New Format DWTS [Dancing with the stars]

In a word, bad. Fans were unhappy with the forced departure of Bergeron, and new host Tyra Banks was awful. I think she’s trying to be high energy, but it comes across as her screaming stupid stuff at the camera. No rapport with the stars or dancers. There is no audience so they pipe in cheering, which is nice. But when a judge said anything kinda/sorta negative they piped in boos. With “On no, judges, they are unhappy.”

They got nominally more famous starts this season, as in some folks that most people have heard of such as Drake. The judges scored more harshly than in past seasons - which gives them somewhere to go. A handful of good stars but nobody stood out in a good way. Carol Baskin was worst by a very large margin.

Don’t follow dance shows closely, so I only found out about Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews getting axed a few days ago. This was as much as I was able to dig up.

Andrews was pretty much completely useless (I’ve made my sentiments more than clear in this thread), but losing Bergeron is a big, big blow. I do not exaggerate when I say that he was not only the best thing about this show, he may very well have been what kept it together this long. He was the extraordinarily rare reality TV host who was fully aware of how utterly BS the whole miserable exercise was yet still earned his keep, week after week, year after year, and never once let success get to his head. Most of these guys run the gamut from “Good Yukari, shut the frag up!” (Matt Iseman & Akbar Gbajabiamila, Bear Grylls, those Holey Moley turds) to “Who are you again?” (Steve Harvey, Nick Cannon, any host of The Voice ever), and even the ones that start out fine often end up grating on my last nerve. (There was a time when I liked Howie Mandell, dangit. :frowning_face:) Bergeron was a class act from beginning to end, adding a touch of humor without becoming cloying or insufferable, leavening harsh judges’ scores without turning into a snivelling apologist, emphasizing the beauty and elegance of the art form without descending into slobbering boosterism. His voice and presence made a contrived, plastic, disgustingly rigged show better than it had any right to be. At the very least he deserved to go out on his own terms. Damn.

Tyra Banks? Wait, was that the white female completely generic insipid droning rah-rah vacuum from AGT or the non-white female completely generic insipid droning rah-rah vacuum from AGT? I’m sorry, all these wastes of makeup kind of run together after a while. I didn’t see anything egregiously bad from her in the first episode, but I have no faith that she’ll ever be anything but a bland cipher.

Oh, look, they dug up another NBA geezer. This is going to be a great season. :roll_eyes::man_facepalming:

Banks was terrible, IMHO. She was trying to be energetic and FUN, but it came across as screaming. I read somewhere that she’s a producer, so there’s no doubt she brought something to the table and demanded the emcee job in return.

The first couple weeks of every season, with so many dances to get through, always seem rushed, but it seems like they had more problems with timing and cues than usual.

I don’t necessarily blame Tyra for these issues; the COVID-adjusted format will take a while to settle into. I don’t think she did a terrible job, though I don’t understand what she brings to the table that Tom didn’t. As DKW mentioned, he was a very good fit for a show like this. No reason to fix what wasn’t broken. But I’m willing to let Tyra settle in as the season goes on. She’ll probably be fine.

As for the competition, this season seems to be a fun and likable group. I was really hoping for Oakley to do better than he did (I’ve been a Bulls fan all my life, and he was a great player and a good guy), but I suppose it’s true that Baskin improved more in the second week, so it’s fair that he went out first. Crazy tiger lady will probably be next, though, and I’m OK with that.

Everything is still fucked up in the world right now and we all need silly diversions like DWTS, so I’ll try to stay away from any negative remarks and try to enjoy it for what it is, now more than ever.

Basketball players always seem to have trouble - the height differenec is just too much to overcome.

Two episodes in, and my initial impression is as follows: We so freaking need a sane alternative to anudda wun bi da dus.

Let me start with the extremely super-glaring obvious problem: With fifteen contestants, how do you know who the hell to vote for?? You don’t have any idea who the lovable underdogs are, or who’s going to improve in the coming weeks, or who’s poised for a strong run, or who has a funny/quirky/offbeat style that makes this show fun; it’s a complete crapshoot. At this stage it’d actually make a lot more sense to vote for the contestant you want eliminated.

Then there’s the lunacy of trying to cram fifteen performances into a two-hour time slot. That’s simply not enough time to bring them on, judge them, and get comments, much less allow the voting audience to properly compare them all. When you take them out one by one by one, the show starts out overstuffed and rushed and ends up barren and draggy. I’ve said before that cuts at set points in the season would be a far better option. We’d get an idea of where everyone stood before committing to the first axings, and we could have the same number of dances in an hour.

But that’s never going to happen, of course, which means that after two episodes of 15 contestants, we’re going to have to endure two episodes of 14 contestants, because no one gets eliminated on a Disney night. Once we’re a week past that, I should start getting a handle on who these people are and who I want to be rooting for.

Four episodes down. Starting to get a handle on some of these names, but still have no idea who the real front-runners are. Pulling for Johnny Weir to set the bar, of course, and I really, really hope Skai Jackson can get a fair shake.

And apparently they can bounce someone on Disney night. Who knew. This means that the first three eliminations have been the three oldest, least mobile contestants. This is the first time I can remember that no septuagenarian survived to the round of twelve. Considering how far the completely washed-up Sean Spicer made it just one season ago, that’s pretty amazing. The only change I noticed was that they got consistently low scores, but that’s never been much of a difference-maker. Was it possible that the show needed some early-round cannon fodder and just got really lucky this time?

Tyra Banks…hoo boy. She made a real mess of that finale, didn’t she? Granted the producers had a hand in that bungle, but you’re going to forcibly take over two spots and say “I got this”, you’d damn well better deliver. Not only that, this was the second episode this season where she had to rush the ending, and I couldn’t even hear what Bruno said over the music. Granted thirteen contestants in two hours is a tight fit, but shouldn’t she know this and prepare accordingly? She looks exactly like one of those starry-eyed pretty faces who did nothing but put on makeup and gasp and wail and cheerlead and hit buzzers and give standing ovations and go “woooowwwww!” in her last job and thinks that’s good enough here. Anytime she has to actually help the show, she’s completely lost. She’d better grow the hell up fast or she could be a one-season wonder.

Oh-kay, what’s there to talk about?

Apparently Jeannie Mai has a bet going. Details here. All right, leaving aside the “tough love” bullcrap…man, is bet total bullcrap or what? Reminder, everyone: a proposition as to whether someone will “win” or “lose” is a fair deal if there is precisely one other contestant. What we have in DWTS is “win” and “not win”, the latter of which is ENORMOUSLY more likely. It’s like that old poll which asked for a prediction for how far a certain college basketball team would go, the choices being “champion”, “Final Four”, “Elite Eight”, and “Sweet Sixteen”. And all I could think was that Final Four was as an absolute no-brainer, because while the other choices were singular possibilities, Final Four covered two outcomes, losing in the semis and losing in the championship. Same deal here. It’s like those imbeciles who Only Bet Straight Line and act all sad when the 40 point underdog plays a mile above its head and they still get taken to the cleaners. plays a mile over heads and they And for that matter, what indication do we have that she has any chance of winning this? Where’s her fanbase? Former boy bander and reality TV transplant inherently have strong voting blocks; how is a Vietnamese non-jock transplant going to compete with that?

Still no clear favorite. I thought Johnny Weir was the obvious choice of Man to Beat, but he’s foundering badly and might actually be gone soon. It’s looking like the keys to victory are going to be staying healthy and getting proper rest. This is a grueling, grueling season, and the judges won’t hesitate to bounce someone who looks out of it.

Speaking of which, both the voters and judges have been ruthless in their excision of the old, slow, out of shape, or otherwise hopeless contestants. The order of eliminations so far: Old, immobile NBA player; aging, immobile actress; cipher who completely failed to impress; mostly immobile NFL player. Next on the bubble are Johnny Weir, Skai Jackson, and (I’m guessing) either Jeannie Mai or Justina Machado. You’ve watched this show as long as I have… probably longer, to be honest… and there is always one or two contestants who absolutely get away with murder and the same who get bounced way too soon. It’s like a law of nature. To see this unflinching justice, for the people to actually eliminate the worst contestant each time…wow. I’m going to say this is a net positive for humanity because it’s only a stupid reality TV show, but this is definitely something I never could imagine seeing. It’s pretty wild.

Don’t everyone get up at once… :man_shrugging:

The biggest recent change is the judges having final say over who goes home between the bottom two. I have mixed feelings about this, because while it means we won’t have a Sean Spicer situation again, it also means we won’t get a Bill Engvall or David Ross or Bobby Bones going deep, and those people were lots of fun to watch, even if other dancers were technically better. It’s all about entertainment, after all.

We’re at the point in the season where everyone is doing relatively well, so the rest of the eliminations will essentially seem random. Time to just enjoy the dancing and the personalities and relax.

I think Tyra is improving moderately, but Tom would have been infinitely better at dealing with the COVID format more seamlessly and professionally. The host change was a mistake.

Last season was the first one to have the judges’ vote-off, and Spicer was in it. I mentioned in that thread, post #7, that his cause was ultimately doomed because he needed to be no lower than third from the bottom to stay alive (which was the case, although he did last longer than I expected). As for Bobby Bones, the big beef with him winning (some truly epic outrage here) which, given his fanbase, the judges would be most likely powerless to prevent.

My problem with Tyra Banks is that she’s annoying. All the stupid questions, all the egging on, all the pretense, and she has to use all these pseudo-Valley Girl accents that just grate. I’m not going to pretend that that’s what’s going to give her the boot, though.

I think Nelly is on thin ice. His lack of musicality is baffling given his profession. Agree that Johny Weir went from penthouse to outhouse over the course of 2 weeks. Being in the bottom 2 might be a wake-up call.

AFAIK Johnny would be the first ice skater to fail early on dwts.

Ice Skaters typically reach the finals. DWTS had the olympic team a few years ago.

11 ice Skaters so far. Even Tonya Harding made the finals.

Well, according to the article you linked, Nagusu was eliminated week 3. Johny has made it further than that. Kerrigan came in 7th place and Charlie White 5th- before the finals.

I overlooked Nagusu. Probably because I didn’t know who she is. My eyes scanned over that part of the article. There were 11 skater profiles to read.

Cheryl Burke suffered a serious head injury in rehearsal, prior to tonights halloween show. She’s expected to perform with her partner.

Well, reality (real reality, not television) caught up to Jeannie Mai, who had to go in for lifesaving throat surgery and was not able to compete this week, thereby knocking her out of the competition. Granted this was a tough way to go, but let’s be honest, “winning” was an absolute sucker bet at any odds. If she wants to continue her reality TV journey, there are more than a few options. Though she might want to avoid anything with “Masked” in the title, as being a Vietnam immigrant is kinda an important part of her story.

The other one out is Crishell Stause, who I’m told wasn’t very good, and…

Okay, cards on the table, folks. My big, big beef with anudda wun bi da dus (as opposed to the myraid middling beefs) is that since someone goes every week, and results, good and bad, never have the tiniest bearing in future weeks (an absolute perversion of a proper last man standing format, as I’ve pointed out in any number of past threads) that means that anyone can go at any time, and as a result, I never have any freaking idea who I should be paying attention to. I’ll spend 1,000 words detailing how much I love/hate this contestant and what his prospects are for the remainder of the contest, boom, gone the next day. I brush off some obvious cannon fodder slob as not worth the time, boom, he goes on a run that would make Cal Ripken Jr. blush. I’m sick and tired of this. Zigging when I should’ve zagged, rushing into blind alleys, getting rug after rug after rug pulled out from under me. I’ve had enough. I’m done.

Quick notes on the remaining contestants, and then I’ll be back at the end if anyone still has any interest.

Kaitlyn Bristowe (The Bachelor/The Bachelorette contestant) - Underestimate an ABC reality star at your peril; there’s a reason the smart money was on Hannah Brown last season. The between-the-legs slide was a bit rough, but otherwise she was energetic and graceful and really had a ball out on the floor. All but a lock for the final.

Nev Schulman (reality TV dating guru) - If anyone can prevent a Bachelorette two-fer, he can. The fanbase is there, the charisma is there, he’s lithe, he’s healthy, he’s dialed in. All he really needs to do is avoid tripping over his feet and a finals appearance is in the bag.

Justina Machado (One Day at a Time star) - Confession time…I am loving this gutsy gal’s run. The great thing about having a big woman on this show is that she has to carry her own weight. Remember Stacy Kiebler, how she blasted the socks off of everyone for seven weeks, and then for the freestyle, Tony Dovolani was all LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, LIFT, which pretty much killed her chances right there? I hated that. But with a heavy woman, the pro can’t drag her over the floor and lift her here there and everywhere; he’d throw his back out. The question is if the contestant has the energy, drive, and skill to carry her own weight, and I’m glad to say that Machado has brought it in spades week after week. I have no idea how much the fans love her or if she really has a shot at the final, I just want her to keep shaking her everything and go as far as she humanly can.

Nelly (rapper) - He’s the one who did Hot In Here, right? He’s this season’s obligatory no-hope-scrub-who-maddeingly-lasts-weeks-longer-than-he-should, and now that he has an Acceptable Story, it’s just got even harder to get rid of him. Still, at least he’s trying, which is more than I can say for Master P, so I’m cool as long as he doesn’t win it all. Which he won’t. I’m fairly confident of that. :slight_smile:

Skai Jackson (former Disney actress) - Kiddie TV has-beens haven’t had a great track record here, and for good reason. Tastes change drastically on the cusp of adulthood. “So five minutes ago” is a very real thing (I’ve been there), and a rabid fan one day can be an indifferent stranger the next. She’s outlasted the contestants she was supposed to, but every week she looks more like a girl playing a woman’s game. The relentless anudda wun bi da dus machine has her number; it’s just a matter of when.

Johnny Weir (figure skating medallist) - Honestly, I’m still not quite sure what to make of him. It’s like he’s trying to be this pretty, delicate little flower and just doesn’t have the physical chops to pull it off anymore. He’ll almost certainly have to sneak into the final.

A.J. McLean (Backstreet Boys) - Whoa. All this arglebargle about girly this and don’t play their own instruments that, and it turns out boy banders can be just as messed up as rock stars. He’ll never have to worry about having fans, obviously. The important thing is that he has to remember that he’s starting from zero every week and he can’t let up. The moment he gets injured or fatigue sets in, he’s done. If he can keep up the pace, there’s no reason not to consider him a favorite.

The biggest surprise to me so far is Nelly. Not so much that he’s still in it (I know he has lots of fans), but that the judges seem to love him. To my untrained eye he always looks stiff and clumsy, then the judges rave about how amazing he is and give him great scores. I don’t get it.

Agree about Nelly - I don’t get it. However, the judges are watching the dancers live and the audience is watching from many perspectives and that might be the difference.

There have been 2 Disney kids that were on DWTS who have gone on to be big starts - Zendaya and Jordan Fischer. Both had “it” when the were on the show and you could tell they were going someone. Skai not so much.

I have a theory about Johny Wier - he has the best arms/hands in any contestant I’ve ever seen. It makes for gorgeous lines. The other aspects of his dances are often clunky and too deliberate. Combined he comes off as a mish-mash.

And…I’m back. Honestly didn’t see this coming, but I got a bunch of random stuff can’t wait two more weeks.

  • At the start of the season, I was unoptimistic but more or less neutral about Tyra Banks; if nothing else, I didn’t think she’d be any worse than she was on AGT. I have revised that position. :weary: Good gravy, she is awful. Alternates between irritating sing-song, erratic stammering, and clueless rambling. She’s like an amalgam of Mrs. Cartman, Dr. Frank N. Furter, and two versions of The Joker. Steve Harvey was better than her. Simon Cowell at the height of his “evil Brit” douchebaggery was better than her. For crying out loud, Erin freaking Andrews was better than her. She can’t even satisfy the bare minimum requirement of not making viewers rush to slam the mute button. I don’t know how she weasled her way into two power positions, but I have the feeling her days at the top are numbered.

  • What the hell was up with Bruno’s bizarre flipflopping over whether next week was the “semifinal” or “quarterfinal”? (For the record, next week’s round of 6 is the last episode before the final and will have 2 eliminations.) I’ve never seen him fudge a basic fact this badly. He may be getting older, but he’s not senile or anything, and it’s not like there’s a ton of other things he needs to keep track of.

  • Nothing surprises me on this show anymore, but I’m just a wee bit put off that A.J. McLean went out in seventh. He was clearly running out of gas, but I thought he’d at least outlast Skai Jackson. I do think keeping Johnny Weir over him was a good choice, as he has the “What the hell?” factor that a fluffball show like this absolutely needs. Portraying a woman in an artform that has pretty rigid gender roles is a gusty move no matter what.

  • My stock on Nelly has gone up; he may not have grace or panache, but he’s working his butt off to get the best possible performance out of his limited skills, and I have to respect that. (Making his own track for the dance is definitely going the extra mile.) Bonus points for choosing an icon who wasn’t some drearily predictable safe choice. I still don’t think he’s going to win…finishing ahead of an ABC transplant and a dating show star is simply too high a mountain…but I wouldn’t be upset with him winning like I would if, say, Bristol Palin did.

(We can do bulleted lists now? This board is great! :grin:)

From your keyboard to ABC executives’ ears. I miss Tom Bergeron.

I disagree regarding your analysis regarding Skai. I think Skai, while not being the best dancer was better than AJ. Unless she has a lot of fans watching, I do expect her to be in the bottom three next week with Johnny and Nelly.

Agreed. My money is still on the Catfish dude, but my wife still says his previous dancing experience is “cheating.”

Yes. Yes, it is.

I find catfish guy annoying AF, but I agree he’s most likely to win. I like Weir’s genderbender, out there personality but I’m guessing the majority of the audience finds it off putting and he’s not going to get the votes.