What is up with this show? Dancing With the Stars really made me mad this week. I’m kind of tired — have a big week (New York City Ballet begins, Stephen Petronio and Trisha Brown Dance Co’s open, and I have about 10,000 Tribeca Film Festival films to see, plus am trying to take computer skills classes since I virtually have none as well as schedule a visit to Bushwick, Brooklyn, where a new performance company which I’m a board member of — first time being a board member for me!!! — is trying to rent a space) — so please forgive me if I’m cranky. But when I got home from a full day of craziness and watched my tape of the show, a few things just got on the only remaining nerve I have left right now.
First, we’re told Melissa can’t compete because of a fractured rib, which we later learn she sustained doing a crazy lift / back flip over Tony’s entire, standing body. Then, we see Cheryl being short and nasty with Gilles over his inability to do a lift, which he’s having real problems with because of a shoulder injury. He forces himself to go along with her, does an insane aerial-filled Lindy Hop, and does okay (although there was a timing flub on the first somersault lift thing; the one she was yelling at him over in practice), but, to me, you could see the pain on his face. And his kicks, his Charleston, everything was just lacking energy, though he tried to hide it, like a pro. Then, since Melissa can’t dance because of the rib injury, they judge her based on a previous practice rehearsal at which she and Tony are mainly marking the routine. I can’t believe they even showed that on live TV! Of course it was awful.
Ugh. The problem is that these lift-filled routines are too blasted hard for non-pros. Even regular ballroom dancers aren’t used to doing them — and that is mainly who is training these competitors. I mean, I’m kind of torn between wanting the pros to take the contestants as far as they can possibly go so TV audiences can witness the thrill of really virtuosic dance, and just wishing they’d put some professional ballet or exhibition dancers on the show for that kind of stuff. Let audiences ooh and aaah over the real pros at this kind of thing. It’s way too much for people who’ve never danced before in their lives. It’s honestly really shocking to me that there aren’t more injuries. I mean, when I was dancing, I really wanted to be challenged too, but you have to stop and realize what you’re risking if you’re not a pro dancer; you have to take care of your body.
And in the real world, I’m sorry, but Melissa would be off. If you can’t compete in the Prix de Lausanne, at Blackpool, then, you know, the judges don’t go basing your score a rehearsal tape you send them. That’s ridiculous. If the show would have real rules, then maybe the pros, the producers — whoever’s making the dance decisions here — wouldn’t push non-dancers way the hell too far so that they risk serious injury in the first place.
Anyway, no one really blew me away tonight. Gilles was good but looked fatigued and nervous about the lifts, Ty and Shawn’s routines were meant primarily to showcase Chelsie and Mark respectively — and they did, but I didn’t watch the contestants at all. Chuck’s Cha Cha was okay but generally underwhelming compared to his excellent Samba last week. And Lil Kim — well, she was pretty good. I thought it was a bit more about the facial expressions at first, but she came through on the dancing and did really well. Overall, she was my favorite this week.
The group dances: The group Mambo was cute though; the ending goofy corny fun. The pros totally outshone the amateurs but I still liked it. I kind of wish they’d have used real Mambo music though. But Wow, the group Tango was Excellent! The amateurs here — Ty, Gilles and Lil Kim — were better than those in the Mambo. The choreography was gorgeous and everyone danced perfectly in sync when dancing together, and all three amateurs looked really good out there — almost like pros. Ty blew me away. Completely blew me away. His footwork was excellent, his posture perfect, his handhold absolutely right — he was so polished! He looked like a real dancer out there! Len is right — he nailed it.
Okay, so overall, my faves of the night were Lil Kim’s main dance, and Ty in the group Tango.
I have NO IDEA what’s going to happen tomorrow night.