Dancing With the Stars Scales Back at 17
The heat has broken, hoodies and cardigans are getting pulled from closets, and Brooke Burke Charvet only needed 15 minutes in the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars to remind us that she too was once a contestant of the show – fall is here! We’ve been anxiously awaiting the new season of returning favorites (including Scandal, Parenthood, American Horror Story) and maybe take a chance on falling in love with something new (that doesn’t get canned halfway through). My old standby DWTS showed up first to welcome me to autumn and now I pass this sentiment onto you. Let’s get to the recap.
First off, the audience numbers for DWTS shrunk last year, enough to get the producers scrambling for something new, which boiled down to moving the judge’s table to the other side of the dance floor, eliminating the second-story balcony for the couples and putting them down on the stage to watch (eliminating the need for extra cameras, precious seconds as they run up a flight of stairs, and perhaps insurance rates dropped because of this as well). Oh, and the show only airs on one night now. When I first started writing recaps, they milked the first week for THREE nights, before going back to the usual two-night format, but those halcyon days are gone, now we watch them dance, people vote over several days (not by texting though, I guess they lost there cell phone carrier sponsor?), then the following Monday, we watch them dance again, and the scores are all added up for an elimination at the end of the show. On one hand, I don’t mind a streamlined process. On the other, Tuesday night elimination shows had become a one-hour showcase opportunity for a lot of up-and-coming dancers as well as other professional troupes, so I’m a bit sad there’s no longer a mainstream venue available for them.
Ok, so who’s dancing this season? It’s hard to keep up, the elder stateperson of reality TV is now getting some fancy names: Valerie Harper, Elizabeth Berkley (aka Jesse Spano aka Nomi Malone), Jack Osborne, Snooki from Jersey Shore, that guy from High School Musical, that guy from Pretty Little Liars, that guy who isn’t Jeff Foxworthy, that singer who isn’t Ashanti, the football player….ok, it’s a lot of people you recognize even if I need to google the names. But it’s week one, I need a few weeks to cut a few. There’s also Bill Nye the Science Guy, ex-Scientologist Leah Ramini and Glee regular Amber Riley. I’ve never been a fan of the show, but she seemed alright, then she was paired with my all-time favorite professional Derek Hough, and after she tore up the cha-cha, I can 100% say I’m a fan of hers.
She got straight 9s!!! That is huge for the first week. (Nomi Spano danced after her and seemed a bit miffed she only got 8s.) There was a huge audience response to The Science Guy, I was surprised at how much affection he engendered. He’s all lanky and awkward with lots of effort and heart, this season’s Andy Dick. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi pleasantly surprised me with her performance, as well as the judges – Len made it uncomfortable by calling her a pocket rocket, which made me laugh – it didn’t surprise me that Len didn’t know what that phrase meant, but I loved that Carrie Ann knew right away.
With the stress of Breaking Bad reaching a fever pitch, it was nice to be on twitter last night, enjoying some ballroom dancing and sparkly control top pantyhose costumes. If you’re watching it live, join me on Monday nights, or just wait for my recap to show up on Tuesday with the highlights!