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What I Did on My Christmas Vacation – The Men, Part II

Cast announcements and Season 10 Media have set me back but I intend to finish the women as well. :-)

Tony Dovolani

Status: Paired with Kate Gosselin for Season 10

Some of this information was provided by Rebecca, some of it I had to dig for. :-)

Tony has the most gorgeous family and just the other day he tweeted a photo that was so gorgeous I had to share – look at the chubby little baby legs!!

Per Tony’s Twitter, he did a lot of teaching during is break from DWTS. Reconstructing from Twitter, he was all over the place – San Francisco, Aspen, NYC, Kosovo, Albania, Chicago…

Tony judged a competition in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in December, then followed up with dancing with Chelsie at an event, and also danced with Cheryl Burke for the Christmas Parade at Disney.

Now, as much as I like Tony, I am not an expert, so I need the help of other fans. I know that Tony had a part in a movie, but that’s the extent of my knowledge. What was it? I also know that Tony is involved in the Ballroom Dance Channel and that his partner is Elena Grinenko. Someone fill me in.

Dmitry Chaplin

Status: Not on DWTS Season 10, but choreographing for SYTYCD this summer.

Most people know that I’m not a huge Dmitry fan, but those people should also know that I would prefer he be on the show over being replaced by a new professional. Yes, I understand the nature of show business, but if we’re not loyal to our pros, who will be? I am NOT saying that Damian is responsible for Dmitry – that’s on the producers.

That said, I think Dmitry will be back next season and he will be fine in any case. He’s a very talented guy.

Dmitry is one of the dancers in the DWTS WorkOut videos – I’m sure lots of people actually work out to them and don’t just sit and watch. :-) I heard that Dmitry danced at Dizzy Feet Foundation Benefit, along with Derek, Mark and Cheryl, but I never saw any pictures of it. Dmitry also performed at the mystery event in Toronto that was also attended by Mark Ballas and Chelsie Hightower.

Dmitry also performed in the Louis Van Amstel choreographed Ballroom with a Twist in January. It appeared that he followed this with a lot of teaching – per his twitter.

Dmitry and Chelsie had a gorgeous photoshoot recently, the purpose of which I don’t know – but the pics were gorgeous. :-) This isn’t one of them, but a tweeted pic of Dmitry, Chelsie and their photographer:

Louis Van Amstel

Status: Partnered with Niecy Nash for Season 10

Everything I have about Louis I gleaned from Twitter. If anyone has additions or corrections, let me know. :-) I also found that he designed his own web site —> Louis Van Amstel

Shortly after taking Kelly Osborne to third place, Louis flew to Amsterdam for an “introduction” to his fitness class (Louis’ Dance Blast) for dance studios in Holland. He followed that very whirlwind trip to Holland with a vacation with his partner, Kelly O and her fiancé.

I get the impression from Louis’ tweets that he is continually teaching at his studio in LA – all types of Cardio fitness/dance classes. It sounds like he had Christmas in Utah and then went back to Holland again in early January. Apparently, 20 studios in Holland are now teaching his Louis’ Dance Blast. Wow.

Louis was also the Choreographer for Ballroom with a Twist that a few of the pros performed in during *their* Christmas vacation. :-)

Louis went to Cabo for vacation (for a second time?) and then on to Holland for a third time, trying to keep up with the dance classes, from the sound of it.

In early March, Louis got involved in the NOH8 Campaign regarding California’s proposition 8. If I had a copy of the photo, I would post it, but it doesn’t appear to have been released yet. For those who don’t know, these are the photos you see around of celebs with duct tape over their mouths.

And, finally, Lisa Rinna taped a segment of her new reality show, “Harry Loves Lisa” at Louis Cardio dance class the other day. :-)

Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya

Status: Jonathan isn’t on, while Anna has the ringiest ringer of the season. :-)

Like I did with Alec and Edyta, I’m lumping Jon and Anna together since many of their off season activities coincided quite neatly. I’m also shorting Jonathan’s name to Jon because I am very lazy. :-)

In late November, Jon and Anna did the Dizzy Feet Foundation benefit along with Derek, Mark, Lacey, Cheryl and the gang. He and Anna danced the waltz, which I would have loved to see. He kindly (or not) tweeted a picture of Lacey and Anna. :-)

After Dizzy Feet, Jon and Anna went do Tuscon for a days worth of work – I assume dancing. Once they got back to LA they went on to San Diego – work again. In early December, Anna took off for Russia while Jon stayed behind and worked alot (per his tweets on the subject). Apparently, he subsists on fast food when the wife is gone. :-) One of his projects in southern California was choreographing a show for a dance studio.

As previously mentioned, he danced with Anna (along with Chelsie/Dmitry) at Ballroom with a Twist in January in Wilmington, Delaware.

It sounds like Jon taught some classes Fred Astaire Studios in Chicago and Ohio, and mentioned their studio in Hermosa Beach. I also saw a notice a while ago that Jon and Anna bought a very nice house – I saw the listing for it, which I can’t seem to produce right now. :-)

Yeah, I know I’m not writing much even though it sounds like both Jon and Anna worked their butts off – but they traveled all over teaching, often from 7 am to 11 pm. How many times can I type that? :-)

Anna was in the Sports Illustrated issue that also had Chelsie and Cheryl – that was pretty nice!!

On February 9, Jon and Anna danced at the Red Dress Awards, apparently in NYC.

Finally, Jon finds out he’s not on the show, but his wife hit the jackpot. He tweeted this picture of Anna and Evan:

Jonathan is currently in Boston, teaching!

March 20, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Dancing with the Stars Season 10 – from the Skybox?

Well, this should be interesting. An excerpt from Newsday.com – and no, I can’t get the whole article. I refuse to pay 5 bucks to that site to see one article. If anyone has more of the article, I wouldn’t turn it down. :-)

What’s new this season of “Dancing With the Stars”? What isn’t? So tweaked and revamped are so many elements that this edition could be called “The New Dancing With the Stars.”

Take that glass-enclosed balcony, for example. What glass-enclosed balcony you (rightfully) ask? “DWTS” has added a “sky box” from which contestants, or “stars,” as they are quaintly referred to on this set, can watch…

Now, call me crazy…but I don’t need all the crazy changes to keep me interested in the show. Just a good, not too huge cast, my favorite pros and DANCING. Geez. I was just saying in the comments that this is the first season I’ve been truly excited for in a couple seasons because I think they did so well with the cast (on paper) and they have to go and make a bunch of changes? Did they learn nothing from last season? Why the incessant need to tinker with something that wasn’t broken?? And no, don’t tell me about the ratings – they weren’t down that much and it’s the number two show on television, behind only American Idol.

My tally thus far of the changes?
- the stars get their scores right away from the judges, no going backstage to talk to Brooke first
- they can watch from a skybox – ala American Idol Top 24??

Madness.

I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS10 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

Good grief…where did season 9 go??? I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was trying my best to like Donny and was gunning hard for Kelly…but alas, season 10 is upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for my preliminary power ranking of this season’s celebs!

For those of you who are new to the site (or don’t remember from last season), I do a weekly power ranking of the couples based on their performances that week – this ranking is basically a measure of how likely a couple is to stick around to the following week, and it’s based on several factors: how well they perform, how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting “demographic” is, how memorable they are, etc.  It is not necessarily a measure of who is the “best” dancer – we all know that the best dancer is not always guaranteed to win the competition, or even stick around week after week. 

As I did last season, I have also done a “preliminary” power ranking – it’s a bit different, as we have yet to see any of the celebs perform – that is basically my “forecast” of how I think the season will play out, based on the celeb’s backgrounds and popularity.  As evidenced by last season, things can change quite a bit during the course of the season – but it’s still fun to make predictions :-) So here’s my top six - the ones I could see lasting at least through the middle of the competition, and the ones I think will make the final:

1.)    Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough – I think Nicole has several big advantages in this competition: she’s got a dance/performance background (from her days with the Pussycat Dolls and also her experience with the lesser-known girl group Eden’s Crush), she’s young, she’s attractive, she’s decently well-known, she isn’t really doing anything else right now (PCD is on hiatus after several members left, freeing her up to focus solely on the competition) and perhaps most important of all if you’re a sexy lady in the competition – she’s inoffensive.  Anyone catch her as a judge on The Sing Off this past December? The girl is as sweet as pie – reminded me of Paula Abdul on Idol.  And I can’t recall any tabloid scandals about her (other than maybe being considered the “Beyonce” of PCD and the other girls in the group being jealous of it). She’s also got the juggernaut that is Derek Hough to lead the way – his choreography is some of the most fun & memorable on the show, and the ladies LOVE him (and as we’ve pointed out many times before – you need to have the female viewers on your side to win this competition!).  Their closeness in age also makes them more believable as a couple, which is a big advantage in the rumba (which is often the “make or break” dance when it comes to testing a couple’s chemistry).  Unless Anna busts out some incredible choreography, or these two have a major snafu (and I’m talking a snafu of Aaron-Carter-wailing-in-the-confessional-post-rumba proportions!), I could see these two easily making it to the final, and likely winning over Evan & Anna.

2.)    Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya – Some of you are probably going to strongly question me putting these two in second place (due to the winning nature of Olympians on the show, especially skaters, and also Evan’s wild popularity), but I really think this final is not going to hinge so much on the celebs as it will on their respective pros.  Let’s face it: while I adore Anna (she’s my fave pro and a fellow redhead), some of the viewing audience has found her to be cold & abrasive – and viewers don’t pick up the phone for cold & abrasive pros.  And her choreography, while brilliant from a technical standpoint, doesn’t quite have the same artistic “zing” and energy that Derek’s does.  If Anna was a more popular pro, I could see these two having a fighting chance against Nicole & Derek (although I still think it’s going to be close, given the circumstances).  But Evan will undoubtedly thrive in the competition, due mainly to his athletic background & popularity with the viewing audience – c’mon, it’s hard to hate an Olympian, especially a medalist (unless you’re that obnoxious Russian skater that lost to Evan)!   

 3.)    Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – She’s a former Florida Gators dance team member, her sister is a professional dancer, and she’s a spunky, well-liked sportscaster – but Erin’s strongest advantage this season could very well be the sympathy vote.  After the mortifying peeping Tom incident back in July of ’09, this girl could have easily shunned the spotlight – but she managed to handle the situation extremely gracefully in the media and seems to have come back even stronger.  While female viewers have a tendency to “backlash” against pretty girls (like many of the models), they tend rally behind successful, likeable ones – especially ones that have endured some kind of public ordeal (think Melissa Rycroft).  Maks also still remains a popular pro (although probably not so much as Mark or Derek) – however, a string of early eliminations due to weak partners may have taken him off some voters’ radar in recent seasons. And let’s pray he doesn’t make poor Erin cry…he always seems to get voted off not long after that happens…anyway, Erin’s skill could take her far, but I fear that Maks choreography is going to look a bit dull up against Derek’s flashy moves and Anna’s impeccable technique.

 4.)    Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke – I’m still having a hard time trying to figure this couple out – part of me says they could do really well, part of me says they might be a complete train wreck.  But for the sake of optimism, I’m gonna go with the former – that, and Chad’s ostentatious personality and endless competitiveness.  I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that Chad is a character (anyone who admits that they are “hoping to get fined” in their next game is definitely a doozy!) and also a tremendous athlete (he’s a 6-time pro bowler).  NFL players have traditionally done well in the competition (4 have made it to the finals, and none have finished worse than 7th place) due likely to sheer determination.  Chad also has an edge with Cheryl, who is the winningest pro currently doing the show.  However, Chad’s charisma can also come across as, well, just plain obnoxious – he wasn’t voted the #1 showboater in the sports world by ESPN for nothing.  He has been known to be a little on the cocky side, and is not above trash-talking the competition…which doesn’t always sit well with the voters.  I’m predicting they make it to the semifinal based solely on their skill, but will lose out in the end to more likeable celebs like Evan, Nicole, & Erin.

 5.)    Niecy Nash & Louis Van Amstel – If last season was any indicator, Louis tends to thrive with partners that have a bit of an attitude – viewers may have yawned watching him dance with Trista & Priscilla, but who could forget his sassy interactions with Monique & Kelly? J And let’s just say Niecy has got attitude to spare – I have a feeling these two are going to be a hoot to watch! Viewers seem to overlook weak dancing if a couple is particularly entertaining (i.e. Cloris & Corky), so even if Niecy isn’t the greatest, I don’t think she will be going home quickly.  Not to say that she won’t be good – from the clips of her practicing, it’s clear the woman has rhythm, and I sincerely doubt she will struggle with “coming out of her shell” like Kelly did.  I think Louis also solidified him self as a pro favorite last season, with his unending support and camaraderie with Kelly, so he may have a bigger fanbase this year.  In the end, though, I think the stronger dancers will win out over the energetic-but-not-quite-as-technically-good ones, so these two better bring attitude & skill if they want to make it to the finale.

6.) Jake Pavelka & Chelsie Hightower – Not gonna lie – I definitely cringed when I heard Jake’s name announced as the 11th participant this season.  I almost wonder if he was a last-minute addition when they needed to fill one more slot, and the fact that they were announcing the contestants during the Bachelor finale was just a happy coincidence (for them, not us).  While Jake does have a bit of a dance background (he’s taken dance lessons, allegedly – not sure what kind), I fear that everyone that was on Team Tenley is not going to be quick to support Jake – if the tabloids covers splashed with headlines of “Villainous Vienna’s” exploits are any indicator, the voters may be hesitant to stand behind him (and his choice in women).  Petty? Maybe – but look at what happened to Jason Mesnick after he jilted Melissa.  The guy became a social pariah! Fans of The Bachelor are definitely passionate about their faves, which could be good for Jake if enough of “Team Vienna” is voting this season.  Chelsie also has a knack of taking mediocre partners (Ty Murray, Louie Vito) and improving them enough to keep them around until at least midway through the competition.  This couple is a bit of a toss-up for me – which is why they’re right in the middle.  I guess time will tell whether they sink or swim…

So there’s my predictions for the top 6 – tune in tomorrow as I detail those who *gulp* may be in a bit more peril of getting sent home :-( But what do you guys think? Who do you think will come out on top?

I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!