'Dancing with the Stars' giving Season 4 celebrities less practice time
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/14/2007
The 11 celebrities competing on the fourth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars will find out quickly that practice makes perfect -- and when the series premieres on Monday, March 19 at 8PM ET/PT -- viewers will see that less practice yields less than perfect performances.
"This is the shortest amount of time they've ever had to practice," Dancing with the Stars executive producer Conrad Green toldThe New York Post. "This season, they won't seem quite as polished, but the audience will get to see them grow."
Green explained that when the series first premiered in the summer of 2005, six weeks of training was given to celebrity participants.
"But that was based on our British experience, where they train rather gently," he told The Post. "But here in America, people are so much more competitive. Immediately they all went mad, training and training."
Intense training in a shorter time period for the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars already claimed its first victim, as The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore dropped out of the competition at the end of February due to the "physical demands of a 10-week season" that he felt would be "too difficult" to undertake. He was replaced by Cheers actor John Ratzenberger, who was given only two weeks to prepare.
In addition, The Post reported fellow celebrity dancer Apolo Anton Ohno -- an Olympic short-track speed skater -- was in Milan to compete in the 2007 World Championships and didn't return to the states until March 13, giving him less than one week to prepare.
Regardless of the shorter practice period, Heather Mills -- a former model and the estranged wife of Beatle Paul McCartney -- will take as much time as she can get to work on securing her prosthetic leg to ensure it doesn't come flying off on the show.