DWTS Season 29 Will Have Plenty of Changes, From COVID-19 Safety Challenges to a New Judge

Oyin Balogun
Sep 11, 2020
05:30 A.M.
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Americans are gearing up for the return of "Dancing With the Stars," which is one of the country's most beloved shows. Its return is already drawing a lot of anticipation. However, this new season will be unlike any other in the show's history. 


The new season of the hit competition TV show will be its 29th. While there was some delay due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in its production, all systems are ready, and the show will be moving forward. 

Still, there are some significant changes that fans can expect. Perhaps the most critical is the show's level of safety precautions for the health crisis. For one, the judges' table will be even longer, thus ensuring that judges can maintain social distancing. 


Derek Hough, another new addition to the judges' team, explained to news sources that the table would be long enough for the judges to stay eight feet apart. Considering that there will be three judges, that's a pretty long table. 

Hough himself is a new addition. He will be joining Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on the judges' table. Per reports, he will replace head judge Len Goodman, who is currently in England amid the lockdown. 


Goodman will still appear on the show, however, he is slated to share some of his expertise via a live broadcast. It's unclear if Hough will be the new head judge or not. 

Hough last appeared in the 23rd season of "Dancing With the Stars." However, the show has been teasing his return for a while. He eventually  confirmed earlier this week that he would be returning to the show, much to fans' excitement. 

"Dancing With the Stars" will also be adding a new host to the new season of the show – Tyra Banks!


Hough's return to the show is probably the biggest news. Fans have missed the dancer, who currently holds the record for the most mirrorball championship wins. 

Speaking with reporters yesterday, he explained that there had been talks about a return for about a year. However, the timing wasn't so great until now. Hough added:

"I'm excited. I'm actually excited about the timing of this in the sense that I don't really know how they're going to do this and how the season's going to happen with protocols and stuff."


"Dancing With the Stars" will also be adding a new host to the new season of the show – Tyra Banks! The supermodel will be replacing Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron, who have hosted for years.

Banks will also act in the capacity of executive producer. Her role marks the first time that a Black female will be the sole host of the show.

Model and TV personality Tyra Banks at Build Studio to discuss the show "America's Next Top Model" on January 9, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

Amid the many changes, fans know that there will be a different atmosphere for this season. However, the excitement is already in the air for the show's September 14 premiere.