The first official Dancing With The Stars cast rehearsal photos have been released. Pictured above is Peta, Donald, Maks, and Melissa. You can view more pics of Anna, Jack, Kym, ,Jaleel, Tony, and Martina in a fun gallery at the official site here. There is some serious dancing going on by the looks of them. I’m impressed.
ADDING: Mark Ballas flew to Europe to meet his partner Katherine Jenkins. They have officially started their first rehearsals. Below is a picture she tweeted at her twitter account with the quote, “So this is really happening then…!!” lol So cute!
Maks was a guest on Good Day LA today. He talks of the funny story for how he met Melissa this past week for the first time. He told her he never knew who she was since he never saw “Little House On The Prairie.” He also says this season’s cast is the most chill. He addresses the rumors that he wasn’t coming back which were never true. He knew for a while he’d be back this season. He also talks of being an “athlete” and his birthday production in January. Lots more below. Stay tuned. Maks will be on Access Hollywood on Monday as well.
Some of you may remember that Vogue spotted a picture of Sherri at Maks & Val’s studio a few months back on Twitter, which was then swiftly deleted, and there have been rumors swirling ever since about whether Sherri had been taking lessons for awhile prior to the DWTS cast announcement. Lots of strong opinions on both sides of the issue, but we want to know what you guys think:
Where do I stand? I find that the thing that seems to bother me the most is the possibility that she was actually rehearsing with her future pro – I think part of the struggle most of the couples have early on is just developing chemistry and getting used to the way each one teaches/learns, since most of them are strangers, and of the ones that do already know each other, odds are they haven’t been under the circumstances that they are when they’re on the show. If Sherri & Val have already gotten over that hurdle, I think that’s a big leg-up they have over the other couples – and if they’ve been practicing long enough, Sherri may already know the basics of some of the dances, and may even have some choreography. If that’s the case, I feel like they’ve already gotten lord knows how many weeks of EXTRA rehearsal time in that the other couples haven’t – so while everyone else maybe be muddling through cha-cha basics and foxtrot timing, Sherri & Val might just be putting the finishing touches on their routine. The only other precedent we have for a situation like this was back in season 9, when Donny admitted to taking ballroom lessons to prepare for his stint on the show – it annoyed me, but at the same time, he wasn’t taking lessons with his future pro. I think I’d be able to better tolerate Sherri taking lessons beforehand if I knew that she was doing it with someone that she wasn’t going to be paired with on the show. But let’s see how Vogue & Heidi feel, shall we?
Vogue: This whole thing makes me question if others have cheated before Sherri? No, we don’t have 100% proof that Sherri was taking lessons with Val that day, but, why the work out clothes (similar to the clothes Nancy wore), and why did they take the picture down which was the icing on the cake that told me that they knew they were in the wrong or trying to hide something? If this was the case, I think Sherri knew she was dancing or possibly going to dance this upcoming season. Granted, it would only be natural to want to learn how to dance (or better your dancing) if you knew you were going to be dancing in a major dance competition on television. I would bet others have done the same who knew they were going to dance too (ie: Donny). Is it unfair to the others who didn’t know they were going to dance, yes. At the same time, I think they know what they are getting into when they sign the dotted line being some of the celebrities might have some dance experience in their background and some may not. Another thing too… even if Sherri’s been practicing ahead of time and she can dance, she doesn’t have the “likable” factor in her corner which is just as important on this show to win. She also has some weight issues that will play a factor in coordination, stamina, and endurance. The other celebrities will have their plus and downsides too. In the end….and experience in dancing or not…all I really want to see on this show is some good dancing. So, part of me says, “Who cares Everyone? Just dance!!”
Heidi: Well, the point Court makes about chemistry and friendship is a huge one – that takes a while to establish and even if she’s been hanging at DWMS and NOT dancing, it’s still an unfair advantage. But come on – why delete the picture if everything was innocent and no shenanigans (aka dancing) were happening?? Why? It would be SO easy to explain a picture, even though she was in work out clothes, if it was just a one-time, simple thing. But, like in politics, it’s the cover up that always does the most damage. Same is certainly true here – we would never be having this conversation if she hadn’t deleted the photo almost immediately. What is MOST galling to me is that it’s a Chmerkovskiy that’s her partner – you remember, one of them took unfair (and ignorant) shots at Derek last season for appearing to side with the judges and having the nerve to get good partners the last few seasons. That SAME pro has been incredibly blessed with partners of his own – he just can’t win with them for whatever reason. If it wasn’t for that, this situation wouldn’t be nearly as annoying as it is. Is it balls or ignorance that allows a situation like this one to occur AFTER being an asshole to a fellow profession who DOESN’T pick his partners (like Maks did) and was, frankly, speaking the truth when he said “we’ve been on the show for how many seasons now – nothing has changed”??? Was that sentence too long? Seriously, it’s the hypocrisy and the apparently desperate need for a Chmerkovskiy to win at any cost that is bugging me.
Where do you guys stand? Do you think Sherri has somehow cheated a bit, or do you think she’s perfectly justified in taking lessons prior to the show? How, if at all, do yout think it will affect the outcome of the competition? Sound off!
Dancing With The Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba describes her excitement for the new cast at USA Today. She’s worked with Gladys Knight before and is excited to judge her. She’s really excited to see Jaleel White dance as well, but, she intends on staying neutral. More in a take below….
The DWTS judge and Knight have met previously. “I worked with her once before on a small show called American Juniors,” Inaba says. ” And I choreographed with her before so it will be interesting to sit on this side of the table. On the other show, she was the judge and I was the choreographer.”
Who else is Inaba looking forward to seeing? Well, everyone really. But “I’m very excited about Urkel (Jaleel White). I watched the cast announcement with the rest of America — from home — and the way he came out on stage: I just thought ‘Wow, this man has great stage presence.’ And he’s very confident so I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to seeing Maria Menounos and Sherri Shepherd who’s wanted to be on the show for so long and has talked openly about it. And I’m very happy she’s finally on our show.”
But just because she is excited about participants, viewers shouldn’t think Inaba is going to play favorites. “Before the season, I try not to do any research on anybody because I think it’s better as judges for us to remain as neutral as possible which is difficult to do these days with the media the way it is. … I try to stay neutral and once I hear the names, I try not to really think about it,” she tells USA TODAY. “People come up to me on the street all the time and want to engage with me and tell me their thoughts and I try not to listen because I don’t want to go in with any sort of notion on who’s going to be good or who’s not going to be good. Everyone is pretty much on fair playing ground until they hit the dance floor, and I see for myself.”
Also, Carrie Anne has been doing a lot of promotions lately for Pet Adoptions and animal rescue. This is a cool segment she did for Access Hollywood.
Peoplepets.com has a cool article up as well. Below is a quote and one of the pictures. Be sure to read and see more at the link. So sweet….
Working with networks of animal rescuers has “made the biggest difference in my life,” Inaba says. “I go to bed crying sometimes, because you can’t save them all, but it’s also so uplifting because you can go to bed knowing you did something. We try, and I feel good about that.”