Ballroom Dance > Dancing on TV > Dancing with the Stars, Judges and Contestants

Discussion in 'Dancing on TV' started by Infosaturated, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Previous Dancing With the Stars Discussions
    Preshow and Week 1 Discussion
    Week 1 Poll
    Week 2 Discussion
    Week 2 Poll
    Week 3
    Week 4
    Week 5

    Judges & Contestants
    In the News
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    I have too many comments and questions for one post but first I will introduce myself. I am not a dancer, but I do enjoy watching. I have never seen a competition. I have read all the threads on Dancing with the Stars week one and two.

    I have been focused on judging the celebs not the pros because to an amateur all the pros look equally fantasic.

    I am getting the feeling that at least some of the real dancers here are putting a bit more emphasis on the pros than the general public is.

    I feel that the judges are biased because they treated Evander so gently and Kelly so harshly, not only in their marking but also in their comments. Even as a non-dancer I feel well enough qualified to say that Kelly is a better dancer than Evander.

    Another sign of bias (to me) was that they singled out Louis for criticism when they didn't critique any of the other pros. Louis didn't seem like a worse dancer to me.
  2. Breathe

    Breathe New Member

    I'm not sure what you mean by that - if you mean we comment on the pros a lot, it's because it's really the pros dancing around and making the celebrities look good. Kelly, for example, couldn't look like that if her partner wasn't the amazing Alec Mazo. But in regards to skill, everyone seems to be judging the overall effect - meaning the celebrities, because the differences between them are much different than the differences between the pros. If you check out the threads, John is dominating the posts because he had by far the best performance tonight. Easily.

    Uh...yeah...not sure on that one either. Evander should be everyone else has said.

    Louis is very demanding - I think he made the mistake of trying push his partner through the moves to make her perform at his level. A really subtle cheat on his party, but the judges noticed it. I think the judges really just want to judge the celebrities, and wanted to make that clear to the pros. Sadly.
  3. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Competitors backgrounds:

    (pro's bios are incomplete because they are long)

    Charlotte Jorgensen - 1999 US Open Champion
    1998 Japanese Open International Ballroom Champion

    Paired with Johnathan who has a background on broadway and given his age and profession must have at least some social experience in leading.

    Jonathan Roberts

    2 times undefeated USA pro-am 10 dance champions
    3 times undefeated USA pro-am Latin champions
    2 times USA pro-am American Ballroom champions.

    Paired with Rachel who has extensive ballet background (non-professional)

    Louis van Amstel
    United States Professional Latin American champion (2000)
    World Professional Showdance Champion ('96)

    Paired with Trista who has spent two seasons as a Miami Heat dancer(professional cheer-leading).

    Ashly DelGrosso

    Holiday Rising Star Champion
    Rising Star World Professional Latin Championship Semi-Finalist

    Paired with Joey who has extensive hip-hop background as a member of a boy band.

    Alec Mazo (complete bio)

    Emerald Ball Latin Amateur Champion
    1st Place - 2001 International Grand Ball (San Francisco)
    1st Place - 2001 Holiday Ball (Las Vegas, Nevada) STATS:

    Paired with Kelly, soap star, no dance training.

    Edyta Sliwinska (complete bio)

    Emerald Ball Latin Amateur Champion
    1st Place - 2001 International Grand Ball (San Francisco)
    1st Place - 2001 Holiday Ball (Las Vegas, Nevada)

    Paired with Evander, no dance training.

    Looking at the list as a whole I don't see this as a fair competition. It seems to me as though neither the pros nor the celebs are at the same level of dance to begin with. Furthermore, the least experienced celebs got the least experienced pros and vice versa.
  4. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    My "general public" take on each couple. I know ballroom from old movies.

    Evander and Edyta.
    Definitely the worst couple because Evander just isn't a dancer. He improved a lot this week in my opinion because he actually danced with Edyta. I am impressed by Edyta because it must have been very challenging to choreograph a dance given Evander's limitations. She did a great job of it. They both looked shocked that they weren't voted off.

    Joey and Ashly.
    Joey's hip-hop background has given him an edge in learning choreography. First week I wasn't too impressed with Joey because I didn't recognize any "cha cha" but he was better than Evander by a long shot. Tonight I thought he improved a lot, did a great deal more leading, and danced with Ashly more, and had a very challenging and fast routine to do.

    John and Charlotte.
    Loved them both weeks which I find interesting because many of you experienced dancers also give them high marks. Last week I liked John best because he was the only one of the male celebs that seemed to be leading and the choreography was closer to what I would expect for a cha cha, though not right on.

    The first week I didn't judge the males and females against one another because the demands on each are so different and they were dancing different dances. This week I put John and Joey even for first place because although John had more control, Joey had more difficult faster steps.

    Last week all the women were even for me. I thought they all did well.

    Rachel and Johnathan.
    I could tell right away, before looking at her bio, that she had ballet background. I didn't recognize the dance as a waltz but it was pretty. I was impressed because I felt she should have a larger partner, and yet Johnathan did an amazing job of compensating for that. He always looked in control and never once looked like he might drop her which I was afraid of. His choreography really highlighted her strengths. Tonight I was less impressed because to me there was little difference between their waltz and their rumba. Because it was supposed to be a rumba the emphasis on ballet type moves stuck-out more. Rachel is a lovely dancer, graceful, beautiful leg extensions, but I suspect she is a "one trick" pony. That is, that all her dances will rely on her ballet background and have the sort of stiff feel of ballet. Stiff isn't the right word but I can't think of a better one right now.

    Trista and Louis.
    The waltz was pretty, the rumba lacked any seductiveness but of the three couples I think they came the closest to performing rumba steps so of the female celebs I put her ahead of Rachel due to that, and even or ahead of Kelly.

    Kelly and Alec.
    I felt Kelly's waltz was reasonably well danced and that her expression was fine given the lyrics of the song they were dancing to. It would have been silly to be smiling. There were a few times when it was a bit too wooden but I didn't think it was all that bad. This week I felt she captured the spirit of the rumba. If some basic rumba steps had been choreographed in I think she would have been better than Trista. Finally I put Trista higher than Kelly for this week because to me Trista and Louis seemed to be the only ones who did rumba steps. I put Kelly above Rachel because she captured the latin feel far more than either Rachel or Trista.

    Dancer or not, everyone who isn't biased seems to agree that Evander was the worst dancer both weeks.

    The greatest disparity I am seeing this week between the general public and dancers is Joey. General public consensus puts him equal to or right behind John. Public opinion seems to agree that John was more controlled, more correct, but wasn't fast enough for a "quickstep". Joey wasn't quite as polished, but did more challenging steps faster.

    I don't understand why Joey isn't being given higher marks by dancers.

    I would love to hear dancers thoughts on the disparity of backgrounds of all the dancers, pros and celebs, and your evaluations of each pair.
  5. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Okay, last of all the thoughts I have been collecting:

    Given what I see as the vast difference in backgrounds between both pros and celebs it doesn't seem at all fair to be judging them against one another.

    I feel that the judges are grossly biased particularly in their harsh verbal judgements of Kelly and their gushing over Evander. I like watching figure-skating and I am very happy that they cleaned up the judging criteria to make it almost impossible for the judges to use bias when marking the skaters.

    If "real" competitive dancing is judged like the dancing on this show, then I think the judging criteria needs to be overhauled.

    Given what I see as biased judging, and given the disparity in the experience levels of the dancers, I think there are a wide variety of criteria that is fair for voters to judge by.

    Simply who did the best dance routine, I think the pros would give it to John and Charlotte and a large percentage of the public is also giving them high marks. That we both are goes to show what an excellent job they are doing. I really like it that Charlotte is focusing on really getting John to lead and is putting in traditional dance steps rather than focusing on doing flashy moves herself.

    For most improved and most challenged, I would give it to Edyta and Evander. Evander is by far the worst dancer, and Edyta is very inexperienced (along with Alec) compared to the other pros.

    For being in the same ballpark at all as the ladies who have far more dancing experience my hat goes off to Kelly. Given that Trista and Rachel have so much more formal dancing background I am amazed at how well Kelly did.

    Rachel and Johnathan looked great but Johnathan is an accomplished Pro/Am champ so I think he realized the best tactic would be to use Rachel's ballet background. Although the lack of size disparity is a bit of a challenge ultimately I am not impressed because Rachel did come into this with a background in ballet and John is an experience Pro/Am so I don't see any real growth here. For the most part they are doing what they already knew how to do well. Given their backgrounds, I would expect them to do better, push the envelop a little.

    Joey and Ashly are interesting. Joey has strong hip-hop background and they relied a lot on that the first week, but I see a lot of improvement in him this week and Ashly is not one of the more experienced pros. They are a good match because they are both young and energetic. I am very impressed by Ashly because she did push the envelop and force Joey to stretch.

    Trista and Louis, not really impressed. Still I would have liked to see more of them. I think they were getting more comfortable with each other so they might have surprised me, but ultimately I don't think they are that good. Trista's dance/cheerleading background gives her an edge in learning the steps and with basic posture and balance. Louis is obviously a great dancer bu as a couple they really didn't click, and I don't mean just because of the intimacy thing. No fire in Trista's dancing. She may be better than Kelly technically, but I think Kelly has a lot more potential to dance really well.
  6. discovery

    discovery New Member

  7. Breathe

    Breathe New Member

  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a way to do it, but let me check with someone who knows more than I do about this.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi Infosaturated. Welcome. :D
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Nope, unfortunately there is no way to do this... but I'd encourage everyone to try keeping comments consolidated to the discussion and poll threads already started for this week (Week 2), just for ease of reference! :D
  11. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Or you could take the quoted posts from this thread and copy them into the DwtS - Week 2 thread. Then leave a link to the thread in this one. That way, we keep it all together without too much trouble or mess.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's what I've done in the past, Medira. Just quoted each of the posts and copies them into the new thread.

    Infosaturated has quite a few interesting observations. 8) :D
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Probably because his 'quickstep' doesn't even for a minute show any movement consistent with the character of that dance. Quickstep is built around movement from the sternum, with the rest of the body swinging under that. Joey did a sort of social swing with hunched posture to quickstep music - John actually danced something that wouldn't look out of place in an unrestricted beginner-level ballroom competition - the ONLY time so far on the show that we've seen a non-latin dance performed in a way that shows even a preliminary understanding of what the dance is about.
  14. discovery

    discovery New Member

    Infosaturated, you have some interesting comments, why don't you cut and paste all your comments in new posts in the appropriate thread? I'm sure you'll get more feedback that way.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Infosaturated, are you still around? When I get home this evening, I'll probably quote some of your comments in the other thread to further the discussion, if you don't mind. 8)
  16. Infosaturated

    Infosaturated New Member

    Yes I am and please do. It seemed to pushy to repeat my own comments in another thread, especially as a newbie with zero dance experience. :oops:
  17. Medira

    Medira New Member

    Hey, it's nice to have a different perspective sometimes. We want to hear your opinion! :)
  18. smoozer

    smoozer Member

    Nice to here from someone outside the dance community
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I went to the salon this morning to have my eyebrows waxed, and it turns out my esthetictican (sp??) tuned in to "Dancing with the Stars" last Wednesday night. She did not watch the first episode, and did not even think she'd like the show, but she found herself completely sucked into it. Granted, she's a social dancer (Lindy, Salsa, Swing) but she's never been to a ballroom competition and does not do any of the dancesport dances.

    She really liked the show a lot. She said she really enjoyed the lighthearted and entertaining nature of the program, and pointed out it was a really nice break from all the "reality" shows that go on and on about other people's drama -- she said she's tired of things like that "Nanny 911" show or the home improvement shows or even "Survivor." She plans to keep watching "Dancing with the Stars" because it was breezy and fun.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow! One person's breezy and fun is another person's cheesy and fluff. :lol: :lol: Amazing to hear a "real" person's perspective, here. 8)

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