Bristol Palin's implausible run to third place on Dancing with the Stars surprised us all, really angered one guy and had many fans citing it as a "jump-the-shark" moment for the show. But has Dancing traded ballroom heels for water skis for other reasons?Sarah Palin's eldest daughter out of the equation (or imagine she wasn't on Season 11 at all!) and you are still left with a season overstuffed with gimmick after gimmick, week after week. Coming off a strong Season 10, producers kept everyone — contestants included — on their toes with new twists, such as Acoustic Week (with a round stage, natch), Rock 'n' Roll Week, TV Theme Week, and the much ballyhooed and successful Instant Dance, in which dancers received their music 20 minutes before hitting the stage.The new elements all lend themselves to the theme of the season: unpredictability. But did they also take away from — and affect — the dancing? When the pros are complaining about the strenuous and exhausting schedule, it could be time to dial it back a notch. Remember the good ol' simple days when everyone just went out and danced? No fuss, no hassle. That is, ultimately, what the show is about, right?Tom Bergeron tells TVGuide.com. "I think all of them kept the show interesting. And when you say a lot of gimmicks, the show is a gimmick! Let's face it. When you're doing a paso doble to Led Zeppelin, that's a gimmick! Everything else is just icing on the cake."I don't think there's an overboard to go with this show. We spray-tan people within an inch of their lives, we dress them in glittery fabric remnants," he continues. "They dance to songs that normally wouldn't be associated with the dance. I don't know where the shark is."
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