Every season the topic of previous dance experience seems to come up. Most of the people are angry that one of the stars has dance experience. Of course, it’s usually a little bit disingenuous since these angry people are often just fans of one of the other stars/pros. However, I can’t say that I don’t sympathize with their feelings. It is completely unfair for one person to have more dance experience than another. At least when we’re talking about a dance competition. That doesn’t feel right.
What most people don’t realize is that Dancing with the Stars never said that this competition was fair. Plus, is there such a thing as a fair competition? Some people just have more natural dance ability. Who would have guessed that Brooke Burke would have been such a great dancer? I know I wouldn’t have guessed it. Yet, she just had some real natural ability that she was able to bring to the table. Is that fair that she can learn things faster than others? Of course not.
Let’s just get it behind us that this is a fair competition. It’s not a fair competition. It’s a show that’s meant to entertain us. Plus, it’s not like the stars that participate aren’t getting something in return. They’re getting paid to be on the show and they’re getting a ton of exposure. Sure, they like the competition aspect, but there are a lot of other reasons these stars go on DWTS.
Why don’t we take this one step further? Dancing with the Stars really isn’t a dance competition. Yes, it resembles a dance competition, but it’s really not. It’s a popularity contest. Ok, in the beginning it’s more of a dance competition, but once we reach this point in the competition the judges scores are so close that they become irrelevant. That means that the show becomes a popularity contest and not a dance contest.
Using that line of thinking, it’s completely unfair that one star is more popular than another, right? I mean if DWTS is just a popularity contest, then DWTS should make sure that they don’t bring on any stars that are more popular than another star right? That’s basically what people are saying when they say they don’t want people with previous dance experience, no? Of course, both ideas will never happen.
I guess at the end of the day, I don’t get all worked up over it all. The show is about entertaining me and it does that very well. Sure, I love prognosticating on who will go home and what not. However, the fact that one has more dance experience just adds to the fun of guessing what’s going to happen. The more variables to consider the better.
Of course, this isn’t much consolation if it’s your favorite star or pro that’s getting sent home. Don’t worry. Next season it will be your favorite star or pro that’s staying while another “more deserving” star/pro get sent home.
E! is really only half a step above most of the other entertainment outlets, but according to them Charo was threatening to walk this past Monday night. I think perhaps she needs to get real. If this is true…well, STFU. You ain’t all that and I like Mr. T better than you. Excerpt below – read the whole article at E! News:
“She was telling producers that she doesn’t like how they’re underscoring her and she feels like she’s been treated so badly so she was threatening to quit,” our source continued. The producers were ultimately able to walk her back off the ledge, but we hear the threat still stands “unless they started scoring her performances more fairly.”
Our sources tell us that the question of fairness remains a sensitive subject among the cast. Between Heather Morris’ dance background, Len Goodman’s rather harsh critiques during Monday night’s taping, and questions about who else among the stars has previous dance experience, we’re told tensions are high.
So with the Olympics in Rio drawing to a close this coming Sunday (and the pros starting to meet their partners later this week), there’s obviously been speculation that we’re going to see some Olympians on the show this season – seems like Ryan Lochte & Simone Biles are the two most talked-about when it comes to casting rumors. Which got the Pure Angels thinking about all the previous Olympians we’ve seen on the show, and how well (or not well…) they did. So why not take a look back at every Olympian (from both the summer AND winter games) that’s ever done DWTS, and see how they stack up?
The main rankings are mine, but Heidi, Vogue, & I all had slightly different rankings when it came to the top 10 – so you can see their individual top 10’s at the bottom. I’ve included videos of a few of the dances we mention, to jog memories – lord knows ours needed jogging from time to time 😯
Interesting patterns? Gymnasts and skaters seemed to fare the best, and tennis players and boxers tended not to leave much of an impression on any the three of us. I think we all universally agreed on at least the bottom 2 on the list – they were THAT bad 🙁 …Read more
Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that this season of DWTS will be won by…a dude. 😛 Yeah, that could be one of six individuals (but more realistically, probably 4), but after tonight, I daresay the bulk of this season’s talent rests with the men – don’t get me wrong, there are a few ladies with skills…but I think the men this season are closer to being the full package of skill, charm, and work ethic that it takes to win that MBT.
That being said – while the major narrative that TPTB seemed to want to push tonight was current NFL player vs. current NFL player, I found myself feeling a bit let-down with our two current football players; could have been the huge preseason hype surrounding them, but I was left feeling surprisingly “meh” by what I actually saw. Instead, I found my eye drawn to two other men that far eclipsed our NFL duo in terms of making a good impression. As for the ladies – there’s some with real charm, and some with skill, and some that TPTB seem to have a vested interest in keeping around (cue side eye…), but when I’m left thinking about who really stood out in my mind tonight – I’m remembering a lot more guys than gals.
Other observations? The intro was cute, but seemed a little bit hodgepodge and not terribly cohesive; maybe I was just spoiled by how catchy & fun last season’s was. I also tip my hat to Erin tonight, as I think she was just what some of the contestants needed after a rough go of it with the judges – she was kind and gentle with those that maybe didn’t come out with such glowing reviews & scores.
Just a refresher, for those of you just joining us this season: the power rankings are a measure of how likely or unlikely I think a contestant is to get eliminated – it takes into account scores, fanbase, personality, memorability, and whatever other factors I find that seem to influence voting behavior. It is NOT a ranking of “who danced the best”, so if you’re hear to complain that “so-and-so should be higher than such-and-such because they got a much higher score!” – you’re outta your element, Donnie. Now that we’ve got that outta the way… …Read more
So we’re still a week away from showtime, and not yet a week out from the cast announcement – and we’ve seen relatively little of the celebs rehearsing so far. But like you guys, we Angels also get first impressions of the couples that start to shape our opinions over the season – so like so many of you have shared your early assessments, we thought we’d share ours as well 🙂
Who Stood Out At the Cast Announcement: I’ve said it multiple times already, but Wanya & Lindsay. They were one of the few couples that seemed completely at ease with one another, and came out confident and ready to have fun. That goes farther than you might think, coming right out of the gate – especially when so many of the other couples seemed very awkward & sedate at the announcement. As for who stood out in a not-so-good way – I’d have to say Mischa. Could have just been nerves, but the impression I got from her was “I would rather be anywhere else in the world right now.” Artem came across very excited and pleasant, though, so I’m hoping he might be able to bring some of that out in her. …Read more
Fun fact: you can totally dominate an entire episode of DWTS with your antics, narrowly avoid elimination, and then turn around and withdraw 24 hours later – and somehow STILL get more attention once you’ve been eliminated than some contestants got all season long 😎 Yes, kids, this was the second installment of “The Tamar Show”, with Tom reminding us for nearly the entire first half of the show that we were going to get an update on Tamar – nevermind the fact that we had 4 celebs that were actually still competing on DWTS tonight, the people must know what’s been going on with Tamar!!! Yes, it sucks what happened, and despite my feelings about Tamar this season, I do wish her a speedy recovery – but the constant reminders of her last night? Just kinda did a disservice to Alek, Bindi, Carlos, & Nick. If next Monday is the same way – so help me god, I just might commit seppuku with a plastic knife.
Also becoming tiresome to me? The fact that Carlos still seems like he’s trying to come up with sob stories each week to compete with Bindi, Nick, & Alek. And they just sound totally disingenuous, on top of sounding a bit silly compared to the struggles of the other contestants remaining. Carlos says “I was depressed and addicted to weed!”; Nick can easily counter with “Yeah, I was pretty heavy into alcohol, cocaine, X, and prescription painkillers for awhile…failed at rehab…got a heart condition…did I mention my sister died of a drug overdose a few years ago? But please, tell me more about your crippling weed addiction.” Carlos pulls out “I haven’t spoken to my mom in 4 years!” Bindi can say “How awful! My dad died in a freak accident when I was 8 – I just wish he was still here.” Meanwhile, Nick is over in the corner, waving his hands and going “Hey, anyone want to talk about how my parents only want my money, and how I’ve had to cut ties with them as a result?” Oh wait…Carlos says he “found Jesus!” Wonder what Alek has to say about that…”Gosh, I only just found a terrorist on a train, and beat the tar out of him to protect the lives of the other people said train. Shucks.” I guess my point is this: Carlos may not have a super-compelling story to tell, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him grasp at straws to try and out-sob story everyone else. I probably would find him more likeable if I didn’t feel like he was constantly trying to one-up everyone else and just let his dancing do the talking.
As for the possible bomb Tom dropped at the end of the show about either Nick or Bindi having the lowest combined total – call me crazy, but I actually think there could have been some truth behind it. I just don’t see them lying about it – they could have very easily just called those two “in jeopardy” and not even mentioned anything about the lowest combined total, and the effect would have been the same. But they DID actually say “one of you has the lowest combined total, but you’re not going home because Tamar is out.” I don’t believe for a minute that it’s Bindi that got the lowest combined total, considering everywhere I look, people are singing her praises – but Nick? He could be in some legit trouble with votes. Now while his fans assure me that the Backstreet Boys “are HUGE around the world!” and that he is “getting tons of votes”, I feel like this is a good opportunity to remind everyone of a central tenet of being successful on DWTS: international votes aren’t likely to help much if you don’t also win over the main viewing demographic of DWTS – middle-aged, conservative-leaning American women. There hasn’t been a single DWTS champ that didn’t in some way appeal to that demographic, and in order to win, you HAVE to have them on your side. Is Nick appealing to that demographic? If so, is he making himself more appealing to that demographic than Bindi, Carlos, and Alek? Keep in mind that veterans (think J.R., Noah…and Alek) typically hold a lot of appeal for that demographic, as do those who are openly Christian (Sadie, Candace…and Carlos), and really anyone that is typically just bubbly and likable across the board (Kellie, and Bindi – particularly the latter, who seems to have enchanted just about everyone). Where do boyband members fit in? Only one has managed to win (Drew Lachey), and the rest have done ok-to-well, likely owing to their previous dance experience. One slight problem I see is this: Nick’s fans might still be a tad young to fit into the “middle aged” category – I was 13 when BSB posters covered my walls at the height of their popularity, and I’m 30 now…still 10 years shy of that “middle-aged” label. Part of me thinks his more casual fans might still be a tad young to be tuning into DWTS on the regular and actually voting – I know I’m really more of the exception than the norm. You also have to take into account what happened last week – Nick kinda got upstaged by Tamar’s drama, and Carlos likely got a bit of a boost (not a huge one, but enough) in votes from Alexa’s fans that kicked their votes over to him. Nick also dropped back down to getting mostly 9’s last week after getting a perfect score the previous week. When you take all of this into account – is it really all that far-fetched to think that maybe Nick really was the lowest combined total of votes & scores? Did his fans maybe get a bit complacent, thinking that so many people were voting for him that he would be ok if they maybe didn’t vote so hard a certain week? I just think back to Zendaya in season 16 – her fans were so sure that she was getting oodles of votes, yet she still managed to come up short in the end and Kellie took the MBT. Regardless of whether what Tom said last night was truth or a total fabrication, they likely did both Bindi & Nick a huge favor – I can only image the panic that ran through some fans at the revelation that their favorite was in danger, and the increased vigor with which they voted. Heck, even if you think Tom was lying…is that really a bluff you care to call? 😯 …Read more
Let me lead off with this: I don’t mind ringers. Actually, I appreciate 2-3 in each season, for the simple reason that it ensures that we get to see some good dancing and that the bar is set high for the competition. The show needs ringers just like it needs really bad dancers, and every skill level in between – it’s part of what makes DWTS work. The ringers please those who just love great dancing, and the inexperienced dancers ensure we get to see some good growth arcs.
Now what I DO mind is when someone who has enough experience to be considered a ringer tries to insist that they aren’t – in our experience here at Pure, this certainly does not negate the fact that they do have a bit of an edge, and it also tends to rub some viewers the wrong way. The viewers are not stupid – they know when their intelligence is being insulted by the machinations of the powers that be or a celeb that tries to downplay his/her experience level. And they especially don’t like feeling like they’re being lied to.
So an interesting discussion came about when Vogue posted this video of Danica & Val’s first rehearsal yesterday. In it, Danica seems to give the impression that she’s new to this whole dancing thing – lots of giggling, clueless looks, and “Huh? What?” It’s what you’d normally expect during the first rehearsal with a celeb who’s never danced before – but considering that Danica has had some fairly extensive ballroom training, it kind of bugs. We know for a fact that she’s taken lessons before – check out this clip of her on 20/20 back in 2008:
While working on Inspector Mom (the TV movie mentioned in the clip), she met Gocha Chertkoev, a Latin dance champion who was playing the role of a dance instructor. Presumably, she started taking lessons with him, as that’s who we see her dancing with in the clip. Some have argued that she “only took lessons for that movie”, and it was a “one-time thing” – but if that’s the case, then why is her picture plastered all over the newsletter from Gocha’s dance studio as recently as a year ago? And why is he plugging her book while she takes a cha-cha class?
Possibly worth noting: Gocha is also one of the judges on the Georgian version of DWTS, Tsekvaven Varskvlavebi. Regardless, I get the feeling Danica’s lessons with Gocha weren’t just a one-time thing – they’ve more likely been ongoing. She’s also had some dance training for another film, 21 and a Wake-Up, courtesy of Jamie Bayard (Lacey Schwimmer’s former swing partner, and of SYTYCD fame). She talks about in more detail here, on this now-defunct post at her website. Yes, I’m aware it’s in code – that’s the only way to access it now that it’s been conveniently removed from her website (thank goodness for caching!). You’ll see why in the excerpt below – pertinent parts in bold:
Says Danica, “I love to dance! I got hooked after learning to Tango for the TV Movie Inspector Mom: Kidnapped in 10 Easy Steps.”
“Gocha Chertkoev and Shorena Gachechiladze are worldwide ballroom dance champions, and I was so lucky to be trained by them for the movie. I was a fan of Gocha’s from his TLC series, Ballroom Bootcamp. He was a real find – a great actor and dancer! Since then, I dance whenever I can — I love it! I’ve even trained with Jamie Bayard from So You Think You Can Dance”
“Perhaps I’ll end up dancing on stage or in front of the cameras again soon. I’ve been asked more than a few times about Dancing with the Stars, but I think I actually have a little too much professional training this stage. And that’s fine by me – I’m not sure I’d like the judges’ on-stage criticism very much!”
Sorry, but I’m having a harder and harder time buying the whole “I’m new at this!!!” act of their rehearsal video, and this interview that she herself posted presents some pretty damning evidence that she is, in fact, a ringer. The rehearsal video itself is a bit shady, too – my boyfriend (who has been teaching ballroom for 12 years) even remarked that “It’s almost like she’s trying too hard to act confused for the first half – she clearly has danced salsa before, she’s following him pretty easily.” As for the second half of the video? “She’s already doing rumba walks with great hip action and transfer of weight, and she’s spotting turns like she’s been taught before. No way Val could have taught her that in one short rehearsal.”
So what’s my beef? The fact that Danica has had some pretty extensive ballroom training is being conveniently swept under the rug, while Meryl & Charlie get raked across the coals for being “practically professional ballroom dancers already!” If you’re going to cry that “DWTS is for celebs with no dance experience!” (not true, but whatever floats your boat) and that it’s “unfair” that Meryl & Charlie get to be on the show this season – then it’s only fair that you call Danica out, too. But for whatever reason, the two Olympians are the ones fielding most of the cries of foul from viewers, while Danica flies under the radar, with incriminating blog posts being quietly removed from her site and mentions of her previous dance experience being conveniently omitted from interviews. And to what end? I like to think that Danica herself is too smart and too confident to let a few cries of “Ringer!! RINGER!!!” deter her from being open and honest about her dancing. I’m leaning more towards someone from further up the chain at DWTS “gently encouraging” her to downplay her dance experience – it’s happened before. Sabrina mentioned in an interview once that she was told by producers to “dumb down” her dancing during the first few weeks of her original season, in order to give the impression of a much more level playing field. Sabrina (honest as a girl scout) didn’t comply, but it does set a precedent for what might be going on now with Danica – or it may even be someone from her own camp, such as a publicist, trying to paint a better picture of her client with regards to the show.
I guess overall, I’m just left feeling a bit…deceived by the whole thing. I do not like having my intelligence insulted, and trying to pass Danica off as a beginner to me is insulting. I’m left with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, as I did back in season 14 when Sherri Shepherd tried to downplay the fact that she took lessons at Maks & Val’s studio immediately prior to being cast on DWTS. In both Danica AND Sherri’s cases, I think the whole situation would be a lot better-received by fans had they just been honest about it from the get-go, instead of lying by omission, dodging questions, and dancing around the truth before finally coming clean. Hiding things implies some sort of guilt on the part of the hider. 🙂 I actually really like her as a person, and I’m hoping that Danica, in the interest of full disclosure, is able to be open about her previous experience – I really don’t think being labeled a “ringer” is going to hurt her OR help her. Ringers don’t always win, and they don’t always lose. Unless, of course, they’re paired with Derek – in which case they ALWAYS win…cause “Ugh, Derek always gets all the good partners!!!”, y’all. 😉
So all of that being said…what do YOU guys think of Danica and her previous experience? Is she a ringer, or not a ringer? Vote in our poll and weigh in down in the comments!
Hello folks (Hi Cheryl!!!)! 🙂 It’s time once again to take a look at the numbers for a week of dancing. Of course, since there was no elimination this week, this is just an exercise to show you where the dancers stand going into week two. Is it possible for D.L. to overcome his extreme deficit? Well, I kinda doubt it, but you never know. Next Tuesday will either reveal that there are some seriously weak fanbases (by someone other than D.L. getting the boot), or it will reveal nothing at all.
Anyway, I think that the judges didn’t screw the pooch too badly this week, but there’s still plenty of time. What did I agree or disagree with? Well, I’m a proponent of a LOT more use of the 3 and 4 paddles in week 1 and they don’t seem to have that in them unless you don’t practice as much as you should. 😉 As much as I LOVED Wynonna, I think they were a bit kind to her – which is SOP for them when it comes to older, dance-challenged ladies. I think Kellie got screwed by going first – also typical for these judges. There’s no way that Dorothy and Aly deserve the same score as her. That said, 21 is a good score for both, I’m just thinking that Kellie deserved a point or two higher. Zendaya? Awesome. Loved the dance and I have high hopes for Val. That said, I think 24 was a bit of a stretch – but only by a point, really. The question on these ladies is – can Kellie keep it up (I think so), can Dorothy loosen up (I hope so) and can Aly ever even HOPE to match up to Shawn (doubt it). No, it’s not fair to compare her to All Stars Shawn – but if you think I’m the only person doing that, yer crazy. It’s how the brain works, whether you want it to or not.
LOVE Andy. Love him. I think he did a better dance that Wynonna did, actually. I certainly enjoyed him FAR more than the cheapo Foxtrot put on by Sean and Peta. What the hell was that, anyway?? But, since Sean is a member of the family, I expect him to be overscored right to the semi-finals. The imaginary scenario…
ABC Exec: :::cough::: Ahem. You know, Conrad, if Sean stays around until, oh, I dunno, week 8 or so, that would tie in perfectly with his and Catherine’s wedding, to air right after DWTS at 9 pm, that week. Whaddaya say?
So here we are, the first week of the season and rumor has it that the celebs are going to be dancing either the gracefully upbeat Foxtrot or the fun and flirty Cha-Cha. So let’s get cooking and see what their scores could be.
What I’m going to do this season is different from previous seasons. I will post up the average score of the dance in a particular group/category and then average all three scores completely and round up or down based on intangibles and there you have the final predicted scores. Keep in mind that popularity, previous dance experience, etc are not taken into account… that is simply too many variables for me to attempt to follow for any season.
GAVIN DEGRAW Dance: Foxtrot Average Scores:
– Age: 19.435
– Occupation: 20.000
– Professional Partner: 21.000 Predicted Score: 20 Comments: With most of his scores being “middle of the road” the only thing going for him is his partner Karina. Her scores on the Foxtrot in the first third of the season on average is relatively higher than most pros. Should he be part of the middle of the pack… he may be alright for the week (considering the rabid fan base I’ve noticed thus far) but if he doesn’t shine either this week or next week, he could be in trouble for the casual viewer.
DONALD DRIVER Dance: ChaCha Average Scores:
– Age: 19.667
– Occupation: 19.143
– Professional Partner: 14.000 Predicted Score: 18 Comments: It’s always hard to tell how a celeb would do when they are paired with a relatively new pro. NFL players typically do better in the Foxtrot out of the gate as opposed to the ChaCha, so with a couple of strikes against him… NFL players could surprise the audience by sheer weight of their personality, he might be lucky here. However, when looking at the scores of NFL players in their 30s, they tend to hit above average (21.000)… so I almost feel that this score is rather low overall. …Read more
Jay Leno interviewed Chaz last night on the Tonight Show. He starts out by calling him the “Chazmanian Devil”. They review Chaz’s journey so far on Dancing With The Stars. Jay tries to point out that Chaz had a bad diet before starting the show and Chaz says it’s not true. He had the bad diet before getting clean and sober 7 years ago. Chaz also talks of his previous dance experience. He took tap and ballet when he was little and took performing arts in high school (oh no, here comes the ringer debate again 😯 😉 ). They talk of the transgender debate as well and how Chaz let’s the criticism roll off his back. Chaz discusses how he’d like to maybe act or even be a late night TV host after his gig on Dancing With The Stars is up (good idea. I’d love to see that happen too!). All this and more below.
TV Guide has a new interview up with Chaz today as well. He talks of how the “injury” talk has been blown out of proportion (I agree. I wish interviewers would stop going on and asking him about it as if Chaz is complaining when he’s not. He wouldn’t even talk of it if they didn’t ask). He also discusses the great cast and the fun he’s having. Below is a take of what it felt like being in the bottom two. He also comments how the Rumba is easier and rehearsals are going well. More at the link!
What was going through your mind when you were called safe and realized you weren’t in the actual bottom two?
Bono: I was just really happy. Both of us didn’t want to stop participating in this, so Lacey and I were just incredibly relieved. You hope that [your fans can save you]. Also, we were one point off three or four other couples, so it wasn’t like we were way below. We knew we definitely had a chance to go home, but hoped we wouldn’t. We were really thrilled the fans got us through.
You scored a 17 two weeks in a row. What are you working on to bump up that up next week?
Bono: Nothing in particular. We just want to do the best job we can. Every dance has its own technique and I think each of us contestants has our own strengths and weaknesses. [The rumba] will definitely be easier for me, physically, than the quickstep. It’s slower and there’s no skipping, and rehearsals are going well.