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PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part II

Last week, we gave you part one of our exclusive interview with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for season 2-12 of DWTS.  Now read on for more insight from the man behind the costumes…as well as some exciting news! :-D

What are some of the shows that stood out for you the most when you costumed them, and why? (i.e. certain theme nights, specific seasons, finales, etc.)

Randall Christensen:  Movie/Broadway or TV night is always great fun.  We get to step out of character even more.  If you can dream it up, SOMEONE will wear it!  Themed nights are always fun.  Loved the Halloween show back several years ago.  Edyta as Morticia Addams (The Addams Family), Monique Coleman/Louis van Amstel in their “Ghostbusters” tear away coveralls, to “slime” green…..great fun!  Doing specific time periods are fun and challenging as well.  Doing a retro ‘50’s Paso Doble for Nicole Scherzinger was one of the most challenging, as the Paso Doble is so serious and passionate, yet the ‘50’s inspired song just didn’t go…..but Derek is a genius with choreography, and we came up with a fun yet strong look for them both.

If you could pick any of the pros, past or present, on the show to be your assistant, who would it be and why?

RC:  Hands down, Edyta Sliwinska would be a great co-designer.  She has such an eye for style!  Lacey Schwimmer has some really fun, “out there” and cutting edge ideas too.

What was the best part of your job on DWTS?

RC:  Hands down, the best part of my job was the trust of the producers, and being able to create with such freedom.  You just do NOT get that in the television industry, and that was the most rewarding thing I can imagine.  Weekly, the most rewarding part of my job was when Harold Wheeler and orchestra start playing the overture, there’s not a week that went by that I was ALWAYS there, with shivers running down my spine.  When those couples came down that stairway……truly a magical moment each and every week.  I never missed that descending down the stairs at the top of the show – NEVER! Read more..

January 17, 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 Tacky Dance Themes

So I was going through old dances and remembered how on Season 10 there was a “Movie Night” where every dance was a theme song to a movie. But there have been other dances that were done over the seasons that were themed to a movie in the past… So stemming from “Movie Night” and some of the tackiest dances to come with it, I decided to come up with a few dances from the past that were just as tacky, if not funny ;)

EDIT: So what is my criteria for a “tacky” dance theme? Three simple factors naturally (music, costumes, nuances), but they all have to tie into one thing: the television or movie program that they are tied to. Each factor will be rated on a scale of one (not that tacky) to three (way too tacky). You’ll see what I mean as I go through each dance.

Season 4: Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
Dance: Tango
TV/Movie Program: Star Wars
Tackiness Quotient
Music: Star Wars Theme Song… enough said. Score: 3
Costuming: So we have Kym dressed up as a Princess Leia wannabee, and Joey Fatone starting off as a Jedi Knight, complete with a lightsaber. Granted Joey shedded the cloak and had a suit underneath rather than the Jedi cloths that are so prevalent in the movies, so it wasn’t totally tacky, but still. Score: 2.5
Nuances: First they started the package with having R2D2 in rehearsal, and then the dance started with a lightsaber sequence? Yeeeaaaah, how about no? I’ll give them props in having Joey wearing a suit rather than a full Jedi getup, so it’s not totally tacky, but darn it’s high up there. Score: 2
Conclusion: Total Score: 7.5 out of a possible 9.
Yes, I think this dance was tacky, but hey, Joey likes Star Wars so I can’t fault him for that. In fact Joey liked this dance so much that he wanted to reprise this dance for the finale… Que sera sera.

Season 3: Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Dance: Tango
TV/Movie Program: Addams Family
Tackiness Quotient
Music: Addams Family Theme Song… again enough said. Score: 3
Costuming: Edyta as Morticia and Joey Lawrence as a taller, skinnier, and mustache-less Gomez? uh… Well it doesn’t necessarily invoke the movie as much as one would think so… Score: 2
Nuances: The dance steps are pretty cut and dry, and it didn’t really invoke the Addams Family mood, let alone the “tango” dancing that Morticia and Gomez are known for.. so Score: 1
Conclusion: Total Score: 6 out of 9.
So this dance happened because waaaay back when, Season 3 happened to coincide with Halloween, as thus every song danced for “Halloween Night” had some sort of spooky theme to it. And what is a Halloween Night without an Addams Family dance?

Season 3: Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
Dance: Cha Cha
TV/Movie Program: Ghostbusters
Tackiness Quotient:
Music: The Ghostbusters? Eh, not as bad… but still pretty bad. Score: 2
Costuming: So they both started with the Ghostbusters getup before stripping? But what the frack is Monique wearing? Forget what she was wearing, look at her make-up and hair! Ugh! Just for that alone.. Score: 3
Nuances: For me, there wasn’t really anything that invoked the Ghostbusters as much as I would have thought. So they lucked out. Score: 1
Conclusion: Final Score: 6 out of 9
Same as above, what’s a Halloween Night without some ghosts? Who do you wanna call when there’s a ghost in the neighborhood? Ghostbusters! But in all seriousness, other than the song (and even the song wasn’t all that tacky) the dance to me seemed a bit cut and dry… so not really as tacky as other dances because it could have been a lot worse.

Season 7: Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas
Dance: Foxtrot
TV/Movie Program: Pink Panther
Tackiness Quotient:
Music: Pink Panther Theme Song… It’s an instrumental, and more often than not instrumental piece don’t induce tackiness to me, but the Pink Panther (I believe) is a bit more widely known and as thus… Score: 2
Costuming: What’s the Pink Panther without a lot of PINK… ugh. Way too much pink for my liking… Score: 3
Nuances: Overall it’s a decent routine, for what it was. Lots of finger snapping and what not. There are times that I kind of cringed as thus this gets… Score: 2
Conclusion: Final Score 7 out of 9
Nobody pulls off pink better than… Mark! With some well placed nuances and what nots it isn’t a bad routine… it’s just ok for what it was.

September 7, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)