DWTS Who Wore it Better? Part XV – The Pre-Season 14 Edition!

Yep, we’re back to talk fashion for yet another season’s promo pix :-) And kids, this batch was a bit of a challenge for even me – at least 3 brand-spanking new dresses that weren’t dittoed, some wacky alterations, weird lighting, and the fact that we don’t have pix of Cheryl & Katherine yet made this edition a little less fun and a little more frustrating.  But alas, it’s here now, so enjoy! And a very special thanks to our reader Manny, who graciously helped us out with the screen cap of Niecy, since Hulu only has season 13 available to stream and the DWTS website has taken down all of the photos from old seasons…grrrrr. *shakes fist at sky*

Battle of the gold, silver, super-sparkly jive dress: Kym’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Kym’s jive with David in season 13

Heidi: I know I’m going to disagree with Court on this one – by choosing the photo shoot version. :-) I like the more asymmetrical hem and I like her hair better in that pic. But damn, Kym always looks amazing and she does stick to the similar color pallette much of the time.

Court: Kym has always known what looks good on her (everything) and what doesn’t (not much), but I love how she seems to stick to a lot of nude colors and just lets all the embellishments do the talking.  I remember thinking “Wowwwww…that’s soooo sparrrrrkllllllyyyy!” as she walked down the stairs last season in this number.  But alas, the magic is a bit lost in the whitewash of the photo shoot – so I’m gonna go with jive Kym on this one :-)

The winner: We love Kym in the nude (colors) :-)

Battle of the black lace turtleneck tango dress: Bristol’s Argentine tango with Mark in season 11 vs. Martina’s pre-season 14 photo shoot

Court: I think this may actually be the very first ditto of a Bristol costume we’ve ever seen! Although if you’ve seen one Bristol ditto, I think you’ve pretty much seen them all, as this girl wore A LOT of black lace in season 11 – a fact that made my searching though her costumes all the more confusing :-P But anyway…I gotta say, I’m not really wild about this costume on either woman.  It just seems kinda…dowdy.  But I guess if I had to pick, I’d actually pick Bristol – because I can at least tell it’s a tango costume with the way she’s styled & made up.  Martina…just kinda looks like she’s gesturing for no apparent reason.  But she looks damn good for her age! :-)

Heidi: I can’t pick…too distracted by Marky’s face in that picture. :-) The hell?  Okay, all kidding :::cough::: aside, I have to agree with Courtney. Martina looks fabulous, but Bristol is fully made up for this dress and she wears it pretty well.  I will say, very proud of Martina for going with a dress that is probably more daring on the bottom half than I would have expected.

The winner: Bristol takes this one because we can actually tell what she’s doing.

Battle of the bronze, sparkly Latin dress: Anna’s pre-season 14 photo shoot with Jack vs. Anna’s cha-cha with Carson in season 13

Heidi: I pretty much hate this costume and I don’t think I realized it until Carson wasn’t there to distract me from it. :-) Anna is so beautiful and has such a great body, but the draping across the front combined with how low it rides on her hips makes her look a bit shapeless. Color is nice though.  I pick Cha Cha Anna because the movement improves the dress incrementally. ;-)  Oh, and Jack?? Call me. We’ll discuss the weird hand placement on your hip. I can show you the best way to do that. ;-)

Court: Ok, so I’ve often said that I think some of the magic of the costumes is lost in the pre-season shoot, just due to lighting & awkward poses.  But really – could anyone hold a candle to Carson in his sparkly bronze suit, strutting around to “Moves Like Jagger”? :-) No contest – cha-cha Anna on this one.  But I give Jack props for trying!

The winner: Nice try, Jack, but this costume only looks good with one accessory – Carson :-D

Battle of the sparkly silver fringed halter dress: Niecy in the season 10 finale opening dance vs. Sherri’s pre-season 14 photo shoot with Val

Court: Ok, I may catch a bit of flak for this, but I’m gonna say it anyway: would it kill the folks choosing the costumes to avoid having every outspoken, full-figured black female contestant ditto a Niecy costume? I called this one before the promo pix were even released, and I’m just a bit irked at the fact that it actually came true, since it seems like they’re pigeonholing a bit.  Niecy is not the only curvy gal they’ve had on the show – Marissa, Ricki, Belinda, Macy, Margaret, Kelly, & Bristol were all pretty curvy, too, yet they only seem to pull out Niecy costumes for ladies like Wendy & Sherri.  Maybe they just really like Niecy’s style? Idk…but I guess I was just hoping for something a bit more out-of-the-box, y’know? Seems like both Wendy & Sherri have drawn comparisons to Niecy already…and it would be nice to have them differentiate themselves a bit.  But anyway! I guess I’m gonna go with Niecy, for the simple reason that the dress seems more proportioned to her figure.  I’m afraid Sherri’s got a bit of a case of monsterboobs in this dress – they just are RIGHT THERE, so they’re the first thing I see, before anything else.  I’m having bad flashbacks of Wendy…*shudder*

Heidi: I was gonna say…calling Sherri “curvy” is a bit of  an understatement in this picture – monsterboobs indeed!!  I definitely prefer it on Niecy for all the reasons mentioned, but I’m docking points for that awful flower. :-)

The winner: Niecy, for lack of monsterboobs.

Battle of the white & flesh-toned fringed salsa dress: Chelsie’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Chelsie’s salsa with Romeo in season 12

Heidi: Another costume that I just don’t understand. Why the need for the sweater like attachment over the top??  I don’t get it.  That said, I’ll go with photoshoot Chelsie for the hair. And for the great photo shopping by the photographer. Noticed it on Martina’s photo as well. :-)  That’s one problem with screencaps versus photo shoot pictures – in the live shots it’s pretty much warts and all.

Courtney: Because Chelsie is oh-so-modest, m’dear :-) And she never completely shows her stomach.  But I know I can’t be the only one that thinks Chelsie did some serious growing up over her season-long hiatus! She looks so grown-up & STUNNING in her promo shoot pic.  The loose, sexy waves in her hair, the come-hither expression – it’s a definite increase in maturity over the youthful, giddy, flower-in-the-hair girl that did the salsa with Romeo almost a year ago. But no worries for those who love girl-next-door Chelsie – I’m sure Roshon will keep her firmly grounded :-)

The winner: Photoshoot Chelsie for some great photoshopping & airbrushing. 

Battle of the black & purple fringed strappy Latin dress: Karina’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Karina’s cha-cha relay with JR in season 13

Court: Have I mentioned that I hate the photoshoot lighting? :-) It tends to wash out all the bright colors and dull the sparkle of the costumes…which is why I didn’t even notice that there was purple fringe on this costume until after I found where it was originally used.  I tend to hate dresses with lots of strappy pieces like this, because it looks vaguely dungeonish to me and can create unsightly bulges if the strappy parts are too tight or you don’t have a perfect body, but Karina seems to rock it well.  I’m not wild about her hair in either photo, though - the first one looks a little old-fashioned, and she’s wearing that funky piece of lace in her hair on the 2nd one.  But I guess if I had to pick, I’d choose photo shoot Karina – for looking slightly more normal than cha-cha relay Karina :-)

Heidi: Ditto. Bizarro dress, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Karina.  It looks substantially more bizarre in the live shot, and I don’t like her hair at all in that one, so I’m going with the photoshoot version. Are you sure they didn’t change the fringe though?? That sure looks black to me – although it could be our fabulous photoshopper at work again.  :-)

The winner: Photoshoot Karina manages to make a strange dress look good. 

Battle of the pinkish-purplish sparkly strapless dress: Nicole in the first troupe number in season 12 vs. Maria’s pre-season 14 photo shoot

Heidi: Maria’s dress is kinda weird too (lots of that going around) – she looks great, but not very ballroom-y.  They have so many dresses at their disposal, I’m not sure why they would go this route…unless Derek was involved and he’s trying to get her in as short a skirt as possible?? :-)  Perhaps Maria likes pink??  Because you gotta know they have a choice – perhaps a limited selection, but still a selection.  Very odd. Don’t think Nicole’s dress makes the cut either, but it’s got fringe and a slit. :-) So she wins.

Courtney: Ok, so it’s not the same dress – but we didn’t wanna gyp you guys on your “Who Wore it Better?” so we did the best we could :-) I think Maria’s dress may be another example of something that was purchased rather than created for the shoot – and I think we may start seeing more of these ready-to-wear simple pieces in the coming seasons…which kinda irks me, because part of the fun of the show for me is seeing all of the over-the-top, hand-crafted, custom-made costuming.  This (like Kristin’s photo shoot dress last season) looks more like something a high school sophomore might buy from Wet Seal & wear to her homecoming dance :-P I guess it’s not BAD, per se, but I just feel like it’s a bit of a cop-out…and not very ballroom-y.  Which is why I’ve gotta go with Nicole on this one – her overall look feels more like bona fide ballroom wear to me, whereas Maria (while very pretty!) looks like she could be doing a red carpet interview…or heading to a club…or doing pretty much anything other than ballroom dancing :-)

The winner: Nicole, by a …oh, nevermind, that sounds kinda bad. :-)

Battle of the purple embellished bustier: Peta’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Adriana Lima in the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Court: Ok, so I was actually pretty proud of myself for spotting this one – my lingerie obsession finally paid off ;-) But it does kinda raise some interesting questions about what direction the costuming on the show might be heading in.  It’s not a rarity for ballroom costumes to be made using “pre-made” parts – a lot of my costumes from back in the day had Victoria’s Secret bras & shapewear sewn right into the bodice to ensure the right fit.  But it is a bit peculiar to me that the costume department decided to take a piece of lingerie and just throw some draping on it and call it a costume – maybe I’ve been spoiled by our days with Randall, who I consider to be more of the “old school” of designer that makes everything from scratch and avoids using a ton of pre-made parts, but to me costumes like this seem like a bit of a cop-out.  And who knows, maybe we’ll start to see more costumes like this on the show from now on, as a sort of time & effort-saving measure.  But if I had to pick someone…I have to go with Adriana.  Peta looks fantastic, but I really feel like this bustier is more of a couture look, and the drama of Adriana’s thigh-high stockings, dramatic jewelry, and those fabulous black wings just make such an impact.

Heidi: Nah, I’m sensing a pattern here – last season Peta wore some wack ass costume too for the photo shoot. I think she’s making the selection here and I can’t say that I care for it.  It definitely belongs on the VS catwalk and frankly, I think it should stay there. Plus I like the feathers and the stockings. :-)

The winner: Even Peta can’t hold a candle to an Angel. 

Battle of the black lace jeweled & fringed one-should dress: Melissa’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Kathy in the season 9 finale returning stars dance vs. Kelly, Joanna, & Kym in the season 9 team tango

Court: Admittedly, I’m not 100% confident that this is the same dress.  But after (literally!) a few hours of consulting Google images and YouTube, I figured this was probably the most likely candidate, as Melissa’s dress looks like it’s probably a drastic alteration of a previously used dress on the show.  I’m thinking the only thing they might have retained was the the red bodice underneath, and completely redone the skirt & the lace overlay – but maybe used the same pattern as the original for the sleeve? Idk…I think it’s most likely Joanna’s, as I noticed from YouTube that Joanna was the only one of the 3 ladies that had an open-back design for her team tango dress, and you can see from Melissa’s picture with Maks that her dress has an open back as well.  Oh hell, who cares if it’s the same dress – it’s similar enough and I’m tired of hunting through pictures and slo-moing through videos :-P But I gotta give this one to Melissa – LOVE LOVE LOVE how dramatic the colors look with her red hair.  I miss my red hair :-(, but I definitely don’t miss how high-maintenance it was!

Heidi: The only thing I like about these pictures are Kym’s fierce dance face and DEREK…and HIS fierce dance face. That’s pretty much it. Dresses. Bleh. There are no real winners here, but Melissa comes closest out of all of them. :-)

The winner: Melissa, for some great coloring. 

And as for Gladys…

Court: Gladys was just so awesome that they said “We couldn’t POSSIBLY give the Empress of Soul a previously-used costume! We’ll whip her up a new one…or let her wear whatever she wants.  Or let her go naked.  Or whatever!” Gladys just looks awesome here…love her hair, her smile, and her overall energy.  And she looks fantastic for her age! Tristan’s gonna have so much fun with her this season.

Heidi: Yep, I’m with you. She looks amazing and Tristan ain’t too shabby either. :-)

The winner: Gladys Knight laughs at Chuck Norris.  :-)

Hope you all enjoyed this edition of “Who Wore it Better”…we will keep an eye out for William & Cheryl and Katherine & Mark’s promo pix, and add them here if we see them :-D So stay tuned!!!