What Makes DWTS So Darned Compelling?

Happy Monday, friends and blog followers–y’all make me so happy!

A few weeks behind wanting to share this but this seems as good a time as any (and I couldn’t come up with anything else, lol).

Yep. I’ll admit it. I’m a Dancing with the Stars junkie. Whenever the season’s about to start or is in full swing and Monday comes around, the theme music goes off in my head and I get psyched again! (I start dancing and singing it too. My poor family…)

Started watching during Season 3 because Marie Osmond was a contestant; wound up totally hooked. A few seasons later big brother Donny took a turn—didn’t expect the show to hold that much more interest for me after that—but every season gets better and better. Monday and Tuesday nights I own the living room TV. (It’s the biggest and has the HD converter.) The only talk allowed in the room is about the show and NEVER during the dancing or the judges comments. (I banished my older son’s girl to the basement when she picked up the guitar, lol.) I plan absolutely nothing for the next eleven or twelve weeks. If I miss anything or want to catch an amazing dance or situation again, I head to abc.com or YouTube. Yes, I’m thrilled when I get my life back between seasons, but as soon as it’s time for the next installment…

So the morning I wrote this I was wondering: what is it about this show that is so addicting? The visuals are a feast set to music. The band impresses and amazes me beyond words every time. The professional dancers enthrall me. Most of the time, I like the judges, too. (Every now and again Bruno and Len say some not-so-nice-things that have nothing to do with fostering the celebrity dancer’s growth and/or try to influence the audience to vote them off. Okay, the latter is MHO but aficionados like me know what I’m talking about.)

I rarely know all of the celebrities at season’s onset. This time around, who’d ever heard of JR Martinez? And did I get the connection to the preseason hoopla and news buzz surrounding Chaz Bono as a participant? (Ask me if I even realized who he is and his origins as a person in this world, not that I don’t remember adorable blond Chastity with her renowned parents). Nancy Grace I was familiar with; had no clue a Kardashian brother existed.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Back to my thoughts on why I’m so hooked. As a writer and author of novel-length romance, I tend to be big on relationships, emotions and commitment. I’m into characters, character arcs and how a lead character progresses through his/her story journey, both internal and external.

Follow the next season: I challenge you. Follow the celebrities week to week and hear about their physical and emotional rides. Like the characters in your favorite read, they experience highs, lows and every level of emotion in between. Some show a physical transformation. (Look at Kirstie Alley and Ricky Lake. Sure wouldn’t mind finding out how I might look after a three-month stint of eight-hours-per-day of dancing—with newest pro addition Tristan McManus, I think. That Irish accent gets me every time ;))!

Watch, how every season, someone emerges as the emotional connection to the audience. Ain’t always about the dancing, folks. Yes, JR—this season’s champ—really danced up a major storm. He also had all the charisma most of the runners-up tend to show; head judge Len Goodman calls it “The People’s Favorite.”  JR was absolutely amazing and filled both roles.


I think, though, his story as a person truly captured Americans’ hearts. As a war veteran who sustained the burn injuries he did, and who lives with the physical and emotional scars he has, he appealed in a way others may have not. (Definite romance hero material.) Again, I speak only for myself, but on Week 10, when he hurt his ankle during rehearsals and later while competing, what bugged me most was the absence of his exuberance and that engaging, infectious signature smile. I mean, I knew him now. I felt so badly to see him hurt.

Okay, so I sound like I’m waxing dramatic, but that’s truly how I felt. I also loved rooting for Rob Kardashian. He came in looking as stiff as I would have and left with the honor of second place. He believed and transformed himself—reached a place he’d never expected to go.

Promise I won’t go on and on about every contestant. Guess I wanted to throw out that, as we writers kind of know, it’s all about the story.

Thanks so much for indulging me. (Especially for an upcoming post on DWTS pro Derek Hough and, in MHO, sets him apart from the rest of the pack. And he’s not even my favorite. I’ll reveal that then too.) For now, how about taking a moment to share your thoughts on what hooks you to this or your favorite show?

Have a great day,


2 thoughts on “What Makes DWTS So Darned Compelling?

  1. the first time I heard about the show was when my late Uncle asked my Mom if
    she was going to watch it. It was that new show called “Dancing With the Stars”
    What stars I thought? The ones up in the sky? Sounded so corny. Especially
    with reality TV overload these days. But I too admit, Im hooked. I record it weekly
    on my DVR so I can skip over the commercials and judge comments. I usually
    just focus on the actual dance. And try to glaze over Brooke Burke who, I swear
    seems like she is on robotic mode most of the time. What enthralls me is the
    physical and emotional transformation. The physical, the most obvious is amazing.
    Maybe I should try working out 10 hours a day, huh? But the emotional journey
    most of the contestants take, really gets me. I think what thrills me the most in that
    show is the building- belief they acquire as each week goes by. The “i can REALLY
    DO THIS” attitude. It hits home with me in a personal way. I try to imagine myself
    in their shoes. I think its one of my scariest thoughts, to be out there, exposing my
    “assets”, and trying to remember every step, move, twirl and lift. Get me on the
    dance floor with no set routine–for me, its as easy as cake. But give me a set
    routine, wow….now talk about a challenge……………..


  2. So cool to have you stop in, Dianne! I can’t do steps either–if my life depended on it, well…goodbye life I suppose. Hope you’re enjoying your other favorite–American Idol in its 2012 season! Thanks so much!


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