Julianne Hough was interviewed on the AMA’s Red carpet tonight. She chats on the Finals of Dancing With The Stars. She looks gorgeous as always too.
I find myself asking the exact same question that I’ve asked for the last couple weeks – does extreme pimpage (raving judges, over scoring, positive/mush/sentimental editing) work on an audience? I think it’s very clear that the answer is yes. Why? Trump. Enough said. And if they didn’t know that it worked, they wouldn’t do it so much.
But you have to wonder where the tipping point is: when do they go so far that the general viewer sees the man behind the curtain?? I mean, this past week the thing with Laurie was just…disgusting. Leave the poor child and her family to deal with their grief without making a public spectacle of it – that’s just distasteful. The raving over Jana – come on. The first part of the season I forgot she was even on the show. Boring. When does the general audience wake up and say, “dang, they’re really pushing so and so HARD.” Read more..
It’s nights like last night that make me seriously question why I continue to watch DWTS, let alone write about it – because there was some seriously skeezy, very manipulative stuff going on, and the agenda could not have been more clear. Someone on Twitter asked me last week how we get our predictions about who’s going home/how the judges are going to score/who’s going to get pimped or hosed correct so often – and last night I found myself seriously questioning whether it’s the fact that we’ve been doing this for 7 years now, and just sharpen our skills each season…or if the show has just gotten more and more obvious with their agenda, thereby just making it that much easier to predict what’s going to happen. It’s a very disconcerting thought to be having…
…so while we’re on the topic of disconcerting things we saw last night, I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way and leave it up to you whether you continue to read after this point or not: I was very, very disappointed (and kinda disgusted) with how Laurie’s package about her grandmother’s death was handled. And before some of you turn your moral outrage to a fever pitch, know this: BEING DISAPPOINTED IN LAURIE’S PACKAGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW LAURIE HANDLED HER GRIEF, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE PRODUCERS EXPLOITED IT. The very fact that I have to even preface this commentary with that makes me seriously weary of how emotionally unintelligent some DWTS fans have become, as I witnessed on Twitter last night, and does not give me a whole lot of hope for continued intelligent discussion in future seasons. But I found the way they chose to hone in on Laurie crying, lamenting the fact that she didn’t get one more trip home to see her grandma, and then playing the clip of her grandmother wishing her good luck at the end seemed like “emotion porn” – taking Laurie’s genuine grief and cobbling it together in such a way that it seemed extra devastating, and only seemed to rub Laurie’s face in her own sorrow. It looked like Val didn’t warn her not to watch the package before their foxtrot, because she did seem very thrown-off by it, and a little choked up during her dance. So many people feel the need to remind me each week that Laurie “is only 16”; so yes – given that, maybe it wasn’t in the best taste of the producers to create a package that could very easily have compounded the poor girl’s guilt about not getting to see her grandmother one more time. Also saw a lot of folks on Twitter justifying it with “well they did the same thing to Bindi” – sorry, but Bindi’s father had been gone for 9 years when she did her season; Laurie’s grandmother passed away just a few days ago. Big difference in the way one interprets grief immediately after a death and then several years after a death, and Derek at least had the forethought to warn Bindi not to listen to her packages, lest they affect her performance. Laurie kinda got thrown headlong into it – she handled it well, but am I alone in thinking that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t in the best taste to create a package that hinged upon Laurie’s guilt about not getting more time with her grandmother…and then kinda ambushing her with it? It is possible to create a package with a theme of remembrance that doesn’t victimize those grieving – we’ve seen this show do it. And given that I’ve had people forwarding me links to interviews this morning where Val has said that he actually knew about Laurie’s grandmother dying BEFORE she did and that the interview with her grandmother happened 10 weeks ago (and not last week, as the package led us to believe), makes me all the more weary of how the show handled the whole thing. It stinks…bad.
Moving right along to another bone of contention from last night’s show – wonky/inconsistent/agenda-filled scoring/judging that was clearly meant to shield some while disadvantaging others. James got nitpicked, so as to justify not tying Laurie with a perfect score; Calvin got severely low-balled, so as to keep him from getting too close to Jana; Laurie got treated with kid gloves; Jana got overly kind scores & critiques. The judges copped out and gave everyone the same score on their trio, which basically just made the margins a bit smaller – something that I don’t think would have happened if Len had been there, and needless to say I cannot WAIT to have him back next week…although I have to wonder if he will just follow the company line and only award 9’s & 10’s. We had already kinda gotten the feeling that Terra was a goner headed into this week, and the fact that they gave her a perfect 60 for the night was the final nail in the coffin, I’m afraid – Rob Wade got his ideal finale, which did not include a little person who was actually more technically proficient than at least one of the finalists. Sad to see Terra go, because she was a good dancer and I got the impression she really was having fun on the show – but as with many sh*ttastic things that happen on this show these days, not entirely unexpected. Read more..
This has the potential to be an interesting week, from the standpoint of who goes home. The margins are relatively small (for this late in the game) and this could get REAL real fast. We can hope.
But first, Courtney commented on the fact that Jana has been in or near jeopardy quite a few times now. If you want to read the research I did on Jeopardy a few seasons back, please do so before spouting off and telling me it means nothing. Anyway, I went back and looked at that post, and sonic did a little work up for me as well which included more recent seasons. Anyway, my original conclusions haven’t fallen apart with the arrival of Rob Wade. It’s still true that if you make multiple appearances in jeopardy you’re more likely than not to be eliminated – often soon. This is even more true if you are the last person to be called safe. Being the last to be called safe sometimes gives the couple the kick they need to last a couple weeks – but after a second time? No. Lots and lots of people have made two appearances in jeopardy and were last to be called safe. What appears to be true is that if you are last to be called safe twice, you don’t win the show. That has happened ONCE in 23 seasons – Rumer Willis. Coincidence? I think not. Prior to Season 17, if you had only been in Jeopardy and were last to be called safe even one time, you didn’t win the show – with 3 exceptions: Donald, JR and Jennifer Grey, but her season was really strange in that all of the 5 were in jeopardy most often while the rest weren’t. That season they seemed to be trying to keep the eliminee a surprise all the time by putting the top people in jeopardy. An experiment, if you will. Read more..
Derek is still mulling over the packages that he and Marilu got this season…and then he seques into talking about possibly not being back next season. I see those two thoughts as somewhat connected, but we also have to realize that this guy’s career is picking up speed. Who knows what all he has lined up that he’s not talking about yet? 🙂 Something to look forward to, for sure!! From TV Guide:
I don’t want to dwell on the rehearsal package again after last week. It is what it is. I would hope that the audience and longtime fans know and understand by now that in a short package, it’s a very faint reflection of the reality of the week. Saying that though, given my schedule this season, the only thing that I think was a bummer was that we weren’t able to do anything out of studio or an environment that wasn’t a dance studio. When you do that, you’re able to see another side to people, where it’s not just you rehearsing and working. I think that in contrast to other packages, which was everyone traveling and doing things and having fun, it’s kind of a bummer. Whenever Marilu and I saw each other, the only time we had was to get the routines down and work as hard and as fast as we can. I think we were both prepared for a possible elimination. After being part of the show for so long, you get a sense of what’s going to happen based on a bunch of things. I think we were both expecting it, but also we’re very proud. Week 9 is nothing to turn your nose up at. She did incredibly well.
I don’t know if I’ll be back next season. It’s too early to say. I have a few projects on my plate, but you never know what’s going to happen. I didn’t think I was going to come back to the show a couple times now and ended up coming back. That show will always be my family.
Right now, I’m working on Hairspray. Julianne and I are also hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas specials for ABC. We were rehearsing until like 11 p.m. last night for it. It’s going to be fun. I love Disney and ABC, so I’m stoked to be doing this. The Thanksgiving one airs Thanksgiving at 8/7c and the Christmas ones airs Christmas at 8/7c.
If you’re in L.A. this weekend, I will have two photography pieces on display at The Salon on Saturday. I’m very excited — it’s the first time I’ve ever had anything displayed. They’re signed and will be for sale. Photography’s been a hobby and passion of mine for several years, so I’m humbled to displayed alongside other great, inspiring artists.
There’s no update on Singin’ in the Rain yet. As of now, it’s still on hold. Hopefully there’ll be some news in the new year! But I need to get my butt to New York to see Mark in Jersey Boys soon!
Lindsay Arnold answers new questions at Entertainment Tonight on Dancing With The Stars Week 9. She answers questions on how her and Calvin Johnson put their dances together, the last two weeks ahead, and lots more. Don’t miss reading the link for another great blog from her.
Aside from your costumes, your dance with Calvin was very impressive! As an athlete, the waltz is one of the most difficult styles to master, but Megatron looked like a natural.
That is exactly right. And not only that, but the waltz we were given was so hard, even for me as a choreographer. Obviously “Memory” is an iconic song, but to choreograph to it was seriously so tough. When I first got it I was like, “OK, this is amazing,” but the tempo changes like five or six times and that’s difficult. Also, a lot of the timing wasn’t waltz timing, so we had to kind of create our own waltz within the song.
Another factor was that Leona Lewis sang live, and the first time we heard her version was the day of the show. So we rehearsed to someone else singing it the entire week. Singers have different inflections in their voice, they take different pauses, different breaths, so a lot of the dance was choreographed to the lyrics. It meant that Calvin and I really had to trust each other and our bodies to be as in sync as possible. He completely did that. When I watched it back, I was shocked by how in sync we were, it truly looked so beautiful on camera.
Only a few more weeks of the competition left. What would a win mean for you?
It would be huge. Two seasons ago I got third place with Alek Skarlatos, last season I got fourth place with Wanya Morris, so I feel like I’ve gotten so close. I’ve tasted the win, but haven’t quite gotten it.
Getting the mirror ball trophy with Calvin would be such an honor. He didn’t come into the competition being an obvious frontrunner — we really had to work hard to get him up there. He’s proved each week that he wants to be here and he hasn’t had it easy.
He never complains, never whines, he is always so willing and ready to be there. I am so grateful to have a partner like Calvin.
As we head into what promises to be a very historic and contentious election day, I think we witnessed something relatively historic and contentious last night on DWTS: I think we might have just seen Derek bid farewell to the show, once and for all. Because history does repeat itself: Marilu got Nastia’d. Got the same “bad edit” treatment that they gave Nastia a year and a half ago, which resulted in her elimination from a season that on paper, she probably could have easily won, had there not been an agenda at work. And Derek was uncharacteristically vocal about how unhappy he was with the edit they were given – so was his partner. If there are still any concern trolls lurking here that want to comment on the “tension” or “awkwardness” or “frustration” in Marilu & Derek’s package last week, do yourselves a favor and go read the two posts I just linked to first. Then go watch season 1 of UNReal on Hulu Plus. Let it sink in. Start to question things. Because I’m starting to think the line between reality and script is getting dangerously blurry for some of you…
…for what it’s worth, though, I thought Marilu went out on a high note. I think her samba was the most relaxed and in-the-zone we’ve seen her since “Most Memorable Year” week. I think she & Derek should be really proud of how they did – and both of them can leave with their heads held high. I think Marilu left with a bit fewer stars in her eyes about DWTS (but with a much more grounded view), and I think Derek finally got the push he needed to leave a relationship that he has outgrown and has become toxic for him (the one he has with DWTS, NOT the one he has from Marilu – I’ve noticed the Marilu detractors are big fans of deliberately misinterpreting and twisting my words). Onto bigger and better things for both of them. And I thought Mark did a spectacular Frankie Valli vocal. 🙂
As for those that remain – I found myself rolling my eyes and yawning more than usual last night, and the bulk of the eye-rolls and yawns involved the Jana & Laurie love-fest that we were subjected to. Make no mistake – there was an agenda behind those perfect scores. It all but guaranteed both would make the finals, although I’m having some pretty serious doubts about Jana – this is how many times we’ve seen her as one of the last two standing up there at the end of the night? Heidi would have to remind me, but the last time we saw consecutive repeat appearances of a couple in the last two standing was Apolo & Karina during all-stars, I believe – and they were eliminated just shy of the finale. With last night’s theme appearing to be “history repeating itself”, I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility that Jana could be in some pretty deep sh*t, votes-wise. Since all that was handed out last night was 9’s & 10’s, I’m going to venture a guess that the margins are actually going to end up being rather small – meaning it’s pretty much going to be up to the fans who advances to the finals and who doesn’t. And there could be some surprises. Read more..
Well, another week, another clusterf*^k. The most disheartening thing about all the manipulation and games is how easily some of you just buy it hook, line and sinker. After all these years of us telling you not to just blindly believe the packages, you still just believe. You will read in to moments in time exactly what they want you to read in. Did it happen? Sure…but with the context removed its meaningless – and less than half the story. I think this blind belief in anything on TV is how Donald Trump is actually in the running to be president. Marilu told me they had their best week ever….Derek’s blog confirmed that…yet what we saw on TV was the opposite, and some cleverly manipulated moments in time. I’m getting to where I actually hate watching this show.
The thing that confuses me is…is it even necessary to do this stuff? Marilu has troubles during the live show – they can reasonably score her lower than some of the other couples because of that. So, WHY are they working so hard to make their packages bad? I have to think that up until last week she was getting the votes, perhaps a lot of votes. She doesn’t look it, but she’s 64 years old and her dancing doesn’t suck at all. She has mistakes – and I would lay money on it that the live show issue is a result of extreme nitpicking from early on – but damn, she looks amazing. How is that the look of 64?? The main demo that watches this show IS the 65 year old crowd. I would bet they WERE voting for her. But are they still?? Everyone is clearly susceptible to the packages. The producers may have finally succeeded. Read more..
This is where I say “I told you so” to all the negative Nancys, the whiners and the concern trolls out there regarding Derek and Marilu’s packages and relationship. Will you actually believe Derek Hough when he tells you something, or are we going to continue to just believe everything we see on TV, eh? From TV Guide – click the link to read the whole thing:
In all of my years on Dancing with the Stars, I’ve never been involved in a scandal or anything overly dramatic. I can now say that’s no longer the case — ladies and gentlemen, we have “push-gate”! In all seriousness, I was pretty disappointed with our package. Marilu and I actually sat down last week and had a heart-to-heart about what actually happened during our team dance, how we both felt about it and how we felt about each other. Unfortunately, none of that was used in our package this week so I feel like the audience was short-changed a little bit and instead was fed footage that looked tense and uncomfortable.
For instance, Marilu’s foot injury was glossed over the past two weeks. When she asked for more rehearsal time in Monday’s package and I said we didn’t need it, it came off like I was dismissing her and didn’t care, which is far from it. That quote was taken out of context; I was reassuring her that we had already put in a lot of hours, so she shouldn’t worry. Plus, with her injured feet, I didn’t want to push her and hurt her even more. But since her injury was virtually ignored on the show, most people wouldn’t have known about it. I’m definitely not saying her injury should be an “excuse” — just that context is important.
Needless to say, #TeamHenergy is moving forward and on a positive path, despite those few minutes that you saw on television. Last week there was a lot of uplifting energy and we connected on a really beautiful level. We had a lot of long, deep and wonderful conversations. We kept saying we’re the underdogs and we’re coming back and we’re gonna get her feet and ribs better. In earlier weeks, there was much more struggle in certain ways, but the past two weeks have been extremely cohesive and very positive. I feel like we’ve really bonded.
Lindsay Arnold tells Entertainment Tonight that she couldn’t be happier with Calvin Johnson and their perfect score last night on Dancing With The Stars. However, learning all the dances for this past week didn’t come without their challenges. In the take below,, Lindsay talks of their momentum going into the coming weeks and what they hope for. Lots more at the link.
We’re now only weeks away from the end of the competition and you and Calvin are so close to potentially taking home that mirror ball trophy. How do you plan to stay on top?
The thing about this show is, it’s all about momentum. It’s about going into the finals at your strongest. Calvin just got his first perfect score, so his momentum and peak is coming at such a good time. But we cannot lose that momentum. We have to continue to stay at the top of the leaderboard, stay strong every single night, come out with something new each time that wows people, and really take the night over.
Like last night, our performance was one of the crowd-pleasing moments, and that’s what we have to do — get people off their feet and get them to vote for us. Also, dedication and time. We usually fly to Detroit each week to be with Calvin’s wife and Caleb, but he’s sacrificing his time with them. He’s staying in Los Angeles this week so we can get all the hours in as possible, which proves to me how much he really wants this. It’s hard, but he’s putting all of his time and energy into it.