'DWTS' exec on boob comments: 'You talk about what's in front of you and there's quite a lot in front of you'

dwts-len-bruno

What’s with all of Len Goodman’s boob comments? Whose idea was it to book Pia Toscano? And is Kirstie Alley cursed or something? EW posed these very important questions to Dancing with the Stars Executive Producer Conrad Green after Tuesday’s show and here’s what he said:

How are you feeling about the season so far?

Conrad Green It’s been an amazing season. It’s our second most-watched ever. To go beyond 220 episodes and get those numbers, that’s pretty amazing. I think the cast is all positive, all likable. They have roughly the same standards. It’s incredibly competitive but at the same time it’s feel good, which is what our show is about.

Let’s talk about Kirstie Alley’s mishaps.

I don’t think anyone has had lightning strike that many times on live TV. I think we’ve had people who’ve had falls before, who have forgotten a few steps here and there, but I don’t think we’ve ever had someone have a shoe come off in a competitive dance. To have three things happen, and there has only been seven dances, that’s difficult. What’s been remarkable is how she has overcome them. Overcoming adversity is more appealing than not having adversity in the first place. It has made her a crowd favorite.

Talk about booking Pia Toscano to sing on a performance night.

When she started dating Mark Ballas, we suddenly thought, `well that’s a good idea isn’t it?’ So I spoke to the people at Idol because I’ve known them for some time and said, would you mind if we booked Pia? And they said no. She’s here supporting Mark now. It’s good fun. To be honest, I don’t know much about their personal life but I’m assuming [they are dating].

What is happening with the judges this year? They seem particularly randy with all the boob comments.

I can’t speak for Len’s randyness. To be honest, you talk about what’s in front of you and sometimes, quite a lot is in front of you. I don’t think there have been any more comments than usual. There is always a little bit of humor on this show. Maybe it’s a British thing, but I don’t think there is any offense taken on the whole.

Do you ever wonder that maybe this really shouldn’t be considered a family show?

It’s very fun stuff. The tone isn’t particularly adult. Those kind of comments are meant in jest, and to be honest, most kids don’t even know what you’re talking about. It’s always a double entendre rather than some kind of direct, lewd comment. My 7-year-old daughter was here was here last night and those comments go completely over her head. There’s nothing on the show that I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable having my daughter watch.

Why do you think Kendra Wilkinson was sent home?

Everyone reaches their point in the show. Some have been more consistent than Kendra. Kendra had a really good late surge, but other people have cemented themselves more firmly in the public’s mind. To get to week 7 isn’t a bad result.

In Kendra’s video package from Monday, she was heard farting during rehearsals. Did you give her a heads up that it was coming?

We don’t tell people what’s in the packages because they’d be saying, oh I don’t want that in! They’ll want to change things and it’s our show to make.  We only show things that really happen. Those packages are there to show what happens behinds of scenes. So although admittedly it’s a lowbrow form of humor, Kendra had fun with it. She laughed.

But do you think those packages influence viewer votes?

I think it’s highly unlikely. When we look at the minute-by-minute analysis, far and away the most watched part is the dance itself. Viewers really focus on that. Plus, we showed Hines Ward farting two weeks ago and that hasn’t affected his chances on the show!

Can you talk about what you think will happen in the final weeks?

Normally I have a sense of where the competition is going,  but this time I find it really difficult. There are a lot of unpredictable things, like Ralph and Karina falling over, Kirstie falling over. I’m getting a feeling that it’s one of those seasons where there’s a lot of unexpected stuff yet to happen. I also think the game will change quite significantly next week when we’ve got two dances. It’s also when the pressure starts to show. What’s great is that they are really committed, this group. So I think whatever happens, they will be forcing their way through.

I wonder what Nikki Cox would think of Len Goodman’s cracks. Follow me @EWLynette

Comments (48 total) Add your comment
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  • Katja

    Dear Lord Mirrorballus: YES, please let the producers realize that DWTS is so much more enjoyable when all the contestants are likable. Pleeeaaase don’t cast any more Kate Gosselin-type party poopers just for attention and “ratings”. This season is the best one in recent years, and I think it has a lot to do with the likability (as well as the relatively even footing) of all the contestants. When you’re casting the next however many seasons, remember this season’s high ratings and high likability factor, Conrad Green!

    • Alice

      I totally agree! I love that I can really cheer for everyone this season! It makes the show so much more fun. Please, no “stunt” casting like the Kate Gosselins and the Bristol Palins of the world. No politics for my escapist TV!

    • Jem Ho

      This! I want to emphasize the point of them being on ‘relatively even footing’ too. It’s SO much better with no ringers!! It’s been much more enjoyable watching them all improve together than watching one person come out and get 9s from week 1.

    • Kara

      I completely agree! This reminds me of the show back when it first started. All good fun, no one with a huge advantage like Nicole or Mya, everyone seems to really get along and be supportive of each. And if this is the second most watched season ever, it proves they really don’t need people like Bristol or Kate for ratings. It’s much better without people like them.

  • Pollyanna

    Heads up, there are +some+ women out here — I dont speak for everyone — who DO find the word b**b offensive … really really offensive. I think sometimes men hope they can talk about women’s body parts and not get shushed. Well, I’m asking politely — can you stop DOING that? Just stop.

    • the boob tube

      Wait, what’s wrong with “boob”? I use it all the time because I feel silly using the clinical “breast.” Do you mean that talking about breasts is offensive, or that the word itself is offensive (or both)? I can understand “t*t” being offensive as a word, because it has connotations of objectification and male disrespect, but I’ve never thought that “boob” had the same connotations. I use it like I use “butt” – just a more relaxed alternative to the official name.

      • Pollyanna

        I’m offended by both … it may be regional differences in slang and what words are acceptable, but — where I’m from– in mixed company the word “bosom” is used; and you’d only refer to body parts with people you know really well, like family. So, national TV wouldn’t be a place to talk about *that*. Like I said, tho, not speaking for every woman, but some of us are offended. And agreed, t*ts is just awful.

      • The Man

        Wow are you sexually repressed!

      • Vince from NYC

        Stop looking for things to be offended about and you won’t be offended. You Boob!

    • RickterScale

      Wow, you must be a blast in the sack.

    • be quiet

      how about “jugs”?

    • ttshoe

      I’d have to agree with you here. I know lots of people don’t think twice about it, but the fact is, it’s personal, sexual, and to have a 70-something old man call attention to it on national television would be downright embarrassing.

      Also, I think it’s funny that Green thinks it could still be rated as an all-family show. Every word that comes out of Bruno’s mouth makes me cringe. My kids are in bed LONG before my hubby and I watch it, and Bruno gets muted. Ick.

    • Jay

      “b00b is one of the nicest ways to refer to a woman’s… uhm… “twins”.
      Its better than “funbags”, “rack”, hooters”, “ta-ta’s”, I could go on and on.
      If the word b00b offends you, you are seriously repressed and uptight. I’m surprised you can even make it through an average day without being offended

      • ttshoe

        But the point I think Pollyanna is trying to make is why refer to it at all on national television? The fact that *they* are present was in no way related to the quality of their footwork, etc. Granted, when I have to refer to them, I do use the word ‘b00b’ – but I hardly think that necessity would ever arise in front of a whole lot of strangers/males/general acquaintances. Prudish or not, it’s not considered polite – and Len was creepy to do it, much as I usually like him. A good rule of thumb for my behavior – if I can’t mention it in a decent job interview, I probably shouldn’t be talking about it in front of strangers… imho.

    • Tina

      I totally agree. I think it’s disrespectful and brings the show to a lower standard. I think someone needs to talk to the male judges about their comments.

      • Meli

        Wait a sec…the producer of the show also admits he gives a performance slot to a singer simply because he wants to reward a girl who’s obviously sleeping her way to the top (i.e.: sleeping with one of the dancers at the moment), and you’re offended by the male judges’ comments about the chest area?

  • Katja

    Okay this guy also needs to realize that the packages DO matter when people are deciding who to vote for. How can he possibly think that most people are voting primarily based on the dances? People might be more focused on them as they watch the show because that’s ostensibly the whole point of the show, but they’re still aware of the packages. I always chop vegetables or play games or something during DWTS, but I’m still perfectly aware of how many times Romeo has hit on Chelsie and how many times Kirstie and Maks have good-naturedly yelled at each other and moved right along in practice. I mean, people were up in arms all season about Jennifer Grey’s perceived whininess (whineyness?) in her packages – she was always shown complaining about her various pains, and people used that to judge her personality and decide not to vote for her. So like, I know it’s stupid to comment this much on freaking DWTS (I can’t help it, I’m up late writing a paper and I am inexorably drawn to procrastination opportunities), but…dude, those packages totally affect the voting.

    • caryn c

      Agree – they definitely affect the voting. I think he knows that but doesn’t want to admit that they have favorites too.

    • Jem Ho

      Agreed again! Thanks for your posts Katja, you’ve saved me lots of time.

  • gfht

    Wanna find simple dat-ing with honest people?

    —– Lo ve W ealt hy *C//0 m — the best cl u-b to meet wea-lthy people with the same interests such as travel, horse, golf, and ect.

    Why not have a try? you will lose nothing!

  • Lori R

    Run Pia Run!!

  • Emily

    I’m still perplexed that no one remembers Lance Bass losing a shoe and finishing out the dance with one shoe on, one shoe off. Also, it was still an AMAZING dance.

  • Buffy Freak

    Boobs is to breasts as gams is to legs. It’s just a slang word for a body part. Breasts are NOT sex organs…when will this country stop being so damn prudish about breasts? In alot of the rest of the world, woman routinely sunbathe topless.

    • ThunderMug

      I prefer the term “mommy-bags”.

  • ots

    DWTS is so enjoyable because it is LIVE … anything can and does happen. And, DWTS is willing to make fun of itself. Tom Bergeron is perfect as host.

  • Mitu

    Why is it, that everybody at DWTS thinks, Kirstie is the first one with a shoe-incident? Lance Bass finished his dance without one shoe and rocked it…

  • mjn

    Well, here goes…nuts n balls refer to testicles, yet never here those words on dwts. Perhaps the two male judges n producers don’t have a any!! Real men respect women, especially in pubic.

    • Vince from NYC

      Well, if one of the contestants/pros had his junk hanging out of the bottom of his pants maybe they would be mentioned.

  • jcp

    I have been watching DWTS since season 4(?) (Apolo Ono) and MY OPINION follows: the best dancers do not make it to the end — not even close. It’s becoming a who’s-most-popular-with-the-fans contest. Even though Kirstie Alley seems to be a really fun person, how do you explain someone with much better dancing skills, such as Kendra, getting the hook before Kirstie? I held this opinion last season as well — Bristol Palin remained in the running (third best? COME ON!!) longer than dancers much better than herself. Missed watching Derrick Hough’s expertise this season, and it will be the only reason that I might tune in next season –

    • JulieB

      What about Nicole Scherzinger, Kristi Yamaguchi (dance training for figure skating) and Jennifer Grey (DIRTY DANCING)? They won their seasons, and these are the ringers that tick people off.

      • ER Spartan

        I totally agree about Nicole and Jennifer, but never thought Kristi was a ringer.

  • Jennifer

    Does Mark Ballas give anyone else the creeps other than me?

    • desert diva

      Definitely. And he seems to be getting creepier with each passing season. What’s up with the black eye liner, the black fingernail polish, the chains and the leather. If I were Pia Toscano, I would be running for the hills!

  • Dorthy

    I’m not offended by the boob comments. I was very offended by Mark Ballas’ gesture of disrespect as he walked away from the judges table Monday night. That was gross and unprofessional. He should be replaced by a different professional. There is no excuse for that behavior on a family show. They bleep bad words. The censor really should have blocked that move.

    • Amy

      You are mistaken. The gesture he made was of rolling dice and throwing them. Symbolizing that they took a risk.

  • Sue Ann Nivens

    It’s a freaking dancing show! With all the smut of TV (watch a Rhianna video) and anyone really things DWST isn’t family fare? Please. Nothing any of these dancers do is as blatent and overt as what you see on 99% of any current music videos, commercials, SEX products! People vote for their favorites. I think only when the last three have been determined, people consider voting for “who danced the best” not “whom I like the best.” And there’s always an exceptional dancer that should be in the finals based on their skill, but other factors (fan base, other stars more rabid fans, their perceived personalities, etc) keeps them from getting there. Bristol a better dancer than Brandy? I don’t particulary like or dislike either lady, that was one of the most overt examples of a strong voting block winning out over a superior performance. This year: I love Kirsty, but Petrova (the supermodel) danced circles around her.

  • Shelly

    I definitely agree the packages affect the voting. If i don’t like the poackage that week, I’m totally turnrd off by the dancer. It doesn’t let us at home take into account hoe tired and frustratted they are. A arrogant or mean or whiney package is shown, and America turns on that person immediately. It’s like a blog telegraph goes out.

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