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Spoilers ahead for the October 7 episode of Dancing with the Stars Season 28.
Although Dancing with the Stars is only a few weeks into Season 28, there have already been some surprising twists and turns, not the least of which have been the celeb dancers withdrawing. In the October 7 episode, former DWTS competitor Leah Remini returned to the stage, but not to strut her stuff to try and win the mirrorball trophy this time. She was a guest judge, joining the panel of regular judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman.
As a Dancing with the Stars judge, Leah Remini had a dominant personality and didn't bring a professional dancer's eye to the judging, but she was enthusiastic and seemed to echo the thoughts of a lot of viewers. Basically, the audience seems to be pretty divided on Leah Remini as a judge. Some want her back, some want her never to return, and others pretty much think some of the other judges are the ones who won't want her back.
Let's jump into some of the reactions! First, the positive:
For one person on Twitter, Leah Remini as guest judge made the October 7 episode of Dancing with the Stars the first "highly entertaining" installment of the season. According to the hashtag, this person also wouldn't mind if Remini returned as more than just a guest judge.
For somebody else, Leah Remini was the voice of the viewers:
Will Leah Remini be brought back on a weekly basis? Probably not, as the judge panel has been mostly consisted of the same group throughout the run of Dancing with the Stars, and pro dancers are the ones who judge the dancers. But could that change for Remini?
Another person on Twitter feels strongly enough about the need for more Leah Remini that they busted out the caps lock:
Well, I'd say that's one very enthusiastic vote for Leah Remini as a permanent judge on Dancing with the Stars! Then again, there are very real questions about whether the voting on DWTS this season is fair (and if one celebrity has an unfair advantage), so even legions of fans calling for more Remini may not get what they want.
And while there may be legions of fans wanting more of Leah Remini, there are some who definitely don't.
Placed in one of the middle seats of the four judges, between Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman, Leah Remini was able to take over the commentary from time to time. There's no denying that she mixed things up, considering her dance experience came from past work as a celebrity dancer on the show, and she approached everything very differently from the other three. That just didn't work for everybody, especially if it meant the other judges didn't get as much of the spotlight as in usual episodes.
Somebody else on Twitter chose not to name names in their criticism, but it was pretty clear who they were referring to:
That was at least a tactful way to suggest that Leah Remini wasn't the right choice to step in as a Dancing with the Stars judge! Not everybody on screen was so polished during the episode.
Some of the other judges didn't seem to quite know how to go about business as usual with Leah Remini on board. Viewers certainly noticed it:
Things did seem to get a little tense toward the end of the episode, to the point that host Tom Bergeron felt the need to comment and try to play it off. Carrie Ann Inaba didn't appear to be involved, at least!
More than one person on Twitter took the tension as a sign that the future of Dancing with the Stars may not include Leah Remini. Here's one who put it bluntly:
Will Leah Remini return as a guest judge? We'll have to wait and see on that front. Dancing with the Stars has made some surprising moves in the past that were quite possibly for the purpose of generating buzz, such as the addition of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer as a celeb dancer this season. For my part, I'm still astonished that he hasn't been eliminated. Maybe that's why I'm not a Dancing with the Stars judge!