Dancing With The Stars Submits Show Material For 2012 Emmy Award Nominations

The 64th Emmy Award nominations will be announced July 19th. You can view the ballots and who and what they are currently mulling over in each category here. For what I can see so far (and I could have missed some. If so, let us know.), Dancing With The Stars is being considered for:

“Outstanding Directing In A Variety Series” for their Broadway Show on October 11, 2011. As you might remember, the musicals of Broadway were featured in this live two hour show. Ten set piece performances showcased a diverse range of choreography including live guest performances from Kristin Chenoweth and the cast of “Sister Act”, all accompanied by to our 30 piece orchestra.

“Outstanding Picture Editing For Short-Form Segments And Variety Specials”. Several segments are being considered including….

a. Donald Driver Background Package, Episode 1409, May 14, 2012. This package tells Donald Driver’s life story and his journey to this point in the competition; Head To Head: The Final Three, Episode 1410A, May 22, 2012. This package examines the strengths of the final three competitors.

b. Hope Solo’s Background Package, Episode 1309, November 14, 2011. This package chronicles the events that shaped Hope Solo’s life and her journey in this competition.

c. J.R. Martinez Memorable Year, Episode 1303, October 3, 2011. As part of the “Most Memorable Year” themed week of DANCING WITH THE STARS, JR Martinez reflects on the year he was seriously injured in Iraq and how in his darkest hour, his mother inspired him to survive and overcome his physical and emotional injuries.

d. Song Of The Season, Episode 1410A, May 22, 2012. Using all available footage, the cast recounts the highlights of Season 14 – in rhyming verse.

e. Spotlight: Michaela DePrince, Episode 1406A, May 1, 2012. This package tells the story of Michaela DePrince, a young ballerina who overcame hardship and struggle to achieve her dreams.

“Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special” for Episode 1407, April 30, 2012. In the 7th week of competition in season 14, the 7 remaining couples, Maria & Derek, Donald & Peta, Roshon & Chelsie, Melissa & Maksim, William & Cheryl, Katherine & Mark, and Jaleel & Kym competed in “Classical Night” vying for the “Dancing with the Stars” Mirrorball trophy.

“Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special” for Episode 1307, October 31, 2011, In the seventh week of competition in season 13 of DANCING WITH THE STARS, the Halloween Special Event takes over the ballroom. The six couples who remain vie for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy in this spooky episode. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough top the leader board with their performance.

“Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program” which includes Tom Bergeron.

“Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series” for Episode 1307, October 31, 2011, In the seventh week of competition in season 13 of DANCING WITH THE STARS, the Halloween Special. Event takes over the ballroom. The six couples who remain vie for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy in this spooky episode. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough top the leader board with their performance.

“Outstanding Reality – Competition Program”

“Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special” for…

a. Episode 1310A, November 22, 2011, In the Finale of Season 13 of “Dancing with the Stars”, Rob Kardashian & Cheryl, JR Martinez & Karina and Ricki Lake & Derek vie for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Each couple performs an Instant Dance to complete the competition. After ten weeks, JR Martinez and Karina are named champions.

b. Episode 1407 Classical Night, April 30, 2012

“Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series” for Episode 1410A, May 22, 2012, In the season 14 finale of DANCING WITH THE STARS, Katherine Jenkins & Mark, Donald Driver & Peta, and William Levy & Cheryl vie for the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. The entire cast returns to celebrate the most competitive season and witness Donald & Peta’s championship.

Speaking of the Emmy Awards….

Dancing With The Stars execuctive producer Conrad Green recently talked with the Tolucan Times about the show and how it’s long overdue to win an Emmy Award in the directing and choreography. You can read more of his thoughts below at the link. He hits the nail on the head for how brilliant the dancers are for how fast and creative they can be in putting outstanding dances together. He also mentions the directing, the music, the set designing, “the brilliant multi-tasking Host Tom Bergeron”, and more. Special thanks to @DWTSGossip for the find…

Green is glad the TV Academy instituted the reality competition show category to encourage quality in the genre. DWTS certainly deserves the spotlight in that group, especially since the live performance show has production challenges that the taped competitions don’t have to deal with. But it’s tricky, because it’s hard to inform people of the hard work that goes into pulling off a live show. Green says, “Sometimes I think we’re a victim of our own success because we make it look so easy. The whole process of hundreds of people making a live show of this scale is about trying to make it look effortless.”

Obviously they’d love to win an Emmy for the program, but Green emphasizes what is also long overdue is recognition for DWTS directing and choreography.

“Our Director Alex Rudzinski has an incredibly punishing workload. Our dancers come in with their choreography and in just a few days our director has to work out how his cameras can capture every bit of every dance. Alex Rudzinski and his Assistant Director Kate Moran do that each week, scripting the cameras to the beat of the music. It’s a logistical mindscape and he competes against those who have a relatively straight forward directing effort.”

Regarding the choreography, Green says, “It’s mystifying that none of our dancers have won a choreography Emmy, when you think of all the amazing routines and what the show has done for the knowledge and appreciation of dance. They are not only choreographing brilliant routines but also trying to turn celebrity beginners into professional dancers in just a matter of weeks.”

Heidi: And speaking of choreography, you’ll note that no nominating ballots are shown, above. No, I don’t know why. Vogue combed the site for all the ballots, I checked the rules to make sure it should be a separate category and not listed under “technical direction” and it’s not. So, I don’t know what the story is, but you can be sure that DWTS submitted a LOT of the pro’s dances for choreography awards. I heard somewhere that the producers ask each of the pros what they would like to submit, and often suggest (I would bet strongly) that certain dances be submitted. The producers then do the actual leg work of the submittal – which is actually surprisingly complicated. If you want to read for yourself, go to Emmy Rules and Procedures.

From what I’ve been able to glean, it appears like both the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012 are eligible, since the Eligibility dates are listed as June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012. HOWEVER, that’s not REALLY true for all categories, particularly choreography. While all the episodes of DWTS are eligible, technically, realistically, they can’t meet the submission requirements. The entry deadline is May 4th, which means only this past season up through Week 7 can be entered for some categories – because obviously, the show is live, not taped (people ask me all the time why some of Derek and Nicole’s dances, like the 50’s Paso, didn’t get a nomination – this is why). You’ll note that DWTS did submit in some categories for later episodes – but it’s all stuff that isn’t done live…or if it is done live, they submit assuming that the show will go well and that’s what they’ll want to submit. You can do that in some cases, but I doubt they would do it for Choreography. If the dance gets screwed up on the live show, they would have to withdraw the entry, which would suck.

But WAIT!! :-) There appears to be an exception under the choreography category that says “If the DVDs are not ready or available by the entry deadline, the final deadline for receipt of the DVDs will be May 18, 2012.” I have always read that to mean that they can submit up to the 18th.  But in reading the rules more carefully, I think they still have to submit a nomination ballot by the 4th and can submit the DVD later.  I think in some cases of a pro dance they could submit for nomination a dance that fell after the 4th in terms of air date. Something like Derek and Allison’s dance from last season if it had aired the 8th of May….surely the producers would see rehearsals and think it good enough to be submitted and do so, praying that the performance went well the following week. Then they could submit the DVD later that week. Get my drift? :-)

So, Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012 (through week 7) is technically the range you’ll see choreography nominations for – what are the other rules? Well, you can only have two people on a “team nomination” – for example, in the past we’ve had Derek and Chelsie, and Derek and Julianne.  I think that each of those teams can submit THREE dances for ONE nomination, if there are more than one dance they did together in an eligibility period.  If say Derek  choreographed something with Mark that was great, and then something with Chelsie that was great, that would be TWO nominations because the teams are different.  When it comes to individual dances, a pro can submit THREE dances for ONE nomination (and one award if they are lucky).  In the past few seasons, we had Mark get one nomination where he had submitted three dances, and we had Derek get one nomination where he submitted two dances (with two different partners), a nomination with Chelsie for one dance and a nomination with Julianne for one dance. That’s all I can remember off the top of my head – I’m using them as examples.  Now, using Mark as example, he could submit for TWO nominations if some of his dances were for DWTS and another was some other show (like SYTYCD).  The DWTS dances would be one nomination (if selected) and the SYTYCD dance would be a separate nomination.

This actually could seriously work AGAINST the DWTS pros this year because DWTS featured a LOT of the SYTYCD people on results shows, and not so much our own pros. I can see why they do that – so the pros don’t get exhausted. BUT – and this is where I get ticked off – the awards are voted on by a jury of your peers. Meaning other choreographers – 12, to be exact. Just how many ballroom people do you think make up those panels?? And guess who is a huge campaigner for awards? Nigel Lithgow. Here’s what the rules say about Juried Awards:

3. Juried
In a juried award, all entrants are screened by a jury of appropriate branch members and one, more
than one or no entry is awarded an Emmy. There are no nominations. The winner(s), if any, are
announced prior to the awards presentation. Deliberations are open and arguments pro and con the
giving of an Emmy to an entrant is discussed. At the conclusion of the deliberation on each entry,
the jury votes on the question, “Is this entry worthy of an Emmy award – yea or nay?” Only those
with unanimous approval win. If there is a single dissenter in a panel comprised of no more than
twelve jurors who cannot be convinced to change his/her vote, the chair may rule that the award will
be given in spite of that single dissent. Two dissenters in a panel comprised of no more than 24
jurors may be over-ruled (with a single dissenter added to each increment of twelve, e.g., three for a
panel of no more than 36, four for a panel of no more than 48, etc.)

Obviously, within each category they are free to alter the rules, because there have always been nominations for choreography and they’ve always been awarded at the Creative Arts Emmys. That’s why these rules are a pain to figure out. Anyway, the odds are always stacked against the DWTS pros – I’ve been saying this for years. Most of the judges and other choreographers are going to be contemporary dancers and not at all skilled in ballroom. Who do YOU think they are more likely to vote for? And do you see how easy it is to deny one of our pros an Emmy?? One person can do it. For all these reasons, I think Derek has the best shot this year of all the DWTS pros, because he choreographed a dance with Allison Holker, who is from SYTYCD – plus that dance had a lot of contemporary movement to it as well. Most of our pros have had deserving dances…it’s about time one of them won. Will they? I’m doubtful.