Dance shows vs entertainment – underdog voting

I love watching dance shows on tv. Unfortunately we’re limited to freeview, but whether it’s a pro or celebrity show, a reality show or documentary, then I’m watching it.

My love of dance shows started with Come Dancing when I was a child.  I was allowed to stay up and watch it, but mostly had to video the shows and watch them later.  The formation teams were my favourite.  Even though I danced myself and was in the occasional dance show, I still thought Come Dancing was so glamourous.


But turning dance shows into entertainment shows for mainstream family tv, adding a public vote to them, really drives me to despair.

As a lover of dance, I want to watch good dancing.  I don’t want to watch the comedy show, the rubbish person who tries week after week but doesn’t progress.  Or realises the only way they can remain in the show is to send themselves up and plays the comedy card, and avoids the dance aspect.

I blame the public for keeping the bad dancers in week after week.  It’s great that dance is keeping more of the public entertained and that more people can appreciate the hard work that goes into dance.  Hopefully the shows will also inspire more people to try dance – because there is a dance style for everyone, and even those who think they’re bad dancers can probably improve and become more of a dancer.  But I just wish that after 3 or 4 weeks of voting that we’d be left with the people who can dance, or have made progress and are showing some aspect of talent.

I didn’t find Ann Widdecombe funny, or John Sargeant.  Their dances (if you can call them that when they’re not trying to dance, just being ‘funny’) were painful to watch. It reminds me of kids laughing at the children at school for not being able to play sport or something similar.

Ok, so some good dancers might not rock your boat to watch them – whether they have no personality coming across, or I can’t connect with them.  But I still want to see as perfect a dance as possible, weeding out those who’re never going to be able to achieve a good reflection of the dance they’re trying to achieve.  Sometimes (early on) the bad dancers should stick to dad dancing in their kitchens instead of being on my tv screen, in the place of someone else who is obviously better than them.

I admit in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing to have quite enjoyed Jeremy Vine’s dances because he did improve, he did try to dance, and he did do quite well in the more serious dances.  But there comes a time (earlier rather than later) when the obvious worst people need to have gone.

I seem to be in the minority thinking this, in terms of getting rid of the ‘bad’ dancers.  Yes, they’re entertainment shows, but they’re also dance shows.  They’re meant to inspire others to dance, a way to show children how if they work at something they may be able to achieve greatness.  That not everyone can win, and that ultimately one of the best dancers will win.  And surely we all want to see the best person win?

Thankfully so far in these shows, we’ve not see a bad dancer (Chris Parker excluded) get through to the later stages, but when I see them being kept out of the bottom two for the dance off, my heart (and surely that of the judges) sinks.

This season’s Strictly Come Dancing is getting to the serious stage and I’m getting panicky for the good dancers.  While Ed Balls isn’t as bad as some of the worst dancers in previous series, he’s the worst by a long way compared to the others. Fingers crossed that the British public come to their senses and remember that ultimately Strictly is a dance show.

Are you a dance show fan?  Do you root for the underdog, or are you the same and find it painful to see the good dancers being pushed out by dancers way below their level?

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