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.
Last week, we reported how the judges met with Cameron Mathison for a new interview. ABC Medianet has released more information about it. The interview and special “behind the scenes” look at Dancing With The Stars will take place on a special edition of 20/20 on Monday, April 23rd at 11:00pm ET. Note how Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Julianne Hough, Ricki Lake, and Mario Lopez will also be a part of this special. Below is more…
“Dancing with the Stars” has become a part of America’s television landscape and inspired millions around the world to waltz, cha-cha and samba. Now, for the first time in its 14 seasons, the hit show gives television cameras unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to see how the wildly unpredictable reality show comes together on and off the dance floor. Hosted by “Good Morning America’s” Lara Spencer and by actor, “Good Morning America” contributor and former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Cameron Mathison, “Dance Floor Confidential” takes viewers backstage to reveal the secrets to the music, the dance, the costumes, the tanning, the judges, and even the tension and high octane pressure that make the show one of the most competitive on TV. Also, former “Dancing with the Stars” favorites including Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Julianne Hough, Ricki Lake and Mario Lopez talk candidly about the show that brought them a new level of fame, and in some cases, some dramatic weight loss. “Dance Floor Confidential: Behind the Scenes of ‘Dancing with the Stars'” airs as a special edition of “20/20,” MONDAY, APRIL 23 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Such good news! Melissa Gilbert has returned to rehearsals today. She joked about her injury on Twitter. Below is more from ABC.
“Nobody puts Halfpint in the corner!” she tweeted to her actor friend Craig Bierko, referencing her character’s nickname from “Little House on the Prairie.”
Later, she tweeted that she was “very happy” to be back dancing with professional partner Maksim Chmerkovkiy.
Gilbert and Chmerkovskiy hurt themselves on Monday following an aggressive paso doble. Chmerkovskiy injured his elbow and pulled his groin; Gilbert suffered a mild concussion and whiplash and was taken to the hospital after feeling dizzy and nauseous backstage.
Gilbert was well enough to watch the show Tuesday night. In response to Sherri Shepherd’s elimination, she tweeted that she was “truly stunned.” “If they can go any of us is fair game!” she added. “This makes my head hurt even more…”
According to People.com, Maks has his protective hat on. Here is more for how Maks is reevaluating his ballroom tactics….
“I think we are coming back,” he says. “I’m pretty sure. It’s not up to me, it’s up to her, [but] I haven’t heard talks of not coming back. Although, if she wakes up tomorrow and continues to have a headache, I won’t let her in the studio.”
The week’s events do have the dance pro reevaluating his ballroom tactics, questioning if it’s worth it to put so much effort into the dances and risk injuries, only to be eliminated so quickly like favorite Sherri Shepherd, who got the boot on Tuesday.
“We owe it to our fans to give them a reason to vote for us,” he says. “I’ve always been very vocal about how you have to earn your stripes. But I’m not sure if this is the right strategy this season, because it’s clearly not appreciated.”
Even though Chmerkovskiy has “a problem with easy choreography,” he says, “Honestly, at this point, I’m not really sure if it’s worth killing yourself and trying to put on a show.”
I agree! They need to be really careful. Let’s hope all goes well!!
UPDATE: Maks has penned a new blog at TV Guide on Melissa’s condition, their rehearsals, and more. Below is a take. More at the link.
First things first, Melissa is doing well. She’s quite an inspiration. It’s not like her injury was a crazy trauma, but it’s definitely scary and not something you want to see on the show. This is not The Hunger Games. It’s Dancing with the Stars. It’s not without struggle and adversity, but it’s not a blood sport. We love to see people fall down and get up metaphorically speaking, not literally. Watching the playback made me think, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I pushing her too hard?” There was a lot of debating within myself. But Melissa and I spoke afterward on how to proceed and where we’re gonna go. We’re gonna try to take this week easier. It goes against everything I believe in and my process, but I’ve matured enough to understand that sometimes, certain things are not worth it. This is one of those moments where it’s not worth the drama and not worth putting her through it.
I think the show amplified her injury. Having said that, Melissa’s injury wasn’t really blown out of proportion, but we had to tell viewers what happened, why she got carried out with an oxygen mask and why she’s not here. The picture is dramatic, so we had to comment. Sometimes it becomes overdramatic afterward when people start talking, but she did almost pass out. She did take my leg out with her head so fast that she didn’t even remember that it happened. I didn’t even know it happened! It tells you how unexpected it was. At the same time, it was a very hard hit. It takes a lot to take my leg out. Her neck is very sore. Those are facts. When you hear that, you can take it as you wish and then people start writing things and talking about it. Honestly, I would take her falling over backwards and hitting her head over what happened. What happened is more dangerous. She has a fused vertebrae in her neck area. Her doctor came to her house and said that she should not attempt to be a hero.
Rehearsals are going well. We are taking it easier. I’m going at her pace. If I see any sign of any kind of anything, I’m stopping. She’s like, “Let’s continue.” I’m like, “No, we’re stopping.” I think we’ll be fine on Monday. More than anything, I really respect how cool we are as friends. We’re very cool together. I was speaking to someone and they said, “She loves you. She talks about you all the time. She really likes hanging out with you.” This is a person who has nothing to do with us. I’m not saying this to toot my horn or something, but I thought it was very sweet. And I love spending time with her. I really do feel that we’re not fake with each other. We’re have each other’s best interests in mind. I’m trying to be the supportive partner and someone who has her back. That means that I alter my views on what the dance should be. As long as she’s happy and smiling and healthy, I’m good.
These two are just cute as pie! I am having the biggest “awwww” moment right now. Take a look at WBay.com to see why for the pics they have up of Donald Drivers’ two kids. They’ve also interviewed them about their Dad and Dancing With The Stars.
Both kids agree they love watching their dad dance. They already know what they’d do if he brings the mirror ball trophy back home.
“I would put it in my room, and if anybody would touch, if anybody would be — ‘Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it, don’t touch it!'” Christina says.
“I would take it to school, let my friends touch,” Christian says.
“What if they break?” Christina asks.
“I’d do this. I call this the shark knife,” Christian says, holding his hand up straight.
Speaking of moves, Christian and Christina have some dance skills of their own. Christian says he wants to grow up and be just like his dad, play football, and maybe be an actor, too.
In the meantime, he’s trying out a different profession… as dancing judge.
“If I was one of the judges, I would put 10, 10, 10. Bang, 30!” Christian says.
“That’s what I would do, too,” Christina says.
So cute. Be sure to read the full interview for more. Also, if you missed the video below posted yesterday in one of our media posts, be sure you see it too. It’s of Donald and his family after the show Monday night.
So, have you had an “awww” moment yet?
Pictured above is Cheryl Burke and William Levy of Dancing With The Stars Season 14. Yesterday, Extra’s Mario Lopez, interviewed the two at The Grove in Hollywood. You can view more fun pics of them at Zimbio Pictures.
William is also gracing the cover of this week’s People Magazine. They’ve got a little cover story on him too. You can view and read a sneak peek here. Below is a little take. If interested and for more, you can pick up this issue of People in newsstands everywhere on Friday.
“To come to this country and receive this kind of love from people you don’t even know, it’s amazing,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.
The Telenova star and father of two – to son Christopher, 6, and daughter Kailey, 2, with on-and-off girlfriend Elizabeth Gutiérrez – also opens up about his early lean years in Cuba before emigrating to the U.S. at 15.
“I try to give my kids everything I never had,” he says.
UPDATE: Below is The Grove interview from Extra and a take from it….
As for the sex symbol stuff (People dubbed Levy “the hottest man on TV”), Burke explained her partner will not be taking off his shirt for every performance. “I can’t take his clothes off every week, and he doesn’t want to do it. We’ll show a little bit here and there.”
Mario asked Levy about his own childhood, growing up dirt poor in Cuba, and how he wants to raise his kids. “I look back then, and I understand so much what my parents went through. “You can work all you want in Cuba and you don’t get paid. So here, eat a chicken every day if you want to. Back in Cuba, you get a quarter of a chicken every month.”
Who needs to relive this number last night with Karina Smirnoff and Jose Manuel Carreño when they danced the Argentine Tango? I thought it was steamy, beautiful, and so passionate! Also, I love it when the music matches the style of dance. I wish the producers of Dancing With The Stars would discontinue theme weeks and go with matching music to the style of dance instead. The whole package is just so much better when everything goes together. Do you agree or disagree?
Special thanks to PureDWTS reader Jimmbboe2 for the video! Let’s get Heidi and Court’s thoughts:
Heidi: Aw, come on…who doesn’t love someone attempting to Tango to Bohemian Rhapsody?? 🙂 Sorry, that’s cray cray. All you have to do is look at the music the pros choose to dance to when they have a choice: Karina last night…Derek and Allison Holker last season…neither “Popular” music, but both dances were great and well received. We figure that the producers are trying to accomplish making the dancing more…current?? But at what cost? The very least they could do is have the pros pick the actual songs for the actual dances from a list of popular music. At least then the tempo would be more correct. And people are watching ballroom dancing on TV in 2012 – shouldn’t that tell you something about the need for pop music?? I dunno. I think they could do a better job at it.
Courtney: I agree, sometimes a song can totally screw a couple, and for what? So they can have some hokey theme, or appeal more to mainstream viewers not familiar with “real ballroom” music? I think Tristan’s been the victim of it 2 seasons in a row now – “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were nothing more than an excuse to fit with a theme, which is one of the many reasons why I hate theme weeks. The tempo and phrasing were not at ALL conducive the dances they were meant to coincide with, and the end result was 2 particularly train-wrecky dances. I get that they want to appeal to a broad audience – hence the need for “current” music. But yeah, like Heidi said, at least try to pick current music that’s actually conducive to ballroom dancing. However, on the flip side, I often wonder if the nary impossible music some of the couples are given is an attempt to get the pros to “rise to the occasion” and craft some innovative, unique, Emmy-worthy routine, a la Ricki & Derek’s Psycho tango or Karina & the Situation’s “Boom Boom Pow” foxtrot. I’m all for unique, innovative, & Emmy-worthy, but there’s just one problem: not every pro is capable of spinning a crazy song in that direction, and I’m not sure every “wacky” song they dole out is even capable of being translated into something cool. Sometimes, a song is just bad, and better left off the dance floor 🙂
Being a tennis fan of Martina Navratilova and hoping she will do well on Dancing With The Stars, I’m wishing she had never been a guest on the Howard Stern Show yesterday. He has this way (as you know) of sensationalizing everything, starting rumors, and trying to make a person look bad just as he tried to do last season with David Arquette. Granted, David might have had a hand in some of it as well, but, does Martina?
In the interview, Howard starts off saying Martina should be dancing with a female partner being she is gay. Martina defends herself saying she is a “woman” and she’s playing who she is. Howard insists she’s not doing the show right for homosexuals and should be wearing pants. She said she’s learning how to dance and she’ll wear what she wants even if it’s a dress or heels, etc.
Howard tries to say she is attracted to the other female dancers as well and tries to get her to admit it. She says they are lovely and tries to highlight who they are and their dancing. He also says she could care less about Tony in part of the interview which is hardly the truth. He goes too far as always. *rolls eyes*
Anyway, before rumors gets out of hand for what was said and not said, let’s hear what went down from the horses mouths. You be the judge when you listen. I don’t see Martina in any bad light. Howard was trying to get her to admit to things that aren’t true. I also see nothing wrong with her wanting to dance like she wants. She was beautiful Monday night and she is a “woman” afterall whether she is a homosexual or not. Martina, if you read this. Please don’t do his show again!
What do you think everyone? Curious for how you take this after listening? Do you see Martina in a bad light? Or was Howard in the wrong?
Do any of you watch the Lifetime reality show “Dance Moms”? I’ve never watched it, but, last night, Dancing With The Stars pro Derek Hough took to twitter with his criticisms of it. After doing a search at You Tube to watch some of the footage, I was truly horrified at what’s going on. Question: is it right to abuse little kids when teaching them how to dance even if it means that the abuse could turn them into “stars” and “dance champions” someday? And what about sexually exploiting them? Go here to get a summation of the show and how it’s created a controversy and why. Below is a video as well that will give you a little example of the instructor and the moms for how they act while the little girls sit by and watch. This is just sad im opinion. 🙁 Huge Kudos to Derek for standing up to how wrong this is!!!
Below is a take from MSNBC on it which includes Dereks’ tweets and reaction;
“I’m sorry but this Dance mom show is straight up abusive,” the three-time “Dancing” champ wrote. “Kids Run!!!!!!! It ain’t right. Child abuse isn’t right. I’m livid right now.”
Hough knows a thing or two about how talented, young hoofer hopefuls should train. Not only were his parents and grandparents dancers, too, but both he and his younger sister Julianne moved to London as children to train under fellow “Dancing” pro and ballroom vet Corky Ballas and his then-wife Shirley.
“There’s a difference between being strict and being abusive,” he went on to write. “I believe in discipline and a strong work ethic. But there is nothing productive about screaming and making little girls cry over being on the wrong foot.”
When Miller visited TODAY last year, she defended her sometimes scream-filled approach.
“All children learn differently,” she said. “Some children you can speak calmly and nicely to. ‘You need to open up your hip and press your knee back. Turn out on your passe.’ I can speak to them that way. Other children you have to yell at ‘til you’re blue in the face.”
Penny for your thoughts while we await more Dancing With The Stars news, leaks, and rumors. I say take this show off the air. No one should be abusing kids. 🙁
This post started off far more “rant” than “rave”, but I opted to change the tone a bit, perhaps in hopes that the message would then be more easily swallowed 🙂 As many of you know, Edyta has recently been writing a series of blogs about her time on the show that have been rather…bitter. Vengeful. Even malicious. And it’s unfortunately colored many of our opinions of her for the worse – she even went so far as to block a reader who dared to make a comment expressing “disappointment” in Edyta’s choice to be so critical of the show that made her a household name. That’s when it dawned on me: some of the pros seem to have forgotten what life was like BEFORE they were on Dancing with the Stars.
For those of you unfamiliar with the “real” world of ballroom, first things first: prior to 2005, when DWTS & SYTYCD hit the air, most ballroom dancers (even the world champions) led lives of relative obscurity. They may have been well-known within the ballroom community (which is still relatively small), and may have even been what I like to call “ballroom famous” – a title that me & my teammates from my college ballroom dance team bestowed upon dancers that were particularly respected & admired in ballroom circles – but they most certainly weren’t household names, and they weren’t mobbed by fans in public. In short – they were just like you and I. Just average people with a not-so-average occupation.
How bout a short poll: how many of you had heard the name “Tony Dovolani” prior to 2005? Now of those who had, how many of you HAVE NOT somehow been involved in the world of ballroom dance at some point in your life? If you fit both of the criteria above, then I applaud you – because prior to 2005, the only mainstream thing Tony had really done was a bit part in the American version of Shall We Dance?, and he was also credited as a choreographer in that film. The fact that he actually got a few lines to say was pretty impressive, considering that, at that time, the biggest movie/tv role (besides choreographer) that most ballroom dancers could ever hope for was either dancing around in the background as an extra in a big dance scene, or maybe being a “dance double” for a particularly ungraceful actor (true story: the owner of my bf’s dance studio was Ben Affleck’s “foot double” in the movie Going All the Way – apparently Ben has 2 left feet!). Dancers were lucky to even get credited as extras, let alone hope for a speaking part. The widely held opinion with most casting directors was that “if you’re doing a dance movie, you’d better find actors that can dance…because you aren’t going to find dancers that can act!” It was a far, far cry from the starring movie roles that Julianne & Derek have been given in recent years, and the tv gigs that Maks (Bachelor Ukraine, Celebrity Ghost Stories), Cheryl & Louis (Suite Life of Zack & Cody), Edyta & Alec (CSI: NY), and Mark (Samantha Who?) were able to get due to their DWTS fame.
You know all those spiffy endorsement deals that so many of the pros on the show have gotten over the years, with their faces plastered over everything from shoes to hair extensions to diet pills to makeup to exercise tapes to dancewear? Yeah, pretty non-existent back in the pre-DWTS days – most competitive ballroom dancers were lucky if they could get a dance shoe or costume sponsor to help mitigate the exorbitant cost of competing. And speaking of money – let’s just say they weren’t raking it in back then like they are now 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, some ballroom dancers make quite a good living for themselves just on coaching, choreographing, and doing exhibition performances, but it’s peanuts compared to what they’re rumored to make on the show (which I’ve heard reported as roughly $6k+ per week). And can you really put a price on the exposure the show gives them??? Since the beginning of the show, how many of the pros have opened successful dance studios with their name plastered on it? So far, I count Cheryl, Karina, Chelsie, and Maks & Tony (with the new Dance with Me in CA). For those who already had dance studios (like Jonathan & Anna), I can only imagine they started booking up faster after their appearance on the show – I know for a fact that Jonathan is now one of the most in-demand pro-am teachers in the country.
How many pros have graced the covers of magazines since joining the cast of the show? Back in the day, the biggest magazine a ballroom dancer could hope to appear in was American Dancer, the bimonthly publication put out to its members by USA Dance – which, of course, was only sent to members. All those invites to parties/award shows/premieres/charity benefits/etc? Probably wouldn’t happen to your average ballroom dancer. And how many pros can now count some pretty big celebrities amongst their friends…and sometimes exes? Without the platform of DWTS, Maks may never have met Kirstie, Derek may never have met Shannon, and Julianne may never have even been in the same room as Ryan Seacrest. In the entertainment business, it really isn’t what you know, it’s who you know – and DWTS has supplied some primo connections for its pros.
I don’t want ths post to be a neverending soapbox of why DWTS is so great, so I’ll get to my point: as much as the pros may bitch & moan in the media about the show and how “unfair” or “fake” it is, at the end of the day I daresay their participation in it has done them far more good than harm – it has plucked many of them out of obscurity and opened doors to opportunities far beyond their imagination as young ballroom competitors. Some (namely Julianne, Derek, Mark, Cheryl & Maks) have parlayed those opportunities into success better than others (namely Alec & Edyta), but even the latter has undoubtedly benefitted from having the show on their resume – Dance Temptation may not have taken off with someone less notable at the helm. And fans, you can take something away from this too – you may complain about how the show has been so “unfair” or “biased against” [insert pro here] (which, of course, is pretty subjective), but I challenge you to imagine a life without that pro in it. Would you rather watch Maks occasionally “take a beating” from the judges, or have never known him at all? Would you rather see Tony tough it out with such duds as Wendy Williams & Kate Gosselin, or have no idea who he is? I know many of you will probably argue “you can’t miss what you never knew to begin with”, but I’ve seen how this show brightens some of your lives, and what an important role some of the pros play in it. They inspire you, entertain you, and can even motivate you to better your own life. Yes, sometimes this show is indeed “unfair”, “fake”, “scripted”, & “storyboarded”, and I’m not saying the viewers or the pros should accept every aspect of the show without complaint. But when it comes down to it, it still fulfills one crucial purpose in the lives of its pros: to share their love of dance with the world…and reap some sweet benefits while they’re at it 😉