Sunday, 20 February 2011


[11.00 - French Time] French private channel TF1 aired yesterday the second episode of Danse avec les Stars, the French adaptation of BBC Worldwide's format Dancing with the Stars (Strictly come Dancing in the UK). A global hit licensed to more than 30 countries.

Last week's premiere won the evening with only 4.840.000 viewers and a 23,9% share and it seems that some minor adjustments were made to improve the ratings: Canadian judge Jean-Marc Généreux spoke normally and stopped screaming, and everybody insisted on the spirit of fun vs the competition aspect (episode one was in many respects reminiscent of the French Got Talent). « The show sticks to its promises with beautiful sensations at the beginning of the programme, » heavily stated co-host Vincent Cerutti right after the first number by singer Sofia Essaïdi and dance pro Maxime Dereymez.

Some years ago Essaïdi was a contestant on Celebrity Dancing, a similar concept/format tried by TF1, which makes her definitely a favourite. It also makes her a kind of counterpart to Brit singer Alesha Dixon, who won Strictly come Dancing in 2007 and became a judge two years later. Former football player David Ginola, who must know his SCD perfectly, and hearthrob singer M Pokora, emerge as serious rivals with their performances.

Drama was provided by talented Almodovar actress Rossy de Palma, who slipped on a prop and asked to start again her tango with partner Christophe Licata. And viewers probably took that into account when they voted her off and surreally prefered stage actress Marthe Mercadier (82 years!) after the Dance Off. Even if de Palma was blatantly better but the "Dance Off" segment is the show's Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

Last week's vote off was for André Manoukian. Regardless of his weak performance the treat to send a former Reality TV judge at home must have been a bonus for voters. But Manoukian was in two of those cringy pre-recorded sequences which seem escaped from Star Academy. And Robbie Williams and Take That, who last december managed to perform on BBC One's Strictly and ITV1's The X Factor the same night (1), were there to sing The Flood.

Co-host Sandrine Quétier jokingly invited the band to come back and dance next year for series two. She can start to dream of a second series as ratings improved with 5.034.000 viewers and a 24,6% share (2). The other programmes were far from glorious anyway: the unnecessary NCIS: Los Angeles followed with 3.544.000 viewers for TF1's private competitor M6 and a tribute to singer/composer Serge Gainsbourg on pubcaster France 2 was 3rd.

(2) (Ratings - In French) (Official Site - In French)

See also: (Including names of the contestants and dance pros)

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