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Cameron Mathison Interviews The Final Four Going Into The DWTS Semi-Finals (Video)

Cameron Mathison of Good Morning America interviews the remaining four couples on Dancing With The Stars getting us ready for tonight! He gets their personal thoughts on each other. Be sure to check this out before the show. I’m not going to ruin it by telling you anything more. :)

November 14, 2011 I Written By

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

Dancing With The Stars Past GROUP DANCE Review!

This is going to be quick, not much commentary, just the facts. Or rather, the videos. I’ve found myself much busier than I plan to be… But, to get us ready for the fun Group Dance, I’m searching for the videos of the group dances from past seasons. When possible, I’ll post the practice sessions, also.

Season 1, Viennese Waltz. Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts, John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo, Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso.

Season 2, Salsa. Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya, Lisa Rinna and Louis Van Amstel, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani, George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, Tia Carrere and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

Season 3 Disco. Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Season 4 Swing. Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts,John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke

Season 5 Rock and Roll Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Jennie Garth and Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas, Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani, Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska, Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy

Season 6 Country Western. Sorry, my brain has melted, and I don’t remember the names of the people I’m seeing in the video….. I know them all, but their names are no longer connected. In my brain.

Season 7 Old School Hip Hop Thanks to Gitte and Elara for helping to find this one….

Season 8 1960’s.Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower, Lil Kim and Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke

Season 9 Hustle. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson, Joanna
Krupa & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (in the place of Derek Hough who was out with the flu), Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova and Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

I think that’s all…

October 24, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Cameron Mathison Interviews Close Friend J.R. Martinez On Good Morning America (Video)

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Cameron Mathison from Good Morning America says J.R. “has charmed everyone on Dancing With The Stars” and isn’t that the truth. His “charisma, jest for life, and all of his dances have kept him at the top of the leader board for 5 weeks running.” Cameron is so proud to call him his “close friend” which you can see is apparent in this interview.

While they walk in a park discussing J.R.’s life, you can also see J.R.”s dog, Romeo, who has the same amazing “focus” as J.R.

The camera goes into rehearsals and Cameron gives J.R. advise on dancing as well.

Great personal interview!!!

ADDING: In this new touching video on Access Hollywood, J.R.’s former nurses and doctors send him good luck wishes for Dancing With The Stars. I can’t embed it, but, be sure to watch it at the link.

I Written By

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

DWTS Rob Kardashian And Cheryl Burke Rumba Teasers On Good Morning America

Good Morning America went inside Rob and Cheryl’s rehearsals to see how the two are doing. Cameron Mathison gives Rob props for breaking out of his shell away from his sisters shadow. They review his Paso Doble and Fox Trot from the week before last and how much it meant to him. Cheryl is pushing Rob harder than she ever has and he even gives us a glimpse of his “hip” action for their upcoming Rumba tonight. Rob gives us a little teaser for his costume as well. lol Fun times ahead for tonight! Who’s ready? :) I can’t embed the video, but, be sure to see it at Good Morning America >>>>HERE.

Here is a take from Cheryl’s blog at People on their Rumba tonight too….

This week, we’re doing the rumba. It’s challenging, but the dance has finally clicked with Rob.

It’s ’80s week, and ’80s in itself is really cheesy, so everyone’s probably having a hard time.

Rob and I have a great song. We didn’t get to pick it, but surprisingly I love it. Despite its cheesiness, you’ll see how sexy, fun and lighthearted the dance is at the same time.

Picture above from Rob’s facebook!

October 17, 2011 I Written By

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

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part I

It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility. Read more..

August 26, 2011 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 Season 12 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part I

Whenever the time comes to start speculating about the next season’s cast, one useful “tool” we all seem to use is the patterns in typecasting over the seasons – we know there will likely be at least 1 athlete, perhaps a reality TV star, a singer or two, etc.  But when you REALLY take a good look at the casting “types” over the seasons, it becomes clear that each season has been a carefully-crafted combination of celebs to appeal almost every demographic…and I think we’ve cracked that code :-)

Prior to the cast announcements, I’ve done a typecasting analysis for both season 10 and season 11, and both casts have fulfilled almost every subtype (with some celebs fulfilling more than one “type”).  So why not take a look at the casting rumors for season 12 and see which might fit into the casting equation, shall we? :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.

Possible candidates this season: Since we didn’t get an Olympian last season, I can almost guarantee we’ll get one this season – and the most likely candidate seems to be Nastia Liukin, who has been a rumor for a few seasons now and has started following Mark on Twitter within the past few days.  Other possibilities: Greg Louganis, who seems to have been trying for several seasons now to get onto the show; and while it may be a long-shot, Johnny Weir fans are still campaigning for a “Team Weirnoff” partnership.

The Athlete

Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, Kurt Warner, Rick Fox

Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition.  An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.

Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.

Possible candidates this season: This category has been oddly devoid of really “solid” possibilities this season, aside from the Brett Favre debacle – doubtful, but stranger things have happened on the show! Chris Jericho was also kicked around as a possibility again this season, and it looks like WWE Diva Maria Kanellis is still gunning for a spot on the show.

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle among attractive male competitors, who seem to draw in more votes from the predominantly-female viewing population.

Possible candidates this season: A strong possibility seems to be Kendra Wilkinson, who would be following in the footsteps of her Girls Next Door co-star Holly Madison.  Rumored contestant Lee Meriwether is also a former Miss America.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci, Florence Henderson

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: We’ve got two ladies with quite a sterling reputation in show business – Faye Dunaway & Lee Meriwether. One was the original “Bonnie”  of Bonnie & Clyde; the other was the original Catwoman.  Who do you think we’ll get? :-)

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The lovely Lee Meriwether could do triple duty this season, by fulfilling this category by virtue of her role of Ruth Martin on All My Children. From the online voting for this season’s cast, it looks like Colleen Zenk & Crystal Chappell are also big favorites.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: None that we’ve heard of…but who would you like to see? I’m holding out for a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to sign on – Ron White would be a hoot!

So do you guys think I’m onto something with this season’s rumors? Tune in for my next installment, where I dissect just who we might get this season from the teen idol, host, actor, reality star, singer, & wild card categories!

February 27, 2011 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!

Dancing with the Stars – The History of Judges Scores, Part 1

Obviously, season 11 made a lot of people crazy, what with all the good dancers that left before a much lesser dancer. I’ve said over and over that the judges scoring was at issue – too high for some, too low for others – but lets take a look at if that’s really the case or not…and if it was at all out of the ordinary. The question is – was Bristol scored in line with previous younger contestants with little dance ability?? Or was she given an easy ride?? I put it in the context of Bristol because of the uproar her continued presence on the show created – many claimed that either there was a huge voting block for her (already debunked that one, IMO) or the judges were much easier on her than they were on similar contestants in the past (me included).

This is going to be a series, because once I started I realized that it was likely going to be too large of a project to fit into one post. So, it will be broken down by season, starting with Season 5, and then there will be a summary post at the end. What I am doing is -re-watching the seasons, starting each at episode 5 in order to weed out the really pathetic people. :-) I’m watching with an eye to the judges – how they score, do they have patterns, how they behave toward the contestants. I expect to note other, related patterns – have they always had the same bits that annoy/please them? Do they have a favorite pro? And so on. What we all (me included) will have to remember is that even though this will have the appearance of a scientific study, it is still highly subjective. There is only so much a bunch of numbers can do for you – at some point, personal bias comes into play during the analysis (like it does during the judging). Not to mention that there isn’t likely to be enough data for scientific validity anyway. :-)

Let’s start with the contestants and their scores for Season 5:

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part I)

Celebrity Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Helio 23 (Rumba) 28 (Cha Cha) 25 (Tango) 27 (Paso Doble)
28 (Samba) 30 (Quickstep)
Mel B 29 (Samba) 30 (Rumba) 24 (Foxtrot) 27 (Tango)
30 (Paso Doble) 29 (Mambo)
Marie 21 (Samba) 23 (Paso) 28 (Quickstep) 24 (Rumba)
24 (Cha Cha) 25 (Jive)
Jennie 25 (Samba) 27 (Mambo) 25 (V. Waltz) 24 (Jive)
28 (Rumba) 26 (Foxtrot)
Cameron 26 (Rumba) 25 (Samba) 24 (Quickstep) 27 (V. Waltz)
27 (Jive) 24 (Cha Cha)
Jane 26 (Rumba) 22 (Jive) 24 (Quickstep)
26 (Cha Cha)
Sabrina 28 (Rumba) 25 (Foxtrot)
Mark 21 (Samba)

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part II)

Celebrity Week 9 Week 10 Week Finale
Helio 30 (Foxtrot) 25 (Jive) 30 (Quickstep)
30 (Cha Cha) 29 (Freestyle)
Mel B 30 (V. Waltz) 28 (Cha Cha) 30 (Mambo)
30 (Paso Doble) 27 (Freestyle)
Marie 29 (Quickstep) 24 (Samba)
27 (Mambo) 22 (Freestyle)
Jennie 28 (Tango)
30 (Cha Cha)

At the time this season originally aired, many thought that Marie was a much worse dancer than Jennie. While I’m inclined to agree that she was not as good, the life and entertainment value Marie brought to her dances is no small thing either. I think the thing that sticks in people’s minds is the dreaded doll dance and the fact that Marie’s retorts to the judges made her one of the most annoying contestants in memory. I would say that, by week 6, the quality of dancing was pretty high, even including Marie. Her dances were pretty up and down in terms of score, but she gave everything she did a lot of life – something Bristol never did.

Now the judging – my recollections that I voiced during season 11 were correct. The did tend to judge harder going into the semi-finals and they did appear to have a favorite – Mel B. By week:

- Week 5: The judges pretty much shredded Helio’s rumba and Len was pretty critical of Sabrina’s as well – over the top was his comment. Agreed. Mel B was in the bottom 2 the previous week, so she got a 29 on a Rumba that wasn’t as good as the one Edyta choreographed for Cameron – in my personal opinion. ;-) I was actually pretty surprised at how good Cameron and Edyta’s rumba actually was.

The problem with comparing Cameron and Mel is, of course, they are not the same gender – what is required in the rumba is different for each of them. Mel was the best dancer of the season, but I think the judges were a tad generous in the interest of keeping her out of the bottom 2 (and yes, it was a REAL bottom 2).

– Week 6: Nothing much of note, here, except the judges all comment on Sabrina’s Foxtrot as being too hard – which coincidentally has always been my comment about her and Mark’s partnership.

- Week 7: The judges on a “the finals are coming up you have to do better” kick – they said something of that sort to both Jane and Helio. They said Marie’s Cha Cha didn’t have enough content (and I would agree) and they were pretty critical of Mel’s first dance. You’ll note that most of the couples have one high scoring dance and one much lower scoring dance. Of course, it wouldn’t be DWTS if the judges weren’t erratic; Cameron noticeably missed steps in his Quickstep, yet got the same score as those who did NOT miss steps, namely Mel and Jane. For some reason, they were much too hard on Jennie’s Viennese Waltz.

– Week 8: In week 8 I got the feeling that the judges had figured out who they wanted in the final two – Mel and Helio.  Now, Mel and Helio WERE awesome, but once they made their decision it seemed they judged accordingly, instead of judging the actual dances. That is, at least one of them played spoiler on the other couples. It is very hard to objectively look at these dances and say the judges were unfair – so remember, these are my feelings from watching the show a long time after they originally aired.  This is not commentary disparaging Mel or Helio – I loved both of them and think they, at the end, got scores they deserved. What I’m saying is that I think the judges were harder on those they didn’t see as good enough for the finale – regardless of how they actually danced.

Anyway, Marie’s scores were fair, although I think Len overscored her on her Jive. All three agreed she didn’t have enough content on her first dance and Carrie and Bruno said the same for her Jive. While I agreed with the comment Jennie got about her posture not being great, I thought a 24 was too low. Then, some of you may remember she did a lovely Foxtrot and Bruno, of all people, said he wanted to be “dazzled” and he wasn’t. Ridiculous. They said Cameron’s Cha Cha was too “hard and stiff” – maybe so, but a 24?  You can see they are indeed getting much tougher because it’s later in the competition – whether you agree with them or not.

- Week 9: Well, I guess if you actually make it to the semi-finals, they let up a little bit. :-)  Why do I say that? Well, all the judges comment on Marie messing up her footwork, yet she gets a 27 on that dance. Yet, Carrie Ann says she doesn’t see a connection between Jennie and Derek – who danced perfectly otherwise, and she gets a 28. Oookay.  I do think the judges also overscored Marie on her first dance.  Looking at the scores, it sure seems to me that they ranked the dancers. One part of me doesn’t have a problem with that – except I don’t see as much of a gap between Helio and Jennie as they do, and I see MORE of a gap between Jennie and Marie than what they actually scored.

- Week 10: And Marie’s scores plummet.  Of course, that doll dance was a nightmare and the 22 was being kind, but they also scored her Samba very low. I don’t disagree with that in the finals. If you’re in the finals you have to BRING it. I think they underscored Helio’s first dance by a point and overscored Mel’s freestyle by a point or two – that thing was BORING. But really – the writing is on the wall here in terms of the judging. I don’t think they are picking a favorite that was undeserving in the slightest. No storyboarding here. :-)

Season 5, in Summary: Well, they DID comment on the fact that they were scoring harder later in the season.  Several stars were victims of this, including the final 2.  So, when did this change – and do you agree it did change??  Other than that, I didn’t see anything seriously out of order with the judging, beyond the occasional wacky call.  I will say that the worst dancer in the final 6, Marie (IMO) was a MUCH better dancer than I remember and easily a more entertaining/better dancer than Bristol – yet she was scored tougher than Bristol.

Random Observations:

  • Up until Week 7, they did a real “bottom two” every week.  I think the reason they didn’t do a bottom two in the 7th week is because it was the week Marie’s father passed away – and she was in the bottom two but safe. After that, they realized they liked the drama of “in jeopardy” better than showing a real bottom two. And thus endeth my conspiracy theory for Season 5. :-)
  • Late weeks formula was to do the couples choice of Latin and Ballroom for the Semi-Final. Then in week 10 it was Judges Choice, Freestyle and then the final dance of the final 2’s choice.
  • I actually agreed with the judges most of the time. This will likely be significant later on.
  • I think Mel B might have been the best of all of Maks’ partners. I like how she handled him and how they were with each other.
  • The weeks where there were two dances, they still only had ONE package – this was before they got greedy and felt the need to keep the show at 2 hours no matter how many contestants there were. :-)
  • Cameron and Edyta dance a Viennese Waltz to the theme from Harry Potter in Week 8; this makes me realize that the crazy ass songs for certain dances is not a recent thing. Edyta’s doing? Or the producers? In more recent seasons – the producers.
  • In week 10, Maks wastes quite a few bars with Mel B in the audience – so when Courtney and I were commenting on it in recent seasons, it was not a recent phenomenon. :-)
February 9, 2011 I Written By

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

Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore it Better? Part IX

With all of the hubbub surrounding the closely-approaching (and much-anticipated!) premiere of season 11, we here at Pure DWTS have gotten a little burnt out from all the coverage…maybe some of you have, too.  So what better way to let off some steam and relax than to take a look at some more costume dittoes from previous seasons? Just a little something to pass the time while we wait with baited breath for the new season to start…and for more costumes to get reused ;-) Enjoy! Read more..

September 19, 2010 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 Season 11 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 11, Part I

Prior to the cast announcement last season, some of you may remember me analyzing the typecasting of DWTS – basically, the patterns in celeb casting over the seasons which can help us to predict who we might see each season.  Interesting to note – last season’s cast fulfilled all 12 of my types (counting Nicole as both a “Teen Idol” and a “Singer”).  So why not examine those types again and see what we might get for this season? ;-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.

Possible candidates this season: Johnny Weir fans (including Karina Smirnoff) have been tweeting like crazy trying to get him cast this season, but I don’t see them succeeding.  I see more possibilities with swimmer Greg Louganis, who has been trying to get on the show for several seasons now, or gymnast Nastia Liukin – a teammate of Shawn Johnson’s & an alleged former flame of Lysacek.

The Athlete

Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco

Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition.  An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.

Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.

Possible candidates this season: At this point, the numerous (reputable) news outlets reporting that Kurt Warner is going to be on season 11, along with Kurt’s own coy dodging of questions regarding his participation, make him almost a lock for this season in my eyes.   Don’t see a whole lot of hope for wrestler Shelley Martinez. Landon Donovan is a toss-up for me – maybe, maybe not. We here at Pure DWTS would love to see a representative from a more unique sport – such as jockey Chantal SutherlandTroy Aikmen – nice try, but we’re pretty sure you’re just joshin’ us ;-)

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons ;-)

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of “pretty girl backlash” – the female viewers may turn on them due to jealousy or perceived arrogance, or just never vote for them in the first place, instead giving their votes to the attractive male participants.

Possible candidates this season: Rumors have been flying about UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, and True Beauty contestant Amy Schmoldt has been hinting that she’d like to do the show.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: The Betty White rumor seems to be kaput, so that only leaves Ryan O’Neal, whose name we’ve heard only a few times as a possible contestant.

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The most likely is probably Nancy Lee Grahn, since she’s on an ABC soap.  Although I’d love to see Martha Byrne’s campaigners succeed in getting her on the show! As for the men – seems like the only name we’ve heard is Antonio Sabato Jr., and that really just seems more like wishful thinking on the part of his fans.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: The only name we’ve heard is Heather McDonald, and we can’t even telling if she’s serious or kidding :-P

Tune in for part II, when I make my predictions for who we might see in the way of reality TV stars, teen idols, and much more!

August 25, 2010 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!

The Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning to Get Your Celeb on DWTS

Almost overnight, there has been a sudden surge in net “campaigns” to get certain celebs cast on season 11 of DWTS.  Fans of everyone from Johnny Weir to Martha Byrne to Antonio Sabato Jr. have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and various message boards & fan sites (including this one) in hopes of gaining support for their cause and catching the eye of the DWTS casting directors. 

Now while I definitely admire the enthusiasm & determination of some of the individuals behind these campaigns, I have to admit – some of them aren’t necessarily going about it the right way.  Now while I don’t consider myself an expert by any means on how to get your favorite celeb cast on a reality show (DWTS or otherwise), I do think there’s a certain strategy to it…a strategy I will outline below, which I call “The Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning for DWTS”.

 But first and foremost, I feel as though I must share this:

 I DON’T THINK CAMPAIGNING REALLY WORKS FOR DWTS.

 Why? One, it has yet to work thus far; two, with DWTS getting its highest ratings yet this past season, the casting directors can afford to be picky and choosy about who they invite to do the show…meaning that lesser-known celebs (who had a better chance of being on one of the earlier seasons – and are more likely to be the ones having to campaign to get on this season) are less likely to be on the producers’ radar as part of a casting “wish list”.  Why would the “powers that be” go after little-known or washed-up actors, singers, athletes, and models when they can command big names like Donny Osmond, Susan Lucci, and Cloris Leachman? It’s also a matter of supply & demand: the less “available” a star appears to be due to a booming career, the more viewers will tune in to watch them, and the more “in demand” they will be.  In contrast, a star who hasn’t really done anything or seems to have been forgotten after years of inactivity will not pull as many viewers, and desperate campaigning will only reinforce their “availability”…making them less in demand.

That said, if I truly believed that campaigning worked for this show (and who knows, this season it actually might!), here’s some do’s and don’ts I would follow. 

 DO: Make sure your celeb actually wants to do the show.  Kind of a no-brainer – why toil away to try and get a celeb on the show, only to have them turn it down if they’re offered the chance? This is what unfortunately happened with the campaign to get Betty White on the show – a really strong, well-organized campaign was created, but it only lasted a few weeks before Betty publicly said that she wasn’t interested in doing the show.  This is one area where I give the folks campaigning for Johnny & Antonio props – those celebs are behind them 110%.

 DO: Do your homework about your celeb.  Find out everything you can about their career, personal life, hobbies, etc.  You never know what info could help you with your promotion of them.  You also want to know any of the less “savory” details of your celeb’s past (i.e. criminal records, known drug use, sex tapes – generally anything that would be considered “bad publicity”) so that you can come up with a strategy for downplaying them should these indiscretions be brought up as grounds for not having them on the show.

 DON’T: Get caught not knowing crucial details about your celeb. You need to be able to convince people that they’re worthy of being on the show.  If you can’t be bothered to actually care enough to know the details of their life & career, why should anyone else?

 DO: Come up with specific examples of why your celeb should be on the show.  What are they known for? Have they won any awards for it?  The latter is especially important – the show announces every celeb with a “tagline” (i.e. “Emmy award-winning soap actress Susan Lucci!” “Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek!” “Oscar winner Cloris Leachman!” “NFL Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin!”), and the ones that make the biggest impression are the ones that have been recognized for their achievement in their particular area of expertise.  The producers LOVE a good, important-sounding tagline – it reinforces a particular celeb’s notability.  Not an award-winner? Mention anything notable they’ve been involved with.  Did they pose in Playboy? Are they a billionaire entrepreneur? Have they held some sort of prestigious public office? Mention that.  The producers of the show are concerned with ratings; you need to tell them how this particular celeb will bring in viewers – and awards and achievements are all concrete examples of this.

 DON’T: Be vague or weak in your arguments for why your celeb is notable. “So-and-so is a really good actor/singer/athlete/etc.” is wishy-washy and a matter of opinion.  So is “so-and-so is a really good person/has a great personality”.  Unless you can support any of these with awards won or evidence of charity work or cite specific examples of their “great personality” from interviews, none are valid arguments and are purely subjective. This is just like a high school research paper – you need to back up your statements with facts and examples, or else you really have no argument at all.   

 DO: Favorably mention previous celebs who have done the show that are similar to your celeb.  By comparing your celeb to one who has done the show in the past, you can demonstrate that there is a niche to be filled by your celeb on the show.  Are they a soap actor? Mention the popularity of contestants like Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, and Kelly Monaco.  Show people that your celeb would fit in on the show.

DON’T: Diss ANYONE involved with the show. It’s quite possibly the WORST thing you can do to garner support for your celeb. You’re sucking up to the producers – if you’re dissing any of the pros, hosts, judges, or previous contestants, it’s like telling them they’ve screwed up in creating the show…and now they’re ignoring whatever else you were going to say, even if it was insightful, because you’ve inadvertently insulted them.  Oh, and some of the viewers that may have otherwise joined your cause – they’re gone now too, because you have put down their favorite pro/judge/host/former contestant/etc.  And really, if your strongest arguments center around trash talking anyone from the show…then you really have no case to plead.  Focus on positively talking up your own celeb instead.

DO: Get creative.  Ok, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are pretty much par for the course these days – but there are ways to set yourself apart from the masses of campaigners.  Make those pages really “pop” with good-quality videos & pix of your celeb, create some cute Twibbons or profile pix for supporters to use, or do a fun youtube video about your celeb, a la the Martha Byrne campaigners (really, the whole Martha Byrne campaign is to be lauded – IMO, they’re doing everything right).  Or, better yet, register your own domain name – get[your celeb here]ondwts.com.  This gives you a place where you have the undivided attention of those coming to the site – and odds are, they already might be interested in your cause, if they got to the site in the first place.  It’s a lot more effective than fighting with all of the other rival campaigners duking it out on general DWTS message boards, and you reap the benefits of your site popping up for everyone searching your celeb’s name on the search engines.

 DON’T: Start rattling off conspiracy theories about the show. Again, rather than focusing on the POSITIVE aspects of your own celeb, you’ve resorted to convoluted, rambling suspicions about how the show is biased against this, or plays favorites with that, or how the show is rigged, yadda yadda yadda…you get the idea.  Now everyone is looking at you like the proverbial crazy lady with the tinfoil hat who’s warning the neighbors about the upcoming alien invasion.  You just come across as crazy & irrational, and people don’t put stock in either of those qualities.  When in doubt, Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one – so complex conspiracy theories are rather pointless, anyway. Don’t get wrapped up in them ;-)

 DO: Proofread your work.  This may seem silly to some of you, but be honest: are you going pay more attention to a well-written, logical, coherent piece of campaign writing, or the one littered with grammar & spelling mistakes, obscenities, and punctuation overkill? The former makes you sound intelligent and considerate enough to make your work as easy as possible for viewers to read; the latter makes you sound immature and lazy, and will quickly make anyone attempting to read it lose interest in your message.  It’s a quick fix, mmmkay?

DON’T: Spam everyone involved with the show via Twitter, Facebook, fan sites, message boards, etc. This just serves to annoy them and will likely result in you getting blocked.  Johnny Weir fans, take heed: the pros, hosts, and judges have no input in what celebs get cast each season, so there’s really no point in relentlessly spamming Chelsie, Mark, Derek, Maks, Tony, Julianne, Tom, Carrie-Ann, Randall the costume designer, Joe Schmoe in craft services, Jimmy the cameraman, Kathy in ABC’s publicity department, etc. on Twitter, begging them to put Johnny on season 11.  If anything, this may actually deter the producers from casting a particular celeb due to a perceived unfair advantage.  And really, just don’t spam PERIOD – it annoys everyone.  A few well-worded tweets or wall posts are far more effective than a thousand repetitive ones. 

 DO: Work smarter, not harder. Now I really have to give Heidi credit for coming up with this one while she was proofreading this post for me (see kids? Even I proofread my work! :-D ).  Rather than the pointless & misguided spamming of everyone and their brother mentioned above, focus your efforts on those that actually share your interest to begin with – fans of that celeb.  See who’s mentioning [insert celeb here] in their tweets – follow them.  If they see you’re into [insert celeb here] as well, they will likely follow back…and then they’ll see all the stuff you’re tweeting about the campaign in their feed.  Better yet, see who’s following [insert celeb here], and follow them too – they’re going to be the ones who are most likely to help support the cause.  You can even set up your tweet deck (or whatever Twitter program you use) to search for any mention of that celeb’s name out in the Twitterverse, which can also lead you to potential supporters.  Really kids, it’s not all about quantity of tweets in this case…it’s about the quality.

So there you have it – the Courtney strategy for getting your celeb on DWTS.  Will it work? Probably not, but it may at least stop some of the campaigning madness that we’ve witnessed here ;-) 

July 27, 2010 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!