Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Have the DANCING WITH THE STARS Producers Lost Their Way?

I love Dancing with the Stars -- I simply can't get enough of the cheesy joys B (or C or D)-List celebrities ballroom dancing brings to me. I've falled in love with Apolo Anton Ono and Mel B and Helio Castroneves. And after all these years, I have deep affection for Julianne and Derek Hough, Tony Dobolani, and even Cheryl Burke.

But, as we bid adieu to Toni Braxton at the midway point of the season, something is leading me to believe the producers of the show are starting to lose their way. It's not the contestants -- they are as entertaining as ever. The shift that is happening is subtle now, but if it continues heading in this direction, I will start to doubt the potential longevity of the show.

Let me explain...

First of all, this season the show seems to want to think it is So You Think You Can Dance. Don't get me wrong -- So You Think You Can Dance is probably my very favorite reality show. However, Dancing with the Stars is no SYTYCD, and shouldn't try to be. It's got it's own charms. But this year alone we have former finalist Lacey Schwimmer as a professional (not really fair, when you think about it, since she's recently been on a reality show that required people to vote for her -- as famous, say, as Kim Khardashian or Cody Linley. We've also had Anya and Pasha choreograph a routine, and former SYTYCD choreographers Dave Scott and Brian Friedman appearing in a taped segment.

And now comes word that next week the contestants will be asked to do a group old school hip-hop routine. Huh? This is absurd -- the show is about ballroom dancing. What's next -- a contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels? (Though that doesn't really sound that bad...)

Reading this back I can see that I sound like an old codger, but I like my Dancing with the Stars pure -- sue me. A bit of edginess is surely welcome, but embracing hip-hop just seems antithetical to the point of the show (not to mention of having ballroom professionals as dance partners and judges).

Speaking of judges -- Michael Flatley to replace Len Goodman for a week? Um...would America stand for Tommy Mottola sitting in for Simon Cowell? I don't think so! And why have Michael Flatley on a week where they are doing hip-hop? Why not get Jamie King, or if they are really going to dig into the SYTYCD bag, Wade Robson?

Which brings me to my last point -- tonight's "biggest performance ever"!. I high school did that same production number. Yawn! Cliche! And after all that build-up? Of course, only 5 minutes was dedicated to actual results -- a regular occurrence on these results show. (Don't even get me started for when my Tivo cuts it off before the results have been announced.)

I'm a little angry -- I'll admit it. But take this post as a message to the producers, with love from a fan. Do me right.

READ: BOLD PREDICTION: Warren Sapp and Kim Johnson Will Win Dancing with the Stars

READ: Lance Bass' Dancing with the Stars Problem: Lacey Schwimmer Is Sabotaging His Chances!

Photo: Dancing with the Candidates: Barack Obama and Sarah Palin Cha Cha Cha


DJ said...

I agree with your assessment. I really don't know why their trying to make this show all SYTYCD now. This is the really the first season where they're really trying modernize this show and make it contemporary, which doesn't make sense. While SYTYCD is a great show, DWTS always kills them in the ratings and besides American Idol, I believe DWTS is the 2nd most watched reality show.

I don't know if their trying to bring in younger views, which still doesn't make sense because once again they do very well in the ratings. All these people from SYTYCD making an appearance on the show this season makes me believe by next season, this show will have SYTYCD written all over it. On the other hand, last night was probably one of the best performance shows they've had all season due to the 4new dances.

Anyway, I hope they don't modernize this show too much, it's fine the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are just trying to cash in on the popularity of the SYTYCD contestants AND provide them with opportunities for exposure and work. Dancers are not like recording artists which is why SYTYCD has such a hard time finding appropriate prizes for the winners. I love seeing the dancers pop up on DWTS. I also saw some hints of original SYTYCD choreography last week in Lacey's tango (zombies?). I do wish they had chosen someone other than Lacey to hire as a regular though. Her attitude was annoying on SYTYCD, and she has not improved with age. Bring on her brother!

ZenDenizen said...

Why must we be subjected to Cloris Leachman doing old school hip hop :(