With the Season 28 premiere of Dancing With the Stars just hours away, longtime judge Carrie Ann Inaba revealed the reality dance competition will undergo major changes to its judging process. Inaba told Entertainment Tonight that the show made some "adjustments to the judging," admitting that it had to do with last season's controversial Bobby Bones win.
"I do know that we made some adjustments to the judging because we got a lot of complaints," Inaba said, "but you'll have to tune in on Monday to see what they are."
"There have been adjustments because we listened to what everybody said about what happened last year. So I'm excited," she said, also confirming the show has a brand new set.
"The people have spoken. And we listened. And we have a new set, it's going to be amazing! Lots of changes. And I haven't been there yet, so I don't know how it's going to turn out. I'll find out on Monday like everyone else," she explained.
The 51-year-old also admitted that even she does not yet know the celebrity/pro dancer pairings, which are being kept under lock and key until Monday night's premiere.
"I know nothing. I like it better when I don't know. I like to play along with the viewers at home because I want to feel like I could speak on their behalf when I'm at the judging panel," Inaba said.
"But then I'm also now a little nervous because it is Monday and I know nothing — and it's a live show, and I have The Talk in the morning, so it's going to be a very busy day."
Inaba is returning to the judge's panel with fellow judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli for Season 28, which ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke confirmed would see "format changes" following Bones' controversial win last year. One of those changes is apparently the judging adjustment, perhaps giving more staying power to the score given out by the judges rather than the number of votes each contestant receives. Last year, Bones admittedly was the worst dancer in the finals and consistently received lower scores, yet still took home the mirrorball trophy with pro partner Sharna Burgess.
Interestingly, Burgess is not returning to the reality show for Season 28. She wrote on social media that she was "unbelievably sad" not to be back for the new season. "However, what i can whole heartedly tell you is that It’s all good, ALL love and in this moment I can’t help but be grateful for the time and the journey that I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the incredible talent I’ve shared the stage with and the memories I’ve made (sic). To say the least.. it’s been epic," she wrote.
ABC announced the star-studded cast during an August episode of Good Morning America. The entire cast includes: Karamo Brown, Hannah Brown, Lauren Alaina, James Van Der Beek, Mary Wilson, Lamar Odom, Ray Lewis, Sean Spicer, Kate Flannery, Kel Mitchell, Christie Brinkley and Ally Brooke.
However, Brinkley, 65, will no longer be competing after "suffering injuries which required surgery to her wrist and arm." Her spot will be filled by daughter Sailor Brinkley-Cook, 21.
Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.