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So, they fired the Orchestra? Here’s what we won’t get to see again!

This is just an appreciation post for the Orchestra, led by Harold the Amazing Musical Wizard! Without him, and the orchestra, DWTS probably wouldn’t have become the powerhouse show that it’s been for several years now. Without them, I think we will lose an integral part of the show, since Harold worked well with the pros to create the best music for each dance. Let’s face it, many songs that they’ve had to deal with were HORRIBLE choices, and Harold Wheeler and the Orchestra and our pros somehow managed to MAKE the songs and the dance styles fit together. Nathan’s post did a great job starting the discussion, and now we know that the orchestra has indeed been cut, all we can do is “deal with it” even if we don’t want to. I would MUCH prefer that they all be rehired, but I’m just one viewer, and what I want is supposed to be what they tell me I am supposed to want for the show, whether it’s what I really want or not. Yes, send emails. But if they get enough, will they simply delete unread? I’d LOVE if we could find a LOT of dances to put here, and hope that sometime, someone from our wonderful orchestra can read and realize how much we really appreciate how much they’ve done for DWTS. We know, and we appreciate, and we will remember. And THANK YOU for all of your hard work and dedication, they will not be forgotten.

I love that Harold was the one who did the musical arrangements for every song that they’ve played over the last 17 seasons. I love that he’s ALWAYS been very respectful of the music, of the original, and many times, of the professional dancer and the dance itself.

It can’t be easy to basically rewrite that many songs every week, so that they everything meshes best… Harold and the orchestra were truly the best!!

I’ve always loved the dances where the professional worked closely with Harold to change details in the songs to better fit the dance… Derek was always great with that, but several others were, too. I almost feel as if I’m in mourning for the loss of the orchestra, and the dancers ability to make better use of a crappy song.

I’d love to add as many dances to this post, so if you think of any, add it in the comments… DO NOT POST LINKS! but instead, PLEASE try to give me the couple and the season, and which dance style. I don’t know if I will be able to find them if you give me the song titles without the dance. They’ll be added when possible, please be patient.

First up, Maria and Derek’s rumba….. Madonna’s Material Girl as a rumba? Without the orchestra’s genius, THIS never would have worked…
Maria and Derek’s Material Girl Rumba

Let’s not forget Season 17’s PLUGGED/UNPLUGGED challenge during semi-finals, where each couple did 2 different dance styles to the same song. That NEVER would have been possible without OUR orchestra. And, we have THESE dances to remember…

Amber and Derek’s Viennese Waltz to “Locked Out of Heaven”
Corbin and Karina’s rumba to “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
Leah and Tony’s Argentine Tango to “Bad Romance”
Jack and Cheryl’s Argentine Tango to “Roxanne”
Bill and Emma’s Argentine Tango to “Sexy and I Know It”

Jimmbboe loves Aaron and Karina’s Muppet Quickstep and I do too!

Susan2 loves Mario and Karina’s Tito Puente Mambo and Gilles and Cheryl’s “killer” Argentine Tango!

Sandy’s pick is Hines and Kym’s “Explosive” Paso Doble! Another great pick!

PLEASE keep them coming, I love reminiscing like this!

Rich loved Nicole and Derek’s Foxtrot and while watching that, I found another of MY favorites, Nicole and Dereks Im-PASO-ble 1950’s Paso Doble

I found some CAN’T LEAVE OUTS!

Shawn and Derek’s Knight Rider Bhangra! Hard for both the orchestra and dancers, I’d say!

Helio and Julianne’s Mambo VS Shawn and Derek’s Mambo


Helio and Julianne’s Quickstep VS Shawn and Derek’s Quickstep

Here’s more from Craig:

Nicole and Derek’s Pretty Woman Tango

Nicole and Derek’s SOS Jive

Emmitt and Cheryl’s All-Star Cha Cha to Chain of Fools

Ingo and Kym’s Cha Cha from Len’s Side by Side Challenge

Jacoby and Karina’s Jive from Len’s Side by Side Challenge

Kellie and Derek’s Foxtrot from Len’s Side by Side Challenge

February 5, 2014 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS17: Looking forward… I want to see an Underdog Charmer!

I’m raising my hand, and admitting that some of my FAVORITE contestants on DWTS since season 3, have been the ones that didn’t win… The ones who had a LOT going against them even before they started the season. How many times have we heard one of the following about a contestant?

“How could they cast….?” “NO ONE is ever going to vote for…” “I hope they quit before they start and save themselves the embarrassment!” “Does anyone ever google and see how awful this person is???” It’s DEFINITELY not fair to anyone, when we say or hear things like that. They’re the ones who put themselves out there on the show, and they’re the ones who ended up showing us someone completely different than what we thought. With the help of a very patient professional, they’ve been able to surprise us, and sometimes themselves, and shown a completely different person than who we thought we would see! I love watching the transformations of each of the contestants, and I always love to “see” someone grow and blossom!

This by far ISN’T going to be a complete list, but here are some Underdog Charmers from previous seasons.

Andy Dick from Season 16 taught by Sharna Burgess. Andy’s fresh in our minds, and I am NOT going to go back through his history, since it wasn’t that long ago that it was all brought up again. But, he DEFINITELY ended up charming everyone, and showing a side of himself that I don’t know he even knew he had!
Here’s Andy’s dances for you to enjoy again!Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4Week 5 Week 6Week 7

Lil Kim from Season 8 and Joanna Krupa from Season 9 both taught by Derek Hough. I’m putting both of them together for a reason. Kim came into her season with people determined to hate her, thinking that there was NO WAY that she should be on, since she had spent some time in jail. Joanna came into her season after attempting another reality competition show, where she was paired with a professional athlete, and had a public breakdown, with many words said that were not repeatable. And, since that show aired not long before her season of DWTS, it was fresh in people’s minds, and again, she came in as an underdog. Here are most of their dances to relive!
Lil Kim: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9
Joanna: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9 *I did not include Week 5 for Joanna, because Derek was ill with the flu, and was replaced by Maks for that week only. I could have included that week, but chose not to, just to make it easier on me.

Adam Carolla from Season 6 taught by Julianne Hough. Adam is the first one that I can remember, where there was “visible noise” surrounding his announcement, both over his questionable past, and being paired with Julianne. They even had precautions in place, since they weren’t sure “who” he would end up being on the show. I remember that the trigger-happy censors were so sure that he would need to be bleeped, that they ended up bleeping Julianne instead! He survived 4 weeks, against all odds! It was fun rewatching his dances, because he definitely knew how to crack everyone up back stage! Week 1 Week 2 Week 3Week 4

Soo…… I didn’t put everyone that I could have included in this post, we’ve had MANY contestants that would fit here, so I’m looking to do more posts, with MORE of our Underdog Charmers! Who would YOU include, and why? Who do you think people were NOT looking forward to see dance, because of their pasts, only to be charmed by THEM?

August 6, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS16: How are our New Pros doing so far?

Well, we’ve completed 3 weeks of Season 16, and I think it’s time to look at our new pros, and hear some comments from you. I figured that now is a good time to start, since we still have all 3 of the new pros, I’m not sure how long they’ll last. So, I think it’s Interim Report time!

To review, we’ll see the Ladies First….

LINDSAY ARNOLD is our youngest at 19, and came to us from this past summer’s SYTYCD. She’s paired with Victor Ortiz, a boxer.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 for Week 1.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 2 Jive They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18, and 36 for the first two weeks. They landed in the bottom two in the first Results show.
Victor and Lindsay’s Week 3 Contemporary They earned an 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23 for week 3.
They earned 59 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

SHARNA BURGESS came to us first in the Troupe, where honestly, I didn’t notice her much, other than as a brunette among a sea of blonde female dancers. She’s paired with Andy Dick, a comedian.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 5, 6 for 17 points for week 1.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 2 Jazz They earned a 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20 points, and 37 for the first 2 weeks. They were placed In Jeopardy in the first Results show.
Andy and Sharna’s Week 3 Cha Cha Cha They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 points for week 3. They were placed in the Bottom 2 in the Results show.
They earned 55 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

GLEB SAVCHENKO is originally from Russia, but came to us from Australia, where he was a professional dancer on DWTS Australia last year. He is paired with Lisa Vanderpump, a Real Housewife and restauranteur.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 1 Foxtrot They earned a 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 points for week 1.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 2 Jive They earned a 6, 6, 6 for 18 points for week 2 and a total of 36 for the first two weeks. They were in the bottom 2 in the Results show.
Lisa and Gleb’s Week 3 Viennese Waltz They earned a 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
They earned 57 points for the first 3 weeks of competition.

MY THOUGHTS: Looking at just the scores, Read more..

April 8, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Pure DWTS 16: Our condolences go out to Carrie Ann

This past Monday was a very emotional one for Carrie Ann, her father, Rodney, passed away this past Thursday.

In her Style Blog in People, Carrie Ann talks about her dress and jewels for the show, but also opens up about losing her father.

Monday night’s fashion choices were important because it was the premiere … but also for other, personal reasons. I needed to feel safe and comfortable. You see, last night was really emotional for me.

My father, Rodney Y. Inaba, passed away this past Thursday morning and it’s been a really challenging time. Losing a loved one is something that is so very hard to understand and cope with. I’m filled with a tremendous sadness but also a relief, for he is in a better place now.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it through the show with all the emotions that have been overflowing. But I felt my father’s spirit was with me last night, supporting me and cheering me on. And I dedicated the show to him, in gratitude for all that he taught me about life; for his bravery, his courage, his huge heart and his love for the underdog.

He was a special man and to know him was to love him. He was a pioneer, an entrepreneur, an animal lover and he was never afraid to speak his mind. I think I got some of this from him. I’m grateful for the gifts he has bestowed upon me. And in honor of my father, I chose to do the first show and not take the time off because in my heart, I know he would have wanted it that way.

I want to thank my team (hairstylist Anna Maria Orzano, makeup artist Jojo McCarthy and my stylist Kit), Len, Bruno and the ABC and BBC family for supporting me throughout this challenging time and for helping me through the first show.

Dad, I know you’re up there dancing in joy (he used to do a little ballroom/social dancing when he was in the service). I love you.

Carrie Ann, everyone here at Pure DWTS are very sorry for your loss, and can understand the difficulty you’re going through right now.

March 20, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS16: Introducing our NEW TROUPE MEMBERS!

Well DWTSers, it looks like they’re expanding the Troupe this year, from 6 dancers to 8! Sharna was promoted out of the troupe this season, so we knew we would get at least one new pro troupe members. Instead, we get THREE!

First, ELENA SAMODANOVA… She comes to us from Australia’s DWTS, like Gleb, who is one of our new teaching pros.

Elena was born in a dance family so she started dancing before walking. Since her infant years Elena has always been on the dance floor dancing to all different styles of music..

During her youth Elena has won many Russian championships and awards in Latin American and Ballroom genres internationally.
Elena became a professional dancer at the tender age of 16 and she became the “World Youngest Professional Latin American Dancer” and soon after such, Elena was ranked the Top 20 dance couple in the world ranking in Latin American genre. Even since she has been performing, teaching and competing all over Europe and Asia.

The next decade marked further special achievements in Elena’s career in which she won many more international competitions and championships around the world. In 2009 she hit the Top 10 professional dancers in the World ranking of Latin American. Elena’s titles include being the Asian Professional Champion, Hong Kong Champion, Japanese Champion, Singaporean Champion and England Champion.

Elena has obtained her official certificate as a professional Latin American and Ballroom professional dance teacher and has the highest credentials and qualifications to teach in Russia, Hong Kong, England and Australia.
At this moment Elena Samodanova is the National Australian Professional Latin American Champion having won the 4 major dance titles down under and as a result she will now be representing Australian on the next World Dance Championship this November. This year Elena also makes her DANCING WITH THE STARS debut.

ADDING: What fun! I finally realized that I could possibly find more about our new troupe dancers on You Tube! Elena WAS on DWTS Australia, but my computer wasn’t cooperating with me to play any of those videos! However, I DID find one of her dancing the Paso with Gleb! And, since he’s a New Pro, and one we HAVEN’T seen dance yet, here’s our opportunity!
Elena and Gleb dancing Paso at a private function, 2009(ish)

Second, WITNEY CARSON… Witney competed this past summer on So You Think You Can Dance along side her friend Lindsay, who is now one of our new teaching pros.

Witney Carson was born and raised in American Fork, UT. Witney has been dancing since the age of 3; training, performing, and competing has been her life. Her specialty dance is Ballroom. She recently graduated from American Fork High School, and is ready to start her new adult life!

ADDING: A video from SYTYCD, which seems to be the first week of competition?? (I didn’t watch) She’s dancing Samba with her partner Chehon.
Witney and Chehon, “So You Think You Can Dance” 2012


Unfortunately, my search has come up scarce, and all I could find on Julz is what’s on his twitter bio, Dancing With The Stars season 16 cast member. International Ballroom and Latin American Champion, Dance Teacher/Coach, Model, Actor and a whole lot more people. That, and he has Gleb and Jason Gilikson on his facebook friends list.

ADDING: Julz was dancing in Australia on the show, “Everybody Dance Now 2012″ which ran only one season, and was cancelled. I did find one video with him dancing with his partner Annalisa. He’s in the first 5 minutes of the video…
Julz and Annalisa, “Everybody Dance Now” Australia 2012

If you know or can find anything more on Elena, Witney or Julz, PLEASE let us know in the comments, with url or documentation, and we’ll add it and credit you. Unfortunately, all 3 are new to me.


ADDED: A couple videos from @ButterflyWhirl, thank you!

Witney, Lindsay and Nick doing a ballroom trio, SYTYCD 2012
Elena and her partner Shannon Noll, DWTS Australia 2012

March 15, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Pure DWTS in Sandy’s Path

Hey there everyone!

I don’t need to tell anyone about the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, and how she is going to pummel the NorthEast of the United States. I don’t need to tell anyone that this is an icredibly HUGE storm, and that it isn’t going to simply “go away with only a whisper.” Yes, it would be nice!

Already in the comments, I’ve seen people mention that they’re in the path, and I’ve seen others asking for safety…

One reason I like this site, is that people who are here regularly develop a camaraderie, and a friendship and a respect, even though we all have different thoughts and feelings and favorite pros and celebrities. We find friendships. Read more..

October 28, 2012 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dance of the Day: We’re going FREESTYLING!!

AHHH!!! The Finale!! Home of the FREESTYLE! The one time of the year where the rule book can be tossed out, and ANYTHING GOES! In the prior twelve seasons, we’ve seen some bad freestyles, some good freestyles, and some GREAT freestyles!

All three Pro Dancers in the Finale this season have all been here before, we’ve seen them freestyling before…. Karina, unfortunately, wasn’t successful in her bid for the Mirror Ball full of Glitter dust, with Mario Lopez…. (joking…. Probably is empty, but they SHOULD have some glitter dust inside, for memories of their season…) but still choreographed an awesome freestyle! Cheryl was successful, she is our DWTS FIRST back to back winner, first with Drew Lachey, and second with Emmitt Smith. She also performed a freestyle with Gilles Marini, and lost out in an extremely close final vote. She also appeared with Christian de la Fuente. Derek has also had three trips to the finales and, so far, is unbeaten.

I really think we will be in for a FANTASTIC finale this week! All three pros are fabulous teachers, and know how to show their celebrity-partner to their advantage, and all are fantastic choreographers! Now, I know that Courtney and Heidi have put Mario and Karina’s into their dishonorable mention category, I do think it had quite a bit of “him” in it. And a big problem that it probably had, is that they did start dating while they were working together. Since this season, I do think that Karina has become MUCH better at working with her partner, and choreographing to their strengths, like Cheryl and Derek do. Besides, this is her ONLY trip to the finale.

While we’re waiting for Monday to arrive, we’ll re-watch the freestyles from Karina, Cheryl and Derek, the first time they each appeared in the finale.

First up, Season 2, CHERYL BURKE, in her first season on DWTS, dancing with Drew Lachey.

Read more..

November 21, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Halloween Dancing preview… A review of Season 3

There were a few ways to review this week, and I went back and forth for a while, trying to decide. I thought about the Halloween dances, and the team dances from the past. Since many of the songs are duplicates, I thought about finding all of the prior dances to those songs. But, my search skills on youtube stink and that failed, so instead, I found the dances from Season 3, Week 8, when they performed on Halloween. And, SOME are duplicate songs for this week!!

So, enjoy these Halloween dances, and GET READY for more great dances tonight!
Addams Family with Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska dancing Tango

Sympathy For The Devil with Joey and Edyta dancing Paso Doble

Witchcraft with Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke dancing foxtrot

Spooky with Emmitt and Cheryl dancing rumba

Superstition with Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff dancing samba

Dark Waltz with Mario and Karina dancing Waltz… Get your tissues ready! They should have won their season!

Somebody’s Watching Me with Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel dancing tango

Ghostbusters with Monique and Louis dancing Cha Cha Cha

October 31, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Quick Quiz……

I’ve been here and there on the internet to try to find some information I need. DWTS had a performance show on Halloween before, so be on the look out for eventually seeing a review of that past performance show. Season 3, week 8, by the way. Also, trying to figure out the team dances…

Meanwhile, I found a lot of interesting stuff, and anyone who is “into” trivia may be interested. So here’s how it’s going to work…. I’ll post a few questions, and you answer in the comments. Simple. All the answers can be found if you look, and I’ll try to make some easy, and some not so easy. I’ll post tomorrow in the comments the correct answers, or if people found the correct answers! OH! And some of the questions MAY NOT refer to just our version…


1.) How many celebrities have withdrawn from the US version of the show?

2.) How many professionals have had back to back wins?

3.) There are versions of the show in over 30 countries around the world, and so far, there have been 2 Dancing With The Stars World Championships. Name the country that came in first place in the first one.

That’s it! Happy hunting!

October 27, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing With The Stars Past GROUP DANCE Review!

This is going to be quick, not much commentary, just the facts. Or rather, the videos. I’ve found myself much busier than I plan to be… But, to get us ready for the fun Group Dance, I’m searching for the videos of the group dances from past seasons. When possible, I’ll post the practice sessions, also.

Season 1, Viennese Waltz. Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts, John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo, Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso.

Season 2, Salsa. Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya, Lisa Rinna and Louis Van Amstel, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani, George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, Tia Carrere and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

Season 3 Disco. Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Season 4 Swing. Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts,John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke

Season 5 Rock and Roll Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Jennie Garth and Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas, Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani, Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska, Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy

Season 6 Country Western. Sorry, my brain has melted, and I don’t remember the names of the people I’m seeing in the video….. I know them all, but their names are no longer connected. In my brain.

Season 7 Old School Hip Hop Thanks to Gitte and Elara for helping to find this one….

Season 8 1960’s.Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower, Lil Kim and Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke

Season 9 Hustle. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson, Joanna
Krupa & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (in the place of Derek Hough who was out with the flu), Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova and Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

I think that’s all…

October 24, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..