Fans have waited day and night for Disney’s bi-annual D23 Expo. This year, the event is expected to release details on highly anticipated rides, movies, shows, theme parks and more. ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is returning back to television after a nearly 9 month hiatus which initially shocked fans due to the programs generally consistent schedule. Since their second year airing in 2006, DWTS has followed a pattern of Spring and Fall release dates. At D23 however, we learned that the hot reality dance competition took some time away to revamp and make this upcoming season better than ever.
The D23 panel consisting of Tom Bergeron and past celebrity guest, mentioned that the creators wanted to make this season really special. Due to last seasons controversial season finale, season 28 will now introduce live voting during the show. Also mentioned, judges will have “a little extra oomph,” which got Bergeron really excited.
NFL running back and winner of season 24, Rashad Jennings, was apart of the panel where he got a bit emotional reflecting on his season. He commented that being on the show was a humbling experience that made him ultimately nervous. His spectacular Beauty and the Beast rendition, apart of the shows “Disney Night”, reserved momentary fear for him as he constantly thought he’d mess up by stepping on partner, Emma Slater.
“I didn’t believe there was any way that I could move across the whole floor without stepping on her.“
In preparation for Disney Night, Jennings spent much time rewatching the classic film so that he could be sure to capture that same grace.
“She (Emma) told me how important this was because you get to live a childhood dream.”
When asked if he had a chance to come back to the show and do Disney Night again, which character would he choose to be, his answer was simple.
“I would really want to duplicate what I did.”
Fans in the crowd wanted another answer however.
“If I could go back I’d do lion king. I’d be the lion on the dance floor.”
Actor, singer, and season 25 winner, Jordan Fisher also joined the panel where he admitted that he’s 100% steeped in all things Disney. Fisher showed off his hidden mickey tattoo behind his left year and marveled over the fact that his voice is apart of the Disney fireworks show.
“Everything about Disney - all the lineage…what 1923 meant for the world, the culture…how important family is, the magic of all of these things together….there are just a couple of names that are known anywhere and Disney is one of them.”
During the panel, emotion took over as he recalled his time on DWTS not knowing how things would play out.
“There’s no journey that is not the same. You can’t from the beginning of the show go ‘that’s it, that’s the winner.’”
The pro’s are generally the ones who do the choreography, but Jordan actually was able to gives his own input since he has a dance background. Partner Lindsay Arnold was also very excited about the chance to incorporate Jordan's history of Southern fraternity step dancing into their routine.
While his time on hosting DWTS Juniors, Jordan mentioned that he cried every rehearsal. Working with the children was a beautiful experience for him and he stated that he’s looking forward to being a father in the next couple of years.
Tom Bergeron took a moment to comment on some of his favorite things about the show. Not surprisingly, Disney Night was a winner.
“Doing 27 season..theres a lot of mental fog that happens because those seasons blend together, but we always look forward to Disney night.
When asked if there is something that people don’t know about this show, he said the show is about building character, really.
“I think its just the joy, that’s not something that’s a big secret… you’re not trying to become ballroom dancers, you’re trying to try something new. It brings out people true character”
Season 28 premiers September 16th on ABC. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is joined by ex-NBA star Lamar Odom, “Bachelorette” Hannah Brown, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown and actor James Van Der Beek.