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'Dancing With the Stars': Double your dancing, double your fun?

April 30, 2007 |  9:26 pm

Laila Tonight's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" brought viewers a dramatic new formatting change: the dancers dance two songs instead of one!  Did it indeed double the drama and excitement from just a regular episode?  Well, kind was hard to pay attention throughout the two hours.  There were a few things that did become evident, however. 

  • Laila Ali=The Hilary Clinton of the show?  Laila Ali has been a frontrunner throughout the competition: we can't get over her saucy attitude and her hard work and the fantastic chemistry she has with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy.  But Laila is the only female left on the show now...will that bring more votes from the women's bloc, who would probably vote for Joey Fatone otherwise but don't want to betray their gender? 


  • Ian Ziering tries too hard.  Joey Fatone said it himself, but watching Ian standing there, the Y-shaped vein pulsating in his forehead as he gritted his teeth and tried to catch his breath as the judges still wouldn't give him the praise he so sorely craves, well, we wondered if he was suffering from 'roid rage (no, we didn't really, for the record.) 

  • There is weird new choreography.  It wasn't announced formally but it felt like every dance had a little fake stage choreography that would maybe be done in a high school musical.  For instance, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke's Eskimo kiss faces, Joey's hat and cane bit, or Billy Ray Cyrus creepily "appreciating" his partner Karina Smirnoff dance. Maybe it's supposed to bring character to the dances, but it's making them cheesy.

  • Man alive, this show is long.  The two-dance show could be a lot more interesting to viewers if the format wasn't stretched so paper-thin.  It's beginning to become tedious:  the crazy LSD trip opening, the announcers, the dancers getting announced again, the introduction to who's dancing next, the footage of them practicing, the dancing, waiting for the judge's comments, going backstage to get grilled by Samantha Harris, and then getting their scores (and comments).  Wash, lather, rinse, repeat.  This should be the time the show steps up the pacing and makes it more exciting with more content, not slow it down. 

  • Two of the trio of John, Billy Ray and Ian will be in the bottom two tomorrow night, it seems, if chemistry with the dance partner has anything to do with it.  They seem to get along fine with the women they dance with, but the entertainment factor of watching them interact with their professionals is dim compared to their competitors.  We'll see if the voting public agrees.

(Photo courtesy ABC)