Dancing With the Stars Pro Mark Ballas Calls New Season 17 Format “Better” — Exclusive
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Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars Pro Mark Ballas Calls New Season 17 Format “Better” — Exclusive

When Dancing With the Stars Season 17 premieres September 16, it will do so without its Tuesday night Results Show. ABC recently cancelled the elimination hour in favor of a action-packed two-hour block on Monday nights. While it's still unclear how DWTS will adjust to the new format, it looks like the dance pros are in favor of the change!

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Mark Ballas at the 3rd Annual Dizzy Feet Foundation's Celebration of Dance Gala in Los Angeles over the weekend, and it looks like this pro doesn't mind the network's decision to cut the Results Show. "Why do you want to watch to see who gets kicked off?" Mark told Wetpaint. Plus, what did the pro have to say about his "first summer off in eight years"? (Hint: He gained 10 pounds!) 

Wetpaint Entertainment: You're performing tonight! Are you excited? 

Mark Ballas: Yes, I’m doing one dance tonight, so I’m really excited to that, I was glad Adam hit me up and said he wanted me to dance and I said anything for him! So I just really support this whole thing, keeping dance in schools and for kids to be active and keep creative. You know get off the video games, keep it moving. I just think it’s a really good program, whether it’s in schools or whether they’re going to dance after school, that’s all I knew my whole life. School Monday, after school it was guitar on Monday, after school on Tuesday it was dance, so it was guitar, dance, guitar, dance, guitar, dance since I was like 8. That kept me in shape, kept me motivated so I really have my parents to thank for that. I’m just excited to be here and being able to dance with Peta will be fun.

When Adam gives you the call, do you then choreograph it?

Yeah, I choreographed it tonight.

How long did it take you and Peta to rehearse?

We rehearsed, I think, for two hours.

That’s it? That must be a world of difference from your partners on DWTS!

Well, when you’re on a professional level it’s different. The dance is kind of something we’ve all done before. It’s actually the Jive I did with Katherine Jenkins on our season. I had to go back to the archive, I re-learned it and taught it to Peta. She’s one of the best so she picked it up really quick.

Can you say anything at all about this upcoming season?

I wish I could, but we are all still in the dark.

When do they usually let you guys in on the secret?

The announcement is usually two days after we find out if we’re on. That’s how tight they keep it. And we’re doing just the Monday show now, and there’s no more Tuesday show. The whole format is going to be completely different. We know nothing as of now.

Are you a fan of the change?

I don’t know yet because I haven’t experienced it, but on paper it actually sounds better to me because, for instance, I watch The Voice for my viewing pleasure, but sometimes I don’t watch the Results Show. Why do you want to watch to see who gets kicked off, you know what I mean? It’s like, I think the demo will stay stronger, the fans will stay stronger on a Monday because you get all the action all in the same day. It's action-packed. I think that it will keep the show around a lot longer and keep people interested, so it could be a cool move.

I know when you’re in the middle of the season it’s very intense and non-stop, so what do you do when it ends?

This is my first summer off in, I think, eight years. I ate pizza, drank beer, I went out and partied with my friends, I didn’t lift a weight. I put on ten pounds! It was awesome! I just started training back at the gym two weeks ago, and I’m already down five pounds. I have another five to go. I started doing the spa ice treatments for my body and getting back in the grind now but I enjoyed myself. I’m also working on a solo record right now, so it was all about music and taking some time off. 

Are you excited for the Season 17 premiere of Dancing With the Stars? Who would you like to see Mark paired with? Sound off in the comments!