Dancing with the Stars – A Previewby Jill Jones -- 06/01/2005
Welcome, my new friends! It is certainly an honor and a privilege to bring you the first of many articles dedicated to the new reality show, Dancing with the Stars! Is this a train wreck waiting to happen or history in the making? So many questions, so little time… let’s get started!
Dancing with the Stars, adapted from the British series Strictly Come Dancing, pairs six celebrities with six professional dancers in the biggest dance-off since Joanie and Fonzie entered the dance marathon at Arnold’s. Each week, the couples will perform a choreographed dance in front of a live audience. A panel of judges will score the performances; however, in an exciting twist (no pun intended), home viewers will also have a chance to vote for whom they feel best learned and performed the dance moves. (I’m assuming this focuses more on the celebrities and not the professionals since, as the name implies, they are professionals and probably know the steps.) The scores will then be combined to determine each team’s rank. As you might have guessed, the couple with the lowest score each week will be eliminated (except for the first episode, during which no couple will be cut). At the end of the six-episode series, the last couple standing will receive a first place trophy. What? You’re kidding me! That’s all they receive? Oh, well. For some of the celebrities, just being in the spotlight will be reward enough as we will soon discover.
Our first pair of dancers is Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts. Rachel, best known for her modeling gigs, is no stranger to reality TV – having appeared on The Real Gilligan’s Island and Reality TV Hall of Shame inductee Are You Hot? Jonathan, who has been dancing for 10 years, is the 2004 USA Rising Star Latin Champion and the USA Pro-Am 10 Dance Champion (twice-undefeated). I’m only basing this on pictures I’ve seen of the couples on the Internet, but this is the couple I’m selecting to win it all! Face it, Rachel is use to doing tricky moves in high-heels, and her partner obviously knows how to cut the rug! We’ll have to wait and see if I’m right, though.
Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel make up the next couple. You’ve probably never heard of Trista so let me introduce you! Just kidding! Of course you know her from The Bachelor… and The Bachelorette… and her televised wedding… and Fear Factor…and oh, that’s it! You might not be as familiar with Louis, but he is well known in the Latin dance world. Besides winning many titles, he has also directed and produced Latin Fusion on Broadway. Many of you may be wondering why I didn’t pick this couple as the one to beat since Trista is an experienced dancer and performer, and Louis clearly knows a thing or two about dancing. I really don’t have a good reason why – I just like how Rachel and Jonathan appear in their photo; they look like the strongest couple.
Next, we have Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo. Those of you who watch General Hospital will recognize Kelly, who plays Samantha McCall on the long-running soap. Alec has won many competitions and runs his own dance studio in California; however, the most interesting fact about him is that his girlfriend and professional dance partner Edyta Sliwinska is also appearing in Dancing with the Stars. Wow, this show has it all!
Edyta will be dancing with former Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield. In 2001, she won both the International Grand Ballroom Competition and Holiday Ball, and as mentioned earlier, is now dancing professionally with her boyfriend and fellow reality show contestant Alec Mazo. Evander has faced some tough competition (and lost part of his ear) in the ring. How will that compare to the competition he is about to face on the ballroom dance floor? We shall see.
Our next couple is Charlotte Jorgensen and John O’Hurley. Charlotte, like the other professional dancers in the competition, has won numerous titles. She was also Richard Gere’s dance instructor for the movie, Shall We Dance. While John has appeared in various movies and television programs, including General Hospital (another connection between participants!), he is best known for playing J. Peterman on the television series, Seinfeld.
Last, but not least, are Ashly Delgrosso and Joey McIntyre. Ashly has won several Amateur Ten Dance titles with her ex-husband. Hmmm, I wonder if he was her ex-husband before, during, or after they competed together. Interesting! Joey, of course, is a former member of New Kids on the Block, and has appeared on Broadway in Tick, Tick… Boom and Wicked.
In order to prepare for the competition, the couples have been training and practicing at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Only time will tell for which couple all that hard work pays off. The series airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM (ET) on ABC beginning June 1. Do you have what it takes to make it through this program, I mean, dance competition? Join me if you dare! Seriously, this should be a lot of fun and I look forward to recapping the show for you!
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