“Our most-talked-about season,” Tom Bergeron said as the finals of “Dancing With the Stars” opened tonight. Yes, funny how a lighthearted dance contest morphed into a battlefield. I liked it better when it was a dance contest.
Do you agree or disagree? Special thanks to Heidi letting me know on this quote she loved from the Orlando Sentinel. I love it too and so agree. Be sure to read the link for more of a cool wrap up of the night and who they think should win.
Here is some backstage footage after show for the couples reactions on their dances, tonight’s upcoming dances, and more….
Bristol and Mark;
Jennifer and Derek;
Kyle and Lacey;
More of Jennifer and Derek before the show and a glimpse of what might come tonight on the results show, the importance of keeping focused, being humble, etc.;
All the couples before the show;
Niecy Nash capturing all the “mayhem”;
Here is Carrie Ann being interviewed after the show on the negative and vicious reactions she’s personally received this year (I hate to say it, but she had the criticism coming. She only has herself to blame imo)
Maks and Tony for why Bristol is still in the competiton;
And lastly in other things out there to share, here is more of Maks and Robin Roberts on Good Morning America today doing the Cha Cha Cha. I love this.;
Ok, here’s to The Results Show tonight everyone. Be there or be square…I am sure of it. xx
Hi, did you get your texting and phone votes in last night? How was your experience? I had about a 15 minute delay on the phone and then I got through. However, voting on-line was a different story. It was midnight before I could finally get my votes in. If you’ve had the same issues voting on-lne or haven’t done so yet, we want to keep encouraging everyone this morning to vote at ABC.com. It’s really important to get as many votes in as you can for this competition to turn out right.
Speaking of….Tom Bergeron makes a good point about “voting” in a new interview with TV Guide. He also discussses the unpredictable season it’s been, his thoughts on the remaining couples, and more. Here is a take.
“The complaining amuses me to no end,” Bergeron says. “Whenever someone says that Bristol shouldn’t be there to me, I almost inevitably say, ‘Of course, you’re voting for…?’ And they go, ‘Yeah, I didn’t vote.’ I have no sympathy for people who are kvetching about — and this is from a gentile — who’s still there and who’s gone.
“If you want a technical dancer, watch PBS,” he continues. “It’s part dance show, part popularity contest. It always has been and always will be. If you don’t get that by Season 11, I don’t know what I have to say to you.”
Palin and her partner, Mark Ballas, will face off against front-runners Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, and show-stoppers Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer, who twice were one point shy of perfection last week. (Grey and Hough have nabbed three perfect 30s.) While Palin doesn’t have the dubious distinction of earning the lowest score of the season (that goes to Michael Bolton and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who each got a 12), she’s only averaged, well, an average 21 points.
Still, Bergeron can make the winning case for Sarah Palin’s daughter.
“She’s not the strongest dancer, obviously,” he says. “But she … represents what I think is the best of our show, somebody who comes Day 1 and is completely out of their element and has shown a clear growth as a dancer. And she clearly has a massive or sufficient amount of viewer support to keep her in despite low scores.”
“Is it political? I don’t know,” he says. “But that just speaks to the importance of voting.”
Palin’s run recalls that of Marie Osmond’s in Season 5. Another mediocre, average-scoring dancer, she made it to the final on the strength of votes. She finished third after her bizarre rag-doll freestyle turned more viewers off than anything else. “The freestyle isn’t always the decider, but a lot of times, momentum can stall that close to the finish,” Bergeron says. “You see couples like Drew [Lachey] and Cheryl [Burke], who set the gold standard for what a freestyle can be and, on the other end, you have Marie’s rag-doll! It was like, ‘Oh my God!’ You can make it or break it with that last image that’s burned into your retinas.”
Palin and Ballas have more to worry about than the freestyle. Grey and Hough are arguably the heavy favorites who, Bergeron says, have “rallied back” after a midseason slump. “[Grey] dealt with physical injuries, some emotional uncertainty, but she’s looking as strong as ever the past few weeks.” Massey and Schwimmer, meanwhile, are Mr. and Ms. Consistency, and they seem to be peaking at the right time.
“They haven’t hit the top or the bottom. They have been relentlessly entertaining,” Bergeron says. “My favorite moment … was watching [their] Instant Dance. They blew the roof off the place. I immediately thought, ‘Gee, I’d hate to be any of the other couples back there getting ready!’ It put the spotlight on why they’re so good as a couple. Kyle’s just a fun, charming kid with a great self-aware sense of humor.”
The Instant Dance was one of the new elements, along with new theme weeks, that Bergeron says he loved and made for a strong and, yes, unpredictable season.
But how will it all end? After kicking off the season with a surprise result, will Season 11 wrap with one too?
“I think it’s going to be very dramatic. It’s been a season where you really can’t be sure how it’s going to play out, which I thought was lacking last season. I’ve really enjoyed this season and [the producers] have done a remarkable job of keeping it fresh coming off Season 10,” Bergeron says. “I guess all I can say now is just vote.”
Mark has finally come out. He updated his blog Sunday. Here’s a take from USA Today. He writes about Bristol and what he’s thankful for. He also talks about the hatred surrounding them. (Heidi’s Note – yes, Vogue’s first sentence in this section gave me quite a start as well, if you’re asking. Dude, careful of the word selection. )
We have four dances this week, and you know one of them is the freestyle, which we will dance on Monday night. Another dance is the “Redemption Dance”, which is a dance chosen by the judges that they thought we could have done better at earlier in the season. I’m looking forward to that dance as well, as Bristol has come a long way since the beginning.
Aside from the show finals on Monday and Tuesday, I’m looking forward to an exciting week.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I am looking forward to the time I can spend with my family, as I am sure you all are. My mind seems to be rooted in reflection the past few days and this will be a particularly thankful Thanksgiving for me. I’ve always known and treasured the impact my mom has had on my life and during this season of DWTS, she has been my rock. With my move into my new home and the pressures that the season brings, she’s always there to lean on. Thank you, Mom!
I am so thankful to be on a show that millions of people are able to release the pressures of their everyday life while allowing us to entertain them. That really is a performer’s dream and goal, to whisk the audience away on a journey where they lose themselves and their troubles for a moment. Thanks to you all. You are the treasure in our success!
As for Bristol, she knows how thankful I am to call her my partner and friend. What Bris doesn’t know is how thankful I am for what she has taught me this season. It can be summed up in two words: determination and respect. Everyone goes through his or her own version of pain and endurance issues on the show — both the celebs and the dancers. Some pain is physical, for others it’s the pain of stress, and for some it’s the pain of having your life taken away from you as you prepare each week.
Bristol deals with a special pain of having people wanting and hoping for her to fail and dealing with hate issues no one should ever have to encounter. But probably her greatest source of pain is hearing what is said about her son. Fortunately, she has this miraculous way of dealing with it and focusing on getting better each week and proving to herself, that despite all that noise, she is a woman to be respected.
Our country was built on people taking advantage of the basic freedom to do everything in our power to excel with the God-given talents with which we have been blessed. During this season, I’ve seen firsthand how those rights shouldn’t be taken for granted, much less allowing others to take that basic human right away from you. Thank you, Bristol, for helping me understand how important that freedom is.
This season we’ve been challenged physically, most certainly verbally by the haters, questioned whether we are good enough, tough enough, and worthy of staying in the competition. Heading into the finals, I’m proud to say we answered them all. Amongst all the controversy, people have let us know how much they appreciate and respect us for simply doing that and how it has inspired them in their own lives. Thank you to all who have supported us on our journey. I hope you have been as rewarded for it as I have been.
There is a nice interview with Julianne Hough at Teen Television (that she must have given last week before the Final 4 show). She’s going to be starring in the new movie “Burlesque” along with Christina Aguilera and Cher which opens up in theatres this week. She talks about the movie as well as Dancing With The Stars, some thoughts on Bristol, and who she’d like to see win (and of course, that is her brother Derek and Jen). Here is a take.
TeenTelevision: Was doing Burlesque as much work as “Dancing With the Stars”?
Julianne Hough: Yes! The difference is with “Dancing With the Stars”, we choreographed, we danced, we taught it to the partner and then we were like their therapists. Then we were doing dances that, for the star, were hard but not that challenging for me. So coming to do this was like getting back to the grind and really pushing myself to my limit to do as much as I could do keeping up with the other professional girl dancers. It was really fun for me.
TeenTelevision: What did “Dancing With the Stars” exactly do for you?
Julianne:It opened every door imaginable. I moved out to L.A. when I was eighteen to sing and act. But, the dancing was an avenue to get to where I want to be. It was a wonderful opportunity and I just went for it. I never realized the success it was going to have and especially the opportunities it was going to bring for me.
ABC TeenTelevision: When did you first get really noticed and kicked up a notch on the show?
Julianne:It was my first season with Apollo [Anton Ohno, Olympic Gold medalist] and it was our Samba. I came out and was wearing that tiger outfit. That was like the coming out party for Julianne! After that number I felt a little more on the radar. I got calls. For Maxim magazine, I remember, I was like ‘Dad won’t approve of that too much.’ That was the first thing I did after I came out in that outfit.
TeenTelevision: Have you kept up with the show? Who do you think will win?
Julianne:Yeah. I was shooting Footloose so it was very hard to watch each week. But, I would catch it here and there. Now that it’s the last four, I can’t believe it.
TeenTelevision: I can’t believe Bristol Palin is still in it.
Julianne:That’s the thing I was a little confused about. That definitely goes to show what that show is about. It’s not necessarily about the dancing. It’s about the fan base and the people watching. I can definitely testify to that. I would not be where I’m today without the fans of the show. They’ve followed me since day one. I hope my brother (Derek Hough) and Jennifer (Grey) win. I think she’s fantastic. But, Brandy’s pretty good too. I hope my brother wins because I’m biased but, at the same time, I kinda hope he doesn’t because right now we are tied. We both have two. So, maybe he’ll have three. Nah. I’m kidding.
Kym Johnson has something very special planned for The Hoff tonight. Here is a take from Access Hollywood.
“I’ve been working with him all week. We have something very special planned,” Kym told AccessHollywood.com. “We may have been the first ones out, but this routine is gonna blow everyone away.”
While the Hoff’s clunky ballroom moves got him the boot during Week 1 of “DWTS,” all the way back in September, Kym said that during his time away, David’s learned some new moves and that the superstar isn’t afraid to use them.
“Right now, with the routine that we’ve got, he’s coming along really well and I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people,” she said. “He’s having a lot of fun with it. He has me laughing the whole rehearsal.”
Re-teaming with David in preparation for the finale, has brought back thoughts for Kim of what could have been with the former “America’s Got Talent “judge.
“I just had so many fun things I wanted to do [on Season 11 with David] because he’s such a big personality and he’s not afraid to sort of have a laugh and just put himself out there,” she said.
Sunday night, several of our Pros (Maks, Cheryl, Tony, Mark, and Karina) showed up at the American Music Awards. Be sure to see Haveyouheard.net and Getty Images for more pics. Special thanks to PureDWTS fan Sally for the Getty link.
There was a little spread on Good Morning America Monday with Robin Roberts turing 50. In honor of her birthday, she’s decided to take some dance lessons from Maks and his brother Val. Maks and her Cha Cah in this video. There is also a snippet with Jennifer and Derek. More to come for that dance lesson today on GMA.
Speaking of Derek and Jennifer, here they are on E-Online rehearsing for their final dances, “savoring the last moments”, and Derek as humble as ever.
Here is more rehearsal sneak peaks from Good Morning America. Special thanks to PureDWTSfan Maddy for this heads up.
Ok All! That’s it for the media before the show. Backstage interviews from after the show coming up next!
We’re finally here for the finale of Dancing with the Stars season 11. Since this is the DWTS music post, I’ll say that we had an average year for the music on Dancing with the Stars. There have been worse years, but the music wasn’t anything to write home about either. What do you think?
Well, now on to the music from the finale of Dancing with the Stars season 11.
Kyle & Lacey danced a Foxtrot to the song “Feeling Good” —Nina Simone
Kyle & Lacey danced a Freestyle to the song “Tootsee Roll” —69 Boyz
Bristol & Mark danced a Jive to the song “Move” by Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, and Anika Noni Rose from the movie “Dreamgirls”
Bristol & Mark danced a Freestyle to the song “Cell Block Tango” —from Chicago
Jennifer & Derek danced a Paso Doble to the song “Habañera” —Georges Bizet
Jennifer & Derek danced a Freestyle to the song “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)” —The Contours
And then there were 3! I’ll try to keep this as brief as I can so that everyone can get back to voting, but man – I loved 2/3 of tonight’s performances. Thought Jennifer & Derek and Kyle & Lacey both really brought their A-game tonight – Bristol, while not terrible, felt pretty lackluster up to such high-energy performances from the other two. I know everyone’s been having trouble voting – I have too. I’ve been getting a busy signal throughout the duration of the show on the phone, and my connection to the ABC website keeps timing out – I’m guessing it’s getting inundated right now. But everyone keep trying, I promise it is worth the effort! Gonna do the rankings in reverse tonight…just to build up suspense, y’know
3rd place: Kyle & Lacey
I know some of you are slack-jawed right now, but unfortunately, I think the Bristol voters might be able to overcome the measley 4-point spread between her & Kyle. It stinks, but I could see it happening…although I really enjoyed both of Kyle’s performances immensely tonight. I think what I’ve come to appreciate most about Kyle is his ability to get into the character of every single dance – he can be energetic, silly, dramatic, suave, romantic, aggressive, and tonight – just COOL. Really enjoyed the redemption foxtrot – glad they ditched the kitsch and decided to go the sexy, slick route, although there’s one thing about Lacey’s foxtrot’s that still bugs me a bit: they just seem soooo SLOW. But still – a really nice, cool foxtrot. When I saw them decked out in hip-hop gear for their freestyle, I kinda groaned – the last time Lacey did hip-hop for a freestyle, it didn’t pan out so well; however, was pleasantly surprised that Kyle took to this one like a fish to water and was 110% in it from start to finish. This is kid is just so darn LOVABLE. I really wish it would come down to he & Jennifer in the final two – and hopefully I will be proven wrong – but I have the sinking feeling he & Lacey will fall to 3rd place. But man, what a great run this season from the kid that I didn’t see coming!
Runners-up: Bristol & Mark
I’m not holding any punches tonight – watching her dance tonight just confirmed to me why I’m so disappointed she made the finals: she has improved little since day 1, and I don’t even get the feeling she wants to be there anymore. Seriously – between the way she dances and the way she acts in packages, I just don’t feel like she has any fight left in her. And when it comes down to the finals – I want people who are HUNGRY for that trophy. Heidi & I commiserated on Twitter over that jive – definitely not the caliber of dancing we want to see in the finale, and definitely not 9-worthy. No, she didn’t mess up or forget her choreography; but her feet barely left the ground. So low-energy, and I felt like Mark was dancing circles around her. The smile was nice, but that was about it – nothing felt memorable to me and overall it just felt like she was strolling through it. The freestyle – oy. On paper, it seemed like a really good idea – not too fast, a dance that Bristol is good at (tango), and a character that she can channel fairly easily…if only she tried. Again, I felt like she was barely moving, and seeing her try to channel a murdering temptress from the 1920′s just felt…awkward. I actually felt sorry for her for a moment – something like “Why would Mark pick this when she’s clearly so uncomfortable doing it?” Then I realized it – what other choice did he have? She just simply didn’t have the technique, energy, character, or charisma to carry off anything more energetic. Props to Mark for trying – but it was ultimately up to Bristol to stand and deliver, and I don’t think she did. However, if her fans are as rabid as they claim to be, she may have enough support to close the gap between her & Kyle. But I’m keeping my faith in humanity that they won’t be able to surpass…
The winners: Jennifer & Derek
Wow. This woman went out GUNS BLAZING tonight! Total commitment to both dances, great technique, and best of all: a wonderful attitude. The past two weeks, it’s been pretty refreshing to see Jen just kind of let go and truly enjoy the experience, and I think it’s worked in her favor – she seemed at peace tonight, but somehow still bound and determined to win. Totally redeemed herself in the paso – dramatic & simple, and sooooo on-point it’s ridiculous. And I think my mom (don’t you love how Heidi & I refer to our moms for material? ) put it best about the freestyle: “I think the freestyle is all about moments that make your jaw drop.” And boy, did she have those…splits! Jumps! Spins! Grinding on the judges table! Even a little comedy – had to grin at the “I carried a watermelon” bit at the beginning. And I loved it that she seemed like she was (pun intended) truly having the time of her life while she was doing it – such joy. I think these two deserve to win, and have a decent shot in it. Good grief…I think I actually might cry if Jennifer doesn’t win. I feel even more strongly about her this season than I did Nicole last season!
And with that, I conclude the power rankings for season 11 Better get your fill of debating this one, because there won’t be another one till March! Let’s hear it: after such a crazy season, how do you guys think things will shake out? Will the best dancer win? Will the “most improved” win? Is Armageddon upon us? Talk to me!
It’s time for you to vote for who you think will be the winner of Dancing with the Stars season 11. You’ve seen the finale of DWTS 2010 and so now it’s time to cast your vote. Let’s see who the Pure DWTS readers predict to be the winner of Dancing with the Stars season 11.
Note: Sorry to those on the west coast. You can come back and vote after the show;-)
I must admit that I haven’t been following Twitter all that much this season. Instead, Heidi and Vogue have been doing that really well. However, today in anticipation of the finale of DWTS season 11, I decided to go see what the DWTS peeps were saying on Twitter. Here’s some of the more interesting ones (with begging for votes excluded). Also, be sure to go and check out the Who’s Dancing What in the DWTS finale. Now on to the Twitter round up (with my comments in between each tweet!
Last day of rehearsal w/ wonderful @officaldhough on #DWTS. As dreamy as U think he is, ladies.THANKYOU,D! Time2#leaveitonthedancefloor!
I’d hope that the Christmas lights were going to be on DWTS or something. I guess Lacey didn’t get the message that Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday. I don’t mind Christmas in July, but November is for Thanksgiving. On that note, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
I have to be honest and admit that this season has been a really lackluster season of Dancing with the Stars for me. I know that some people disagree and have loved the season, but for some reason I just could never get into this season in a big way. Of course, I’m sure the show doesn’t really care too much about me since the ratings have been off the charts this season. Although, I can’t help but wonder how much higher the ratings would have been if it wasn’t such a relatively boring season.
I should make the clarification that it’s still a great show. I wouldn’t have started this blog if I didn’t enjoy DWTS. The dancing is still fantastic to watch and for that I’ll continue to watch the show. However, on the other side of the reality TV mix, I haven’t enjoyed the characters on this season of DWTS.
It kind of reminds me of watching a basketball or football game for two teams that I don’t really care about. I enjoy the competition and the individual efforts, but it’s not nearly as fun when I don’t have a horse in the race. This season I haven’t found a horse that I could really get behind.
Let’s take a look at the final 3 story lines:
Kyle and Lacey – Ok, Kyle is a really likable character. He sure shocked the crap out of me when he was able to move the way he did. However, maybe he’s just a little bit goofy for me to really want to get behind him. Plus, Lacey’s approach to Kyle’s antics kind of turns me personally off to him and so it’s hard for me to support him. Plus, while he’s better at dancing performing than I thought, his dances are still pretty weak and so it’s hard for me to support such poor dancing ability. It’s not like he was Emmitt Smith that had a really incredible style that despite his lack of technique was fun to watch week after week.
Jennifer and Derek – I partially blame the producers for me not liking Jennifer as much as I should. They told the storyline of her injury and pain far too much. Is that her fault? Partially, but when you hear that she’s hurting that much it makes it harder for me to enjoy her dancing. I sit there wondering about how much pain she’s in instead of really enjoying the beauty of her movement and Derek’s choreography. I’m still shocked by her 50 year old physique, but that’s not enough for me to vote. Her dancing has been fantastic overall with only Brandy coming close to her technique. This said, I’m trying to remember if she’s ever had a really break out moment where I thought, she TOTALLY deserves to win because of that dance. Slow and steady might win the race, but if you want me to vote I prefer a bit of shock value.
Bristol and Mark – What can I say? She’s the worst dancer to ever make the finals of DWTS. I know some people love watching her dance and to each their own. It’s just not my thing. In fact, the most compelling reason for me to get behind Bristol is because of all the crazy people that have gone after her. I agree that she shouldn’t be in the finale, but America voted that way and so blame America, not Bristol. The funny thing is that all the Bristol haters might be the ones that propel her to the win. Many times on a reality TV show the people that hate a certain person incite all the Bristol fans to vote in extraordinary numbers. If I were a campaign strategists for the Bristol haters, I’d be telling them to share the story of “Jennifer deserves to win cause she’s a great dancer” as opposed to the story of hate that “Bristol shouldn’t win” just because. Either way, Bristol seems like a very nice girl to me and doesn’t deserve a lot of the negative things that people are saying about her. However, that’s not a reason for me to vote for her. In fact, that’s pretty much my feelings about voting for her mother too.
Is there a storyline that I’m missing here? Has there been something this season that really makes you want to vote? Maybe the vengeful Brandy fans will come out in big numbers tonight for them to vote. I’m just not that vengeful. Or maybe I am, but I wasn’t a huge Brandy fan either.
Either way, I still love the freestyle round. Let’s hope that doesn’t disappoint in tonight’s DWTS Finale.
Plus, let’s hope next season we have some really interesting story lines I can get behind. How about the return of Julianne and/or Edyta? Bringing those two back to the show would be a good place to start.
Since Heidi is tied up creating as many email accounts as she can to vote tonight, and I owe her one for covering the rankings in my absence this week, I will be covering what everyone will be dancing
I’ll try to keep this brief, since a) I’m busy at work, and b) I feel like commenting once again on how “crazy” this season has been is just beating a dead horse at this point, quite frankly. I also haven’t received definitive confirmation on some of these dances, so bear with me as I guestimate. And as always, if the contestants tweet that they’re going first, second, third, etc. we will do our best to update the post. So here we go!
Jennifer & Derek
Monday: “Redemption” paso doble & freestyle to a song from Dirty Dancing – most likely “Do You Love Me”
The redemption paso doble is no big surprise for me – it was their lowest-scoring dance of the season, and the only one I think they really fouled up on. Will be interesting to see them do another paso, since paso choreography really seems to be Derek’s strong suit. No idea what they’ve got in store for their freestyle – Heidi, has Derek tweeted anything interesting? Or is he being his usual tight-lipped self? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be great, despite Jen not being able to do any lifts. I’m guessing that they will probably pick their Argentine tango as their “favorite” dance, since it’s probably their strongest dance technically and I have a feeling they will probably pull out a perfect score with it this time around. I’m sure the instant choreo cha-cha won’t be any big deal for them – Jen’s got 2 strong cha-chas under her belt already, so this should be a walk in the park for them. (Heidi’s Note: The ONLY thing Derek has said via Twitter is that he loves the Black Eyed Peas version of “Time of My Life” – and that it’s so “relevant”. From Derek, that could be a huge clue…or he could just be being Derek. You never know. That would certainly be one way to throw a bone to Dirty Dancing AND still do something completely different.)
Glad to see these two will be revamping that tacky Charlie’s Angels foxtrot they did – while it wasn’t necessarily bad, it wasn’t really foxtrot, per se. Again, no idea what these two are up to for their freestyle – it will undoubtedly be extremely high-energy, and according to Lacey, will be “like nothing you’ve ever seen before”. If anyone else has seen any revealing tweets about it, let us know. Again, total guess here with the favorite dance – I’m leaning towards either their cha-cha or jive, since they were both strong, high-energy dances with good scores that really play off of Kyle’s charisma. And again with these two, I don’t see them struggling with the instant cha-cha – Kyle’s got enough stage presence to power through just about anything!
Bristol & Mark
Monday: “Redemption” jive & freestyle to a song from Chicago – most likely “Cell Block Tango”
Ok, I’m actually a little pumped to see these two redeem themselves after the dreaded ape suit jive…although I’m not sure that Bristol will have the endurance to pound out both the jive and a high-energy freestyle tonight. She did seem to run out of steam fairly early in their first jive (then again, maybe it was heat exhaustion from the ape suit…hehe). As for their freestyle, the only thing I’ve heard (and this is probably 5th/6th-hand info that I heard on Twitter) is that someone allegedly spotted these two trying to find a copy of Chicago on DVD last week, which is leading everyone to believe they’re going for a Chicago-themed freestyle. Not sure this is the best idea, since that movie has already been done, but at this point I figure that she may as well have fun, with all the crap that’s going on around her. Total speculation once more on the favorite dance – I would go with the tango if I were them, since it’s likely the dance that will get them the best score, but they also seemed pretty fond of their quickstep & paso doble. I think Bristol may be the only one that really struggles with the instant choreo – Mark seemed to have to power her through every step of the instant samba, and he’s probably going to have to do it again this time, lest she forget her choreography (again). (Heidi Note: Mark also walked into the rehearsal studio with a bowler hat on the other night – another nod to Chicago?)
Overall, I think it will be a pretty good show both nights, but the setup seems to favor those who actually dance well – meaning that, barring the judges being all sunshine & rainbows & throwing out every paddle lower than 9, Jennifer & Kyle will likely get a decent points spread over Bristol, assuming she doesn’t miraculously start dancing fabulously (highly doubt it). But even if they do get a decent spread…that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels and assume justice will prevail, people. VOTE. Never before on DWTS do we here at Pure DWTS think it’s been so important. Make those email accounts so you can vote, vote, vote online; get your text and phone votes in early in the broadcast to avoid the dreaded phone overload errors after the show. Spread the word. Dooooo it.
Update, 3:51 PM EST: Due to our resident insider, Buttercup, that has yet to lead us astray (and some logical thinking), I generally feel confident in reporting that Jen & Derek’s freestyle will be a song from Dirty Dancing and Bristol & Mark’s freestyle will be a song from Chicago. Take it with a grain of salt if you wish – but I wouldn’t post it if I didn’t feel pretty confident in it
Ok, first things first: I don’t think this is the final 3 that any of us predicted at the beginning of this season. Jennifer? Maybe, but there were concerns about her health. Most of us had never heard of Kyle and predicted an early exit for him; and we certainly didn’t expect Bristol to last to the midpoint of the season – let alone to the finale. It definitely leaves us with some interesting speculations and concerns – the main one being “What if Bristol wins?” Well, perhaps in an attempt to assuage some of the panic, Heidi and I decided to examine the 3 possible outcomes of the finale: Jennifer winning, Kyle winning, and Bristol winning. Just how exactly will it impact the celebs? The pros? The viewers? Even the show itself? Read on…
What if…Bristol wins?
Courtney: Ok, obviously this seems to be everyone’s biggest worry right now – and I think we all generally agree that this would be a very, very, VERY bad outcome for the show. Literally – this is the Doomsday Scenario for me. If Bristol wins, the show’s credibility is basically shot to hell, as if it wasn’t headed there already with her far-longer-than-neccessary presence this season. People are already claiming the show is “rigged” (doubt it, but some people cannot be persuaded); I think a mirror ball trophy in her hands despite a marginal performance this season would read as confirmation for a lot of people. From those who believe the show is not “rigged”, there would be outrage about how the voting process can screw over great dancers and protect bad ones – some might be proactive and actually try to reach out to the producers and the network for voting reform (how political ), others would probably stop watching altogether out of disgust. And ratings would plummet – they might manage to eek out another season just riding on the coattails of controversy from this season, but I don’t know that another season would be the ratings juggernaut that this one was. As for the pros – I could see a few of them quitting, most likely Maks (who, understandably, seems the angriest of all about Bristol, and is being mysterious about his future on the show), maybe Tony & Louis (who seem to get their feathers ruffled more easily about ballroom politics, and already feel they’ve been “wronged” by the show in the past), and perhaps even Mark or Derek – we’ve been saying for awhile that they may already have one foot out the door, and their final season would be sooner rather than later – maybe this would be the last little “shove” they needed to leave the show for good. As for future celebs – I definitely think it would deter some potential candidates from signing on. Who would want to participate in a show that is known to be unfair? And who would want to suffer the humiliation of putting your all into the show, only to get the boot in favor of a pseudo-celebrity that is not nearly as talented as they are? Listen up, people: do you like DWTS? Then don’t let this happen. Get out and vote for either Jennifer or Kyle as if your life depended on it. Now while I don’t see Bristol actually winning (just too much talent from the other two to overcome, as well as some very angry, very proactive fans), it’s important that everyone does their part to ensure that she doesn’t even come close to winning…because this could be one very, very big nail in the coffin of DWTS. Plus I just don’t want to hear about it or the Palins any more than I have to in the media, jeezass…
Heidi:I had a conversation with my mother today that was very illuminating. She is a very casual watcher of the show, at best, but she watches it when she can because I watch it and she’s a mom. She really likes the show, it’s just that she likes The Closer even better, which I think might be on at the same time. But she and my sisters were really loving Kurt Warner. And she has been watching the show this season because of him, as opposed to watching it every other week or so. Well, she ain’t watching it anymore. This is totally anecdotal evidence of course, but she was pretty pissed off. She kept saying she got disgusted when that “one girl” got voted off. I was trying to figure out what “one girl” she was talking about and she was saying how she just can’t watch it, she gets to mad and disgusted that Bristol is still there and “that girl” is gone. I’m like, “what the hell girl are you talking about”?? She says, the one dancing with the big athlete. I’m like, Oh ANNA?? She’s like, “yeah, that’s her.” I’m like okay, Anna is a pro, not the celeb, but that’s the couple she liked by god and she thought that Bristol wasn’t nearly as good as those two. Whatever, ma. But my point is, my mother, the casual watcher – who I have not talked to about DWTS in several weeks – is fed up enough with the show and it being “fixed” that she’s turned the channel. My mother lives a few hundred miles away from me, so she’s not being influenced by me – but she’s pissed off. I’m thinking old Conrad perhaps wasn’t expecting this scenario when he put a politicians daughter on the show. Like it or not, it puts a different connotation on the competition that just isn’t good. Maybe it’s not rational. Maybe it shouldn’t. But there’s a little saying that goes: “Perception is reality”. If a large percentage of the audience thinks it’s political and that they’re giving Bristol a pass – well then that’s all that really matters. How people – viewers – perceive a situation and how they react to it is very important. Who cares if that’s not what you intended – this is how it’s working out. We are far from the only blog that is wondering if they will be able to get good celebs after this, or if we’ll be stuck with the likes of Christine O’Donnell. We’re not the only blog that wonders if great ratings right now translate into basement ratings in the long run because people have had enough. It’s very easy to sit back and say, “Oh people are always saying they won’t watch the show anymore, they never quit.” But what you’re missing in that little scenario is that every audience has a point where they say “Screw it”. How do you know this isn’t the proverbial straw??? As for the pros?? Well, I think they need to worry far more about the men than they do the women. Maks, Tony and Louis?? All three have been VERY vocal in the last year or so about the failings of the show. All three have other stuff going on too. Heck, Louis just testified on Capitol Hill the other day – these guys are stars in their own right. They might not leave right now, because the show still benefits them, but how much more time they have will depend on just how well the producers cast the next season. Derek and Mark?? Well, nothing seems to really ruffle Derek these days other than paparazzi – and even they are getting the occasional smile from him. But Derek’s most recent interview indicates pretty strongly that he’s got something else cooking. We’ll have to wait and see if that takes him away from DWTS. Mark? I put Mark in the same league with Maks, Tony and Louis. I think he’ll stick for a bit because he’s starting at the very bottom for his music career. He needs DWTS probably more than any of them. There is one “Pro” to Bristol still being there, though – this, and everything around it, will certainly come back and bite Sarah at some point in the not to distant future.
What if…Jennifer wins?
Courtney: I’m sure there are those that are going to point fingers at me and scream “BIASED!” (here’s a preemptive “Ummm, DUH, and I don’t really care, because this is a blog”), but I think of the 3 that are left, Jennifer is the one that deserves the trophy the most. I’ve seen her work hard, improve, overcome obstacles, and truly enjoy herself this season. She has technique, she has performance, and she has character – she is the full package for me. I have enjoyed all but one of her performances (the paso doble, but I’m looking forward to seeing her redeem herself on that one). That said – this outcome would not be without backlash, either. There is the camp that always whines “But Derek ALWAYS gets a good partner! NO FAIR!” that will likely try to claim the show is somehow rigged in his favor. Big whoop. There were so many outraged fans commenting here after last season that claimed they would never watch the show again because Nicole’s win was “unfair” – and I have to chuckle when I think of how many of those same fans are still actively watching and commenting this season And ratings are still fantastic…clearly enough people are not pissed off enough with Derek’s success to boycott the show. My other concern (and Heidi knows more about this and can either dispute this or support it) is that another win, just like Bristol winning, may be enough for Derek to say “You know what? I’m done.” Whether it’s going out on top or getting out before things get REALLY bad, Derek’s days on the show are likely numbered…he’s a successful, in-demand guy, and I can’t blame him for wanting more from life than DWTS. As for Jennifer – it could possibly generate into some more TV & film opportunities, although I’m not sure that’s necessarily what she wants right now. She seems pretty happy with being a wife and mommy, and just taking the occasional small role (anyone else catch her on House?) here and there. But who knows – it could generate into something bigger, and she could jump right on it. She looks fabulous and I’d sure as hell like to see her do more! Overall, I don’t think much would change on the show - I don’t see any big uproar if Jen wins. If anything, I think America, the pros, and TPTB would breathe a sigh of relief that someone other than Bristol won.
Heidi:Yeah, I think everyone other than the Mark and Cheryl fans would be breathing a sigh of relief. Those two groups will not be happy if Derek is the first to reach Mirrorball number three. And well, the Maks fans are always unhappy about Derek. I see it as validation. Who really cares what some fan groups on the net say, anyway? They don’t actually represent the general viewer, but the fringes. Hey, I’m fringy. Really, there isn’t much to say about this scenario – everybody wins (except those fan groups I mentioned). The really funny thing is that out of all the people involved, Derek and Jennifer seem the most relaxed about the outcome. You had Brandy desperately wanting to WIN, you have Bristol and Mark on the defensive (to the point of nervous breakdown in Mark’s case, I think ), you have Kyle having fun and wanting to win…then there’s Jennifer and Derek. I get the feeling from them that they would love to win, but they actually seem to have pretty good perspective about the whole thing. That’s just my feeling from watching all of them. Actually, Kyle and Lacey seem pretty cool too. I wonder if they have bought into Bristol as a foregone conclusion and are just going to relax and have fun. Really, they both could knock it out of the park for that reason.
What if…Kyle wins?
Courtney: The more I think about this one, the more I could possibly see it happening – just based on the fact that there are a lot of Maks fans that seem intent on somehow “avenging” Brandy, and somehow that agenda involves sticking it to both Bristol AND Jennifer…go figure. Plus, Maks & Brandy have publicly thrown their support behind Kyle - I think a more PC move would have been to encourage their fans to VOTE, PERIOD, and to vote for who they think was the MOST DESERVING…a very subtle way of implying that certain couples *cough*Bristol&Mark*cough* don’t deserve to be there. But for those on Team BranDMC that aren’t too pissed off to tune in and vote, it could be good news for Kyle – an extra boost to maybe put him over Jennifer, who maybe didn’t get quite as many votes because people assumed she was safe based on scores. Overall, I think the reaction would be something like “Hmmm…well, didn’t see that coming, but COOL! Someone other than Bristol won! GO KYLE!” There may be a bit of an uproar from those who thought Jen deserved to win, but again – I think at this point everyone (except the Tea Party) is just going to be thrilled as long as Bristol doesn’t win. Lacey might get a little big for her britches (ugh), but I think Kyle would just laugh, say “Yay!” and ask for some pizza I could definitely see this kid having a bright future…tv shows, movies, talk shows, whatever! After thinking this one through…I almost wonder if this would be the most PC outcome of this season. Seems like it would eliminate the Derek backlash, the Bristol backlash, and wouldn’t disrupt the dynamic of the show too much. Do I think it’s what SHOULD happen? Of course not. But I think it would be hard for anyone to truly be pissed off if this lovable little imp won
Heidi: Hell, even *I* wouldn’t be pissed off if he won. Of course I want Jennifer to win, but I would take Kyle easily – I think you are absolutely correct, that anyone other than Bristol at this point would be a positive outcome. I think many of the Brandy fans are a lot of talk, but like most fan groups they are only a small part of a much larger whole. I doubt there is a lot of power voting coming from that quadrant – I know I wouldn’t if I was them. As for Lacey – yeah, ugh – she is an odd one. She was left out last season and she was nearly left out this season – you would think that that would be a bit of a wakeup call to be a bit more humble. Girl ain’t all that if she starts to go the Jonathan route – only signed on when there ain’t no one else (poor Jonathan – sob). Why she doesn’t grasp this is beyond me – lack of self awareness? Beats me. But Kyle is generally a cute little guy – even if he has been annoying me that last two weeks or so. As for the “Derek backlash” – girl, ain’t nothing stopping that, regardless of the outcome. Boyfriend is threatening. He’s only won twice in 7 season and yet to the fans of other pros he’s the root of all evil – even though he isn’t the only one with two trophies. It’s quite validating, actually – the talent and charisma is surely there if he’s perceived as such a threat by those groups to the point that they revise history such that it is unrecognizable. You can forget that -that isn’t going to change. Hell, I got ten bucks that says, if Mark wins, people STILL complain about Derek’s partner if he’s on next season. Mark could be paired with Kristi Yamaguchi junior after winning three MBTs and Derek with an unknown model and still it would be “They like Derek best!!” whine, whine, whine. Why??? Because people are SILLY. You wanna take that bet??
Abby, one of our readers here at PureDWTS, was the winner of the Design a Dance Concept design and got a trip to LA and a day on set as a reward. She sent me the following blog about her experience:
A Day on the Set of Dancing With the Stars By Abby
A quick bit of background: I have been a dancer for practically my entire life and spent several years performing and choreographing professionally. So of course I’ve been a huge DWTS fan since Season 1! I am constantly choreographing dances in my head so when I heard about the Design a Dance concept contest I sat down and came up with an idea and penned out my entry in about ten minutes. About a week later I got a call that I was a top five finalist! The voting was up online the following week which ended on a Thursday, and I got the call that Friday that my concept won. They immediately booked my flight for me and a friend to fly to LA on the very next Monday…definitely a whirlwind!
We arrived at the DTWS studio (on the CBS lot) on Tuesday morning at 9am. We were immediately met by a producer and I was given a trailer for the day. That’s right, I had my own trailer!
Then we went backstage and I was mic’d up and met my camera man for the day. Derek and Cheryl (as you all know) were chosen to do my dance, which I was beside myself about. Besides having a horrible crush on Derek, he is my inspiration as a choreographer… amazing. Derek and Cheryl were already on stage rehearsing when I arrived, and the car was on stage as well. They were working on putting their steps together as well as camera blocking and lighting, music timing, etc.
They rehearsed for about two hours and I sat and watched (with a camera on me). They filmed me walking around the stage, checking out the car, walking down hallways, scoping out the stage, and also talking with Derek and Cheryl.
Derek and Cheryl were very sweet! Everyone I met and worked with on the set that day was SO, SO very nice. From producers to costumes to camera men, they truly have an awesome behind the scenes cast on DWTS! It was very thrilling to watch Derek and Cheryl rehearse the dance all morning and see the geniuses at work. Oh, and of course I loved getting to hug Derek! Here we chatted at the food table:
My other crush on DWTS is Tom Bergeron! Love this guy! He is truly just as sweet, adorable, and funny in person as he is on camera. We met during rehearsals in the morning but he would come over and chat with me all day, even during the “live” taping later that night. What a doll!
Before the live show Derek and Cheryl rehearsed again with the band and I watched the private rehearsal again (with a camera in my face). They had interviewed me and filmed me all day because I was told they were going to do a 45 second package about the dance, but sadly it never aired. It was still fun to film though!
The audience arrived at 4pm and we pre-taped the Design a Dance at 5pm (pst). After that they let everybody on the ballroom floor for a dance party! What fun that was! Tony and Kyle came out and led everyone through fun dances like YMCA (except it was DWTS) and the Cha-Cha slide. I got to watch the entire show from the front row which was such a thrill! One producer told me that everyone says this, but the ballroom floor truly looks much smaller in person than it does on TV! It’s still a magical place in that ballroom, and I think (actually I KNOW) I would be happy to go back every week!
I had a backstage pass that allowed me to go wherever I wanted on the set all day. I also got to watch the press line after the show, meet the cast…It was truly an amazing day to be “behind the scenes” all day on DWTS! I can’t thank the producers enough for giving me a wonderful experience. And I have to say Derek and Cheryl’s dance was hot hot HOT!!