This first article, from Entertainment Weekly, seriously cracks me up – it’s titled ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Health Watch. Fantastic concept, considering the fiasco that was last season which had more injuries than were even widely reported. The ignored injuries belonged to Lil’ Kim and Derek; ribs and knee, respectively. While this article claims that everyone is injury free, that’s not quite true. If you watch all the celebs and pros on twitter, you know that Derek has hurt his back/neck (again) and Mark Dacascos has a hurt foot. This article mentions, but downplays, the foot – not as sexy as a popped rib, I guess.
The 16 contestants for Dancing With the Stars‘ ninth season have all survived their first two weeks of rehearsal (despite this photo of Donny Osmond on the ground and Mark Dacascos’ much-publicized bruised sole). The celebs, who had various start dates from August 17 through August 21, were given training guidelines for the first time in the show’s history. Why? “When they do the show in the UK, people take it much more like it’s a bit of fun, but Americans are so competitive,” exec producer Conrad Green told us when the cast was first announced. “Everyone comes into it, ‘Oh, this is a bit of fun, it’s a bit of fun… Ohmygosh, look at his quickstep, it’s incredible! I’ve got to do better!’ We do spend most of our time encouraging people to just relax a little.”
“Once the first two weeks are out of the way, there should be sufficient muscle development and muscle memory to help cope with the trauma of training,” Green said. Which means: Game on! The contestants are now on their own.
Article number two appears to be a rehearsal blog from Debi Mazar (who I root for when Derek and Joanna aren’t looking) from More.com, a blog celebrating women over 40. Some excerpts are below, but I highly recommend going to the site and reading the whole thing.
It’s been an enlightening experience: I’ve found out that I’ve been dancing sloppily for 30 years. I grew up in New York and I’ve been to salsa clubs and discos; Madonna and I used to enjoy dancing together “back in the day,” just going out and shaking it on the dance floor. But I guess we were more into freestyle, and when you go into a ballroom dancing situation it’s extremely purist in form.
I have no formal dance training, so it’s been challenging because for the first time I’m watching myself in the mirror. I do have rhythm but I don’t have form. Because I’ve had two children and two C-sections, I don’t feel like I have core strength. I lost my baby weight, but I haven’t gone back to the gym; I don’t have time. But I look like a dancer, and it’s kind of working against me, because everyone goes, “Oh, you look so great, you’re going to be fabulous!” And it’s like, but I’m out of shape! Why is size a factor? Why are you saying just because my arms are defined, which is god-given—I haven’t lifted a damn dumbbell in years—that that means I can sell it?
I have to work really hard because I’m completely uncoordinated. Maks says left, I go right; he says flex, I point. I’ve become dyslexic out of pressure. And he’ll throw me into a pose and say, “Oh, that hurts?” Yeah, it hurts! He’s always telling me how he threw Mel B. into a split, and saying, “You’ll be doing splits by the end of this.” And I’m like, “Listen, I have no desire to do a split. I didn’t do a split when I was 12, or 20, or 30, and I’m definitely not doing it at 45. And if you do a split with me I’m going to kick you in the balls and you’re going to end up in the hospital, I’m going to end up in the hospital, and we’re going to be eliminated! My legs are going to snap off like a Barbie doll’s!”
I love her. I would love to see her kick Maks in the balls, just to see the fireworks. I’m really twisted that way.
My first week I was really broken and in pain because I hadn’t had a workout like that in a couple of years. And I picked up my daughter from camp and I was sort of crying a little bit in the car, and she goes, “Mommy, it’s not about winning.” I’m like, “You’re right, but unfortunately it is a contest and I want to stick around, I want to be good.” The thing is, I’m not a competitive person but I’m competitive with myself. So I have tried to take this on as a character study: I’ve gotten the spray tan, which is actually required because of the lighting, and the outfits are up to your crotch—I’m not used to showing off my body, and I’m dancing in a bikini, basically. I’ve gotten the nails, because it gives you pretty hands.