Dancing with the Stars: Athletes isn’t going to be your typical season of the ABC reality show. With 10 couples and only four weeks of competition, it doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that eliminations will be plentiful and often. However, it seems this mini season will be even more brutal than you could’ve imagined as two couples will be eliminated on the first night.

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In an Instagram live video, pro Sharna Burgess revealed some details about how the voting will work for this special season of Dancing with the Stars, including a double elimination on Night 1.

It seems viewer voting will be opened at the start of the premiere on Monday, April 30 at 8/7c and close shortly after the inal couple performs. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorites and online voters will be able to change their picks throughout the episode in case they see a better routine and want to switch their votes. At the end of the premiere, the live viewer votes and the judges’ scores will be combined and two couples will be eliminated on the very first night of the competition.

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This sounds incredibly harsh and also raises a few concerns. Viewer voting has always been a popularity contest, but this will increase that as the many votes may not even be based on the actual routines the couples perform, but just based on who the viewers like the most. It could also strongly benefit the couples who perform early in the night as viewers will have the most time to reflect on their routines while the last couple will only have a few minutes of voting after their routine before the voting window closes.

However, with such a short season, this does seem necessary. The show has no choice but to eliminate at least two couples on each of the first three episodes to leave us with four pairs heading into the one-hour finale on May 21. The show has done live-voting before, whether it’s America being the fourth judge or having viewer vote during dance-offs.

With this new twist, it will make watching the show live more important than ever, though viewers on the West Coast will be severely disadvantaged. In many ways, Dancing with the Stars: Athletes is a brand-new experiment for the show, which should make things very interesting.

How do you feel about live voting and two couples going home on the first night? Dancing with the Stars: Athletes premieres Monday, April 30 at 8/7c on ABC. For more updates, like BuddyTV’s DWTS Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.