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DWTS13 End-of-Season Award Winners – What Change Do You Most Want to See in Season 14?

Soooooo many write-in responses for this one…and the results were quite interesting ;-)

Other responses:

No more theme nights – 10

No Maks/Maks taking a break/Maks sitting out a season/get rid of Maks - 9

New judges – 7 (I think this could fit under “better judging”, as it’s implied that “better judging” could be new judges altogether…)

More Tristan – 4

Better quality of dances/ringers/celebs with better dancing capabilities – 4

No troupe/troupe actually dancing in sync – 3

All of the above – 3

More Derek – 3

Replace Brooke with Carson/Carson added in any format – 2

Get rid of Brooke/new co-host – 2

Bring Chelsie back – 2

Bigger cast/more celebs – 2

I love the show the way it is/If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – 2

Better band – 1

Start sooner – 1

TIE: Better judging & better music – 1

Less talking in between dances – 1

More traditional music (no Katy Perry/Gaga/Beyonce/etc.) – 1

Less Derek – 1

No more Carrie Ann – 1

NO MORE NANCY – 1 (Ummm yeah, pretty sure you don’t have to worry about that, ya asshat.)

Total season’s votes included in calculation of winners – 1

Better intro packages before the dances – 1 (HA! Keep dreaming…)

Courtney: Thank goodness this is the last award, because you guys (as much as I love you all) are killing me with all of these write-in responses.  Anywho…I agree that improving the judging could definitely help take some of the edge off of watching the show.  Looking back at a lot of my power rankings from the past few seasons, I see that I most often got upset when the judges were way off in their scoring…either for better or worse.  Now I don’t think getting rid of the judges we have and starting anew is the solution – and it seems like a lot of you agreed in our poll about the judges last season – new judges altogether could be even worse, especially if those judges haven’t judged on a dance show before.  However, I’m not sure how to really force Len, Carrie Ann, and Bruno to judge more fairly – it’s such a subjective thing.  As for “better celebs” – I guess I should have been more specific about that one, as “better” can mean different things to different people – better could mean “more famous”, or better could mean “more skilled dancers”.  And speaking of which – there is something to be said for having ringers, kids.  The past 2 seasons, we haven’t really had a skill ringer – and I notice that a lot of you have complained that the dancing has not been as good as it has in previous seasons.  Ringers can ensure that we get to see dynamite dances each week, and tend to raise the level of competition during the seasons in which they compete.  More pro dances are always welcome for me – just as long as they’re not troupe dances ;-) Better music? Yeah, it would be nice if they didn’t ditto quite so many songs; but to whoever wants “more traditional” music, be advised that this could severely limit the music that can be used on the show, and can run the risk of alienating more casual viewers – contemporary music can make the dances more relatable.  I don’t think we need more dance styles OR more couples – whenever someone starts clamoring for that, I start to worry that we might have another season 9 on our hands, aka the “Kitchen Sink” season, where there were just so damn many dances, couples, and nuances that it was hard to keep up.  Now to the 2 write-ins I found most interesting: “total season’s votes included in calculation of winners” and “better intro packages before the dances”.  Sorry, but I find both of these to be pretty implausible.  What would including the total season’s votes in the calculation of the winner accomplish? Do you really think it would change the outcome of a season? It’s possible – but it could have unintended consequences.  I think it would tend to help bad dancers who stuck around far too long (think Bristol, Marie, Hope, Kendra, etc.) and could hurt really good dancers that maybe had smaller fanbases (Mya, Chelsea, Brandy, etc.) The bottom line: as much as the whole “50 % scores, 50% votes” scheme may piss off fans who don’t get their desired outcome, it’s probably the fairest system they can use on this show – it’s equal parts popularity contest and dance contest.  And as for the “better intro packages before the dances” - I have to wonder if this was written by a Maks fan, as they seemed to be the ones most concerned about the intro packages this past season.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – the producers are going to cut together the footage that will generate the most “buzz”…and if that means using the footage of a couple fighting or crying or storming out of the studio, so be it.  The solution? Don’t give them anything negative to work with.  If you’re seeing a couple fight in their intro packages week after week, it’s because they’re probably actually fighting week after week and that’s all the editors have to work with – not because the producers are conspiring to ruin them.  Asking them to make a warring couple look like they’ve got rainbows shooting out of their ass is futile if all they have footage of is a couple screaming at each other.  It’s a tv show, people – they’re gonna go for ratings.

Heidi: Correct – and any pro who’s been on the show for more than a season KNOWS this and SHOULD react accordingly. Just sayin’.  :-)  As for the total season votes? I don’t think that will work like you would want it to work. :-) Increasing the number of votes  would likely just make the winner more of a solid winner – it’s a percentage of the whole, not a count. If they don’t have a high enough percentage at the end of the season, adding in their votes through out the season won’t likely change anything, except make the individual votes count less. Particularly if the judging portion remains the same.  You wanna make it votes only, like American Idol?? Well, how often does the best singer win that show?? Like, less than half the time? And who’s to say an individual is “best” – it’s subjective.  The judges may suck from time to time (particularly when they are for YOUR couple), but I actually trust them to balance out the wacko fans in the audience who will vote for Kate Gosselin just for giggles.  Was Donny Osmond the best dancer? No, but if it were up to the audience alone, Mya probably wouldn’t have made it to the final two. This is an extreme case of “be careful what you wish for.” I have a feeling that some haven’t considered the potential ramifications.  As for me…I don’t remember what I voted for.  I may not have voted because I pretty much like the show the way it is, better the “devil you know” and all that. I would normally say “more pro (non-troupe) dances” but I was pretty happy with that this past season as well, simply because I got a lot of Derek. For a change. I do think they could use more all pro dances similar to those in seasons 5 and 6 – no musical act, just great dancing.

Vogue: I was at a loss on this polling. It seems during the last several seasons I complain the most about the judging. I really think the judges go too far sometimes when they get too “personal” instead of just judging a dance. For instance, dissing about a person’s weight or things a celebrity can’t help is just low. At the same time, I really don’t want any judging changes as all three of them add excitement and diversity to the show. In the end, I voted for “better music”. There is so many times I wish they’d stick to traditional music that fits the dancing styles instead of what they use for theme weeks that don’t match the style of dance.

*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Taylor

January 29, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars Celebrities: “What Do You Mean, I’m A Ringer??” Part 1

This is the one issue that comes up over and over again when discussing DWTS. We see it in our comments; you see it tossed about on message boards like an accusation or castigation. Almost always it’s in reference to ALL of Derek’s partners, which is just ridiculous. Most of the male pros and a few of the female pros have had a ringer of one kind at one time or another – that’s just the way it goes. NO ONE has a ringer, or “dancer” every single time – that’s abundantly clear to anyone who engages their brain.  Frankly, if we didn’t have the occasional ringer and had a season of mediocre dancing, I think people would tune out very, very fast.  I don’t mind an amusing or talented ringer – what I DO mind is the revisionist history that follows a DWTS season where the accusations start to fly.  Even the mainstream media and certain pro dancers (cough-Louis-cough) – never very clever at the best of times – chimes in on this hue and cry.  It’s quite narrow minded. And it’s just not that simple – as I will show.  :-)

How do I define “ringer” – well, for me, it’s not so black and white. ALL kinds of people have advantages over other people going into the show that have NOTHING to do with dancing.  To isolate ONE positive attribute (dance experience) and ignore the others is too simplistic and narrow minded. There are also degrees of dance experience from someone who taught dance (Mya) to someone who was in a music group which performed a lot of choreography (Nicole, Lance, Sabrina, Mel B, etc.). Even college or professional cheerleaders fall into the ringer camp, albeit a bit lower on the sliding scale than your average boy bander. There is no denying that training to be a cheerleader and learning the choreo gives you a leg up (cough) on someone like Shannon Doherty or Tom Delay. But if you took dance when you were a little girl, prior to even being a teen ager? Give me a break.  We can certainly debate if there is a real difference between cheerleading and the Pussycat Dolls – but spare me the sermons on how Joanna took ballet until she was 11. If anyone is silly enough to point to that as an advantage – well then nearly ALL the female celebrities have that advantage. Not so.

But those are your ringers with dance experience – what about someone who comes on the show and you know instantly that they are going to win?? Wouldn’t they also be a ringer? I say absolutely. If you come on the show and you’re so beloved or popular (with the DWTS Demo) that everyone knows you’re going to win, then I say that’s a form of ringer all its own. Kristi, Shawn and Donny – all extremely popular athletes and entertainers and all nearly guaranteed a win. I say “nearly” because Shawn was nearly unseated by a hot, gorgeous, very talented dancer in Gilles Marini. On paper, however, Shawn was a shoe-in.  Evan Lysacek almost falls into this camp and I thought he would win his season – but he apparently burned a few bridges in his time with a potentially huge voting block of skating fans.  I would ordinarily put someone like Jennifer Grey in this category, but not this time, simply because her liabilities really did outweigh her popularity. Being age 50 is no small thing when it comes to the task of dancing on DWTS; add in the screws in her neck and the problems with her foot and you’ve got someone unlikely to actually win. That she did win is likely a testament to Derek’s ability to choreograph entertaining routines around a fairly limited amount of motion, compared to her competitors, most of which were at least 20 years her junior.  All that said, I did give her a low level ringer status due to the age and physical ailments offsets.  I also put KirstieAlley in this group at a lower level – she’s another older, beloved, iconic actress, although possibly not at the level of Jennifer Grey. Hard to say where to draw the line on that one, as she was older than Jennifer, but didn’t have the same physical ailments.

This is what I mean when I say all kinds of people have advantages (and in some cases huge disadvantages) coming into the show.  You don’t get to just point and scream “RINGER!!!” unless you’re a child who doesn’t know any better.  We’re going to use this blog to actually THINK about this. We’re going to discuss how the *disadvantages* a celebrity has have just as much impact on their chances of winning as their advantages do – no one is just a ringer in a vacuum. And we’re going to list all the pros and their partners, and where they fall on the sliding scale of “ringerdom”. :-)  We’re also going to discuss the difference between dance “experience” and dance “ability” because a lot of people seem to think the two things are interchangeable.  If you need Websters, this would be a good time to pull it out. :-) I’ll also talk about the difference between hindsight (all of Derek’s partners are dancers!!!), and who were actually likely to be good on paper going in. And who weren’t.

We’re going to start with the female pros, mainly because they are easier – and there are fewer true ringers. That will be in Part II – first, some notes on how I got to where I did on categorizing the dancers over the seasons.

Notes: Read more..

September 3, 2011 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)