DWTSGossip dropped this interesting tidbit yesterday:
Which seems to point to Len finally bowing out as head judge, and some new blood being brought in to round out the panel. All signs seem to point to a male judge (not sure I could handle a panel of Carrie Ann “I Score with My Vagina, Not My Brain” Inaba, Bruno the Flamboyant, and Julianne, who can be a bit hit-or-miss), and a lot of folks seem to think it’s Tony – likely because he expressed interest in the position in an interview recently. Others are throwing out Louis & Maks’ names, and yet others are thinking it’s someone different altogether – I fall in the latter, as my gut is telling me that DWTS might borrow from another country’s version of the show and tap Jean Marc Genereaux from Danse avec les Stars in France (and DWTSGossip did mention that he/she had heard that DWTS France “would be involved in some way”). I think there’s also a possibility that DWTS may try to “borrow” one of the ballroom choreographers from SYTYCD (Jean Marc or Tony Meredith fit the bill), or we might see Corky’s name thrown back in the mix. I do think the new judge will likely be someone who specializes in ballroom, though, as Len’s shoes are big ones to fill in terms of ballroom experience.
So assuming all of this is true – who do you guys think the new judge might be, and why? Tell us in the poll and the comments!
They got one season to show us their stuff as a pro – and then we never saw them (as a pro) again. They’re the pros whose tenure on DWTS was woefully short, and for some of them, we wonder if things had been different if they had gotten a different partner, or had a bit more experience, etc. etc. etc. But I keep seeing a few names in particular that seem to pop up in the comments section, and it got me thinking: is it time for TPTB to revisit some of these names as pros again? Let’s hear what you think – which one of these one-and-done pros was your favorite? And which one would you like to see as a pro again?
For me, it was a no-brainer: Sasha. I think the dude’s only shortcoming (no pun intended) is that he’s simply too small in stature to be a suitable partner for the bulk of the female celebs that get cast. After seeing how great of a substitute partner he was to Nastia last season, and how he does whatever is asked of him without complaint – I’m convinced that we could see AMAZING things out of Sasha as a pro, if they would only give him another shot. I hear the Olsen twins are short…and not really up to much these days 😉
Oddly enough, the other pro I found myself curious about was Anna Demidova – I remember that she actually was quite good with Michael Irvin, and seemed to be a teacher that was very good at communicating with and motivating her partner. Found myself thinking of Gleb, too – he may not have really shined terribly brightly with Lisa, but once he moved over to DWTS Russia I think he really hit a nice stride. Would he be able to hang with our pros, though? Who knows…
So I was eating my lunch outside today (since it was the first day in quite some time that wasn’t rainy) with some coworkers, when the topic of my favorite DWTS contestant of all-time, Alfonso Ribeiro, came up. We had been talking about the celebrity golf tournament he was in this past weekend (Vogue reported on it here, if you haven’t seen it yet), and the fact that he did the Carlton, and I think I said “He’s probably the best male dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” To which another coworker replied “Nah, Corbin Bleu was the best dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” And of course, a debate commenced over who was the better technician, who was the better entertainer, who was more athletic, etc. etc. etc. We ended up agreeing to disagree, but it got me thinking: really & truly, out of the 20 seasons we’ve had – who is the best guy we’ve seen, and who’s the best girl?
I did a bit of a snap poll on Twitter, but I figured “Why not make it a bit more official?” and do an actual poll here? So below, I picked the most likely candidates for who would likely qualify for “best dancer” on DWTS – most would probably fall under the “ringer” category, but that’s kind of expected when we’re voting on dance skills alone. Keep in mind that it’s not about popularity, or how well-known they were when they did the show – just dance skills & presentation, period; and independent of any previous training they might have had – so no “Well so-and-so was better because they had no previous experience and were great and that’s what DWTS is all about!!!” Strictly voting on dance skills/showmanship alone, kids.
Obviously, I voted for Alfonso for the men – I think he was the most consistent of all the male ringers we’ve had, and also the best showman; I also think part of his appeal was that he was a really organic, natural mover that seemed to really get into the pocket of whatever dance was thrown his way, even if he had no previous experience with it. While I agreed with my coworker that Corbin was more athletic and likely had more refined technique than Alfonso, I think he wasn’t as much of a natural as Alfonso and had to work harder to appear at ease with the movement of some of the dances – which didn’t always work, and made him a lot less consistent throughout his season.
For the ladies, it wasn’t as cut-and-dry for me – my knee-jerk answer was Nicole, but then I remembered she had some ups-and-downs and some dances that she wasn’t naturally good at (her first rumba and her samba come to mind); then I thought of Meryl, but while her technique was usually flawless, I remember thinking she sometimes lacked in the showmanship department, and could be a timid mover at times. Then I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi, who was a strong dancer AND entertainer, but I remember thinking that she seemed to always have that skater’s “perma-smile” that made her look a tad cheesy at times. As surprising as this may be for some of you, I actually ended up picking Zendaya as the best female dancer we’ve seen on the show – for a lot of the same reasons I picked Alfonso: she was consistent, she was a showman, and she was a very NATURAL mover. Granted, I thought Val failed her in the choreography department on multiple occasions (which may have eventually prevented her from winning, I think), and I didn’t love every single dance; but I do think she probably had the best skill set to work with, and seemed the most comfortable out on the floor.
So what do YOU guys think? Vote in the polls below, and then tell us how you voted & why
Here it is – our seasonal “first impressions” poll Based on the results of previous seasons’ polls, our readers are often pretty accurate in predicting finalists and winners – last year, the top 4 in the “who will win?” poll ended up being the four finalists (but not in the right order). Please, spare me if you’re of the “but we haven’t even seen them dance yet!” group that doesn’t even think we should be voting – this is strictly on first impressions, without dance experience factoring in. Don’t like it? Don’t vote. Easy.
I went ahead and included Chris Soules & Witney in the poll – Tom was anything but subtle when hinting about Witney’s partner. And if you need a refresher, here’s the link to the cast announcement live blog.
Did you approve of Kevin Hart’s judging last night? VOTE in our new Poll and let us know what you think and how you voted in comments.
My thoughts: I thought Kevin was fantastic. What I love about the guest judges is that they judge on the “entertainment” factor much like we would do. I think it’s nice to have a perspective like that added to the judges panel just to cover all bases since this competition is not always about ‘technique”. He was so funny and entertaining too. I love how he screamed out the scores in his own way too. Hilarious.
Now that all of the pairings have been verified, we want your initial thoughts: who’s your early favorite, and who’s the early favorite to win? Yes, we’re aware that we “haven’t even seen them dance yet!”, but considering that there’s so much more to success on DWTS than how well a couple dances, does it really matter? We just wanna know your first impressions And sometimes, they’re pretty spot-on – just look at the results of last season’s preliminary poll.
Ok, you’ve made your selections in our first round in the “Battle of the 3rd Place Finishers! Laila Ali & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas, Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy won! Now it’s time to VOTE and determine who is the final winning couple from the three! VOTE in the new poll below and then let us know who you voted for in comments. Thanks All!!
You have selected your winner for the 2nd place finishers on Dancing With The Stars. Drum rolls please….and the winner is Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson!! To view the results, see this post.
So, now it’s the Battle of the 3rd Place Finishers on Dancing With The Stars! Like in the previous posting for the 2nd Place finishers, we’re going to break this up into 3 Polls (one poll for every 6 years of Dancing With The Stars) and then we’ll have a final fourth Poll in a future Part 2 post for the top winners of the first three Polls to see who is the ultimate winner in the Battle of the 3rd place finishers, sound good? Note: Before voting, consider everything from dance ability, the entertainment factor, to who made you feel good. Let us know how you voted in comments and on any thoughts if you like too. Ok, ready? VOTE away….
Thanks for all of your votes in our first round in Battle Of The 2nd Place Finishers On Dancing With The Stars!! Mel B and Maks Chmerkovksiy, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke, and Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough came in first place in the three polls! Now let’s take a final Poll to see who wins between these three couples. VOTE away and be sure to let us know in comments how you voted! You can also RANK them as well.
It’s the Battle of the 2nd Place Finishers on Dancing With The Stars! We’re going to break this up into 3 Polls (one poll for every 6 years of Dancing With The Stars) and then we’ll have a final fourth Poll in a future Part 2 post for the top winners of the first three Polls to see who is the ultimate winner in the Battle of the 2nd place finishers, sound good? Let us know how you voted in comments and on any thoughts if you like. Ok, ready? VOTE away….