Come “Dancing with the Stars”

Posted in by www.wmph.org on the January 24th, 2011

The phenomenon known as Dancing with the Stars may have started as a British show (Strictly Come Dancing), but it has since become a modern American hallmark as well. Millions of viewers tune in every week to watch their favorite celebrities partner with professional dancers and attempt to wow (or woo) the table of judges.The first season of the American show aired in the summer of 2005. Tom Bergeron (also a long-running host of America’s Funniest Home Videos) has served as host since the inception, while Lisa Canning served as the first-season co-host. The first season may have featured only six celebrity couples, but the variety of the stars was enough to hook audiences. Contestants included Bachelorette star Trista Sutter, boxer Evander Holyfield, actress and model Rachel Hunter, New Kids on the Block star Joey McIntyre, actor John O’Hurley, and actress Kelly Monaco. Monaco was originally named the winner (along with professional dancer Alec Mazo), but the audience called for a “Dance-Off” between her and John O’Hurley, who many felt had delivered the stronger performance. In this re-match, O’Hurley and partner Charlotte Jrgensen were declared the winners. This pair went on to release the instructional video Learn to Dance with John and Charlotte in 2007.The number of celebrity couples has increased several times throughout the show’s life, with the greatest number currently being 16 in Season 9 (Autumn 2009). Among the many well-loved stars featured on the show’s later seasons are Jerry Rice, Mario Lopez, Kristi Yamaguchi, Donny Osmond, Kelly Osbourne, Bristol Palin, Jerry Springer, Emmitt Smith, Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Fatone, Wayne Newton, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Jane Seymour, Penn Jillette, Priscilla Pressley, Kim Kardashian, Toni Braxton, Steve Wozniak, and Lil’ Kimjust to name a few. Hwoever, it’s not just the star power that attracts viewers. Although the professional dancers may not be as well known to American audiences, their performances are instrumental in making the show the success it is today. The judges should also be recognizedthe main trio, part of the show since the beginning, is Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli. Goodman is also head judge on the British version of the show, and Tonioli appears on the British original as well. Inaba is a professional dancer and choreographer who has worked on American Idol, Married by America, and All American Girl.

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