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Dancing with the Stars, Season 12


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#1 Helene

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:20 PM

I now have basic cable and just watched the Season 12 opener I had recorded on the PVR. Zipping through the commercials is such a better way to watch, but I have to remember to set an alarm each week to vote for Louis van Amstel and his partner. I don't care how she or they dances: I just want to watch him for as long as possible.

First, Ralph Macchio is 48? Sugar Ray Leonard is 55? Kirstie Alley is 60? I think the statute of limitations for denial is now at an end...

I know little about the technical aspects of ballroom dancing, just what I find impressive and/or pleasing. In the opener I was again kvelling listening to the athletes talk about how hard it is to dance, and these are people who were paid mega-bucks to know precisely where their head, hands, feet, core, legs, and back were for every move they made in relation to at least one other person, and in the case of Chris Jericho, the World Wrestling Federation champion, to not know could be debilitating.

For me Ralph Macchio was a surprise and a delight, performing with great charm. I especially loved how NFL football star Hines Ward focused his attention on his partner Kym Johnson and appeared to be partnering her in the non-hold sections. I was really impressed with Kirstie Alley, who found her feet. She's also very funny, and I expect her to gather a lot of the at-home vote.

While they've all been put through the crash course ringer, and must all have 1000 instructions churning in their heads, for some performers musicality shone through, particularly in their ability to change speed and attack in response to the phrase. Sometimes this recedes after the relatively open first couple of shows when they start to try to gain and hone technique, but it's fun to watch at the beginning. I also love it when someone gets a phrase or a move or is light on their toes for part of the dance, and I can hear Marv Albert in my head with his "Yes!"

#2 Helene

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:05 PM

Here are the pairings:

http://abc.go.com/sh...-the-stars/bios


I wish they'd shut up about Romeo's father, who was difficult, but saddled with an inexperienced pro who sold him down the river. That was shame on the show, and the last thing the hosts should be doing is bringing it up.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

I'm Team Wendy...!! :clapping:

#4 miliosr

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:23 PM

Maks and Kirstie's cha cha cha:



Maks is going to have to figure out how to get Kirstie's stamina up right quick -- she was breathing HARD after that dance.

What is that thing on the front of Brooke's dress? Is it a satellite receiver??

And to think we could have had Drew or Mel B. as co-host instead of poor, hopeless Brooke . . .

#5 Helene

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:54 PM

Alley did way more than "stay upright on [her] feet for the entire dance."

#6 sidwich

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:37 PM

Alley did way more than "stay upright on [her] feet for the entire dance."


Yes, Alley did very well. Out of the women, I think she had the most solid frame, really using her core, pectorals and lats, and let Maks move her around the floor. Because of this, they were able to do some fairly complex choreography for first week out, much more complex than anything Maks even attempted with Laila Ali in all the weeks she was in the competition, for example. Alley lost it a bit at the end of the quickstep, but that's not unusual. Alley could really use her knees a lot more on the Standard side, especially since she's such a tall woman, but that will come with time as body awareness builds. For comparison, Kym's specialty is Standard, and Hines Ward was barely moving in his quickstep, as charming as it was.

I now have basic cable and just watched the Season 12 opener I had recorded on the PVR. Zipping through the commercials is such a better way to watch, but I have to remember to set an alarm each week to vote for Louis van AI wish they'd shut up about Romeo's father, who was difficult, but saddled with an inexperienced pro who sold him down the river.mstel and his partner. I don't care how she or they dances: I just want to watch him for as long as possible.


I always look forward to seeing Louis dance, but I'm rather afraid for his stint this season. Kendra Wilkinson is about as physically strong and coordinated as overcooked spaghetti, and is rather painful to watch. He will have an uphill battle to make much significant progress with her. If anyone can do it though, he can. The quickstep was already a big improvemet over the first week.

I wish they'd shut up about Romeo's father, who was difficult, but saddled with an inexperienced pro who sold him down the river.


Well, Master P did freely say that he was only practicing about 2 hours a week, so there probably were limits as to how far Ashley was going to progress with him. Ashley was on the inexperienced side, but I'd probably put her solidly in the middle of the regular cast of pros in terms of teaching beginner dancers. Some of the more seasoned pros are actually quite poor in teaching beginner fundamentals, actually.

#7 Helene

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:15 PM

I wish they'd shut up about Romeo's father, who was difficult, but saddled with an inexperienced pro who sold him down the river.


Well, Master P did freely say that he was only practicing about 2 hours a week, so there probably were limits as to how far Ashley was going to progress with him. Ashley was on the inexperienced side, but I'd probably put her solidly in the middle of the regular cast of pros in terms of teaching beginner dancers. Some of the more seasoned pros are actually quite poor in teaching beginner fundamentals, actually.

It's understandable that she couldn't do much -- I don't think anyone could have unless he started with the others and there was some behind-the-scenes tough love a la Nick Kosovich -- but her sulky, "It's all a reflection of me" attitude was weak; had she acted directly and professionally, i.e., "This is what we can do in two hours a week", it would have been about him. He was what he was, and he came in late, without the prep that the others had, and that the producers allowed him to sub in at the last minute given his lack of commitment, and general lack of grace and coordination was inexcusable to start, but to pair him with an insecure DelGrosso, who was a first-timer on the show, made me think they were going for the equivalent of a "Trading Spaces" bad reveal.

It's interesting that Romeo was going to compete originally, because in season 2 (2006), he would have been 16. (He was born in August, 1989.) I like watching him, and I suspect that he's more interesting at the grand age of 21 than he would have been at 16. I was also glad that Mike Catherwood got the boot first, after his snarky comment in week 1 about scoring higher than Master P.

Louis is doomed :( :(

Kirstie Alley makes Chmerkovskiy bearable, but I'd rather watch most of the other pros.

#8 sidwich

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:00 PM

[

It's understandable that she couldn't do much -- I don't think anyone could have unless he started with the others and there was some behind-the-scenes tough love a la Nick Kosovich -- but her sulky, "It's all a reflection of me" attitude was weak; had she acted directly and professionally, i.e., "This is what we can do in two hours a week", it would have been about him. He was what he was, and he came in late, without the prep that the others had, and that the producers allowed him to sub in at the last minute given his lack of commitment, and general lack of grace and coordination was inexcusable to start, but to pair him with an insecure DelGrosso, who was a first-timer on the show, made me think they were going for the equivalent of a "Trading Spaces" bad reveal.


Actually, it was Ashley DelGrosso's second season on the show which, since it was Season 2, made her as experienced as anyone on the show and more experienced than say, Cheryl Burke who won with Drew Lachey that season. I don't remember any particularly sulky attitude from Ashley, but I do remember Master P's total lack of commitment to the show cracking her Mormon uber-perky, cheery veneer a couple of times.

It was pretty obvious that the producers were really gunning for a share of the African-American audience and pulled on something to get Master P to appear on the show (Romeo dropped out extremely late). I actually enjoyed Master P on the show; he made for good TV, and was not nearly as bad of a dancer as the show made him out to be. He actually got further in two hours than some celebs have with a full schedule of practice.

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:41 AM

Maks and Kirstie's cha cha cha:


I've never been able to understand the why's of some dances/rhythms being wrongfully named after completely different dances/rhythms/music. What they danced is clearly not a cha-cha-cha-(salon or not)-, nor is the music being played. It's like calling a Charleston melody "Waltz" and dancing it as a twist... :P

This is a cha-cha-cha...



Anyway..back to DWTS...

#10 Helene

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:11 AM

Actually, it was Ashley DelGrosso's second season on the show which, since it was Season 2, made her as experienced as anyone on the show and more experienced than say, Cheryl Burke who won with Drew Lachey that season. I don't remember any particularly sulky attitude from Ashley, but I do remember Master P's total lack of commitment to the show cracking her Mormon uber-perky, cheery veneer a couple of times.

Thank you for this -- I didn't even recognize her as the same person from the first season.

It was pretty obvious that the producers were really gunning for a share of the African-American audience and pulled on something to get Master P to appear on the show (Romeo dropped out extremely late).

Perhaps it's a bias from project management, but when you have a last-minute replacement/issue, you try to reduce the risk to your project, not increase it. This usually means having a solid Plan B and plan C in your pocket.

I actually enjoyed Master P on the show; he made for good TV, and was not nearly as bad of a dancer as the show made him out to be. He actually got further in two hours than some celebs have with a full schedule of practice.

I thought he made great TV, too, but from the producers' point-of-view, more in the "Any publicity is good publicity" sense. He got up there and said in up-front words and actions, "I don't buy into your show": 1. I'm not investing the time 2. I'm not interested in your style, or even making it a fusion (which I suspect his son would have in 2006). 3. I refuse to wear the right equipment (shoes) 4. I refuse to wear your drag 5. I'm not moving any way that makes me feel uncomfortable or is counter to my image. 6. I'm not a D-list celebrity who needs the exposure on your show. 7. I think the judges are attention-seeking clowns.I don't care what the judges think.

There was also a point where it seemed to break through to him, but it was too late, especially given his lack of prep. It's always a bittersweet moment for me when the something finally clicks for the star, but there's not enough time to implement it.

I loved the irony of him standing still and his pro dancer dancing circles around him, because that's the strategy most of the pro dancers use. He just made it so clearly obvious, and he brought attention to himself, rather than deflecting it to his partner, which is the part. (A lot of the stars would give their souls for that kind of power and the lack of stakes to be able to be themselves.) I'm not sure how much this is the case in ballroom competitions, but I know in ice dancing, there was lots of lip service paid to how only those couples who were matched in skills would be rewarded, yet there were men like Maurizio Margolio and Roman Kostomarov who were mediocre skaters with great diva partners (Barbara Fusar-Poli and Tatiana Navka) who won World and Olympic championships. On DWTS this also seems to be rewarded by rewarding good-looking couples with much lesser difficulty and complexity with similar scores to good-looking couples with much more difficulty.

#11 miliosr

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:19 AM

Uh-oh:



They recovered well enough, though, and I don't think they're in any real danger.


And for those of you who watched the intro pro demonstration, since when did "Sympathy for the Devil" become appropriate for the family hour on television? I guess everything does become blanded out with time . . .

#12 sidwich

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:52 PM

Perhaps it's a bias from project management, but when you have a last-minute replacement/issue, you try to reduce the risk to your project, not increase it. This usually means having a solid Plan B and plan C in your pocket.


What do you think the increased risk that Master P brought was? (The producers actually did have a Plan B. Keith Carradine was on standby to be a contestant on the show, probably because the producers thought that Jerry Springer would be the celeb most likely to drop out that season. Carradine was obviously not going to bring the hoped-for demographic that Romeo/Master P would, though.)

There was also a point where it seemed to break through to him, but it was too late, especially given his lack of prep. It's always a bittersweet moment for me when the something finally clicks for the star, but there's not enough time to implement it.


I'm pretty sure that Master P was doing his level best to get kicked off the show as soon as possible. I'm quite sure that the only reason he did the show was to avoid possible embarassment for his son. My theory's always been that he was surprised that he didn't get kicked off the first week, and escalated his attempts from then on.

#13 Jayne

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:02 AM

I watched the Monday night episode, and while I think Chelsea Kane (sp?) is a ringer (all disney trained child actors take extensive dance classes), the judging is all over the place! I saw a vastly mediocre performance by a wrestler that garnered 9's and Romeo (Master P's son) perform beautifully, and yet receive lower scores.

Is there some sort of collusion between the French and Russian judges ???(bad joke going back to the SLC Olympic politics)...

Meh, not sure I'll watch this any longer, but I might watch the edited version on youtube, with just the performances, not the judges.

Fortunately figure skating championships are coming soon from Moscow...(along with a royal wedding - I'll be watching lots of TV in the near future, maybe this is my "lent" until the 29th - no more TV!)

#14 Helene

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:25 AM

Perhaps it's a bias from project management, but when you have a last-minute replacement/issue, you try to reduce the risk to your project, not increase it. This usually means having a solid Plan B and plan C in your pocket.


What do you think the increased risk that Master P brought was? (The producers actually did have a Plan B. Keith Carradine was on standby to be a contestant on the show, probably because the producers thought that Jerry Springer would be the celeb most likely to drop out that season. Carradine was obviously not going to bring the hoped-for demographic that Romeo/Master P would, though.)

The risk was that they'd have someone who wasn't engaged with the show and came across as hostile to it, undermining the premise. (Part of me can't blame him, season one was so cheesetastic.) DWTS was still in its infancy, not yet a phenomenon, and while it's still not attracting A-listers outside sports -- Apollo Ohno and Evan Lysacek, who was fresh off an Olympic gold medal, and skating royalty Kristi Yamaguchi, who can still draw audiences in skating shows -- Season 2 was long before it became respectable to be on it. It had the ability to sink to bad daytime TV, and be known entirely for the train wrecks and fan wars, with the dancing completely obscured.

For me, Plan A was Romeo. As a project manager, my Plan B would have been Carradine, not Master P, given how close to "launch" the replacement was, because he was a safer choice, with time on his hands and not many other distractions or reason to go asap.


I'm pretty sure that Master P was doing his level best to get kicked off the show as soon as possible. I'm quite sure that the only reason he did the show was to avoid possible embarassment for his son. My theory's always been that he was surprised that he didn't get kicked off the first week, and escalated his attempts from then on.

Thank you for this perspective: it never occurred to me that with the risk of injury so present, Romeo would have anything for which to be embarrassed. As it turned out, his father became an embarrassment for him, given the number of early references to how bad he was, and even the obnoxious radio guy made an "I scored higher than Master P" comment.

I don't know what Romeo was like at 16, but at 21, he seems committed to attempting to absorb style and to acknowledging his pro's expertise. They seems compatible to me. I thought he did a very charming program this week to "New York, New York", even if the patriotic theme was horrific, and the most of the other music/versions about as awful and inappropriate to the dances, especially rhumba and samba, as it gets. (He lucked out on his music.) It was worse than last week's "classical" theme, which had promise, but when some teams had to use actual classical music, and others movie soundtracks, some of the pros must be wondering whether it all is worth it. Louis van Amstel looks like he is trying to find a cyanide tablet.

Kirstie Alley, after two weeks with mishaps -- a fall two weeks ago, and falling out of her shoe last week -- was tense and relatively withdrawn. I'm hoping this week's lack-of-issues dance energizes her again. It will be interesting to see who will be eliminated tonight.

#15 Jayne

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:43 PM

Also, Kirsty's outfit was Horrible with a capital H! Talk about figure un-flattering! Then again, the whole "Americana" theme was way over the top. is there anything under the top in DWTS or professional dancing? Maybe not, but this was beyond gaudy.


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