I caught the second episode last night (didn't see the season premiere). I've never watched before, but since I've started ballroom and so many people reference DWTS when the realize that's where I disappear to most evenings, I thought I should check it out.
I'm on the fence about whether to watch again. It kind of made my eyes hurt... even watching just the pros (rather than the 'stars') didn't help too much. Contemporay? Jazz? Seriously? (Though Kelly's routine was the only one I actually liked.)
I'm now praying that when I finally see myself on video, that's not what I look like!
I think the first few years of the show, it featured only ballroom dances... plus salsa and argentine tango. Of course even then there were liberties with what constituted these dances with alot of "creative" open work that at times did not fit, but at least it was a show designed to share ballroom dancing of students paired with professionals. Then the show started adding other dances... I think there was a year when they added charleston, lindy.. ?, and then last year they added contemporary, bollywood, etc, etc; now this year they are adding jazz, contemporary and I think I heard ballet. In the early years they also had stars who you could see progress throughout the season and get really good, lately they have had more ringers who clearly are going to place in top two.. and you can tell at the first episode. If memory is correct, the season Kelly Monaco was on... she didn't dance that well initially and then blossommed and won her season. Emmitt... evolved from being a good nightclub type dancer to a good ballroom dancer and won his season with Cheryl. I found those seasons to be the best... when you could see the evolution of the stars's dancing, there was not an instant winner, and you really didn't know who was going to win until the end. The judges also seemed more real initially, now they are over the top, trying to clearly outdo one another with their commentary. I still like the idea that there is some public exposure to "ballroom", but I preferred the earlier seasons of this show.
Salsa and argentine are actually relatively recent additions as well. The dances the first two seasons were WTFQSCRPJ and freestyle. They added mambo in season 3. Viennese was added season 5, but slow waltz was removed. Season 7 was the season they started to get creative, trying out WCS, hustle, jitterbug and salsa. Season 8 had argentine, salsa and lindy. Argentine was a staple from that point out, but season 9's lambada was the real harbinger of things to come. Although in fairness, they cooled their jets for a few seasons after that with the really non-ballroom stuff.
Ok, its starting again. I liked the gymnast's dance with Mark Ballas, but I can't believe that the judges are saying that Andy did a good chacha. No technique or patterns whatsoever... basically a comedic routine from Andy's side... he did not seem to even have attempted to learn the chacha... he just walked around while his partner did all the work, and played up his "quirky" side...
I liked Ingo and his partner and Lisa and her partner. They are both great examples of stars who are working hard, progressing each episode and aren't previous dancers, but are learning and growing as they go. They also seem committed to working hard and trying to learn the dances.
Kellie, as to be expected, did a nice job with jive... and made sure to mention in her interview that she really doesn't know dance terminology.... despite us seeing her effortlessly drop into three splits in her jive routine. . Victor (name?) did good with contemporary, advantage was that he had alot of lifts and he is strong, but flowed well. DL... not good.... but trying....
Okay, so I thought I was tired of calling the producers out on the music being given to the dancers. But seriously, it is ruining the show. A lot of the week 1 foxtrots were just absolute crap. I remember watching Sean and Peta dance and thinking at quite a few points: "that looked a little tango-ish" then realising that the music itself was tango-ish.
Week 2 wasn't necessarily better. Don't even know what to say. If they're going to feed us with dances that neither the pros nor the judges (let's not even start on the celebrities) know well, then they might like to try to get the music right. When I hear certain numbers (e.g. Derek and Kellie's), the first thing in my mind is hip-hop. Then maybe contemporary. Definitely not jazz.
Is it just me, or does music, good music, usually help the choreographing process? I dance mainly Latin, but it certainly helps me. Even with a dance like jazz that I have no training in, I get quite a few good ideas in my head when I hear a proper number.
actually, I distinctly remember seeing Karina's guy do cucurachas....and Val's lady (is that zendaya?) did tons of stuff that was in my smooth sliver closed vw... it tends to be a needle in a haystack, but it is there with some more than others