For Apolo’s best dance, I picked his samba – which I still think is the best samba from a contestant that we’ve ever seen on DWTS:
For his worst dance, I picked the ill-advised Pulp Fiction jive he & Julianne did:
I think the most obvious advantage that jumps out at me when I watch these videos is chemistry – Apolo & Julianne had FANTASTIC chemistry, and I think that helped carry them through week after week. The question is: can he forge that same chemistry with Karina? If he can, then I think these two could be frontrunners this season. Apolo’s obviously got some natural rhythm and is comfortable moving his body, so Karina’s definitely got something to work with. However, Apolo’s Achilles’ heel (hehe) does seem to be really refined footwork – I saw instances in both his samba & his jive (ESPECIALLY his jive) where he just seems to put his feet wherever they feel comfortable, and the end result looks a bit confused and purposeless. POINT YOUR TOES, APOLO! I also think his showmanship could use a little work – Apolo mentions in samba rehearsals that he’s used to keeping a “poker face” in speed skating, so it’s hard for him to really use his face to emote. He did pretty well in season 4, but I still saw a few instances of “poker face” – especially if he wasn’t quite sure of what he was doing and was trying to regain his bearings…I noticed it in his jive, whenever he seemed to foul up. With such big personalities like Joey & Kirstie around this season, I think Apolo is going to have to really work on projecting a BIG personality on the floor – he’s got the range of motion, now he just needs the range of personality I also hope that Karina is able to strike a nice balance between dancing well and not outdancing Apolo – as much as I loved Julianne with Apolo, I do think there were times that she really outshined him, and I noticed it big time in their samba. I do think Karina is a pro that is able to find that right balance, though, so I think that’s an advantage.
Court’s verdict: Definitely one to watch, especially if he can forge a good chemistry with Karina & clean up his footwork – and if he can bring enough personality to the table to compete with big personalities like Joey & Kirstie
So what are your thoughts on Apolo? Does he have the juice to go all the way?
Today I continue my series with season 4 runner-up Joey Fatone – for those who want to play catch-up, check out my previous editions featuring Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, and Drew Lachey
For Joey’s best dance, I picked his 2nd jive to “Jump, Jive, & Wail”:
And for his worst dance, I picked his 2nd cha-cha to “Groove is in the Heart”:
Without a doubt, Joey sure has got the showmanship portion of dancing down pat – to this day, I still think he’s one of the most entertaining celebs that have ever graced the DWTS floor. And he moves big – he always seemed to do a really good job of using the entire floor and stretching each step to its limit. However, the big caveat that often comes with moving big is moving sloppy – and I think Joey, being a bigger guy, sometimes loses a bit of technique & precision in the process of “moving big”. I find it a bit interesting that he & Drew seem to have the opposite problem: Drew has the precision, but not the size & degree of motion; Joey has the size & degree of motion, but seems to lack the precision. And unfortunatley, when it comes down to it, I think the judges will (or at least SHOULD) favor precision & technique over size & impact. With strong technicians like Gilles in the competition, I think Joey’s going to have to work on really refining his movements, while not sacrificing the big entertainment value he brings to the stage. I’m also noticing another possible problem – and I actually think the fault lies more with Kym: some of their choreography in their original season seems to favor style over substance. I’m guessing that Kym was trying to really choreograph to Joey’s strengths as a showman, but upon close scrutiny, it seems like there’s a lot of “fluff” and not a whole lot of basic steps in some of their routines – I think they got called out for it big time in that 2nd cha-cha. They may have been able to get away with excess “fluff” in their original season, but with so many talented, strong technicians this season, I don’t think they’re going to have any choice but to buckle down and give Len some good meat-and-potatoes choreography.
So now comes the obvious question: how is his time in the Vegas show going to give him an edge this season? Well I think obvious benefit is just being in the “swing” of being onstage – as I said in my post about Drew, I think anyone who has been performing on stage within the last year or so is probably going to have a bit of advantage in that they are still in the groove of performing, and are likely feeling confident in their stage presence.. Given that Joey has actually been doing ballroom for the past few months in the DWTS Vegas show, too, I daresay he is a lot less rusty than some of the others who haven’t done any dancing since their initial seasons. In particular, he seems to have cleaned up his technique and become quite the lifter:
All in all, I think it will be a big advantage for Joey, given that it’s actually given him time to sharpen up his skills. But I do see a few possible drawbacks, the biggest of which being burnout – Joey has already been dancing for a little over 3 months straight in the Vegas show, and although he seems to have a bit of a break between when the Vegas show wrapped earlier this month and when rehearsals begin in the next week or so, I think its entirely possible he may just get exhausted by the middle of the season. We’ve seen how celebs meltdown after only a few weeks – can you imagine a few MONTHS? And keep in mind that the pace of the tv show is pretty breakneck compared to the Vegas show – Joey really just had to repeat the same routines night after night out there; now he’s gotta go back to learning & performing new ones (and performing them well!) in only a few days. Keep in mind, too, that the Vegas show is a lot less “strictly ballroom” than the show – there was quite a bit of hip-hop, jazz, disco, and other genres thrown in out there. It was what I like to call “watered-down ballroom” – and we all know that’s not Len’s cup of tea. Will Joey be able to make the transition?
Court’s verdict: Joey will definitely be one to watch this season, but he’s going to have to clean up his technique quite a bit if he wants to be a real contender. Kym is also going to have to focus on giving him routines with a lot of basic steps and without a ton of fluff, so they don’t get called out for lack of content. Overall, though, I see him lasting quite awhile, and possibly even making it to the finale 😎
So what are your thoughts on Joey? Big contender, or overrated?
So far, we’ve taken a look at both Kelly Monaco & Emmitt Smith’s original seasons on DWTS. Today, we backtrack a bit to take a look at Drew’s original season
For Drew’s best dance, I waffled back & forth between he & Cheryl’s tango & paso doble…but I ultimately picked their famous “Thriller” paso doble, as I think it best shows off how Drew was the total package of skill & showmanship:
And while I noticed that Drew & Cheryl didn’t really have any truly terrible dances in their original season, per se, I ended up picking their week 1 cha-cha as their worst dance, because Drew looks a bit awkward and unsure of what to do with his hands:
Ohhh, how I DON’T miss the days before the show began broadcasting in HD 😛 Once again, I’m struck by the same thing I see when watching Emmitt & Kelly’s dances: the quality of dancing on the show has improved drastically since the first few seasons. Even though I think Drew was much better than Kelly & Emmitt from a technical perspective, I still think he’s going to be hard-pressed to match up with the skill of Joey or Gilles (two guys who didn’t even win their respective seasons), right out of the gate. I also think the choreography back then wasn’t as good as it is now – and that could prove problematic for all 3 of the early winners (Kelly, Drew, & Emmitt), as the pros have all stepped their game up quite a bit since those seasons. It could be a bit jarring for them to go from easily handling the choreography on their own seasons, to having to fight tooth and nail to just get a decent score each week of the all-star season, with the bar being raised so much. On the plus side, Drew seems to have a good deal of “attack” to his dancing – he isn’t hesitant or wishy-washy, and goes for everything 100%. Seems very confident out on the floor, and doesn’t seem to have any glaring timing issues. But man – I had forgotten how short Drew is. He moves “big” for his size, and does seem to extend his limbs impressively far, given his stature – but I’m picturing him next to the very willowy Gilles, who had quite possibly the most fantastic extension in his arms & legs of any guy I’ve ever seen on the show (except maybe Roshon, but I swear that boy was made of rubber!)…and I’m just imagining that poor Drew is just not going to measure up, no matter how far he stretches. Not his fault – but it’s unfortunately the hand he was dealt by nature. Part of me thinks he may have been physically better matched with Chelsie, since she would have given him an extra 2″ of leeway, but I do think he may actually have an advantage with Anna – these two seem to have really hit the ground running with “getting themselves out there” since the announcement of the cast. They are tweeting up a storm, have set up an official Facebook page which they are updating frequently with videos and pictures, and just seem to have forged a really great partnership – I seriously can’t stop smiling when I see these two!
So what, if anything, has Drew done since season 2 to keep his dance skills sharp? Well, he has been practicing for the 98 Degrees reunion tour, and they actually performed on the Today show yesterday:
Ok – admittedly, 98 Degrees was the boy band of the 1990’s that did the least amount of dancing…and the little they did do was pretty basic “work the mic, jazz square here, hand gesture there”-type stuff. But Drew actually seems to be taking this choreography, no matter how cheesy it looks, pretty seriously – he’s snapping his head nicely, making good eye contact, and staying on time. And as crazy as that sounds – I think that may actually be an unexpected advantage he has this season. I know everyone seems eager to point out that Joey being onstage in the Vegas show is huge advantage this season, and it is – but I would argue that really ANY contestant that has been onstage in some song & dance capactity within the last year or so has probably got an advantage. Gotta keep those performing skills sharp!
Court’s verdict: Drew is obviously going to have to step up his game quite a bit in order to compete with more recent contestants like Gilles – but he could be a bit of a dark horse this season, given his work ethic and the chemistry he has forged with Anna. He is probably the most skilled of the “early” champions, and if he’s willing to put in the effort (and Anna can give him some good choreography), he could give some of the favorites this season (Gilles, Joey, Shawn, etc.) a good run for their money. One to watch, for sure!
So what do you guys think of Drew? Possible dark horse…or a possible dud?
UPDATE: Thanks to @BeerBabeSuzi (an NKOTB friend of mine who also runs a fantastic 98 Degrees fan sitethat’s been around for 10 years!), here’s some video of 98 Degrees performing at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania over the weekend – and it looks like Drew has been practicing his Latin hips 😉 The song is “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” and it starts at about the 2:50 mark. Check out Drew on the right, getting pretty into his dance moves 😉
So last week, we took a look at Kelly Monaco’s best & worst dances from her original season. Today, we’re gonna skip over Drew (he’s coming later – and there’s a good reason why ;-)) and move onto season 3, which Emmitt won with Cheryl – and he’s partnered with her again this season. Let us reminisce…
For Emmitt’s best dance, I chose his mambo, which got a 29:
And for his worst dance, what else would I pick but the infamous, comically bad “Simply Irresistible” tango?:
Ok, is it just me, or is Emmitt kind of a “small” mover? I mean, he’s a big guy, but in both of his dances he strikes me as a bit cautious in the way he moves…I’ll admit I wasn’t a religious viewer back in season 3, but rewatching a lot of his stuff now, I have to think “Wow…and he won his season???” Like Kelly & Drew, I think his big struggle is just going to be “catching up” to the rest of the contestants from more recent seasons – because the choreography, the energy level, and the overall performance value have all gotten A LOT tougher. It’s also been 6 years since he last danced, and while 43 isn’t terribly old, it can sure feel that way for a former football player with 20 years of wear-and-tear on his body – he may find that it’s not as easy to move now as it was 6 years ago. On the plus side, Emmitt’s got a fun personality on the floor – he seems like he has a great time out there, and isn’t afraid to cut loose and shake his stuff. He’s also got a great personality, which never hurts.
Court’s verdict: Like Kelly, I think Emmitt’s biggest struggle is just going to be catching up to the caliber of competition the show has reached since his original season – and unfortunately, everyone this season (with the exception of Bristol) is a pretty decent dancer, so there’s not going to be a ton of bad dancers to burn through to shield Emmitt from elimination. He and Cheryl are both going to have to step their game up – and he may find that he needs a bit more time to practice than some of the younger, more mobile contestants. He’s got the personality factor working for him, but in order to stick around, he’s going to have to pair that personality with some more difficult choreography. Will be interesting to see what he & Cheryl pull out!
So what do you, our PureDWTS readers, think of Emmitt this season? Will he repeat the success he had in season 3 – or be sent packing early?
Ok, so for a NORMAL season, this is the time where I’d usually cull videos from YouTube that show our new crop of celebrities doing dance-related things in their past that may or may not help their performance on DWTS, and then Heidi, Vogue, & I would point & laugh and generally have a grand ol’ time offering our commentary But obviously, this season is not following that pattern – there’s not much point in looking at videos of Kirstie dancing around in the kitchen scene of Look Who’s Talking or Drew Lachey gyrating onstage with 98 Degrees when we already have footage of them dancing on DWTS…so why not take a look at some of their best & worst performances from their original seasons, and see how they stack up? In addition, I’ll try to add videos of any dancing the celebs have done SINCE their season, that may or may not help them this time around.
Today we’ll start with the ladies, and we’ll start at the very beginning: season 1, which Kelly Monaco won. For her best dance, I picked her freestyle:
And for her worst, I chose the waltz:
Ok, first thing that jumps out at me here: the bar has definitely been raised quite a bit since season 1 – the level of the dancing is much higher now than it was in Kelly’s season, which could pose some big problems for her. I’m always a bit reluctant to pick someone’s freestyle as their “best dance” (because I think freestyles are usually pretty universally-pleasing, since the couples can do whatever they want), but in this case, I feel like it actually had quite a bit of ballroom content and thus was more on-par with what she was capable of in a regular dance. With that being said – it’s still a pretty weak freestyle, when you look at the freestyles we’ve seen since season 1. Kelly’s getting off-time, missing steps, and generally looking pretty wobbly on her feet – it may have gotten a 30 back in season 1, but I’d be surprised if it would have gotten anything more than a 23 in a more current season…and I think she’d be lucky to even break into the 20’s during the all-star season, if it’s going to be as competitive as I think it is. As for her waltz – it was during the first week of the first season, so there was undoubtedly some major nerves at work and I think she just ended up very stiff & scared. And did I just see some pretty blatant lifts in there??? I don’t necessarily think it was bad…it just wasn’t very interesting to watch. But there isn’t going to be any room for nerves on this season, so Kelly’s going to have to overcome those pretty quickly if she wants to stick around.
So has Kelly been doing any dancing since season 1 wrapped that might help her this time around? Well…yes and no. She did a brief stint in the burlesque revue Peepshow in Vegas back in ’09, along with Mel B (WARNING: It’s slightly racy…avert your eyes if you’re offended by pole dancing, lingerie, and gyrations):
Ok, so it looks like Kelly didn’t do a TON of real dancing in Peepshow…seems like just a lot of gyrating suggestively and being a sexpot. So while it might not necessarily help her with her actual dancing, I do think it might help her stage presence in that it will help her evoke a more confident, sexy, smoldering character for dances like the rumba & Argentine tango.
Court’s verdict: All things considered, I think Kelly’s unfortunately one of the weaker contestants this season, and has got a lot of hard work ahead of her if she expects to stick around – the fact that there are several non-winners (Joey, Kirstie, Melissa, even Pam) on this season that are quite a bit better than Kelly in terms of dance skill tells me she’s got some tough competition. However, she’s also still young and in good shape, which could give her an edge over some of the older contestants.
What do you guys think? Does Kelly have the juice to go all the way, or will she flame out early?
So last Wednesday, we took a look at the male contestants’ dancing pasts. Today we’ll take a look at the women, who are arguably less talented (and more comical) this season 😉
First up, we have the much buzzed-about Sherri Shepherd, who, aside from possibly taking some lessons at Dance with Me prior to the start of this season, also busted some moves in a choreographed hip-hop number at her wedding reception:
Court: She’s not stellar, but she’s keeping up pretty well – and paired with the extra practice she’s gotten prior to the show, I’d say she has a pretty good foundation. What’s funnier to me about this clip is Elizabeth Hasselbeck – poor girl sticks out like a sore thumb in line 😛
Heidi: Heh. When the women are dancing it’s like “Dancing with America’s Next Top Model” they are so stiff. Thank god for the men – they’re killin’ it.
Vogue: I sure hope Big Bird isn’t around as he might want to steal the wedding bride? 😯
The verdict: Sherri may have some hip-hop moves, but it looks like Val’s got his work cut out for him!
Now let’s take a look at Maria Menounos, who got an impromptu belly dancing lesson during a segment on Access Hollywood:
Heidi: :::whines::: Derek gets ALL the dancers. She’s such a ringer.
Vogue: Hmmm, I’m afraid for Derek now a little. Is anyone else?
Courtney: I think this clip just reiterates for me that her biggest obstacle likely won’t be the dances themselves, but just getting over feeling like a goober when she dances – you can tell she feels totally silly here, and it makes her look even more ridiculous.
The verdict: D’s on goober patrol this season.
Up next, we have Katherine Jenkins, who did a number from Carmen during her arena tour that involved some dancing:
Vogue: She’s got some dance skills for sure. What’s more, girl knows about theatrics and how they work. Mark is theatrical in his dancing as well. He’s going to be in heaven with this one.
Court: If she can overcome the potential fanbase problems I could see her having, she could be pretty good – hell, this dance even looks vaguely paso doble-y.
Heidi: Okay, so why is no one screaming “ringer” over this one? The Opera Singer does some actual dancing. Then again, odds are that Mark won’t focus on her in the choreography so it won’t matter. 😀
The verdict: Opera or no opera – Katherine could actually be kinda good.
Let’s move on to Gladys Knight, who admitted during the cast announcement that the Pips “never let her dance”! So admittedly, there really aren’t any videos of Gladys dancing…but I will never turn down the opportunity to listen to the Empress of Soul herself belt out the song that made her famous – “Midnight Train to Georgia”:
Courtney: I doubt the Pips would have taught Gladys anything truly worthwhile that would help her on this show 😛 I mean, side-tap, other side-tap, walk backwards, walk forwards, gesture with your arms. I’m pretty sure an orangutan with ADD could probably do it. But I’m nonetheless excited to see what Gladys has up her sleeve 😛
Heidi: Er, well, sure me too…keeping in mind this video is probably from 30 years ago.
Vogue: When Gladys is finished with Dancing With The Stars, she’ll be able to trade places with her back up singers. Nice moves!!
The verdict: Gladys may not have learned much from the Pips, but she could still be a contender.
Up next, we have this season’s “tough cookie”, Martina Navratilova – and I must admit, I think I found the perfect video for her Why? It’s very ironic…just watch:
Heidi:I certainly admire the thought behind this video – Martina trying to keep people on the move and active. But dancing?? A bit stiff. But then, that comes with age, especially for top ranked athletes.
Vogue: Martina is going to be fierce. I have a feeling when she gets the hip movement down for a Samba, she won’t need a racquet to play tennis anymore.
Court: Ok, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m not sold on Martina being as fierce on the dance floor as she is on the tennis court. And in this clip, she actually doesn’t seem all that enthralled by dance to me – you could replace “dance” with “colonoscopy” and it would make more sense for me 😛 But she does seem to have the right philosophy – even if it was scripted. But check out the dude in the background…he’s cracking me up!
The verdict: Not sure about Martina, but the dude in the background LOVES to dance!
Last up, we have Melissa Gilbert, who is best known for playing Laura “Half Pint” Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. Here’s a cute clip of the episode where she stole Nellie’s music box and danced to it in the hay loft…although I doubt it played Adele:
Vogue: I’m utterly speechless. At this point in time, I’d say Maks (like Derek) is in trouble as well. 😯
Court: Granted, this clip is older than the hills, and I’m not sure that pioneer girls really had a whole lot of slick moves to bust. But it’s cute, and it’s the only remotely dance-related clip of Melissa I could find 😛
Heidi: Heh, this could be one of those times that growing older is helpful. 😉
WARNING: If you came here to seriously bitch & moan about how so-and-so has an unfair advantage due to their previous dance experience and how you’re boycotting the show and yadda yadda yadda – look elsewhere We’ve been doing this for a few seasons now, and here’s the gist: many of the celebs on the show have at least SOME dance experience coming into the show – be it good or bad…and often, comically bad. Hence the quotations around the title – this is a very tongue-in-cheek post, kids. 😉
Today we’re gonna take a look at this season’s male celebs, and see just exactly how much hoofin’ they’ve done in the past and discuss what it might mean for them on the show – and we’ll probably point & laugh and generally act like teenage boys in our commentary. 😎
First up, let’s take a look at Jack Wagner, who is perhaps best known as Frisco Jones from the soap opera General Hospital from 1984-95. Jack’s also a musician, and this clip is montage of Frisco & his on-screen (and former off-screen!) love, Felicia, dancing to his song “Dancing in the Moonlight”:
Court: Ahhh, the magic of VHS recordings back in the 80s & 90s…such a crisp picture. Overall, a lot of soap opera-y swaying, with a little bit of goofball pseudo-swing dancing and fake tango thrown in…although some of what he was doing looked like it could have almost been west coast swing. Hmmm. Think he could get Anna to recreate that fake tango he did with Felicia, complete with a beret and French mustache? 😛
Heidi: When are they going to start dancing? What?
Vogue: Wow, let Jack wine and dine me anytime. But, seriously, if Jack can turn on the charm and romance as we see in the video above, can you imagine what his Waltz’s (or anything he dances to for that matter) are going to be like? *faints and fans myself*
The verdict: Only soap operas can make non-dancing look so..electrifying.
Now let’s take a look at Gavin DeGraw, who admittedly doesn’t do a whole lot of dancing, but rather “rhythmic swaying” during an impromptu version of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” during a live show (skip to the 2:20 mark):
Heidi: Nice pack…um….yeah, he’s aright.
Vogue: Uh oh, watch out for a killer and wicked Samba if nothing else. 😯
Court: I don’t know about you guys, but when I get the uncontollable urge to sing Tina Turner songs, I doff my guitar and start dancing like a drunken gypsy.
The verdict: Just say no to random Tina Turner covers, kids.
Up next we have Donald Driver, who, like many NFL players, seems to have his own brand of “touchdown dance”:
Vogue: Who needs Victor Cruz when we’ve got this guy instead? SERIOUSLY!! The Cruz for the Driver!!
Court: Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle…he’s sexy & he knows it. That dance looks vaguely peacock-ish – like he’s showing us his fancy feathers.
Heidi: And the feathers are, like, really small cuz we only get a wiggle with a swing of about an inch and a half. Or would it be really big feathers and you only have to do a tiny wiggle to get lots of feather shaking?? :::confused:::
Courtney: It’s the latter, dear. Peacocks’ feathers span out so far that it kinda makes them top-heavy – if they shake ’em too hard, they fall over. I’ve witnessed it 😉
The verdict: Is Donald brave enough to let us see his peacock? 😉
Our next contestant is this season’s resident heartthrob, William Levy, who is probably best known for being J. Lo’s man candy in her “I’m Into You” video. But alas, some semi-rhythmic writhing on a beach doesn’t really count as “dancing”, so I found this clip, which appears to be from some telenovela – it’s completely in Spanish and it looks to have Russian or Greek subtitles (WTF?), but the basic gist appears to be that he and another beefcakey guy had their car break down on a dirt road, some other considerably less-beefcakey guy tried to fix it and failed, but thankfully a taxi full of middle-aged female tourists was driving by and stopped to offer assistance (and ogle the shirtless beefcakes)…and whilst fixing the car, the urge to dance hits William and he does a brief bit of salsa with one of the tourist ladies (1:39 mark):
Court: Telenovelas are funny 😛 I have no idea what the hell they’re saying, but the minute I heard one of the tourists yell “Guapo!” and gesture towards the 2 shirtless men – I knew it was on, senor. Gotta say – William doesn’t look totally inept. He’s probably done at least a little salsa & merengue in his day – kinda like JR. But he’s also a model, so he’s probably more used to standing still that moving around. I predict lots of posing and Cheryl dancing around him this season
Heidi: He’s the one in the hat? Yeah…no fanbase in the US but it might not matter. But he better be the second coming of Gilles. He had relatively little competition.
Vogue: I predict right now that William Levy will be one of the sexiest male dancers to have ever graced the Dancing With The Stars stage. What’s more, it will be a “natural” kind of sexy that he can’t help. He just has that “look” to melt hearts. If Cheryl can find a way to capitalize on that and make him into a dancer, watch out.
The verdict: William es un chico muy guapo! Mis pantalones estan en fuego!!!
We’ve saved the 2 strongest contenders for last. First, let’s take a look at Roshon Fagen, who busts some pretty impressive moves at the end of a Radio Disney interview on the set of Shake it Up (2:00 mark):
And then Roshon assures us that he gets “Down on the Dance Flo” in this music video:
Heidi: Dude’s voice hasn’t even changed yet. Also not impressed with his dancing here – mainly because someone was saying he’s a trained dancer. Trained in what kind of dancing, I have to ask.
Vogue: He’s young. He has lots of energy to burn. What’s more, he’s refreshing. I think Roshon is going to be a huge contender in this competition.
Court: Maybe formal hip-hop training? Idk…I don’t really know if there is such a thing. Ooh, that’s a hefty promise, Roshon – promising you get down on the dance floor? I hope you’re ready to deliver Kid can certainly move, but can he translate that gyrating into a foxtrot? A waltz?
The verdict: Kid’s got potential…but can Chelsie harnass it?
Last but certainly not least, we have Jaleel White, who already seems to be the favorite to win this season for many of us. Since Jaleel is best known from his days as Steve Urkel from Family Matters, I simply have to include a clip of his famous “Urkel dance” – which, surprise surprise, I cannot find an embedabble copy of him doing the original one on YouTube, so here he is doing it as Al’s date to the dance on Step By Step during a crossover episode (if you want to see the original, go here.) :
And more recently, here he is cutting a rug in Cee Lo Green’s “Cry Baby” video:
Vogue: I’m impressed. He’s got it all and a ‘smoothness” to boot. What’s more, I felt an automatic attraction with he and Kym during the cast announcement. This is going to be good. I’m really looking forward to these two.
Heidi: Not bad, not bad. Lose the penis and dance with Derek and he’d be a ringer for sure!!
Courtney: I have to respect any man that played such a dork for so many years…and yet somehow seems uber-slick & smooth now I’m actually kinda curious how much Jaleel is going to draw from his Urkel repertoire while on the show…I know he was really touchy about the whole Urkel thing for several years after Family Matters ended, because he was having a hard time finding roles because people couldn’t imagine him as anything other than Urkel. Should be interesting to see if he pays homage to it, or avoids it completely.
The verdict: Do not underestimate the Urkel.
Stay tuned for our assessment of the female competitors later this week 😉
First up we have Ralph Macchio, who appears to be the early favorite from the boys this season. Here he is cutting a rug in the school dance scene from Karate Kid II:
Courtney: Awww, Ralph was so cute here! Such a ham with those skinny little chicken legs and the air guitar 😛 And homeboy had some serious swing moves back then – maybe he’s still got a few now. Some are already murmuring “ringer” because of this video, and I feel I must point out that Ralph was only 25 here (he’s 49 now) and he likely just learned this routine for the movie. I doubt it’s truly indicative of any underlying dance prowess.
Vogue:I want to seriously murmur “ringer” here. Ralph has definitely got what it takes to dance….or atleast he did at one time? Though I am having so much trouble seeing him spray-tanned and wearing sparkley spandex. 😯
Heidi:Hey, so what if he’s 50 and danced in a movie 25 years ago?? He’s the male Jennifer Grey!!! She’s 50 and danced in a movie 25 years ago!! So what if it was only one dance that she rehearsed for a month!! RINGER!! (er, that was sarcasm, for those bound to take me seriously.)
Next up is Hines Ward, the longest-tenured player on the Steelers roster and the first Korean-American to win a Superbowl MVP award (there’s your fun FYI for the day :-)). Here he is celebrating his Superbowl XLIII win with teammate Troy Polamalu at an after party:
Vogue: He is having so much fun doing a shuffle there he never played his trumpet. 😥
Heidi: No, Vogue, he’s just holding his “trumpet” and playing with it. Typical football player.
Courtney: Um, wow. I guess nothing says victory like a little Tina Turner and a fake trumpet solo Methinks Hines maybe hit the sauce that night…looks like the swaying might not be 100% intentional. Not that I blame him, haha.
Now we move onto Chris Jericho, who seems to be another early favorite this season. In this clip from back in his WWE days, he does an impromptu groove-along with Too Cool & Chyna – Chris is the one with the long blonde hair, just so we’re clear (WARNING: gratuitous male buttock shot at 1:25. Avert your eyes if it offends you ;-)):
Heidi: WTF was that??? I can see why they’re wearing sunglasses – I’m assuming they blacked out the lenses completely.
Courtney: All I can say is that I’m glad he ditched the Meatloaf-inspired ‘do and slimmed down a bit. All that bulky muscle is a turn-off…his neck was about as big as my waist! But hey, if nothing else – the dude doesn’t take himself too seriously. Which is good
Vogue: Hey, a new hairdo I have never thought of trying before!
Here we have Romeo (nee Lil Romeo), who has a solo rap career in addition to a group called the College Boys, which was formed while he was a student (and basketball player!) at USC. This is their song “Footwork” – Romeo is the one wearing dark sunglasses throughout the video:
Courtney: Yes, this song is very dumb and repetitive. But at least he isn’t singing about bling & beyotches & capping snitches and making constipated noises like his dear ol’ dad. Romeo’s got moves, fo sho. Will this translate to the ballroom? We’ll see…but I will say this: if people were up in arms last season that Jennifer was a ringer by virtue of being in a dance movie, then they’re gonna be angry again, because Romeo was in Honey back in ’03 with Jessica Alba. Or is it only unfair if Derek gets someone that’s been in a dance movie? Please, clue me in
Vogue: He’s on my foot work foot work foot work foot work foot work foot work foot work this yo oh boy my feet are hurting just watching this. 😯
Heidi: I weep for this season.
Mike Catherwood can be seen below on The Regis and Kelly Show recently, with the closest thing we could find to him dancing. Hey, dancing comes in all shapes and forms
Vogue: Who cares if he can dance or not? This is all I NEED to make me happy for the rest of the Season! 😀
Courtney: Meooooowwww. I wonder if he can make his pecs dance? If so, he has ALL of my votes. I think we should start a petition that Mike has to do all of his dances shirtless…and covered in baby oil. Who’s with me?
Heidi: Can I vote now? What’s his number? Who do I call to make sure he gets the Lambada? :::runs off to buy stock in Vaseline::: :::crash:::: Ow. Wall.
And lastly, we have Sugar Ray Leonard…and no, he’s not actually dancing (at least in the context we’re referring to), but he is “dancing” with his opponent, Bruce Finch, in the boxing ring during his heydey:
Heidi: He’s a cute little feather weight. Betcha Anna can keep him in line pretty easily. And no, I have no idea if he’s a feather weight or not – I am talking about something I know nothing about. But he’s still cute.
Vogue: Uh oh, I have a feeling he may give new meaning to “Blood On The Dancefloor”. 😯
Courtney: I can’t imagine that boxing wouldn’t somehow help Sugar Ray this season – look at how light he is on his feet. And swift! I bet he’ll do well at the ballroom dances. And if not – who cares. From what I’ve seen of him thus far, he seems like a sweetheart. Someone viewers will really latch onto.
Alright folks, you’ve seen the (sometimes damning) evidence. Which of the guys do you think will come out on top this season, and who will get sent packing the first week? And who should be the MOST embarassed with the dirt we’ve dug up? 😉
It seems like every season, some of the fans gripe that [insert celeb here] shouldn’t be allowed to do the show because they have “previous dance experience”. Now while I have never heard it explicitly stated as a rule that no one with any experience whatsoever can participate in the show (contrary to a lot of fans who insist that the show is all about “starting with no experience and then growing”), it is rather interesting to examine the dance backgrounds of the various celebs that do the show each season. Which is exactly what we did for season 11 – and got a good perspective and quite a few laughs out of the experience 😉
So why not do the same this season, before the great ringer debate erupts again? Let’s see who might have the early edge, and who might just have 2 left feet, shall we?
Today we start with the ladies. First up, we have the lovely Kendra Wilkinson, who is probably best known as one of Hef’s ex-girlfriends from The Girls Next Door. Here she demonstrates some martial arts-inspired exercise moves for ExerciseTV.tv, but not before warming up with some heavy-duty booty popping:
Courtney: Admittedly, Kendra’s got rhythm. If this were booty-popping with the stars, she’d be a shoo-in for the mirror ball trophy. However, I don’t think Len would be too pleased if Louis started incorporating these moves into Kendra’s routines 😉 But props to her for not being afraid to move – I think that’s what Holly’s big problem was. She’s was too scared to really get DOWN.
Vogue: All I can say here is please, EVERYONE ELSE MOVE OVER. GIRL CAN GYRATE! If a girl can gyrate, she can do ANYTHING! Am I right on this? I know I am! 😀
Heidi: So, what’s the deal with the peacocks in the background?? Is that some sort of play on words for “The Mansion”. And has it occurred to anyone that they paired Kendra with the pro least likely to have spent significant time there? Seriously – Derek’s been several times and I bet Maks and Tony have as well. Boys.
Courtney: It was taped at the mansion – I watched that particular episode And yes, there’s quite a bit of irony there in the fact that Kendra got paired with Louis of all pros. Maybe they thought he’d be the least distracted by her ample bosom & gyrating badonkadonk?
Next up we have Chelsea Kane (aka Chelsea Staub) from Disney’s Jonas, shaking her groove-thing Tina Turner-style on the Disney cruise ship:
Vogue: Hmmmm, this girl could be in trouble. Mark might his work cut out for him. But, Chelsie will be better than Bristol. Then again, ANYONE WILL BE BETTER THAN BRISTOL!!!! 😀
Heidi: Judging by the faces she makes she’ll be the perfect partner for Mark. How old is she though? He might start dating her. She’s his type, after all. Win-Win for Marky.
Courtney: Aaaand cue the rose petals, candlelit dinners, and weekends in Napa JK. She’s definitely cute, and she seems to not take herself too seriously – which is good, because you never know when a monkey suit or a ridiculously ruffled polka dot dress might be headed your way!
Our next contestant is the sassy Kirstie Alley, who did a sexy little impromptu dance with John Travolta (and a bowl of pudding) in Look Who’s Talking:
Heidi: Props are bad.
Courtney: Yeeeah, Len probably would call the bowl of pudding “rubbish” (take heed, Maks!), but this is a cute scene nonetheless – even if the baby steals it I wonder if Vinnie Barbarino himself will crop up in the audience this season to cheer Kirstie on.
Vogue: OMG! Kirstie can GYRATE too? Hey, don’t ever count a woman out if they can hold a spoon like that too.
Now onto the beautiful Petra Nemcova, who did a little bit of grooving at a Prince Albert Foundation benefit – I’m fairly certain she’s the one in the lime green dress:
Courtney: Work that skirt, girl! If all else fails, Dmitry can just dress her in a long skirt each week, and somehow work it into the choreography
Vogue: Look at that. I think Star Jones might be jealous? 😯
Heidi: Pretty sure that skirt choreography is not far removed from “props” in terms of “messin’ about” in Len’s world.
Courtney: Hell, he did it with a feather duster with Mya – wouldn’t surprise me if Dmitry managed to come up with another prop that Len absolutely LOATHED.
Lastly, we have the hilarious Wendy Williams, who got a quick lesson in kick line routines from the world-famous Radio City Rockettes on her show back in December:
Vogue: Hey, Wendy reminds me a little of RuPaul here.
Heidi: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Wait, she’s partnered with Tony, we think, right? Bwahahahaha…decision made.
Courtney: I think Vogue might seriously be onto something – because Ru & Wendy sometimes look like they were separated at birth. As for this little ditty – yikes. Looks like Tony’s got his work cut out for him, since she looks extremely wobbly just kicking her leg a few inches. They might need a crash mat just for regular practice, I’m afraid :-/ *cue montage of Wendy falling down during practice*
So now that you’ve seen these ladies’ mad dancing skills…what do you guys think? Do we have any ringers (or stinkers) in our midst? Keep an eye out for part II, where we take a look at the dancing prowess of this season’s gents – and let me tell you, kids, it is even more HILARIOUS than the ladies 😉 Stay tuned!!!
In part I of this series, we took a look at the 4 stars this season that likely have the largest amount of “previous dance experience” – Brandy, Florence, Jennifer, & David. What did we gather? That even though they’re the most “experienced” of this season’s cast – they still don’t have much of an advantage. Oh, and we did have some laughs along the way 😉
And laughs don’t stop there, kids. Today, we’re gonna take a look at the rest of the cast, and see if they have any “previous experience” that might give them a leg up in the competition. A fair warning: while part I was semi-serious, don’t expect too much intelligent discussion on this one – because some of this dancing is just downright laughable! I recommend using the restroom before you commence reading, lest you wet yourself from laughing too hard & too long 😉
Our first subject today? Kyle Massey, who filmed a music video for a song he did on the Underdog movie soundtrack a few years back:
Courtney: He gets an A+ for bouncing around and flailing his arms – but thank goodness he leaves that sizzling choreography to his backup dancers. The dog is clearly the best dancer in this video.
Marianya: Boingy, boingy, boingy… I think Tigger bounces better than he does. That being said, I don’t know if bouncing in place and tossing arms this way and that would constitute as dancing… but people seem to do that a lot in clubs. So if this was Club Dancing with the Stars, he’d have a good chance to hit top spot…
Heidi: Forget the “dancing”, can we talk about his ability to lip sync? He has none. I mean, aren’t your lips supposed to go with the words to the song? I was so distracted by that that I didn’t notice the dancing or lack thereof. LOL. Underdog?? I’m too old for this, aren’t I.
The verdict: If this were “Clubbing with the Stars” or “Bouncing with the Stars”, he’d be a shoo-in. But if it were “Lip-Syncing with the Stars” – he’d be the first sent home.
Bet you thought Jennifer Grey was the only star this season that had ever been in a dance movie, huh? Well think again – Margaret Cho did a little dance flick called Can’t Stop Dancing 1999 – keep an eye out for sweet moves by Marge at the :43 & :49 marks:
Heidi: Okay, I’m just twisted enough to find that amusing. CHEESY, but amusing. I’m thinking that shoulder won’t take her far, but we’ll be laughing while she’s with us.
Courtney: HOW THE HELL DID I MISS THIS MOVIE WHEN IT CAME OUT?! I must rent this…ASAP. And Heidi, I’m going to have to disagree about Marge’s shoulder popping & back bending – they’re far more entertaining & challenging than some of the moves in Tony & Kate’s BreakfastClub-themed foxtrot.
Marianya: Interestingly enough, my friends and I are fans of Margaret Cho. What we agreed is that Margaret’s weight is directly relative to what type of work out she’s doing. So as amusing as I found the vid to be… I find this much more my taste for Margaret Cho, or even this one…. 😉 Whether Louis could integrate them into ballroom or use that to their advantage remains to be seen. 😀
The verdict: Not much Marge can glean from her experiences in this movie…other than how to make us laugh like crazy, and have a good time while she’s doing it!
Next up: Kurt Warner, who did a little “Walk it Out” with Larry Fitzgerald at a charity basketball game in 2009:
Marianya: He’s got rhythm, he’s got music.. He is my man do I need to ask for anything more… Sorry I blame Courtney. Mildly entertaining, for a quarterback, at least he’s willing to put himself out there and have a bit of fun. *watches again* Ok… not really mildly entertaining, I can’t stop watching and rewatching and rewatching… ugh this is sad.
Heidi: LOOK OUT!! Kurt has got some rhythm!! Again, highly amusing – but the fact that the guy doesn’t take himself too seriously might cause me to re-evaluate my ranking of him in this competition. Although he might bend his knees TOO much for Len.
Courtney: Calling it right now – if Kurt & Anna make it to the finale, “Walk it Out” will be their freestyle 😉 KIDDING!!!But yah – I love that the guy isn’t too uptight to do a little impromptu grooving at an event, in front of A LOT of people. He, like the Hoff (and really Margaret too), may have an advantage in that he’s not afraid of embarassing himself.
The verdict: Kurt’s adorable – but he’s not gonna win any points with Len for “walking it out”…if anything, he may “walk it out” of the competition if he dances like this!
Now Michael Bolton isn’t typically known for doing really any dancing in his videos – but this is the closest thing I could find. Ladies, for your enjoyment, the Bolton classic “How Can We Be Lovers If We Can’t Be Friends”:
Courtney: W-O-W. I had forgotten how music videos from the ’90s were so overwrought with emotion. And is there a rule about being in Michael Bolton videos? Like you have to have long, permed hair or something? It’s a pretty loose definition of dancing, but Michael does the “I’m in emotional agony” clenched-fists-while-hitting-those-high-notes pretty damn well and he dips that mic stand like a pro.
Marianya: Is it bad that this song is in my playlist? Aren’t I a bit young to enjoy Michael Bolton effectively? Why the hell does he have long hair? Does he think that he’s a girl? Why do people throw their panties at people? How do they take their panties off to throw onto the stage? Do people strip on the spot to throw their panties and bras on the stage? Ok… yeeeaaaah…
Heidi: So, like, what was the deal with the little James Bond Homage in the middle of the video? And, like, where can I get a pink guitar. Also, like, was this before the miracle bra because these chicks need some help. I suddenly have, like, the urge to throw my panties at my computer. Like, why do I keep saying like?? Like I think I might be in the wrong decade, but who the hell knows?
Courtney: Marianya, don’t feel too bad – it’s on my iPod too, and my roommate my freshman year of college & I used to dance around to this before exams to get pumped up. And as for the removal of undergarmets at concerts – a bra is pretty easy to remove without doffing one’s top. The panties, I’m not quite sure how they pull that one off…is there such a thing as tear-away panties? On second thought – nobody answer that. 😉
The verdict: Michael makes us want to scream, cry, and hurl our undergarmets at him – but he doesn’t really make us wanna dance. Nope, not really.
Looks like we’ve got a Situation on her hands – he and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast appeared in Enrique Iglesias’ latest video, “I Like It”…feel free to fast forward to the 2:34 mark, when the signature Jersey “fist pumping” begins:
Heidi: Shit, Enrique is HOT. How did I manage to ignore him for so long? Oh, right, I ignore pop music as a rule. Was the Situation in this video? And what the hell is a Snookie? 😉 See my earlier comment about ignoring pop music – I’m also trying very hard to ignore MTV. Indie and classic rock all the way!!
Courtney: Am I the only one that finds this song downright awful? I think I’d rather get a root canal than listen to it voluntarily. And yes, the Situation was the one in the lavender button-down (which was completely unbuttoned)leading the rest of those hoodlums in that challenging fist pump section. Oh, and a Snooki is a low-calorie whipped dessert…according to Simon Cowell 😉
Marianya: I had to watch the video several times because I was paying more attention to Enrique than to “the Situation”… Unlike Heidi, I listen to pop music, in the car trip between the ‘burbs and the city. He’s been hitting the circuit a lot… first SYTYCD, then AGT… wasn’t he on DWTS recently too?
The verdict: No Situation here – fist pumping is not going to win you the mirrorball trophy on DWTS.
And last but not least, we come to Bristol. Ok, so maybe it’s not Bristol herself…but they say dance skills run in the family, right? 😉
Marianya: I got not comment about the pick, but man I hope she isn’t as bratty as rumors are claiming that she is b/c I would rather prefer to be taken by surprised… ah que sera sera. I suppose they are wanting to egg on mama bear to protect her young… and that would bring in more drama. Poor Mark.
Heidi: Girl, it’s going to be hard enough to stay away from politics and the freakin’ train wreck that is Sarah Palin (she made up another new word this week – 5 point to the person who can tell me the word) without you putting up pictures of her on the site. And remember, don’t punish the daughter for the sins of the mother. Just punish her for being a sucky dancer (if she is).
Courtney: Well what the hell was I supposed to post, considering that the only videos I can find of Bristol online are of her walking or talking? 😛 While I find this mildly amusing (if this ever happened in real life, I’d check to see if pigs were soaring in the skies above and if there was a forecast of snow in hell), shame on whoever defaced poor Karina’s body. This is a pretty damn seamless photoshop job, though…I will say that.
The verdict: Bristol’s just plain screwed, whatever way you look at it. Poor Mark.
Heidi: Hold UP a minute, Courtney, you forgot one. Rick Fox.
Heidi: Personally, I’m a fan of ass dancing. Hee.
Courtney: Go Rick Fox, it’s your birthday, we gonna party like it’s your birthday…
Marianya: I don’t think it’s ass dancing as much as it’s ass bouncing. At least I prefer his bounce over Kyle’s… which on second thought isn’t a good thing either.
The verdict: Hope Rick’s got a strong caboose after doing all this bouncing…because Cheryl’s gonna whip that caboose into shape if not!
We hope you all enjoyed this journey of mediocre (and downright ridiculous) dancing as much as we did 😀 For those of you wondering about Audrina and her suspicious absence – we just couldn’t find anything remotely dance-related that she’s done in the past. So if you happen to be in possession of a video or photo of Audrina shaking her groove thing, please – do share 😉 We’ll even give you credit!