Entertainment behind the scenes
Hold your votes! “Superstars of Dance” goes global
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?