As promised, PureDWTS Guest blogger and poet Lois is back with a commentary in wrapping up the season!!
REFLECTIONS ON SEASON 17 – A COMMENTARY AND OTHER DANCING WITH THE STARS MUSINGS
BY: Lois A Troutman, November 30, 2013
Anticipation was building to a fever pitch! Rumors were swirling! The announcement of the cast for Season 17 was fodder for Internet and water cooler chat! The nation was hungry to know the names of the brave celebrities who would be lacing up new dancing shoes! The smell of leather permeated the studios of DANCING WITH THE STARS! Shoes were waiting for twelve pairs of feet to fill them!
Re-wind to September 4, GOOD MORNING AMERICA! Finally the new cast and their pro partners were announced! Each brave soul entering the studio to begin their dancing journey!
The dance party had begun! The pairings would be:
EMMA SLATER and BILL ENGVALL
SHARNA BURGESS and KEYSHAWN JOHNSON
PETA MURGATROYD and BRANT DAUGHERTY.
CHERYL BURKE and JACK OSBOURNE
TYNE STECKLEIN and BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY
KARINA SMIRNOFF and CORBIN BLEU
TONY DOVOLONI and LEAH REMINI
DEREK HOUGH and AMBER RILEY
MARK BALLAS and CHRISTINA MILLIAN
TRISTAN MCMANUS and VALERIE HARPER
SASHA FARBER and NICOLE POLIZZI
VAL CHMERKOVSKIY and ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN
I was familiar with many of the cast but not with a few. This is why I love this show every season. I am always pleasantly surprised by those I am not familiar with. I am pleasantly surprised by the growth of the celebrities on their dancing journey. I find each season fascinating! There are many learning opportunities by watching the show. From learning more about the celebrities to the dances we see.
I would be fascinated to go behind the scenes! I would love to see how the juggernaut, the brains behind the show, puts it on every week. We did see some behind the scenes commentary. But, they should put on a comprehensive special allowing us to follow from the beginning to end of a show. What goes on behind what we see on the air?
I would love to see a special with all of the dancing pros dancing together. And a special with exhibition dances by the dancing couples, no judges, no scoring. Just dances galore! Those specials would be music to my dancing lover’s heart!
For Season 17, changes were made to the format of the show. The most notable was the elimination of the Tuesday night results show. I wondered how they could pack everything into a two-hour show that had been done in three hours in previous seasons. My feeling still is that the show seemed rushed. Am I correct in my feeling that the dances, at least in the beginning, were shorter in order to make them fit into less time? Tom Bergeron needed to keep the pace of the show by limiting comments from the judges, for example. He limited the teams from doing longer celebrations. I still think a Results Show is needed. Yes, towards the end of the season musical guests appeared again. But, I still love the musical guests that were on the Results Show every week. I loved the extras that had to be eliminated due to time restraints, such as more rehearsal footage, etc. I preferred the Skybox for the couples as opposed to the glitter benches. They seemed more restrained there. It seems more appropriate for them to be located away from the judges.
Another thing that was limited by the two-hour time restraint were many more pro dances. I believe the show made up for that somewhat by the super-sized opening numbers. But I will take all the dancing I can get. I would love to see more pro dance numbers again. And, there were very few encore numbers. I loved seeing the encore numbers each Results Show. I hope the Results Show is reinstated for Season 18. I hope they keep the show on twice a year. I hope the show goes to Season 20 and beyond. I believe this show can be kept fresh by introducing things such as different type dances, like trio and fusion to name two of the ones introduced. The powers that be have done marvelous work so far. I expect they will continue to refresh the show.
Questions brewed, most importantly, the voting. I was a bit confused at first how the show could only be one night. And how our votes could be factored in. There was a voting snafu which saved all of the couples into the next week. I had read of voters thinking their votes were cast for the wrong couples when they voted on Facebook. Or having phone issues, etc. Of course, each season there are those who feel the show is rigged. I will never, ever believe the show is rigged. People must keep voting. The modern technology used in voting is not foolproof.
This season many talented dancers were eliminated, Elizabeth, Nicole, Christina, Brant. Some complained, which happens every season, that less talented dancers were saved. The debate will always be there, voting on popularity v. voting on who has improved the most, the best dancer. My opinion is just vote with your heart. There is no scientific formula, no right or wrong answer. There is actually fun in debates, but use common courtesy. We will never all agree on who has won the MIrror Ball Trophy.
This season brought three guest judges, JULIANNE HOUGH, CHER, and the one, the only MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY! I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspectives they brought to the table. The judges are the brunt of much controversy. Are the scores too high, too low? I feel I am not in a position to judge them. It will be what it is. Is there a need to replace the judges, add a judge? Again, that is not for me decide. I will just say if the judges’ system isn’t really broken, why fix it? AMERICAN IDOL has tried judge after judge. Few of them have measured up to the originals.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the astounding talents of every pro, teaching and the troupe! They are the backbone of the show. They make the dancers into what they become on their dancing journey! I am in awe of their talents!
One central thing to remember. DANCING WITH THE STARS is first and foremost a sparkling entertainment extravaganza! I love the entire show! From the sequins to the costumes to HAROLD WHEELER’s orchestra to the commentaries from everyone. Thank you for everything you give to me!
Season 17 is in the DANCING WITH THE STARS History Books! It was another season filled with the brilliance of the art of dancing! What more could we want?
Season 18 is around the dancing bend! See you in the middle of March, 2014!