Monday, September 24, 2012
Why Dancing With The All-Stars Will Not Work
Monday/Tuesday Nights; 8 PM
Four Scoops of Bosco
Reviewed By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco
Once there was this show on Public Television called Ball Room Dancing.
I watched it once. For about five minutes.
Yes, the dancing was world class. The dancers were the best in the world, after all, and this was a competition for World Supremacy....the Olympics of Ball Room Dancing, if you will.
But only one problem... the show was flat out boring unless you were a Dancer or Choreographer and not too many people watched.
Flash forward about forty years later and there is this little show called Dancing With The Stars that everybody watches and gets excited about. I mean everybody.
Why the excitement over this program when most of these people could care less about PBS's Ball Room Dancing?
As Bill Clinton might say, "It's the Formula, Stupid".
And the formula is this: Take well known stars from the world of sports, modeling, politics and the small and big screen who are not known for dancing or have very little dancing experience, do the show live, pair them up with great dance teachers, teach them to do the cha-cha-cha and rumba, throw on some sexy clothing, have a panel of charismatic judges and likeable hosts, and oh yes, you get to vote on the outcome....(you have a say in what the final decision on the winners is going to be) and wooh-lah you have a huge hit that consumes the National Psyche.
Except this season, which starts tonight at 8 PM on ABC, the producers decided to switch one little thing and it's the wrong decision. They decided to go to an All-Star format. They are bringing back the best dancers from the past seasons and they will compete against each other.
The All-Star format works in a show like The Apprentice, because we want to see how successful people make business decisions and we take comfort in the fact that they make mistakes like us.
The All-Star format will probably not work on Dancing With The Stars because the producers are taking out a major attraction on the show. They are taking out the element of surprise.
That's because we all know the people on the show this season know how to dance very well. We know this because they have all either won the Mirror Ball Trophy or came real close to winning it.
For me, the biggest watching point of the show is seeing somebody who does not know how to dance very well or comes in out of shape and how the teachers work with them week after week to get them to a competitive state. Some of the stars have come a long way. Some of them go from having no talent to winning it all or getting close to winning. The transformation is compelling television.
I would rather have seen a whole new crop of stars than watching a known quantity this season.
On a side note, if you want a fun day, you have to see DWTS in person. Going to the show, hanging out around the Studio at the Grove, spotting television stars, and seeing the stars on the show and the great dancing up close and personal is worth the time and effort of getting tickets.