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Author Topic: Dancing With The Stars
Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2005 17:29      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pamela and I have seen the premiere of a new series on ABC (US), Dancing With The Stars. Apparently, it's an adaptation of a BBC (UK) series, Strictly Come Dancing. The premise is that six celebrities are paired up with six professional balroom dancers, and they engage in a dance competition judged partly by a panel of three judges, and partly by viewer votes. Each week, one couple will be eliminated, until one is left as the winner.

The six celebrity dancers are Joey McIntyre (New Kids on the Block), Rachel Hunter (supermodel), Evander Holyfield (heavyweight boxing champion), Kelly Monaco (General Hospital), John O'Hurley (Seinfeld), and Trista Sutter (The Bachelorette).

The show seems to me to have retained a bit of a British or Australian character (though I may be reading "Australian" into it because I've seen Strictly Ballroom). The atmosphere is well-structured, with a live band performing the music and a live studio audience. It's amazing how well these celebrities have learned to dance; the ladies all performed waltzes with their pro partners, while the men did cha-cha-chas with the pro ladies. I liked Trista Sutter's dance with Louis van Amstel best, while Pamela preferred Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts. If you like watching ballroom dancing, this series is worth a look.

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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2005 17:38      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you sure it's a BBC adaptation? We have had Dancing With The Stars here in Oz for 2 or so years now..
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csk

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2005 17:41      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
jordanv's right, I'm pretty sure Dancing With The Stars is an Australian invention.

And if you're going to continue copying us, create a furore over the fact that the NKOTB guy has prior dancing experience [Wink]

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2005 17:58      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought it might have been Australian in origin...but, as I said, I thought my impression might have come from watching the movie Strictly Ballroom. But the closing credits do mention BBC. See also ABC's Web site here.

And, yeah, Joey McIntyre has dancing experience, but, as he admitted in his interview segment, that was all hip-hop stuff, not the more refined ballroom dancing. His cha-cha-cha routine with Ashly DelGrosso was, I think, my second favorite of the competition, after Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2005 18:13      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, he's right, definitely adapted from the BBC version. Although, it is possible the BBC version was adapted from the .au one, or vice versa.

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Erbo
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Icon 6 posted June 07, 2005 23:50      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Incidentally, if you haven't seen Strictly Ballroom, it's a good movie. Pamela describes it as "like a cross between Dirty Dancing and Like Water For Chocolate." It's the first movie in Baz Luhrmann's "Red Curtain" trilogy, adapted from an Australian stage play. Lots of good dancing in the movie, of course, as well as some good laughs, some touching romance, and some good words to live by: "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 01:33      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Trivia Note: Mrs Druids auntie was an extra in the movie, at the Pan-Pacific Dance Championships.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 09:38      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TV is getting horribly fucking desperate.

Thank god for internet porn.

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ewomack
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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 18:58      Profile for ewomack   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Say it with Graemlins...

[thumbsup] [thumbsup] [thumbsup] [thumbsup]

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 19:38      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
Strictly Ballroom, It's the first movie in Baz Luhrmann's "Red Curtain" trilogy, adapted from an Australian stage play.

Are you saying there are two more movies in the series? What are their names?

I've seen Strictly Ballroom, Dance With Me, Shall We Dance (Both Japanese and American versions), Center Stage (more ballet than ballroom), and the first time I watched Dirty Dancing was for an assignment in the ballroom dance class I took at PSU. I learned to cha-cha, samba, tango, waltz, fox-trot, polka, and swing. I like swing and cha-cha the best, polka the least.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 20:12      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonwyyn, the two other "Red Curtain" trilogy movies are Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge. Neither is particularly a dancing movie, though Moulin Rouge has a sequence that parodies Strictly Ballroom at one point. Incidentally, Pamela also likes Center Stage, and I'm sure she'd suggest you see Save The Last Dance, which features ballet-type dancing but also hip-hop stuff.

Tonight's episode featured the ladies doing the rhumba with their pro partners, while the gents tackled the quickstep. My favorite of the night, and Pamela's as well, was the quickstep done by John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen; he moved well, had good posture, and they looked very elegant together. My second choice would be either Joey McIntyre's quickstep with Ashly DelGrosso (he looked very enthusiastic, and also moved well) or Kelly Monaco's rhumba with Alec Mazo (woah! The rhumba may be the dance of love, but that was pure sex! Check the temperature in the studio, fellas, I think it just took a big upswing!).

I expected Kelly and Alec to get eliminated tonight, but they must have gotten a lot of "underdog" viewer support. Surprisingly, Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel, my favorites from last week, were eliminated! (Their rhumba wasn't as good as the other two; Trista didn't look very comfortable with it. That may have had something to do with it.)

Well, definitely, just like when you get served and you serve them back...it's on!

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csk

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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 20:12      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
quote:
Originally posted by Erbo:
Strictly Ballroom, It's the first movie in Baz Luhrmann's "Red Curtain" trilogy, adapted from an Australian stage play.

Are you saying there are two more movies in the series? What are their names?


Well, it's not what you expect, it's a trilogy of movies by Baz Luhrmann, as opposed to a trilogy of "Strictly Ballroom" like movies. The other two are Moulin Rouge, and his adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 08, 2005 23:32      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've seen Save the Last Dance (don't know why I didn't add it to my list when I did put Center Stage there. The dancing was fun, but I didn't like the language and the sexual innuendo in some of the songs and dances. Same with Moulin Rouge. I've seen the opening scenes, but was turned off by what appeared to be a general sense of hopelessness and tawdriness. Some of the music I've heard from it has been fun, but some of the other promotes behavior that's not acceptable in my household.

On a lighter note, I've always wondered what that one guy harps on in Strictly Ballroom... the Bago Pago or Bago Bago or something like that? He's speaking Australian so I haven't a clue if I'm even spelling it correctly. Help, guys?

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 00:15      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
On a lighter note, I've always wondered what that one guy harps on in Strictly Ballroom... the Bago Pago or Bago Bago or something like that? He's speaking Australian so I haven't a clue if I'm even spelling it correctly. Help, guys?

I think you mean the "Bogo Pogo." It was that one guy's particularly dirty set of steps, the guy who had the dance video that was being sold at the dance competitions.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 01:03      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
The dancing was fun, but I didn't like the language and the sexual innuendo in some of the songs and dances.

But that's what dance is all about, the vertical expression of a horizontal intention.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 10, 2005 08:42      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
But that's what dance is all about, the vertical expression of a horizontal intention.

Pamela agrees with you, TFD. In fact, she says that dancing can be part of making love.

A scene from another movie comes to mind: the dance scene with Queen Clarice and Joe in The Princess Diaries, after Mia leaves...they were steaming up the room so much, it's no wonder Charlotte decided a "slow fade" was the best thing she should do after walking in on them. Oh, it's not explicit or anything; this is a Disney film, for heaven's sake. But the message did come through loud and clear...even if it was left mostly unexplored until the sequel.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 12, 2005 18:23      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of our longtime EMinders, a former competitive dancer herself (in Singapore), posted her impressions of Dancing With The Stars here.

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Erbo
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Icon 6 posted June 15, 2005 12:40      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seems Dancing With The Stars is pretty popular! According to Neilsen, Episode #2 of the program topped the ratings last week, beating both of the first two games of the NBA Finals by a hefty margin (15.1 million viewers, vs. 10.6 million for Game 1 and 10.7 million for Game 2).

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Erbo
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Icon 14 posted June 15, 2005 20:09      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yep, it's on! This week's featured dances were the jive (very 50's!) and the tango (ooh-la-la!). It left me torn as to which couple to vote for...John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen danced a great tango (to quote Heinlein, "After a tango like that, the couple ought to get married!" They were really sharp and passionate!), but Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso came out after them and did a smokin' jive routine. (Joey even dressed in a period-correct Army uniform...and it seems he had to teach Ashly how to put together a real "story" with the dance! They were definitely playing to the crowd, the way Scott Hamilton does on skates.) We correctly predicted that Evander Holyfield and Edyta Sliwinska would be knocked out at the end of the evening...but, since the judges scored Joey and Ashly two points below John and Charlotte, Joey and Ashly got my vote--obviously, John and Charlotte don't need the help! (The judges' high score for the week, though, went to the tango performed by Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts.)

Next week, it's four couples left, and it's two, two, two times the fun, as each couple will now have to learn and perform two dances! Should be a blast!

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Grey_girl

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Icon 1 posted June 16, 2005 08:07      Profile for Grey_girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I watched this last night for the first time. It was a fun show, and I enjoyed it enough to tune in again. However, I would have prefered the traditional music for the dances instead of the modernized pop versions. If they were going to do that, they should have used Ewan McGregor's version of The Police's Roxanne from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Now that is a steamy tango!
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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 16, 2005 09:45      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grey_girl:
I would have prefered the traditional music for the dances instead of the modernized pop versions. If they were going to do that, they should have used Ewan McGregor's version of The Police's Roxanne from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Now that is a steamy tango!

They have a live band there performing the music, so you wouldn't get Ewan MacGregor singing it.

There's been some criticism of the music over on ABC's message board, much of it the same as yours. There's also been criticism of the costumes (some say "too skimpy!" while others say "that's how pro costumes are supposed to look!"), the judges (some say, "too much like Simon Cowell wannabes!"), and some of the dancing (re: Kelly Monaco's rhumba: "It's not supposed to look like having sex on the dance floor!")

On the other hand, there's some really interesting information in there among the junk, such as this thread by an active International Latin dance competitor who trains with the same coaches that most of the pro dancers on the show do. Then there's this thread by another amateur competitor, who is fortunate enough to be coached by Charlotte Jorgensen (John O'Hurley's partner, herself a retired competitor). There's also a thread posted by someone who works for the company that designed all the ladies' costumes.

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 18, 2005 21:56      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ballroom dancing is experiencing a surge of interest...and DWTS is leading the way!
quote:
Interest in dance grows by leaps and bounds
By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY

Tails and top hats aren't making a comeback just yet. But ballroom dancing, as a media phenomenon, sport, hobby and business, is enjoying its biggest resurgence since the 1940s.

Arthur Murray, No. 1 in the $500 million lessons market, says business among 155 U.S. franchisees is up sharply this year. "We're on pace for a 20% increase, which is unheard of," says marketing chief Thomas Murdock.

Professional competitions have surged from about 25 a year to more than 90, some with up to 13,000 entries, says Brian McDonald, president of the National Dance Council of America.

Underscoring ballroom fever:

ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars (tonight, 9 ET/PT) pulled in 13.5 million viewers June 1, the biggest audience for the inaugural launch of a summer series since CBS' Survivor in 2000. Viewership rose 12% to 15.1 million last week as Dancing again won its time slot.

Mad Hot Ballroom, Paramount Classics' acclaimed documentary about New York City fifth-graders' journey into competitive ballroom dancing, expands Friday to more than 155 theaters. Mad Hot has pulled in a healthy $1.8 million in limited release.

The appeal of formalized hoofin'? "It's clearly fresh, fun and sexy to a new generation of women in love with dressing up and behaving in formal style," says Glamour magazine editor Cindi Leive.

Much of ballroom's renewed popularity is media driven, says Murdock, who cities PBS airings of ballroom competitions and the October 2004 release of Shall We Dance, the Richard Gere/Jennifer Lopez movie about a bored executive whose marriage is revitalized through dance.

"Since the film, there has been a big increase in men wanting lessons," Murdock says. "Our students used to be 55 and older, with the majority women. Now many are men or couples in their 20s and 30s. Lopez and Gere increased interest in a younger audience."

"Ballroom dancing is no longer just for old fuddy-duddies," McDonald says. "Young people like it because it's different, artistic and has a great competitive attitude about it."

There'll probably be more Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers wannabes when Ballroom Bootcamp, featuring average people turned competitors, begins on cable's The Learning Channel this fall. So You Think You Can Dance, a competition from the producers of American Idol, also will feature ballroom action when it premieres July 20 on Fox. And next year's film Take the Lead will feature Antonio Banderas as Pierre Dulaine, who brought ballroom dancing to New York City public schools.

Andrea Wong, ABC's chief of alternative programming, was skeptical of Dancing's potential when the show was pitched by British TV producer Richard Hopkins, who launched the BBC hit version.

"It has broad appeal because it's intense, over the top and it's quite intimate," says Hopkins, who has since expanded the show to 11 countries.

After watching a British episode, Wong was hooked. "It's beautiful, sexy and outrageous," she says.

Dancing's popularity has inspired Fox to green-light a reality show on ice, Skating with Celebrities, which will feature weekly elimination competitions. Fox says the series is now being cast but is unscheduled.

So, ballroom fans, you're about to get inundated! (Something about this also reminds me of how poker has become so popular in recent years...)

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 21, 2005 20:59      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In advance of tomorrow night's episode, a couple of news bits:

First, DWTS won its time slot two weeks running. It's shaping up into a bona fide summer hit for ABC, and hopefully that will mean a second series at some point.

Second, according to a report in USA TODAY, John O'Hurley has now become so identified with DWTS that people on the street address him as "John," instead of "Peterman" (the name of his Seinfeld character). Not only that, he's lost 15 pounds! (link - includes a good picture of John and Charlotte in mid-tango!)

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 21, 2005 23:35      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My first semester at PSU I enrolled in ESACT 79: Ballroom Dance. Between having a long-distance boyfriend and that class, I lost 20 pounds that semester. Dancing is definitely a fun way to exercise as long as you have good shoes!

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Erbo
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Icon 1 posted June 22, 2005 20:30      Profile for Erbo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey-o! If the dance floor's a-rockin', don't bother knockin'! (Appropriate, given the recent earthquakes in Southern California!) This week, we double the dances and double the fun!

First, each couple performed a samba individually, which was scored by the judges. Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso scored lowest in this dance; they just weren't as good as the others. Beating them by just one point were, surprisingly, my current favorite couple, John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen. (I was surprised; their dance was very strong and well-synchronized. They still get my votes.) Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts put on a great show to take second place; Rachel has worked her ass off in this competition, and it showed. (And the fact that judge Bruno Tolioli seems to have the hots for her didn't hurt!)

But, pole-vaulting over the field into first place were Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo! Why??? I found it hard to tell this dance apart from her rhumba; she was using the same belly-dancer moves in both. But her athleticism was good, in the split and in the eight-spin combo that ice skater Elizabeth Manley, AKA "Dizzy Lizzy," would have been proud of. She even managed to impress judge Carrie-Ann Inaba! (Carrie-Ann is, I think, the designated "bad guy" among the judges; when she wants to, she can make Simon Cowell look like Paula Abdul.) Not only that, she did a good job covering up for a "wardrobe malfunction" when the strap on her halter top broke, managing to keep herself from "dropping her top and letting 'em flop." Good; I don't want the FCC cancelling this show!

After that, we get another treat: all four couples at once, performing the Viennese waltz! The judges didn't score this one, but they did give their impressions of their favorite and least favorite couples at the end. I figured John and Charlotte would do well here, since the dance played to his strengths, and both Bruno and Len Goodman agreed. On the other hand, what Joey and Ashly were doing did not look like a waltz to me. (Carrie-Ann preferred Kelly and Alec. How typical.)

I figured Rachel and Jonathan would be knocked out this week, since she doesn't have the fan base the other three celebrities do and hence would be likely to lose the phone-in vote. It was just as I predicted. That left them dancing their last dance (to "I've Had The Time of My Life," of all songs; I think the two of them should have tried to do the dance routine from the end of Dirty Dancing, but there wasn't time) as the phone lines opened for the other three competitors.

Next week, it's the semi-finals, probably another double-dance night. Meantime, if you haven't voted yet, consider casting a vote or a dozen for John and Charlotte; I think they're easily the best all-around couple on the show, and they could go...ALL!...THE!...WAY!

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