Posted: 20 Dec 2011 11:37 PM PST
Time to let loose with the contestants who give their best on the dance floor.
FOLKS, this is a lesson against being too judgmental. When I first read about Dancing With The Stars about five years ago (it wasn't aired here at the time), I scoffed, rolled my eyes and brushed it off as just another reality show that's banking on celebrities (and the drama they bring along with them) to draw in viewers.
Fast forward six years.
A month ago, I watched my first ever episode of Dancing With The Stars (currently airing on Star World on weekend at 9pm) and I was forced to recant my harsh (and baseless) criticisms: it took just one episode for me to be hooked.
The premise of the show is simple: celebrities (actors, singers, athletes, TV personalities) are teamed up with professional dancers to compete for a trophy at the end of the season. Each week, the teams are given a theme to follow – jive, quick step, salsa, etc.
The professional dancers have to choreograph a dance based on the theme and train their celebrity partners to master the routine they have come up with. The teams then present their dance to a panel of judges (Len Goodman, Bruno Tonio and Carrie Ann Inaba) during the performance show (aired on Saturday).
The judges score them (they can get a score of between one and 10) and then the voting is open to the audience at home. On Sundays, the scores are tallied (fan votes count for 50%) and results are announced: the pair with the least votes/score will go home.
Most of the celebrities on the show have little or no experience dancing. Sure, there was pussycat doll Nicole Scherzinger in Season 10 who has some dancing chops, but really, she is the exception. Most of the stars begin the show with zero knowledge of dance: they have no form, no technique and some have absolutely no rhythm. The onus is on the other partners to teach them the fundamentals of dance each week as well as coach them on the routine for each week's performance.
A lot of hard work? Heck, yeah!
The pairs apparently train for eight to 10 hours a day throughout the competition and, as a result, the training sessions can be pretty tense: tempers flare, emotions go all over the place and arguments break out. Viewers get to see clips of the couples training before their performances each week, and although the video clips are undoubtedly edited to be dramatic, the focus isn't really on the drama. Instead, the audience ends up feeling immense respect for the contestants who train hard. No wonder Kelly Osbourne (who participated in Season Nine) lost 19kgs while on the show!
The initial attraction of the show may be the stars – people tune in to watch these celebrities shake it out on the dance floor – but the real draw of the show, for me at least, is the dancing.
Having been born with two left feet, I can't dance and have never really been attracted to dance. Or so I always thought. Watching the show each week has changed my mind. I really want to learn how to dance now and, I bet I am not alone.
Sure, the stars on the show are impressive in how they train and improve each week. But the real stars of the show are the professional dancers they are teamed up with.
Boy, these dancers are amazing. If you watch the show, you'll know that some of the stars (namely Carson Kressley and Chaz Bono) have absolutely no rhythm and training is especially challenging.
Even when the lessons go well, the onus is always on the pros to carry their partners through the routine each week. For example, Rob Kardashian is a decent enough student; he usually gets what his partner Cheryl Burke teaches him each week. Still, Burke has to work extra hard to make sure the performance is a success and that Rob shines through it. Amazing.
Of course, I have my favourites. My favourite pairs are Ricki Lake and Derek Hough (pronounced huff) and JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. Neither Lake nor Martinez are trained dancers but they move like they were born to dance and are beautiful to watch. Lake is so graceful and invested in each performance while Martinez is really strong and graceful all at once. And Huff! Wow, that boy (he's 26) is phenomenal – this is his eighth time on the show and he's won three times (with Brooke Burke, Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey).
Though not all the celebrities perform as well, I find myself rooting for each one – well almost. I haven't quite connected with TV commentator/journalist Nancy Grace. And though it is a reality competition, I tune in each week not to see who got eliminated but just to enjoy the dance sequences and to watch how each couple survived the week. And, I'll be curious to know if enrollment in dance classes spikes in the coming weeks – I may find myself signing up for a class or two myself!
> Dancing With The Stars airs on Star World (Astro Ch 710) every Saturday and Sunday at 9pm.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|