How does Dancing With The Stars decide on the 12 couples prior to each season? E Online talked with Executive Producer Rob Wade, casting director Deena Katz, and pro Mark Ballas about it. Read on….
“It’s based on height, build and personality and compatibility,” Wade tells E! News. “We don’t pair people who aren’t going to get on. It’s too intense. It’s not like The Bachelor or something, we couldn’t do that. That would just be miserable experience for the celebrity, for us and the viewer. You don’t want to see two people who don’t like each other and, quite frankly, we have made that mistake pairing people up who didn’t get on so well.”
Mark Ballas, who says the dancers “don’t get a say in their partners,” echoes Wade’s sentiment, telling us, “They pair us on height and size, so it feels comfortable for the women and vice versa for the women when they’re dancing. They also try and make us compatible based on personality, and what they think will work well. Each one of the pro dancers has a different way of teaching, choreographing, and also just different personalities, as well as time-stamps on patience. They kind of try to pair us accordingly.”
And just because the pairs get along, it doesn’t mean DWTS there won’t be clashes, with Katz explaining, “There’s still the drama. There’s still the fights about their cha-chas that are silly.”
Now that many of the professional dancers have become household names, with some of them more famous than their star, Wade likes to find celebrities that will show a different side of longtime cast members. “You also want to give the viewer something different, there’s some things that you just want the viewer to see a different side,” he says. “So when we put Peta [Murgatroyd] with Tommy Chong, it was really the best thing for her because we saw a whole new side to her. So you want to see the different dynamics of the dancers.”
Some viewers have noticed a trend in pairings, with Tony Dovolani often getting the older female celebs (he was recently paired with Suzanne Somers and Betsy Johnson), Ballas getting the youngest (think Sadie Robertson and Willow Shields) and so on. But Wade says it’s not intentional, saying, “Every dancer gets a different range of type of people…and then they say they only get those people.” Wade acknowledges that some of the dancers may have picked up on some pairing trends, saying, “The hindsight is always very 20/20 for the dancers, but actually, they get a variety of different people!”
More at E Online. This is getting me even more excited. Here’s to the Good Morning America Pro and Celeb announcement tomorrow.