It’s that time of year once again, boys and girls – time for Pro Watch. It will be very interesting to see what happens this year, after they let go of the band. That was a huge cost savings to them. The question is: are they looking to save even more money (say goodbye to Derek and possibly Cheryl) or have they saved so much that they can afford the popular, long term pros that have kept people coming back to this show season after season? I personally think that they will do what they can to hold on to Derek – he’s an Emmy winner and that’s very helpful to the show’s cache. I think they will also do their best to hold on to Cheryl, Karina and Mark. I’m GUESSING that Val and Tristan are still locked into contracts that are beneficial to ABC so they aren’t in question as long as they find a partner for them. As always, I could be wrong. Read more..
Just a quick side note before I break down last night’s show: after perusing Facebook & Instagram last night and witnessing some of the irrational and illogical outrage from some viewers following Liz’s elimination (and Bill’s continued presence), I have to say – I’m so grateful for our intelligent, logical, and rational readers here at Pure Consider this an early addition to my “things that I am thankful for” list that my family usually recites when we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner – I am thankful for the fact that our readers understand how this show works, and their level of intellectual maturity prevents them from shooting their mouths off and making utter and complete fools of themselves on social media because they have no control over their knee-jerk emotional impulses. So from me to you guys – thank you for not making me bang my head against a wall in frustration The level of stupid on Facebook & Instagram…it hurts…
…moving right along, there was some definite iffy scoring last night, and the judges seemed to be trying like hell to shield both Liz and Leah…although the former seemed to be beyond help, as she got sent home. Can’t say that any of us were terribly surprised by it – we’ve been saying since before the show started that Liz seems to have a problem connecting to the viewing audience, and her lack of relevance in recent years might have contributed to her struggle for votes. I also wonder if her bizarre (and kinda self-indulgent…) jazz routine last week contributed to her downfall – I saw a few remarks about how her demand to change the song at the last minute seemed a little “diva-ish”. Plus that dance was just really a stinker. She had an ok-to-decent night last night – her Viennese waltz, while a bit overwrought with emotion, was actually pretty nice to watch; thought the choreography for her salsa trio was a bit odd (what was with that “cradling the baby” move they all three were doing for what seemed like a long ass time???) and there were a few timing issues (which, of course, the judges conveniently missed), but was overall a relatively decent effort for the trio round. But in the end – she just didn’t get the votes, just like Christina, Snooki, & Brant. Sh*t happens, kids.
1.) Corbin & Karina – Corbin finally seemed to regain his stride this week with two good dances. I thought he may have gotten nitpicked to death on his waltz (then again, just about everyone did the first round, except the golden girl, Leah), as I found it to be near-flawless – even Mama Spence remarked that he seems to really “get” the concept of rise and fall, and does it without even thinking. Thought they got a bit shafted with their song choice – “Apologize”? Which has been used as a rumba several times on this show? So what are they doing now – just picking random non-dance-appropriate songs and saying “Hey Harold, can you tweak the arrangement of this one so it’s a waltz?” Reminds me of a CD I had back when I first started doing ballroom that had “My Heart Will Go On” rearranged as all the different dances – there was even a paso doble version! But anyway. I think they owned the trio round, by far – I thought their jazz trio was the most interesting and engaging to watch, and was the only trio where the celeb really seemed to dominate. I had to chuckle to myself as I was watching, as I had heard a lot of complaints about them picking Witney – apparently some think she “steals the show” – but I barely even noticed Witney this time, because Corbin was just owning the whole damn thing. I barely noticed Karina, either – but since the whole point of the trio is to showcase the celeb, I think they succeeded. Barring any nitpicking-to-death by the judges next week (and who knows what those knuckleheads are going to do), I think he ought to be headed to the finale.
2.) Amber & Derek – I kinda feel bad for Amber, because I feel like her knee injury is really starting to limit her movement – she’s doing the best she can, no doubt, but I’m really starting to notice how she has to baby her knees while dancing. Thought her quickstep was cute and she sold it well (as she does with every dance, every week), but she seemed to move really, really tiny and cautious during the stationary sections, and because she was moving so gingerly, she seemed to get a little off-time and off-kilter. And in a routine that was that short – I think she probably needed to really make a splash. Still thought the judges nitpicked her to death, though – and the fact that she 3 points less than Leah, who has moved itty-bitty each & every week? Ridiculous. I enjoyed her trio – it was cute, and I think the choreography was clever in that it was fun to watch while still keeping Amber relatively stationary. Could it have used a little more hip action? Sure. But I also think Liz’s salsa trio was totally off-time (which is an even bigger offense in my mind) and she still managed to get a 30…so why saddle Amber with a 27? I’m guessing the judges are trying to make things look like a tight race headed towards the semifinals and finals, so they’re really nitpicking to death the couples that stand the best chance of advancing…and they’re babying the ones that aren’t so likely to do so.
3.) Leah & Tony – *gritting teeth* I can’t believe these two knuckleheads are still here, let alone that I have them this high on the list – but with each week that passes and Leah gets coddled by the judges for non-event dances, the more I’m convinced that they’ve decided that they need her in the finale. Seriously, no other couple last night got as babied as these two – everyone else either got nitpicked to death (Corbin, Amber, Jack) or totally hosed (Bill), and Leah got a tongue bath a cushy scores once more. That tango had so little impact, at one point Mama Spence looked over at me and said “Wait…what dance are they doing again?” It was that “small” and soft that she could not even figure out what dance it was supposed to be. And then that trio – I’m sure Tony just thought he was the most clever & innovative choregrapher ever for coming up with that nonsense. But herein lies the fishy part: do you think any of the couples would be ballsy enough to poke fun at the judges…unless they knew they were safe? Just food for thought. If it were me, just knowing how petty the judges can be (Carrie Ann in particular), I wouldn’t have chanced it. But anyway – once again, Leah barely moves, and her kicks & flicks looked more like what I do to nudge the cat away from food that has dropped on the floor than it did proper jive technique. Tony & Henry did all the heavy lifting, and Leah just stood there, barely moving, and looking smug…likely because she knew she wasn’t gonna get called out for anything. I’ve been saying it for weeks, but I’ll say it again: Leah needs to get gone…like yesterday. But now I’m legitimately worried that they’ve decided to coddle her all the way into the finale, and that she stands a decent chance of ousting one of the two frontrunners (Corbin & Amber) for 2nd place. Blech.
4/5.) TIE: Jack & Cheryl and Bill & Emma – Both couples gave a valiant effort last night, but I worry that they simply don’t fit into the judges’ “dream finale” and thus will probably get hosed next week. Which sucks, because I’d rather see either of these two over Leah, ANY DAY. Jack seemed to own the ballroom round, and has really hit a nice stride heading into these last few weeks – really extends his arms, has a great sense of timing, and nails the rise and fall. Just lovely to watch. Thought he & Cheryl’s samba trio with Sharna was cute & funny – and the best they could have done given that they got one of the hardest dances to do a trio with. Going the comedy route was probably a wise choice – sure, there could have been more hip action, and maybe he got a little bit off-time, but I was still smiling as I watched it God bless Bill & Emma – they know they’re going to get hosed pretty much every week, but they still go out there and give it their all, and make it fun to watch nonetheless. Thought the Charleston had a cute theme and Bill did the best he could with it – but really, Charleston is one of those dances I really can’t judge anyone too harshly on, because it’s not exactly easy to pick up and there’s not a whole lot to it. I’d just assume get rid of it completely on the show, but you know that won’t happen. Loved the trio with Peta for it’s ridiculous train-wreck appeal – that song was absolute crap, and the dance they had to do to it was absolute crap…so they gave the judges absolute, trippy, hiliarous crap It was self-acknowledgingly bad – all three of them knew it, and were in on the joke. I think that was part of the appeal – the Katy Perry-esque costumes for the girls, and Bill in all his Willy Wonka’d glory. It was AWESOMELY bad I think it’s quite obvious which of these two the judges want gone (Bill) and who they want to stay (Jack) – but next week, who’s gonna have the votes to pull them through to the finale? I think Bill has proven he’s got some decent voting leverage (enough to negate the hosing from the judges), but will it be enough to get back the points Jack will likely get from the judges? Will either of them have the juice to oust Leah? Time will tell, I guess…
So what did you guys think of last night’s show? Where do you think the couples stand headed into the semifinals?
So my friend Amanda over at PureSYTYCD shot me a tweet this afternoon – she gets to go to the SYTYCD live show tonight in Atlanta, and she happened to run into some of the cast at the mall earlier today. She apparently got to talk to Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall (co-winner of the most recent season of SYTYCD), and according to him, someone from his season “will be on DWTS next season”. He didn’t specify who, and he didn’t specify whether they’d be a pro or in the troupe – but there were 4 ballroom dancers on SYTYCD this season, so I figure he must be referring to one of them (although stranger things have happened…look at Tyne).
Yes, it’s probably a bit early for anyone to know for sure whether they’ll be on the show next season, but it did get me thinking: maybe TPTB are already scouting out new talent for next season, and they want to go fishing in the SYTYCD pool once more…so it might be possible that they’ve at least been “in talks” with some of the ballroom dancers from season 10 of SYTYCD about coming over to DWTS. If so…who could it be?
The four possible choices are Brittany Cherry, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, and Paul Karmiryan. Both Brittany & Jenna are part of the VIBE family that gave us Lindsay & Witney, so I’m guessing that by extension, they’ve also worked with Mark on more than one occasion. Both ladies have also appeared in guest dance numbers on DWTS before (see below – Brittany’s the brunette on the left, Jenna’s the one on the right). I don’t know quite as much about the guys – I know Paul actually won the Armenian version of SYTYCD a few years back and lives in California, and Alan comes from a dance family (his older brother also auditioned for SYTYCD, but the judges chose Alan) and lives in Minnesota.
If this little nugget of info is true, who do you guys think will be joining us on DWTS next season?
I’m personally leaning towards Jenna – she’s the VIBE connection, she went pretty far on SYTYCD, and she seems to have the same “big” personality on the floor that we see from Witney. Definite troupe material, IMO. Not sure I’d want any of these 4 to proceed straight to pro, but I think any of them would make a decent addition to the troupe. What do you guys think? Do you think we’ll be seeing any of these dancers gracing the DWTS floor next year?
DWTS Henry Byalikov Helps To Launch Premiere Date Of Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Watch Him Dance (Video)
Just a fun update on Dancing With The Stars Henry Byalikov! As you know, he’s been trying out for a part in “Strictly Ballroom The Musical” in Australia this summer. Yesterday, they held a media launch to announce it’s premiere date which will begin on March 25, 2014 at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, Australia. According to Playbill, “tickets will go on sale August 12th. The engagement is currently selling through June 1, 2014.” You can watch director Baz Luhrmann talking all about it and how the “musical” came to be below. Also, don’t miss seeing Henry dancing at the end. He’s the dancer in black and yellow sporting 80’s style stand up hair. Too fun and he is dancing wickedly as ever I must say.
Go Henry! We love you!! You can read even more on the new musical here.
It’s that time of year once again, boys and girls – time for Pro Watch. I’m starting it a bit earlier than normal because we’ve gotten confirmation about Derek and a maybe about Maks earlier than ever before, as I recall. While Derek often knows very early, he’s not usually big on sharing – that seems a bit different this year. He’s confirmed he’s back with both the LA Times and Access Hollywood when they asked him. Now, it’s possible that this could just mean he’s open to it, not that he has a partner, but I suspect if he wants to do it, he gets to do it.
Also, at the TCA Summer Tour, Paul Lee, the ABC President of Entertainment, was asked about Maks and he gave an answer that was interpreted by differently by different outlets. No shock there. Access Hollywood said he said Maks “may well be back” and TV Guide said he said “likely” be back – now, call me crazy, but those are actually different interpretations. So, I am going with “maybe likely” as a happy medium. Particularly after last season, when Maks himself was saying he was back and then he wasn’t. And sorry Maks fans – it’s not a sure thing because, contrary to your world view, the ratings didn’t actually go down because Maks wasn’t there – they have been on a constant downward trend for a few seasons now, including those when Maks was present. We’ve been writing about it for a few seasons now, including after All Stars which was down 20% from season 14 – Maks was on both seasons. Sixteen was lower again = downward TREND.
As for the rest?? Well, Lizzie was asking who we wanted Val to dance with this season, but that could well be a “if we talk like it’s true it will become true” PR style. I suspect he’ll be back though. I wouldn’t count on Gleb or Louis…and maybe not even Tony. I really think they need to give Henry a shot, and I expect that both Mark and Tristan will have spots. As for the ladies, I suspect that Cheryl and Karina, and possibly Sharna, are the only sure things. Everyone else seems like they could go either way.
The big question mark for me?? Will there be a troupe?? I suspect there will be, although we won’t see them nearly as much early in the season. Don’t worry, Troupe fans – if what Paul Lee says about a possible return to two shows a week in the spring is true, then all may not be lost.
ETA1 Vogue here with an UPDATE: According to Enstarz, Val Chmerkovskiy will be dancing in Dancing With The Stars Season 17. He not only told them he will be dancing, he also told them his dream partners as well as saying, “I just want a partner who is willing to work and has a strong work ethic” and “You can be a supermodel, an actress, an athlete… but to be a good partner, you have to be willing to put in the work.” Be sure to read the link for more!
ETA2: Chelsie could be “possibly in”. See this post for more details!!
ETA3 Vogue here again: Due to this tweet by Sharna, we suspect she might be “possibly in”.
ETA4 Vogue again: After discussing this with Court and the way she read Sharna’s tweet, we’ve decided together to take out “Possibly In” for Sharna. The pros may be posting optimistically looking forward to season 17 (or the craziness of it, etc), but, that doesn’t mean they are “in” or are “possibly in”.
ETA4: This is sad. I hate to even report this, but, according to US Weekly, Kym Johnson won’t be dancing this season. She tells the magazine, that she has an “amazing work opportunity back home in Australia.” More here. Thanks to Lori for the heads up. Also, Chelsie tweeted of receiving “good and bad news”. We have no idea what she’s referring to, but, we’re changing her status to “unknown”.
ETA5: Karina is IN per @DWTSGossip!
ETA6: @DWTSGossip is also reporting Peta, Cheryl, Tony, Val, and Mark “in” as well.
ETA7: The hits just keep on coming, as DWTSGossip tweets that Maks “will not be returning” for season 17. -Court-
ETA8: The day of the furious pro watch updates continues, as DWTSGossip reveals that Anna & Chelsie are out and that Lindsay & Emma are in…although the “I guess” at the beginning of her tweet seems to leave a bit of margin for error…-Court-
ETA9: And now we have a bit of news on Henry. We think he’s “Possibly in the Troupe” or been “Promoted” because of what was tweeted in this twitter exchange. As Court just wrote to me privately, the problem with the guys right now is that we don’t know if any of the male troupe members are getting promoted. So, Henry may be in the troupe or he may have gotten promoted based on the tweet. In conclusion, we’re going to side with caution and assume it’s the troupe. -Vogue and Court
ETA10 Vogue: DWTSGossip is reporting Sharna is also “in”! She’s also reporting via twitter that she knows for a fact Sasha is not a Pro “as of now”. @Dwtsgossip writes to us that Sasha may very well still be in the running. Also, Tristan and Gleb are not confirmed yet.
ETA11: Oksana is out via Val’s twitter. Though the tweet has now been deleted. So, we’re going to mark her as “possibly out”.
ETA12: Just a little update on Troupe member Julian Tocker. He has tweeted that he won’t be dancing full time because of the new format, but, we’ll still see him around. Sad as it makes you wonder if it will be the same for some or all of the troupe members? Also, and if there is a full time troupe, how many will there be in it?
ETA13: Some good news and some bad news today (depending how you look at it and who are your favorite pros). @DWTSGossip is reporting Tristan is “in”, but, Gleb” is “out” (sad, I was hoping to see him back). So, what does this mean for the 6th male spot left? Will it be filled by a returning Pro (Louis? or did they change their mind and decide to make Maks a pro?), a promotion for a troupe member (Sasha or Henry?), or will it be someone entirely new? Penny for your thoughts!
ETA14: Guess what Kids? @DWTSGossip says she got mixed up and Gleb is IN! YAY!
ETA15: I’m baaaaacccckkkk!! And here to report that @dwtsgossip just tweeted “Sasha dancing with Snookie?? Mark out??” Clearly, those are question marks, so don’t get too excited. If true, good for Markie – time to go full bore on that music career, bud. -Heidi
ETA16: And Markie is in…and Sasha may not be. @dwtsgossip can’t confirm him, but he/she can confirm Mark. Again, certain sources out there have a piss poor track record – dwtsgossip is not one of those, and neither is TMZ. I’ll leave it at that. But seriously people -always consider the source. And remember no one is infallible. Don’t get worked up until September 4th. p.s. see mark’s tweet to dwtsgossip.
ETA17: Heidi here to tell you that a few spots in Pro Watch may just be WRONG. Dead wrong. Sorry, that’s all I can say right now. We’re in for one surprise tomorrow and a couple other mild surprises. 😉 Maybe – take it with a grain of salt as usual when mysterious sources appear.
ETA18: Errr…well, the cat seems to be out of the bag on some other sites (and Heidi is already in bed), so here it goes: Lindsay has allegedly been downgraded to troupe along with Gleb, Sasha has allegedly been upgraded to pro from the troupe, and one of the “non-troupe lurkers” I mentioned almost a month ago, Tyne, has allegedly been fast-tracked straight to pro. Witney & Henry remain in the troupe, which is now only 4 strong. I’m not exactly happy with this new development (especially since Tyne, to my knowledge, is just a contemporary dancer), but I’m interested to see what you guys’ thoughts are…and keep in mind, this does seem to contradict some of what we’ve already heard from reputable sources, so take it with a grain of salt. -Court-
Derek – IN
Val – IN
Tony – IN
Mark – IN
Sasha – IN
Tristan – IN
Cheryl – IN
Tyne Stecklein – IN
Sharna – IN
Peta – IN
Karina – IN
Emma – IN
Out For the Season
Kym – judging position on DWTS Australia
Maks – OUT per DWTSGossip
Anna – OUT per DWTSGossip
Chelsie – OUT per DWTSGossip
Louis – OUT per Louis’ twitter
Lacey – Most Likely OUT
Super Troupers, Past and Present
Oksana Dmytrenko – OUT of the Troupe
Sasha Farber – Promoted to Pro
Henry Byalikov – IN Troupe
Emma Slater – Promoted to Pro
Kiki Nyemchek – OUT
Nicole Volynets – OUT
Ted Volynets – OUT
Dasha Chesnokova – OUT
Witney Carson – IN Troupe
Julian Tocker – Not dancing full time in troupe this season, but we’ll still see him around.
Gleb Savchenko – downgraded from pro to troupe
Lindsay Arnold – downgraded from pro to troupe
Sasha Farber gets down with Witney Carson! Whoa! Check them out at a Dance For Life Benefit last night!!
Now that’s a Cha Cha and I want that “Dangerous” remix! 😀 Thanks to Sasha for uploading.
He’s so funny. And a little nervous. I’ve put one song and one dance below, but check PureDerekHough.com for all the coverage on this event and the one later today. You can also see a TON of amazing pictures over at Getty.
The Paso Doble with Emma
In a previous posting we told you about a new Jeff Linett photo shoot with Dancing With The Stars Sasha Farber and girlfriend Emma Slater. Now one of the photos has been released for Agenda Magazine. The two Dancing With The Stars pros also speak about their experiences and highlights on the show with Agenda. Here is a take. I didn’t realize the pair helped to open the 2000 Olympics.
Combined, you both have an impressive dossier. Having appeared on several TV shows, concerts, and even the opening ceremonies at the 2000 Olympics, how did you pair up as dance partners?
That is the million dollar question. A lot goes into pairing up two people to dance together. From the look to the height to the hair color to the style of dance, it’s very important to have a great combination of two people. Dancing with the Stars has an amazing way of choosing its pros and celebrities. A lot of thought has to go into this VERY important process. It is an amazing thing when two people dance together. It’s just beautiful to watch.
In the ballroom world we have tryouts. This is when two dancers put a dance together, and dance it right through to see how they feel together. Most of the time our coaches are there watching to see if it looks dynamically right.
What is it like to choreograph and dance on Dancing with the Stars? Do you have a favorite celebrity dance partner?
We love to choreograph for Dancing with the Stars, and last season Emma and I did some great numbers to [the music of] Stevie Wonder, Hunter Hayes, Olly Murs, Iconic Pop, Huey Lewis and the News, and lots more. So it was a great season for us, and we enjoyed every single moment. Who is our our favorite celebrity? We would probably say all of them.
What are some of the highlights of working on the show?
To be honest, being among so many great people and dancers, and always taking things to the next level. One of our highlights has to be choreographing the finale opening number on Monday night!
Don’t miss reading more at Agenda Magazine.
Hey, be sure to check out Sasha Farber’s Facebook page when you get a chance. He and girlfriend and fellow dancer Emma Slater have been taking pictures for a new photo shoot with photographer Jeff Linett. This isn’t the first time the famed photographer has taken some pictures of pros from Dancing With The Stars. He’s also taken pictures of Peta Murgatroyd. As you can see, Jeff has a very creative eye.
Also, just think!! Soon Emma Slater will be taking off for England to be a pro on Strictly Come Dancing. She must be getting so excited. If you haven’t read on this news yet, you can do so here. It makes me wonder who will take her place on the US version of the show …if anyone?? With the Dancing With The Stars trims and cuts planned for next season, the troupe could be in trouble. We’ll see?
It sounds like troupe member, Emma Slater, won’t be returning to Dancing With The Stars next season? BBC News is reporting that Emma has landed a new pro position on the UK’s “Strictly Come Dancing”. She is one of four new pros replacing older pros. Below is more….
It only seems like yesterday that we dusted off the glitter of last year’s triumphant Grand Final, and now with the a new series in the not too distant future, we have news to announce at Strictly HQ.
This year we’ll be waving goodbye to Flavia, Vincent, Erin and Aliona. After many successful series entertaining the nation with their spectacular Ballroom and Latin routines, our much loved pro-dancers will be hanging up their Strictly shoes. It won’t be the last that you will see of them though, Flavia and Vincent promise to return to deck the halls with glitterballs, for the Christmas special.
So we are very pleased to reveal four new incredible professional dancers who will take to the floor in the autumn…Emma Slater
To read the full story, visit BBC News.
CONGRATULATIONS Emma, but, we will miss you!! Thanks to PureDWTS reader Jen for this news.