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Dancing With the Stars: Season 3

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sidwich -- I agree with you about the lousy music for Monique and Louis and about Edyta's deficiencies as a coach/choreographer.

In ratings news, the performance show for Week Six finished second for the week with 21.3 million (!!!) viewers. This is the series' highest rated episode apart from the finales for seasons one and two.

The results show finished fifth for the week with 19.2 million viewers.

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AOL users may have found the interview with Cheryl Burke on their "Entertainment" screen. If this link doesn't work, just log into aol.com and check the Welcome screen's Entertainment section. She talks about the pairing of celebs with pros and musical selection -- both handed down by the producers, after the pros submit musical suggestions -- and her hopes to return for Season 4. :)

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The Miliosr Report - Week Seven

Miliosr's Thoughts

This was by far my favorite week of the competition. No scandals or fake rivalries or judging controversies -- just five teams trying to convey something beautiful.

I enjoyed seeing Season One winner Alex Mazo again. I would love to see him return as a regular for Season Four.

Scores from the Judges

Round One - Ballroom

01 29pts Mario/Karina (foxtrot)

01 29pts Joey/Edyta (foxtrot)

03 28pts Emmitt/Cheryl (waltz)

04 27pts Monique/Louis (quickstep)

05 24pts Jerry/Kym (foxtrot)

Round Two - Latin

01 29pts Emmitt/Cheryl (mambo)

02 28pts Joey/Edyta (mambo)

03 27pts Mario/Karina (jive)

03 27pts Monique/Louis (paso doble)

05 22pts Jerry/Kym (mambo)

Total Scores/Percentages after Three Dances

Out of a total of 388 points, the points/percentages are:

01 84pts Mario/Karina 21.6%

02 82pts Emmitt/Cheryl 21.1%

03 81pts Joey/Edyta 20.8%

04 77pts Monique/Louis 19.8%

05 64pts Jerry/Kym 16.5%

(Due to rounding, percentage totals add up to more than 100%.)

Round One - Ballroom

I more or less agreed with how the judges scored this.

Mario has beautiful posture but I was more impressed with Emmitt on the night. For such a big man, he is surprisingly light on his feet.

I'm still not "feeling" Monique and Louis. I stubbornly persist in the belief that Louis is pushing her far beyond her limits.

Edyta's choreography for Joey is just so bad. All the gimmicks and tricks just killed the flow and pacing of the dance.

Jerry's foxtrot was sweet but basic. Still, it was one of his better efforts.

Round Two - Latin

With the exception of Emmitt and Cheryl, everyone else was overscored.

I thought Emmitt and Cheryl killed in their mambo -- those hips of his were on fire! This was far and away my favorite dance of the night.

Mario and Karina were decent but it didn't look like true jive to my eyes. They also didn't make very good use of the floor.

I felt sorry for Monique and Louis -- they consistently get stuck with unsuitable music. Duran Duran for the paso doble? I'll give them a pass because of that but I have to say that sometimes Louis' choreography is intricate to the point of being distracting. Nice last drop/hold, though.

Edyta laid another egg with her choreography for the mambo.

And Jerry and Kym's mambo mercilessly revealed his limitations -- why did Len gives this an "8"?

The Bottom Two

I would have put Jerry/Kym and Joey/Edyta in the bottom two (with Jerry/Kym leaving.) On the night, the bottom two consisted of Jerry/Kym and Monique/Louis (with Jerry/Kym leaving.)

It was clearly time for Jerry to exit the competition and he knew it most of all. While I don't think his future is on a dancefloor, I must say that he was the "heart" of this season and, from that perspective, it was sad to see him go.

Predictions

Amazingly, astoundingly -- we actually are left with a credible Final Four despite the bizarre boot order this season. I suspect that the Final Two will come down to a showdown between Emmitt and Mario but you can never be certain with this show. Everyone expected Stacy and Tony to make Final Two in Season Two and they finished third. So, I'm bracing myself for the unexpected.

See you after Week Eight!

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AOL interviews Carrie Ann Inaba. She talks about her background as a dancer and choreographer and her judging technique.

If the link above doesn't work, go to AOL.com, and pull the interview up from the "Entertainment" screen on the Welcome page. You can also find a 30-second video of Mario and Karina.

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The performance show for Week Seven finished 2nd for the week with 20.7 million viewers. The results show finished third with 20.0 million viewers.

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Week Eight - Halloween Edition

Miliosr's Thoughts

How much did I squeal when Willa strode onstage to belt out the theme from Fame? I love, love, LOVE that movie although somehow I doubt that students at, say, the School of American Ballet are performing musical numbers in the cafeteria! :)

Just when I think the music choices for the show can't get any more insane, the show manages to prove me wrong -- "Sympathy for the Devil"? "Ghostbusters"?? The theme from The Addams Family???

Given that the performances occurred on Halloween night, there were some interesting costume choices this week. Unfortunately, poor Monique got the worst of it again. Do the costume designers' have something against her? She is always costumed so unflatteringly.

Scores from the Judges

Round One

01 28pts Joey/Edyta (tango)

01 28pts Mario/Karina (waltz)

03 25pts Emmitt/Cheryl (foxtrot)

04 24pts Monique/Louis (tango)

Round Two

01 29pts Emmitt/Cheryl (rumba)

01 29pts Mario/Karina (samba)

01 29pts Monique/Louis (cha cha cha)

04 26pts Joey/Edyta (paso doble)

Totals

01 57pts Mario/Karina

02 54pts Emmitt/Cheryl

02 54pts Joey/Edyta

04 53pts Monique/Louis

(Sorry, I didn't run the percentages this week.)

The Alpha Males

Several weeks ago, I complained that the three surviving alpha males in the competition -- Emmitt, Joey and Mario -- weren't taking charge of the competition. Well, it looks like Mario and Karina have been reading these reports because this week they went in for the kill. I thought both of their routines were outstanding. Their waltz was beautiful and dramatic and actually told a story. Mario and Karina were smoking hot in their samba and the choreography set Mario off to particularly good advantage.

I thought Emmitt and Cheryl had an up-and-down week. Given that Emmitt is generally better in the Latin dances, I was surprised to see him dominate in the foxtrot instead of the rumba. For reasons that I can't quite fathom, Emmitt looked somewhat sluggish in the rumba. And, at times, Emmitt and Cheryl looked too much like they were doing the kind of slow dance that you would do in the 9th grade. Not the best look for a team whose strength lies in their refreshingly adult sexuality.

I don't even know what to say about Joey and Edyta's tango to the Addams Family theme. I was so distracted by the music I couldn't even concentrate on the dancing. Their paso doble was OK but -- again -- Edyta's choreography is very choppy and those were some very awkward final moves.

The Story of Mo

First of all, the lipstick Monique was wearing did not flatter her at all.

As for the dancing, I have to fault Louis once again for choreographing two routines that stretched Monique's abilities to the breaking point (and frequently well beyond them.) In both routines, I felt that she was always a half-beat behind Louis and was perpetually trying to catch up. Sorry but I didn't think either routine worked.

The Bottom Two

I would have picked Joey/Edyta and Monique/Louis for the bottom two (with Monique/Louis leaving.)

On the night, Monique and Louis were eliminated but we never learned what other couple was in the bottom two. Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris revealed Mario and Karina as the last couple to be safe but I don't believe for one second that Mario and Karina were ever in any real danger. As a point of fact, the hosts stated that the last couple declared safe wasn't necessarily the couple with the second lowest vote total.

As for Monique and Louis, I wasn't surprised by their ouster and I put much of the blame on Louis. He ostentatiously claimed in one of the backstage interview segments that his choreography was "more difficult" to perform than that of the other choreographers. To an extent, I admire his doctrinal purity in these matters but, unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realize that a moderately difficult routine presented cleanly is more likely to lead to advancement in a competition like this than an extremely difficult routine presented unevenly. Or, to put it another way, he needs to realize this is a pro-am competition where the audience is voting as much for the overall effect and chemistry as for the difficulty of the steps.

Predictions

Based on their performances this week, I have to say that the competition is Mario and Karina's to lose. I don't see Joey and Edyta posing a significant threat to them given Edyta's choreographic problems. Emmitt and Cheryl could beat Mario and Karina but they will have to step up their dancing significantly to have any chance of walking off with the coveted glittery disco balls. We shall see if Emmitt's competitive instincts kick in more than they have so far.

See you after Week Nine!

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I have to agree with you on with Louis & Monique. She was a half a step behind him. I don't remember him having Lisa do such hard steps last year. And that black lipstick on her(or anyone) is scary. In hindsight, I knew she was going to get voted off, but watched the results show anyway.

The choice of music is getting worse every week. Hopefully they saved the better choices for the last 2 shows.

By the way Emmitt & Cheryl were at the Texas Motor Speedway last night to give the command to start engines at the Craftsmen Truck Race.

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I don't think anyone benefited from the Halloween theme that pervaded Tuesday's show. The musical selections, some of the costumes, most of the music and Monique's black lipstick were distractions, as miliosr said.

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I thought Emmitt and Cheryl had an up-and-down week. Given that Emmitt is generally better in the Latin dances, I was surprised to see him dominate in the foxtrot instead of the rumba. For reasons that I can't quite fathom, Emmitt looked somewhat sluggish in the rumba. And, at times, Emmitt and Cheryl looked too much like they were doing the kind of slow dance that you would do in the 9th grade. Not the best look for a team whose strength lies in their refreshingly adult sexuality.

I thought this was a very mediocre week for Emmitt and Cheryl. For some reason, Cheryl seems to have a hard time choreographing Foxtrot. Last year, the one she did for Drew was rather weak, and "Witchcraft" was very showdancey for me, lots of side-by-side work, lots of arms length work, very little work in closed hold or even shadow. The rhumba was good, but very simple, lots of basics, fans, and "man as balance bar" work. All very basic and beginner level, although very solidly performed. Cheryl played it very safe which is probably good strategy, but I didn't find it all that interesting from either a choreographic or dance perspective.

As for Monique and Louis, I wasn't surprised by their ouster and I put much of the blame on Louis. He ostentatiously claimed in one of the backstage interview segments that his choreography was "more difficult" to perform than that of the other choreographers. To an extent, I admire his doctrinal purity in these matters but, unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realize that a moderately difficult routine presented cleanly is more likely to lead to advancement in a competition like this than an extremely difficult routine presented unevenly. Or, to put it another way, he needs to realize this is a pro-am competition where the audience is voting as much for the overall effect and chemistry as for the difficulty of the steps.

Out of all the pros, I think Louis is the one who most approaches the show as an opportunity to actually teach someone to dance. As a result, Monique probably has the most solid technique out of all the celebs at this point (on the Ballroom side of the it, it isn't even funny), but her routines sometimes resemble practice exercise at times. I like Louis' choreography, though.

I think what is frustrating to Louis is that many of the other celebs' routines aren't even moderately difficult, or in some cases containing much substantive Ballroom/Latin choregraphy, and on the men's side, most of the male celebs aren't even leading (so their difficulty level goes down exponentially). It's the audiences to perogative to vote as it sees fit, but the judges have been a joke in their commentary this season, even worse than in previous seasons.

Watching the results show on Thursday, I think part of Monique's problem is also a nerves issue. Seeing the same cha-cha performed on Thursday, her performance was significant, significant improvement, to the point that if that is how she is executing in rehearsal, I totally get why Louis choreographs to the difficulty level he does.

Based on their performances this week, I have to say that the competition is Mario and Karina's to lose. I don't see Joey and Edyta posing a significant threat to them given Edyta's choreographic problems. Emmitt and Cheryl could beat Mario and Karina but they will have to step up their dancing significantly to have any chance of walking off with the coveted glittery disco balls. We shall see if Emmitt's competitive instincts kick in more than they have so far.

I predicted Emmitt and Cheryl to win before the season started, and I hold to it. DTWS has never been a dance competition, but popularity contest with a tasty dressing of dance. (I have to believe that, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sleep after Kelly's Monaco's victory). I'm pretty sure Emmitt had one of the biggest fanbases when this competition started, and I think he's just added to it over the course of the season. I don't think Mario's is anywhere near, and I can't see him having built enough over the course of the season. Actually, if Sara Evans hadn't withdrawn, I'm pretty sure she would have been with Emmitt in the final.

I actually don't mind Emmitt winning, though. Emmitt leads the most and his lead technique is by far the best out of the male contestants. Mario's is erratic. He's a good solo dancer, but his partnering skills are actually pretty weak, and they've only started improving in the last few weeks. And leaving aside Edyta's choreographic skills, based on her DWTS results, she's never impressed me as a coach. Joey's all-around Ballroom and Latin skills are painful. His mambo was one of the most painful exhibitions I've seen in my life, and I've seen plenty.

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sidwich writes:

I think what is frustrating to Louis is that many of the other celebs' routines aren't even moderately difficult, or in some cases containing much substantive Ballroom/Latin choregraphy, and on the men's side, most of the male celebs aren't even leading (so their difficulty level goes down exponentially). It's the audiences to perogative to vote as it sees fit, but the judges have been a joke in their commentary this season, even worse than in previous seasons.

Very true, and the show actually performs a useful function on those rare occasions when you do learn something about ballroom dancing. I for one would appreciate the opportunity to increase my knowledge, which is not extensive, to understate the matter considerably. Dancing for the Stars doesn't help much, thought, except to make this untutored eye appreciate the skills of the competitors that show up on PBS.

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Very true, and the show actually performs a useful function on those rare occasions when you do learn something about ballroom dancing. I for one would appreciate the opportunity to increase my knowledge, which is not extensive, to understate the matter considerably. Dancing for the Stars doesn't help much, thought, except to make this untutored eye appreciate the skills of the competitors that show up on PBS.

I wouldn't use DWTS as any guide to ballroom dancing. I appreciate that it's brought ballroom and latin to greater public consciousness and brought great talents like Louis van Amstel and Charlotte Jorgensen into the public eye, but Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli really know nothing about Ballroom and Latin, and Len's comments seem way too scripted by the ratings at any given time. Three seasons into the show, Carrie Ann still can't tell that Louis is choreographing a by-the-syllabus samba? Joey has even good ballroom technique, let alone the best on the show? And I could not get over the judges gushing over Stacey's non-existent frame last season (Stacey had good posture, but posture and frame are not the same thing, and her frame was extremely weak).

sidwich writes:

It's about the joy of learning how to dance rather than any true greatness in the dancing (which is good because in most cases it's not there at all and I can't believe that there's actually going to be a tour).

I was a little taken aback by that, myself. I wonder how it will do?

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I for one would appreciate the opportunity to increase my knowledge, which is not extensive, to understate the matter considerably. Dancing for the Stars doesn't help much, though, except to make this untutored eye appreciate the skills of the competitors that show up on PBS.

. . . Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli really know nothing about Ballroom and Latin, and Len's comments seem way too scripted by the ratings at any given time. . . . And I could not get over the judges gushing over Stacey's non-existent frame last season (Stacey had good posture, but posture and frame are not the same thing, and her frame was extremely weak).

:) Calling Dick Button!

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...but Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli really know nothing about Ballroom and Latin
They are, however, intimately familiar with bad TV choreography.

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The performance show for Week Eight finished fifth with 20.5 million viewers. The results show finished sixth with 19.2 million viewers.

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Leaving Mario/Karina and Emmitt/Cheryl to compete for the final round.

I haven't watched much of this show, but it sure was lots of fun last night!

And although I really don't care who wins - can't they both win?! - I'm hoping it'll be Mario! His Tango performance with Karina was hot, hot, hot (and very well danced...)!!!

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I won't cry if Emmitt wins. He's really working at his partnering, and I actually enjoy watching him.

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Week Nine - Semi-Finals

Miliosr's Thoughts

I wish ABC had cut the performance show from 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour -- the 1/2 hour clip show was unnecessary.

I missed the James Bond pro dance on Wednesday but I heard it was outstanding.

So nice to see The Pet Shop Boys as this week's musical guest and the audience seemed to love them as well.

Scores from the Judges

Round One

01 30pts Mario/Karina (tango)

02 29pts Emmitt/Cheryl (waltz)

02 29pts Joey/Edyta (quickstep)

Round Two

01 30pts Emmitt/Cheryl (cha cha cha)

01 30pts Joey/Edyta (rumba)

02 29pts Mario/Karina (cha cha cha)

The judging was beyond ridiculous this week. The three teams wound up in a numerical tie! What is the point of having a judging panel if they cannot or will not make distinctions between teams? Bruno, in particular, might as well stay home -- he gave out 6 "10s"!!!

Miliosr's Scores

Round One

I would have put the three teams in the same order that the judges did but I would have put a little more distance between the teams. Mario and Karina did a very clever thing by revisiting a dance -- the tango -- for which they received a lot of criticism. It was a good way for Mario to look humble even though he really isn't. Strategic considerations aside, I quite liked the actual mechanics (speed, holds) of the dance although Mario's expression, while correct for the dance, looked wrong to me. I think Stacy and Tony's tango from Season Two is still the gold standard for this show.

Emmitt and Cheryl fell just short of Mario and Karina for me. They had nice unison, beautiful chemistry and Emmitt is so much lighter on his feet than one would ever expect. I can't explain why I liked this slightly less than Mario and Karina's tango. I guess I just prefer Emmitt in the Latin dances.

The judges overscored Joey and Edyta. First of all, Joey's costume was too gimmicky. I realize it was a tribute to his grandfather but still. (The scarf was particularly tragic.) As for the actual dancing, the quickstep didn't seem all that "quick" to me and Joey's tap dance interlude has gained nothing with time. And that was one awkward last slide at the end.

Round Two

I would have put Emmitt and Cheryl first and then placed the other two teams at a moderate distance behind them. Emmitt's hips were out in full force for this dance and that's always a plus for this team. I also liked how this team didn't employ as many whimsical embellishments as the the other two teams did. Just give me the darn dance -- I don't need all the other cutesy stuff!

Mario and Karina were definitely doing a cha cha cha but I thought it got lost a little bit in all the leather bar theatrics. Joey and Edyta's rumba was unmemorable to me and that was one unattractive final pose. (Was it the camera angle?)

The Bootees

Joey and Edyta departed the competition on Wednesday night and I can't say I disagree with the result. Joey was like the male Lisa Rinna of this season -- only more talented. It's a pity that Edyta wasn't a better coach/choreographer for him as I don't think she always maximized his natural ability to their advantage. It would have been interesting to see what Cheryl could have done with him as she has now had great success with two very different competitors -- Drew in Season Two and Emmitt in Season Three.

Predictions

Since the judges have more or less gone on vacation, it looks like this season will come down to a battle of the fan bases. Mario is very popular but also somewhat polarizing -- loved by many but hated by a vocal minority who find him smarmy and fake. Emmitt appears to have a wide fan base but is it big enough to offset that huge voting block who are dazzled by Mario's dimples and his blatant sex appeal? We shall see . . .

See you after the finale!

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The judging was beyond ridiculous this week. The three teams wound up in a numerical tie! What is the point of having a judging panel if they cannot or will not make distinctions between teams?

I would have put the three teams in the same order that the judges did but I would have put a little more distance between the teams.

... it looks like this season will come down to a battle of the fan bases.

I agree with you completely re the judging. And it seems everyone on the show is being coached hard on being appealing, exciting, to the audience (PR) rather than focusing on realistic judging and dancing for the purpose of dancing *ballroom* styles well. This isn't *real* ballroom dancing... It has the flavor, but it isn't the real thing. Anyone who has studied and/or performed ballroom (socially or professionally) knows how much is missing in all of these performances of much personality and little technique / connection. Except for Mario, the other "stars" would barely qualify for an average pro-am competition.

Whatever next week's winner result, the TV audience seems interested in social dancing again, and that's great news!

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It would have been interesting to see what Cheryl could have done with [Joey] as she has now had great success with two very different competitors -- Drew in Season Two and Emmitt in Season Three.
In fact, Emmit's considerable week-by-week improvement is one reason why I tend to lean towards him. Who'd a thunk, in his rather stiff, tentative early rounds, that he would have made it this far? That, plus his sincerity and determination to get out there and just make a good time of it have endeared him to me. Go Emmit and Cheryl!!!! :yahoo:
Mario is very popular but also somewhat polarizing -- loved by many but hated by a vocal minority who find him smarmy and fake. . . . Emmitt appears to have a wide fan base but is it big enough to offset that huge voting block who are dazzled by Mario's dimples and his blatant sex appeal?
I still like those dimples, but while "smarmy" and "fake" may be a little strong, he does seem to be a tad too self-satisfied. Yes, he showed from the start that he was the most naturally talented, but a little heart would have gone a long way. I hope the judges feel the same.
And it seems everyone on the show is being coached hard on being appealing, exciting, to the audience (PR) rather than focusing on realistic judging and dancing for the purpose of dancing *ballroom* styles well. This isn't *real* ballroom dancing... It has the flavor, but it isn't the real thing. Anyone who has studied and/or performed ballroom (socially or professionally) knows how much is missing in all of these performances of much personality and little technique / connection. Except for Mario, the other "stars" would barely qualify for an average pro-am competition.

Whatever next week's winner result, the TV audience seems interested in social dancing again, and that's great news!

It's hard to tell whether the audience is interested in the dancing or just following the stars they like. But if the latter leads to the former, yes, it is great for dance . . . or showbiz . . . or whatever this is. The complaint that this is not real ballroom dancing was also expressed by a ballrooming friend of mine. But it's TV, and it wouldn't be the first time something was distorted to appeal to the greatest common denominator.

I also want to express my thanks for miliosr's superlative reporting. :flowers: You've made it possible for us to catch up on missed rounds and give our first impressions a second or third consideration.

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Miliosr certainly deserves a medal, or should be made a knight. SUCH valuable contribution.

I've been looking at Netflix for DVDs of past seasons --- they don't seem to be out, or even in the offing. Am I missing something? (I've disabled my TV because of .......well, you can imagine.... and only use mine for dvd-watching.) Would love to see this show.

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Thanks for the positive feedback about the reports . . .

Unfortunately, neither Season One nor Season Two are available on DVD. I'm not sure what the stumbling block to a DVD release is. Maybe securing the rights to all the songs is too prohibitively expensive for a DVD release as compared to securing them for the performance nights?

I would be the first one to say that anyone expecting Dancing with the Stars to be a "pure" ballroom dance competition is bound to be disappointed. I think a more realistic (and not unenjoyable) view to take is that the show is a hybrid consisting of one-third ballroom dance skills, one-third chemistry between the professional and the celebrity amateur, and one-third old-fashioned Hollywood razzle-dazzle on the part of the celebrity amateur. When you watch the show through that lens, it really is an interesting competition to score.

As to the show's impact, I make no claim that what we are seeing is anything other than popular entertainment. BUT, in a world where so much of popular culture seems to be a race to see who can reach the gutter the fastest, I find it admirable that there's a show where the people involved are aspiring upward and are trying to present, however unevenly, something beautiful.

And, given how young males who are interested in dance still take such grief for that interest, I think it's a positive thing for them to see people like Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith participate in this show. If even one young person can point to Jerry and Emmitt's involvement and take a little less grief as a result, then the whole thing has been worth it in my mind.

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Anyone who has studied and/or performed ballroom (socially or professionally) knows how much is missing in all of these performances of much personality and little technique / connection. Except for Mario, the other "stars" would barely qualify for an average pro-am competition.

I both agree and disagree about Mario. He's unquestionably the best all-around general dancer of the group, but his lead/follow skills are severely underdeveloped in comparison. I actually think he'd be marked down quite a bit for the imbalance in his routines (way too much side by side work, very little partnering) and the lack of fundamental technique (especially in the Ballroom although that is partly due to Karina). I think he's improved somewhat in the last few weeks, but Emmitt, Monique and even Jerry Springer are all much better rounded ballroom/latin dancers in comparison. (Actually, Emmitt and Monique look the most like the students I see at beginner pro-ams.)

It's actually really obvious watching the rhumbas. Cheryl's choreography is very simple, mostly basics, fans and variations thereof with some "man as balance bar" highlights thrown in. It's all very much what you would see at a beginner pro-am, performed pretty competently on a beginner level (Emmitt maintains the rhythm of the dance in time with the music, coordinates his hips with his partner, and leads throughout the piece).

Mario's is much more "difficult," but it lacks a substantive demonstration of the fundamentals. It's actually really strange to watch. Rhumba is considered difficult because it's so slloooowwww. It's very difficult to cheat, and it looks like Karina ended up disguising that lack of real Latin technique with an impressive gymnastic display that didn't actually require Mario to do a whole lot.

I think a more realistic (and not unenjoyable) view to take is that the show is a hybrid consisting of one-third ballroom dance skills, one-third chemistry between the professional and the celebrity amateur, and one-third old-fashioned Hollywood razzle-dazzle on the part of the celebrity amateur.

It's a popularity contest. America is ultimately still deciding who it likes the most, not who is performing the best double reverse or fleckroll. Good dance skills can play a role in that decision (Drew Lachey) or not (Kelly Monaco), but this show is much more about the audience enjoying being a spectator in people learning how to dance than the product itself in most cases. It's about the joy of learning how to dance rather than any true greatness in the dancing (which is good because in most cases it's not there at all and I can't believe that there's actually going to be a tour).

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Thanks for the positive feedback about the reports . . .

Unfortunately, neither Season One nor Season Two are available on DVD. I'm not sure what the stumbling block to a DVD release is. Maybe securing the rights to all the songs is too prohibitively expensive for a DVD release as compared to securing them for the performance nights?

I would be the first one to say that anyone expecting Dancing with the Stars to be a "pure" ballroom dance competition is bound to be disappointed. I think a more realistic (and not unenjoyable) view to take is that the show is a hybrid consisting of one-third ballroom dance skills, one-third chemistry between the professional and the celebrity amateur, and one-third old-fashioned Hollywood razzle-dazzle on the part of the celebrity amateur. When you watch the show through that lens, it really is an interesting competition to score.

As to the show's impact, I make no claim that what we are seeing is anything other than popular entertainment. BUT, in a world where so much of popular culture seems to be a race to see who can reach the gutter the fastest, I find it admirable that there's a show where the people involved are aspiring upward and are trying to present, however unevenly, something beautiful.

And, given how young males who are interested in dance still take such grief for that interest, I think it's a positive thing for them to see people like Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith participate in this show. If even one young person can point to Jerry and Emmitt's involvement and take a little less grief as a result, then the whole thing has been worth it in my mind.

I think you're correct about music rights. Securing rights to songs is a major roadblock, and not only for DVD releases.

Overall, the series is a Good Thing IMO, for all the reasons mentioned by miliosr above. It's true that some people may get the wrong idea, but those who are inspired to look into the matter a little further will soon find that out.

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Unfortunately, neither Season One nor Season Two are available on DVD. I'm not sure what the stumbling block to a DVD release is. Maybe securing the rights to all the songs is too prohibitively expensive for a DVD release as compared to securing them for the performance nights?

Music rights are usually the reason DVDs are held up, although in most cases, that is with respect to older series. No one foresaw the advent of DVD and the cash cow it would become to TV production, and as a result they were never written into the original licenses. Music rights issues are the reasons that some older series are sometimes released with episodes missing ("Profiler") or with key music replaced in some scenes ("Quantum Leap") or not at all ("The Chris Isaak Show").

That being said, there's much less financial incentive for the people involved to pursue the release a DVD of a reality TV show. Reality TV show DVD sales historically lag far behind those of scripted shows.

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The recap show for Week Nine rated 7th for the week with 18.2 million viewers. The performance show rated 2nd for the week with 22.0 million viewers. The results show rated 4th for the week with 20.7 million viewers.

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