Monday, November 22, 2010

DANCING WITH THE STARS


You love the show?

It's inspiring?

Thrilling?

It gets boring?

Can you pick the winner?

The winner hasn't always been the best dancer, in my opinion, and I know about dancing. Also, right now, there is an additional element in the show -- p o l i t i c s.

Up till recently "Dancing with the Stars" (DWTS), has been an entertaining one-hour show, Yes, it drags a bit -- I think it's one segment too long, but for most of the hour, it's suspenseful -- establishing the participants in rehearsal -- their background and their partner's.

The costumes --wow -- they're remarkable. We don't see the behind the-scenes labor -- the tightening, loosening, girdling, padding the bust, hiding bulges -- but I know what's involved. What the females wear is varied, and often brilliantly distracting, contributing a lot to the choreography with elements that flow, sparkle, change color, change shape. Bravo, brava to the costume designers!

(By the way, if you're a performer, beware of dear pals who rave, first thing, about your costume -- it usually means the show bored them.)

The creators of DWTS deserve applause. Celebrities who can't dance, are paired with super-skillful partners, who cover up the celeb's flaws. The show emphasizes (like American Idol, and American's Got Talent), the longing, the passion and huge need to win, and how devastated the participants are when they're eliminated.

I think the judges could be more interesting. The current judges, though experts, seem to base their comments on personal taste. Quite frequently, tactfully, they fudge, and avoid truthful criticisms about amateurish dancing -- especially right now, with Sarah Plain's daughter, Bristol.

Watching Bristol, I shake my head unhappily -- there must have been, from the beginning, an executive decision to keep her on the show as long as possible. Her dancing is not only very ordinary -- neat, but amateurish -- it's also klutzy. Her step-stepping, wriggling, un-sexy bumps and grinds certainly make us wonder about her sex life.

I have seen some real dancers on DWTS. (Real is when a dancer's steps flow and have a magical sort of electric, connectivity.) The man who partnered Florence Henderson, was a real dancer. Last week, on the show, a real female dancer, Brandy, (who received the highest score), was eliminated, while Bristol Palin with a lower score, was held over.

Okay, DWTS works! What makes the show good entertainment is the concept, the costumes, and expert choreography. (Maybe what they need in that dragging segment, is a scene with the participants' families -- all of them together, praising the contestants, trying to be polite. That would be fun, especially now, with Mom Sarah in the mix, expressing her opinion.

The fact is, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to trust the phone-in vote anymore. Headlines, bloggers, gossip columnists, have suggested that Mom Sarah's fans, friends, her staff, and paid phone callers, have been voting like crazy for Bristol.

It's cheating. The "$64,000 Dollar Question" hit show ended after the public learned that the winning contestant had been given the answers.

If Bristol Plain wins tonight, it may very well shorten the hit show future of Dancing With the Stars.
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