'Shall We Dance?' - The Celebrity Dance Challenge, Season 2
A step further than 'Eezy Dancing'
TELEVISION presents a surfeit of hip-hop and disco line dancing. Sometimes a performance is
all splits, aerobics, and acrobatic stunts. And now, in are the flamenco, belly dancing, and striptease.
"Shall We Dance? The Celebrity Dance Challenge" on ABC 5, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m.,
is refreshing. In the new show being hosted by Ms. Lucy Torres Gomez, celebrities learn ballroom dancing for the first time.
Each star is paired with a professional dance instructor, or DI. A pair is eliminated each week. Monthly finalists will vie
for the grand prize of HALF MILLION PESOS at the end of the season.
The present four celebrity contestants are Wowee de Guzman, an actor and a former
lead dancer or prodigal son of the Universal Motion Dancers for Universal Records; William Martinez, a comedian actor/former
bagets/teen idol; Assunta de Rossi, a controversial sexy actress; and Mystica, The Sensational Rock Diva of the
Philippines and The Split Queen.
In the first elimination round, rendering a cha-cha dance on the first week episode,
Mystica and her partner got the highest rate, a perfect score of 40 (10 is the highest/perfect score from each of the
3 board of judges plus another 10 from the judgement of the studio audience) on technical proficiency, timing and
rhythm, execution, creativity and uniqueness, and over-all impact or the so-called X factor. The judges' scores were added
to that of the studio audience, which was selected by ABC 5.
The following are the names of the board of judges plus their comments on Miguel & Mystica's
Judge No. 1 - Ms. Edna Ledesma - Philippines' first champion to the International Dance
Sport Competition, has expressed how much she laughed as also mentioned by Ms. Lucy Torres, just as much as Mr. Odie and Ms.
Regine and commented that "Yes, you know I was really laughing so long..., so hard..., not because you're funny or anything
like that Mystica. I mean, I think, I'm a class of my own, I'm sorry to say that, but when I saw you just standing there,
you're world class! I just found my match, and even more than me! Really, Mystica! First of all, the song really fitted both
of you. The way you moved..., your hand movement..., your legs..., everything..., your total body movements are total
perfection. As if every woman wants to dance like you, I believe. Maybe someone doesn't wanna admit it, but I think every
woman wants that. And like what Dom (referring to Dominic Ochoa, Lucy's co-host) said, he caught my attention awhile
ago saying "Ms. Edna, you should do exactly the same thing to me! I think every man wants to feel like that! You just exude
total sensuality, as if everyone of us was...(showing a facial expression or a gesture of being surprised)...! And, the first
part was fantastic, your exotic dancing! The second part, you went to your cha-cha..., beautiful arm movements. Wow! As if...
all of us were all thrilled! Mystica, keep on doing the good job! It's perfect!
Judge No. 2 - Mr. Audie Gemora - Master of Musicals & Stage Director to the "Trumpets Philippines",
commented (after Ms. Lucy Torres described how she saw the panel of judges being mesmerized by Miguel and Mystica's performance
and how she could see that Mr. Audie was really having fun) that "First of all, I just wanna say that dancing can
be a sport..., it can be a craft, but it's also an entertainment, and that's definitely what you made this number. You
entertained us! That's why we were really... (expressing a fascinated, mesmerized facial expression). You're absolutely
different! You're a class on your own. I've just become a fan of yours. We really enjoyed it! You danced very well! You both
looked good on the stage and I think you are perfectly matched for each other!
Judge No. 3 - Ms. Regine Tolentino - A fashion designer, a tv host, a Dance Diva &
a certified Dance Sport Champion, commented that Miguel and Mystica's dance number was "Oh wow! Oozing, oozing with sex appeal,
oozing with all of the right stuff that's needed for this contest. I had so much fun watching you. I would say WOW...
with the exotic dancing..., your dance introduction in the beginning as a part of it..., it's so nice! It's really WOW!
And your dancing was really great. I had no idea that you have an inborn technique that your dancing skill has really came
out. Your feet has really followed Mystica (referring to Miguel)..., it was a strong dance, the timing was also great, and
Miguel..., you both had a nice facial expression... so it's like you guys are both exuding the same energy and the same
feel for the song that's really suited for both of you. So, congratulations! That was a wonderful number and we all enjoyed
On the second week, rendering a swing dance on the 2nd elimination round, Mystica and
her partner were still leading and got the highest score again. To find out how did they please everyone and how did they
meet the judges' criteria after displaying a high energy level, audacity, and rapport, here are the judges' comments:
Judge No. 1 - Ms. Edna Ledesma - "You really changed your character this time. It's not really
sweet but you're perfect for a swing again. I mean, last week you had cha-cha, you looked perfect for it...,
and this song really fits you. It's you..., Mystica. Really! You really showed strength but graceful..., the lifts were very
easy to look at..., your lines..., your leg action..., your hands again, so graceful...Wow, Miguel, I'm so impressed! You
really brought it out in Mystica..., as if you were really able to show and you really brought it out Mystica's beauty.
And I think she's in seventh heaven just looking at her dancing!
Judge No. 2 - Mr. Audie Gemora - " You made us fly! You know what I like to watch about
the two of you is..., as if there's so much ease..., your movement is effortless..., and yet we know that it requires strength...,
it requires control..., I am very impressed! I can't wait to see you guys do some tango also or maybe waltz or something!
Judge No. 3 - Ms. Regine Tolentino - "I had the best time watching this dance because
it wasn't only very clean and the technique was great! I mean..., for a beginner... that's awesome. Your liftings..., facial
expression..., your connection was just so awesome! I just love your chemistry on the dance floor and you guys really owned
it..., as in owned it! That was really a hot number..., so congratulations! Great job!
On the third week elimination round, performing a very romantic, sensual and erotic RHUMBA,
Mystica & Miguel got the highest score again. To find out how did they perform, here are again the comments from
the board of judges:
Judge No. 1 - Ms. Edna Ledesma - "Like what I told Audie..., Mystica..., the way you look
tonight..., very sophisticated..., very glamorous with a bronze look, and the make up is fantastic..., and the hair... And
so... that's what I told Audie, this is what a Latin woman should look like. Elegant..., sexy..., sensous..., captivating...,
glamorous..., I mean, you've got it all! Secondly, your dancing...Rhumba is the most difficult dance but you're fantastic!
Your lines were great...Miguel did a good job showing you all the lines..., your splits... you've done it twice...., I mean,
you've really done well...and I felt that you really met the mood of the music "Crazy For You". Deep inside, I can really
feel the tension of feeling the dance, and Rhumba is so difficult but you were able to do it well. Nobody can tell that you
just took a few hours of learning it. And Miguel brought it out in you, and I can see Miguel..., you were really assisting
her..., a few misses here and there..., off balancing, I mean on your part, because probably she just gave it all and she
was really throwing you too! But, great! Wonderful, Mystica!
Judge No. 2 - Mr. Audie Gemora - "You really transformed! I was seeing you awhileago and
I was wondering if that was really you! I mean, you totally transformed! You're beautiful..., you're sophisticated,
you know..., so I keep expecting that the following week, you're going to transform again...You did a good job, the two of
you! And the strength! I saw the power in the dance. It looks like simple but all the muscles that come out of that..., just
a total control! The chemistry..., I think they really look good together. I think they can go pro (professional) already
as partners.... Mystica, you better change your career now...! Only the thing is... there's no enough money in ballroom
dancing..., but keep it up! Keep it up!
Judge No. 3 - Ms. Regine Tolentino - "You know what, I think a lot of people would agree
with me..., those who've been dancing Rhumba for a long period of time...especially the professional ones..., they have a
lot to learn from you in terms of emotion and projection. And even for a new comer, I really feel your sensuality..., your
being so alluring..., and it's like... I'm really so drawn to watch both of you perform and that's what I love..., that's
what I think "Shall We Dance" is all about...to really draw the crowd and to captivate them, right? And along with the projection
that were so nice, I really love it..., the extensions and the speed was just right! And I really like your make-up tonight.
In the last two evenings, you were really white, in your normal self, but tonight you're totally a different woman and I love
your transformation ... Rhumba really suits you well. Keep it up! You're very good!
On the fourth week, first monthly finals for the 2nd season, rendering a dance of her choice,
Mystica gracefully performed again a very dramatic, sensual and sexy Rhumba..., followed by a breath-taking Paso
Doble as a second dance number with the other two dance partners.
Here are the judges' comments on Mystica's winning performance during the monthly finals :
Judge No. 1 - Ms. Edna Ledesma - "Well, your chemistry is fantastic! Miguel, you're such a strong
dancer! Your presence,...just the way you look at her..., it's all out...! And so with Mystica...! Ok, Mystica..., you have
everything! Beauty..., grace..., flexibility..., and one thing with Rhumba, it's probably the most difficult dance because
it's slow and you show a lot of control.. and then... you have to have a lot of feelings...and when I would teach a long time
ago..., I mean...for so many years..., people would always say "Edna, how do you emote?" And I say, I don't teach how
to emote...! It should come from the heart itself...And with you Mystica...when we looked at you..., you have a lot of it...,
you're full of emotions...! And we can really feel it! We have goose bumps all over our body! You know we can really
feel!...And probably the closing of your eyes is a natural indication that you just feel your steps...Really! I'm sure
you can feel that we all got carried away...! And that song is very difficult, huh! I mean, of course it's Rhumba,...but that's
very hard...! You really need to have a lot of emotions that go with it! And it's really hard to combine steps with emoting!...and
you showed it so effortlessly...! And we are so proud of you...!
Judge No. 2 - Mr. Audie Gemora - "You know, being a theater actor or actress..., the best approach
in acting should come first from within...and then it comes out naturally through the physical or body movement..., and I
think that's what you are! You're basically a good actress. It's something that I never knew you were...,you know...,
that you are basically an actress! So from there, it comes out... it really shows..., and of course it helps that she has
great flexibility and strength... and all of that!...And the fact that she really gets into it..., and Miguel is a very strong
dancer as well...and I just saw "Rent" yesterday... You know, you remind me of the guy there,...very Hispanic...So, it's a
great pair!...So congratulations!
Judge No. 3 - Ms. Regine Tolentino - Well, I think so!(as an answer to Ms. Lucy's question if
she (Mystica) is the next Dance Diva!...). With that performance, I think so! You know, I feel so jealous when I see you dance...
I know you told us this is just your first time to dance the Rhumba,...and I really feel so jealous of you. At first, I was
worried because I know that this is one of my favorite songs also and Paula Abdul is an excellent performer, so I thought
she'd better really make a really strong performance to really live up to that song and you did...! I'm so proud of you
guys! Wonderful! As in..the word is intense! Yes, that's the word I wanted to use... 'cause the emotion is so intense...,
likewise the extentions..., and the choreography is so intense..., everything...God! Very clean! Beautiful! Great!"
One step further
"Shall We Dance?" goes a step further than its precursor on the same channel, "Eezy Dancing,"
in the sense that it not only showcases talents but also encourages and converts non-aficionados of ballroom dancing. Each
episode presents a brief background on two dances at a time, say, samba and swing, before the contestants dance.
Ballroom dancing is not only about wearing the right costume or executing the right steps. It
is also a stress buster, an excuse to meet people, a memory jogger, a means for self-discovery and self-confidence, a form
of self-expression. It's romanticism, spirituality, exuberance, breaking rules, and creativity. Above all, it's enjoyment,
which is what "Shall We Dance? The Celebrity Dance Challenge" should be about.