Bobby Bones' Controversial Win Helped Dancing With The Stars 2019 Cast Bigger Celebrities

Dancing With the Stars Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess won Season 28 in 2018 ABC

Break out your best sequins, 'cause Dancing With The Stars 2019 premieres tonight (Monday, September 16) on ABC! Turns out, the show was able to use Bobby Bones' controversial win this time last year as a lure to cast celebrities for the new Season 28.

That's the word from Bobby Bones himself, in the wake of his pro winner Sharna Burgess being left out of the new cast. They were the lowest-scoring couple of the 2018 finals and it shocked many fans when they won. The win upset a lot of viewers, although Bobby was considered the people's champion, since fan votes gave them the win.

Bobby was "shocked" when Sharna wasn't brought back for the new 2019 season. (And she's not the only one left out.) He was worried that the controversy of his win may have led to her being cut. He told ET he called The Powers That Be and asked them if the decision was related to any backlash. What he heard was quite the opposite:

But actually, they were able to use our win to get celebrities this season. If anything, the network, to me, was like, 'We're really happy you won because we were able to reach out to people who would have never come on the show because they couldn't dance. And we were able to go, "Hey, here's a guy who couldn't dance and won."' ... If anything, I think me winning last year showed a lot of people and celebrities that you don't have to be a great dancer to win. You have to learn how to dance, but you also have to be great at engaging with the audience.

It's hard to put yourself out there, and maybe it did give hope to some new DWTS 2019 stars to see so many not-so-great dancers do well last year. It doesn't explain why they didn't bring back Sharna Burgess, though. Part of the reason why Bobby won, despite his low scores, is because many fans wanted popular Sharna to finally get a Mirror Ball trophy.

At any rate, Bobby Bones also found a positive spin on the format changes coming to DWTS. Traditionally, Dancing With The Stars airs twice a year, in the spring and the fall. DWTS took Spring 2019 off and reworked things a bit for the Fall 2019 season. Bones knows that was very likely in response to his polarizing win last fall.

I'm happy that we broke the system. So, I think it's great. It's been on for 27 seasons, so it's cool to actually move around. ... The backlash we still get is only from the people who are way too obsessed with that show. The hardcore Dancing With The Stars people, they need to get over it. Everybody else, all my people and the silent majority, we're in it together. We rock! They all need to shut up.

Yeah, telling hardcore Dancing With The Stars fans to shut up may be part of why his win was controversial. It did create quite a divide in the passionate DWTS fandom. Some people do take the show seriously, but that's a good problem for ABC to have. It means fans care.

Speaking of problems, right before Monday's Dancing With The Stars Season 28 premiere, the show lost one of its big stars in Christie Brinkley. She was injured too much to continue and was replaced by her daughter, the much less famous Sailor Brinkley-Cook. We'll have to see how that affects the show. It's certainly going to shake up our guesses for how each celeb may finish.

The Dancing With The Stars 2019 cast includes James Van Der Beek, Lamar Odom, Hannah Brown, Ray Lewis, Kel Mitchell, Kate Flannery, Ally Brooke, Karamo Brown, Lauren Alaina, Mary Wilson, and Sean Spider. The show starts tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. It might be worth watching the premiere just for any awkward interactions between Tom Bergeron and Sean Spicer.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.