Dancing with the Stars is the only show I'm watching on primetime these days. As a regular viewer, I've noticed that this is the first season the show has felt below par. The cast doesn't lack for entertainment. In fact, the cast - B-list and all - is my favorite element. This doesn't change the fact that show night feels a bit lackluster. The weird, negative energy from last week made it clear that a lot of the charm and sparkle of past seasons that I love most about DWTS has dimmed. It certainly didn't seem like a great time to bring out the brand spanking new round stage and unplug the band.
I understand the reasons for it - the judges/producers wanted to focus more on the actual dancing. But I love the special effects and general over-the-topness - the glitter, the lights, the big stage that in no way limits the choreography of these creative professionals. Even with the audience packed so closely around the stage Monday, the energy still lagged. (And was the only one who detected ushers spaced throughout the audience to amp up the spectators? It also seemed like a weird night for Sarah and Todd Palin to be among the voyeurs...I mean, spectators...with people raunching it up with the rumba and Argentine tango. Her presence made things in the ballroom almost as awkward as Florence and Corky's rumba.)
I will say that some of the charm and magic that drew me to the show to begin with glimmered for the first time since the Season 11 premiere. Len's shirtless on DanceCenter. The hilarious appropriate/inappropriate signs. Maks and Bruno both seemed to be in a far better spirits. The producers cut most of the training videos to come off as entertaining, not mood killing like Maks and Brandy's last week. The scoring is improving marginally. No more room for elimination night fake-outs. And the Tom Bergeron Butt Pinching Brigade is back on track. I'm still rooting for Team Grey - Jenougher - and right now there's a poll going on over at ABC.com where fans can choose their Top Ten Dances. I'm campaigning for Gilles and Cheryl's Foxtrot. Choose your favorites here!
Here's hoping DWTS recaptures a little more of the magic from seasons past. Like this....
Derek Hough's Emmy-nominated Paso Doble with Chelsea Hightower
Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas's Macy's Stars of Dance Performance...which ties nicely into what I'll be doing on the plains Saturday ;)
Care to share some of your favorite DWTS moments, Cozies?
(A reminder: I'll be presenting an online workshop with Laura Breck and Lisa Lipkind Leibow all week long on Grogging at The Muse Online Writing Conference, as a reminder for those who are interested. And don't forget to check back in Saturday for contemporary, romantic suspense and paranormal recommended reads!)