will go toward enticing bigger stars, like that Oscar winners season they talked up a while back.
A “wow” cast could go a long way in bringing people to the show, but some fans are so upset by the loss of the band that they’ve said they may not watch again. Are you tuning out the show in protest or are you still going to watch, maybe just with a heavier heart?