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Dancing with the Stars: Season 2

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The second season of Dancing with the Stars will premiere on January 5th on ABC. The new season will be eight weeks in duration (compared to the six week run in Season 1.)

The miliosr report will return (in all its sequined, spangly glory) then! :)

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ABC has posted the names of the contestants for the next edition of Dancing With the Stars:

Tia Carrere - actress

Giselle Fernandez - journalist

George Hamilton - actor

Stacy Keibler - World Wrestling Entertainment star

Drew Lachey - former boy band member (and brother of Nick Lachey)

Kenny Mayne - ESPN personality

Tatum O'Neal - actress

Jerry Rice - former NFL wide receiver

Lisa Rinna - actress and talk show (Soap Talk) personality

Romeo - rapper

The show starts January 5th!

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George Hamilton? George Hamilton!!!! That's not exactly fair, is it, since he was originally a dancer? When Classic Arts shows excerpts from old variety shows, he's often there as a chorus boy, and his future stardom shows.

Thanks for the news, miliosr. I'll be there with you, in front of the tv!

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We saw Romeo at one of his rehearsals with Ashley. He is so incredibly young-looking. This season should be fun to watch!

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Some updates:

Season 1 co-host Lisa Canning has not been asked back for Season 2. Her replacement is Samantha Harris from the E! channel.

Rapper Romeo appears to be out of the competition and has been replaced by Master P.

USA Today has a feature on the show in today's edition. George Hamilton has a number of fun quotes in the article.

The two-hour premiere is tomorrow night on ABC. The results show is on Friday.

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Thanks, miliosr!

Here's the link to the USAToday piece. The article links to a gallery of this season's competitors with their partners. Tatum O'Neal's is dramatic and hints that she may put on quite a show.

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The dancers chose either the waltz or the cha-cha.

I missed the first two couples, which included the last-place (by the judges' results, so it's not yet official) George Hamilton :wub: .

Of the others, it's hard to keep them straight, because I barely know who any of them are. P. Miller (cha-cha) was clearly ill at ease, barely moving at all, making Ashly work triple time to give the duo any life (which she managed). I thought Giselle Fernandez (waltz), who identified herself as the disappointing daughter of a dancing father, did marvelously well, but Tatum knocked me flat. She waltzed with glamour and sophistication, a touch of drama, and extravagant (but not too extravagant) arms, back and neck. And totally in thrall to the music. She said she never studied dancing. Not sure I believe her.

These are the pairs, in the order in which they appeared:

George Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska

Lisa Rinna & Louis van Amstel

Kenny Mayne & Andrea Hale

Stacy Keibler & Tony Dovolani

Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke

Tia Carrere & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

P Miller & Ashly Delgrosso

Giselle Fernandez & Jonathan Roberts

Jerry Rice & Anna Trebunskaya

Tatum O'Neal & Nick Kosovich

Editing to add:

Looks like the public went for George. He and Edyta have qualified for Round 3.

Kenny and Andrea have been booted.

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I didn't realize the dancers got to choose; I thought they were assigned the rhythms. That's what happens when I fast-forward through everything but the practice scenes and the performances :D

I have to rewatch the TiVo file: I wasn't as impressed with Drew Lachey as the judges were; he gave the only credible cha-cha performance. The waltzers were more successful, I think. Lisa Rinna looked like she was going to have a heart attack: she so didn't want Louis van Amstel to be eliminated in the first round, like he was in the first series. Their practice costumes had to be the most goofy and theatrical of all. I liked Gina Fernandez and Tia Carrera in the waltz. It will be interesting to see them in Latin. Carrera had a baby three months ago, and she moved remarkably well for someone just post child-birth, especially since her partner mentioned that stamina was an issue for her.

In fairness, Master P only had a week, if I heard the interviews right, and Ashley Delgrosso had little choice but to dance circles around him in that amount of time. One of the judges -- Len Goodman? -- told him to dress like a dancer, and it would have been nicer to see his form, because he had great posture, even in that baggy suit.

The two that I like the most were Stacy Keibler, who was quite balletic and had a nice upper back, and, as carbro said, Tatum O'Neal. She was so glamorous and grown-up in expression, physical and facial. (In stark contrast to her practice persona.) I thought she was simply lovely. She should be playing romantic heroines onscreen.

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The Miliosr Report - Week One

Fortified by my new diet of bonbons and chilled blush wine, I have returned with the latest edition of the Miliosr Report. As usual, the report is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion of every aspect of the show. Instead, it is meant to give some insight into who is rising and falling in the competition.

Overall Impressions

(1) On the whole, I thought the women were quite strong during week one. The men on the other hand were all over the map in terms of ability and even desire. At the conclusion of Thursday night's show, I thought that none of the women would be in danger of being booted for at least several weeks. But, as we will find out later in the report, that was a mistaken conclusion.

(2) The music was marginally better in Episode One than it was in all of Season One. I had another vision, though, of George Balanchine in Heaven saying, "Not only could I have set Vienna Waltzes to "I Got You Babe" [see Season One Miliosr Report] but think how much better Vienna Waltzes would have been if I had had Suzanne Farrell waltzing beautifully away while Aretha Franklin belted out "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" from the orchestra pit! Suzanne would have gotten that Kennedy Center honor years earlier if I had!!" :D

Scoring by the Judges

01 24 pts. Drew/Cheryl

02 23 pts. Giselle/Jonathan

02 23 pts. Tatum/Nick

04 22 pts. Stacy/Tony

05 21 pts. Jerry/Anna

06 20 pts. Tia/Max

07 19 pts. Lisa/Louie

08 18 pts. George/Edyta

09 13 pts. Kenny/Andrea

10 12 pts. Master P./Ashly

Miliosr's Impressions

George/Edyta (Cha Cha Cha)

George seemed very stiff to me but as he is supposed to have several broken ribs I'm willing to give him a pass for now. He needs to tone down the faces, though. I know they are his trademark but it comes across like he's imitating John O'Hurley from Season One.

Lisa/Louie (Waltz)

This was solid but unspectacular. Lisa didn't look like she was always in control but Louie did a good job covering for her. I think she will be better in the Latin dances as her personality is more suited to them.

Kenny/Andrea (Cha Cha Cha)

An "A" for effort but he can't dance and it was too much like a comedy routine. Kenny does get honorable mention for introducing the Batusi into the competition, though.

Stacy/Tony (Waltz)

Another solid performance by a female competitor. Stacy has a nice line and beautiful leg extensions but at times I would have liked for them to move a little more. Nevertheless, she'll be around for a while.

Drew/Cheryl (Cha Cha Cha)

To me, they were the most musical and confident team out there. They also told a story with their dance. The high marks from the judges were deserved.

Tia/Max (Waltz)

First off, Tia deserves all kinds of credit for going on this show after giving birth recently and not being at "fighting weight". A nice, safe performance (which may have been the problem when it came to the audience vote.)

Master P/Ashly (Cha Cha Cha)

She was wonderful and he sucked. I realize he was a replacement and didn't have much time to prepare but there is no exuse for not trying. That being said, all you aspiring dancers out there should take note of Ashly because she showed what it means to be a professional. In a professional dancing career, there will be times you just have to suck it up in front of an audience and act like you're having the time of your life. That's what she did on Thursday.

Giselle/Jonathan (Waltz)

I thought she was the best of the women and the dance had some of the best actual waltzing in it. Jonathan is good at making his partners look good.

Jerry/Anna (Cha Cha Cha)

This was an up-and-down affair for me. Full marks to Jerry for bringing his hips into the dance so memorably. Demerits for hunching over and not using his impressive height to his advantage. Second best of the men.

Tatum/Nick (Waltz)

Again, another nice performance from one of the female competitors. I would put Tatum behind Giselle but ahead of Lisa, Tia and Stacy. She was quite elegant and she brought acting flair to the performance.

The Bottom Two

Kenny and Andrea deserved to be in the bottom two. But it was an injustice that Tia and Max ended up in the bottom two while Master P and Ashly were safe. Master P deserved to be in the bottom two for his lack of effort!!!

I suspect that several factors led to Tia's placement in the bottom two:

(1) Sympathy vote for Ashly for having to deal with such a dud of a partner.

(2) Tia and Max not really distinguishing themselves from the other waltzing teams. As I said before, their performance was nice but not especially memorable. Also, they danced in the middle of the pack so I think it was easy for the audience to forget about them.

The Bootees

I have mixed feelings about this boot. I absolutely, positively thought that Master P should have gone (and I think he wanted to go as well.) That being said, Kenny and Andrea were clearly the second worst team and, even if they had survived this vote, they would have gone sooner rather than later based on the higher standard of performance we have seen this season in comparison to the same point in Season One. It wasn't their time but I can live with them being voted out.

Next Week

I will be on the road next week so the Miliosr Report will probably only appear in abbreviated form. See you then!

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Miliosr, I think you are being harsh on Master P by saying he was not trying. As one of the pro dancers said -- I think it was Trebunskaya of Rice -- said she'd break her partner down and build him up again. Watching the practices, nearly every other celebrity was a mess in the first week or two, and part of the process is getting to the point where the celebrity feels confident enough to trust his/her partner and become a beginner in another's field.

This dynamic is very similar to the show Faking It, in which professionals are hired to train a person in 30 days in another profession or discipline and compete against several people who are starting in the profession or at the same general level, at which point several experts are asked to figure out who is the "fake." (A show dancer who's never been on a horse learns basic horse-jumping; a sheep shearer becomes a hairdresser; a shy cellist becomes a club DJ, etc.) "Winning" means not being sussed out and not embarrassing one's mentor. At a certain point in the 30 days there is a crisis, of ability, focus, confidence, etc., after which time the person puts everything else aside and works towards the goal.

While I may come to the same conclusion in a couple of weeks, I think he should be given a chance. At least he didn't mug like Hamilton, who has a dance background, or act like a cut-up like Kenny Mayne, who didn't drop his persona, either. Of the men, I liked Rice the best, because he was sincere, but that's what I liked about Evander Holyfield in the first season. If I had to pick someone to dance with, Rice would be the one.

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Helene -- we'll have to agree to disagree about the extent of Master P's effort. I would have been willing to give him a pass IF he had shown much interest in the contest. But he gave off this "I could care less" vibe that rubbed me the wrong way (especially in comparison to people like Lisa Rinna and Jerry Rice who seem hellbent on winning the competition.)

But I agree with you that this week will tell the tale. :cool:

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On the results show on Friday, Nick Kosovitch, Tatum O'Neal's partner, performed with his wife Lena, and they were simply gorgeous. He clearly has a ballet background, which is reflected in their choreography.

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I thought Stacy had the best dance of the night. Very sexy.

Worst had to be Master P.

I think Tatum dances well but I don't like her personality -- she seems very full of herself, and has this sour expression on her face.

My sentimental favorite though was Jerry. His quickstep wasn't very quick, but there's something so endearing about him.

So my votes went to Stacy and Jerry.

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Here are the ratings from Week One:

Thursday (Performances) -- 17.5 million viewers (tied for 11th)

Friday (Results) -- 12.9 million viewers (25th)

A shortened version of the miliosr report will appear later this week . . .

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The Miliosr Report - Week Two

The miliosr report will appear in abbreviated form this week. The full report will return for Week Three. (Is anyone actually reading these?)

Overall Impressions

In contrast to Week One, I thought the men were stronger as a whole (w/ the exception of Master P) than the women. I can't decide if the women were just flat this week or if the faster dance for the men made the women look slow in comparison.

The Bootees

Based on actual dance content, I thought Master P and Ashly deserved to be booted over Tatum and Nick. Master P was mildly more effortful this week (although his treatment of Ashly's gift to him did him no good in my eyes) but he was clearly the worst dancer of the nine celebrity dancers.

It wasn't Tatum's time to depart BUT the time was fast approaching when the three female competitors w/ similar fanbases -- Tia, Tatum and Lisa -- would start eating into each other's audience vote (a similar scenario happened on Season Three of American Idol.) Mindful of that, I am comfortable w/ Tatum's departure.

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In it, he discusses his injuries (alluded to by miliosr) and claims he is hoping for the "sympathy vote."      :thanks:

It was a leading question, after all :)

He also recognizes that the audience vote is what's really important in the end.

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Master P at this point is simply being rude. Don't sign up for a show like this and then act all snooty about it.

I know this is early in the game, but I predict Stacy wins.

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I'm cynical enough to suspect that P has been hiding his chops, and that as the momentum builds, he will reveal himself to be pretty darn good. In fact, he just might end up as the last dancer standing.

Everyone loves an underdog, and it will keep viewers tuning in.

Yes, I am just that cynical! :thanks:

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Here are the ratings from Week Two:

Thursday (Performances) -- 17.4 million viewers (7th!!!)

Friday (Results) -- 13.7 million viewers (20th)

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The Miliosr Report - Week Three

Overall Impressions

I thought this was a great week for the show in terms of the music, the costumes and the overall feel of the show. The dancing was all over the place quality-wise but at least we're starting to see a shake-out in terms who has the goods and who doesn't.

Scoring by the Judges

01 Drew/Cheryl

01 Stacy/Tony

03 Tia/Maksim

04 Lisa/Louie

05 George/Edyta

05 Giselle/Jonathan

07 Jerry/Anna

08 Master P/Ashly

Miliosr's Impressions

Jerry/Anna (jive)

I thought they took a big dip in quality this week. Jerry started slouching again and those hips of his were missing in action. This was just blah.

Giselle/Jonathan (tango)

Another big blah. I rewatched this several times and I still can't remember the routine. The dancing was adequate but the overall effect was negligible.

Drew/Cheryl (jive)

To me, this was the highlight of the night. It was fast and it was fun. She was crisper in the footwork than he was but then she's a professional dancer and he isn't.

George/Edyta (tango)

He is such a ham but that actually works to their advantage. His age and injuries hurt the dance quality but his comic flair makes up for it. He doesn't have a prayer in Hell of winning the competition but I hope he sticks around for a few more weeks. He adds something to the show.

Lisa/Louie (jive)

I agree with the judges -- this was Lisa's best performance. She looked relaxed for once and the speed and footwork were excellent.

Stacy/Tony (tango)

She had the best lines/holds of any of the celebrity competitors and her dramatic appearance (aided by one of the best costumes I've ever seen on this show) really helped sell this. I didn't love them as much as I loved Drew and Cheryl but that's no slight on Stacy and Tony. Another fine performance.

Master P/Ashly (jive)

To be fair, he was trying this week and he seems to have had a personality transplant from weeks one and two. That being said, this was clearly the worst performance of the night and I don't see any signs that he's improving. Len was right in everything he said but, as we'll see below, I think he made a mistake in being so harsh.

Tia/Maksim (tango)

I would put them neck-and-neck with Stacy and Tony. A very dramatic performance which emphasized Tia's strengths and minimized her weaknesses. Good to see them getting out of the basement.

The Bottom Two

As usual, I disagree -- strongly -- with the voting. My picks for Bottom Two would have been Master P/Ashly and Jerry/Anna. Instead, we got Giselle/Jonathan and George/Edyta.

In Master P's case, I have several theories as to why he's still in this competition. My first theory is that there is a segment of the viewing audience that thinks he's doing a great job. My more likely theories are that (a) his fan base of rap fans are carrying him along, and (b) Len created a huge wave of sympathy for him by being so critical. This has happened before on competitive reality TV shows (particularly on American Idol) where a judge rips into a contestant and the audience responds with an outpouring of votes. I suspect something similar happened this week.

The Bootees

Giselle and Jonathan did not deserve to be booted at all but I think they knew they were in danger once they finished in the middle of the pack with the judges. Giselle herself said that she didn't have the fan bases of the other competitors and that she couldn't afford an average performance. Too bad for Jonathan -- this is his second season of having a partner with no fan base.

I did some quick calculations and it looks like Master P finished no worse than 4th (!!!) in the audience vote.

Next Week

As Master P continues his improbable advance, ABC must be sweating bullets about P going deep in the competition. The controversy helps the show this season but, if he advances over clearly more talented dancers, it destroys the show's credibility in future seasons.

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I have two suspicions about how the men are chosen on this show: the first is that they appeal to wider demographics than the women, with fan bases outside the norm, and the second is that the men who have the same type of fan base as the women -- soap opera actors, basically -- wouldn't be caught dead failing at this.

There was a marginally funny, but sometimes apt article on salon.com -- possibly subscription only -- about how none of the people on the show are stars, at least currently, but some of them are related to stars. Certainly no current movie or stage stars would consider this. It's too much of a popularity contest, just like this year's Marshall's skating competition, where Michelle Kwan won the overwhelming majority of voting with programs that were clearly substandard. And there are far too many ways to fail.

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Ratings for Week Three:

Thursday (performances) -- 19.0 million viewers (season high) (9th for the week)

Friday (results) -- 15.4 million (Friday night high) (17th for the week)

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The Miliosr Report - Week Four

Overall Impressions

I don't think I like the hour-long results show. There was a lot of padding this week. And I'm not so sure that a quasi-burlesque act like The Pussycat Dolls belongs on a family show like this.

Scoring by the Judges

01 Drew/Cheryl

02 Stacy/Tony

02 Lisa/Louie

04 Tia/Maksim

05 Jerry/Anna

06 George/Edyta

07 Master P/Ashly

Miliosr's Impressions

George/Edyta (paso doble)

Zorro, the Gay Blade returns! At this point, George is more comic relief than anything else. He is too stiff from age and injuries to compete with the younger contestants. Still, while he's no longer a good dancer he will always be a great showman.

Tia/Maksim (foxtrot)

Something looked "off" to me with her footwork but I loved the lush, romantic feel they brought to this. I would rate this as a split decision.

Master P/Ashly (paso doble)

No better or worse than prior weeks, really. He was still galumphing around the stage like Herman Munster. Far and away the worst performance by any of the celebrities.

Stacy/Tony (foxtrot)

My reaction to this is almost the flip side to my reaction to Tia and Maksim. She had great technique -- control, footwork, posture -- but I found her dancing cold. If you could marry Stacy's technique with Tia's romantic air . . .

Drew/Cheryl (paso doble)

First of all, the singer butchered the vocal to "Thriller". Despite the bad singing, this was the dance of the night for me. Drew never entirely mastered the proper upper body carriage for this but it didn't really hurt the overall flow of the dance -- it was great fun! And the "zombie dance" quotation from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video was a witty touch. (Anyone who watched MTV during the 80s will know what I'm talking about.)

Jerry/Anna (foxtrot)

Jerry is my hero this week for agreeing to Anna's suggestion to take a ballet class to help his posture issues. So refreshing to see him taking ballet instruction and not reacting in a negative way! The ballet instruction appeared to help as his posture was much better this week. The biggest problem he had (and has had from the beginning) is that there is no "flow" to his dancing -- everything is a series of individual steps that never coheres into anything.

Lisa/Louie (paso doble)

I wasn't as bowled over by this as the judges were. Maybe I missed something but I found it disjointed in parts.

The Bottom Two

Master P and Ashly absolutely belonged in the Bottom Two so I have no complaints that they wound up there. I would have put George and Edyta in the cellar instead of Tia and Maksim. George is funny and he seems like he's having a great time with this but the dancing just wasn't of the same quality as that of Tia and Maksim.

The Bootees

Evicting Master P and Ashly was long overdue. As Samantha Harris herself pointed out in the interview segment, Master P was only practicing five hours each week (compared to the much heavier practice regimens of the other contestants.) At this stage in the competition, you simply cannot practice that sparingly and hope to compete with the other celebrities who are killing themselves in an effort to win this competition. If he made it to the next around over a more clearly talented dancer like Tia, it would have killed the show's credibility. An extremely deserving boot.

Next Week

With six teams left, we're down to five talented couples and one comic relief team (George and Edyta). My Final Four prediction at this point is Drew/Cheryl, Stacy/Tony, Jerry/Anna and Lisa/Louie. But my predictions are seldom correct to we'll have to watch the show to find out!

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