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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!

In conclusion:

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!

December 1, 2013 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.

Carrie Ann Inaba Writes About The DWTS Season 17 Finale, Celebrates With The Cast (Photo)

Carrie Ann Inaba has written her new and final blog of the season at Parade.com. She starts off saying that “the best dancer won”. Below is more including her thoughts on all the finalists.

Well, the best dancer won!!!! I know this season was very unique in that no one really knew how the audience was ultimately going to vote. With the Bill Engvall Phenom, it was hard to say how things were going to turn out since we had shocking elimination after shocking elimination this season. But in the end, I would definitely say that the best dancer won. Amber Riley had a special kind of dancing Mojo. I was so surprised to see how emotional she was in her final package.

After Amber won, she came right over and thanked the judges. In all 17 seasons, that’s never happened! She was so happy and thrilled to have won and thanked us for our comments throughout the season. That was a treat for us. :) It’s nice to be thanked!

What I love about Amber is that she really let herself become vulnerable during the season. In life, we go through a lot of it with feigned confidence and faux strength. I see more and more in life that people don’t allow things into their hearts and risk hurt through failure or disappointment. But in life, it is truly the case that if you don’t risk, you don’t gain. I was impressed with the amount of emotion that came flooding out of Amber in that final video package before they announced the winner. You could see that she opened her heart to this whole experience and she really let it move her. Actually, I think that was the case for most of our performers this season.

This was a beautiful season with a fantastic ending. The freestyles on night one of the finals were incredible. I haven’t seen such wonderfully produced and performed production numbers in a long time. The Amber Riley Stomp and shoot-out fest was cool and slick and powerful and ever so well rehearsed. They were tighter than tight!!!! And it was a first that frat stomping was used in a freestyle. And then, Jack’s incredible Old School Hollywood Ending was touching and glamorous and felt like the picture-perfect ending to a wonderful story that was Jack’s story. His incredible strength is to be admired. I suffer as well from a few Auto-Immune conditions that make life challenging at times but you have to (ask Jack always says) Go Big or Go Home, which is exactly what he did. He went big and he never gave up. And, he didn’t use his illness as a crutch for sympathy which made his journey even that much more respectable.

Lots more at Parade.com. I loved when she called Derek Hough a “mastermind choreographer” and that he is.

Also, be sure to see E Online as well. They have a new feature posted about Carrie Anne’s finale dress and how it came to be. She looked beautiful, didn’t she?! So classy! I loved it. And here she is at the Dancing With The Stars wrap party with Bill Nye after the show. Pic courtesy of Zimbio Pictures.

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November 28, 2013 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.

New Photos Of Cast Celebrating At Dancing With The Stars Season 17 Wrap Party

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Aren’t these takes fantastic? After the Grand finale, the cast attended a Dancing With The Stars Season 17 wrap party at Sofitel in Los Angeles, California. Pictured above is Brant Daughtery, Peta Murgatroyd, Sharna Burgess, Paul Kirkland, Emma Slater, Sasha Farber, and Dancing With The Stars executive producer Conrad Green. Their expressions say it all about Dancing With The Stars Season 17, don’t they?!! You can view more fun photos of them and others who attended at Zimbio Pictures.

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 Season 17, The Finale!! – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show!! (SPOILERS) PART II

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. :-)

Discuss.

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.

November 26, 2013 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. :-)

DWTS Season 17, The Finale!! – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show!! (SPOILERS)

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. :-D

SPOILERS!!!

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?

November 25, 2013 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. :-)

DWTS Judge Carrie Ann Inaba Breaks Down The Finalists

Carrie Ann Inaba breaks down the finalists on Dancing With The Stars at TV Guide. Below are her thoughts on Amber & Derek and Jack & Cheryl.

Amber and Derek:
Amber’s been grappling with a knee injury all season, but she needs to power through (with clearance from her doctor) for the finale, according to Inaba, who insists that “at this point in the game, injury or no injury, she’s got to bring her A+ game.” The judges’ pick for Amber is the Charleston — the dance where her troubles began. “This is the dance where I was telling her that her upper half was bangin’ and she’s such a great performer with her upper half, but her bottom half was sort of weaker. And I think when you have that kind of weakness, that’s how you get injured,” Inaba notes. And so, if she comes back really strong and tight and balanced with her upper body and lower body performance, I think that would be great.” The judges will also be looking for Amber to make “some sort of breakthrough” in the finale. “She needs to take it up a notch,” according to Inaba. “And I think that’s going to be challenging for her, because she’s sort of ridden at the top of the leaderboard throughout the whole season. … The way she performs, her energy just comes like a skyrocket out of her, and it’s really exciting to watch. But nothing really stands out to me as a super memorable signature for Amber dance.”


Jack and Cheryl

The judges are thrilled with the way Jack’s technique has improved throughout the season, according to Inaba, but they’re looking for a little more oomph in the final. “Jack I think just needs to continue adding pizzazz to his performances,” Inaba says. “He’s definitely impressed us all with his incredible technique, his posture, his hold, his frame, his genteel manner when he dances. … He makes a connection every time he gets out on the dance floor, and he’s got this elegance in the way he moves and great technique, great footwork.” But especially up against Corbin and Karina and Amber and Derek, he’ll have to focus more on the theatricality of the dance. “What he needs to work on is to make sure that his performances have incredible sparkle and a vibrancy,” Inaba says. “Jack has been slower to come out of his shell as far as the exuberant performances. He’s had moments where he’s done it. The judges picked the jive, which I thought he did great the first time, but Len and Bruno felt he had more to improve upon. So I think in order to impress Len and Bruno for that judges’ pick and raise his score, he’s got to really up the excitement and the tightness of it. He needs to just sort of let it go and really sparkle.”

To read about Corbin & Karina and Emma & Bill, see TV Guide.

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.

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 8-O 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.

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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..

November 22, 2013 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 17, Week 10 – The Semi Finals!! – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show!! (SPOILERS)

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.

Discuss. :-D

SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!!

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. :-)

 

November 18, 2013 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. :-)

DWTS Carrie Anne Inaba, Gleb Savchenko, Karina Smirnoff Pictured At Beverly Center Events

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Aren’t these some fun photos above? Last night, Dancing With The Stars Carrie Ann Inaba and Karina Smirnoff and their fur babies Lola and Randy attended “Beverly Center’s Holiday Pet Portraits Debut” at The Beverly Center in Los Angeles, California. There are others too if you visit Zimbio Pictures. Adorable!

If you visit Getty Images, you can also see some high quality pictures of Gleb Savchenko and Lisa Vanderpump with her dog Giggy at the Genlux new issue launch party held in the same venue. Below are some pics Gleb tweeted. Gleb’s wife, Elena Samodanova, also tweeted out some pictures if you check out this link. So cute!! What a fun night for them all!

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November 15, 2013 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.

Carrie Ann Inaba Chats About Dancing With The Stars And Dating Again (Videos)

Today, Carrie Anna Inaba talked about Dancing With The Stars on Bethenny. In the footage below, Carrie Ann explains why she’d like to see Lindsay Lohan do this show (I’d love this too). She also talks of what it’s like to be dating again. Be sure to tune into the show today if you’d like to see more of this interview.

ETA: Carrie Ann has written a new blog at Parade.com. She admits to being taken off guard with the elimination as many of us were. She also highlights some of the moments from each round last night. She also shared why she thinks Bill Engvall is still on the show. Below is more. Let us know if you agree or disagree in comments.

I’m beginning to understand that Bill Engvall is still on our show because there are many viewers and voters who still love the fact that our show takes non-dancers and makes them dancers. This is the heart of the show. This is what the show started off being about and continues to be about. I have to say that it was nice to read that people are still voting with that thought in mind, and that it’s not just that he’s popular, as so many people have stated. So many people want to be on our show. Not a day goes by when I’m not out in public, on a plane, in a store, or at the nail salon and someone doesn’t ask me, “When are you going to have the normal peoples’ version of Dancing With the Stars?” I really believe that out of all our contestants, Bill Engvall embodies that idea. He is your everyday guy and he’s learning to dance. And to top it off, he does it with a wonderful, positive attitude and has fun while doing it. People like that. He has an “Uncle Bill” kind of familiarity, and I think many of the people who watch our show have bonded with him because they can relate to him. And it seems like a large number of them have chosen to support him through this journey.

I can’t really argue with this.

To represent all sides fairly, there are many people who want the best dancer to win. And they are outraged by this elimination “travesty.” And as for are the judges are concerned, I can say that our job is to judge the performances from a technical and performance standpoint. We judge the dances. America can vote on the dances and the person behind the dance. The audience can vote on any criteria, and if they like someone, they can vote for them to their heart’s content.

I was upset last night NOT because Bill is still in, but because Elizabeth Berkley was eliminated. I was looking forward to seeing what she would have brought to the semifinals and finals had she made it. I just thought she would make it. She was scoring so high with the judges. I wonder if some people just assumed she would make it to the finals and forgot to vote for her. That can happen. So last night’s elimination reminded everyone that they have to vote if they want their favorites to be in the semifinals. The votes matter more than ever.

November 12, 2013 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.