PureDWTS Season 28: New EP Andrew Llinares Talks Live Voting & Disney Night at the D23 Expo

So I’m not sure how exactly this is supposed to help prevent a repeat of Bones, but apparently all the voting is going to be live this year, per EP Andrew Llinares at the D23 Expo earlier today:

“I think, first of all, we’ve been off-air now for a year, so we want to make this season really, really special,” he hinted during the panel, which was moderated by Ginger Zee and featured host Tom Bergeron and former Mirrorball champions Rashad Jennings and Jordan Fisher. “Bigger, more exciting, and more fun than it’s ever been, which is hard.”

“One thing we are going to do, we’re going to introduce live voting throughout the season, which is something we haven’t done before,” he continued. “You’ll see a show, so you might see the Disney show, and then you’ll see the result at the end of that show, based on what happened that night. So, we get the immediacy of the results.”

Within seconds of his reveal, one fan in the crowd yelled out “West Coast!,” which prompted Bergeron to ask Llinares how the live voting element will affect viewers in the Pacific time zone.

“The West Coast can still vote, but it will be voting when the show goes on for the first time,” Llinares clarified. “What we love about it is, if someone comes and does a great dance that night, but say they didn’t have a great dance the week before, they can come back, they can redeem themselves… We’re voting based on these dances that actual night.”

Gee…there’s no possible way this could go wrong! Strong sarcasm there – as we’ve seen every other time they’ve attempted a live vote, it seems like 1 in 3 people can’t seem to get it to work properly for them, voting crashes about 30% of the time, and as a heckler from the crowd pointed out, it kind of screws over anyone that doesn’t live in the eastern time zone. Sure, they can still vote – but they’re kinda voting blind, since the show won’t air for at least another hour or two for them. I could see this disadvantaging some contestants while helping others – someone like Nashville-based Lauren Alaina, whose fanbase fits pretty nicely within the eastern time zone, will probably do well; but someone like Lamar Odom, who played for a sports team in California, will likely miss out on some votes from the Pacific time zone.

Llinares also revealed when we can expect Disney night:

Earlier in the panel, while discussing the unique tie-in DWTS has with Disney, Llinares also revealed the date of this season’s Disney night. The magic-themed episode will officially take place Monday, Oct. 14, and he said fans should expect plenty of “surprises.”

What’s the surprise, Llinares? Disney songs that people have actually heard of? Songs that actually fit the dances they’re meant to go with?

And then he gloated about knowing the pairings:

“Well, we wanted to do something a little different this year… We want to keep it fresh for you guys,” he explained. “No one knows their partner but they’ll find out within the next few days because they start training soon.”

“I know [the pairings],” he added, “but we’ll reveal it on premiere night. Everyone keeps coming up to me trying to trick me.”

Anyone else getting an awfully schmucky vibe from this guy? Discuss.