Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

DWTS Season 15, Week 1 – Power Rankings

Eeee gad, I had forgotten how long it takes to offer up commentary on 13 couples as opposed to 11 or even 12 :-P Anywho! Hope you guys are still up to chat about the show (and the site has not crashed…again), because we’ve got a lot to talk about. Overall, I’m left with one big concern after watching tonight’s show: is the high level of competition pushing everyone just a bit too hard to stand out? Because there seemed to be an awful lot of over-dancing going on tonight, and the pros seemed to stuff as much choreography as they could into their routines.  The cha-cha’s seemed to fare much better with the judges than the foxtrots, but I actually think the foxtrots were more technically sound on the whole.  *shrug* Such is life with this show, where, to quote Kanye, sh*t is often pretty “cray”.  8-O Let’s get right into it, shall we?

1.) Emmitt & Cheryl – Is anyone else having flashbacks to last season, when William & Cheryl could do absolutely no wrong in the judges eyes, no matter how badly they danced? 8-O Don’t get me wrong, I love Emmitt – probably one of the most lovable contestants ever to do the show, along with Warren Sapp & Donald Driver.  But REALLY, Len??? Best dance of the night?! I’m calling bullsh*t, because while Emmitt was very fun to watch and definitely got into the groove of it and didn’t miss any steps or get off-time, I daresay many other contestants had far more content and a higher level of difficulty…and they, too, were fun to watch.  And yet again, I saw Cheryl doing an awful lot moving around a stationary Emmitt – not as bad as a regular season, but still there.  *sigh* I thought it was odd that they got the pimp spot, and now after the gushing & overscoring (one of a few incidents of suspicious scoring tonight), my only theory is that they might want to keep Emmitt around in order to stand a hope & a prayer of competing with Monday Night Football, which consistently tops the ratings.  I highly doubt they’ll succeed, but they will likely die trying – and we’ll probably lose some stronger dancers as a result :-( I like Emmitt, and I liked this dance – but I already smell a rat.

2.) Gilles & Peta – A very well-danced, well-choreographed foxtrot – definitely the best of the night, and very pretty to watch. But was it REALLY a full 2 points better than the next highest-scoring foxtrot? Or either of the other foxtrots done by male contestants? I really don’t think so – I think Gilles may have benefitted from a more classic song and just a generally more calm demeanor, but I don’t really think he was leaps and bounds better than Shawn or even Drew’s foxtrots, and and I actually think Shawn’s had a far higher level of difficulty.  I’m also just feeling kinda lukewarm about Gilles at this point – some of the laid-back charm that made him so appealing in season 8 seems to have been replaced with this brooding intensity and extreme desire to win…which is actually off-putting.  No doubt Gilles is a great dancer and a great showman – but as of right now, I’m on the fence about whether or not he’s the full package of skill, charm, and entertainment worth of the MBT this time around.  However, I do think he may have a bit of a leg up in that he’s part of the ABC family – and thus the TPTB likely have a vested interest in keeping him around for awhile and drumming up publicity for his new project.  I anticipate we’ll see him around for awhile – even if his dancing isn’t quite up-to-snuff and he doesn’t loosen up.

3.) Apolo & Karina – I actually think these two came the closest to being the “full package” tonight – they were fun to watch, had great chemistry, and a good amount of skill in their routine.  And I do think Apolo has the right attitude about this season: he wants to work hard and do well, but he’s there to have fun, too.  Yes, there were a few stumbles – mainly due to “overdancing”, which is a problem just about everyone (with the exception of Pam, Bristol, & maybe Kirstie) had tonight.  Folks, when you push too hard and throw too much stuff into a routine to try and get noticed, it likely will backfire – and it seemed like with the costumes, lights, pulsating music and over-the-top dancing, there was just a tad too much going on in their cha-cha tonight.  I think they may have fared better with a little more subtlely to their choreography – but there really isn’t anything subtle about LMFAO or “Party Rock Anthem”, so I can’t really blame them for going that route.  I actually think Apolo’s Latin technique has improved since his original season, and he’s good and knowing where to place his weight in order to create Latin hip action.  Still a bit stiff in the hips, but I’m counting on Karina to help loosen them up this season – just like I’m counting on Apolo’s Olympic fanbase to carry him through to the finale.  I still think Apolo’s gonna walk away with the MBT this season, when all’s said & done…

4.) Shawn & Derek – One thing’s for sure: Shawn is definitely NOT the timid, well-mannered girl next door I remember from season 8! I actually found myself far more impressed by her dancing this time around – she seemed to let go of the constant desire for perfection in her movement that I seemed to see in season 8, and actually managed to let loose and really work on her performance quality a lot more.  This dance was punchy, energetic, and Shawn didn’t miss a bit – which is impressive, considering how much content this foxtrot had…almost too much content.  I’ve gotta say – I think of all the foxtrots tonight, Shawn & Derek were the most screwed right off the bat just because of their song.  It was this season’s “Easy Lover” – a song with a foxtrot rhythm so buried underneath a heavy drumline, vocals, and melody, that it forces the dancers to move at hyperspeed just to look like they’re actually keeping up.  Can you really blame them for having so much movement in their routine when the song is here, there, and everywhere – all at once? None of the other foxtrots tonight had songs that were nearly as difficult – which leads me to wonder if they were trying to either a) handicap Shawn a bit due to her Olympic fanbase, b) challenge Derek to create another incarnation of his 50’s paso doble/Psycho tango/”Material Girl” rumba, or c) all of the above.  Regardless of their motives as far as Shawn & Derek are concerned, I still think we’ll see these two in the finale – as long as wacky decisions like this made by TPTB don’t somehow ruin them :-(

5.) Kirstie & Maks – I was pretty unimpressed by this foxtrot – I’ll get that off my chest right off the bat.  Yes, they did get a bit of a crummy song FOR A FOXTROT (note me qualifying in caps, for all the Adele fans out there who are only selectively literate and likely inclined to attack me for *gasp!* disliking Adele), and that likely hindered them a bit – but I actually feel like Maks held back a bit with the choreo, and Kirstie felt a little heavy on her feet to me, compared to how I remembered her from season 12.  I think Kirstie probably could have handled a few more bells & whistles, because this felt a bit bland…seemed like a lot of foxtrot basic steps with a turn here & there.  But for what they lacked in choreography, they more than made up for in chemistry – these two are still a hoot to watch a year and a half later :-P And leave it to Kirstie to put the patented Bergeron ass pinch to shame by laying a long, hard kiss smack dab on The Berg’s pie hole.  Talk about stealing the show :-P Anywho, even if these two aren’t the judges’ darlings this season (and I don’t really think they were most of the time in season 12, either), I do think they have some longevity, between their collective fanbases and just how freakin’ fun they are to watch :-P

6.) Sabrina & Louis – Kids, remember my main complaint in The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate: Sabrina Bryan Edition? Anyone? Well, reader Melissa remembered that I pretty clearly stated that Sabrina danced wayyy too aggressively, and that everything she did seemed so hard-hitting.  And wouldn’t you know – the judges main complaint tonight was the exact same thing! Not much has changed in the 5 years since Sabrina originally did the show – she is still hitting every line so hard that’s almost unpleasant to watch, and she even seems to throw herself off-balance in trying so hard to punctuate every single step.  Yes, she’s a good dancer – but a great one? I don’t believe it yet, because to be a great one, she’d have to soften up her lines and incorporate more light & shade into her dancing: periods of punctuated movement juxtaposed with softer, more fluid movement in order to enhance the impact of both.  Right now, Sabrina is just “LIGHT!!! LIGHT!!! BRIGHTER LIGHT!!! EVEN BRIGHTER LIGHT!!!”, and I kinda had a feeling this would be something even Louis would struggle with: dimming Sabrina’s “light” in order to show her versatility.  I know Louis is probably out to prove something, and if he’s anything like he was in season 12, when he thought Kendra was the sh*t, he’s going to dive head-on into his bag of tricks and pull out every single flashy, impressive move he can in order to say “Look at me!!! Look at me!!! I AM AN AWESOME DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER!!!” And this cha-cha was unfortunately a prime example of both Sabrina AND Louis enabling each other’s choreographic problems – impressive choreography, yes, but I think I would have appreciated it more if every step wasn’t punching me in the face.  Can they soften things up? We’ll see – I still think they’ve got a few weeks in them, just due to scores.

7.) Kelly & Val – Kelly was the revelation of the evening for me…contrary to my initial worries, she ROCKED this cha-cha, and seriously made me wonder what she had been up in the past 7 years that created such a vast improvement in her dancing. I don’t know if it was anything she did (except maybe breaking up with her deadbeat boyfriend of 18 years), but I daresay the chemistry (and that should be spelled in all caps – CHEMISTRY) she has forged with Val has taken her from Bambi on ice to contender in no time flat.  Now I’m by no means one of those “crazy fangirl shippers” that I roll my eyes at on Twitter when they’re trying to fabricate romances between Hines & Kym/Bristol & Mark/Kirstie & Maks/etc., but with the amount of sexual tension I was sensing between these two? Get thee to a hotel…forthwith, my dears.  ;-) I thought Val was the calm, pragmatic, unflappable Chmerkovskiy – but the way I saw him all twitterpated in the celebraquarium when Kelly’s hair brushed his face? Or when he was spellbound by her tatas in rehearsal? Val has become one smitten kitten, I daresay – and I actually don’t see anything wrong with that, especially since it seems to be working well for their dancing.  I’ve never seen Kelly so confident, sexy, and fun-loving out on the floor – and I am excited to see more :-D

8.) Joey & Kym – I’m actually a little bit puzzled as to why they picked these two to kick off the show, as I thought Apolo & Karina’s cha-cha was far more impactful – but these two were fun nonetheless, and I can see that doing the Vegas show has paid off for Joey.  Very high-energy & fun – but, like many other celebs tonight, a little too hard-hitting.  Joey got a bit of excited puppy syndrome and may have proverbially peed on the floor, as he seemed to get a bit ahead of Kym at a few points and hit a few lines just a bit too enthusiastically.  It was a fun, well-executed routine – but as I predicted, Joey will probably have to work on refining & tidying up his movement, and becoming a bit lighter on his feet…because this felt a little messy.  He’s got showmanship for days, don’t get me wrong – but he seems to lack the refinement and laid-back charm that Apolo & Emmitt had in their cha-chas that likely got them better scores.  I still think Joey’s a contender, no doubt – but he’s gonna have to buckle down (and calm down) if he want to go toe-to-toe with Emmitt, Apolo, & Gilles.

9.) Bristol & Mark – Bristol actually surprised me a bit tonight – she seemed quite a bit more relaxed and confident than her initial cha-cha 2 years ago, and I daresay this cha-cha was an improvement for her.  At first I think I rolled my eyes a bit at how many of their “old standby” moves from season 11 Mark threw in – a lot of shimmying, hip twists, and hair flipping.  Then I realized it was probably a smart move on his part, in order to make Bristol feel more comfortable and familiar with the dance.  She’s still a pretty tentative mover, and likely not even in the same league as some of the other female contestants in terms of skill – but I do think that she’s better than before, and I do see potential for improvement.  For tonight, I was just glad to see her scored properly – no cushy 8’s or sympathy 9’s to make her feel better.  As cruel as it sounds, I think the judges created some pretty unrealistic expectations on Bristol’s part in season 11 by giving her such generous scores – by the end of the competition, she seemed to assume that she just deserved them outright, even if her dancing was clearly not up to snuff with the other competitors.  By starting out scoring realistically, I think they’ll nudge her to improve each week…the question is, can we rely on them to score her realistically week after week?

10.) Drew & Anna – It really pains me to put these two here, because I really had high hopes for them going into this season.  But Drew just seemed so damn tense out on the floor, and I think Anna may be pushing him a bit too hard in rehearsals – and it’s creating an uneasy dynamic between them that seems to spill out onto the dance floor.  There were parts of this foxtot that were really good – mainly the parts that stayed  in hold, in which I thought Drew had gorgeous posture and some clean, gliding feet.  Then there were parts that just kinda made me cringe – like those silly jumps Anna was having him do that he was just fumbling pitifully with (he should have asked Helio the jumping bean to give him some pointers ;-)).  I don’t know if it was just nerves from opening night, or just shaken confidence in being in such a competitive season – but I just felt bad for Drew tonight, because he just struck me as being petrified. I’m really hoping these two can learn to relax & have fun, because I do see a lot of potential in Drew – potential that could definitely be harnassed again.

11.) Melissa & Tony – I generally liked their foxtrot and I’m just in awe of Melissa’s ridiculously fit physique after having a baby, as well those crazy long, flexible legs of hers.  But I’m getting a bad gut feeling that these two may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle tonight – a moderate-to-good dance that may have been lowballed a bit in the scores, wedged between a pretty memorable, good dance (Apolo & Karina) and an astonishing train wreck (Pam & Tristan).  I loved the beginning part with Melissa showing off her mad stretching skills, and the more Broadway-y parts she & Tony did side by side.  But when they got in hold, I was actually a little taken aback by Melissa’s posture; something about it just seemed…wonky.  And just as I did in season 8, I once again found myself a bit annoyed by Melissa’s spaghetti arms – just a bit too soft for some of the moves she was trying to hit hard.  Generally, I liked it – but is it the first dance that pops into my head when I think about tonight? Definitely not – maybe not even the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th.  And that’s what has me worried.  I think she’ll be safe this week due to Pam’s trainwreckittude, but I would not be surprised if she was a “shock” elimination within the next few weeks.

12.) Helio & Chelsie – I like Helio, I really do – maybe it’s the Indycar fan in me, but I just find him to be so damn lovable.  But tonight? He was easily the weakest of the male contestants, and was maybe only slightly better than Kirstie in terms of content & execution of his dance.  I did see some posture & footwork issues, and I think he may have gotten a bit lost at a few points because I caught him looking a bit sheepish just kind of standing there awkwardly.  He also seems to want to stick his little Brazilian tushy out behind him when he’s dancing – which is unfortunately no bueno.  On the other hand, he was grinning like a kid in a candy store the whole time, and is actually pretty good at those kooky jumps Anna was having Drew try to do (Helio, help a brother out and give Drew some hopping lessons ;-)).  So it actually ended up being kind of a fun dance to watch, in a similar vein to Gavin’s wacky boat samba last season.  But I find myself kind of forgetting about these two – and I’m not sure Helio & Chelsie have the same endearing chemistry that Helio & Julianne had.  Are they safe this week? Probably – I hope.  But I’m skeptical about the next few…

13.) Pam & Tristan – Ohhhhh my.  I really wish I had something else to say other than “WTF was this???” I daresay this aimless, bizarre cha-cha was a prime example of how lack of practice time makes you stick out like a sore thumb – and both Pam & Tristan looked like they had just rolled out of bed with a hangover and were just shuffling through it (did I miss something? Was that intentional?) Even Tristan, who’s usually pretty energetic (and with women far older than Pam, no less!) seemed kinda apathetic about the whole thing.  Yeah, they were kinda screwed by their song, too, but that was the least of their problems.  Honestly, I will be very, very shocked if they’re able to stick around after that hot mess.  Love both of them – but that was just bad to the bone 8-O

So who do you guys think is going home tomorrow? And who are your favorites so far? :-)

September 24, 2012 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!

Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel Talk With On The Red Carpet About DWTS (Rehearsal Interview)

Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel chatted about their union and their rehearsals with On The Red Carpet getting ready for Dancint With The Stars tonight, but, what’s fun is watching them dance together…

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.

PureDWTS Season 15 Week 1: Blogs Before Show Time

Maks Chmerkovskiy has written his first new blog for Dancing With The Stars Season 15 at TV Guide. He says ‘tonight’s the big night’and it’s ‘going to be a big one’ as he explains how he’s dancing with Kirstie Alley again and how it’s like “building a sandcastle” with her (love that part!). Note too how he writes that his contract with Dancing With The Stars doesn’t end until 2015.

Kirstie deserves to be an All-Star. She’s fantastic in so many ways. I know she’s been saying she’s been dancing since Season 12, but she hasn’t! I’ve been calling her out on it. She definitely took to this whole dancing thing a lot more than probably most of the other celebrities have on the show. But after the show, she realized really quickly that without the element of time, this is a whole new ballgame. It’s not the same. It’s like building a sandcastle. You can have fun at your leisure. But imagine building a sandcastle with someone watching over you telling you have a minute left. It’s her and me building the sandcastle together while the show dictates the rules. It’s funny because in rehearsals, she’s been saying, “What the hell was I thinking?” And I say, “After all the pain and bruises went away and you were no longer exhausted every day, you were left with a very positive experience from the show. After that, if anyone asks you how the show was, you say, ‘It was amazing!’ So when they come to you for All-Stars, you say, ‘Of course!'” Maybe that’s why we don’t have any celebrities from the last two seasons — they haven’t gotten enough distance from the show yet. It’s still too fresh.

We’re having fun. Kirstie’s having fun, and that’s all that matters to me. How ready are we? We are as ready as we’ll be the day of the show. There’s nothing more we can do. This season is the best of the best. Last season was arguably the best level we ever had. This is going to top that. We have so many former winners, so many finalists who probably should have won. There are people who won personality and some who won on skill. I told Kirstie, “You just gotta dance.” The fact is, she can’t compete with a 20-year-old. That’s the truth. She’s 61 years old. She just has to go out there and do her thing. What makes her happy is what she will show on the dance floor. We left off on a very positive note on how far she came last time, so now how much father can she go? Right now, she’s at Week 7 or 8 from last season. I just want us to have fun and dance.

Also, Kym Johnson has a new blog up at People.com where she talks of doing tougher routines wtih Joey Fatone. She also talks of who she’s heard is good this season…

Read more..

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.

Pamela Anderson Talks About Tristan MacManus And DWTS On The Ellen Show, More Tidbits

It’s a Dancing With The Stars holiday and PureDWTS reader Lois puts it’s all into perspective with this fun ditty for the premiere tonight…

THE DANCING WITH THE STARS TRAIN!

All aboard! The train is leaving the station
Chug, chugging along to its final destination

The All Stars are in their Sunday finery best
Who of the thirteen will pass the final test

Along for the ride Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Len
When will they raise the paddle of the first ten

The ballroom is cheering, the train is inside
The shimmery, sparkly show opens with pride

Our eyes wide at precisely the hour of 8 o’clock
We get into the dancing mode, oh it will rock

Emmy winner Tom Bergeron says for all to hear
This is Dancing With The Stars, it is finally here

Brooke Burke takes her place with her co host
Congratulations Tom, well deserved, we boast

The All Stars ascend, to thunderous loud cheers
All thirteen trying to shake off nerves and fears

Their heels, dancing shoes, steps to the beat
Oh we are in for a dazzling, raz-ma-taz treat!

The train pulls out, in salute the whistles blow
It is Dancing With the Stars, its on with the show!

Written by Lois A Troutman, September 24, 2012
DANCING WITH THE STARS ALL STARS IS FINALLY HERE!
WITH GUSTO, WE STAND UP, WE GIVE A ROUSING CHEER!

Thanks Lois! Well said! And with that said, Dancettes, below is Pamela Anderson on The Ellen Show today prepping us even more for tonight. She says Tristan sweats in a heart shape. LOL So cute!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Also, below is a bite from Nightline where host Tom Beregeon talks about Pamela.

“DWTS” host Tom Bergeron told “Nightline” that he recently asked the former “Baywatch” babe about her celibacy vow, which she made last month.

“I guess she thought it would give her a competitive edge,” Bergeron said. “And so I happened to see her yesterday in the hall and I mentioned to her that I had been asked about her vow of celibacy and over her shoulder, with her back to me, she went, ‘I’m already off the wagon.’”

A few weeks before the “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” premiere, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, the 45-year-old Anderson told People magazine that she had “sworn off men until November,” when the competition ends.

Anderson was eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars,” Season 10, in May 2010 and returns tonight for the show’s 15th season, alongside Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, Bristol Palin and Emmitt Smith, among others.

“We’ve got everybody on the show who’s been here before, many of whom have won it before, I’m really excited about it,” Bergeron said. “I do think that each of them knows that this particular Mirror Ball trophy, however kitschy it might be, there’s a certain status among fans of the show for coming into a season of all stars and walking away with that one.”

NOTE: Tune into “Nightline” tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET as ABC’s David Wright sits down with Tom Bergeron and members of the cast to talk about the show behind the scenes. HERE is a preview you don’t want to miss.

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.

Dancing with the Stars Season 15: Season Premiere (Week 1) Predictions!

UPDATE: So I updated the table to include the Actual Scores from Monday’s Premiere of Season 15… Interesting things happening here. The main thing though is that these predicted scores never take into account any kind of under or over scoring in any capacity… so really just take them with a grain of salt. :)

A quick glance between the below table and my elimination predictions… I am looking at Pamela Anderson to have the dubious honor of being the first to go this season. With either Melissa or Kirstie as possibilities.

Many thanks to Heidi for finding out who is dancing what for the season premiere.

Let’s look at the below table before I start explaining what I did differently this time around:

 
RANKING
PREDICTION
ORIGINAL SCORES
ACTUAL SCORES
COUPLE DANCE
AGE
JOB
PRO
RANK
SCORE
WEEK
DANCE
AVE
RANK
SCORE
Emmitt / Cheryl Cha-Cha
12
10
4
11
19
24
24
1
24.5
Gilles / Peta Foxtrot
6
5
8
7
20
24
29
26.5
2
24
Sabrina / Louis Cha-Cha
4
2
11
4
20
26
26
3
22.5
Shawn / Derek Foxtrot
2
1
 
2
23
23
27
25
4
22
Apolo / Karina Cha-Cha
9
6
10
9
20
21
21
4
22
Helio / Chelsie Foxtrot
6
8
3
6
20
22
22
6
21.5
Drew / Anna Foxtrot
6
 
6
8
20
24
26
25
6
21.5
Kelly / Val Cha-Cha
9
11
 
13
18
10
25
17.5
6
21.5
Melissa / Tony Foxtrot
2
7
5
3
21
23
27
25
9
21
Joey / Kym Cha-Cha
9
3
9
5
20
24
24
10
20.5
Bristol / Mark Cha-Cha
4
12
2
10
19
18
18
11
19.5
Kirstie / Maksim Foxtrot
1
4
1
1
23
23
23
23
12
19
Pamela / Tristan Cha-Cha
12
9
7
12
19
21
21
13
17

When I started running the numbers for the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars… and predicting the scores I came across a few anomalies that I thought would amuse you guys:
– No Band Member has ever done the Foxtrot in the first four weeks (first “third”) of any season
– Derek Hough has never done the Foxtrot before in the first four weeks (first “third”) of any season

Interesting conundrum… no?
Read more..

I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS 15 All-Stars: The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate – Kirstie Alley Edition

We’re finally here! Premiere day at last :-) If you haven’t yet, go ahead and check out Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What…And When?” post to get the low-down on the performance order tonight, the voting phone numbers, and possibly a few spoilers on the music some of the couples are dancing to ;-)

Today, I take on the final (and most recent) celeb on my series examining the highs & lows of the all-stars’ original seasons – Kirstie Alley.  And if you want to get all fancy and read all the previous editions before the premiere (overachiever ;-)), you can check them out here.

For Kirstie’s best dance, I picked her cha-cha:

And for her worst dance, I picked her jive:

I know some of you are thinking “But Kirstie’s cha-cha wasn’t even her highest-scoring dance!!!” But I have always thought of it as Kirstie & Maks’ magnum opus of season 12 – a dance that showcased not only Kirstie’s dance skills but also her incredible ability to entertain. She may not have been the best technician (but she certainly wasn’t the worst that season, either), but what she lacked in technique she more than made up for in performance – even in her worst dance, she still managed to stay entertaining & fun to watch.  And very theatrical :-) One thing that always astonished me about Kirstie in season 12 was that, despite acknowledging that she was overweight and out-of-shape, she always seemed so light on her feet and still moved with a ton of precision – it kinda reminded me of Warren Sapp, who was a BIIIIIIG man but who was often more graceful than some of the men half his size.  Just because you may not have the perfect body, does not mean your movement quality has to suffer :-)

However, there was one drawback to Kirstie’s physical condition that did seem to hinder her, and that I worry might still be a problem this season: endurance.  I think we all were dreading the week in season 12 that Kirstie got jive, because we had seen how winded she got doing much slower dances, such as the samba.  And unfortunately, I don’t think those fears were unfounded – Kirstie did seem to struggle with keeping up with the speed of the jive, and never seemed to really get the bounce in her step that makes jive so fun to watch.  The choreo probably wasn’t the best, either, but that’s one dance where I can’t really blame Maks for taking so long to get into the dance – if your partner has bad endurance and probably won’t make it through a full-lenth 1:30 routine, try to put as little jive into it as possible, and as many rests into it as will fit.  I know Kirstie’s in much better shape this time around, but is she going to be able to contend with seasoned athletes like Apolo, Emmitt, and Shawn? Or younger, more resilient contestants like Kelly & Melissa? I’m not so sure.  Thankfully, she will get jive out of the way early this time – so if she does struggle with it, she may still be safe. 

So what has Kirstie been up to in the year & a half since her original season? She did sponsor a “100 Days of Dance” campaign for her organic food line, Organic Liasion, last summer.  Here’s a video of her dancing a Viennese waltz with “Johnny Boy”…I’m a bit partial to it for obvious reasons ;-):

Court’s verdict: Kirstie’s off-the-wall antics and showmanship could keep her in the competition for awhile – but she will need to work on endurance and her overall physical fitness in order to give some of the athletes a run for their money.

Thoughts on Kirstie?

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!

Drew Lachey In Better Shape To Dance On Dancing With The Stars Second Time

Drew Lachey told TV Guide Canada that dancing again on Dancing With The Stars “feels like coming home”. He may be a little older, but, he’s more prepared. See why….

This time around, Lachey admits he’s a little older, but may be even more prepared to take on the cha-cha and the quickstep with professional partner Anna Trebunskaya.

“[I’m going to] drink a lot,” Lachey joked, when asked about his preparations. “The big thing I’ve been doing is stretching. The older you get the more you need to. Every time I work out I stretch … I’m in better shape now than when I did the show the first time.”

Drew has also written a new blog for People.com. He writes of all the changes that have taken place since he was last on the show. He also talks of what it’s like being partnered with Anna Trebunskaya, rehearsing in his hometown, and improving his dancing.

I am once again paired with an incredible partner, Anna Trebunskaya, and thank God for her. She has had to be coach, teacher, drill sargent, therapist and partner. Not an easy feat. I thoroughly enjoy being challenged and pushing myself to learn something new but throw in roughly 20 million people watching your successes and failures, and you have the potential for a massive ulcer.

Since this is the all-stars season, just doing what you did in the past is a good way to get sent home early. People are expecting to see something new and exciting. In order to accomplish that, our rehearsals are a combination of playing up the things I do well and working on the areas where I need improvement.

We started rehearsals in Cincinnati, which was great. I was able to focus during rehearsals and then pass out from exhaustion in my own bed at night. Now we are in L.A. with all 12 – yes, 12 – other couples. To say that there are distractions is the understatement of the century. Whether it is talking to other couples, camera blocking, costume fittings, interviews, photo shoots or just L.A. traffic, there is always something to pull your focus off of the most important thing – learning the dance.

Bring on this team. I bet they are going to spell “fun”. Picture courtesy of Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya Facebook.

Only hours away now, Guys!

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.

DWTS15 Tony Dovolani: “It’s Gonna Be All Steps Forward” With Melissa Rycroft

Tony Dovolani tells Celebuzz, he and partner Melissa Rycroft only have “up” to go. Read on further to see why….

“Now, she’s taking the opportunity by the horns and really wanting to do well,” he continued. “Back then, even though she wanted to do well, she had no idea what was going on. So I feel like she’s much more mature. I’m proud of her. I became kind of like a big brother when she first joined the show in season 8. Now, I feel like I can actually be her dance partner, because she comes in much more mature.”

Dovolani, who recently announced a partnership with Capezio dancewear, also told Celebuzz he is more than pleased to re-team with Rycroft this season.

“I feel like our chemistry was so great last time,” he said. “It’s the right fit. We get along; we get each other … It still feels fresh.”

“We only have up to go,” he continued. “There’s not gonna be a step back, it’s gonna be all steps forward. We’re so hungry, because we came so close [in season 8] and we didn’t get it.”

You can read the full interview at Celebuzz. I really hope these two come out strong tonight.

ADDING: Go here to see Melissa and Joey on the Morning Blend today too.

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.

Producer Conrad Green Previews And Mentions Tweeks For DWTS All Stars, More Goodies

First of all and in case you missed an addition to another post, don’t miss seeing a piece on GMA today with Niecy Nash at stage rehearsals last night here. She interviews the couples and you can see the couples dancing. A great teaser and Niecy is funny!

Also, Conrad Green, the producer of Dancing With The Stars, previews the show and gives his take on the couples at TV Guide as well. Below is a take, but, be sure you read the link for the full article. Take note the tweeks for the show he mentions in the last paragraph….

“To be honest, I didn’t think we’d get that many,” executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. “It’s quite incredible, isn’t it? I was hoping we’d get a good response and it was more than any of us could’ve expected. This whole cast is really the cream of the cream of the crop.”

That’s not an overstatement: Of the 13 returning stars, only two of them — Pamela Anderson and Sabrina Bryan, who’s back via fan vote — didn’t make the finals in their original seasons. Two third-place finishers (Bristol Palin and Melissa Rycroft) and three runners-up (Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Gilles Marini) also join the ex-Mirrorball winners (Helio Castroneves, Shawn Johnson, Drew Lachey, Kelly Monaco, Apolo Anton Ohno and Emmitt Smith).

“I think it’s a testament to how much they enjoyed it the first time that so many winners and finalists are back,” Green says. “Looking at it on paper, you can argue one or two people who you wanted to see back who aren’t there, but almost everybody we approached said yes. The problem is this show requires you for three months and a lot of other people had committed to other things already. This has always been a really fun interlude in their careers, so I think a lot of them, if they were able to, made the space for it. And now we have a really crazy, competitive cast.”

Having such a formidable bunch means that there will be some tweaks to the show. Celebrities will be creative directors of a dance for a week, for which they’ll come up with the theme and wardrobe, pick the music and all but choreograph their routine. Gone is the Dance Duel, which was introduced last season to prevent a Sabrina Bryan-like shocking elimination (though Green allows that it may return in a normal season) and in is a temporary scoring system emphasizing technique. “We’re thinking about having Len [Goodman] give a couple of extra points to the celebrity who did the best technical dance of the night,” Green says. “It’s an extra boost; it’s not a punishment for everyone else. We’ll tweak scoring here and there to make sure there’s a bit more discipline and content in there, given that these people have done the show before.”

The ‘creative director’ idea sounds kind of cool, but, hmmm, not sure what to think of the extra points from Len? Thoughts?

Also, Louis Van Amstel wrote a new blog for GMA today. He writes of Sabrina, rehearsals last night, and gives us his take of tonight’s premiere.

Today is show day and we have an early 7 am call time to go through orchestra rehearsal, where all couples get about 10 minutes with the band to hear their song played live for the first time. You have to remember we all rehearse to the original track until the day of the show. Most of the time it sounds amazing live with the band, but sometimes the songs are so different or complicated that it adds so much pressure and nerves. There’s not a lot we can do that last minute, but we have an amazing band leader in Harold Wheeler, who always does everything in his power to accommodate any changes we’d like to make.

After orchestra rehearsal it’s time for dress rehearsal where the entire show is run as if it’s live — minus the commercials. This is necessary to make sure the show runs smoothly and all departments are happy. Sometimes the costumes need some tweaking or lighting need to be changed. This is where the nerves get to an all time high! Thank goodness for all of us you guys don’t get to see dress rehearsal ….things can sometimes get very dramatic.

Tonight Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson will open the show followed by Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough. Sabrina and I will dance third, which I like because we don’t have to go out first and yet we don’t have to wait so long before we perform. I don’t know the entire following order of the show, but I do know Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance 12th and Emmett Smith and Cheryl Burke perform last.

Every couple will come out strong and dance their hearts out. I also believe the judges will be extra critical on all the dances, since most celebs have gone through an entire season already and have dance experience.

On a sentimental note, I feel so blessed to part of this amazing cast, having the best celebrity partner in Sabrina Bryan. I’m still so thankful for ABC and the BBC worldwide for giving me the opportunity to do what I love doing so much on such a worldly stage in front of millions.

Thanks to all of you for watching “DWTS” faithfully over the years, I truly hope this season is going to blow your minds and inspire to take on your own desired dreams. Enjoy the show!

You can read more here.

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.

Last Minute Thoughts, GMA Preview, Parking Lot Videos On Eve of Dancing With The Stars All Stars

PopTVDotCom was able to catch the stars of Dancing With The Stars going into their last day of rehearsals before the premiere tonight! Some answer if it’s easier the second time around and more. Thanks PopTVDotCom, you rock!

Sabrina and Louis have some last minute thoughts for us as well in this video….

ADDING: Also, here is a piece on GMA today with Niecy Nash at stage rehearsals last night.

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.