Singing and Dancing

Now that The Voice and Dancing with the Stars have returned, here’s some initial thoughts….

DWTS

DL Hugley is quite possibly the worst celebrity to grace (er, perhaps “grace” isn’t the right word…) the dance floor yet. In ANY season. He deserved to go first, and the only explanation for his staying is that Cheryl got a shitload of sympathy votes.

I was fairly shocked at the “elimination”… (which I read about online, I rarely watch the actual elimination shows since I’m too busy and don’t feel like sitting through lengthy recaps and drawn-out faux drama of who is “safe” or not.)

As for the women, Kellie Pickler and Zendaya are the best dancers. Although I think they are about equal on actual dance skills, Kellie has a slight advantage in age (she can show off her sexiness more than an underage celeb) and voting (since she already has a fanbase from American Idol and her country singing career that will be used to voting for her).

As for the men, I personally think Andy Dick is the best AND most entertaining dancer. His first dance was average for a week one dance, but his second was completely fucking amazing. It was sexy, funny, and in proper character. He practically danced like a pro. And did I mention sexy? I almost ran off to have some “alone time” afterwards. However, I don’t predict that he will last long. He’s going to be judged unfairly by the judges and by the “middle America” voters. He’s also got the huge disadvantage of being paired with a “newbie” pro. But, he has my vote at least. Ingo Rademacher, the soap guy, is probably the second-best dancer so far.

If I had to bet on a top 3, my money would be on Kellie Pickler, Aly Raisman, and Ingo Rademacher.

Also, I like that they’re adding different dances to the mix, but for some reason it felt wrong to be giving some pairs Contemporary in week one, while giving others a more traditional ballroom dance. It’s never really been easy to compare dancers against each other while doing different styles, but this was even more glaring.

The Voice

Shakira is amazing, and she makes a fantastic addition to the show. I originally started watching mostly for Christina, so when I heard she was not going to be on this season, I was relieved that Shakira would be on. She’s one of the few people who could get me as excited as Xtina (although by now I’ve come to like the show and the other coaches enough that I’d probably watch regardless.) Usher is okay, I don’t have anything against him, but he is a little too laid-back and understated so far.

Also, with both Xtina and Cee-lo gone, the wardrobe department is a little lacking. Too much black and leather. Sorry, but red boots on Usher and a little fishnet on Shaki aren’t quite the same as the spiky metal shoulder pads and crazy wigs and pets worn by Cee-lo, or the boob-revealing and hair-dying antics of Xtina. Shaki’s style is also a bit hampered, at least potentially depending when episodes were filmed, by her baby-bump or post-baby body (though she’s still a hottie regardless, it just makes wardrobe a bit more limited). And Blake and Adam pretty much keep their look the same week to week.

As for the contestants… there’s no one that has instantly captured my passion, so far. Sure, some of them are quite good, and will probably go far in the competition. But there’s no one who I’d go out right now and buy their CD.

Season 1 had Dia Frampton, Season 2 had Chris Mann, and Season 3 had Cassadee Pope (and that’s just my faves who made it to the finals). There were also several others who had me love them after just one song. I’ve even put my money where my mouth is, buying their CDs, downloading iTunes songs or pledging to their Kickstarters.

I may come to like these contestants more, as I hear more from them and they learn from the process of performing on the show, or else I may see someone in the coming weeks who captures my heart… but just so far, I can’t say who will get my votes.

There’s no one I am passionate about yet, the way I was/am about De’borah or Cody Belew, Lindsay Pavao, Pip, or Katrina Parker.

Perhaps ironically, it’s the two duos who are my favorites so far. Duos have historically been unsuccessful on the show, and haven’t made it very far. Perhaps this is their year.

Also, the “sob stories” are getting to be a little much. During night one, I literally laugh-snorted at a most inopportune time, thanks to the editing choices made. This is supposed to be The VOICE, not Oprah, Tyler Perry and RuPaul’s life-affirming bring-it-to-Church tales of redemption and perseverance. Yeah, we know it’s SO HARD to make it in the music industry, and you probably knew someone who died or was addicted to drugs or made your life hell or made sacrifices because they unconditionally love you. WE ALL DO.

I really wish they’d just bring them out on stage, with no intro, no backstory, no lights. They SING, and we give them a blind audition, just like the coaches do. They can bring in the emotional crap in later episodes – they have plenty of time.

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