Several of the pros from DWTS came from the other show, namely Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer and Dmitri Chaplin. One of my favorite "guest appearances" on DWTS was a dance by Benji Schwimmer, Lacey's brother. I think the one thing that has kept Benji from serving as a DWTS pro is his height. He's still my favorite SYTYCD champ (I think Season 2).
I'd also like to add that though Tom Bergeron may be the best talent show host in the known universe, SYTYCD's Cat Deeley is also extremely good. She comes across as smart and sincere. By contrast, Brooke Burke on DWTS always sounds over-rehearsed and trite. Fortunately, as I said, Tom Bergeron is there on DWTS. He is so clever with a quick quip, and he's able to defuse an awkward situation in half a heartbeat, especially when the one of the Three Bad Boys, Bruno, Len, or Maks, goes too far and says something either icky or overly aggressive.
I prefer SYTYCD, as well..... just because there shouldn't be any 'clunkers'. I have to admit there are some people who are probably kept longer on SYTYCD because of their potential. I can't recall the kid's name right now - I think it was season 2 - the 3rd maybe. He was great at freestyle hip hop, but horrible at all the other genres. THe judges kept him around a couple of extra weeks hoping that something would click with him and let a couple of stronger guys go, instead. Debbie Allen gave him a scholarship to his dance school..... I don't know how his training went, but last time I looked he was teaching hip hop at her school.
Compare to DWTS where some absolutely dreadful dancers are kept over better celeb dancers.
I think one sterling trait of SYTYCD is that the dance community is so passionate about showing the world how wonderful dance is (this includes the judges as well as the contestants) and that they're likewise passionate about finding and nurturing new talent. When you watch this show, it's like an education about all sorts of different dance styles. I never liked hip hop until I saw what it could do in the hands (or under the feet) of an expert. Now I enjoy a lot of it tremendously.
On the other hand, DWTS is a bunch of "civilians" coming into the dance world and finding out what they can do. They represent us, in a way, and many viewers love exactly that aspect of the show. You hear the eagerness in the voices of the celebrities as they find and express this new talent. To me, that's hugely appealing. Sometimes it leads to some clunky dancing, but sometimes it makes for a terrific performance--like that quickstep that Romeo did in a recent season, or Mario Lopez's phenomenal paso doble done to mariachi music. So I enjoy that show as well, for different reasons.
I can't dance to save my life, but I really don't find anything of ME in DWtS... it's just a list of "once were" stars who are willing to do anything to stay in the spotlight - granted there are some who I don't think are totally like that (Yamaguchi being one of them) but I dunno... it just does nothing for me.
I used to dance so dance in just about any form makes me happy. I usually head to the kitchen when they do the DWTS studio practice bits but I do like to see the finished product. Some really terrific numbers can emerge. Even if the dances don't quite do it, I like seeing the pros and guest dancers.
Overall, there is a sense of camaraderie that I enjoy. I have no time for the get-them-before-they-get-you reality shows like Survivor. I like to see good sportsmanship and fair play (especially like to see that in skating where it happens some of the time!) I don't really take the results too seriously as fan voting reasons can be peculiar (not always about the best dancers). SYTYCD and SYTYCDCanada were real eye-openers for me and I saw the new face of dance. I was impressed by how serious the judges and choreographers were about their work.
Back to DWTS! Bergeron is quite good; he's funny and can handle just about any situation. Burke I find useless and so was her predecessor. It would be nice if they could get someone who could bounce off his humour.
I did stop watching for 2 seasons when some skateboarder was on, dropped his partner and left her on the floor and walked off! I was yelling at the tv that no pairs skater would ever let his partner be in that situation. We've seen that happen now and then and skaters have rushed to assist. Anyway, rant aside, I do like to watch dance!
I agree that the camaraderie on this show is very appealing. (Like you, Scrufflet, I have no patience for the cutthroat shows like Survivor.) You can see how happy everyone is to be together backstage. Some of the celebrity contestants have a reborn look after a few weeks, especially the older ones who maybe thought that this kind of strenuous and skillful training would be beyond them. I remember contestants like Jane Seymour and Lisa Rinna who just glowed about their accomplishments after a few weeks. I also enjoy seeing the ingenuity of some of the pro partners, who are also going outside their comfort levels to deal with untaught dancers. Can you imagine the risks especially the women take, trusting their safety to guys who don't know how to grip for the more daring lifts? Man, Kym Johnson almost broke her neck. Even without the risk factor involved, the pros have to be really inventive in developing moves that look complex but that are doable by their partners, who may be of uncertain skill and strength. One of my favorite partnerings was Chelsie Hightower and Ty Murray, whose training couldn't have been more contrary for a dancer--rodeo bull riding! She had to figure out all sorts of ways to retrain his vocabulary of movement, and she succeeded in making him look really good. (The fact that he was completely motivated to train as hard as necessary was also very appealing.)
Then there are the various dancers with what might be considered unusual limitations for a dancer, including Marlee Matlin who is profoundly deaf, Heather Mills with her prosthetic leg, and several dancers who were considerably older than average. It's easy to forget that the latter group includes Kirstie Alley, who was sixty (or possibly a mere 59) when she competed. She gave it everything she had and then some, and it was truly inspiring.
So there are all kinds of human stories in DWTS that add to the show's appeal for me. Oh, and one other one: the music is provided by a live orchestra and vocalists, I believe. This is huge for me. I'm always happy to see artisans get a chance to display their talents, and these days it's a real treat to watch music that isn't canned and processed through a machine.
One fantasy I had fun with was creating a roster for Dancing With Figure Skaters: all skaters paired up with the current pros. Essential? Kurt and Shae be in it. After that, I had fun planning pairings. You'd start with such a high potential talent-wise and imagine the spirit of competitiveness that would kick in!
oh, man, would that be a dynamite show!
Audiences would become acquainted with skaters and how charming they all are. The level of skill would be very high, which would make things extra inviting to viewers.
Definitely Kurt and Shae would be swell ambassadors for skating. And Stephane Lambiel! I'd also love to see Shizuka. And Yuka Sato, though her time is kind of spoken for right now. I'd also love to see Rory Flack Burghardt if she's still skating. She has such an easy, jazzy style. I'm deliberately staying away from skaters who are competing currently, though of course the temptation to suggest Meryl and Charlie and Tessa and Scott (each with a dance pro partner, of course) is overwhelming.
Kat Witt would be interesting paired with Maks (battle of the divas), Kurt with Cheryl, Shae with Derek, and yes, Stephane and Shizuka would be great. Splitting up a couple like Sale/Pel and pairing them with pros could be fun. Yes the urge to do V/M and D/W is obvious. Toss in a few singles like Johnny Weir (with the old wild Lacey Schwimmer, not the newer mainstream blone version). RFB is a good one; i'e always liked her. Chris Dean with?
I thought Len was being so critical with Melissa Gilbert and for some reason I think he does that to get to Maks. I keep saying they need professional people as judges.