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..
Since Heidi’s “Who’s Dancing What?” post is getting a tad long, I thought I had better move this over to its own post and open the floor a bit more for discussion 🙂 So as of yesterday, we received intel that Janel & Val had switched songs – they were no longer dancing to “I Feel Pretty”, and had been seen rehearsing to “America” instead. At the time, we didn’t have an explanation as to why; but now, with some additional intel, I feel as though a bit of a rant is in order…
…but first, an explanation of what I like to call West Side Storygate. As of Monday, we had heard that SOMEONE was dancing a Viennese waltz to “I Feel Pretty”; based on hints Derek gave during the show, we assumed it was Bethany & Derek. However, Val actually confirmed in a post-show interview that it was he & Janel, and that he had requested the dance style be changed from Viennese waltz to jazz “in order to do the movie justice”. Apparently he actually choreographed a pretty cool routine that was reminiscent of the big dance at the gym in the movie – the troupe was involved, they were going to have a big dance set, the works. However, apparently later in the week (I guess Tuesday or Wednesday), the studio that owns the rights to the movie allegedly said “Whoa, hey, time out there, chief – you can use ‘I Feel Pretty’, but the dance can’t look anything like the movie!” So basically, kind of the same thing that happened to Derek in season 15, when he & Shawn were tasked with doing a Knightrider-themed bhangra…but were not legally allowed to use any elements from Knightrider. A tough row to hoe for any pro, methinks. So Val basically had to redo the entire thing – they switched songs, changed the set, omitted the troupe, and redid most of the choreography. Janel picks up choreography quickly and should PROBABLY be ok in time for the show, but Val was (understandably) upset. Which brings me to my rant…
…WHY WEREN’T ALL THE RIGHTS TO THE SONGS AND MOVIES BEING USED CLEARED PRIOR TO THIS WEEK???!!! Seems like several couples were still waiting to see what their music and dance styles would be as of Monday evening – that’s gotta be a tad stressful for the pros, who then have to scramble to adapt to themes, music, and dance styles thrown at them at the last minute. Seems like they haven’t had this problem so much in previous season that have done a “movie week” theme – maybe we just didn’t hear about them, but I’m wondering if perhaps Rob & Co. have tried to be a bit too accommodating to the celebs this season, and let them suggest the movies they want to dance to….and that’s resulted in some time crunches & movie/music clearance issues. Remember, the added complication of “movie week” clearances is that you have to clear both the song AND the theme rights to the movie – and the latter category is where we encounter most of the issues. So anywho – what are you guys’ thoughts as viewers? Would you mind seeing a dance using a song from a certain movie that really wasn’t at all reminiscent of that particular movie? Is there any benefit to letting the celebs pick what movies they want? Do we really need movie week at all? Let’s hear it 🙂
And because I’m not a total Crabby McCrabberpants…here’s a pic of Witney holding Alfonso’s adorable son. Because ADORABLE BABIES, dammit. 😉
PureDWTS Season 17 Rant: Really, Really Dumb Ideas About the Show (Courtesy of Facebook & Instagram)
After Elizabeth & Val’s elimination last Monday night, against my better judgement, I decided to see what fans on the DWTS Instagram page were saying about the results. Of course I instantly regretted this decision, because I saw more than a few hystrionic, irrational, and downright idiotic complaints about everything from the scoring to the voting to the overall format of the show. I also witnessed a horrifying lack of command of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and overall coherence when conversing in the English language 😯 And here’s what really grinds my gears: nothing has changed, guys. The show’s scoring has been calculated the same way for 17 seasons now (50% judges’ scores, 50% viewer votes), we’ve had the same 3 judges for every season, and this is FAR from being the only voting shakeup we’ve seen in 17 seasons. So why is everyone suddenly up in arms about it now?
We may never know for sure, but I can say this: some of the Instagram & Facebook DWTS fans have got some really, REALLY dumb ideas about the show – ideas that I’m proud to say that our Pure readers would recognize as pure poppycock in a heartbeat 😉 So of course, I just had to find a way to show you guys some of these gems – both for humor purposes and educational purposes. All of these are actual comments, either on the DWTS Facebook page or the Instagram page, and all were posted publicly – so I’m within my rights to republish them here; but because some of these ideas are some real turds, I’ve taken pity on the commentor & blurred out any identifying details, except for the first name – cause it’s a helluva lot easier to refer to them by some name than by “idiot #1, idiot #2, idiot #3, etc”. 😉
Really Stupid Idea #1: The judges’ scores should have more weight.
No offense, mimi, but where have you been the past 16 seasons???
I shouldn’t even have to elaborate on why this is a downright TERRIBLE idea, but I’m going to anyway because clearly some of the simple-minded folk that are backing this turd of notion don’t seem to understand that this is likely not going to have the effect they think it will. I’m guessing they assume that judges’ scores being weighted more heavily = good dancers stay, bad dancers go. But apparently they don’t realize that the judges aren’t exactly infallible & objective – far from it, as we’ve witnessed over 17 seasons. The judges are capable of some pretty blatant favoritism towards some contestants (William Levy, anyone?) and have undeservingly HOSED other contestants (Ralph Macchio fans, this is where you nod in agreement). They also have a tendency to “pity score” some contestants to soften the blow (*cough*BRISTOLPALIN*cough*), with the unexpected effect of said contestants outstaying their welcome. And then there’s their personal biases: Carrie Ann & Bruno are both easily swayed by attractive young men (regardless of how well they can actually dance), while Carrie Ann seems to turn into a green-eyed monster when it comes to scoring attractive young women, and tends to take some cheap shots when critiquing them. Len has a tendency to scold Derek at least once a season, and hand out an absurdly low score as a result. And of course, Carrie Ann’s dubious lift-policing seems to have an effect as well…just ask Corbin & Karina, who earlier this season were penalized for a lift that didn’t even exist. We’ve also talked about the “man behind the curtain” possibly exerting some influence over the judging as well – seemed awfully convenient that William Levy was getting worshipped by the judges week after week (whether or not he was actually worthy of the worship), when he was set to launch a huge deal for Univision (which is part of the ABC family…hmmmm). People REALLY want to give these clowns even MORE power? I feel like just last year, people were complaining about how the judges were terrible and needed to be replaced!!! Another point to consider: the viewers need to feel invested in this show – they need to feel like they have a say in who stays and who goes. And the minute you start making them feel like their vote doesn’t count or counts less is the minute you start losing viewers. Even those that don’t always vote seem to take comfort in the fact that the viewers do have the power to overturn a bad score from the judges. Read more..
Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…much to the chagrin of my detractors 😉
Yes, I am back, after a rather prolonged post-season 15 hiatus. Part of it was due to a hectic year-end at work, part of it was due to other stuff, and part of it had to do with what I’m about to elaborate on in this post. Thanks to everyone who checked in on me on Twitter, and I can assure you I’m back full-time now 🙂
Many of you have noticed that I tend to take a bit of a break from Pure after the end of each season – mainly due to the level of burnout we all seem to reach after being in full-on DWTS mode for 3 months straight while we’re covering each season. Generally, I just need a break – some time to appreciate other things in my life besides DWTS – and I’m back after a week or two. This time, though, I had a harder time getting back into the swing of being excited and inspired to write about DWTS – and for awhile, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I had a revelation…
…I HATED THE ALL-STAR SEASON.
There, I said it. I hated the all-star season, and I think it has now surpassed season 9 as my least favorite season of DWTS EVER. Reflecting on this past season, aside from a few standout performances (and all the great interactions I had with Pure readers :-)), I was hard-pressed to really feel nostalgic and pleased about it. In fact, what I tended to remember the most was all the frustration, chaos, and general feelings of “WTF is going on???” that I had while watching and blogging from week to week – and when I really got to thinking about it, I found that there were 5 key problems that left me feeling totally turned-off the all-star season. Without further ado, I give you those reasons… Read more..
I debated even reporting on this, given that I am done with SYTYCD now that it has become a bona fide popularity contest and that least skilled dancer this season is probably going to win (and just as I feared, both ballroom girls were cut back-to-back just before the finale), but alas, it’s not Dmitry’s fault and he is part of the DWTS family – so here it is. 🙂
Dmitry tweeted that he is going to be choreographing for the upcoming performance finale next Tuesday:
Can’t blame Dmitry for being nervous – seems like the ballroom routines this season have had about a 50/50 chance of getting ripped apart by the judges…so much for debunking the blatant anti-ballroom bias on that show. Dmitry may also be having flashbacks to last season, when Nigel picked apart the cha-cha Mark choreographed for the performance finale. Let’s hope Nigel isn’t looking forward to a repeat “My show is better than DWTS!” pro-roast this time around…
Anywho, I found this little interesting Dmitry ditty while nosing around YouTube – it’s Dmitry talking about the cha-cha he choreographed for Cole & Anya a few weeks ago, and I think he pretty much hits the nail on the head when talking about non-ballroomers trying to learn ballroom:
Anywho, everybody cross your fingers for Dmitry that he doesn’t become the next victim of Nigel the Ballroom Meatgrinder next week. I just find it funny that he seems to think his show has so much more street cred than DWTS, due to the many dance styles they portray and all the Emmy nominations they amass – yet his show has turned into a complete popularity contest, while DWTS at least maintains some degree of integrity by making the results 50% scores and 50% votes. Enjoy those Emmy noms, Nigel – because with your ratings hitting an all-time low this summer, this may be your last hurrah.
Pictured above is Peta Murgatroyd and Donald Driver with Terri Seymour of Extra. Terri went along for an interview yesterday when she tweeted this picture. She also tweeted Donald will be getting Maria Menounos back for the prank she pulled on him. WHA?? 😯
Also, stay tuned! According to ABCMedia Net, these two will be on Good Morning America on Monday.
MONDAY, APRIL 16 – Actor Jason Stratham (“Safe”); primatologist Jane Goodall on Disney’s “Chimpanzee;” “GMA” contributor Cameron Mathison goes behind the scenes with Donald Driver and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, of “Dancing with the Stars;” chef Fabio Viviani
Katherine Jenkins went on the Late Late Show to talk all about Dancing With The Stars. She tells Craig Ferguson she’s “trying” to dance on Dancing With The Stars and “give it a go”. She runs through her career with him while he pokes fun. She’s having the most amazing time in America and doing Dancing With The Stars. Lots more fun with these two below.
Katherine has also written a new blog for Parade Magazine. Below is take where she writes on the elimination this past week and what she’s learned. She’s posted some cute pictures too. Be sure to see them at the link.
We were immensely relieved to have been saved (thank you so much if you voted for us) but gutted and shocked at the same time to see the very lovely and always cheerful Sherri Shepherd make her exit. She didn’t deserve to go and will be missed. And this brings me to lessons two & three of this week…
Lesson two: Everyone needs to vote for who they want to go through. If you don’t pick up the phone because you assume someone is safe then we’ll have another repeat of the Sherri situation.
Lesson three: Stay calm on elimination day. Even when all is going crazy around you, try to enjoy it because at that point, you can’t change a thing!
See you all next week for the Argentine tango…
When asked, William Levy tells Access Hollywood how he is honored to be on the cover of People Magazine this week. Cheryl thinks it’s a “good sign” being J.R. Martinez made a People cover last season and ended up winning Dancing With The Stars. William quickly points out how it’s nice, but, it’s more of a dream come true to come to America. He had a hard upbringing in Cuba, but, it’s made him who he is today as well. Details more in depth below….
There is more than good looks with this guy! Please Cheryl, …we want to see the real guy for what he is! No more sex pimping!
AM 600 WMT radio in Iowa chatted with Chelsie Hightower about ringers, the judges, and the Jaleel White controversies on Dancing With The Stars this season. She said there was a fight with Jaleel. They also discuss some of Chelsie’s past partners and how they were paired. Chelsie also tells them how there are talks where she might join “Shake It Up” on the Disney channel in the future. Lots more at the link including her thoughts on her current partner Roshon Fegan as well and last week’s dance. The two were also seen Wednesday night at The Avengers premiere. Pictures above courtesy of Zimbio pictures.
Access Hollywood went into rehearsals to interview Gavin and Karina. They asked Gavin about his heroic efforts in carrying Melissa to the paramedics Monday night. He’s humble and said he just reacted on instinct. Karina says this is Gavin’s character for who he is. Gavin also talks about how surprised he is to make it this far on Dancing With The Stars. Lots more below including hints on their next dance….
Also, below is Karina at The Avengers premiere Wednesday night looking stunning as always. Photo courtesy of Zimbio pictures.