Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann TV Poster Image

Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann

Tween-friendly spin-off fun, if not very original.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In general, the singer-dancers who make it through are hardworking people who prove themselves to be worthy role models.

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Female contestants' occasionally skimpy outfits are as cheeky as it gets. But during auditions, one woman does use her dance time as an opportunity to strip, revealing a lacy lingerie top and boy-short panties (don't worry: It's an isolated incident).

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With a title that refers by name to two Dancing With the Stars judges and a host who previously won that competition, this spin-off is essentially a commercial for its parent program.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, aside from a few skimpy outfits -- and a brief flash of lingerie seen in the show's first episode -- they can watch this series confidently with their kids. Rather than focusing heavily on backstage squabbles or rehearsal-room drama, the show emphasizes the high level of talent, determination, and athleticism the contestants need to stay in the competition. The one caveat: This spin-off is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Dancing With the Stars. Another national tour, anyone?

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What's the story?

In this spin-off of celebrity-fueled reality hit Dancing With the Stars, outspoken Stars judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba go head to head by recruiting and training teams of dancers who -- wait for it -- can also sing.

Is it any good?


Hosted by Drew Lachey (singer Nick Lachey's somewhat less-famous brother, who won the second Stars contest in 2006), DANCE WAR: BRUNO VS. CARRIE ANN is an unbridled attempt to keep Stars fans sated in between seasons. But based on the contestants' relative youth (most appear to be in their teens and 20s), it also serves as a clever way for the franchise to attract younger viewers and sell more tickets come tour time.

Dance War kicks off with an American Idol-style national search with all the expected hi-jinks, including some seriously horrible voices -- and, of course, the requisite guy in a chicken suit. (Ahem.) Thankfully, a few truly talented contenders emerge who make watching this Dance War worthwhile. Talent levels aside, the competition's singing aspect seems odd (after all, hasn't the show's title has already declared a dance war?). But that doesn't protect these wannabe pop stars from having to perform the cheesy songs and somewhat simplified dance routines that can make these kinds of shows so tiresome.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this show actually fills a void in the TV marketplace -- or whether Dancing With the Stars producers were just trying to keep audiences glued to their sets in between seasons. How is this show different from Stars (in terms of format, types of contestants, and even music choices)? How is it similar? Do you think it was designed to appeal to the same people who watch Stars or to attract a different kind of audience?

TV details

Premiere date:January 7, 2008
Cast:Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, Drew Lachey
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

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Adult Written bymommyjennifer April 9, 2008

fun family hour

My husband and I watch many of the music and dance shows with our two kids (almost 6 girl and 3 1/2 boy) and we really enjoy it as a family interactive activity. Watching the young people really work hard and compete sends a mainly positive message and a little bit of culture never hurts. My only concern is the occasionally too sexy moves and outfits of the competitors. The kids get up in front of the tv and dance and sing and mommy and daddy even are expected to dance too. :)
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

If you like dancing with the stars, try it out you might like it

I liked dancing with the stars but this is not anything to talk about. I guess if you like things that have dancing and singing in it you might like this. Dancing with the stars fans might like to see Bruno and Carrie Ann battle it out but, people who think dancing with the stars was ok might think differentily about this show. In my opinion this is ok but great for dancing with the stars fans.