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    Anyone else watch Dancing with the Stars? Season 6 starts in about a half-hour (on the East Coast, USA, time-delayed on the West Coast). The new "stars" are listed here:

    'Dancing with the Stars' Contestants - Yahoo! TV

    I barely watched the first couple seasons; the wife was into it before me. But across time it's become a guilty pleasure for me as well. My wife and I do Ballroom and Latin dancing, so we can discuss the steps, the judging, how the professionals are coaching or choreographing, etc.

    Also, sometimes the "stars" are leftover minor celebrities from days gone by--a good opportunity for my wife and me to catch up on some old names (that we probably barely even noticed the first time around). This season: Kristi Yamaguchui, Priscilla Presley, Steve Gutenberg, Penn Jillette, Monica Seles, and maybe Shannon Elizabeth from "American Pie" fame. Silly stuff, but sometimes it's fun to check out a celeb from our younger days like Elvis Presley's wife and see what she's up to today.

    Speaking of which, Heather Mills, a DWTS alumna, got a $50 million settlement on her divorce from Paul McCartney today... Oh well.

    I'm not expecting much response to this thread. But I thought I would put it out there in case anyone else wants to go on record as a viewer of this show. No one can be cool 100 percent of the time.

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    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Anyone else watch Dancing with the Stars? Season 6 starts in about a half-hour (on the East Coast, USA, time-delayed on the West Coast). The new "stars" are listed here:

    'Dancing with the Stars' Contestants - Yahoo! TV

    I barely watched the first couple seasons; the wife was into it before me. But across time it's become a guilty pleasure for me as well. My wife and I do Ballroom and Latin dancing, so we can discuss the steps, the judging, how the professionals are coaching or choreographing, etc.

    Also, sometimes the "stars" are leftover minor celebrities from days gone by--a good opportunity for my wife and me to catch up on some old names (that we probably barely even noticed the first time around). This season: Kristi Yamaguchui, Priscilla Presley, Steve Gutenberg, Penn Jillette, Monica Seles, and maybe Shannon Elizabeth from "American Pie" fame. Silly stuff, but sometimes it's fun to check out a celeb from our younger days like Elvis Presley's wife and see what she's up to today.

    Speaking of which, Heather Mills, a DWTS alumna, got a $50 million settlement on her divorce from Paul McCartney today... Oh well.

    I'm not expecting much response to this thread. But I thought I would put it out there in case anyone else wants to go on record as a viewer of this show. No one can be cool 100 percent of the time.
    Thanks for the heads up! I'll be recording this right now!
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    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
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    Yeah... I watch it too. And I make my husband watch it with me. Can't miss all those hotties shaking their groove thing.

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    A couple responses! Great!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jen View Post
    Thanks for the heads up! I'll be recording this right now!
    In case you don't review the recording right away, they'll be doing it again tomorrow night at 9 - 10:30 EST. They had the male stars dance tonight, and the female stars will dance tomorrow night. (Nice emoticon!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffi97 View Post
    Yeah... I watch it too. And I make my husband watch it with me. Can't miss all those hotties shaking their groove thing.
    Yeah, there's something there for everyone. Lots of eye candy!

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Do I understand correctly that Adam Corrolla (of Loveline and The Man Show) is a contestant this season? I may have to watch for that. I don't particularly like him but the thought of him dancing amuses me. EDIT Nvm just checked your link. I'll watch for him and Penn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Do I understand correctly that Adam Corrolla (of Loveline and The Man Show) is a contestant this season? I may have to watch for that. I don't particularly like him but the thought of him dancing amuses me. EDIT Nvm just checked your link. I'll watch for him and Penn.
    Yep. Better hurry though. They probably aren't going to last long on the show. Especially Corrolla. To last more than a week or two, they have to either be good dancers or have a big built-in fan base. Neither danced well, and I don't expect that Corrolla's radio fan base in particular is going to translate to lots of viewer votes. (Though he did get a lot of recognition and applause from the studio audience.)

    I never heard of Corrolla before, but he seemed like a good-natured sort of guy in the behind-the-scenes clips.

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    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Yep. Better hurry though. They probably aren't going to last long on the show. Especially Corrolla. To last more than a week or two, they have to either be good dancers or have a big built-in fan base. Neither danced well, and I don't expect that Corrolla's radio fan base in particular is going to translate to lots of viewer votes. (Though he did get a lot of recognition and applause from the studio audience.)

    I never heard of Corrolla before, but he seemed like a good-natured sort of guy in the behind-the-scenes clips.
    You mean it's not all up to the judges? Well that just kind of shits on it.

    On second thought, though, American Idol is conducted by popular vote, and that's not so bad. Still, my first thought on judging by popular vote is that it takes away from the technical aspects of the dance and getting judged empirically on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    You mean it's not all up to the judges? Well that just kind of shits on it.

    On second thought, though, American Idol is conducted by popular vote, and that's not so bad. Still, my first thought on judging by popular vote is that it takes away from the technical aspects of the dance and getting judged empirically on that.
    Well, there was a deliberate tongue-in-cheek aspect to the initial concept of the show--having non-dancing "celebs" dancing with ballroom professionals. The creators hoped for some good tumbles and spills on live TV, maybe an affair or two behind the scenes, and throw in a popular vote aspect so that it turns into a beauty contest...

    Also, the popular vote aspect really does compel the celebs to do their best. Many of the "stars" are B-level or C-level celebrities going through some kind of career move. For example, retiring athletes hoping to transition into a commentator spot on a sports network, aging stars trying to show their agents they still can bring in an audience, etc. So each additional week they stay on the show, they prove to their agents and any potential producers or directors that they have a built-in audience and/or some residual star quality. Some of the past DWTS alumnae have actually jump-started their old careers or have built new careers from scratch.

    It almost becomes a matter of life-and-death for some of these minor celebs to last one more week on the show. The level of competition has actually become pretty fierce in the latest seasons, because there is a big potential pay-off for the contestants. And all because of the popular vote.

    It reminds me of the old Jane Fonda movie, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (a movie about Depression-era dance marathons).

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    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    I agree that it may be a good route for some to jump-start their careers by putting themselves back into the limelight (or, y'know, shaking their asses in the limelight, and wearing flashy, beautiful, glittering clothes, sporting toned bodies, and... you get the idea). That is actually my point. But do the best dancers actually win? How obvious do you think it is that two people are good dancers? Do you think a lot of the technical aspects of dancing go right over viewers' heads, causing viewers to judge the dancers based perhaps on subjective and impertinent criteria?

    I was thinking popular contestants would remain on the show week after week regardless of whether they were the best dancers; if they have a fanbase, they'll probably stick around. It proves they have star quality, but does it prove they have dance star quality?

    On second thought, on second thought... nevermind. That's probably why the judges are even there, right? To critique the dancers based on technical aspects of dance?

    I see. Still, the judges' critiques could be overruled simply because a person is likeable, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I agree that it may be a route for some to jump-start their careers by throwing them back into the limelight. That is actually my point. But do the best dancers actually win? How obvious do you think it is that two people are good dancers? Do you think a lot of the technical aspects of dancing go right over viewers' heads, causing viewers to judge the dancers based perhaps on impertinent criteria?

    I was thinking popular contestants would remain on the show week after week regardless of whether they were the best dancers; if they have a fanbase, they'll probably stick around. It proves they have star quality, but does it prove they have dancer quality?

    On second thought, on second thought... nevermind. That's probably why the judges are even there, right? To critique the dancers based on technical aspects of dance?

    I see. Still, the judges' critiques could be overruled simply because a person is likeable, right?


    The judges' combined score accounts for 50 percent of a dancer's total, and the public vote (phoned or messaged in) accounts for 50 percent. In addition, the judges have the bully pulpit in that they critique the dancers after each dance and therefore can presumably influence the audience's perception of the dance while the impression is still fresh.

    On the other hand, you're right--a dancer with a big fan base can remain in the show even as the judges give him terrible marks. There was one early season (Season 2) where a rapper named Master P was kept on the show for weeks while much better dancers were voted off. He just clumped around the stage and basically refused to do the dances, but he encouraged the fans to keep voting for him.

    But that then became the drama of the show--when will Master P get voted off?

    The judges were pretty irritated by it; they're interested in popularizing ballroom dancing and didn't want to see Master P making a mockery of the dance. But the controversy created some extra publicity and boosted ratings, and it showed that even a rapper's audience can get interested in the show if they have someone to root for. So now the "stars" tend to represent all kinds of demographics: Athletes, soap stars, corporate executives, talk show stars, country singers, movie stars, Hispanic stars, young stars, rap or R&B stars, boy band stars, etc. From the music world, last season they had Wayne Newton, Mel B of the Spice Girls and Sabrina Bryan of the Cheetah Girls. This season they have some young R&B singer name Mario.

    Really, it's all designed to pull in the audience and the ratings. The audience vote is a big part of that. The show makes no secret of it--the participants talk about their fan base and calculate whether it will be enough to keep them afloat another week. It's all "good clean fun."

    The alternative--judging by technical merit alone--would kill off the show. Then the show would just become a poor man's version of the professional ballroom dance competitions shown on public-access TV (which usually get boring pretty quickly and have very low ratings).

    [Edit:] IOW, it's one of those little paradoxes of the entertainment world. Including the popular vote tilts the playing field and makes the show tougher for less popular stars. On the other hand, inclusion of the popular vote increases the drama and pushes up the ratings. And that latter aspect is what makes it worthwhile for the "stars" to appear in the first place. So the "stars" put up with the tilted playing field in the interest of appearing on a highly-rated show and taking a shot at jump-starting their career. As long as everyone understands the terms of the show and has no illusions about how the show works, then it's all "good clean fun."

    By the way, if you want to sample the audience for DWTS, ABC.com has message boards for its shows. The people who post on the DWTS message board are absolutely nuts. They try to drum up support for their favorite, trash the other dancers, accuse the judges and producers of conspiracy and trying to railroad people off the show, etc. They really do have trouble comprehending that it's all just "good clean fun." Very obsessive, no perspective whatsoever. It's really something to see--people driving themselves nuts because they simply refuse to accept the show at face value, i.e., as "good clean fun."

    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    But do the best dancers actually win?
    By the way, merit does actually count for something. The worse dancers usually go early and the best dancers last the longest. Sooner or later the truly bad dancers get voted off and the truly good dancers stay on.

    And FWIW, there's no real "win." There's no grand prize as such--just a token model of a glitter ball. The real prize is simply in staying on past the first couple weeks and showing the world that you have some audience support for purposes of jump-starting your career. Staying on past the first 5 or 6 weeks and lasting right up into the finals is just icing on the cake.

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