Carrie Ann Inaba: ABC's new 'Dance War' similar to 'American Idol'
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/04/2008
While Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann will feature Dancing with the Stars' judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba, Inaba freely admits the new ABC reality competition series with be more akin to Fox's most popular show.
"It's a little bit more like American Idol," said Inaba in Us Weekly's January 14 issue. "This is really about kids pursuing their dreams. That mentoring aspect is important."
Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, which will follow the two Dancing with the Stars judges as they lead their respective teams of singers and dancers against one another for home viewer votes, will premiere on Monday, January 7 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
"I'm excited -- but I'm not going to lie -- it scares me," Inaba told Us about her new gig.
Unlike their hands-off judging roles on Dancing with the Stars, Tonioli and Inaba will serve as Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann's coaches and choreographers, with each choosing contestants who can both dance and sing to join their respective teams -- "Team Bruno" and "Team Carrie Ann."
"There will be a theme for each week and we'll create production numbers featuring our groups in the most creative ways we can come up with," said Inaba in TV Guide's January 7 issue. "We'll mentor [the dancers] and bring them together as a singing and dancing supergroup."
During the competition, the two teams will live together in a hotel, Tonioli told TV Guide, however he was quick to add "it's not Big Brother."
"It's not about their living arrangements," Inaba told TV Guide. "It's about what they bring to the dance floor."
Once the teams start performing, home viewers will have the opportunity to vote whether Tonioli or Inaba's Dance War team did better each week.
However instead of Tonioli or Inaba eliminating a member of his or her troupe based on which team received the least amount of viewer votes, it will be the losing team who makes the decision on which one of their teammates is ultimately ousted.
"We're the interpreter, the liaison," Inaba explained to TV Guide. "But we don't get the vote."
Instead of airing weekly performance and results shows,Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann will -- similar to how ABC handled Dancing with the Stars' first season -- broadcast voting results at the beginning of each week's episode.
"What I think is very exciting is that we actually don't know what's going to happen on the show," Tonioli told TV Guide.
Unlike Dancing with the Stars, where the celebrity participants are limited to styles such as ballroom and Latin, Tonioli told TV Guide that Dance War's contestants can do any style. Inaba added that even "lifts are okay" -- a big Dancing with the Starsno-no.
"We can let our imaginations go to create the most entertaining show possible and give an insight of how from this rough diamond you create this polished creature -- the total performance package," Tonioli told TV Guide.
Despite the British import'sBruno vs. Carrie Ann subtitle and the fact its two mentors come from different backgrounds -- Inaba from hip-hop and jazz and Tonioli from ballet -- Inaba told TV Guide the two "argue" but there's "no real rivalry."
"We always say what happens on the show isn't personal," Inaba told Us.
Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann will air in Dancing with the Stars' Monday night performance episode time period and fill ABC's broadcast void between Dancing with the Stars Fall 2007 fifth edition and Spring 2008 sixth edition, which is scheduled to premiere Monday, March 17 at 8PM ET/PT.