So the addition of the troupe this past season did have one unexpected positive effect: even more costume dittos! Which makes my job a bit easier ;-) And I’m noticing the costume department has a special affinity for red – lots & lots of sparkly, red, fringy, feathery stuff…
Battle of the short, sparkly, red fringed Latin dress: one of the performers in the Haiti benefit “Stars of Dance” performance in season 10 vs. Brandy in the season 11 finale opening dance with Maks vs. Peta in Mike’s “Unbelievable” dance number in the season 12 finale
Courtney: Damn – Brandy looks so darn cute in red. Love the way it pops on her skin! In fact, the costumes that she wore that stick out most in my mind are the red costume from her pre-season photo shoot (see below), this one, and her red foxtrot dress with the leopard lining, which was an homage to Cheryl’s foxtrot costume from season 8 with Gilles. The pro from the Haiti number looks pretty good – the red complements her dark hair and golden skin nicely; for once, though, I am not loving the way Peta looks in a costume. I usually think she looks fantastic in anything they put her in, but this? Meh…just ok. Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s the cut…but it just doesn’t look like it fits well. Here’s an interesting fact: the pic of Peta & Nicole above is actually NOT from the finale, but from the week that Ralph was injured and it was uncertain whether or not he would be able to perform. The troupe had a number ready to fill time just in case, and Peta tweeted this pic after finding out they wouldn’t be needed after all. Guess they decided they already had a good set of matching costumes, so they recycled both of these for the finale.
Heidi: Oh, Brandy by a mile. She looks gorgeous!! Really nice – red is a great color on her.
The winner: Brandy’s our favorite “lady in red” :-)
Battle of the straw-toned, fringed Latin dress: Jennifer’s jive with Derek in season 11 vs. Daria Chesnokova’s pro dance with Val to James Blunt in season 12
Heidi: Hello? We’re putting 50-year old Jennifer up against a 20-something professional dancer and it’s this hard to choose? In that case, I have to go with Jennifer for sheer moxie. She’s 50!!! If only we could all look that good at 50. I’m not 50 and I don’t look that good.
Courtney: This dress was a bit of a head-scratcher for me at first – it’s not really gold, but it’s not really tan…the best way I can describe the color is “straw”. But I did like that they chose to make it in a glossier material – really made it look cool under the stage lights. Now while I thought Jennifer was downright adorable in this (remember her coming down the stairs all funky so she could make the fringe bounce? :-)), I have to go with Daria on this one – I think it complements her coloring better, plus nothing works a fringy costume better than proper samba technique…the way she was twisting her hips was making it move in crazy ways.
The winner: We’re at an impasse…what do you guys think?
Battle of the royal blue, sparkly fringed Latin romper: Julianne’s cha-cha with Chuck in season 8 vs. Peta’s dance with Donnie Wahlberg during the NKOTBSB performance in season 12
Courtney: True story: I was about 5 minutes away from owning this costume about 2 years ago :-) They had it at the Randall booth at a competition I went to – I tried it on, fell in LOVE, and was already transferring funds from my savings account so I could buy it for my next comp…when one of the ladies from my studio (an accomplished seamstress) told me “I can make that costume for you for HALF of what you’d pay for it here.” So I abandoned purchasing the dress, and my seamstress friend did TRY to make me a replica – but the effort was abandoned after a few weeks when she realized that making a ballroom costume from scratch was quite different than making a shepherd costume for her kid’s school Christmas pageant. :-) If nothing else, I gained a whole new respect for the folks in the costume department at DWTS – they crank out 50-some costumes in the time it took my friend to try and make 1. Unfortunately, I did not gain the original costume, and I’m pretty sure it’s been sold by now. Oh well :-( Anywho, I’m gonna go with Peta on this one – both blondes look great in it, but I remember Peta’s legs looking MILES long in it! Plus anything looks better when Donnie is involved ;-)
Heidi: Again with this cut around the legs!! Just not a fan. That said, Peta pulls it off better with the miles long, thin legs. Just beautiful. Jules is no slouch, but I think Peta has her beat in this one.
The winner: Never underestimate the power of a blonde Aussie with mile-long gams.
The battle of the red stoned & feathered Latin dress rides again: Nicole in Mike’s “Unbelievable” dance number in the season 12 finale vs. Brandy’s pre-season 11 photo shoot with Maks vs. Debi’s salsa with Maks in season 9 vs. one of the performers in the Haiti benefit “Stars of Dance” performance in season 10 vs. Anna in the performance with the Mwano family in season 11
Heidi: Gotta go with Brandy. She’s the only one who actually wears this godawful dress well. Feathers? WHY??
Courtney: I think this red-feathered disaster may hold the record for most dittoed costume – and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out WHY the hell they decided to use it 5 times. Heidi & I marveled at its tackiness twice before – in part II & part VIII. I’ve already commented on how bad I thought it looked on both Debi & the guest pro in the Haiti number, so I won’t go into further detail there; it doesn’t look BAD on Anna, but I don’t think it really looks great on her, either; Nicole looks kinda cute in it, but I feel like it makes her look heavier than she really is. That leaves Brandy still reigning supreme – I think she had the right personality and skin color to rock this one well. And some long legs to help balance out that dreadfully fluffy red feather skirt :-)
The winner: Brandy is (yet again) our favorite lady in red!
Battle of the black jeweled one-shoulder Latin dress: Oksana in the season 12 finale opening dance vs. Julianne in the team mambo in season 8
Courtney: Ugh…that god-awful team mambo to “Single Ladies”, complete with Mark, Chuck, and Tony making like Beyonce in tights and leotards. Cheese factor on that one was through the roof. Anywho! Looks like they ripped off some of the yellow ruffles for Oksana – and that’s a good thing. I’m not wild about this costume, but few ruffles and none of the yellow do seem to make it a bit easier on the eyes.
Heidi: Eh, I disagree. I liked the yellow accents and, since I didn’t remember what dance it was from, was not permanently scarred by it’s original use. :-) I typically don’t like the body suit cut on any costumes, which is what Oksana has – I don’t know why, it’s a personal preference. Gotta go with Julianne. She has better dance face than Oksana anyway. :-)
The winner: Nobody wins in bodysuit costumes :-(
Battle of the strapless, white jeweled ballgown: Chelsie’s waltz with Romeo in the season 12 finale vs. Nicole’s Viennese waltz with Derek in season 10 vs. Anna’s pro dance with Jonathan to Michael Bolton in season 11; BONUS BATTLE: Romeo vs. Derek in the battle of the grey, satin-trimmed suit
Courtney: I put the pix for this one together not even noticing that Derek & Romeo were actually wearing the same outfit as well! Leave it to Heidi to notice that one ;-) Anyway…I love this gown. Perfect example of how a simple design can often work out better than a bunch of intricate, complicated ones. I can see why they used it multiple times! I think it actually looks good on all the ladies…although I’m not crazy about how they did Nicole’s hair. You’ve got this Ginger Rogers dress paired with Pollyanna hair. That leaves Chelsie & Anna – and while I thought Chelsie was just lovely in this one, I’ve gotta give this one to Anna – this picture doesn’t do it justice, but the way this dress was moving in the Michael Bolton performance was pure magic. Just gorgeous. As for the boys – I think I’ve actually gotta give this one to Romeo. Don’t know if it’s just D’s posture or what, but the shirt looks kinda baggy on him. Romeo seems to fill it out better – and I dig the specs.
Heidi: Actually, I think the chest looks too loose on Anna – it doesn’t FIT her. Since it was made for Nicole, that’s to be expected. For me it’s between Chelsie and Nicole and I will pick Nicole and Derek every time. Nicole looked amazing in that dress and I actually prefer the more formal hair. And Derek? His ONLY flaw is that I don’t get the package shot I would like. :-) Derek has a body that wears a suit like a male model does – just tall enough, very slender but not too scrawny – perfect. I do love Romeo, but I think he and Chelsie both are too short to seriously pull off the ensemble. Derek and Nicole are classically beautiful, whereas Chelsie and Romeo are casual, pretty, flower children. Both are great, but I have to go classical.
The winner: Chelsie, by process of elimination. For the men, we’ll have to call it a tie and throw the vote to the readers. :-)
Battle of the red-beaded, cut-out dress: Oksana in Mike’s “Unbelievable” dance number in the season 12 finale vs. Karina in the performance with the Mwano family in season 11
Courtney: Seems like a bit of a brain fart costume to me – just something they threw together at the last minute, thinking “Crap, we need one more red costume – quick, make a plain red dress, and we’ll throw some beads on it.” I guess I kinda like it better on Karina, because I have a hard time taking Oksana seriously in some of the outfits they put her in.
Heidi: Karina, Karina, Karina – I mean really? Amazing pro against mugging troupe dancer? :-) Oksana has a long way to go to match Karina…in everything.
The winner: No contest – Karina. Because she isn’t making Muppet faces :-D