Today it’s confession time.
Watching “reality television” has never been my thing. It’s just not something draws me in. Now we come to me admitting to a guilty pleasure. When I happened to find out that gymnast Shawn Johnson (who later returned in an all-star season) was competing on a certain ABC show called Dancing with the Stars, I didn’t know much about it but I knew I’d have to watch her compete. Tuning in as a mere casual viewer wasn’t supposed to mean anything however it didn’t take much to fascinate me and a season (or two) later with more familiar faces in the celebrity cast I was hooked and have watched more loyally than I ever thought.
Every year those who follow my Twitter timeline (you guys rock, really, thank you! And a shout-out to my hashtag #DWTS buddy, Charity) you’re probably annoyed by the tweets I share every Monday night which is why I figured that was “enough” love for Dancing with the Stars but since I do talk about it so much and after Twitter conversations, I figured it’d be appropriate to write one blog post on my silly addiction. As a girl who’s dancing knowledge is no more than pretending to know what I should be looking for, watching dancing is a gorgeous thing. I enjoy the innovative routines, getting to “know” the pros and be in awe of their talent, and of course, a chance every season to cheer on a favorite celebrity.FANGIRL CONFESSIONS: REALITY TV #FWarchives Click To Tweet
The format is simple. Each season introduces a new celebrity cast of twelve people who pair with a pro; this season has Olympic medalists, former child stars, a television game show host, musicians and more. These couples perform a dance on their Monday night show that a panel of three judges analyze. Then every week, one couple is eliminated from competition combining judges scores and audience votes.
Since I began watching the dances have gotten more intricate and even the variety has grown, now instead of just the beautiful ballroom routines that also include Latin dances, there is also contemporary, swing dances and even the occasional flamenco routine. Once the season goes down to a limited number of couples, there’s more challenges like multiple dances in one night, fusion dances or team routines, and this season there is going to be a “switch-up,” which will apparently pair up the celebrities with pros they were not originally paired with.
As a “reality” show, there’s a lot about the competition that we find is dramatized. For example, much as they may try to appear impartial, it doesn’t take long to realize the judges have their favorites and if they don’t like a contestant it doesn’t matter the effort they put in. Or putting the same pro dancers with someone who doesn’t have a chance to get into the finale whereas others always seem to get the new Dancing with the Stars sweetheart. Every episode usually some argument happens; whether it be at the judges table, the rehearsal video or post performance interviews. All of which inspires me to roll my eyes at the least or yell at the TV over the silly drama (much like my Oscar experiences have been!). Yet somehow I haven’t been able to stop watching.
In a nutshell, this is Dancing with the Stars. There is a lot of high drama – from the contestants, pros and hosts alike, a lot of spray tan and sequins and best of all, a lot of beautiful dancing. And I’ve already found new favorites to cheer on.
FANGIRL CONFESSIONS: REALITY TV AKA DANCING WITH THE STARS
The season 18 cast is as follows.
Amy and Derek
SEAN AVERY partnered with KARINA SMIRNOFF
CANDACE CAMERON BURE partnered with MARK BALLAS
DREW CAREY partnered with CHERYL BURKE
MERYL DAVIS partnered with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY
NENE LEAKES partnered with TONY DOVOLANIJAMES MASLOW partnered with PETA MURGATROYD
DANICA MCKELLAR partnered with VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY
DIANA NYAD partnered HENRY BYALIKOV
AMY PURDY partnered with DEREK HOUGH
CODY SIMPSON partnered WITNEY CARSON
CHARLIE WHITE partnered with SHARNA BURGESS
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS partnered with EMMA SLATER
Dancing with the Stars returns for its second episode tonight and first elimination of season 18. (…until then, I shall be reading.)
Now I’ve admitted to my reality television weakness, what about you readers? Do you have a show you watch that gets under your skin but you just cannot give up? Share your reality TV guilty pleasures below!