Who's ready to rumba for 'Dancing With the Stars'?
March 20, 2016 12:00 AM
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is paired with professional dancer Sharna Burgess for the new season of "Dancing With the Stars," premiering Monday.
Former Steeler Hines Ward, with dancing partner Kym Johnson, won the Mirrorball Trophy on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011.
By Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steeler Nation helped Hines Ward secure the very shiny Mirrorball Trophy in 2011, but five years is a long time between making it to The Big Dance. (With apologies to the NCAA tournament, this really is The Big Dance.)
Antonio Brown and partner Sharna Burgess no doubt have studied the playbook, but for the rest of you, here is a basic primer to ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” back in action on Monday.
What is it?
“DWTS” was launched in 2005, based on the horribly named popular British series “Strictly Come Dancing.” Len Goodman, who for years commuted across the pond to be on the judging panel for both, left the American version last season but has since returned.
And lest anyone laugh at athletes, B/C-list celebrities and the occasional war hero or newsmaker dressing up in sparkles to dance with the pros, consider this: An early contestant on the Australian version was none other than Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth.
“DWTS” airs live on ABC Monday nights. It will go to Monday and Tuesday for the season finale.
Twelve teams of celebs and pros practiced for weeks before the official March 8 announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Once the waltzing begins, each team earns a score from the judges. Expect over-enthusiastic comments from judge Bruno Tonioli, but more on that in a bit.
During the live show, viewers vote by phone, online at ABC.com or through the show’s Facebook page. Whoever has the lowest vote total, combined with the judges’ score, is eliminated from the competition.
In previous seasons, viewers have been able to vote via Twitter to choose new partners for their favorites via a “Switch Up.” No word yet whether that is part of season 22.
Now this is what “DWTS” is all about. If Netflix hadn’t brought back “Full House,” it’s unlikely Jodie Sweetin would have been a big draw. But she’s here, as well as Kim Fields from “The Facts of Life.”
The longtime judges panel of Carrie Ann Inaba, Mr. Tonioli and Mr. Goodman has been supplemented over the years by Julianne Hough (Fox’s live version of “Grease”).
Also a staple is host Tom Bergeron of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” fame. Unlike Mr. Tonioli, who can come off as waaaaay too effusive in his commentary, Mr. Bergeron is dryly funny and can deftly maneuver celebs through an often cheesy display of excess that is, nonetheless, a competition.
His co-host, Erin Andrews, has been in the news lately. She recently won a $55 million court judgment against a man who stalked her and the hotel she said made it possible for him to film her naked.
TV is entertainment. If you want really great dancing, get Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre tickets. “Dancing With the Stars” is about people and stories. And because it’s a contest, Las Vegas oddsmakers already had set some early favorites last week with Mr. Brown given an edge over most of the field.
Who’s ready to rumba?
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.
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