Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Television: This Performance Gets a Nine

Superstars of Dance
NBC Television
Monday Nights 8 PM
Four Scoops of Bosco

By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco

It's hard to say why dancing is not a part of Olympic competition. It's just as strenuous and athletic as ice skating and has more appeal to watch than synchronized swimming.

What would a dance competition in the Olympics look like? Maybe pretty close to the new NBC reality show Superstars of Dance

In this show, hosted by dancer extraordinaire Michael Flatley, we get to see actual professional dancers competing against each other for their countries. Eight countries, eight judges, around 50 performers.

The performances are breathtaking with a "how did they do that?" quality but you wonder how the ratings are going to be on this show. After the novelty wears off, probably not too good.

There is really no star power here. Unlike it's predecessor, the hugely successful Dancing With The Stars there are no stars learning to dance with on the job training. These are people who make their living dancing. So every dance is great and you don't have that element of a major star making an ass out of themself.

But still, it's all about the performances. In the first two shows, taped in the same studio as Dancing With The Stars, we saw spectacular dances that had their origins from the countries that were performing.

Which is one of the faults of the show. How do you judge a tango from Argentina against tap dancing or break dancing from America? Different dances...different skill levels. On the tap dance, only the Irish judge seemed to understand the level of difficulty that was attained by the American dancer.

The other flaw I saw is that the eight judges always give their scores in the same order. And the Chinese judge sits next to the Soviet judge. In one interchange the Soviet judge gives the China team a high score and his explanation was that the Soviet Union and China are neighbors so I better give them a good score. Next time out when the Soviet Kosaks are performing the Chinese judge returns the favor and gives them an inflated score. I knew it all along. That's what happens in the gymnastics competition at the Olympics.

One entertaining factor is the fact that the competitors and coaches get to say something to the judges which gets pretty heated sometimes. That's fun.

Maybe like the Olympics this event should probably come out every four years. I don't think this show makes it to a second season. Then again, maybe the Olympic committee can do the right thing and admit dancing as an actual sport in the Olympics.

The Bosco Rating System is based on a best of five...five being best.

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