Dancing with the Stars, Season 30: Is It Time to Hang Up the Dancing Shoes?

It’s been a minute since I have posted on the blog. I didn’t want to provide thoughts and analyses that weren’t genuine or disjointed, so I decided to take a break for my mental health and recalibration. I think it’s time to get back into the ring, so here goes…

The 30th season of Dancing with the Stars will premiere tonight (September 20th) and while there is some excitement around the fact that the show has been around for this long, it’s seemingly lost the charm, panache, and cathartic nature that has made people tune in in the past. It’s not only the “shocking” eliminations and what seems like a jagged voting structure, but it’s also the fact the escapism provided in years past has been hijacked by the need to toe the line of wokeness.  

I always try to give each cast a chance every season (well, at least since season 17 or 18). There are several celebrities that I’m excited to see, but most of them are a complete miss for me. I provided my thoughts on each of the contestants below:

Suni Lee

I commend her for her gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics. However, she is the umpteenth gymnast that has been cast on this show and we all know that she will have an advantage. There is a big possibility she will make it to the finals, but you never know.

Melanie C

This is one of the only contestants that I’m excited to see this season. I was a big fan of the Spice Girls when I was a child, and this nostalgic pick is refreshing for me. I hope she makes it far in the competition.

Christine Chiu

I’m sorry, but who is this? Yes, I know she’s a part of a Netflix reality show called Bling Empire, which is based on the Crazy Rich Asians franchise, but I don’t have a clue who she is.

Brian Austin Green

Seriously? He is currently dating Sharna Burgess (who is also rumored to be his partner), so I’m sure that’s the reason why he decided to do the show this season. If he happens that he is partnered with his beau, I can only imagine the amount of PDA that will be incorporated into their dances. I love Sharna, but I think she can do better than him both as a dance and romantic partner.

Melora Hardin

This is another nostalgia choice by the producers (Jan from The Office is one of her most notable roles). I’m excited to see her even though I don’t know too much about her.

Olivia Jade

I didn’t have a problem with Sean Spicer or Ryan Lochte being a part of their respective seasons. However, I have a serious problem with Olivia Jade being cast as a part of this season. Her parents used their money and privilege to get her into a school that she may not have been able to get into the first place. The DWTS producers are rewarding her for having privilege because of the scandal surrounding her college admissions, and it’s disgusting. Sure, the show has been used to redeem oneself, but the lack of morality surrounding her family is unredeemable.

Matt James

Yay…another Bachelor contestant. I’m totally shocked that they had one this season (please note the sarcasm).

Amanda Kloots

She is the widow of Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who succumbed to COVID-19 last year. I feel bad that her husband passed away from the disease and can empathize with the pain and heartache that came because of his death. However, I find it disheartening and slightly sickening that she has suddenly become famous, including stints on The Talk and now Dancing with the Stars. It seems as if she’s using her husband’s death to get famous. She is also a trained dancer, which gives her an unfair advantage.

Martin Kove

I will be honest that I’ve not seen Cobra Kai or The Karate Kid. However, I think this is another good nostalgic pick by the producers. I don’t think he will go very far, but viewers may vote for him to go halfway through the competition because of his personality.

Jimmie Allen

I’m not a fan of country music, so I’ve never really heard of Jimmie. However, he seems like a stand-up guy from the promotional things in which I have seen him. Let’s hope his dance moves stand up to the judges’ and viewers’ standards.

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin

This is one of the few contestants that I’m excited to see. I know he’s become more notable as a wrestler, but I remember him from his time on MTV. He’s entertaining to me, even if he doesn’t dance that well.

Kenya Moore

I’ve never really watched Real Housewives of Atlanta or any other Housewives franchise. I know that most of them have not done well, but they’re all individuals. She could be a great dancer. She may also totally bomb like the other past Housewives contestants.

Cody Rigsby

There’s been jokes floating around since 2005 that the Dancing with the Stars casting team get some of the most random people to be a part of the show that could even include the random guy walking down the street. I don’t own a Peloton, so I’m not familiar with Cody and his classes. His casting makes it seem that Dancing with the Stars is leaning into this joke. He seems likeable to me, and his dancing experience may get him far in the competition.

Iman Shumpert

I don’t watch professional basketball, so again I’m not familiar with him. Basketball players don’t typically do well, so I’m not expecting him to last longer than week one in the competition.

JoJo Siwa

I found her obnoxious prior to her casting on DWTS. Her stint as the T-Rex on The Masked Singer got on my nerves (go back to read posts about the show in 2020). The fact that she is a trained dancer also irritates me.  

I’m torn about whether to even watch this season. I can give the premiere a shot, but the remaining weeks are questionable. My interests may have changed, or the season may genuinely look terrible. The promotions with Tyra Banks don’t seem like she is there for the contestants; she’s doing this show for herself. A host is the complement to the show, not the show. Don’t make Dancing with the Stars as terrible as America’s Next Top Model became in its later seasons.

Viewership for the show has significantly decreased in recent years. Dancing with the Stars is seemingly holding on by a string at ABC. It doesn’t seem as important for promoters of the show as it was in the past. I get the sense that those promoting the show are not as excited as they may put off.

It may be a good idea for the show to be cancelled and then come back, akin to what happened on American Idol. Another network may be able to revitalize the show in a way that ABC may not have ever thought of before. Whether the show survives to season 31 is up to the viewers and subsequently up to the network. In any case, the two hours I spent watching the show may be used elsewhere.  

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