Pure DWTS News Updates – Carrie Anne, Derek, Maks, Mark, Tony & More!!!

What have we got here? First, ABC has approved a new drama series called “Grace” which will premiere in May. Carrie Ann is said to be one of the master minds behind the new one hour show. Here is a take from EW.

The second one is dubbed Grace, a one-hour from Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy) and Carrie Ann Inaba (yep, that Inaba from Dancing with the Stars) that focuses on a dysfunctional family set in the world of professional dance. We trust it will boast a generous sequin budget and, with any luck, a cameo or two by Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

I don’t know about you, but this is sounding very cool to me so far.

This past Wednesday night Derek and Julianne showed up together for the Bvlgari Private Event honoring Simon Fuller And Paul Haggis benefitting “Save The Children” And “Artists For Peace And Justice“. You can see them below. More pictures >>> HERE. Thanks to Heidi and Pure Derek Hough for this news.

Speaking of, Maks has set himself up for some teasing when he sees Derek next time. Read what Derek told Mark Malkim of E Online at the benefit. lol

“I’m going to give him hell when I see him,” says fellow pro dancer Derek Hough.

Why? Because, as you may have heard, Maksim is the new Bachelor—in the Ukraine…

“I’m not going to lie,” Hough told me last night at the Bulgari benefit for Save the Children and Artists for Peace and Justice. “When I first found out, I was very surprised and kind of found it funny.

“Well, not funny, but I know Maks,” he continued. “It was like, ‘You’re going to do the Bachelor? And in the Ukraine?’ ”

Hough said he hopes Chmerkovskiy, who was once engaged to DWTS’ Karina Smirnoff, does find love in his native country. “But when I see him,” he laughed, “I’m going to be like, ‘Dude, you and [former Bachelor and DWTS celeb competitor] Jake Pavelka are in the same club now! Is there a clubhouse you go to? Do you have like Bachelor jackets, too?’ “

As most of you know, Tony is a judge for Miss America which is airing Saturday night on ABC (not last Saturday night like I made a mistake in telling you last week.). In a news conference, Tony talks about the first Miss America he saw crowned and what his life was like when he was younger in Yugoslavia (I didn’t realize he lost so much family when he was young. :( ).

Dovolani was a pre-teen Albanian when he began watching the Miss America broadcasts in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo of the former Yugoslavia.

When Miss America was crowned, “I thought she was like Mother Teresa,” said Dovolani. Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with slum children in India, was part Albanian and part Indian. She died at age 87 in 1997.

Dovolani was 12 and took part in armed defense efforts when Serbs began the expulsion of more than 100,000 Albanians in Pristina in the 1980s.

“They were trying to take away our language,” said Dovolani, who was 16 and carrying a machine gun the day his family fled for Italy.

Thirty-six of his relatives died during the conflict: “17 young adults, and the rest were women and children,” he said.

Dovolani, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in the last year, said he was honored when asked to serve as a Miss America judge.

With the promotion of his new album this week, Mark gave The Day an interview on the phone. He discusses his new music and his dancing. Here is a little take from that interview. There is much more at the link.

On the first day of rehearsal, Bristol Palin couldn’t even walk in high heels. So how did Ballas get someone who was starting at ground zero to improve?

“Lots of hard work and patience and communication and making it fun. You can’t make this unenjoyable for someone who’s never done it. You have to take care of them and make sure they’re having a great time. We got along really well, and I love her to death, she’s awesome. She’a great person.”

The “Dancing with the Stars” pros have to work with celebs who possess a wide range of experience and abilities, so choreographing requires an ability to analyze and adjust:

“Well, you have to kind of see what feels natural to them, what they don’t look awkward doing, too. Everything kind of comes in groups, so there’s rhythm groups, turning groups, moving groups. Bristol looked great when she was moving – like in tango, she could cover a lot of ground, and in paso, she could cover a lot of ground. We would never do anything that was too, you know, turny, just because that wasn’t something that she took to as easily as everything else. She had a great sense of timing, and she would retain really well. You have to see what looks good on them and what looks awkward and just try to avoid anything awkward.”

While on his promotional tour, Mark also stopped at Howland Middle School in Howland, Ohio to talk to the students there about ‘achieving their dreams’. With the spotlight being “teen bullying” here is what WYTV reports.

“When I was younger, I used to get a little stick at school because I was a dancer, but it never stopped me,” said Ballas. “I think it’s important that kids believe and enjoy what they do without having to constantly look over their shoulder, know what I mean?”

Ok, that is all for now. Have a safe and super weekend out there!!! If you haven’t done so yet, please take a look at the serious contenders for the upcoming season in the new posts below. Lorenzo Lamas? *fans self and passes out anyway* :)