by Jennifer Squires Biller
Last night, Dancing With the Stars debuted to its most-watched premiere ever. As I sat through the two-hour show, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where are the stars?”
With the exception of a few of the contestants, most of the celebrities this season are D-list talent at best. I’m sorry, but I don’t count an unknown actor, several reality actresses, and a former ‘80s pop queen “stars.” No offense to any of these folks, who I’m sure will do a great job on the show, but ABC is billing this show as dancing with the STARS. And frankly, I’m not seeing it.
When I was a kid, (back when 8-track tapes were all the rage) we had a show called Circus of the Stars. And when I say stars, I mean stars. The celebrities that participated were all from popular TV shows or other entertainment genres. They would try their hands at circus acts, whether it was the trapeze, the tight rope, riding elephants, dagger throwing, etc. I loved watching the stars defy death with their acts. And the list of celebrities was impressive: Scott Baio, Sammy Davis Jr., Lynda Carter, Patrick Duffy, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennie Garth, Lauren Bacall, Peter Fonda, Ed Asner, Erik Estrada, Deidre Hall, James Earl Jones, Bob Newhart, Rick Schroder, William Shatner, Brooke Shields, O.J. Simpson and many more.
Yes, it was the ‘70s and ‘80s so perhaps it was a little easier to get stars on board for a fun reality show. But, I can’t help but wonder how much better Dancing With the Stars would be, if ABC could actually lure some top-notch celebrities. I bet the ratings would skyrocket, if we could watch some of our favorites put on those dancing shoes.
Can you imagine if this season’s cast included people we actually wanted to watch? Imagine Steve Carell, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Dempsey, Troy Aikman, Chris Rock, Betty White, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Beyonce, Kate Walsh, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Williams, and Dolly Parton competing for the mirror-ball trophy. If you don’t like my list, then consider who you’d like to see steaming up the ballroom.
My point is simply this. The show is called Dancing With the Stars, and each season - with the exception of the athletes - it seems like we see fewer and fewer stars. At this rate, ABC should just rename the show Dancing With People Who Want to Become Stars.
Here’s a list of this year’s contestants:
· Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts
· David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson
· Jewel & Dmitry Chaplin
· Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
· Lil' Kim & Derek Hough
· Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
· Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower
· Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer
· Nancy O'Dell & Tony Dovolani
· Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
· Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska
· Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
· Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
by Jennifer Squires Biller