DWTS Producer Conrad Green Comments On Switch Up Dance And More

According to Producer Conrad Green via Hollywood Reporter, the “Switch Up” dance will take place halfway through the season of Dancing With The Stars. He also says the casting is getting more difficult with each season. Below is more including his thoughts on why they decided to make the changes they did. Be sure to read more at the link!

“The practical reality is that we have to keep engaging with a younger audience as well as our substantial older one,” says executive producer Conrad Green. “Obviously life would be easier for us if we were only judged on the sheer scale of our audience.”

The play for younger viewers, which saw veteran co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet and longtime bandleader Harold Wheeler axed, hasn’t been without strife. The American Federation of Musicians president Ray Hair blasted the decision by ABC and producer BBC Worldwide to drop Wheeler and his 28-member orchestra, describing it as “artistic fraud.” The new, smaller band led by Ray Chew will be more focused on current hits — prerecording the more produced elements in lieu of using costly master tracks. “This was a creative decision to increase the amount of live music on the show,” says Green, who maintains Dancing still will emphasize the band. “The way the union responded on this, without ever talking to us, was pretty poor.”

Green admits each season becomes more difficult to cast (Winter Olympians Charlie White and Meryl Davis, reality star NeNe Leakes and NHL alum Sean Avery headline season 18). He says new interactive elements are the real draw. Voters will have final say in eliminations, and pairings briefly will be switched halfway. Also, fan favorite Maksim Chmerkovskiy will return after quitting in 2012. Says Green: “Our viewers want to see him competing again.”

ETA: According to some new cast interviews with E Online, the Switch Up dance will take place in week 3!! Thanks to Kaitlyn for letting us know. More HERE!!

EAT2: You can read more of what the pros think of the Switch up dance at Today. Below is a take…

“I don’t know how it’s going to be,” Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who’s returning to the show after a two-season break from the competition, told TODAY. “They’ve tried explaining it to us four times. There was a lot of confusion. It’ll be a little awkward if I get paired up with someone who loves me, but (my partner) Meryl (Davis, the Olympic ice skating champ) wants to stay with me, too.”

“Normally, I don’t mind change,” said Tony Dovolani, who’s paired with “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes. “But changing partners is raising my eyebrows. I don’t like sharing my women! I grow them into the partners that I want them to be, and … halfway through the season there will be a switcheroo? You can feel cheated.”

Changing partners can also potentially affect the progress that stars make under their assigned pro.

“You build a relationship with your partner,” offered Sharna Burgess, who’s paired with Davis’ Olympic partner, Charlie White. “You develop your own language, and you learn how to work with each other. The odds of someone moving to another person with (equal success) are unlikely.”