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Dancing With the Stars - Season 13

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And here is your Season 13 cast:

David Arquette (Actor)

Ron Artest (6'7" forward for the Los Angeles Lakers)

Chaz Bono (Son of Sonny&Cher)

Elisabetta Canalis (Actress and George Clooney-ex)

Kristin Cavallari (Reality TV "star" and Jay Cutler-ex)

Nancy Grace (Talk show host -- barf!)

Rob Kardashian (Brother of Kim and freeloading layabout)

Carson Kressley (Reality TV star and entertainment personality)

Ricki Lake (Actress/former talk show host)

J.R. Martinez (Actor)

Chynna Phillips (Singer)

Hope Solo (U.S. Women's National Soccer Team goal keeper)

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I pick one guilty pleasure show per season. This summer it's Project Runway, this fall it will be Dancing with the Stars. Kressley always gives great TV, so I think he will be fun to watch. Hoping that Hope Solo is paired with a certain fiesty Ukrainian, who always does well with female athletes but the fireworks will singe them both!

The rest of the cast looks pretty boring, but hopefully they will surprise me.

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I'm going to bed so someone else will have to recap the scores for the last three couples:

01 22pts Chynna/Tony

02 21pts Hope/Maks

03 19pts Kristin/Mark

04 18pts David/Kym

05 17pts Carson/Anna

06 16pts Rob/Cheryl

06 16pts Nancy/Tristan

08 15pts Elisabetta/Val

09 14pts Ron/Peta

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quite late, will expand on this tomorrow...

Carson was appalling, and yet captivating to watch (I laughed aloud throughout at his chuzpah). Rather hoping he sticks around for the comedy. Anna Tribunskaya (sp?) is a good match, the straight "man" to his comedy.

This season it is very obvious which performers have previous "live" performance experience, and which do not (reality stars, etc). Artest was simply vulgar. Hoping he goes home quickly. I like all 3 of the new professionals. I guess they didn't want to pay Editha a high returning pro salary, but I do think she brought in extra male audience with her dental floss costumes. Glad to have Derek Hough back in the fold. Maybe Maxim will win it all this year with Hope Solo?

I think for the first dance, the Viennese Waltz is more difficult for the men than the women competitors, because the men are supposed to lead, while the women can simply follow the partner as he sweeps them around the ballroom. A "bravo" to the orchestra, conductor and singers, who truly perform the widest variety of music imaginable, from rap to classical music to disco to R&B to Country to torch songs. Bravissimo!

The new stage / set looks amazing. Wish I could be there in person for one episode just to experience it.

I've sated my guilty pleasure cravings for the night, will go back to intellectual requirements tomorrow at work, and then return to brain candy for the Tuesday night show.

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Maybe Maxim will win it all this year with Hope Solo?

Maks may have a contender with Hope.

The new stage / set looks amazing. Wish I could be there in person for one episode just to experience it.

I liked the new set as well, especially the balconies. Although I kept waiting for the camera to cut to Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show in one of them!

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Results - Week One:

"In Jeopardy" -- Ron (a.k.a Metta)/Peta, Rob/Cheryl and Nancy/Tristan

Eliminated -- Ron-Metta/Peta

While I would have loved to have seen Rob eliminated, Ron-Metta and Peta were the worst pair on Monday night. He even looked like he was happy to be voted off. So, this was a sound first elimination.

I have my doubts that Nancy and Tristan were really in the fake Bottom Three. More likely it was Elisabetta and Val who were in the true bottom. We'll find out soon enough!

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I won't be watching!

I felt the same way but then I ended up watching a few of the couples perform. The show is always entertaining to us dancers because they have stars have no idea how challenging dance is until they get into it. I do, however, admire the work that most of the "Stars" dedicate to the competition. I also can not leave out the excellent work that the professionals do! It will definitely be an entertaining season and I'm looking forward to seeing how each Star improves and all of the guest performers!

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I think for the first dance, the Viennese Waltz is more difficult for the men than the women competitors, because the men are supposed to lead, while the women can simply follow the partner as he sweeps them around the ballroom.

Viennese Waltz is difficult for anyone, male or female. (Actually, it's far too difficult for a beginner with only a few weeks of training, but that's neither here nor there). The man has to be able to lead, but the woman needs to be able to stay in the man's arm and cut the turns with precision, both of which are difficult because of the velocity and the sharpness of the turning involved.

To tell the truth, the ability to lead isn't much of an issue on DWTS. Most of the female pros choreograph around the need for a real lead. Some of Cheryl and Kym's partners have learned to lead, but it's still taken 2-3 months for them really to substantively do much leading at all. To really learn to lead (or follow) you need to try dancing with a number of different partners and the DWTS format doesn't really allow it. It's like learning a foreign language. You can't really learn to speak a foreign language by speaking to one person.

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I generally don't care who the stars are and whether they are true stars, because the interesting thing to me is how they respond to their pros and the dances.

I just finished watching the recording of week 1. I was most impressed with Chynna Phillips' floating quality, that Hope Solo stayed on the balls of her feet and had a lot of action in her knees, and JR Martinez' whole body movement. David Arquette was appealing, and Rob Kardashian cleans up well. Carson Kressley started out looking technically messy -- feet are really hard for almost all of the celebrities without dance training -- but in the second half, he did some nice things with his feet, and he could be trainable. He also had performance quality in spades. Chaz Bono struck me as having very nice rhythm and control, and looked very happy to be dancing, not just performing.

sidwich -- any time you can spare us to explain what's really happening, I know I'd appreciate, and I'm sure many BAers would, too.

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Results - Week 2:

"In Jeopardy" -- David, Kym, Chaz/Lacey and Elisabetta/Val

"Bottom Two" -- David/Kym and Elisabetta/Val

Eliminated -- Elisabetta/Val

No great surprises with this elimination -- this partnership was DOA. There was no chemistry between the two partners and being known as "George Clooney's ex" wasn't exactly an advantage in the competition. It was their time to go.

I'm more intrigued by the fact that David and Kym were in the Bottom Two. (Tom Bergeron specifically referred to a Bottom Two.) I don't know if people just forgot to vote for David this week or because he's not terribly popular.

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I'm glad that the pros are getting recognition and have fan bases of their own. They work their butts off, and they're wonderful dancers. Whether they're great at what they're supposed to do with the stars -- i.e., teach well, choreograph well -- isn't something that the general public cares to know, and for the minority that does, it's not often based in ballroom expertise. (That's why we need sidwich.) Audience feelings about their star partners from week to week, the number of their trophy balls or lack thereof, and attractiveness, and their star partners' fan bases can neutralize the professional aspects of what they do. People like what they like. I doubt that a lot of the votes have to do with the actual performances from week to week, and I'd be shocked -- shocked I tell you -- if the judges' comments, mostly what they're not saying, didn't reflect what would best suit the ratings.

Having pros with their own fan bases is insurance against having a crop of stars that the audience, before they put one step on the floor, decides isn't worth watching or that the stars they count on to draw audiences crash or peter out.

As far as scraping the bottom of the barrel, I disagree. This is the 13th season, and there were only three "marquee" names in entertainment that the article mentions: Alley, Donny Osmond, and Grey. That leaves a lot of seasons without any, and even they are like once hugely popular entertainers who are putting in their decades in Vegas. Last year the Steeler Nation rallied its fans to outvote Kirstie Alley, one of the biggest actual stars the show has ever had, and the most currently active and visible.

I don't see how Hope Solo is any less of a star in her niche sport (at least as far as TV is concerned) than Evan Lysacek and Apollo Anton Ohno; she, too, has an Olympic gold medal, too, is a goalie, the most individually visible position, and there are far more girls playing soccer than kids in either figure or speed skating in the US. I would say she has more visibility than even Kristi Yamaguchi; only Nancy Kerrigan might have more. I suspect soccer moms vote.

Ricki Lake is known for both her talk show and her acting -- "Hairspray" and "China Beach" -- and actors in long-term supporting roles in TV can be beloved, like JR Martinez, or at least their characters are, and to many TV viewers, those are the same thing. David Arquette is a bona-fide film actor with a fan base (even without having been married to Courtney Cox), Chynna Phillips was at the top of the charts in her time, a legitimate musician child of folk rock royalty -- clever cross-generational marketing -- and someone who has entered middle age gracefully -- another coup -- Ron Artest is an NBA champion, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" was a phenomenon and Kressley is quite a character, and Chaz Bono was an inspirational choice.

TV has become more niche, and the fan bases more distributed. I might not watch soaps, daytime talk shows, non-fiction law shows, NBA basketball, or reality TV, and know squat about international models, but these people are stars to their constituencies, and most of these constituencies are either TV watchers or happy to do their part when their sports team fan club or message board encourages voting, even if they never watch the show. I can't think of a reason to watch a show about the Kardashians, but enough people do to keep it viable. DWTS has capitalized on family rivalry before (the Osmonds, Romeo and Master P), and if Canalis had a fan base in the US -- and not an "anti" fan base, because while it's great to be known mostly as the ex-Mr. Courtney Cox, being the ex of George Clooney will not endear you to hoards of women, even if your day job is saving baby seals -- there would have been a nice symmetry with the Kardashian (virtual) and the Chmerkovskiy rivalries.

This may have been deliberate or they may have lucked into it, but I find the mix this season to be terrific, at least now. I look forward to see how this shakes out: sometimes the group at the end isn't as interesting as the group in the beginning, and sometimes it works the other way. Mainly, in the end, for me, because it's about the dancing, and how they, as adults, learn an excruciatingly difficult and varied form of it.

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The bad casting for Season 13 (unlucky 13?) has taken its toll on the ratings. The performance show only managed a 3.1 in the all-important 18-49 demo. That's the lowest-rated performance show ever.

As I see it, the casting went wrong in two ways. First, too many reality TV retreads -- Kristin, Rob, Carson -- who are/were never that great in the first place. Second, too much emphasis on tabloid darlings like David, Ron a.k.a. Metta, Chaz, Elisabetta and Nancy who haven't been very interesting to watch from a charisma or dance perspective. Chaz, in particular, has been a real dud not because he's transgendered but because he's inherited none of his parents' charisma and his obesity overwhelms his dancing.

ABC must be gagging hard over what's happening given that the show consumes four hours of its primetime schedule each week.

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I didn't see last night's show, but I've been very happy watching Nancy Grace. In last week's foxtrot (?), it looked like her pro, Tristan, gave her a lot that she might get if she were trying to learn at a studio, rather than a big production number with props, and it looked like he was dancing with his aunt at a wedding.

ETA: It may be because I have no associations with her. I hadn't heard of her until DWTS.

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Results - Week 3:

Non-Bottom Two "Bottom Two": Kristin/Mark and Hope/Maks

Eliminated: Kristin/Mark

This was not a deserving elimination as Kristin was better, at a minimum, than Chaz, Nancy, Rob and Carson. That being said, her elimination was not surprising as she is the stereotypical reality "star" whose fanbase is a mile wide and an inch deep. Furthermore, Mark Ballas has become somewhat controversial in his own right with his perceived showboating. So, the result is perfectly understandable when seen in that light.

Here's hoping that Kristin can patch things up with Jay Cutler so she can leave reality TV behind and get back to making money the old-fashioned way -- by marrying an NFL quarterback! :wink:

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I didn't see last night's show, but I've been very happy watching Nancy Grace. In last week's foxtrot (?), it looked like her pro, Tristan, gave her a lot that she might get if she were trying to learn at a studio, rather than a big production number with props, and it looked like he was dancing with his aunt at a wedding.

ETA: It may be because I have no associations with her. I hadn't heard of her until DWTS.

On the subject of Nancy Grace, I ran into a discussion on facebook about whether her outspoken opinion on the Amanda Knox case will ruin her chances on Dancing with the Stars. I tend to think that it will.

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Regarding Nancy Grace, I'm completely opposed to her judgmental character assassinations. However, she is receiving good feedback for her dancing, and I credit her for working hard for her Irish charmer partner, Tristan MacManus, who by all accounts is teaching her great technical building blocks of ballroom dancing - unlike some of the others. I think it shows in the judges' praise of her basics.

My mother complains to me that she cannot understand a single thing Mr. MacManus says, at first she thought he was speaking with a Russian accent. Apparently Irish charm doesn't work on my mother. I, however, think he's adorable and an excellent addition to the show.

They need to bring Edyta Slivinska back, and give her a celebrity with good potential, to allow all the straight men to watch with a good excuse. :)

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I'm late to this discussion, and late to any real viewings -- since I've disabled my TV, I'm going to have to catch up on youtube.

The thing that caught my attention is the news that Ricki Lake is on the show -- whose performance in John Waters's "Hairspray," which I simply adore. She danced GREAT in that movie -- "I can do that dance," she says, and jumps into he middle of the Madison on the teen-dance TV show and becomes the toast of Baltimore. AND she can do ensemble performance (she can hold her own against Divine just fine).

From the jive and mambo that I've seen, she can still turn that trick. And if there's any justice, her ability to talk spontaneously after the dance and tell the audience something they can appreciate and learn something from will move her into the top. She may not have a huge fan base, but she can win hearts. It makes me glad to see her doing so well, and giving so much credit to her teachers and to the art. SO much of what dance teaches is how to make good decisions and behave decently under pressure amidst many contingencies in an enterprise that involves many other people. It looks like she's got that -- the banter about "Get Smart" was wonderfully smart, light-hearted. The inter-generational dynamics there were breath-taking -- she's not just twice Hough's age, she remembers "Get Smart" well enough to know the running gags from it. She gets my "Young at Heart' award for the week.

Now I've got to go back and watch Hope and Nancy.

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