miliosr

Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars

89 posts in this topic

I'd love to see Melissa win, if only for Tony's sake and for how Derek manipulated the choreography. (Geoffrey Zakarian won "The Next Iron Chef with flagrant rule-breaking, so I understand the logic, even if I don't respect it.)

I have mixed feelings about what Derek did this season. I agree with you, Helene, that he broke the rules quite flagrantly -- he was flat-out honest about it in the pre-dance segments with Shawn. But I do think he's very smart in that, of all the pros, he's figured out how to win the competition. You have to create excitement which will get people to vote. (Now, the counter to this would be that Shawn and Derek would have been exciting enough in the traditional dances that they didn't need to break the rules.)

Kristi Yamaguchi was on one of the celebrity faux-interview shows to plug her new clothing line, and she was asked directly if she was asked to be on the All-Stars sow, and she said no.

I know Kristi is probably insulted that Bristol and Pam got invites and she didn't but I understand the show's reasoning. They didn't want to have a repeat of Kristi's no-suspense original season only this time it would be Shawn and Kristi together driving to the Final 3 and creating no suspense.

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I'm not sure how insulted Yamaguchi was, or, if she was, how much she really would have thought about it had she not been asked every time she's interviewed about something else. She seemed genuinely excited for the semi-finalists -- the interview took place before last night's eliminations -- but, being Yamaguchi, she was being politic about playing favorites, unlike Mr. Lithgoe on "So You Think You Could Dance" who told the audience how he was planning to vote in the finals for men (and his choice prevailed, despite the runner-up never having been in the bottom dance-offs all season.)

She said in the interview that she would have thought about it, had she been asked, but the ten weeks needed to dedicate themselves too it might have been too much. She has a clothing line to promote, and she seems very involved in family life, with two young kids.

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Week Ten - Night One - Scores:

Favorite Dance Round:

01 30.0pts Melissa/Tony (samba)

02 29.5pts Kelly/Val (paso doble)

03 27.0pts Shawn/Derek (quickstep)

Supersized Freestyle:

01 30.0pts Shawn/Derek w/ the U.S. women's gymnastics team

01 30.0pts Melissa/Tony

03 29.5pts Kelly/Val w/ the troupe

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And your finishing order is . . .

01 Melissa/Tony

02 Shawn/Derek

03 Kelly/Val

More thoughts tonight!

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I was delighted that Melissa and Tony won, as Melissa's progress throughout the season seemed to reflect a commitment to dancing, per se, coupled with adherence to program guidelines; Shawn and Derek were more about astounding through gymnastics and feats of derring-do that none of the non-professional competitors could hope to emulate. Shawn is a capable dancer - they might have won if they had resisted the temptation to pull out all the stops, and rules be hanged.

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I was delighted that Melissa and Tony won, as Melissa's progress throughout the season seemed to reflect a commitment to dancing, per se, coupled with adherence to program guidelines; Shawn and Derek were more about astounding through gymnastics and feats of derring-do that none of the non-professional competitors could hope to emulate. Shawn is a capable dancer - they might have won if they had resisted the temptation to pull out all the stops, and rules be hanged.

I think you're on to something, Bonnette. There's no way to ever know all the contributing factors that went into Melissa and Tony's win but I do think there's something to be said for just getting out there and doing the required elements without all the tomfoolery. Another way to put it is that Derek may have rode his strategic horse a week or two too long. The rulebreaking may have made strategic sense during the first two-thirds of the competition but, toward the end, it just became obnoxious. Derek (and Shawn, to some extent) compounded this by coming across as flippant toward the judges when they were receiving the judges' comments. The judges may be inconsistent or flat-out idiotic (Carrie Ann in particular) but contestants should at least pretend to be respectful to the judges. (This is a problem Maks also has.)

I also think the obsessive focus on gymnastics came back to haunt Shawn and Derek. At times, watching Shawn and Derek felt like watching Gymnastics with the Stars instead of Dancing with the Stars. The irony of it all is that, as you rightly noted, Shawn was perfectly capable of performing the dances without the rulebreaking and the gymnastic elements. A shame, really.

In happier news, I'm thrilled for Tony that he captured the mirror ball trophy after 14 tries. He has had some real duds over the last 14 seasons including (but not limited to) Sara Evans, Leeza Gibbons, Kathy Ireland, Kate Gosselin, Wendy Williams and Martina Navratilova. So, happy to see him prevail after so long in the wilderness. (Some of it was his own doing as his Final 3 freestyles for Stacy Kiebler [season 3] and Melissa [season 8] were underwhelming.]

Even though Kelly and Val finished in third place, I'm happy for them as well. The Dancing with the Stars viewership has always seen Kelly as one of the weakest winners (if not the weakest winner.) I think she proved that she deserved her invitation to the All-Stars season and that her Season 1 win wasn't a fluke. Kudos also to Val for working wonders with Kelly and for stepping out from under his brother's shadow.

Overall, I would give the season a B-. As fun as it was to see a lot of fan favorites again, I think the show works better when it's confined to first-time celebrities. As always, Tom Bergeron gets an A+ for keeping this lumbering beast of a show on-track and on-time.

Here's a clip of the winning moment (Apolo's reaction is the funniest):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p3T4v0GyAE

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Even though Kelly and Val finished in third place, I'm happy for them as well. The Dancing with the Stars viewership has always seen Kelly as one of the weakest winners (if not the weakest winner.)

It would make sense that she'd be viewed as the weakest winner until this season: there were only six episodes and six couples. The pros hadn't hit their stride yet.

If all of the winners had been compared after their sixth episode, it might tell a different story.

Does anyone know who was jumping up and down when they did the backstage shots?

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Even though Kelly and Val finished in third place, I'm happy for them as well. The Dancing with the Stars viewership has always seen Kelly as one of the weakest winners (if not the weakest winner.)

It would make sense that she'd be viewed as the weakest winner until this season: there were only six episodes and six couples. The pros hadn't hit their stride yet.

If all of the winners had been compared after their sixth episode, it might tell a different story.

I wasn't saying I agreed with that designation. Unfortunately, since her season was so short, the knock on Kelly has always been that she won under easier circumstances than every other winner.

Does anyone know who was jumping up and down when they did the backstage shots?

I think it was Maks and Val going crazy in the foreground.

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I really enjoyed Melissa during the 2nd half of the competition, but I was just thrilled to see Tony Dovolani win - he's always a gentleman on the show and it's clear that the other dancers completely respect him.

I think it's going to be tough to return to a "regular" DWTS after such a high level of dancing this season.

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I liked all three of the last couples -- it was wonderful to see the Chmerkovsky brothers united in their affection and admiration for Tony. That was really moving.

It's been clear for a while that the judges wanted Melissa to win, especially Len. He's said so flat-out, how beautifully he thinks she dances. she DOES have line and grace, timing and feeling.

The big difference between her and Shawn is that Shawn has the sort of body you don't want to look at in adagio -- her legs are short, her waist is thick -- she NEEDS to flash about the stage, opening and closing her configurations in syncopated bursts-- and of course she CAN do that, and Derek gave her great combinations -- but it does give the impression that gymnastics/acrobatics is what she does, not dancing. Actually, I think she came to be fabulous at dancing her tricks -- they have a dance rhythm. But it means she's limited to what Slonimsky [talking about Balanchine] called "the dance of Joy". It means allegro -- and happy dancing seems trivial against the kind of sentiment that Melissa can swim in.

I thought Derek made Shawn look great -- though his choreography at the end was not as inspired as it was in mid-season.

I really enjoyed this year of DWTS.

Tom Bergeron is my new model for how to behave in any situation.

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According to this article in the "New York Post," the producers of "Dancing with the Stars" are considering presenting the show once a year starting this spring, 2013, and some of the long-time pros are planning to go onto other things. The author questions whether judges Len Goodman and Bruno Toglioni will continue to want to commute weekly back and forth to London.

Total viewership for the past season was off by 20 percent.

Bringing back past champs Shawn Johnson, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey and the like seemed like “a great idea,” Disney CFO Jay Rasulo admitted this week at a financial conference in New York.

“Turns out people didn’t want to see people who could dance. They wanted people who couldn’t dance,” Rasulo said.

and

“I would say making this show is more like surfing,” executive producer Conrad Green told The Post. “Everyone thinks you are a puppet master. But actually what you do is you follow the wave, rather than set the wave.".

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"“Turns out people didn’t want to see people who could dance. They wanted people who couldn’t dance,” Rasulo said."

That doesn't surprise me in the least.

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Total viewership for the past season was off by 20 percent.

Bringing back past champs Shawn Johnson, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey and the like seemed like “a great idea,” Disney CFO Jay Rasulo admitted this week at a financial conference in New York.

“Turns out people didn’t want to see people who could dance. They wanted people who couldn’t dance,” Rasulo said.

I think that's partly right, but only getting half of it. Viewers don't want a dancing show, really. They want to see the storyline arc of people learning to dance. The dance is metaphor for taking on new challenges, and that's what exciting. The folks that people remember from the show are really the unexpected ones more than anything else like Jerry Springer. And yes, a lot of that is catching lightning in a bottle with casting which is why there's always a mix of ages, backgrounds, abilities, etc. But the show's never been about watching great dancers for three months. It's actually not that engrossing for most Americans to watch a bunch of people who already can dance. (Otherwise, they'd be watching Championship Ballroom Dancing on PBS, which they're not).

I think this is part of why Derek went on the rule-breaking strategy, actually, and also why it backfired in the end. In a season of people who are all pretty good dancers, he needed a way to get Shawn to stand out. Unfortunately, it also made them look like "cheaters" to a significant segment of the public.

I think it's also why the producers went on the rampage of nutty "Surfer Flamenco" and "Caveman Hustle" stuff to try to artificially create the arc the natural arc of other seasons. And we all know how well that worked.

But it's really not a surprise. ABC knew it was going to be an issue going in.

Kristi Yamaguchi was on one of the celebrity faux-interview shows to plug her new clothing line, and she was asked directly if she was asked to be on the All-Stars sow, and she said no.

The first time around, Kristi was at the tail end of her skating and trying to launch a broadcasting career. (Kristi was always known as terrible in front of a camera when not skating. She's a very poor speaker.) It didn't work, and figure skating on TV is currently at one of its all-time lows. With nothing at stake for her, Kristi was never going to uproot her family to move to LA for 3-4 months.

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