What lucky ducks we are! Dancing With the Stars judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba are duking it out and for six weeks, we get a front row seat to the action. Unless
you just don’t give a damnyou’ve been under a rock for the past few years, you know that host Drew Lachey was once upon a time part of a boy band. You may also know that he was the lucky winner of that coveted disco ball trophy on season two of Dancing With the Stars. If you’re a fan of the show, you even know that Drew filled in as the show’s co-host while what’s-her-name was on maternity leave. You also know that judges Bruno and Carrie Ann are known for their fighting words and tough critiques. What you may not have known, at least I didn’t, is that Carrie Ann started dancing as a child and was once a pop star in Japan. And hey, after a quick google search and payment of a mere $5.95, you can own a copy of her CD. Bruno has done it all, danced, sang, and acted. They’re both up for the challenge and in it to win it! After the auditions, the top thirty will go to Hollywood for intensive training. Then the final fourteen will be revealed live for the first time. Next week, Bruno and Carrie Ann will choose their teams and the dance war will begin. Anti-climactic? I’m sure.
The Big Apple Bites
Bruno and Carrie Ann begin their talent search in New York City. Hundreds of
losershopefuls line up in Central Park for a shot at stardom. To thin out the crowd, they’re first given an opportunity to freestyle in groups of fifteen. Those who stand out will advance to an afternoon solo round where they’ll both dance and sing. The freestyle audition was a chaotic mess but somehow Bruno and Carrie Ann spotted potential talent. Looking much like he was dressed for a barber shop quartet or a tent revival, Drew wandered amongst the crowd for the standard sound bites. You know the drill…some singing off key, a few interviews with nervous performers, and a lame joke or two.
Monica’s solo audition is up first. She sings in the shower but not so much in public. Hmm, wonder if that qualifies me. I’ve been known to carry a tune in the shower myself. Although ridiculously nervous, Monica sings a few lines of “The First Cut” with her eyes closed. Bruno jumps up to instruct her to keep those eyes open. She continues and Bruno excitedly yells as she sings it to him. Her dance skills are funky but the judges can’t seem to agree so they send her off to learn her fate later.
Quandrell from Buffalo is next. He shares that he’s there to put Buffalo on the map. Great idea, since Buffalo is so unheard of, right Quandrell? He says he’s been dancing for fifteen years so perhaps his skills on the dance floor surpass his vast knowledge. He sings “My Girl” and blows the judges away. They’re equally impressed with his dancing so he’ll no doubt advance without a problem.
Anthony from North Carolina sings to Carrie Ann in an attempt to win her over. He has a good voice that brings Carrie Ann to tears. Bruno grins from ear to ear as he’s pleased that Anthony could communicate through his song. But can he dance? Let’s just hope that someone in wardrobe put a condom under Bruno’s tight jeans because I think he’s going to need it. The audio of both he and Carrie Ann sounds like a clip from a bad porno. After the um, climactic(!) audition from Anthony, Bruno runs onstage to hug him for his incredible performance. Carrie Ann follows with a hug as well because he made her cry. Someone please tell her that it’s okay to cry after such an orgasmic experience.
Ashley, the cocktail waitress, does her own rendition of “My Girl.” She doesn’t seem very bright but has a good voice. Unfortunately, she can’t dance a lick. Twenty-three year old Samuel’s feet were mutilated by the dance floor so he’s off the hook when it comes to dancing. He sings “Feeling Good” and leaves the judges doing just that. Sasha, the eighteen year old from Florida, is nervous as she sings the first stanza of “Amazing Grace.” Bruno makes fun at her for changing keys so many times and she runs offstage in tears. Or maybe it was the spandex booty shorts that appear to be wedged so far up there. That has to be painful. I’m just sayin’. She’s so embarrassed that even a hug from Carrie Ann can’t convince her to finish. Others like Marquis, Elizabeth, Cass, and Jessalyn wow the judges.
Of course, we must endure a few really awful auditions. You know the ones, the people that Simon Cowell would send running from the stage in tears after Randy and Paula snickered at them from behind their Coke cups. And because there just isn’t enough filler in this two hour episode, Drew masquerades as D. Diddy and auditions in an old school track suit. He wasn’t slick enough to pull one over on old Bruno, however. He figured it out just before Drew’s Kid Rock wig fell off.
At the end of the day, the suckiest of the suckers were sent home and the others were sent packing for Hollywood, baby!
Blame It On The Rain
The next round of auditions lands us in Los Angeles. Bruno is hopeful they’ll find some real talent since no one in NYC blew him away. He’s quickly disappointed as the “Entertainment Capital of the World” gets off to a rocky start. That changes as Shari takes the stage. She feels she has an advantage because of her diversity. The crowd loves her and Carrie likes her. Bruno, not so much. Her singing ability, or lack thereof, seals her fate, I believe. Eighteen year old Kasey does a good job on “The First Cut” but should have polished those dance moves a little. Really.
Storm clouds roll in and rain halts the auditions. It also provides more fluff for this two hour premiere. I, for one, could do with out Drew and his trusty umbrella in a predictable little “Singing in the Rain” montage. After sitting through the first half of this show, I’d prefer a quick ‘slam bam, thank you ma’am’ to all of this ridiculous filler. However, Drew is the host and production must at least attempt to hook us so we’ll watch the remaining five shows. So, prepare yourself. More fluffy filler ahead…
The rain finally stops and the show must go on. Zack, a pre-med student from Utah, takes the stage first. He sings “Feeling Good” and wows the judges with his smooth voice. He forgets the lyrics but who cares? He’s good eye candy, he can sing, and he can dance. Finally, Bruno and Carrie Ann find some talent and they’re sure to battle over who gets Zack on their team. The next to shine is lady killer Marquis who showed up on a whim. He sings “My Girl” and gets Carrie Ann all hot and bothered. Chris and Tony also get rave reviews but where are all the talented ladies?
Elizabeth, the charmer, sings “Say A Little Prayer” straight to Bruno. She has a good voice but I’m amazed at how easily wowed these judges are by these wannabes. I keep waiting for the Big Dawg to tell them how pitchy they are. Lizzy’s dance moves are weak in comparison to her singing talent. She swears she’s up for the challenge and promises to improve. After Elizabeth represented the ladies so well, the judges were impressed with Corina, Allysa, and Mariel. Angela and her spunky personality wins Bruno over. She can’t carry a tune in a bucket but her sense of humor and dancing ability gives her a chance. Carrie Ann loves her and Bruno carries her offstage. The final performer is Chris who blows everyone away with his rendition of “My Girl.” And the boy can dance. He’s a natural at hip hop and the judges are all over him.
Showdown in Music City
Next stop…Nashville, Tennessee. Yeehaw! Auditions are held at the Tennessee State Fair; and I swear if they stoop to showing Bruno on the merry-go-round or Carrie Ann in a pie-eating contest, I’m changing the channel. Fortunately, we only have to endure a short montage of barrel rolling and cow milking judges. They quickly get down to business since this is their last chance to discover talent. The freestyle round, however, is a joke. Somehow, they find a few to advance past the open call.
First up is one of three best friends, Kelsey. Oh, why are Bruno and Carrie Ann still wearing those cowboy hats? They must be interfering with their better judgment because they think Kelsey can sing. Her dance skills are better and they like the way she moves. She reminds Bruno of one of the Pussycat Dolls. Now I know he needs to take off the hat! Friend #2 is Megan. She can’t sing or dance much better than her friend but the judges like her. The last of the BFF trio from Louisiana is Mary Alice. Nope, she can’t sing or dance either. In fact, she’s the worst one in the bunch.
Judges are concerned about the lack of talent in Music City, USA. That changes as Philip auditions. He sings “Amazing Grace” because he used to sing it for his grandma. How touching but time is ticking and more than an hour into this thing, I’m unaffected. The judges are, however, and Philip brings them to their feet with his dance. They join him onstage and show off their moves. After getting his groove thang on, Bruno feels Philip has lifted his spirits. Me, I’m still unaffected…and blinded by the glare on Bruno’s enormous belt buckle.
Also, in Nashville, judges were impressed with Charity, Lacey, Bradley, and Maxx. Judges liken Maxx to a little Michael Jackson. Is that a compliment? Finally, the auditions come to a close and those who will advance are given the good news. Mary Alice, the worst of the BFF trio, is sent packing. Now maybe Bruno and Carrie Ann will ditch the cheesy Western garb.
Oh, What A Feeling!
On to Hollywood, where the rubber meets the road. The real talent, if any, will rise above the rest. The hopefuls have two days to learn a group performance and Bruno warns them it’ll be the toughest two days of their lives. Not wasting any time, the judges bring in a vocal coach to push the hopefuls to their limits. Afterwards, they meet their dance coach and choreographer and quickly begin working on their routine. Carrie Ann is looking for someone who stands out, someone with star quality. The hopefuls give it their all in an attempt to stand out of the crowd. There’s a lot to learn and the pressure is on. At the end of the day, Bruno admonishes them to step it up.
With rehearsal behind them, it’s showtime! The group performance is as cheesy as expected, like a bad Flashdance remake but serves it’s purpose to narrow the field. Bruno and Carrie Ann deliberate, then call in the hopefuls to deliver the news.
It’s on to the live show where Drew reminds us that our final fourteen will be transformed into two singing and dancing super groups. The tables are turned as Bruno and Carrie Ann will be judged by America as their teams battle it out. Both Bruno and Carrie Ann proclaim themselves the winner. Carrie Ann plans to put a diverse group of talent together. She tends to root for the underdog and says we might be surprised at who she’s chosen for her team. Bruno promises that his exciting, unique group will capture our hearts. If I want my heart captured, I’ll wait for Sawyer on the return of Lost. However, since
I am recapping this cheesy showI am curious about how heated this battle will become and if the two will come to blows, I’ll tune in.
Without further ado, the final fourteen are:
For the first time ever, they perform live. After watching, I have a new appreciation for the American Idol group sings and vow to never, ever complain about them again.
Next week, Bruno and Carrie Ann must choose their teams but there isn’t room for everyone. Two will go home so don’t miss the drama. If you do find something better to do with your time, say…..wash your hair, cut your toenails, or walk the dog, don’t fret. The entertaining MsFroggy will bring you all of the highlights.
How big is your buckle? PM me.