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|Mon, 03-19-2012 - 8:35am|
There's something different about Dancing with the Stars this season — and it's not just the stage.
"There's no lightning rod! No one [is] controversial, so everyone can stop freaking out!" Tom Bergeron tells TVGuide.com.
Dancing's Maria Menounos: Don't call me the favorite
After nabbing such divisive figures as Kate Gosselin, Bristol Palin, Chaz Bono and even perceived ringers like Nicole Scherzinger in the past few seasons, executive producer Conrad Green and casting director Deena Katz went with a low-key approach for Season 14. They also had a theme: nostalgia. The new crop includes the old-school likes of Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Gilbert, Jaleel White (aka Urkel), soap star Jack Wagner, the Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, and 18-time Grand Slam champ and tennis legend Martina Navratilova.
"There was a real effort to evoke in our fans a feeling of nostalgia. It's a very feel-good season," Bergeron says. "There's a lot of charisma in this group, and I really like them. Within the office, I think there's a sense that it's gonna be a lot of fun. It's important to mix it up. Having a controversial cast member is another arrow in your quiver and you can always use that when you think it's a good idea. I think coming off a season or two where we had used that arrow ... that it's smart to take a breather, take a detour that in some ways harkens back to the earlier seasons."