Ever since the “Choreography Emmy-gate” scuttlebutt erupted last summer, there seems to be a new, controversial topic I see thrown around more and more amongst the fans: the pros using/not using outside choreographers. And there have been offshoots of that topic as well – how much credit outside choreographers should be given (if any), the contractual ins-and-outs of using outside choreographers, and whether or not the use of an outside choreographer somehow makes a pro “less talented”. And honestly – it kinda gets my goat, because fans that know little to nothing about how choreography works suddenly have their noses in the air about some of the pros on the show using them. So I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile now: just a post setting the record straight, and hopefully addressing some of the misguided opinions I’ve heard about the use of outside choreographers on the show. Read more..
Fair warning: if you read the live blog or follow me on Twitter, you might get a tad bored with the power rankings this week – I’ve only filled in on the live blog for Heidi a handful of times, but each time the struggle is kinda the same, with me trying not to repeat the same thoughts over and over again, just worded a bit differently. I’ve tried to go more in-depth than what I said in the live blog or the snippets I gave on Twitter, but overall, the sentiments are kinda the same. Sorry guys – blame New Orleans and its tasty cuisine for distracting Heidi 😛
I think this season, more than any other season in recent years that I can think of, the judges are being extra stingy with the points, and seem to be very careful about whom they reward them to and how many they reward. Is this the true drawback of having so much talent in one season – suddenly dances that would have probably gotten 9’s or even 10’s on another season, are lucky to get straight 8’s? Also a drawback, and one we’ve seen develop a bit more in the past two weeks – it’s harder to determine what your narrative for the season is going to be when you start off thinking certain contestants are going to thrive, and they end up not doing so; likewise, a contestant you had written off as being mediocre and nothing to sneeze at could come out of nowhere and overshadow your “chosen ones”. I think we witnessed the narrative starting to change last night – I started to see the judges (or at least one of the judges) begin to wean themselves off of certain contestants that weren’t up-to-snuff, and started to gravitate more towards contestants that were really starting to shine. Will be interesting to see if this direction continues, or continues to evolve as the season goes on…
…once again, last night’s elimination was no surprise; but at the very least, Mischa went out on a high note, and looked like she was finally able to let go and have fun. And midway through the show, while watching Jodie’s package, I had a bit of an epiphany about Mischa: she’s Jodie from five years ago. She’s in the early stages of sobriety, just trying to find her footing on the shaky ground of recovery, and cautiously just trying to navigate through life at this stage. What’s to say that if Jodie had done the show five years ago, she wouldn’t have had the same struggles Mischa had this season? Or if Mischa had done DWTS five years from now – maybe her journey would have ended up more like Jodie’s? Just food for thought, and I wish Mischa the best – I just feel like maybe this was not the right time in her life for an experience like this, and it didn’t matter who her partner was…she just wasn’t ready. But anyway – from here on out is where the eliminations start to get murky and probably painful. There isn’t really anyone left that I strongly dislike (hell, I wouldn’t even say I strongly disliked Geraldo or Mischa – I just acknowledged that they weren’t right for the show), and with the scores so close together, they really do seem to be tossing it to the fans to decide. Heidi’s numbers post will be an interesting read later this week… Read more..
As we mentioned yesterday, Mark was seen around the rehearsal studio yesterday, which seems to indicate that he is still very much in the competition this season. Now we have a bit more behind-the-scenes info to share…
…according to a source, Mark is still injured, and given the nature of the injury, it seems potentially serious (I’m guessing they’ll share his diagnosis in the package on Monday). Mark is currently trying to rest his back as a result. HOWEVER, Mark has every intention of dancing with Paige on Monday if he’s able, and is still very much Paige’s partner. Alan & Hayley have both been assisting them during rehearsals for their paso doble, but Mark is running the show – his concept, his choreography. From the impression I got – the situation is still very up-in-the-air, but Mark is determined to dance.
I think the captions on the Instagram picture of Paige & Alan he posted on Tuesday very clearly indicate that he intends to remain Paige’s partner this season:
Really proud of @PaigeVanzantUFC she looked so beautiful out there, I was blown away by her infectious energy and her ability to handle this rough situation.. Also got to say a big Thank you to @alanbersten “Alaaaan” for stepping up to the plate. I’ll be back #DWTS #powrightinthekisser Make sure you vote for my girl.. No one is safe..
So what do I make of this? Well I think all the Alan fans that seem to be creeping out of the woodwork, hoping that Mark will “give Alan a shot at being a pro” need to slow their roll quite a bit, because I don’t think Mark has any intention of giving Paige up without a fight – and rightfully so. I remember Deep Throat telling me how absolutely THRILLED Mark was to get Paige as a partner this season – he’d been hoping she’d get a shot on the show for awhile, and I’d even go so far as to guess that she was probably one of his “dream partners”. And Paige has got a great work ethic and a lot of talent – talent that I think is best harnessed by a seasoned pro with two MBT’s and a lot of choreography experience under his belt, and NOT a completely green, un-battle-tested newb from the troupe. This is quite possibly the most competitive season we’ve ever seen, kids – and if Paige wants a fighting chance (no pun intended) of lasting this season, Mark is her best bet. If anything, I think the rest of the pros this season would mop the floor with Alan, experience-wise, if he were suddenly to become Paige’s full-time partner – and the resulting failure could potentially torpedo any future shots at being a pro that he might have…think about it. This is quite possibly the WORST season to come in as a rookie pro and try to prove yourself…so why would you want to subject him to that? So you can watch him gyrate around with his shirt open and a dopey grin on his face? 🙂
Anyway, I wish Mark the speediest and most painless of recoveries, and I’ve got my fingers crossed he gets to dance with Paige on Monday 😉
ETA: Vogue here. Paige was on KTLA today. She talked on Dancing With The Stars and the accident with Mark last week. She also gives a report on Mark and says he’s still trying to find out what’s wrong with him (like Court reported). Right now she’s rehearsing with both Alan and Mark and isn’t sure what will happen on Monday night. More below…
According to E! Online, Baby Boy Boss entered the world on Easter Sunday:
E! News can confirm the Dancing With the Stars professional dancer gave birth to a baby boy, her first child with husband and So You Think You Can Dance star Stephen “tWitch” Boss on Easter Sunday. The baby weighed in at 8 lbs., 15 oz and was 22 inches long. As for his name, we’d love to introduce you to Maddox Laurel Boss.
“(Maddox’s birth) was truly an unforgettable moment and we are grateful to everyone that shared in the experience and made it so monumental. Our family feels full,” the couple said in a statement to E! News. “Maddox already has the best big sister Weslie, they have already bonded and share a truly beautiful love.”
A big congrats to Allison, Twitch, and Weslie on their newest family member 🙂 Cannot WAIT to see how gorgeous that child is!
Houston, we have a fairly unsettling problem (and no, it’s not Von’s insanely loud farting) – we have at least four pros who seriously did their partners a disservice last night with lackluster choreography. Whether it was misinterpreting the dance, throwing in too much extraneous stuff, or just wasting time, I saw a lot of issues that could have easily been avoided had the pros in question just buckled down and stuck to the basics. And this is a carry-over from last week, when I saw at least two pros giving their partners some kinda shitty choreography. Part of me wonders if the fact that the show’s best choreographer, Derek, isn’t there anymore to help keep the standard high is partially to blame – since nobody has to go toe-to-toe with Derek anymore, maybe some of the pros don’t feel the need to work as hard, and feel more comfortable just settling for mediocre choreography that busting their asses and cranking out something great. Just a theory – and probably not one that will make me very popular, but it is what it is.
Last night saw the giddy high of the premiere cooling off quite a bit, and the judges tending more towards the nitpicky where some couples were concerned. Part of me thinks Len being gone last season has done him more harm than good – it’s almost as if he forgot a bit about some of the pros’ penchants for “messing about” and it’s almost like reopening an old wound for him – he’s extra-cranky about it again, and I don’t get the feeling he’s having as much fun as he used to. Time will tell, I suppose.
To almost no one’s surprise, Geraldo & Edyta left us – I feel like the right couple went home, and if nothing else, they left on the high of giving us a ridiculously entertaining (or just plain ridiculous, depending on how you look at it) dance. And to Geraldo’s credit – I think he had a lot of fun on the show, even if he wasn’t a stellar dancer. I saw a few folks complaining that Edyta deserved a “better partner” and shouldn’t have had to leave so early, and it just kinda floors me because EDYTA WAS GONE FOR 6 YEARS AND THE CHANCES WERE SLIM TO NONE THAT SHE WOULD EVEN BE INVITED BACK. Edyta fans, I would just be thankful she was on the show at all – because the split she had with the show back in 2010 was a pretty acrimonious one, from what I hear, and she had basically torpedoed any chance she may have had at coming back. Seriously, they could’ve given her Verne Troyer as a partner and I think she would have been thankful for the opportunity. More and more, I’m just convinced that there is no pleasing some fans of this show… Read more..
Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.
That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression. As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.
Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.
Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability, and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… Read more..
*shakes head* Normally I wouldn’t even feel the need to post this, but after the last 24 hours or so and some of the nonsense I’ve had to field on Twitter, I feel like it was necessary…
…despite suspicions from some fans that a surprise “13th couple” was getting added to this season’s already stellar lineup, and that Ben Higgins was going to announce this morning on GMA that he was joining the cast, he confirmed to Variety Magazine that he is definitely NOT doing DWTS this season:
Higgins says he will not compete on ABC’s reality dance competition because he wants to focus on his engagement — but he did allude to an offer.
“My focus is not on what’s next. It’s on Lauren and I. Any decision that was made post show was based on what was best for us, and I believe that what’s best for us is to really concentrate on what’s best for us and to really spend as much time together as possible,” Higgins said.
Asked by Variety if he received an actually offer, “The Bachelor” tried to explain, saying, “Right now, a lot of those requests come down through the ABC pipeline so, I don’t want to call it offers, but just people asking if I’m interesting comes down from a group that is separate that me. Was I asked? I’m sure it was talked about.”
However — the couple will be watching “DWTS.” They agreed, “It’s a great cast!”
For once, a Bachelor contestant seems to recognize that doing DWTS immediately after he & his lady go public is maybe not the best thing for their relationship – just ask Chris & Whitney. Kind of refreshing…even if he come across kinda dodgy & redundant saying it 😛
I guess I have to place just a bit of the blame for the hoopla on this picture that Jenna posted on Instagram, though, as it seemed to whip fans into a frenzy, thinking “she got a promo shot, that means she’s a pro!”
ETA: Oh looky…promo pic of the whole troupe. Makes it a bit less suspicious that Jenna got her own, eh?
Also seeming to incite speculation about a thirteenth couple: the fact that Emma has deleted this post she made last week explaining that she’s taking a season off from the show. I’m guessing she took it down due to some of the irrational rage from fans in the comments section, as Emma has always done a stellar job of keeping things low-key and drama-free…but of course, some interpreted it as “she took it down because she got a partner after all!”
Apparently pointing out that a) we’ve never had 13 couples in a spring season, b) there were none of the typical smoking guns (subtle-as-a-sledgehammer clues during the cast announcement, pictures taken at McCadden, leaks from other media sources), and c) none of my sources have seen Emma at McCadden for the past 2 weeks, or have heard anything about a 13th couple, makes me a big ol’, spirit-crushing meanie to some on Twitter. Gosh, facts are so inconvenient sometimes, aren’t they? 😛 Denial is not just a river in Egypt, folks, and I just don’t see the point in indulging some kinda childish fantasies when I know for a fact that there are no more additions to the cast.
So what do I make of all this? I think TPTB were keeping either Emma or Jenna (or even both) in their back pocket, just in case Ben did sign on – the last time we reported, he was waffling pretty heavily. Could explain
why Jenna got a promo shot, and why Emma was seen rehearsing with the cast a few weeks back. However, as I told another Emma fan on Twitter – Emma’s a smart girl, and I think she may have recognized that potentially getting trouped was both a demotion and a pay cut, and likely not worth her time. She may have said “Y’know what? No thanks, I’ll sit this one out.” Which left Jenna – and then when Ben ended up passing on the offer, they just kept her in the troupe. This is all speculation on my part, but I think it makes sense. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Emma, and I do think Jenna will eventually become a pro – it’s just not happening this season. It’s already gonna be a bit of a bloodbath, with so many big names this season – if Ben had signed on, I doubt he would have lasted very long, anyway, up against the likes of Antonio, Ginger, Von, etc.
Soooo…can we all agree that this season has 12 couples now? 🙂
So we’re still a week away from showtime, and not yet a week out from the cast announcement – and we’ve seen relatively little of the celebs rehearsing so far. But like you guys, we Angels also get first impressions of the couples that start to shape our opinions over the season – so like so many of you have shared your early assessments, we thought we’d share ours as well 🙂
Who Stood Out At the Cast Announcement: I’ve said it multiple times already, but Wanya & Lindsay. They were one of the few couples that seemed completely at ease with one another, and came out confident and ready to have fun. That goes farther than you might think, coming right out of the gate – especially when so many of the other couples seemed very awkward & sedate at the announcement. As for who stood out in a not-so-good way – I’d have to say Mischa. Could have just been nerves, but the impression I got from her was “I would rather be anywhere else in the world right now.” Artem came across very excited and pleasant, though, so I’m hoping he might be able to bring some of that out in her. Read more..
As we usually do, here are our preliminary polls for this season – just based on first impressions from the cast announcement. As always, if you are just here to bitch, moan, and make snotty remarks about how “we haven’t even seen them dance yet!!!”, then go away – this poll clearly isn’t for you. It’s also not for anyone clinging to the hope that there will be a “surprise 13th couple!” added (FYI: there won’t be). For the rest of us, it’s a fun way to see where the couples stand coming out of the gate – and in previous seasons, it’s often been a decent predictor of who will actually win, or at least who will make the finale. So please, vote – and tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did 🙂
For me, my favorite couple right now is Wanya & Lindsay – felt they really came out strong & confident at the cast announcement, and seemed like one of the few couples that didn’t feel totally awkward. And after Lindsay had such an impressive showing with Alek last season, I’m finding myself really pulling for her.
As for who will win – I think it’s going to come down to Jodie & Antonio, with an outside chance of Ginger if the pimpage continues at the pace it seems to be going. But then again, we’ve never had a season like this before – so someone could totally come from behind and knock the MBT out of any of their hands. It’s definitely not a cut-and-dry season, by any means…
For those of you holding out for a glimpse of Emma in the troupe (or those of you in the fringe minority, hoping she’s a “surprise add” with Ben Higgins), we have some disappointing news – looks like Emma’s gonna be sitting this season out:
Gotta say – I’m sad about this, but I can’t say I’m surprised. She almost got trouped last season, and I think it was a bit silly to bring back a 6-years-defunct pro (Edyta) and stabling a current, much-beloved pro to accommodate it. Lots of speculation flying around about what Emma’s got lined up next – a stint on Strictly Come Dancing? Some other commitments? Let us know what you think…