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Let’s Dance (Germany) Season 17 Discussion


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Contestants have been announced for the upcoming season, which should start up around mid-to-late February.  Pros will likely be revealed at the end of January.  
 

Contestants

Tony Bauer: Comedian

Ann-Kathrin Bendixen: Author

Simon Brunner: Ninja Warrior Germany competitor

Maria Clara Groppler: Comedian

Mark Keller: Actor/singer

Gabriel Kelly: Singer

Lulu Lewe: Singer

Eva Padberg: Model/singer

Tillman Schulz: Lion’s Cave investor

Detlef Soost: Choreographer (yes, a choreographer)

Lina Larissa Strahl: Actor/singer-songwriter

Sophia Thiel: Fitness blogger

Jana Wosnitza: TV presenter/sports journalist

Stefano Zarrella: Food influencer

 

Theres a couple of connections to previous seasons in this year’s lineup.  Gabriel’s family, the Kelly Family, is a singing group well-known in Germany and he’s the third Kelly to take part in Let’s Dance; his aunt, Maite Kelly, won season 4 with Christian Polanc and his uncle, John Kelly, competed in season 13 with Regina Luca but had to drop out in Week 4-5 due to injury.  Stefano’s brother, Giovanni, replaced Pietro Lombardi in season 10 and danced with Christina Luft (now Christina Hänni after marrying her now-husband and previous celeb partner Luca Hänni last summer) until she got injured and replaced with Marta Arndt.  
 

I’m mainly looking forward to learning who are the pros this year.  There’s at least two empty spots for female pros since last season’s Christina and Isabel Edvardsson as well as regular pro Renata Lusin are all pregnant; Renata was supposed to be a pro last year but had to drop out at the last minute after finding out she was pregnant and Malika Dzumaev replaced her.  Sadly, Renata suffered a miscarriage around Week 3 of the season, poor woman had to reveal her pregnancy immediately to explain her absence only to have to publicly reveal her horrible loss just a few weeks later.  Glad that she was able to control the announcement of her current pregnancy, she’s pretty far along now and should have her baby girl early on in the season (her husband Valentin usually alternates between contender and middler/duffer and since he won last year with lovely Anna Ermakova, he’s due an early exit so he can spend time with Renata and their daughter).  
 

Last season’s male pros were Alexandru Ionel, Andrzej Cibis, Christian Polanc, Massimo Sinató, Vadim Garbuzov, Valentin Lusin and Zsolt Sándor Cseke.  Seven male pros are needed this year so I don’t see the lineup changing unless Valentin decides to take the season off to support Renata like Massimo did when his own wife Rebecca was pregnant.  
 

Alexandru was a pro in 2021 and 2023, likely taking 2022 off to stay home with his and wife/fellow pro Patricija’s newborn son; he’s been out first both seasons though so he might not be a priority.  

 

Andrzej hasn’t been given much of a chance despite making the quarterfinals in 2021 with middler Auma Obama; last year he had Natalia Yegorova who had potential but was eliminated early on in favor of middlers/duffers who had more favored pros like Massimo and Christina.  

 

Christian has been there the longest and usually gets contenders but he hasn’t made a Final since season 10; he even got to choose his partners in 2021 and 2023 as part of winning the Pro-Challenge but both were eliminated just short of the quarterfinals.  

 

Massimo has also been there for a long time (he first won in season 3) and is also very favored and gets numerous finalists and semifinalists, even his less-talented partners like Sally last year benefit from his recognition.  

 

Vadim was also on the Austrian version, Dancing Stars, won three times and was even part of the first same-sex partnership over there; he joined Let’s Dance after his second win, had several early exits before leaving after season 11, won his third Dancing Stars trophy in 2020 and was brought back as a pro in Germany in 2021 as Nicolas Puschmann’s partner in the first all-male partnership, reaching his first Let’s Dance Final.  He’s had some decent finishes since then and is a fantastic choreographer.  

 

Valentin, like I mentioned, alternates between middler/duffer and contender, placing 9th in 2018, 2020 and 2022 and reaching the Final in 2019, 2021 and 2023 which he finally won; he’s probably the best ballroom choreographer of the male pros, highly recommend watching his dances with Anna Ermakova before they’re removed from rtl.de (Anna is actually taller than him which makes their ballroom dances even more amazing!).  

 

Zsolt is the newest addition to the male pro lineup and so far he’s been extremely successful in only two seasons.  His first partner, Janin Ullmann, was the front-runner all season but, being a talented woman, she was subject to favoritism accusations by fans who felt she was propped up by the judges; no surprise, like fellow talented women Vanessa Mai, Ella Endlich and Valentina Pahde, that she fell short of the win and placed second to a popular male contender.  Zsolt’s second partner, Julia Beautx last year, did the worst of the female contestants in the Launch Show, which screamed putting him on duffer-duty after his successful debut but Julia blossomed under Zsolt’s tutelage and quickly rose in the ranks as a contender, ending up as Zsolt’s second-consecutive runner-up in his sophomore season.  Zsolt has become a fan-favorite pro for his successful two seasons and should likely win in the near future.  
 

Female pros from last season who are available to return are Ekaterina Leonova, Kathrin Menzinger, Malika Dzumaev, Mariia Maksina and Patricija Ionel.  There’s room for two more female pros if those five return; could be either past pros who took part in the recent tour like Katja Kalugina (last took part in season 12) and/or Marta Arndt (last took part in season 14), could also include some newbies.  
 

Ekaterina, or Ekat as she’s often called by fans, is by far the most popular pro of the whole lineup.  She’s the only pro to win consecutive seasons (three in a row) and the only pro to win the show more than twice (Christian, Isabel, Erich Klann, Massimo and Kathrin have each won twice but none have gotten a third win like Ekat). Her partners benefit greatly from being paired with her, votes-wise, and she’s notoriously a tough and effective teacher nicknamed General Ekat.  
 

Kathrin, who is often called Crazy Kat due to her often death-defying tricks included in her choreography, is probably the best dancer in the lineup along with her competition partner Vadim.  She’s also from the Austrian version like Vadim and while she’s made some Finals over there, she never won it; she won in her Let’s Dance debut with Hans Sarpei in season 8 and has had a wide range of results since then: duffer eliminated first then brought back after a withdrawal and lasted WAY too long (short of the quarterfinals with almost weekly 1s from the strictest judge Joachim Llambi), inconsistent Paralympian with the same placement after withdrawing due to injury, young musician slowly improving but eliminated early, potential contender who suffered from early running order every week and got eliminated early, real contender in Tijan Njie who lost steam in the semifinals and missed out on the Final, early eliminated duffer, biggest pre-season contender in René Casselly who went on to win and another early eliminated duffer last year.  
 

Malika joined in 2021 and had popular duffer as her first partner and mediocre second partner who placed 8th, just one spot above the popular duffer from the previous season.  She went on to win the 2022 Christmas Special with 2021 champion Rúrik Gíslason but was initially left out of the 2023 lineup until Renata was advised to drop out due to pregnancy and rejoined the week leading up to the Launch; unfortunately she was paired with the lowest-scoring male contestant and he didn’t improve like Julia so he was eliminated early.  
 

Mariia is the newest addition to the lineup, having joined last year.  She wasn't unfamiliar to Let’s Dance before though, she’s actually Ekat’s cousin and played prominent roles in Ekat’s Freestyles with Ingolf Lück (played Donkey to Ingolf’s Shrek and Ekat’s Fiona) and Pascal Hens (Madagascar-theme and played Gloria to Pascal’s Marty, Ekat’s Alex and Marta’s Melman).  She had a decent run with Mimi Kraus, getting halfway through the season.  
 

Patricija joined in 2021 and made it all the way to the semifinals.  She returned in 2022 just a few weeks after having a baby but unfortunately her partner Hardy tested positive for Covid in between the Launch and Week 1 and didn’t recover in time for Week 2, forcing him to drop out without ever dancing with Patricija.  She was paired with gymnast Philipp Boy last year and reached the Final.  She’s a beautiful dancer but tends to draw focus to herself more than her partner and has had her teaching ability called into question by fans; during the Impro-Challenge in last year’s semifinals (the couples are assigned a dance style and music during the live show and given 90 seconds to prepare), Philipp completely imploded in the Charleston, a dance style that he had just performed and received a perfect score in the previous week.  
 

That’s it for my LONG explanation of the show 😄.  Hopefully there’s enough people interested in a Best Let’s Dance Season 17 Routines +/- Game this year!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Simon Brunner has left due to personal reasons.  Author Biyon Kattilathu has replaced him.  Shame about Simon, he was likely going to be a contender since Ninja Warriors have done really well but hopefully everything’s okay with him.  

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Pros have been revealed!


Marta Arndt
Zsolt Sándor Cseke

Malika Dzumaev

Vadim Garbuzov

Alexandru Ionel

Patricija Ionel

Ekaterina Leonova

Paul Lorenz

Valentin Lusin

Mariia Maksina

Kathrin Menzinger

Massimo Sinató

Anastasia Stan

Mikael Tatarkin

 

 

Zsolt, Malika, Vadim, Alexandru, Patricija, Ekaterina, Valentin, Mariia, Kathrin and Massimo all return from last season.  Pros not returning from last season are Andrzej Cibis, Christian Polanc, Christina Hänni (née Luft), Isabel Edvardsson and Renata Lusin; all three women are currently pregnant and while Andrzej also welcomed a baby a couple of months ago with his wife, he’s not a very high-priority pro so it’s not too surprising that he’s out this year.  Christian, on the other hand, has been on since season 2 and is the longest-serving pro on this version but still gets favored quite a bit with partners, he seemed like someone who’d be on forever.  Marta and Paul are also returning pros with Marta last competing in 2021 and Paul in 2015; this will be Paul’s second season of Let’s Dance.  New pros are Anastasia and Mikael (who is an almost exact clone of Christian 😄 ).  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hopefully other users are interested in a +/- game this year!  The Rurik, Valentina and Nicolas year was so fun to do, so many great dances and I think we'll be seeing some great dances this year.  Wish I was able to finish seasons 13, 15 and 16 before the dances disappeared from RTL.de (there is a source that has all the dances from those seasons but I don't want to publicly post the link and possibly get the uploader into copyright trouble), there are some dances from 15 and 16 on the RTL YouTube channel though.  

 

On the subject of +/- games, RTL is being a bit dodgy this year; when I tried to watch the Launch Show dances using Safari, it kept saying it was geoblocked but after a couple of tries on FireFox I was able to watch them so if you're wanting to watch even just the dances outside of Germany without a VPN, just a heads-up to try different browsers before giving up entirely.  

 

Maria, Sophia & Tony w/ Anastasia, Paul & Valentin (Charleston): This was a really fun group performance, they all had great chemistry with each other and no one really stuck out like a sore thumb.  Sophia was probably the weakest, she had trouble keeping up at times and finishing her movements but she looked like she was having a blast.  Tony was a pleasant surprise, he was obviously really trying to get the footwork right and he achieved a mostly consistent swivel, he's very enjoyable to watch.  Maria was probably the strongest and blended in well with the pros, she has some potential.  Maria scored 16 (6, 6, 4), Sophia scored 11 (4, 5, 2) and Tony scored 13 (6, 5, 2).  

 

Biyon & Stefano w/ Mariia & Marta (Quickstep): These two were matched well together and fed off each other's energy.  Biyon has energy in spades, very springy and quick-footed which is good for the Quickstep; sometimes he got ahead of the music and his movements got a little wild but overall quite promising.  Stefano had the right energy and decent timing and posture, about halfway through he started to stiffen up a bit but he's also promising.  Biyon scored 13 (5, 5, 3) and Stefano scored 12 (5, 5, 2).  

 

Ann-Kathrin, Detlef & Eva w/ Ekaterina, Massimo & Mika (Tango): This one I had to watch more than once because Detlef was just captivating!  Not just dance-wise but he was looking at the camera A LOT 😆 which was a bit distracting; he's a great partner and even partnered Ann-Kathrin during a brief partner-switch before going back to Ekat, very promising.  Poor Ann-Kathrin, her nerves were very apparent and she was very reliant on Massimo and Mika; I do think once she switched to Massimo halfway through she relaxed a little and started smiling near the end (maybe she was relieved it was nearly over) but she was really struggling to keep up with the other dancers.  Eva is FIERCE: the sultry eye contact with her partner(s) and the camera, her posture, her legwork, she was breathtaking.  No offense to Ann-Kathrin but I wish that Eva and Detlef were paired up during the switching, they're both great performers.  Also, Ekat and Massimo nearly collided at one point!  Rare to see that happen with the pros, especially them!  Ann-Kathrin scored 11 (5, 4, 2), Detlef scored 16 (6, 6, 4) and Eva scored 14 (6, 5, 3).  

 

Jana, Lina & Lulu w/ Alexandru, Vadim & Zsolt (Cha-Cha-Cha): Definitely the most joyful group, lots of smiles and sass from all three ladies.  Jana is an exuberant performer, her smiling is contagious; top half and arms are solid, her footwork was a bit messy at times especially side-by-side.  Lina was a little bit cautious and awkward at times, even in her facial expressions but she seemed to let loose a bit more in the solo section with Jana and Lulu.  Speaking of, Lulu was definitely the best of the three, she had some mistakes but very clean and confident for the majority of the dance.  Jana scored 12 (5, 4, 3), Lina scored 15 (6, 5, 4) and Lulu scored 17 (6, 6, 5).  Bit surprised that Jana scored so much lower than Lina, maybe I need to watch it again and directly compare those two.  

 

Gabriel, Mark & Tillman w/ Kathrin, Malika & Patricija (Viennese Waltz): Song set a lovely tone for the performance but some mixed results dance-wise.  Gabriel was a perfect gentleman, good posture and clean footwork, he was the clear standout of the group and gave Detlef a run for the best male contestant.  Tillman's legs and feet are BAD, it's like he's so used to sitting in a chair he's forgotten how to stand up straight.  Mark wasn't as bad and he was okay in frame but his free arm near the song's crescendo was horrifying.  It was a lovely routine that included the whole group and Gabriel, Mark and Tillman each got a chance to dance with each of Kathrin, Malika and Patricija, it's too bad that 2/3 of the guys didn't hold up their end with the lovely ladies.  Gabriel scored 18 (7, 6, 5), Mark scored 13 (5, 5, 3) and Tillman scored 7 (3, 3, 1).  I don't think the highest-scoring celeb and lowest-scoring celeb were ever in the same group dance!

 

Overall Leaderboard

1. Gabriel: 18

2. Lulu: 17

3. Maria: 16

3. Detlef: 16

5. Lina: 15

6. Eva: 14

7. Tony: 13

7. Biyon: 13

7. Mark: 13

10. Stefano: 12

10. Jana: 12

12. Sophia: 11

12. Ann-Kathrin: 11

14. Tillman: 7

 

The pairings were revealed as followed (winners of the Pro Challenge are no longer given the opportunity to choose their partner):

 

Jana & Vadim

Sophia & Alexandru

Eva & Paul

Lina & Zsolt

Maria & Mika

Lulu & Massimo

Ann-Kathrin & Valentin

Tony & Anastasia

Detlef & Ekaterina

Biyon & Marta

Mark & Kathrin

Tillman & Patricija

Gabriel & Malika

Stefano & Mariia

 

Thoughts:

 

Jana & Vadim: Pretty good and expected pairing.  Jana seems like a Vadim-type but he's a great pro so they should probably get at least midway through.  

 

Sophia & Alexandru: She picked HIM up when they were paired together and he has Artem's body type and Gleb's height!  😂  Not very confident with this pair's chances, she's one of the two lowest-scoring female celebs and unless he has some of Zsolt's magic, I don't see him getting past Week 1 yet.  

 

Eva & Paul: Kind of expected pairing given their heights but still a very exciting pairing!  Paul hasn't been on Let's Dance in 9 years so IDK much about his skills but Eva looked promising so I'm looking forward to how they do this season.  

 

Lina & Zsolt: Another young one for Zsolt but he worked wonders with similarly-nervous Julia so I think he's perfect for Lina.  Like Julia, she'll probably feel more comfortable continuing to dance with the same pro as she did in the Launch (Julia's reaction to the reveal of Switch-Up Week was hilarious, she was holding onto Zsolt like he was a life raft😆) and who knows?  Maybe she'll also transform into a confident contender.  

 

Maria & Mika: A good first partner for newbie Mika.  Maria showed natural ability in the group dance so we'll see how she handles Latin and Ballroom and how Mika handles teaching and choreographing as a pro.  

 

Lulu & Massimo: This pairing is controversial on social media.  Massimo has been very privileged with his history of talented and YOUNG partners despite not always rising to the occasion and fans are really not happy with him getting yet another one in Lulu at the expense of Alexandru for example, who's been out first in both of his previous seasons.  Apparently, Lulu didn't look as thrilled compared to the other celebs when they learned of their partners so we'll see how she and Massimo get along.  

 

Ann-Kathrin & Valentin: He was guaranteed to get a non-contender this time around since every other year he gets a contender and he finally won last year.  He and Renata are also expecting their baby girl VERY soon so all the more reason to give him an early-exit.  Ann-Kathrin is in good hands with Valentin though, he's just as invested in his non-contender partners as he is with contenders like Ella, Valentina and Anna (more than I can say for Massimo) so he can probably help her with nerves.  

 

Tony & Anastasia: Another expected pairing based on height, they're both the shortest of the male celebs and female pros.  I think they'll be fun though, Tony is very enjoyable to watch and Anastasia seems like a fun personality as well so they're well-matched in many departments.  

 

Detlef & Ekaterina: Their reactions to their pairing up were epic, they were PSYCHED!  The audience was pretty psyched as well, this is THE dream couple for Let's Dance.  He probably would've had an uphill battle with his past dance experience but with a fan-favorite pro like Ekat, Detlef is heading right for the Final, possibly even a fourth win for Ekat!  I can't wait for their dances, with his ability and her teaching skill (they don't call her General Ekat over there for nothing!), they are going to be hard to beat.

 

Biyon & Marta: Social media was also disappointed with this pairing but for different reasons than Lulu & Massimo.  Biyon has a very, shall we say, complicated reputation due to his feud with Oliver Pocher, a similarly controversial figure in German media; one notable incident was when Pocher accused Biyon of having an affair with his wife, Amira (who was a contestant just two years ago), following their separation last year, both Amira and Biyon denied it.  I don't know all of the details surrounding the negative reception towards Biyon but overall, he hasn't been very well-received since his participation was announced.  Marta, on the other hand, is a very unlucky pro whom fans are sympathetic towards due to her history of bad partners.  They always want Marta to finally get a realistic chance at winning and they're disappointed with her getting someone they find unlikable.  Biyon seems to have some potential though so hopefully Marta will make him more likable for the German audience and they'll support like they're always claiming to be doing.  

 

Mark & Kathrin: A little disappointed that Kathrin got another duffer, she usually alternates between contenders and duffers like Valentin but not this time around.  She always brings out the tricks and flips when she gets a contender (if Ekat is "General Ekat", Kathrin is "Crazy Kat" due to her often iconic and death-defying tricks).  Probably another early exit for Kathrin, I can't see Mark improving much.  

 

Tillman & Patricija: And Patricija FINALLY gets THE duffer of the season.  She's a lovely dancer but she's not the strongest teacher or choreographer, she tends to place focus more on herself than her partners.  Don't see her or her hubby Alexandru lasting very long in this season.  

 

Gabriel & Malika: The way I pumped my fists when I saw this pairing on IG!  Finally, Malika gets a well-deserved break!  Gabriel was a great partner in the group dance and he particularly seemed to gel with Malika when he danced with her.  Malika has had quite the journey on Let's Dance, from the cringe that was Mickie, to the mediocre Timur and Younes, to winning the Christmas Special and getting cut right afterwards until Renata had to drop out and needed someone to replace her, to winning the Pro Challenge with partner Zsolt, a roller coaster indeed!  She's a fabulous dancer, evident by this season's opening number which she and Zsolt got to choreograph as the reigning Pro Challenge winners, and it's going to be so great to watch her be able to dance more full-out with someone as capable as Gabriel.  

 

Stefano & Mariia: It's funny how so many pairings were made from the group dances, not a lot of mix-and-match this year.  Intrigued by this pairing as well, Stefano is already being compared to his brother, Giovanni, who took part in 2017, and Mariia will no doubt still be compared to her cousin, Ekat.  I think they're well-matched though, we've seen them work well together in the group dance so we'll see how they do in the long run (and in Latin).  

 

Should be a fun season!  Some potential underdogs and some very probable finalists.  Hopefully the dances will be available to watch for everyone on this forum who is interested in watching.  

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You do some epic/amazing reviews of the LDG shows, Ariel! :omg: Hmm is there any place to watch the dances? I am undecided if I'm gonna watch because I have so many shows on my plate and not sure if I can fit another. But I def have interest in checking it out - as I did enjoy Season 14.

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2 hours ago, *Wallace said:

You do some epic/amazing reviews of the LDG shows, Ariel! :omg: Hmm is there any place to watch the dances? I am undecided if I'm gonna watch because I have so many shows on my plate and not sure if I can fit another. But I def have interest in checking it out - as I did enjoy Season 14.

Thank you Wally!  The dances are on rtl.de but being able to view them might depend on the browser.  They were geoblocked when I used Safari but available with Firefox (some were geoblocked on there at first but after refreshing the page a couple of times I was able to watch).  The Charleston, Tango and Viennese Waltz groups are on YouTube as well, on the RTL account.  

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