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Shawn Johnson Talks DWTS and Olympians

She looks and sounds older than before….which, um, makes sense because her season was what? Three years ago?? :-) The swimmers, Shawn, the swimmers – we need Locte on the show. :-)

August 14, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Random DWTS Trivia – Old School Latin Dancing: Yes, They Actually Danced Liked THAT!

We all marvel over the slick, complex moves and lightening-fast turns & spins we see from the pros on DWTS.  But as I mentioned in my last trivia post about Len, the way Latin is danced now is a far cry from how it looked back in the days of yore – and without saying too much, let’s just say that Latin ballroom has changed for the better since the days of Len ;-)

What has stayed the same? The timing of the dances, and some of the original steps have been adapted slightly to be a bit more impressive and a bit less…hokey.  :-) What is different? Pretty much everything else.  Case in point? Believe it or not, below is a cha-cha from the 1972 World Latin Champions:

I don’t know about you, but I am thoroughly titillated by those sweet moves…and those hot costumes :-P Notice how bouncy and campy everything is. If you’re in need of some more entertainment, I recommend grabbing yourself an adult beverage and taking in this clip of the professional samba round from the old BBC show Come Dancing back in the 80′s:

 Still craving some sweet samba jazz hands? How bout a kinder, gentler paso doble? A throughly UN-romantic rumba, complete with elevator muzak, perhaps? Look no further, because 1979 World Latin Champions Alan & Hazel Fletcher have got you covered:

 Amazing how a powder blue, bedazzled jumpsuit that would make Liberace green with envy can make the paso doble look so…sissyish.  :-) You know something is truly cheesy when, years later (in 2007), a current professional Latin couple pokes fun at the old style in their show dance – and everyone, including the commentators, has a good hearty laugh, because they all realize how silly they looked back in their heydey :-D

 I hope you’ve enjoyed this little Hump Day “blast from the past” – so the next time you find yourself complaining about a routine on the show looking dumb/hokey/boring/etc., just think: it could be worse…they could all still be dancing like this ;-)

July 11, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS 15 All-Stars: Are Donny & Marie Osmond Gearing Up To Dance Again?

So many of you brought it to our attention that Donny was asked about doing the all-star season the other day on The Talk, and I was finally able to locate a clip.  While he seemed to tend more towards the “no” side (“It’s a lot of work!” and “I have one mirror ball trophy I rub in Marie’s face. Why two???), he did say he’d “love to get that trophy again!”.  Video below for those who want to see for themselves…it’s around the 10:00 mark.  Notice how Donny looks a bit guilty & fidgety when first asked about it:

So while Donny seems to give the impression of “sounds fun, but I’m super busy”, I wouldn’t necessarily write him off as a no-go for the all-star season.  I wouldn’t write Marie off just yet, either.  Why, you ask?

Our reader Christy pointed out to us last week that Donny & Marie both appear to have cleared their schedules for the fall, as the last event either of them have listed on their respective websites is a gig in Atlantic City on August 5.  After that, they have nothing scheduled until their UK tour in January of next year.  Are they allocating time to participate in the all-star season, perhaps?

What about their long-running Vegas show? Well, officially, their show at the Flamingo is contracted through October of this year, so there could be a bit of overlap if they do decide to do the all-star season…but the show is dark on Monday evenings, and having a Vegas show sure didn’t seem to stop Donny during his season on DWTS, as Sharon aptly pointed out on The Talk.  And as of right now, you’re only able to purchase tickets for their Vegas show through July 28 on the Flamingo website.  Could they be ending their run in Vegas early, and heading for Hollywood to go head-to-head in the all-star season? 

I decided to get a bit sneaky and see what I could find out by calling the Flamingo box office.  I pretended to be a daughter whose parents were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary and were planning a trip to Vegas, and I wanted to gift them with tickets to the finale of Donny & Marie’s Vegas show in October.  The sales rep on the other end of the line, while very friendly, got a bit dodgy with me at that point, and delivered the obligatory “I’m sorry, ma’am, at this time we have only opened ticket sales for shows leading up to July 28.  But if you call back in a month or so, we might have tickets available for shows at a later date.”  Bah…cop-out.  :-P It could mean nothing – maybe they’re still planning out the last few months of the show’s run.  But I thought it was interesting nonetheless, and gave me some food for thought.  ;-)

So what do you guys think about Donny and/or Marie possibly coming back for the all-star season? Let’s get your thoughts…

June 19, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Random DWTS Trivia: Thor Does the Samba???!!

It’s a slooooowwww news day in DWTS land, so how bout a little random tidbit of DWTS trivia to keep us all entertained…and possibly titillated? ;-)

I think we all know that doing DWTS in the States can revive a slumping career, or kick-star a new one…but the same apparently holds true for international versions of DWTS.  Case in point? Looky who was shakin’ his hips on the Australian version a little over 5 years ago…
 

Yes, chirren, that is none other than Chris Hemsworth – probably best known Stateside as Thor.  Samba-ing his very toned tush to “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)” by Harry Belafonte.  I think my ovaries just exploded.

Who would have thought that 5 years later, he’d be making hearts palpitate on the silver screen…as the Norse god of Thunder?

 

Happy Hump Day, ladies.  :-)

June 13, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS 14 Semi-Finals Saying Good-bye To The Greek Warrior Princess Maria Menounos (Videos)

This post is a collaboration effort between Heidi and I (Vogue). As predicted, it was a painful elimination last night for many of us losing Derek and Maria. Though I have to say I feel so blessed at the same time for witnessing such a pair. One thing this show continues to show every season is the “fight” in people no matter what their challenges and struggles they’ve had and/or what they face. Whatever hits them or how scared they are that they will fail, some people just get back up, start over, and fight that much harder and even in an unselfconscious manner. THAT’S what I’ll remember the most about Maria Menounos with her time on Dancing With The Stars. She proved to people you can do anything you want and there are no excuses or “crying in baseball”. What’s more, Maria did it with so much heart and soul…and with a quirky, fun spirit, and laugh as well. She and Derek really did win a Mirror Ball in a way by not only by giving us some dances we will soon never forget on Dancing With The Stars, but, by finding the close “bond” that they did. So, for those who have come to the site to gloat, laugh, and tee hee at their elimination, go ahead and do so because Derek, Maria, and their fans know what they have truly found and won in a bigger and more important way.

Ok, below is Miss Heidi with a wrap up of all the elimination interviews with Derek and Maria. Be sure to visit Pure Derek Hough for lots more now and in the coming days.

Blurbs from E! News:

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were the couple to say goodbye to the ballroom tonight, but don’t expect any regrets from the TV host!

“I feel like I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish,” she tells us. “I danced every single dance there was.”

Many people were surprised by Maria and Derek’s elimination considering they were at the top of the leaderboard after last night’s performance show, earning a near-perfect score of 59. However, Maria reveals her partner knew their journey was coming to an end. “Derek did prepare me earlier today,” she says. “I’m not gonna lie. He said, ‘I have a feeling we’re going home tonight.’”

Derek isn’t too bummed about coming in fourth. In fact, he actually prefers it! “I always say this: There’s two places to come, first or fourth, because second and third really suck. Coming thisclose and not getting it? That bites. Everybody comes back in the finals anyway, so semifinals is a really place to come besides winning.”

All season long there’s been speculation about Maria and Derek’s sizzling chemistry extending beyond the dance floor. So what did the duo, who shared a steamy kiss during a past performance, have to say for themselves? “We’re going to keep kissing!” Maria tells us, before planting a smooch on Derek’s lips before our very eyes!

Derek knows the ins and outs of this show better than any other pro on this show – and better than me and Courtney, I wager. :-)

From Daily News:

Even though partner Derek Hough dubbed her a “champion of life,” Maria Menounos lost her shot at being the Mirror Ball champ for this season of “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night.

The “Extra” TV correspondent was misty-eyed as host Tom Bergeron revealed that the vibrant couple would be the ones to leave, but she didn’t miss a beat thanking Hough for his continued support.

“I want to obviously thank Derek because I wouldn’t have gotten this far without his awesome choreography,” she said. “I love him and I can’t thank him enough for making this experience what it’s been for me.”

Video from Derek that I had trouble seeing for some reason – you should be able to see it now. And they remain as cute as ever!

Read more..

May 16, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

PureDWTS Personal Interview With The Passionate And ‘Gypsy At Heart’ Sharna Burgess

We have an exclusive “one on one” personal interview with Dancing With The Stars Troupe member Sharna Burgess. As most of you know, I love the Troupe!! Not only do we get to see new dancing talent and a way to see even more dancers dancing on the show, they are the future of Dancing With The Stars as we have seen so far with the addition of the amazing pros Peta Murgatroyd and Tristan MacManus. So, without further ado, below is Sharna on her life and career so far for how and when she began dancing. When I read her answers, I was amazed at how much work she’s done on other dancing and movie projects and Dancing With The Stars “behind the scenes”. I also loved what she said about her other interests, being “a gypsy at heart” and why, and her compassion for her pets and animal rescue in general. Also, did you know she was the lead Latin Choreographer for “StreetDance 2 3D“? She also says there are some amazing things coming up for Dancing With The Stars in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy and if you have any further questions you’d like to ask and know about Sharna, leave them below in the comments section (as well as your thoughts) and we’ll be sure she receives them and feature them at Pure Dancing With The Stars in another new post in the coming weeks. So, below is the beautiful Sharna….

To begin, you are such a beautiful and passionate dancer, how long have you been dancing? How were you inspired to dance and who is your greatest dancing mentor?

Thank you!! Wow I’ve been dancing now for about 20 years (quite frightening how fast that’s gone!). I started when I was 6 with jazz, ballet and tap, and I was 8 when I started ballroom. I was a very active kid, in between singing into hairbrushes and making up dance routines in my lounge room, I was outside climbing trees, riding bikes and playing with all the kids in my neighborhood. I grew up in a country town called Wagga Wagga(Australia) until I was 12, so I was blessed to have a lot of freedom.

I kind of fell into dancing because I was that kid that was in everything. Sports teams, dance class, gymnastics, and swimming. I was always busy doing something. And I had potential for all of it. But even when you’re that young, something sticks to you more then the other. When I was 12 we moved to Sydney and it was too difficult to try and continue everything, simply put we couldn’t afford it in the big city. So I chose dance, it wasn’t difficult, I knew what I wanted the most. I found my passion, and I didn’t need the rest of it.

Its very difficult to pick a mentor, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the worlds best and most respected ballroom dancers, and each of them special for their own strengths. I think possibly, the man who helped me find who I was as a dancer was Jason Gilkison. He taught me to discover myself through dance. It was quite an amazing transformation, realizing that being different and unique is a strength not a disadvantage.

My greatest idols however!! I think everybody in this industry will mention Michael Jackson, and I am no exception to that. I respect and admire creative individuality, innovation and breaking the rules.

Taking a look back to your first competition dance: what was it like and what do you remember the most about it? Also, what is your greatest memory looking back at your competition days?

LOL!!! BIG HAIR…. BIG BIG HAIR! That’s what I remember most :)   My first competition I was in a lime green costume, my mum was fussing over me with lipstick and hair, making everything perfect. And my Grandma and Dad had THE proudest looks on their faces I think I’ve ever seen. I danced right in front of them on the floor, and I can still hear my dads voice cheering “COME ON MICHAEL AND SHARNA”. It wasn’t long after that we were traveling up and down Australia doing all the bigger competitions, and despite my young age, I had goals, I wanted to win… I wanted to be the best. It’s kind of special to remember that first day, my parents are my biggest supporters. Without them I would not be here answering your questions, I owe them a lot.

My greatest memory isn’t necessarily my greatest accomplishment. From the minute I started setting goals, the one at the very top of my list was hearing my name announced while walking down the staircase in the final of the Australian Open Championships. At the time that seemed like the biggest thing in the world I could do! And at 14 I made the Junior Open Latin final and walked down those stairs. It was incredible, the feeling of accomplishment, and hearing the arena erupt with all of my friends and family supporting me. I was walking on air and that smile didn’t leave my face for days!

How did it come about when you were asked to be on Dancing With The Stars?

Read more..

May 12, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS 14, Week 7 – Who’s Got the Edge in the Team Dances?

So we now know for sure what the team dances are (paso doble & tango) and who’s on what team (Katherine, Maria, Jaleel, & Roshon vs. William, Donald, & Melissa).  So who’s gonna win? Let’s see how they stack up.  I looked at several factors that could come into play in helping to determine who has the advantage – experience level of the pros on each team, experience level of the couples on each team, number of couples on each team, what dance each team has, and other miscellaneous factors that may affect the outcome.  So let’s get to it!

Pro Team Dance Experience

Derek: 6 wins (seasons 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13), 0 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 27.5
Cheryl: 4 wins (seasons 7, 8, 10, 13), 1 loss (season 11), 0 ties; average team dance score: 26.8
Kym: 2 wins (seasons 7 & 9), 1 loss (season 13), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25.75*
Maks: 2 wins (seasons 11 & 13), 1 loss (season 10), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25*
Chelsie: 1 win (season 8), 0 losses, 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25*
Mark: 0 wins, 2 losses (seasons 8 & 11), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 23.67*
Peta: 0 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties (never been in a team dance); average team dance score: 0

*Since there were 4 judges’ scores given for the team dances in season 12, I subtracted Donnie Burns’ score from the two team dances in that season in order to normalize with all of the other seasons, which only had 3 judges’ scores. 

Team Tango: I’d say their biggest advantage is having Derek – the guy’s undefeated, so he’s clearly figured out the formula for what works and what doesn’t work in the team dances.  Say what you will about team dances being a product of all the pros working together (I agree to some extent), but the only common denominator in every single team dance win has been Derek, regardless of what other pros have been on each team with him, what the dance style has been, etc.  Many of the pros have also gone on record as saying that they tend to let Derek take the lead when choreographing the group portions of the team dance, so I’d say he probably has a lot to do with the success of each of the teams he’s on, as the judges do tend to really harp on synchonization, interesting formation patterns, and overall performance quality in the group portion of team dances.  I’d say Kym is an asset as well – she’s been on a team with Derek twice before (one of those times was another team tango), and when she hasn’t been on a team with him, she’s managed to tie once, and the 1 team dance she lost was not really all that bad, IMO.  I don’t really know if Chelsie is battle-tested enough to say whether she’s good in the team dance or not – but I don’t get the impression that she is one to make waves, so she will probably be very cooperative and easy to get along with.  My only concern is Mark – he seemed rather volatile in the team dance rehearsals in season 12, and seems to have a penchant for very flashy, high-energy, in-your-face choreo…which doesn’ t always translate well in the team dances.  I’m hoping that he lets Derek take the lead on the group choreography, and really focuses on giving Katherine some good, solid solo choreography this week.

Team Paso: While I think they don’t have quite the same edge that Team Katherine does, I don’t think they’re super weak, either.  Both Cheryl & Maks have been on teams with Derek before, so they’ve probably at least picked up a few tricks and strategies – I would say Maks is probably the stronger choreographer, judging from what I’ve seen him do in other team dances and pro dances.  The big question mark here is Peta – we just don’t know how she’s going to fare, since this will be her first team dance.  I doubt she’s going to suck at it (I don’t think anyone has really sucked at it – except maybe the unfortunate souls in the team mambo in season 8…), but it may take her a little longer to really get a feel for how the team dances work and what to do for Donald’s solo.  I think she’s probably going to rely on Cheryl & Maks for the group choreo, and isn’t likely to make any sort of big fuss, since she’s the new kid on the block.

Who has the edge in pro experience? I’ve got to give this one to Team Tango - they’ve got the only undefeated pro, and each of the other pros has been in at least 2 team dances. Read more..

April 26, 2012 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS 14 – Derek Hough and Maria Menounos on Ellen!

Coming up on Monday. Ellen put a preview on her site which is pretty cute.  Especially the gift that Ellen gives Maria at the end. :-)

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

April 20, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Talking Tech with Maria Menounos and Derek Hough

This is kind of an odd little interview in USA Today, but I think this team will take all the PR they can get at this point.  They are being pretty much ignored by the other entertaiment shows besides E! and Extra.

Hough: “Because I’m choreographing the dance and I’m also in it, I need to see what we’re doing. I need a third eye. Using the iPhone or iPad to record is crucial. After I teach her the routines, I can view the video to see what I can’t see when I’m dancing with her, and e-mail her the video. I used to use a video camera, which now seems so old-fashioned, because the iPhone can do much more. It’s with me all the time, it’s high-definition, and I can e-mail directly from the device.”

Menounos watches the videos at the end of the night, while relaxing in an Epsom salt bath. “It’s a learning tool. I say, ‘Why did I bend that leg? The arm is supposed to be somewhere else.’ ”
The pair make frequent iPhone videos, which are posted online, aimed at getting viewers to vote to keep them in the Stars competition.

I had to add this picture from the Daily Mail – they get so little right, credit where due. :-)

April 15, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 14 – Derek Hough’s Week of ROCK!

Derek posted a series of videos on his website that show a variety of things he and the other pros (and Maria, Katherine and William) did this past week. Rather entertaining. :-) Click the link to see all the videos, but I’ve put two of them below.  The second one is an example of what we were describing on another post – some of the pros and celebs getting out in front of the crowd during the pre-show warm up.  Looks kinda fun. :-)

April 12, 2012 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)