Dancing With the Stars EP Explains Why the Judges’ Save Was Eliminated

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Dancing With the Stars did away with its judges’ save, with little fanfare, during Season 32 — and now we know why it was missing.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, executive producer Deena Katz told TVLine that the judges’ save — which had been in place since Season 28 — was, at least in the eyes of Dancing‘s creative team, diminishing the impact of viewers’ votes.

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“I think it should be about America,” Katz said. “And at the end of the day, the judges’ save sometimes isn’t what America wanted. And [eliminations are based on] half the judges and half America voting, and so that’s kind of the reason we did it.”

When the judges’ save was taken away at the start of Season 32, a rep for ABC told TVLine it could return at some point. But the entire cycle ultimately came and went without a reinstatement of the rule, and Katz remarked, “I don’t know if we’re bringing it back” for future episodes.

The save allowed judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, Bruno Tonioli and the late Len Goodman to decide which couple in the Bottom Two or Bottom Three would ultimately leave the competition. After Bobby Bones’ controversial victory in Season 27 — he won the Mirrorball trophy despite noticeably weak performances and significantly lower scores than his fellow contestants — the save was introduced for Season 28 and had been a staple of each subsequent cycle until Season 32.

Do you think the judges’ save should ever return to Dancing With the Stars? Weigh in below! (With reporting by Keisha Hatchett)

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