Derek Hough – Fit for a Host? Maybe … “Family Dance Off”

The Hunter Family perform a hip hop routine on "Family Dance Off." - Photo Courtesy of ABC
The Hunter Family perform a hip hop routine on “Family Dance Off.” – Photo Courtesy of ABC

ABC continues to show its love for dance in preparation of the 17th Season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars.” On Sunday, we saw “DWTS” Champion Derek Hough swap his dance shoes for a mic, and test his hosting duties on the special “Family Dance Off.” The show a family version of “America’s Best Dance Crew”).

Hough comes from a large family, and a lot of them have or do dance (like his little sister who became a blockbuster star, DWTS Alum Julianne Hough).  After several seasons on “DWTS” and having grown up as a performer, hosting didn’t seem too far off. He could take a few notes from resident DWTS host, Tom Bergeron. Bergeron has a lot of hosting experience, but his philosophy is to make sure he caters to the contestants. You make them feel at ease. Hough’s first hosting gig went well overall. If he made a more of a slight effort to ensure the attention was on the contestants, he’ll be even better later on. At times his delivery with the punch lines were a little forced. For his first time as a host, he kept the action going and that’s all an audience can ask for. Hough also visited the families in the studios, and gave them advice on their routines.

Here’s a breakdown on the five families that competed: 

The London Family 

Three generations of dancers – this spunky family, which includes “Nana” a feisty matriarch, showed off their hip hop moves mixed in with Nana’s traditional Chicago stepping. The turned the heat up with slick choreography to “The Wop.”

The Clark Family

The big family with heart. They made audiences laugh with their fun and energetic performance to “Sexy & I Know It.”

The Hunter Family 

Led by the inspiring hearing-impaired young man, Shaheem, the family showed spirit and determination with a smile-worthy routine to “Starships.”

The Hammerish Family

The young Hannah is clearly the dancer of the family. It was extremely impressive to see her choreograph an entire routine for two non-dancers along side her. A mixture of hip hop, jazz and acrobatics shined a spotlight on their 12 year-old star with lots of charisma and talent.

The Barmettler Family

“Irish jam” Is their game. Their dad was a break dancer back in the 80s, and his kids stuck to their Irish roots. It was quirky and cute, but it was clear that some of the other families had that “Wow” factor.

At the end of the night, the top three were pretty evident – The Hunter, London, and Clark families. It was just a matter if a heart-driven would beat out talent. The London family ended up taking the title and $10,000 prize. Will this prevail and turn into a series? The show has a popular format, and a well-known host. However, that may be not enough to save them. So ABC… Let’s stick to what you known best – pairing up random celebrities with our favorite dancers in a blow-out ballroom battle.

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