It only took 18 seasons (and nearly a decade) for me to tune in to even a minute of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. I'll admit that nostalgia for some of my cherished '90s TV stars Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar, combined with a small crush on boy-bander James Maslow, piqued my interest. But halfway through that first episode, I knew right away that I was hooked.
What started as unexpected enjoyment has quickly evolved into a mild obsession. I get mad when a team's score seems unjust or excited when a duo nails their performance. I get nervous when one of my favorites is deemed "unsafe." I can't get enough of the behind-the-scenes action, the fun banter and watching the relationships develop between the stars and their pros.
Robin Roberts is heading to the ballroom.
The Good Morning America anchor will be the first guest judge on Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars, ABC announced Tuesday. Roberts will appear on the dance competition next Monday, March 31, alongside regular panelists Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Last year, Dancing with the Stars reverted back to a one-night format for its 17th season, and as the reality competition heads into its 18th outing, even more big changes are on the way.
"When you're a show reaching its 18th season and its ninth year, I think you have to keep changing things up every so often just to make sure that the experience doesn't become too familiar," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "It's spring, so it's time for a spring cleaning."
Check out nine big changes coming to Dancing with the Stars this season:
Who will win Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars? That's the big question heading in to the two-part finale, which begins tonight at 8/7c on ABC.
Competing tonight will be Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke,Derek Hough and Amber Riley, and Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. One of the four couples will be eliminated at the end of tonight's show, and the other three will perform a final routine tomorrow night before the winner is crowned.
"I think we have two completely different types of competitors," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told TVGuide.com ahead of Monday's show. "We have Corbin and Amber, who are in one class. And then you have Jack and Bill, who are totally of a different class. I think it's really interesting the way the fans have voted. I think people are really a fan of the whole idea of somebody who doesn't know how to dance really making the transformation, which is what Jack and Bill fall into."
"She was so down-to-earth," says judge Bruno Tonioli moments after Dancing With the Stars' Monday show, still savoring his time sitting next to guest judge Cher. "She's adorable. She just says what she thinks and she doesn't care what anybody thinks. I loved her."