In the aptly named episode three of DCC: MAKING THE TEAM Season 10, “An Emotional Beginning”, girls were already breaking down in tears after day one of training camp.
Melissa Rycroft feigned ignorance about why, as if she were an old person telling a youngster about how it was “in my day”. Wait until the dance routines begin piling up, day-after-day, she seemed to say. Yeah, that’s a comforting thought. Season 11, first cut of training camp. Fair or foul?
Melissa and a veteran held a daytime session to evaluate dancing skills and doled out advice, some of which was the usual vague stuff you get on DCC: MAKING THE TEAM. Loosen up, just be yourself, stop over-thinking and the obvious, practice, practice practice.
I have opined about this while covering other seasons of the show and it always comes to mind when girls tremble after critiques that aren’t specific. Why aren’t they offered the opportunity to look at video of practices? More than a couple of candidates mentioned trying to de-code a word used to describe why Judy or Kelli weren’t pleased.
As far as practice and taking daytime dance classes, well that isn’t open to those with full-time jobs They will soon discover that they’ll be out the door unless they choose between DCC and their livelihood. Not a pleasant prospect.
Is it fair? Frankly, yes it is. These ladies have seen the show and know what it takes, but they try anyway. Nothing wrong with that, and it’s sad that dreams can die for lack of income, which many of us can attest to. The old bromide, that hard work and dedication conquer all doesn’t apply when full-time work leaves no room for practice time.
Later in the week, Kelli was stunned, after the dreaded post-practice office sessions that the girls feared being cut. Rose was a blubbering mess facing Judy and Kelli and even had to explain why she was crying.
Kelli wondered out loud to Judy after Rose’s session, why the rookie could think cuts would be made this early. There’s so much time left to “encourage” the candidates to get better. Yet, Kelli and Judy were already speculating about which ten candidates won’t make it, so I guess it isn’t that early after all.
Who’s Already Iffy?
Madeline’s squarely in the cross hairs, Colby, Rose and Courtney are others who are being talked about as doomed, but only Rose and Colby faced the music in the office.
Kelli hit Rose often and hit her hard. “You’re being seen as average, ” Kelli told her bluntly, then asked a question that no one can truly answer. “How long will it take ’til you develop?” That led to learning that Rose has taken no dance technique classes for two years.
Judy tried to be kind, but touched on what we think as viewers. “You still have that little girl awkwardness. Some people just can’t do hip-hop or pom-style dancing.”
After they scared the living crap out of her, they did their encouraging talk routine. Kelli said,”That’s not to say we don’t think you have potential here. We wouldn’t have you here if you didn’t.”
You knew then that Rose was safe for now, since the background music changed from what you hear in a slasher movie, to something from a rom-com.
When it was Colby’s turn you just knew Kelli was going to get the answers to her questions about what the heck’s going on with that girl’s face. She didn’t waste any time.
Colby’s dancing is not fluid and she seems to hunch her shoulders, keeping her arms close to her body rather than swinging away. She keeps spouting off about waiting for her “breakthrough moment”, which didn’t sit well with Melissa and ain’t gonna cut it when you’re in front of the two-headed monster in the office.
Kelli got right to the point.
“I’ve never had this discussion with anybody before, but I’m going to anyway. Have you done a lot of work or something,” as she pointed to her own face. Colby was forthcoming and explained that a friend injected her lips with filler and didn’t do a great job.
Yet that wasn’t enough for Kelli, who figured, what the heck, I’ve already gone down the path, I might as well get all questions out of the way.”So cheeks are natural? I would have thought you had cheek fillers. The way it’s reading is that you’re squinting a lot.”
Colby said it was a habit she picked up in childhood and then Kelli hit her stride with, “I don’t know if we have a remedy for that. It was distracting.”
But no, she hadn’t reached the peak of frank talk yet. There was this: “You know you won the fan vote. Two years in the past, the judges had picked, along with the fan vote. Fans got you here, the judges did not. So I think we have some real style work to address.
“You have a real odd shrug and you were shrugging the whole time while you were dancing. We’re asking you to be real bold and real big.” Colby said she lacked confidence and then heard Kelli warn her that 10 people will be cut at camp. “You’ve got your work cut out for you, but for the moment, I think we should just keep pressing on.”
Yeah, now I understand why Kelli was confused about girls living in fear of going home this early. Don’t you?
CMT airs DCC: MAKING THE TEAM, Friday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Image credit: CMT, used with permission