'Dancing With the Stars' finalists prepare for biggest testTV: Going into the finals, 'Dancing With the Stars' still hasn't answered the question:
12:00 AM CST on Monday, November 26, 2007
By TOM MAURSTAD Media Critic email@example.com
Any sports championship would love to have the dueling-dynasties, anybody's-guess atmosphere going into the Dancing With the Stars finals tonight. In its fifth season, the drama and the conspiracy theories have been flying almost as fast as the dancers.
With a field that seemed stacked in the women's favor, many fans were convinced early on that the producers were determined to ensure a female winner after a run of male champs. But that theory was upended when the season's No. 1 ringer, Sabrina Bryan - a member of the song-and-dance pop group Cheetah Girls whom some message-board wags had dubbed "Cheater Girl" - was abruptly eliminated in midseason. Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice, is now the banner-bearer of the Ringer Theory, but anyone who's ever seen a Spice Girls' video or performance knows that calling Mel B. a professional dancer based on her Spice Girls' experience is a bit of a stretch.
But all this has only served to feed the debate among fans of the show; namely, is Dancing With the Stars a dance competition among celebrities of varying popularity, or a popularity contest among celebrities with varying dance skills? Throughout the season, outcomes have supported either side of the argument.
On the dance-purist side, there is the surprising rise of Helio Castroneves, an Indy 500 champ with zero star status outside the racing world who has danced and charmed his way into the finals, and the unexpected fall of soap opera star Cameron Mathison who, despite his daytime-TV following, got voted off going into the semifinals. On the popularity-contest side, there is the continuing presence of Marie Osmond. As a dancer, she's a great celebrity. But week after week she's remained.
So who will win, and what will that say about the show? Will it be the ringer, proving the fix was in, or the inspired amateur? Will it be the best dancer or the most beloved star? We'll all know on Tuesday night.Dancing With the Stars
7 tonight, 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC (Channel 8)Melanie Brown and Maksim ChmerkovskiyWhy they will win:
Scarier and Scarier Spice may be the favorite to win. She's got a huge and devoted fan base, she has a popular partner in Maksim and she can dance, especially the high-energy numbers. She's scored a few perfect 30s.Why they won't:
Anti-pro backlash unites enough viewers to vote against her.Helio Castroneves and Julianne HoughWhy they will win:
Helio is the poster boy for this show's amateur premise - taking someone famous for something completely unrelated to dance and watching him get better every week. He's been unflaggingly charming and has proven he's good enough to dance with the pros. His electrifying pasodoble coming into the semifinals earned him a perfect score and bragging rights to maybe the best dance of the season.Why they won't:
Helio just doesn't have the built-in fan base that his bigger-celebrity competition does. He's not a Spice Girl, he wasn't on one of the most popular shows of the '90s and he hasn't spent a lifetime being a little bit country to his famous brother's little bit rock 'n' roll.Marie Osmond and Jonathan RobertsWhy they will win:
If she wins, it will confirm once and for all that this show is about personality and popularity, not dancing. But when it comes to drama and gripping back story, Marie is the unchallenged queen - first she fainted, then her father died, and now one of her sons has entered rehab.Why they won't:
Um, she can't dance all that much or all that well.http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.36a54b3.html