Be sure to read about some “backstage” details of the Dancing With The Stars finale at JC Rubio’s official site here. Below is some video too. This is too fun. THANKS JC!!
PureDWTS Guest Blog: “Reflections On Season 17, A Commentary And Other Dancing With The Stars Musings”
As promised, PureDWTS Guest blogger and poet Lois is back with a commentary in wrapping up the season!!
REFLECTIONS ON SEASON 17 – A COMMENTARY AND OTHER DANCING WITH THE STARS MUSINGS
BY: Lois A Troutman, November 30, 2013
Anticipation was building to a fever pitch! Rumors were swirling! The announcement of the cast for Season 17 was fodder for Internet and water cooler chat! The nation was hungry to know the names of the brave celebrities who would be lacing up new dancing shoes! The smell of leather permeated the studios of DANCING WITH THE STARS! Shoes were waiting for twelve pairs of feet to fill them!
Re-wind to September 4, GOOD MORNING AMERICA! Finally the new cast and their pro partners were announced! Each brave soul entering the studio to begin their dancing journey!
The dance party had begun! The pairings would be:
EMMA SLATER and BILL ENGVALL
SHARNA BURGESS and KEYSHAWN JOHNSON
PETA MURGATROYD and BRANT DAUGHERTY.
CHERYL BURKE and JACK OSBOURNE
TYNE STECKLEIN and BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY
KARINA SMIRNOFF and CORBIN BLEU
TONY DOVOLONI and LEAH REMINI
DEREK HOUGH and AMBER RILEY
MARK BALLAS and CHRISTINA MILLIAN
TRISTAN MCMANUS and VALERIE HARPER
SASHA FARBER and NICOLE POLIZZI
VAL CHMERKOVSKIY and ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN
I was familiar with many of the cast but not with a few. This is why I love this show every season. I am always pleasantly surprised by those I am not familiar with. I am pleasantly surprised by the growth of the celebrities on their dancing journey. I find each season fascinating! There are many learning opportunities by watching the show. From learning more about the celebrities to the dances we see.
I would be fascinated to go behind the scenes! I would love to see how the juggernaut, the brains behind the show, puts it on every week. We did see some behind the scenes commentary. But, they should put on a comprehensive special allowing us to follow from the beginning to end of a show. What goes on behind what we see on the air?
I would love to see a special with all of the dancing pros dancing together. And a special with exhibition dances by the dancing couples, no judges, no scoring. Just dances galore! Those specials would be music to my dancing lover’s heart!
For Season 17, changes were made to the format of the show. The most notable was the elimination of the Tuesday night results show. I wondered how they could pack everything into a two-hour show that had been done in three hours in previous seasons. My feeling still is that the show seemed rushed. Am I correct in my feeling that the dances, at least in the beginning, were shorter in order to make them fit into less time? Tom Bergeron needed to keep the pace of the show by limiting comments from the judges, for example. He limited the teams from doing longer celebrations. I still think a Results Show is needed. Yes, towards the end of the season musical guests appeared again. But, I still love the musical guests that were on the Results Show every week. I loved the extras that had to be eliminated due to time restraints, such as more rehearsal footage, etc. I preferred the Skybox for the couples as opposed to the glitter benches. They seemed more restrained there. It seems more appropriate for them to be located away from the judges.
Another thing that was limited by the two-hour time restraint were many more pro dances. I believe the show made up for that somewhat by the super-sized opening numbers. But I will take all the dancing I can get. I would love to see more pro dance numbers again. And, there were very few encore numbers. I loved seeing the encore numbers each Results Show. I hope the Results Show is reinstated for Season 18. I hope they keep the show on twice a year. I hope the show goes to Season 20 and beyond. I believe this show can be kept fresh by introducing things such as different type dances, like trio and fusion to name two of the ones introduced. The powers that be have done marvelous work so far. I expect they will continue to refresh the show.
Questions brewed, most importantly, the voting. I was a bit confused at first how the show could only be one night. And how our votes could be factored in. There was a voting snafu which saved all of the couples into the next week. I had read of voters thinking their votes were cast for the wrong couples when they voted on Facebook. Or having phone issues, etc. Of course, each season there are those who feel the show is rigged. I will never, ever believe the show is rigged. People must keep voting. The modern technology used in voting is not foolproof.
This season many talented dancers were eliminated, Elizabeth, Nicole, Christina, Brant. Some complained, which happens every season, that less talented dancers were saved. The debate will always be there, voting on popularity v. voting on who has improved the most, the best dancer. My opinion is just vote with your heart. There is no scientific formula, no right or wrong answer. There is actually fun in debates, but use common courtesy. We will never all agree on who has won the MIrror Ball Trophy.
This season brought three guest judges, JULIANNE HOUGH, CHER, and the one, the only MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY! I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspectives they brought to the table. The judges are the brunt of much controversy. Are the scores too high, too low? I feel I am not in a position to judge them. It will be what it is. Is there a need to replace the judges, add a judge? Again, that is not for me decide. I will just say if the judges’ system isn’t really broken, why fix it? AMERICAN IDOL has tried judge after judge. Few of them have measured up to the originals.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the astounding talents of every pro, teaching and the troupe! They are the backbone of the show. They make the dancers into what they become on their dancing journey! I am in awe of their talents!
One central thing to remember. DANCING WITH THE STARS is first and foremost a sparkling entertainment extravaganza! I love the entire show! From the sequins to the costumes to HAROLD WHEELER’s orchestra to the commentaries from everyone. Thank you for everything you give to me!
Season 17 is in the DANCING WITH THE STARS History Books! It was another season filled with the brilliance of the art of dancing! What more could we want?
Season 18 is around the dancing bend! See you in the middle of March, 2014!
Well, we’re off!! The opening dance wasn’t nearly as exciting or as well executed as it was the first time around, but still good.
I confess I didn’t watch Enrique as he doesn’t really interest me.
I dig the pro segments, specially when Derek looks so gorg!!
And Amber and Derek win the Encore. Hmmmm…I hope her fans didn’t spend all their time tweeting.
SPOILERS….in case you couldnt’ tell from the comment…
After getting 9’s in the fusion, there was pretty much no way, mathematically, that Jack was going to win. That left it between Corbin and Amber, Corbin with a bigger deficit than has ever been overcome in a finale.
Season 17 Champs: AMBER RILEY AND DEREK HOUGH.
I think this is the first African American woman to win the MBT, correct? Also the first plus sized woman?? Awesome.
I can’t say too much about the show so far, cuz I was out walking the dog. I’m dog sitting. I used to want a dog. Not so much anymore.
You guys get the ball rolling. I’ll jump in later.
Well, it’s finally the end of the road for Bill and he went out with style and class. So, who’s going to win it all tomorrow?? Could be anyone. But after tonights performances, I’m leaning toward a final two of Amber and Jack. But Jack has an uphill battle. As of right now, Jack needs more than 30,000 votes per million votes cast to beat Amber. He needs 22,000 to get past Corbin. Corbin’s road is much more manageable in that he only needs 8,500 votes per million votes cast to beat Amber.
After Jack’s freestyle, he could do it. What does the fusion dance do to the margins?? Assuming that Corbin and Amber each get a 30 and Jack gets a 28? It does very little to the margin. Lowers it by about 2k.
I have no idea who’s going to win. You?
PureDWTS Season 17 Rant: Really, Really Dumb Ideas About the Show (Courtesy of Facebook & Instagram)
After Elizabeth & Val’s elimination last Monday night, against my better judgement, I decided to see what fans on the DWTS Instagram page were saying about the results. Of course I instantly regretted this decision, because I saw more than a few hystrionic, irrational, and downright idiotic complaints about everything from the scoring to the voting to the overall format of the show. I also witnessed a horrifying lack of command of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and overall coherence when conversing in the English language And here’s what really grinds my gears: nothing has changed, guys. The show’s scoring has been calculated the same way for 17 seasons now (50% judges’ scores, 50% viewer votes), we’ve had the same 3 judges for every season, and this is FAR from being the only voting shakeup we’ve seen in 17 seasons. So why is everyone suddenly up in arms about it now?
We may never know for sure, but I can say this: some of the Instagram & Facebook DWTS fans have got some really, REALLY dumb ideas about the show – ideas that I’m proud to say that our Pure readers would recognize as pure poppycock in a heartbeat So of course, I just had to find a way to show you guys some of these gems – both for humor purposes and educational purposes. All of these are actual comments, either on the DWTS Facebook page or the Instagram page, and all were posted publicly – so I’m within my rights to republish them here; but because some of these ideas are some real turds, I’ve taken pity on the commentor & blurred out any identifying details, except for the first name – cause it’s a helluva lot easier to refer to them by some name than by “idiot #1, idiot #2, idiot #3, etc”.
Really Stupid Idea #1: The judges’ scores should have more weight.
No offense, mimi, but where have you been the past 16 seasons???
I shouldn’t even have to elaborate on why this is a downright TERRIBLE idea, but I’m going to anyway because clearly some of the simple-minded folk that are backing this turd of notion don’t seem to understand that this is likely not going to have the effect they think it will. I’m guessing they assume that judges’ scores being weighted more heavily = good dancers stay, bad dancers go. But apparently they don’t realize that the judges aren’t exactly infallible & objective – far from it, as we’ve witnessed over 17 seasons. The judges are capable of some pretty blatant favoritism towards some contestants (William Levy, anyone?) and have undeservingly HOSED other contestants (Ralph Macchio fans, this is where you nod in agreement). They also have a tendency to “pity score” some contestants to soften the blow (*cough*BRISTOLPALIN*cough*), with the unexpected effect of said contestants outstaying their welcome. And then there’s their personal biases: Carrie Ann & Bruno are both easily swayed by attractive young men (regardless of how well they can actually dance), while Carrie Ann seems to turn into a green-eyed monster when it comes to scoring attractive young women, and tends to take some cheap shots when critiquing them. Len has a tendency to scold Derek at least once a season, and hand out an absurdly low score as a result. And of course, Carrie Ann’s dubious lift-policing seems to have an effect as well…just ask Corbin & Karina, who earlier this season were penalized for a lift that didn’t even exist. We’ve also talked about the “man behind the curtain” possibly exerting some influence over the judging as well – seemed awfully convenient that William Levy was getting worshipped by the judges week after week (whether or not he was actually worthy of the worship), when he was set to launch a huge deal for Univision (which is part of the ABC family…hmmmm). People REALLY want to give these clowns even MORE power? I feel like just last year, people were complaining about how the judges were terrible and needed to be replaced!!! Another point to consider: the viewers need to feel invested in this show – they need to feel like they have a say in who stays and who goes. And the minute you start making them feel like their vote doesn’t count or counts less is the minute you start losing viewers. Even those that don’t always vote seem to take comfort in the fact that the viewers do have the power to overturn a bad score from the judges. Read more..
I’m very interested to see which Maks we get tonight. I have a feeling he really wants to do a good job. The question is…does he have it in him to be fair and constructive? Or will the wacko juice from the judges on either side of him infect his brain?? Right now, I have some confidence. Check back here every few minutes to see if I lose it completely.
First dance down and Leah finally gets called out. Not only was that dance simple as hell (more simple than anything Amber does while injured) but she stumbled more than once.
I’m liking Maks so far as a judge…but we’re only one dance in. Not entirely sure that being called a “technician” is particularly flattering in this context though.
Almost forgot – that opening dance was FANTASTIC!! Who was responsible for that? It looked like a Mandy Moore – particularly with Derek out in front for half of it.
Bill and Leah were in jeopardy and Leah FINALLY goes home.
In other news, Maks was rather hilarious as a judge. Love that they put him next to Bruno – that added a whole other level of amusement.
Another interview with Maks! This time he talks with People.com on how he plans to judge tonight. More at the link including his thoughts on Kate Upton and more.
Chmerkovskiy, 33, says he was only passionate about protecting his teammate against the judges when he “felt that some things weren’t very just.” And now that he’s joining Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli on the panel, the pressure is on “to avoid being a hypocrite” after slamming their judging style.
“I have to be the person that I thought they should have been at the times I disagreed with their remarks,” he says. “It will be interesting for me to see, ‘Now you are in a position that you criticized before. Let’s see you do better.'”
Chmerkovskiy, who appeared on 13 seasons of Dancing with the Stars, says viewers shouldn’t be expecting him to take his hot-headed attitude to his judge’s chair.
“I’m not going to be as critical because someone’s kicks aren’t as crisp as they should be because I know who I am looking at and I see what their potential is,” he says. “I will do my best with constructive criticism and with giving positive reinforcement.”
And while he acknowledges that fan favorite comedian Bill Engvall “isn’t the best dancer this season” Chmerkovskiy says “there’s something to be said about how much effort he puts into his performances.”
ETA: And below you can watch Maks on Good Morning America. He sounds like he will be a fair judge, but, we will see??
ETA2: Below is Maks with Access Hollywood talking about judging:
On the heels of the new “Could Maks Chmerkovskiy’s Guest Judging DWTS Lead To A Full Time Job Next Season?” post, now we have a new article from The Daily Star with talk of Len Goodman quitting the US version of Dancing With The Stars. Here is more….
A source close to Len said last night: “He wants to quit Dancing With The Stars because he finds the travelling so tough.
“His time zones change dramatically every few days and when he does want to spend time off with his family he’s too tired to really enjoy it.”
Len married long-time partner Sue Barrett, 47, in a surprise ceremony in December.
He has judged on Dancing With The Stars since it launched in 2005 and it has made him a massive star across the pond.
Leaving will mean giving up the annual £250,000 pay cheque he gets for appearing on the show, which regularly tops 12million viewers for the ABC network.
But insiders say Len is determined to put his health first – and wants to ensure he can continue working on Strictly for years to come.
I don’t blame him at all if he wants to quit. As Heidi has posted (and I’ve experienced it too), that commute from England to the States can be a bear. How he (and Bruno) do it every week is a mystery. Be sure to read more at The Daily Star.
Adding: As much as I complain over his judging sometimes, this is making me sad if it comes true.
Sean, a friend of John’s, sent us a new interview he did with Maks Chmerkovskiy for his site The TV Page. Sean asks Maks all kinds of cool questions about guest judging Dancing With The Stars, if he misses dancing, what kind of judge he will make, etc. Sean also explores the possibility of Maks taking on judging Dancing With The Stars as a full time gig. This is such a great interview. Below are a couple of takes.
“It’s kind of cool that this has happened now,” he tells TheTVPage.com. “For the past two seasons there has been a lot of talk that maybe [the show and I] were on bad terms and whatever. So it was awesome to get this call and hopefully put all the rumors to rest.”
The controversial — and sometimes hot-tempered — dancer left the ballroom after the show’s “all star” season in 2012. In 13 tries, he reached the final round four times and was runner-up twice.
“I honestly never thought that I would have such a hard time letting go of dancing,” Maks admits. “But that is what happened. I may have sounded a certain way while I was [on the show], but then when some time passed and things calmed down and I got the time to do some other things that I was never able to do before because I never had the time, all of a sudden I started missing it. Now the show is coming in and asking me to try myself at the next logical stage of my career. And this is the next logical step. I am excited just for the opportunity to prove to myself that I can do it.”
During his thirteen seasons on the show, Maks, 33, often clashed with judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
“We all know how I was critical sometimes of the way they work and the things they say and how they were saying it,” he says. “This is an opportunity for me to sit in that spot and try to do, not necessarily better — because I am not saying they are doing a bad job — but to be the type of judge that I have wanted them to be. I am not a hypocrite. I have got to do what I criticized them for…and do it better.”
What kind of judge will you be?
In acting they tell you not to try to mimic somebody else’s voice and intonations, but to be you and try to find the best version of you. It is the same way here. I am just going be me — but older and wiser. And remembering that this is the semifinal and at this point everyone is exhausted and really going on fumes energy-wise. So maybe Bill Engvall isn’t the best dancer that is left out there, but he puts so much effort into what he does that it has to be recognized. At the same time, I gotta also understand that for me, I want to see the best dancer win. So there are people who are left who are in amazing hands whose pros have won it — some of them multiple times. I am just excited to see what the couples bring and I will pretty much decide on the spot. I have never been fake and I have never been scripted, so that is one thing you can expect: genuine me. My opinions and honest in everything that I say.
The obvious question now is “Will this lead to a full time judging job next year?
To be honest with you, I am focused on just Monday. I am trying to do the best job I can and we will go from there. I will continue to do the things I have already been doing. Whether it leads to full time anything is not up to me and it is not the conversation for right now because there is literally no conversation like that happening. Maybe the powers that be are thinking something, but I don’t know.
You can read much more of this new fascinating interview at this link. Let us know what you think and THANKS SEAN for sending this our way!
Maks Chmerkovskiy was a guest on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live show With Carrie Keagan this morning to talk about guest judging the Dancing With The Stars Semi-Finals. First, he told Carrie he was relieved he wouldn’t have to judge his brother Val as he is “toughest on the people he loves the most”.
On what kind of judge he will make, Maks said he’s excited and he never thought he’d be a part of this foursome (judging with Carrie Anne Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli). He said he’s been a hypocrite when he danced on the show. Maks can be critical, but, he hopes to be fair as a judge. He also hopes everything he says will come out right and he will try and be on his best behavior. He knows how tired the dancers are at this point in the competition.
On who Maks thinks is the front runner, he names Corbin Bleu and praises Karina Smirnoff as being one of the best choreographers. He also gives Derek Hough big props too. He said Derek is a champion and says he always knows what to do to win during a finale.
Be watching VH1 as they may post video footage a little later.
ETA: Below is some video coverage: