Now Katherine Jenkins hit show fires its music director

Now Katherine Jenkins hit show fires its music director


norman lebrecht

February 07, 2014

First they announced that live musicians were to be replaced by canned tracks on Dancing with the Stars. 28 players lost their jobs.

Now they have got rid of the excellent music director, Harold Wheeler.

The joint producers, BBC Worldwide Productions and ABC TV, issued this statement:

Our talented Music Director, Harold Wheeler, will not be joining us for Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. Since season one, Harold and his band have performed brilliant music in our ballroom for our dancers and the American viewers at home. We are grateful to him and his band for their amazing work and years of collaboration. We wish him the best of luck.


Katherine Jenkins scores 26 on her debut appearance on 'Dancing with the stars'-767355

Switch off now.


  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    I believe AF of M

    Local 47 is fighting this big time. Jay Leno gave a big plug to unions in his farewell speech tonight. Might help a little.

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    That is what happens when ignorant people are in charge.

  • So why not replace the dancers too, with holographs? I am sure the movie Avatar has shown us the way, or we could go the way of the Matrix and drive rods into people’s heads so it’s all permanently in the imagination, that binary Heaven to which so much live performance has already been dispatched.

    • Anon says:

      Er, because it’s a “dance” show, so dancers as required. It isn’t a music show; the music is needed for the primary dance element. It really doesn’t matter – for the dance – whether the music is live or not, and if it is live, whether the band s big, small, acoustic, electronic, or whatever.

    • Kitty says:

      This is a dance show, not a music show. I see actually the point here. This show has been asking these musicians to perform the music in different styles, including those they weren’t equipped to handle. For example, at one point a couple of years ago, they decided to have a dance to an arrangement of habanera from Carmen, and their singer who wasn’t an opera singer and who had no business even attempting habanera. She sounded ridiculous. At that point I thought – they should use recorded music, not have a pop singer butcher an aria on national tv.

      Additionally, the show have always been criticized for not using songs not suitable for the dances. They’d have dancers struggle dancing paso doble for example, to a song that was completely unsuitable to it. Same about other dancers. With live musicians, they are restricted in choosing songs for which they have rights. With recorded music, they can pretty much choose anything and have actual dance music.

  • Sofia says:

    Greed and no class. Thank you, BBC Worldwide Productions and ABC for downgrading another hit. Don’t you have enough money already? You are pigs.

  • Another Failed Singer says:

    I am curious to know how Katherine Jenkins has got involved with a show called Dancing with the stars…. Is she a star? Certainly not in this country,,,, but then the USA always applaud performing seals……

    • Kitty says:

      Jenkins was a contestant on the show at some point as ‘a star’, I think she may have sung there once, but otherwise, this show has zero relationship with her. The show is notorious for choosing “stars” that are not really stars.

  • Stereo says:

    Disgusting. Totally agree with you Sanda.