So when I started this post I was originally going to talk about something that we have talked about before…the fact that DWTS doesn’t need a live band. I was going to post some examples of how bad it could be and I asked my fellow bloggers for some suggestions since I’m kind of the newbie and Heidi pointed me in the direction I decided to go. She said that she had read on a message board on Television without Pity that Harold Wheeler changed the tempo without telling the pros. I took her advice and I found the TV Guide article. Here is part of the article but you can find the whole thing here.
Wheeler holds a lot of power in that baton. It’s his job to match the performance of his live band to the records the dancers have been practicing to all week. He knows he’s got to get it spot-on or he’ll have a dance floor full of confused hoofers. “I know they’re all nervous,” says Wheeler. “So my job is making sure that the tempos I set for them — and the arrangements I do for them — complement what they’ve been rehearsing to all week. We’re in the fourth season now and I don’t want to say that I’ve got it down to a science, but I’ve got to get each performer down to a science.”
Listen to this: Even after Wheeler has exactly matched the tempo of a couple’s rehearsal music, he’ll sometimes change that tempo between Monday afternoon’s dress rehearsal and the Monday night live performance — without the dancers knowing it. “I’ll kick it up a notch,” says Wheeler, sounding like spice-friendly chef Emeril Lagasse. Why? Because a couple of the remaining dancers, namely Ohno and Fatone, are “adrenaline junkies,” says Wheeler. When these performers are in the spotlight and surrounded by an audience, their hearts race a little faster and their feet move a little faster. “So I’ll make the tempo just this much [he shows a pinch with his fingers] faster than at dress rehearsal during the live show.” And the dancers really don’t know he’s doing it? “No,” says Wheeler. “It’s my thing. I have to make it a little faster because I know that’s the way they are.”
The article is a few years old (May 2007) and Harold says he did it only for Apolo Ohno and Joey Fatone but I still don’t agree with it. What if that little (according to Wheeler) change threw off these guys and cost them their scores? Would that be fair? And the biggest question in my mind is what if he doesn’t like the dancer? Now do I really think that he would sabotage a dancer? No…but it was a question that popped in my mind.
I do want to say one more thing. I think that Harold Wheeler is a wonderful musician and handles the many genres of music that are thrown at him as well as he as able. Sometimes they hit it but sometimes they really don’t.
Now I want to hear what you think about this. Is it okay that he tampered with the tempo? Is it not? Let’s hear it.