“Dancing With the Stars” is on it’s fourteenth season and often tries new things. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Week 4’s Dance Off had the two couples at the bottom of the leader board dancing a cha cha cha that they had two hours to learn. This one definitely goes into the “doesn’t work” category.
The problem here is that the couples dance at the same time with a split screen. It was impossible to see what was going on for an audience and it has to be just as difficult to see it as judges. It was a mishmash of spinning fringe and glitter. This short burst of chaos, which is more likely to cause nausea and a headache than entertain audiences, is how the judges decide who is going home that night.
In week 4, the very first person to go home was singer Gavin Degraw. While he is incredibly entertaining and a joy to watch, he isn’t exactly Fred Astaire. When he and partner Karina Smirnoff competed against Jaleel White and Kym Johnson in the Dance Off, it was obvious who was going home before the dance began.
Great, so this was an easy one. But what if it’s not the next time? The fun of the elimination show is the “red light” moment where we get to see the couples in danger and watch their faces. It’s certainly not a super-rushed dance that is impossible to follow and might mean that someone good goes home because the judges were too busy watching one couple’s move and missed theirs.
What is the point of shoving this into the end of the show? Gavin Degraw missed his moment and didn’t get a proper send off. The Dance Off was an experiment and didn’t work. Time to scrap it, ABC.