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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Waltzing into the latest season of ‘Dancing With the Stars’

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Photo by Hayley Gottesman
Freshman Jolie Ginsburg watches “Dancing With the Stars” during a free period.

Season 32 of “Dancing With the Stars” premiered on Sept. 26, streaming on Disney Plus and ABC with 14 new professional-celebrity pairs battling for the treasured mirror ball trophy.

‘Most Memorable Year Night’ featured a tribute to late longtime judge Len Goodman and the coveted mirrorball trophy was permanently renamed after him. Goodman was beloved by fans, his fellow judges, peers in the ballroom community, the pros and alumni, alike. He was known for his love for traditional technique and tough love feedback, making it all the more special when ‘Len gave a 10.’ He retired from the show unexpectedly in 2022 and died this past April of bone cancer days shy of his 79th birthday. “He made such an impact on DWTS and all of the people around him so, his death came as a shock to everyone,” freshman Jolie Ginsburg said.

The couples included 14 beloved pros and stars such as musician Jason Mraz, Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix, and Zoey 101 actress Jamie-Lynn Spears. “I loved how I knew a lot of the stars and how perfectly matched the stars and pros were,” Ginsburg said.

A highlight from the season was the highly anticipated Taylor Swift night, celebrating the 12-time-Grammy Winner and world-wide phenomenon. “I liked how they decided to dedicate a night to Taylor [Swift], which was so fun to watch. I wasn’t a huge fan of how they only danced to the more popular songs of hers, since she has a whole discography,” Ginsburg said.

This season, “Dancing With the Stars” no longer featured the ‘Judges’ Save,’ which allowed the judges to choose who was eliminated based on the final two couples, meaning there is no guarantee that consistently strong dancers will remain in the competition.

Often, a front-running couple is sent home earlier than expected. As the couple leaving is determined both by judge’s scores and viewer’s votes, having a substantial and devoted fanbase is vital to success on the show.

As a testament to the importance of viewer’s votes, social media personality Lele Pons and partner Brandon Armstrong frequently neared the top of the leaderboard and were shockingly eliminated during Week 7, Music Video Night.

Meanwhile, “Too Hot to Handle” star Harry Jowsey and rookie pro Rylee Arnold continued to get through week after week. Regardless of low scores, he had immense support from viewers amid dating rumors. The speculation was only amplified through posts on social media and public appearances together, spending Thanksgiving together with her family, and the near $15,000 gift Jowsey gave Arnold. The judges have gone as far as question their relationship during the time designed to give feedback on dances. This led other frustrated fans to refer to him as the ‘tree trunk’ due to their belief that he dances significantly less than his partner, Arnold, leading to his ultimate elimination during Week 9.

69-year-old Brady Bunch actor Barry Williams and veteran dancer Peta Murgatroyd were a fan-favorite this season due to Williams’ outstanding showmanship and stamina despite his age. Actress Alyson Hannigan was well-received among fans as well, her gradual improvement with zero dance experience to becoming a finalist exemplifies the exact purpose of the show.

On Dec. 5, Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy won the Len Goodman mirrorball trophy. At 17 years old, she is among one of the youngest winners, after Season 23 Champion and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who was also partnered with Chmerkovskiy. “Xochitl was such a good dancer because she dedicated so much time to improving and listened to Val’s criticism and took it and improved from it,” Ginsburg said.

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About the Contributor
Hayley Gottesman, news editor
Sophomore Hayley Gottesman is a news editor in her second year on Common Sense. She enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. You can find her on IG @h.i.g.24.
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    EricJan 12, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    Great writing. Very accurate and so well written!

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