Secrets from the ballroom! Dancing With the Stars premiered in 2005 and has been employing celebrities and entertaining audiences ever since.
The ABC competition series matches stars with professional dancers. Casting producer Deena Katz revealed that production “100 percent” decides the couples.
“There are some celebs that have wishes, and we always say we can’t guarantee it. That’s why we meet all the celebrities and know all the dancers because some celebs think they know better,” she told Glamour in 2015. “We are never ever going to try to pair people that we think won’t get along. We always want the best pairing because we know them so well.”
While some duos work well together and develop friendships (or romances), other pairings end up at odds. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo, for example, didn’t click on season 13 of the show.
“She’s just a s—ty person,” Chmerkovskiy said on the “Allegedly With Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss” podcast in 2015, two years after they competed together. “People can be bad or good or whatever. You can have a s—ty life growing up. You can have a tough upbringing. You can have a history. You can have whatever. But, if you are just a bad person, you know what I mean? There’s no excuse for that.”
Katz told Slate in 2016 that the drama is usually fueled by the actual act of dancing.
“Sure, people get frustrated. but they are never fighting with each other. They are just angry they aren’t learning their quickstep,” she said.
Regardless of any tension, the show must go on — and must remain live.
“On live TV, there’s no second chances,” producer Joe Sungkur told Business Insider in 2018. “There’s a total state of excitement, adrenaline is always running throughout veins throughout the show. Some of the most exciting things that happen are the ones you can’t predict and so we’re always looking to those special moments that people will be talking about the next day. Those few hours of high-octane live TV is why we do the job. We thrive on it and love it. That atmosphere is why we keep going.”
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