It’s a thankless job to be a judge on Dancing With the Stars. Not only do they have to make snap decisions about the merit of each couple’s routine, they have to give each dance a numerical value — something no other major show asks its judges to do.

That said, the DWTS judges got a combined score of about 13 for the entirety of Season 13. Some pros were mad about low scores (*cough* Maks). Some stars were mad about insensitive comments (*cough* Chaz). And some viewers cried foul and favoritism, demanding the deck be reshuffled with new faces.

But which new faces? It’s easy to just say “Get new judges!” when you don’t like their results, but sometimes the devils that you know are better than the less qualified and possibly even more grumpy judges from somewhere else. And what if — gasp! — they’re boring? This is TV, after all.

As a fan named Patricia Baldwin noted in the comments of our story speculating about the Season 13 ratings dip, “The show needs new judges for sure. I recommend Elena [Grinenko], Louis Van Amstel, someone like Debbie Allen or Joel Grey.”

Great ideas, although Louis is a longtime DWTS pro and he may prefer to stay in the competitive zone. If not, Louis or another past pro like Elena could be a good choice.

Oscar-winning Joel, father of Season 11 winner Jennifer Grey, would be a great addition to the show, but if he supported anything Derek Hough did it’s possible people would cry favoritism because Derek won with JGrey. Same thing for, say, Corky or Shirley Ballas (Mark’s parents) or Buddy Schwimmer (Lacey’s dad). Could they really be objective when critiquing their children?

There’s been a lot of crossover between DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance, so what about including some SYTYCD choreographers as judges — maybe Mandy Moore, Stacey Tookey, Tyce Diorio or boy wonder Travis Wall?

If they want a big name on the panel, they could try begging Mikhail Baryshnikov or, on the less traditional side, John Travolta. Although JT would probably favor Maksim Chmerkovskiy, since he did say Maks was the best thing to happen to dance since himself.

The ballroom world is filled with experts — and we’re not among them, so there are probably a lot more options out there for savvy, fair, discerning judges who are still fun to watch.

Do you have any suggestions? Or are you happy with the panel in place now? Sound off in the comments.

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