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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

If Only for the Dancing

5/10
Author: john_repede from United States
5 January 2009

Wow, I am about halfway through the second show and I can barely watch it, which is a shame because the dancing is rather good - at least what you can see of it. Where to begin? First, while there is plenty of good dancing, since when did Kung Fu become a form of dance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching Shaolin monks perform some of the most complex and difficult martial arts moves on Earth, but on a show that features ballroom dancing?

Which brings me to my second point. What is with the rating system? How the Hell can you compare clogging/tap dancing to traditional South African dance? There is no rhyme or reason to the scoring system other than it being a 1 to 10 scale and the judges are atrocious. They seem to have no concept of multi-cultural dance and can't score anyone lower than a 7 or higher than a 9. The whole concept of this show being a contest to see what country has the best dancers in the World is laughable at best.

Let me indulge you a little further with my third point, the directing/cinematography. When the camera comes around front of the dancers the flood lights on the back of the stage at stage level wave around and shine directly into the camera making it impossible to see parts of the dance. Then they do a sweeping view from in the audience and you are so far from the stage while the camera is moving that you miss even more of the dances. One point that sticks out in my head is on the second show the duet from Australia was performing a lift where the girl was above the guy's head horizontally, or at least I think horizontally but I wasn't really sure because the camera angle was so horrific.

The only reason I rated this show a 5 out of 10 is because the main point of the show is to showcase dance from around the globe. The dancing (from what you can see) is intriguing and captivating, it is such a shame that the show is trivialized by some phony competition when it solely could be about dance. Also, I do have to give props to Michael Flatley as host, he is genuinely a gracious host.

To sum all of this up, good idea, poorly executed. I don't know what is more appalling, the format of the show or the fact that it doesn't surprise me that NBC would put such a show on TV. What is this country coming to?

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

American Hate

5/10
Author: tankeredbell from Canada
4 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I am not American. But either I don't know good dancing when I see it, or these judges are idiots. Their scores are so pathetically overrated or underrated.

This is clearly a show where countries are afraid to rank other countries low. And for the good performances (the American duet) they are afraid to let their competition do better. The American duet was flawless and like nothing I have ever seen before and they got three 7's from Argentina, Australia and the South African judges. I couldn't disagree more.

This show is pathetic. If you must watch it, do so for the dancing because some of it is phenomenal, but for the most part the judges can't score worth sh*t.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

SUPER talent presented in a less than SUPER way

6/10
Author: Pro Jury
4 January 2009

Michael Flatley is a refreshing host. Direct, to the point, passionate but not arrogant. He is not a camera hog and he is not prone to Hollywood star diatribes as other TV hosts. He came off as genuine and sincere which, for me, equals easy to watch.

The other good thing is having a TV show showcasing dancing traditions from other countries. Something not seen much on network TV.

The biggest problem with SUPERSTARS OF DANCE is that it is a competition. The idea that a Punjabi bhangra can be measured against an Irish step dance -- what? -- is like asking what tastes better: a hot fudge sundae or southern fried chicken. Yes, some people will like one, and not like the other. But, for people who like both... how to measure if one is better than the other? OK, what is better: a dance of male strength, or a dance of female grace? Which is better: an orange cake, or a lemon cake? Even that is impossible!

Because a direct competition between wildly different international dance styles makes no sense, the scores given by the judges seem to be more personal or political rather than objective.

A smaller problem is having Miss USA as a co-host. She does not have the same credentials as Michael Flatley, and sad to say, does not add much to the show.

Last, I can't put my finger exactly on it, but somehow this show is not capturing the magic of these dances. Perhaps after seeing these dances in person, a lot seems missing when seen on TV. Still, I wish this show all the best.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Uneven Production & Bad Judges Spoil a Good Idea

4/10
Author: uber_geek from United States
5 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a great idea, but the program is sadly uneven and jumps around more than host Michael Flatley in his heyday. Some acts are profiled, some aren't, some judges are asked about their country's entry (a judge can't vote for dancers from his/her country), some aren't. Some of the dancers are long-held professionals and some aren't. Some dancers get to give comments, some don't. Then there's the constant trip to the scoreboard.

Flatley does a great job hosting, Susie Castillo is just there to look pretty and ask (the American solo contestant) on how she feels about her (abysmal) score. The Russian judge is the most fun. The Argentina judge is hugely biased--she spoke down to the aforementioned American tap dancer, an experienced woman who was probably in her 40s and who teaches dance, as if she were some 20 year-old novice. Yet if the dance is bizarre or weird, expect her to score it high.

I agree with others about the scoring. It's boringly consistent and looks a lot like some UN negotiation: Latin America hates the US, the US tries to make friends by kissing up to everyone, Russia and China have a pact...you get the idea. The audience would do a better job. Most contestants score an 8. There have been a few 10s and the lowest the individual gets is a 7. And yes, the American couple the first night was robbed! So was the Indian group on Monday who were very energetic and made ME want to get up and dance! The Argentinian judge tends to mark those countries she doesn't like as a 7 as well as spouting nonsense on why she scored them low and how they need to improve in order to get higher marks from her. The US judge marks almost everyone high and China gives almost everyone an 8. There's a lot of ties on the scoreboard because of this.

But I have an answer for the commentator who couldn't "put their finger" on why the magic of the dance wasn't captured. The answer is: the camera work and the editing. It's awful. They back out, then move close up, then show the audience. Just STOP IT! Show the dancers from a respectful distance with a couple of camera angles.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Superstars of CIRCUS

2/10
Author: Kevin Smart from United States
5 January 2009

After two episodes I only saw two actual dances. The rest of the performances can be classified as modern theater or circus acts. The judging is very inadequate and inconsistent. In a show called "Superstars of Dance" the audience and the judges did not get impressed by a tango and a professional ballerina, but gave the highest scores to a kung-fu master, who balanced on the tips of several spears. Aside from contents, which is inconsistent with the topic and title of the show, this production also suffers from bad directing and camera work. Dancers, who are presenting intensive footwork are being filmed from the waist up. The show seems under-rehearsed. My suspicion is that NBC felt like they needed to capitalize on the reality-dance success of their competitors and they rushed this show. People who enjoyed "Dancing With the Stars" and "So you think you can dance" are disappointed with "Superstars of Dance"

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time

1/10
Author: bridgetjones61 from United States
12 January 2009

This show is truly awful. How can you judge different styles of dance on the same platform? The judges don't explain how they award scores other than telling us whether they liked it or not. If they're from another country they really wouldn't know the first thing about another country's cultural dance. And do they have to make the judges Russian and Chinese judges sooo stereotypical?! Seriously..I'm sure they would never be caught dead in those garish getups. Ridiculous!!! I can't believe this show was an idea from Nigel Lythgoe. Please stop this nonsense and bring So You Think You Can Dance back sooner! Let's get some dancers we can actually connect to!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Super Trainwreck of Dance

3/10
Author: fred-513 from United States
5 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance. As a two-left-feet fan of dance, I have thoroughly enjoyed all three seasons of that show and look forward to more. Even with its unavoidable flaws, like the very nature of competition among dancers of vastly different styles and training, the unfortunate elimination of very skilled dancers who drew less exciting styles, etc., SYTYCD has remained a thrilling show that has showcased so many dancing genres and allowed us viewers to watch dancers push their own boundaries. So, when Superstars was promoted, and with SYTYCD producers at the helm, I expected the same greatness on an even larger scale. Wow, what a disappointment! First, the show bites off more than any show could chew. By trying to capitalize on the "international" element, it loses the most important quality of SYTYCD... connecting the audience to the dancers. Instead, it throws a bevy of dancers at us in a pretty ridiculous team-combined-scores format. I spent more time wondering how the competition and scores worked, exactly, than getting excited about the scores or the competition itself. Just as well, since the whole judging thing is pretty ridiculous anyway. As others have pointed out, how do you score and compare such different types of dance? I ended up entertaining myself by trying to remember how to say "seven," "eight" and "nine" in each represented language.

The second flaw is, in my opinion, less-than-amazing dancers. I expected the best of the best... honestly, I've been more awed at local dance recitals. Yes, there are a few that were amazing, like the Aussie contemporary dancer, but just not that many. It's sad knowing we have talent like Danny Tidwell and Travis Wall, then seeing the US soloists competing on this show.

Since So You Think You Can Dance has versions in many countries now, a better show would have been an international version of that, with some of the top competitors from each country. Are you listening, Nigel? So, three stars. I give it one star because it's that bad, but add two stars because Daire Nolan (the Irish judge) is hot, and Mikhail Smirnov (Russian judge) is so darn corny and cute.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing...

1/10
Author: Travel_Gal from Canada
4 January 2009

This show comes up short...you cannot compare the dancing because it is all so different. I feel sorry for the judges, and I would not even call what the young American guy did "dancing"! (Popping??? What the heck was that???) Sorry, peeps, but give me Dancing With The Stars any day. I am watching it now and the first show is only 1 hour in and I won't likely waste my time watching more episodes. There are far better offerings, but I had to check it out. I rated this show a 1 because there is no Zero! By the way I am not a dancer, just a dance appreciator! It will be very interesting to see how the rest of the world rates this series...

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Terrible and biased

2/10
Author: nightdrive23
6 January 2009

This show was awful. I expected so much more, especially after such fantastic dance shows such as Dancing with the Stars/Strictly Come Dancing, and So You Think You Can Dance. There was nothing fantastic about any of these dancers with the exception of Anya and Pasha (sytycd alumni might I add) or the American duo. I hate the fact that there is this stereotype that all Americans can do is Popping (David Murraine is over-rated) and Hip Hop, but of course that is what we have fore our soloist and group dance. Can we not see some modern or contemporary dancing.

Scoring is crap too, half the judge probably don't understand some of the styles of dances that have been shown on this program. That Argentine Judge is a b****, I couldn't stand her and her negative bias toward the American contestants.

Furthermore as awesome as the Shaolin Monks were, it was just a bunch of circus tricks. This had better be the only season of this show or they need to really re-do the production. Finally, the show needs new hosts, Flatley and Miss U.S.A. are too dry and have no chemistry to be decent hosts. All I know is that for now I can't watch this anymore.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Really is a Circus....

1/10
Author: gapeach1 from United States
6 January 2009

I was so looking forward to seeing this show - but I have to agree with previous comments especially Kevin Smart's - It really should be called: Superstars of Circus.

Three of the judges need to be replaced - Argentina, Australia and South Africa. They are so prejudiced - it is shameful.

I don't want to repeat everything from the previous comment - because he said it so correctly.

The judging is awful as is everything about the show. It has really been a disappointment.

I would love to hear what goes on in the executive producers offices - Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller - they can't be happy.

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