Tuesday, December 18, 2012
10 reasons why Dallas ruled the small screen in 2012
From reality shows to the return of a classic, plenty of local faces popped up.
This was Dallas-Fort Worth’s year on television. We saw the continuation of the classic Dallas — bringing back one of TV’s all-time most hated villains, Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, along with some new faces — plus a slew of local folks who competed on a range of reality shows.
Here’s a rundown of the highlights:
1. McKinney teen Hollie Cavanagh gets fourth place on American Idol: We didn’t see a lot of Cavanagh during the audition rounds of this year’s American Idol, but the singer fought hard for her place in the Fox competition. In a season when judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler lavished contestants with kind words, Cavanagh seemed to be the one getting all the flak. As a response, Cavanagh listened to the critiques and brought out some of her most impressive performances, helping her ultimately achieve fourth place among tens of thousands of hopefuls.
2. Melissa Rycroft wins Dancing With the Stars: All Stars: The ABC dancing show saw the return of two Dallas contestants in Rycroft and Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. Rycroft, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader turned Bachelor contestant, came back dancing in full force, garnering great critiques from the judges and bringing home the trophy.
3. Demi Lovato is cast as a judge on Fox’s The X Factor: The announcement of Dallas-raised Lovato joining Simon Cowell’s singing show was a big surprise that became less surprising when we got to see her in action during the audition shows. The singer brought some much-needed spunk to the show and wasn’t afraid to go against meanie judge Cowell. Her mentoring skills left much to be desired, and she was the first to see all of her acts go home.
4. From The Facts of Life to Survivor: Flower Mound’s Lisa Whelchel joined CBS’ Survivor: Philippines as one of its two celebrity contestants (alongside former Major League Baseball player Jeff Kent). The former Blair on The Facts of Life was voted the season’s fan favorite, winning a $100,000 check.
5. A local star of RuPaul’s Drag Race dies: Antoine Ashley, known in the drag queen community as Sahara Davenport, died October 21 at age 27. Ashley, who was raised in Dallas and studied dance at Southern Methodist University, competed on Season 2 of Drag Race on Logo in 2010.
6. Dallas barista Panda Ross impresses Simon Cowell on X Factor: Little did anyone know what a treat viewers were in for with X Factor contestant Ross. She was one of the most entertaining contestants this season (even though she auditioned while fighting pneumonia and went to the hospital shortly after singing) and blew away the judges, prompting Cowell to tell her she sounded like a legend.
7. Cyrus Spencer brings animation to So You Think You Can Dance: The Dallas-born Spencer, whose style of dance is animation, popping, and robotics, was an early favorite on this year’s season of the Fox dancing show. His effort and strong support from voters helped him to second place.
8. Three Dallas chefs compete on Top Chef: Seattle: You read that right, there are three Dallas chefs on this season of the cooking show — Joshua Valentine (FT33), Danyele McPherson (The Grape) and John Tesar (Spoon Bar & Kitchen). Judge Tom Colicchio described Tesar in the premiere as being “a bit of a hothead,” and we have not been disappointed. Valentine has proved to be a bit volatile, too, adding to the juicy Bravo drama.
9. Dallas man will star on The Bachelor: Dallas insurance agent Sean Lowe believed he would be the last man standing on ABC’s The Bachelorette, but that opportunity ended in heartbreak when he was eliminated before the final two were announced. Lowe now gets a second chance for TV-enabled love as the star of The Bachelor on January 7.
10. Dallas is back for round two: The Dallas area was ready for its close-up when TNT brought Dallas back to the small screen. Local restaurants, office buildings, Cowboys Stadium and, of course, Southfork Ranch were on display, along with local talent, including actors Linda Leonard, Denise Lee, Peyton Hayslip and Tina Parker. The fun resumes January 28 with the second season, though we’ll be sad again when J.R.’s funeral follows the real one for Larry Hagman.