Dancing with the Stars Season 15 – Week 4 Pre-Predictions

Ok… just to get this out of the way… predictions are shot for Week 4. Since there are only four dances that have been on the show before (Charleston, Mambo, Jitterbug and Bolero) while the rest have either been a group dance (Rock N Roll, Disco) or were featured in the Results show by other dance groups (Bollywood, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Broadway)… there is no way I can truly predict scores… but I sure as hell will try. :) Who could have predicted what the dance pool was going to include? I thought it would re-introduce dances that just didn’t have some exposure on the show as I posted last week.

So how will the scores stack up with the data that I have available?

See what I mean by this week’s predictions being a crap shoot? I mean seriously! The only dances that have any scores that I could work off of are highlighted in yellow and are the closest to “traditional” ballroom dances. While the ones in orange are the dances that are absolutely not your traditional ballroom dances. Those that are left have actually been featured on the show in group routines for the season cast.

What I did find to be interesting is that for those that were given the traditional dances that overlapped with my dance pool… I had actually suggested them to have:
Emmitt Smith: suggested either Bolero, West Coast Swing or Two Step
Shawn Johnson: suggested either the Mambo or Two Step

Before I move on… Warning: extra long, YouTube video link heavy post to follow. Also Lori added additional commentary wherever she is able in regards to Week 4′s dances / couples. Also there is a little bit of a conversation going on in the comments in the DWTS Season 15 Stats Class Week 4′s Challenge.

EMMITT SMITH AND CHERYL BURKE – BOLERO

this is the closest approximation to what a Bolero is suppose to look like… Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo from Season 9 to Leona Lewis’ Better in Time. However can you imagine Emmitt trying his hand on the Bolero? Well… as was pointed out to me Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova have done the Bolero as well and if anything perhaps Emmitt’s attempt would look more like them which was done to Randy Crawford’s “One Day I’ll Fly Away”

Lori: I expect Emmitt’s Bolero to be closer to Michael’s, than to Natalie’s, if only that both men played football (and yes, I did have to google that). I am expecting a higher score than both Natalie and Michael, however, because Emmitt is more of a “favored son” than the other two. And while she may not be one of my favorites, I will admit that Cheryl is the best choreographer of the 3.

SHAWN JOHNSON AND DEREK HOUGH – MAMBO

The Mambo is probably the most seen on the show at the moment… so I can’t really say which is the highest scoring Mambo… Season 4′s Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough danced the Mambo to Gloria Estefan’s Dr Beat. (I figured it would be easier to see what another Hough could do with an Olympian when it came to the Mambo. :) ) Then again, the Mambo has been featured on the show in other forms. In the case of Shawn Johnson she has done the Mambo in her Team Dance to Beyonce’s Single Ladies.

Lori: I LOVE the mambo, and I always enjoyed watching them, and was disappointed that they removed it from the DWTS syllabus. I think Marianya got it right, there should be a lot of similarities between Apolo’s and Shawn’s Mambos, and I don’t think we should count Team Mambo from Season 8 as experience, because that was just bad…. Derek will nail the choreography, as always. A big difference between Julianne’s choreography for Apolo and Derek’s choreography for Shawn, is experience… Julianne was 18 years old and in her first season, and Derek’s 27 years old and has roughly 10 seasons of experience.

In regards to the above two dances: Courtney commented in a previous post:

I’d say the two that have the most to worry about in terms of “rules” are Shawn & Emmitt – they’re they only two with dances that have actual ballroom syllabi. However, I’m not sure any of the 3 judges are particularly familiar with bolero, so Emmitt could get a bit of a reprieve there. So really, I think Shawn & Derek are the only ones that really have rules to contend with – but that could be more of a boon than a burden in this case. If there’s set rules, it will give you a lot more direction in choreographing the dance.

KIRSTIE ALLEY AND MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY – CHARLESTON

Being given the Charleston may have been a bit of a reprieve (considering what the other option was). Up to this point the Charleston has only been danced three times, with the highest score given to Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas as danced to Bob Wilson & his Varsity Rhythm Boys’ Charleston.

Lori: Kirstie and Maks will definitely be able to nail the performance aspect of the Charleston, but not sure about the technique….

MELISSA RYCROFT AND TONY DOVOLANI – JITTERBUG

With Tony Dovolani being saddled to create a Jitterbug routine for Melissa, I thought it would be fun to see what Derek Hough did with the Jitterbug for Brooke Burke in Season 7 to Elvis Presley’s Don’t Be Cruel.

In the meantime… the closest approximation for Melissa and Tony is that they have done a Lindy Hop together before in Melissa’s season to Cherry Poppin Daddies’ Brown Derby Jump… So the Jitterbug shouldn’t be too far out of their comfort zone.

Lori: I agree.

Again many thanks to Courtney for pointing out the following between the Charleston / Jitterbug / Jive / Quickstep:

There’s actually not a Charleston syllabus – so much of the Charleston has just gotten incorporated into the jive & quickstep syllabi, so there’s not much left to comprise the “rules” for Charleston. Let me see if I can dig up my jive/Charleston/jitterbug/Lindy post

SABRINA BRYAN AND LOUIS VAN AMSTEL – DISCO

Oddly enough, as mentioned before quite a few of the dances listed have been used as a group dance in previous seasons. One of these being the Disco Group Dance from Season 3 done by the Top 5 of that season as they danced to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”

Though, the Hustle could be interpreted as Disco in general… below is a video of Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson with their Hustle from Season 7 to Lipps Inc’ Funky Town. Unfortunately there is no telling how Sabrina / Louis’ Disco routine would turn out.

BRISTOL PALIN AND MARK BALLAS – ROCK AND ROLL

The Rock and Roll Group Dance was done on Season 5 to Bobby Day’s version of “Rockin’ Robin”. And… as was pointed out, Bristol has already done the Rock and Roll dance in the form of a Marathon Dance in Season 11 to ZZ Top’s La Grange.

APOLO ANTON OHNO AND KARINA SMIRNOFF – HIP HOP

A version of Hip Hop (Old School that is) was done as a Group Dance in Season 7 by the Top 7 to Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s It Takes Two (unfortunately this is the only video I was able to find that had the original music).

Granted Apolo’s Freestyle with Julianne in Season 4 to Young MC’s Bust a Move was a fusion of hip hop, breakdancing and other freestyling dances.

Even though Apolo has done “hip hop” in some capacity before:

Hip Hop is very different from Breakdancing which is what Apolo actually does… so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out.

[...] the Apolo / Julianne freestyle… it is a fusion of hip hop, breakdancing and other stuff. But Apolo knows some breakdancing while Julianne knows some aspects of hip hop… whileas I am not entirely certain if Karina knows any hip hop.

And looking at past ballroom dancers on So You Think You Can Dance… hip hop is the dance style that they tend to have the most trouble with (well that and contemporary)… unless they have had prior experience in some capacity.

KELLY MONACO AND VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY – CONTEMPORARY

Of course the having non-traditional ballroom dances as Freestyles isn’t really a “new thing”, but the most obvious was Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s try at Contemporary (ok really lyrical… with the aid of Mandy Moore) on Season 10 to the song “Alone” by Heart

GILLES MARINI AND PETA MURGATROYD – BOLLYWOOD

And who can forget Derek’s fusion of Samba and Bollywood with Maria Menounos in Season 14 done to the song “Mama Do the Hump” by Rizzle Kicks

The thing about Bollywood (as I mentioned in a comment in the previous post):

Bollywood doesn’t have “rules” in the same sense as a lot of the ballroom dances, but hand gestures are incredibly particular (not like the judges would catch that).

Though, Heidi and I had an interesting exchange about some of the non-ballroom styles:

Marianya: Bollywood doesn’t have “rules” in the same sense as a lot of the ballroom dances, but hand gestures are incredibly particular (not like the judges would catch that).

Heidi: Yeah, the Bollywood is going to be tough. I wonder if the judges will actuall :::gasp::: do their homework on these dance styles.

Courtney pointed out the following in her comment:

I have a feeling those with less solid boundaries (Kelly & Val, Gilles & Peta, [Bristol] & Mark) may end up with routines that seem a bit aimless and unsure of themselves.

ELIMINATED COUPLE: HELIO CASTRONEVES AND CHELSIE HIGHTOWER – BROADWAY

Finally there was the Broadway Group Dance done in Season 13 to a fusion of Big Spender from Sweet Charity and Money Money from Cabaret.

So as you can see, from the dances that will appear in Week 4 of the All-Star Season, all of the dances have appeared on the show in some capacity or another. So in all honesty when Tom Bergeron says that some dances have “never” been on the show before… I have to wonder what TPTB mean exactly by that?

Lori: I do think they just DIDN’T think! I mean, if they really haven’t been on the show before, we wouldn’t have been able to find examples FROM DWTS to show what we might see, would we? As we’ve heard from Heidi, tricks and lifts are being allowed this week, and I really hesitate with that decision, because usually when they do this, we see that most dances are pretty much nothing other than lifts and tricks, and high scores and praise from the judging, with little actual REAL dance content! I do look forward to the pros who do actually choreograph appropriate lifts and tricks to ENHANCE the content, and not replace it.

Looking at the above let’s have a final tally of who truly has an advantage for the upcoming Week 4?

Right off the bat, I feel that there are four couple that would have a slight advantage in that at least the celebrity has some minor knowledge in their given dance style. It will be interesting to see how the other couples fare with their dance styles.

Regardless… I am going to have to redo most of my spreadsheet to adapt to this upcoming week alone! So not fair. Anyway, enough of my harping, I am not going to allow one week to stop me from attempting to make predictions… Or maybe I should just say “screw it” and take a week off… what do you think? ;-)