Tom Bergeron on 'DWTS' results show shakeup: Our numbers have been slipping

Tom Bergeron.
Tom Bergeron.Kelsey McNeal / Today

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By Michael Maloney

After hosting ballroom boots for 16 seasons, the Tuesday night results show on "Dancing With the Stars" will soon be sent packing too. Starting next season, ABC will only broadcast one two-hour episode of the dance competition each week.

Host Tom Bergeron and several of the show’s veteran pro dancers shared their thoughts on the move after the most recent results show.

“I’m kind of a ‘the glass is half full’ type guy,” Bergeron told on the red carpet leading into the show’s 300th episode party. “I get the rationale behind it. There’s no denying that our numbers have been slipping.”

The impetus behind axing the Tuesday results show is to drive those viewers to the Monday performance and get a stronger rating there.

Plus, it’ll keep producers from wracking their brains on how to fill up three hours of programming each week.

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“There have been times in the past -- and this will not come as a news flash to you -- we’re stretching to fill two hours,” Bergeron noted. “How much water can you put in the soup? This (change) will afford us the luxury of not having to worry about that. Now, (we’ll have) an embarrassment of riches in what we can do.”

“It’s obviously sad,” said pro dancer Cheryl Burke. “We’ve been going twice a week for the past 16 seasons.

“But I think it’s going to be a great change,” the two-time mirror ball champion hastened to add. “It’ll keep people interested in the show. You’re going to see lots of entertainment, competitors and elimination every single Monday.”

“I have two minds about it,” said Derek Hough, the competition’s only three-time champion. “The show is going to make it work and it’ll be fantastic, but I’m going to miss doing special performances on the Tuesday shows. I will enjoy having that extra day of rehearsal on Tuesday.”

Perhaps the people most affected by this move will be members of the "Dancing With the Stars" troupe -- the farm team of dance pros that currently includes Sasha Farber and Henry Byalikov. Troupe members who’ve been bumped up to being paired with celebrities include Peta Murgatroyd and Sharna Burgess.

“I was thinking of those guys (in the troupe),” Murgatroyd said. “It’s kind of disappointing for them, but (the show) could still have them do a number on Monday night.”

Pro dancer Tony Dovolani predicts that the format of the show will evolve as the new production model is put into place.

“As the season goes on and more people get eliminated the more time we’ll have to put some of those dances (previously seen on Tuesdays) in on Mondays,” he pointed out.

Bergeron and the dancers are in unison on one thing – the dramatic eliminations will likely occur at the end of the show, not the beginning.

“Mark Ballas and I were talking about this,” Bergeron says. “While I’m not the ultimate decider, as someone once famously said, I think it’d be more dramatic to have (the elimination) at the end of the show.”