Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' gives judges option to dish out half points

Adam Taylor / ABC / Today
Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will have the ability to give half points this season.

Remember when "Dancing With the Stars" executive Conrad Green said this summer that the judging may be recalibrated a bit? On Monday, ABC announced how the ballroom bash will be doing that.

Starting with Monday night's premiere, judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba will be able to give whole and half points up to the usual 10. That means instead of just 1 through 10 paddles, the judges can whip out a 7.5  if they so wish. The reason, ABC explained, is to "accommodate and reflect the higher degrees of difficulty" that the all-star contestants will bring to the ballroom bash.

"With the standard of dancing so high and the qualities of our stars so closely matched, we thought it would help the judges to be able to make finer distinctions between performances this season," Green said in a statement.

Season eight champ Shawn Johnson, who is competing again in "All-Stars" and will be sharing her experience with The Clicker, also pointed out this season's higher skill set. "The standard and level of dancing is different in the first week (for 'All-Stars')," she told us. It's a completely new world that we're stepping into. ... People are so good, you have to be critical, you have to pick out the little thing because you have to find the differences in what makes one person a little better from the other."

And it looks like this season, that little thing will be that tiny half point.

"Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" premieres at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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