Celebs pole-dance in 'Bailando por un sueno'

BUENOS AIRES — A TV dance competition in Argentina emerged Thursday as a favorite for viewers unwinding from a political conflict that gripped the nation for more than four months.

“Bailando por un sueno” (Dancing for a Dream) involves 32 celebs pole-dancing with ordinary people. A jury eliminates couples each week.

“People are looking for more entertainment after such a long time of social problems,” said Luciano Lopez, an editor at online news service Primiciasya.com in Buenos Aires.

Since March, news programs and cable news networks have posted strong audience numbers as a farm rebellion sparked massive protests, food and fuel shortages and social tension not seen since a popular revolt toppled the government in 2001. The unease began to subside early Thursday after the Senate voted against a tax hike on crop exports that had started the revolt.

That night, the dance contest made its season debut with the moves by scantily dressed celebs like Carolina “Pampita” Ardohain helping Artear-Canal 13’s daily variety show “ShowMatch” snare an average of 30 rating points, its highest in two months. It was the most-watched program of the day, with twice the aud numbers as people-trafficking drama “Vidas robadas” (Taking Lives) and gamer “The Hole in the Wall” on rival Telefe.

The program, hosted by Marcelo Tinelli and produced by his production outfit Ideas del Sur, hit peaks of 34% with the dancing during its 10:30 p.m. to midnight running time.

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