Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dancing with the Stars

With Kirstie Alley competing on DANCING WITH THE STARS, I had to revisit the show. First off, she’s way better than John Ratzenberger.

Here are my other thoughts:

Elizabeth Taylor was a STAR. I wouldn’t qualify a wrestler, football player, DJ, swimsuit model, talk show host, Disney Channel actress, rapper, ex-boxer, Karate Kid, diet spokesperson, and sex tape exhibitionist as a “star”. The show’s real title should be DANCING WITH THE FAMOUS FOR SOMETHING AT ONE TIME PEOPLE.

To me the only legitimate “star” of the show is the person whose name you hear every week but ignore – Harold Wheeler, the music director. Forget the dancing; listen to the songs and their arrangements. They’re always great.

I still feel DANCING WITH THE STARS is just AMERICAN IDOL with feet. The host is a little smirkier, the judges more goofy, but it’s the same format. They perform, the judges prattle, you vote.

As a viewer, I couldn’t possibly begin to critique any of the actual dancing. Twyla Tharp could coach me from now until the Messiah comes and I couldn’t do a three-minute jive number. So my hat’s off to all the performers on DWTFFSAOTP.

But I do like some better than others. Viewers are surprised by how good Kirstie Alley is. I’m not. Having worked with her for years I was well aware with how graceful she is. George Lopez, maybe the unfunniest human being in the galaxy, recently called her a Dancing Pig. In addition to it not being true, there’s nothing remotely clever about it. “What’s a good metaphor for being fat that no one’s ever used before? I know. A pig.” How does this man have a career?

Note to Disney Channel stalwart Chelsea Kane: An “out-of-the-box” dance means different, not dressing like a mime. Still, I liked her better than the judges did.

I also gave Sugar Ray Leonard higher marks than the panel of poodles. The look on his face as they were panning him was priceless. Big smile but his eyes were clearly saying, “I could beat the living shit out of you and stick those number fans so far up your ass you could open your mouth and the 6 would appear.”

Let’s just skip Wendy Williams because the second I see her on the screen or hear her voice I hit fast forward.

The big galut wrestler, Chris Jericho won me over – not so much for his dancing but for his sense of humor. Asking fop judge Len if his testicles were okay was certainly a highlight of the night.

Romeo is a sensational hoofer. And all the scenes of him rehearsing shirtless should get him many Tallulah Morehead votes.

Ralph Macchio not only can dance, he has now officially replaced Dick Clark as America’s Oldest Teenager.

Pittsburgh Steeler, Hines Ward was also impressive. Light on his feet and graceful. Judge Bruno almost threw his house key onto the stage. 

I love how the judges told Petra Nemcova she was at a disadvantage doing the Jive because her legs were so long. Poor Petra. Some people just don’t get any breaks when it comes to the gene pool. “I…am…not…an…animal!”?

Backstage Brooke Burke is quite the penetrating interviewer. After the DJ, who I had never heard of but must be associated with Dr. Drew because he was in the audience (either that or Dr. Drew was just recruiting for CELEBRITY REHAB), received horrible grades from the judges, Brooke asked him, “Were you hoping for a better score?” No. Of course not. I was hoping to suck on national television. I think Brooke is ready to host the Oscar Red Carpet show with Sam Rubin.

And finally, we get to Kendra Wilkinson, whose last screen appearance was giving a blowjob on numerous porn sites. She almost had a meltdown because her dance required her to act like “a lady” this week. The pressure of that drove her literally to tears.  She's finding it very hard to dance since she can't keep her legs in the air. 

My last thought: the women professional dancers always look so much hotter during the casual rehearsal scenes. Natural and beautiful. Then for the show they get overly made-up and all look like David Bowie.

DWTFFSAOTP does have its moments. And I’m rooting for Kirstie Alley. Next year I hope they get George Lopez to be a contestant. Let’s see how well he glides across the dance floor. And I’m sure Kirstie won’t stoop to his level by calling him a “clumsy cow”.


Cameron Yarde said...

Ken! You spelt John Ratzenberger wrong!! *STEPS BACK IN AMAZEMENT!*

All of these vote people off shows are the same. What separates them is the host and the judges.

I've yet to see one with a really hilarious host, which I'd love.

danrydell said...

Let me echo your comments on George Lopez. Never thought he was funny, not as a stand-up for decades before this, his "sitcom" wasn't funny (how does Sandra Bullock back this guy?), and his talk show is just, not, good.

Mary Stella said...

I'm rooting for Kirstie and love how she's handling the whole show. Okay, I'd also root for a broom if it was dancing with Maks - yes, I am that shallow - but it's much more fun to have Kirstie on the show.

RCP said...

I agree with you that DWTFFSAOTP does have its moments, and there are certain dancers worth rooting for, but I'm still in therapy from seeing "star" Tom DeLay shake his jello ass.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

At least hopefully, there won't be any ":fixed" votes this year like last year when Sarah Palin was getting all of her modernday tea partiers and supporters to keep voting for Bristol... who couldn't dance at all, who all she did was just shimmy her shoulders every week, who wasn't a celebrity or a star just someone who was famous for having an out-of-wedlock baby and a whack-job mother, and who surprisingly GAINED weight doing all of that physical activity.

But then again, I hate most of "reality" TV anyway... the only reason this show is interesting is because of Tom Bergergon, I love that guy, he's a great host and has a great sense of comedy and timing: forget George Lopez, Bergeron should have his own talk-show.

Dave Mackey said...

Wheeler is a musical.genius. The musicians are the best Local 47 has to offer.

Wheeler also has excellent taste in women as evidenced by his marriage to Hattie Winston.

Pamela Atherton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela Atherton said...

I'm with you, Joseph S. I think Tom is a great host. He is so quick with a witty remark on the spot.

And I stopped watching last season BECAUSE of the Palin issue. It was obvious they weren't really treating her like the other dancers... the judges never gave it to her straight, they were waaaaay too soft on her.

(I removed the last post because I spelled something wrong. :)

Naz said...

Tom Bergergon doesn't get the credit he deserves. I always hope they will award him an emmy but it always goes to the Amazing Race or Survivor hosts. Go figure.

As for the music, it is the best part of the show.

Kirstie is not only fun on the show but she can really dance. Winning!

George Lopez who? pffft

Anonymous said...

Kirstie Alley is exceptionally graceful. She reminded me of the ballet scene from FANTASIA.

A Musician said...

Thank you for noticing the music and the musicians. I agree.

cshel said...

Funny as usual, Ken.

Poor Kirstie has to put up with so much crap. She's good, I hope she wins. Lopez is a big bore.

I can't stay interested in DWTFFSAOTP. I watch the first show to see how all of the FFSAOTP dance in the beginning, then one show in the middle of the season, then the finale. Those two male judges are so annoying, I can't bear it. I fast forward through most everything but the actual dancing.

But "Skating With The FFSAOTP" - now that show is real entertainment!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for calling attention to George Lopez' astounding lack of talent. The forced party atmosphere of his nightly train wreck, the wide-eyed mugging, the continual contributions to the lowering of the bar. Oh for the days when wit trumped nitwit.

Leslie said...

@Cameron Yarde - ever see "So You Think You Can Dance" ? Cat Deeley is pretty funny - but in the geeky sort of way.

Friday question - If someone wanted to write screenplays for movies (and not television) would they still need to move to LA or NY? I'm trying to figure out why they'd actually need to be there with the advent of internet, email and Skype and the fact that they are never on set. What if they lived near the areas dubbed "Hollywood - South"?


Anonymous said...

Dancing With The Vaguely Familiar needs more dancing and less jaw-flapping.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I've been calling it DANCING WITH THE HAS-BEENS for years now, although last season and the one before I was calling it DANCING WITH THE REPUBLICANS (who all danced like elephants. Go figure.)

No host is smirkier than Seachrest.

George Lopez's career is indeed a mystery.

You always hit fast-forward when Wendy Williams, or whatever his name really is? (Surely he's actually a man isn't he?) Then how do you watch The Soup?

I haven't seen Romeo (I don't actually subject myself to this show.), but you will have me Google-Image searching for him now. (I've always shied away from Romeos. Juliet was a school chum.) Will I like him more than Maksim?

Are you saying that David Bowie is not a hot woman? I beg to differ.


Sam Simon said...

The stars are the former Soviet Union dancers.

Tallulah Morehead said...

OK, I Google-Image searched "Romeo Dancing With the Stars" and you are right. That chocolate treat should be prohibited from ever wearing a shirt by order of Congress. I could grate cheese on those dark, delicious abs. Why oh why isn't he paired with Maksim. THEN I would watch!

Cap'n Bob said...

George Lopez may not be funny but he nailed it when he called Alley a pig. I didn't like her even before she joined Hubbard's cult. I imagine all the dutiful little $cientologists are dialing their votes in for her non-stop. Bah!

Ref said...

Ken, you should like Bergeron. He started in radio in Boston (WBZ) and took any gig he could get. He still seems to have that same attitude and professional approach. He has always been an entertaining fellow and I wish he could get a shot at a talk show, maybe in daytime where his affability and wit could shine.

Ref said...

Ken, you should like Bergeron. He started in radio in Boston (WBZ) and took any gig he could get. He still seems to have that same attitude and professional approach. He has always been an entertaining fellow and I wish he could get a shot at a talk show, maybe in daytime where his affability and wit could shine.

Ref said...

Gawd-DAMN Blogger!

mcp said...

The interview host position on DWTS has fueled more debate on forums such as fansofrealitytv.com.

Samantha Harris preceded Brooke Burke as host. Neither has great interview skills but at least Harris seemed excited to be there. An excited twit perhaps but better than Burke's never changing vocal expression.

I still can't believe Samantha Harris left DWTS to "Concentrate on her career." I will miss during the interviews the cameraman making a shot over her cleavage. Oh, well.

Pat Reeder said...

Ditto on the utter bewilderment at why anyone thinks George Lopez is funny.

My wife watches this show, but I don't. However, I'm not surprised to hear that Ralph Macchio is doing well. We saw him several years ago in the national touring company of the Matthew Broderick version of "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." I was pleasantly surprised at how good a song and dance man he was in the role of Finch.

Bill White said...

You new title idea is good Ken, but my Wife and I prefer to call it, DANCING WITH THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ON TELEVISION AT LEAST ONCE.

Jeff said...

I applaud you for calling out Lopez for making the easy joke about Alley. Unfortunately, it loses credibility when you make the easy porn joke about Kendra Wilkinson.

Ken Levine said...

You think I'm kidding that Kendra Wilkinson has a sex tape?


Tallulah Morehead said...

The ONLY reason I watched your Kendra link, Ken, was to check out her technique as a fellow professional. I'm sending her my notes.

Now, where is Romeo & Maksim's sex tape?

AAllen said...

My uncle hadn't heard of this show before. When I told him the title, he said, "Do they boso "nova?"

Cameron Yarde said...


I've tried watching the UK version with Cat and the whole show is very bland and unexciting. So You Thibk You Can Dance is literally the weakest performing of the "vote them off" shows in the UK.

Matt Patton said...

The fact that dancers look better in their rehearsal clothes is something that occurred to several major choreographers over the years, particularly George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, who created more than a few ballets where the dancers wore what otherwise wouldn't have been seen outside of a rehearsal studio before then. Among other things, it concentrated your attention on the dancing and not the often-absurd get-ups that ballet dancers (particularly the men) sometimes wear.

Carson said...

I was quite disappointed in George Lopez when I heard about his Dancing-Pig "joke." I'm not a HUGE fan of his anyway, but it really bothered me that he confused plain mean spiritedness for comedy at this point in his career.

If he wants to make fun of her faux reality show "Fat Actress," or her her bawdy public statements, fine. But to stoop to the level of a sixth-grader who was raised in a barn - I expected better of him.

I'm rooting for both Kirstie and The Karate Kid because they both are trying so hard, but don't take themselves seriously - and that's charming.

Dimin said...

Ref: Tom Bergeron did, once upon a time, have a morning talk show. It was on FX during the first couple of years of that channel's existence; then it was transferred to Fox, where, after just a month or two, Bergeron was replaced by Vicki Lawrence, and the show was canceled soon afterwards. He was, indeed, quite good at it.

Dancing With The Stars said...

I think this tv show will be a decent enough tv show to watch, because judging from the story of this film seems to be exciting..