Dancing With the Stars fans are getting a sweet new treat this year. ABC recently introduced a junior-sized spin-off called Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, where celebrity kids get to compete for the Mirrorball with the help of their DWTS mentors. The special season premiered on Oct. 7, and many fans are wondering if it will be as long as the regular seasons. So how many weeks is Dancing With the Stars: Juniors?
Dancing With the Stars: Juniors will run for 10 weeks, and according to a report by Golden Derby, each episode is pre-taped and one hour long. The season will feature 12 celebrity kids who will be paired up with junior ballroom dancers, and the teams will be mentored by DWTS pros. The junior duos will be judged by a panel of celebrities, including DWTS pro Val Chmerkovskiy, Emmy Award-winning choreographer Mandy Moore, and Dancing with the Stars: Athletes champion and Olympic skater, Adam Rippon. For just a little more celebrity fuel to round out the show, DWTS alumnus Frankie Muniz and Season 25 champion Jordan Fisher are set to host.
From the children of iconic figures to actors and reality stars, the junior contestants come from a variety of talented backgrounds. Mandla Morris, the 13-year-old son of music icon Stevie Wonder will compete with the help of DWTS pro Cheryl Burke, and reality TV star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson will be mentored by Artem Chigvintsev. The cast will also feature kid actors like Black-ish star Miles Brown, Disney stars Jason Maybaum and Ariana Greenblatt, and General Hospital actor, Hudson West.
Chicago Bulls fans will be excited to see Scottie Pippen’s daughter Sophia shake a leg with guidance from Sasha Farber, and DWTS alum Bristol Palin’s fans will get to see her son, Tripp, compete under the mentorship of Jenna Johnson. The youngest boy ever to compete in the history of Scripps National Spelling Bee, 9-year-old Akash Vukoti rounds out the young group of contestants, along with MasterChef Junior champ Addison Osta Smith, singer Mackenzie Ziegler, and competitive skateboarder, Sky Brown.
With all these cuties cutting a rug on DWTS: Junior, it will be hard not to tune in. And if you’re worried about them getting harsh criticism from the judges, you can relax, because the judges told Access Hollywood that they were going to be as supportive as possible. “Our role is to give constructive feedback, that hopefully motivates them to be better next time.” said Chmerkovskiy.
In a separate interview with Access Hollywood, Rippon revealed that you won’t see any mean comments from the judges, and Moore explained that they collectively planned on being honest, yet kind. “Kids do really well when you’re authentic, so if you tell them, ‘Hey that was a little rough,’ they understand it,” said Moore. “But at the same time if you tell them they did something good, they’re so excited and they really take that with them every week.”
In a sneak peak of the season, fans got to see just how amazing these kids really are, and just how hard they are working on their routines. The adorable contestants are paired with their equally adorable and talented professional junior dancers. And just like the adult version of the show, the kids have to learn a choreographed ballroom routine and perform in front of a live audience. Along with watching the kids kill their dance routines, it will also be exciting to see celebrity parents like Stevie Wonder, Bristol Palin, Mama June, and Scottie Pippen cheer for their kids from the audience. According to People, Kim Kardashian will also be in the audience with daughter North West and niece Penelope Disick, cheering on their friend Sophia Pippen. See? Everyone is excited.