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Entertainment behind the scenes

Hold your votes! “Superstars of Dance” goes global

December 18, 2008

(Writing and Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)lythgoe

American television audiences can be trusted to vote on things — especially when it comes to TV talent shows. Who is the best singer on “American Idol“? Which ballroom couple did the best Cha-cha-cha on “Dancing with the Stars? Which group has the street cred to be called “America’s Best Dance Crew“?

But the question of “trust” got a little more complicated when it came to deciding how to choose a winner among professional dancers from eight different countries competing on upcoming “Superstars of Dance” on U.S. network NBC.

“American Idol” producers Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller, both Brits and both behind “Superstars of Dance,” have decided to leave the voting entirely to the judges and exclude TV viewers. 

“It isn’t a show that you would really want the public to participate in, because it would be unfair,” Lythgoe told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday. ”I would have thought the American public may vote for America,” he joked. 

“Superstars of Dance” premieres on Sunday, Jan. 4, on NBC.  Irish dancer Michael Flatley, star of the stage shows “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance,” will host it. Dancers will come from Ireland, India, the United States, Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and Australia.

Despite what Lythgoe thinks, we wondered if in fact American audiences could put aside any possible cultural bias and not only to tune into a show but also pick up the phone and let their fingers do the voting — fairly? It seems these shows work best when audiences have a vested, rooting interest in their favorites.

Lythgoe, for one, said he believes audiences will tune-in. After all, he said many network executives were doubtful about “American Idol” before its start in 2002, and now it’s a top-rated U.S. show. But was he right on the voting? Is it a good idea to only let the judges decide winners?


While I completely agree that asking the properly selected judges to evaluate the dance teams from different countries is the only fair way for all the participants, it would be nice if some extra award types, like the best choreographed, or most appreciated team etc., could be introduced and decided based on the public voting.


Posted by Rajeshwar Sahai | Report as abusive

It is very hard to fully appreciate the dancers with all the crazy camera angles. The movement of the camera is distracting and adds nothing to the performances.

Posted by BillK | Report as abusive

Fire the director & send the judges back to their countries. As a professional dancer married to a director I can easily and accurately state that this show is the MOST AWFUL DANCE SHOW EVER. How can you shoot dancers with a long shot on the camera? Michael Flatley is flat, too. Terrible. Horrible. Disgraceful.

Posted by Shahira Halawi | Report as abusive

The first performance were the Irish group…. so fake and imitated…. yikes…
I was very disapointed that the irish group did not have an original idea of their own….
The performance was an exact, exact duplicate of Michael Flatley’s CELTIC TIGER performance right down to the last detail maneurism hand waving and running around the stage that the main front character did….
down to the last exact same movements that Flatley performed in his CELTIC TIGER show…..
This was copied and should not have earned that many points…
sure the group are very good dancers…. but should have had their own original creation, not a copied one….
I went to see the original performance of CELTIC TIGER on stage in person and bought their video and have watched it over 50 times and still have the dvd at home, so thats why I know what I’m talking about….

Posted by Denis McCool | Report as abusive

Very disappointing! This show had great potential, but the judges are not consistent. The fact that the judges are able to hear the score prior to them announcing their score is unfair along with the fact that the judges know how many points they need to be in first. Furthermore, as mentioned in the earlier comments, someone needs to tell the camera man to not zoom out while the dancer are doing intricate movements.

The dancers are doing a wonderful job and I believe they are not receiving the scores they deserve!

Posted by Tatum | Report as abusive

Nigel, I’m disappointed in you. The camera work is just awful – I can’t see what the dancers are doing half the time. I know you are trying to appeal to a broad audience with this show, but you are alienating the dance fans that made “So You Think You Can Dance” such a success. Teach those camera operators how to film dance!

Posted by Dance Fan | Report as abusive

I have enjoyed seeing the different cultures perform on the show and have tried to view them fairly. I felt like the judges also were mostly fair….that is until tonight….the show airing on Monday, January 19, 2009. The solo dancer from South Africa was unfairly judged because of the cultural difference in her dance interpretation. Also, the judges were WAY off the mark on the American duet couple. I cannot “legally” express my opinion on how horrible these lame-brains were….especially the judge from South Africa who gave a very good dance an idiotic “5″ for a score. These judges should be run out of town, if not tarred and feathered so far as I am concerned.

Posted by Chuck Herring | Report as abusive

as a professional dancer i expected more from this show. I love Michael Flatley and i’m glad he is the host, but i don’t know any of the judges. Are they all experts in dance? Cause it seems like they don’t know anything about technieque(however u spell it)…Like the solo act from russia: she skaked her ass and that was all, but the judges were impressed…?

Posted by lita | Report as abusive

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