Dancing with the Stars will premiere its All-Stars season with a brand new format. During tonight’s Season 15 opener, all thirteen lovely dancing couples will be doing the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha, hoping to move forward in the competition. The Foxtrot and the Cha Cha sound pretty standard for ABC’s hit competition show; however, the new point system awarding the contestants high or low scores will be brand new.

Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars is moving the point system out an entire decimal degree. Well, sort of. During tonight’s episode, judges will be able to award contestants scores in the whole or half point ranges, beginning at one and ending at ten (This means, for instance, a “7” will work as a score and a “7.5,” but not a “7.7”) Previously, scores were only given out in whole numbers in the one through ten range, but executive producer Conrad Green says adding the half point will help the judges to describe slight differences during performances of similar quality.
"With the standard of dancing so high and the qualities of our stars so closely matched, we thought it would help the judges to be able to make finer distinctions between performances this season.”

Half points are a great idea. Any attempt to single contestants out with different scores will help the audience to be able to tell which performances went the extra decimal point, and which fell a little short. With All-Stars featuring the likes of such talented previous contestants as Shawn Johnson, Kirstie Alley, Bristol Palin, and Apolo Anton Ohno, the judges will probably need all of the nuances in scores they can get.

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET. You can check out the full list of Season 15’s returning contestants over at ABC’s site.

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