'DWTS': Who's gone from the franchise that's now an international success

In the newest episode of 'Dancing,' a celebrity contestant and professional dancer were voted off. The British program 'Strictly Come Dancing,' which is the basis for 'Dancing With the Stars,' set a record in 2011 for the amount of broadcasters to which the BBC had licensed the program.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Geraldo Rivera participates in the 'Celebrity Apprentice' panel at the NBC 2015 Winter TCA.

The newest episode of “Dancing With the Stars” included the first elimination of contestants, with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera and his professional dancer partner, Edyta Sliwinska, leaving the show. 

Mr. Rivera and Ms. Sliwinska had performed a cha-cha during the premiere episode and a salsa on the March 28 installment, with Rivera dressing as presidential candidate Donald Trump for the salsa. The two received the lowest scores of any contestants, though dancer Artem Chigvintsev and “The O.C.” actress Mischa Barton also received low marks from the judges. 

Paige VanZant, a martial artist, and Alan Bersten, who was stepping in for professional dancer Mark Ballas, earned some of the highest praise from the judges, as did Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris and dancer Lindsay Arnold. 

While the ratings for the season 22 premiere of “Dancing” last week were down among viewers 18-49, the program was the most viewed in terms of total viewers for the night. 

“Dancing” is based on the British TV program “Strictly Come Dancing,” which also features professional dancers working with celebrities to win using their dance skills. “Strictly” premiered in 2004 and many countries have since debuted their own versions.

Sometimes a country’s version of the program has even addressed national politics. In Colombia, a member of the police force who was imprisoned by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and a woman who was a child soldier with the FARC both participated in Colombia’s “Dancing With the Stars” earlier this year. 

In the same country, producers recently announced that the program would be on TV live every weeknight. 

Telegraph writer Neil Midgley noted that the program “Strictly” set a record in 2011 for the amount of broadcasters to which the BBC has licensed the competition. 

What makes the format so popular? “’Strictly’’s triumph could come down to the slight revisions made by each country,” Mr. Midgley wrote. “Minor details, yes, but which appeal exclusively to its local audience.” For example, in the Indian version of the competition, the partners perform with music from the country. 

As for differences between "Strictly Come Dancing" and America's "Dancing With the Stars," Guardian writer Carrie Dunn writes that the American version is kinder.

"You can expect to see maximum [scores] given out by the third or fourth week of the series – presumably because American audiences like to see their celebrities do well," Ms. Dunn wrote. ("Dancing With the Stars" judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli have appeared on "Strictly" as well.) "...['Dancing With the Stars] will give you non-stop glitz and glamour, and ['Strictly Come Dancing' will give you] the chance to watch celebrities getting told off for not working harder on their footwork."

Reality competitions familiar to American audiences such as “The X Factor,” “American Idol,” and “The Voice” are also produced in other countries like “Dancing.” “X” was based on the popular British program of the same name, which is still airing new episodes. A program of the same name debuted in the US in 2011 but ended in 2013. 

“Voice” is based on a Dutch program which debuted in 2010. Other versions of “The Voice” air in countries including Argentina, Spain, and China.

Meanwhile, “Idol” is similar to the British program “Pop Idol,” versions of which are broadcast around the world.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.