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DWTS12 Week 1 Power Rankings

So ends the first night of season 12 :-D Overall, I think I’m fairly happy with what transpired – I think some favorites emerged, some not-so-favorites fell from grace a little, and some personal growth was made that was really kind of cool to watch! I have to admit, this is the first season in quite some time where I went in without a clear favorite – seriously, I was watching tonight with a completely open mind.  No Kelly’s, Pam’s, or Situation’s to root for from day 1 :-) But I think I definitely have some favorites now…I’ll let you guys figure out who they are ;-)

Thankfully, there is no elimination this week, so those couples who didn’t do so hot tonight at least have one more chance to redeem themselves and hopefully avoid next week’s elimination.  But just for fun, I’m going to rank anyway, as if there were an elimination tomorrow night – just to see how these couples stack up :-) ONWARD!

1.) Kirstie & Maks – Way to end the show with a BANG! Kirstie was energetic (yet not spastic), fun, and surprisingly on-point – I definitely think she had the strongest cha-cha of the night.  It was a great balance of technique & entertainment – which is exactly what I look for in each and every dance.  I loved the sass she brought to the routine – it felt natural, and not forced (like Kendra’s). She & Maks are surprisingly well-matched…I get the feeling these two really “get” each other, and being that in tune with one another is going to be a huge asset in the competition.  And I know we’ve all already said it, but Kirstie is a hoot – I’m glad she doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Between the buzz of the preseason, and a phenomenal performance tonight, I think these two are about as safe from elimination as you can get – Kirstie’s got a lot of people pulling for her!
2.) Ralph & Karina – I hearby retract my previous statement that Ralph was “awkward” and “might not get very far” – this was my favorite performance of the night! Ralph must sleep in a hyperbaric chamber or something, because he looks almost untouched by time – and he’s retained that boyish charm that made him so loveable in the Karate Kid movies.  I have to give Karina props, too – she really seems to have a knack for foxtrots (remember the potentially disastrous “Boom Boom Pow” that she managed to make really cool last season?), and this was no exception – loved the classy, traditional feel of it.  Man, Ralph can really move – he was jumping, kicking, extending, and twirling with incredible ease – I felt like I was watching an old Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movie. He was clean, crisp, & cool.  Ralph also seems to have the same self-deprecating sense of humor that Kirstie does, which seems to appeal to the masses – he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and isn’t afraid to have fun out on the floor.  Now that Ralph has caught everyone’s eye, I think his fanbase will grow exponentially – as long as he & Karina can keep up the momentum they started this week.
3.) Hines & Kym – I was expecting Hines to wow me after watching his rehearsal footage, and the man did not let me down :-) This was fun, cool, and a nice first “taste” of what Hines is capable of. I like that he’s not afraid to really move (like Romeo), and he can really work the crowd.  However, he does seem like he might have a bit of the same problem that Warren had initially – he tends to be a bit clunky when he places his feet, and may struggle with more refined foot movements.  But luckily for him, Kym has dealt with this before, and will get him on the right path for continued success.  I thought this was a bit underscored – I would have given it at least a point higher. But I’m sure the Steeler Nation will pick up any slack in scores with their power voting ;-)
4.) Chelsea & Mark – This was a bit odd for me (and apparently Heidi & a few others who I was discussing the show with on Twitter), because at times this routine felt a bit more like something Derek would have choreographed; then Mark would inject some of his signature “spazz” into it and ruin it. I really liked the parts of it that felt fluid – mainly the parts where they actually stayed in hold – but there was wayyyy too much open work for my tastes, and it seemed…jerky.  Chelsea seems like she has great potential – she actually seemed to keep up with Mark’s energy and not look totally ridiculous – but she does seem a bit wobbly, especially on her turns.  However, she has a great smile and a sunny disposition, which I think will carry these two far…at least to the quarter-finals.  Overall, I’d say it was pleasant, but not fantastic; and I think Mark needs to either reign it in a bit or Chelsea needs to step it up a bit so they don’t look so lopsided energy-wise.
5.) Kendra & Louis – I’m afraid these two were the biggest letdown of the evening for me – with all of the talking Louis’ been doing about Kendra being a “frontrunner”, I was expecting major moves to be busted in their routine…and unfortunately, it was just more…bust. Kendra seems to have inherited Wobbly Model syndrome, as she seemed to waver through every turn, and it actually made me a bit nervous – at one point, it looked like Louis might have almost dropped her. And I agree with whatever judge said that Kendra does everything with a bent knee – she should have a look at Kirstie, who in my opinion almost NAILED the characteristic bending & straightening action of the knees in the cha-cha…and while she’s at it, Kendra can also learn how to be “sassy” and not have it look forced & uncomfortable.  And maybe it’s just me, but these two came across as the one of the least likeable couples tonight – a couple of things Kendra said just came across as a bit coarse to me, and I am already sick of Louis talking about how great Kendra is & how he deserves the MBT. Tonight, I feel like Louis took a shovel, dug a small hole, and then handed the shovel to Kendra and let her dig them into an even bigger hole. Oy vey…I hope these two can clean up both their dancing & their personalities!
6.) Ray & Anna – I hearby declare “Ray” the acceptable abbreviation of Sugar Ray’s name here at PureDWTS :-) I got a bit worried watching their package, when I saw how seriously Ray is taking this competition – made me worry that he might have a hard time enjoying himself.  But I got such joy watching him ham it up out there during his foxtrot! It started off a bit slow & stiff, but as the music played on I think he loosened up & started to have fun.  Looks like Ray’s got some major issues while in dance hold, though – very stiff.  He seemed to fare much better with the open work.  Hopefully he’ll be able to cut loose & have fun with the jive next week.  My main worry about these two is that Ray is going to get so “in his own head” in each dance that it’s going to make him forget to also HAVE FUN.  But it looks like he & Anna are very well-matched, so hopefully she’ll loosen him up.
7.) Romeo & Chelsie – Ok, I think we can all admit that Romeo is nowhere near as bad as his dad :-) That said – he still has LOTS of room for improvement.  He seems way too apprehensive about cutting loose & “looking silly”, which is something he’s going to need to get over – FAST – if he wants to stick around this season.  I really think that might be the one thing that’s hindering him…I saw shades of great dancing in his cha-cha tonight, as if he may have forgotten for a split second to “be cool”, and then he’d catch himself and go back to being “walls up, too cool for school” Romeo.  He seems like he does have moves…somewhere underneath all that bravado.  As for Chelsie – honey, maybe you’ve been spending too much time with Mark, because you’re starting to dance around your partners more & more.  Make HIM dance to YOU :-)
8.) Chris & Cheryl – I’m gonna give these two a slight benefit of the doubt tonight, because I think they may have gotten stuck with the crappiest song of the night for their cha-cha…too many awkward rhythm changes.  That said – I really wanted to like these two, but this was lackluster.  I can see what direction Cheryl was trying to go with it – playing on the edgy “rock star” persona Chris has – but it just felt kind of awkward & tacky to me.  Chris, god love him, seems to really be trying – I’m just not sure he’s succeeding.  He’s a bit “stompy”, as he tends to pound his feet into every move, rather than placing them – but the poor guy is a huge bundle of muscle.  I’d also like to see him really “pick up” his posture & present his chest more, because dude has a nice chest…and I like nice chests.  I’m hoping he can clean up & refine some of his movements a bit more for next week, when he has a ballroom dance. I think there are less-skilled dancers with less-popular pros and fewer fans that will likely go before him, which will hopefully keep him around long enough to improve.
9.) Petra & Dmitry – Let me start of by saying this: Petra is a SAINT.  Someone who just seems so thankful to be alive, and wants to share that joy with others in any way she can.  I think that’s an attitude we call can aspire to.  I just wish that joy translated into great dancing, because this was…well, okay to marginal. The poor girl is just so tall & lanky, with limbs that go on forever, and she seems to struggle with where to put them – makes me very, very worried for her jive next week.  She also seemed to get off-time a bit, which resulted in some telltale shuffling on Dmitry’s part to compensate. The choreography was pretty, but wasted too much time at the beginning and end for me – I would rather Dmitry use that time to do some sort of trick with Petra, instead of just walking around with a jacket.  And unfortunatley, this song was pretty, but sleepy; the overall result was a pretty-but-sleepy dance.  I’d like to see her improve, because tall, willowy ladies like her are STUNNING when they can really nail a dance – so let’s hope this performance and next week’s are enough to keep her around.
10.) Wendy & Tony – These two are just one big enigma for me.  One minute, Wendy seems to be having fun and being goofy; the next, she’s somber & in tears. And it’s only the first week! Her cha-cha kind of felt the same way for me – she started off looking like she was ready to have fun & cut loose, and then she’s making these tiny, timid little movements the whole time. If Wendy is known for injecting major attitude into everything she does, then I’m sorry, but there must have been an imposter out on the floor tonight.  Tony was a total non-event in this dance for me - I forgot he was even there.  I’d say these two are probably the most awkward pairing, as neither one seems to mesh very well with the other – and I feel like neither is 100% invested in the show this season, and it shows.  I’m tentatively putting these two as safe, because I think Wendy’s alleged “huge fanbase” (we’ll see about that) might rally to keep her around if she sucks again next week.  But she could be interchangeable with…
11.) Mike & Lacey -  FACT: DWTS viewers have, historically, not really been huge fans of comedians (think Penn Jillette, David Allen Grier, Jeff Ross, Ashley Hamilton, etc.).  FACT: They also don’t seem to like celebs who don’t seem to be taking the competition seriously.  I think Mike may have violated both of those rules tonight by putting off the “I’m a funny perv who doesn’t really care about how I do on the show” vibe.  I thought the guy was hilarious (and I will save my detailed opinion for the cheesecake ;-)), but some less laid-back viewers could just take it as Mike being an ass. And this foxtrot didn’t do he or Lacey any favors - there are no words. It was just…”special”.  And an all-around hot mess.  I would say this dance could be the final nail in the coffin for these two, but something tells me that if Lacey can pull out a decent jive (and Wendy can be timid & tearful another week), then they may get a “get out of jail free” pass.  But I’m skeptical, considering that people are still saying “Mike WHO?”
Woohoo! My first rankings of the regular season are donesky – so what do you guys think? Who are the front-runners, who’s in the middle of the pack, and who’s bringing up the rear? Let’s hear it! And stay tuned for some cheesecake later in the week…Heidi & I are already preheating the oven…;-)
March 21, 2011 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!

DWTS Season 12, Week 1 – Let’s Talk Dancing

I figured we needed a location to talk during and after the show ABOUT the show, until Courtney gets her Power Rankings done.

There are no Spoilers here, so if you don’t want to know, DON’T READ! I don’t want to hear any complaining just cuz ya’ll can’t turn off the computer.

LET’S DANCE!!!!

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. :-)

DWTS Season 12 – Preshow Questions And Answers With Lacey Shwimmer, Mike Catherwood, & Chris Jericho

Starpulse asked Lacey some last minute questions before show time about her partner Mike Catherwood. Here is what she said upon hearing he was her partner and more.

What was your initial reaction when you found out ‘Psycho’ Mike Catherwood was your new partner? Did you ever listen to him on the radio before?
Huge fan of the show but I never thought he had a face! I just saw him as a voice then he walked through the door and I like literally fell over: he was gorgeous and charming and sweet!

How do you begin the training process? Are there any certain exercises, routines, or teaching methods you use for a new partner? What about yourself? How do you prepare for such an action packed season?
Well, I’m TRYING to eat right but that’s not always happening. He tends to learn better if I use analogies that suite his personality….some are too vulgar to type. Haha!

Since Mike is a certified personal trainer, do you think you can use this to your advantage in the competition?
I definitely think I should show his body for a few votes!

E Online also had some questions for Mike and Chris Jericho over the weekend. Here is what they said about preparing for the show. They are funny, but taking the competition seriously! As always, be sure to read the links for more.

“I haven’t changed my underwear since the cast was announced,” Chris says. “I can vouch for that,” Mike insists immediately after. We think (and hope) they were kidding, but if not, at least we know they’re taking this competition seriously.

Just listen to what one former DWTS cast members told them…
“Stacy Keibler is a really good friend of mine, and she has kind of helped me out a little bit,” said Chris. “Basically, it’s all the same thing: That you have to be in this 100 percent, because it is the most physically and mentally demanding thing you will ever do—and so far she has been right.”

As for their first performance, the guys promise they’ve been working hard to wow the viewers come Monday. For the last two days, instead of relaxing and taking a break from dancing, Mike says they’ve been doing the same thing as always: “Rehearsing six or seven hours a day, working on all of our routines and just really polishing them, getting them as good as they can possibly be for Monday night.”

When asked who they think is their biggest competition, Mike laments that they really have no idea. “We really don’t get a chance to see anyone dance. I run into a lot of other contestants at the dance/rehearsal studio but I don’t get a chance to see them dance.”

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS 12 – Ralph Macchio “The process is a horse race. It’s not a sprint…”

TV Guide has a great pre-show interview up with Ralph Macchio. Ralph is asked about his rehearsals, the dance he’s doing with Karina, and more. Here are a couple of takes. He’s so charming and humble. Be sure to see the link for the full interview.

Do you take a lot of breaks in rehearsals?
Macchio: It depends. We’re putting in anywhere from five to seven hours a day. [If I go] seven hours one day, I know I need to take longer breaks the next day. If I was 21 years old, I could probably hold the pedal down to the metal the whole way, but you do have to pace yourself. At least I feel I am doing my best. As soon as the show starts and the longer you stay on, you’re going to have more dances and basically four days to turn them around. I’ve heard that when you get to two dances is when you want to kill everybody who’s ever represented you and say, “This is probably a good thing.”

How’s the foxtrot looking?
Macchio: The foxtrot turned out to be a bit harder than I expected with the framing and structuring of it. It’s all posture. And if you’ve seen pictures of me, you see my posture is bad. I get into that framing position and I’m hurting just standing there. That’s the truth. I feel it in my upper back and my shoulders just standing. And then moving in concert with someone else and not stepping on them. But it is a beautiful and an elegant dance when it gets to that point. I don’t know if I’m there yet, but I’m working on it.

Are you nervous for the first show?
Macchio: I’m totally nervous. To be honest, not that I wasn’t a fan, but I didn’t watch the show very much, so I have to YouTube the way it works. I don’t think I’ve ever watched the elimination shows. I don’t stick around for the hour; you just have to tune in for the last three minutes. “Oh, he’s gone.” Unless I want to see whoever the guest is sing. I get why it’s so popular. It is not train-wreck reality television. It wants everybody to do well. I think that separates it from most in the reality-competition category. There are a lot of positives to take from it. I can only focus on myself. I’m working hard and I know I can present myself in the best way as I can as far as packages go. I’ve always been, for the most part, what you see is what you get.

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Pure DWTS 12 Before Premiere Time- The Cast On Good Morning America (Video)

Oh, this is so good. Cameron Mathison asks the “Dancing With the Stars” cast about their first show on Good Morning America today!! You can see them rehearsing on stage and being interviewed and shown backstage, etc.. Way fun! Are we getting excited yet here because I’m about to bust wide open?!! lol

Edit to add:: Speaking of Good Morning America, Derek Hough will be rating the dancers tomorrow (Tue.) on the show. So, stay tuned for that as well. ;)

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.