The Korea Herald


More ballroom, less fusion in ‘Dancing with the Stars’

By Korea Herald

Published : May 1, 2012 - 18:40

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 Second season putting the spotlight on competitive dancing

The first season of MBC’s “Dancing with the Stars” put in a relatively strong showing when it aired last summer, nabbing viewer ratings that kept it at the top of its timeslot.

Now into its second season, all eyes are trained on whether or not this ballroom dance reality program is a one-trick pony or here to stay.

Viewer ratings for the prologue, which aired last Friday, did not bode well for the program.

Clocking in it at around six to seven percent, ratings were far lower than the approximate 13 percent reeled in by the first episode of season one.

Granted it was a preview of what was to come. The actual show kicks off this Friday with an eclectic line-up of celebrity contestants, including Girls’ Generation member Hyoyeon, former H.O.T. member Tony An and mixed martial artist Denis Kang.
Celebrity contestants for MBC’s “Dancing with the Stars Season Two” attend the show’s press conference in Seoul, Monday. (MBC) Celebrity contestants for MBC’s “Dancing with the Stars Season Two” attend the show’s press conference in Seoul, Monday. (MBC)

MC Lee Deok-hwa, who co-hosted the first season with model Lee So-ra, is back for the second season with a new co-host, season one contestant Kim Gyu-ri.

At the program’s press conference in Seoul on Monday, singer An admitted to feeling pressured to do well because Moon Hee-jun, a fellow former member of boy band H.O.T., won the first season of “Dancing with the Stars,” while Girls’ Generation member Hyoyeon cleared the air of recent rumors about her and her dance partner.

“There is nothing scandalous going on,” she said and giggled. “I mean I do get a bit nervous when we dance together, even though he isn’t my boyfriend, because there is physical contact.”

Director Shin Myeong-hoon gave further details on the second season.

“If the first season successfully incorporated some fusion numbers into its program, then this time around we will focus more on dancesport (competitive ballroom dancing), which has its own fan base,” said Shin.

The format of the series, which pairs celebrities up with professional dancers in week-to-week dance-offs, started in Britain as “Strictly Come Dancing” before being adapted and aired as “Dancing with the Stars” in numerous countries, including the United States, and, starting last year, in South Korea.

Given the competitive nature of the program, it was surprising to hear Shin say he wants this to be a “friendly survival show, where contestants are competing, not so much against each other, but instead going up against themselves.”

Some celebrity contestants, however, seemed to have already formed friendly rivalries.

Actor-and-gym director Lee Hoon quipped, “I think that (fellow contestants) Sunwoo Jea-duck, Kim Won-chul or I might place last but I would like to stick out longer than them. After all I am the director of a fitness center.”

“My rivals are Tony An and Hyoyeon,” was architect Kim Won-chul’s response.
“Dancing with the Stars Season Two” starts airing May 4, Friday nights at 9:55 p.m. on MBC.

By Jean Oh (