A couple of seasons ago, I created a set of criteria with which to measure the benefits some dancers on DWTS have compared to the other dancers. That is, ringers versus non-ringers. I attempted to be as logical and scientific as possible, although it’s impossible to remove all subjectivity from the issue. But it’s far better than simply saying “so and so isn’t a ringer, IMO”. In your opinion? If your opinion is purely subjective with no effort at logical or rational thought, then what good is it??
No good at all, actually. The original series sprung from an effort to debunk the old, tired and stupid claim that the only reason Derek does well is because he gets all the good partners and no one else gets them. Utter BS, of course. It would be a good idea to read that series before starting this one as I can’t guarantee that I’ll include all the same rationale this second time around and I don’t take well to discussing a subject with someone who is so rude as to not read the blogs. Read more..
This is the 3rd and final part of the series where I take a look at the partners the pros have had and their “ringer” status. Part 1 discusses how I define a ringer – you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer??Part 2 discusses the female pros and their partners and how I labeled them – I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve not been quite as blessed as the men. Reasons for that should be self evident – female celebrities are more likely to have some sort of dance experience, even if it is taking ballet or tap as a child. NOTE: This was mostly written before the pairings were announced for Season 14 – those pairings certainly change the game for lots of pros. Lots of potential ringers on this season.
I strongly recommend you read the first two parts before you comment – I don’t want to have to reiterate everything I wrote MONTHS ago. :-) Also, be wise and don’t complain about the length, admit that you didn’t read it all, and then argue with me – that will just earn you scorn and an eye roll. I know this is long – I considered breaking it into two parts, but then I figured it’s still long in two parts. People will either be interested or they won’t. :::shrug::: Also take note that I, personally, don’t care about ringers themselves. I think a season without them is deadly. What I DO care about is hypocrisy, revisionist history and the fairy tales that some like to spread about who has had ringers and who hasn’t.
From where I sit, there are two types of ringers – and then there’s just being blessed. Fanbase ringer (ie. Donny Osmond, etc.) or Experience Ringer (Mel B, Nicole, Sabrina, etc.), and lucky get (Lalia, Brooke, Gilles, JR). Just because someone happens to be a great dancer doesn’t mean they are a ringer. When someone is blessed with a partner who can dance, it doesn’t mean they were handed a ringer. That particular argument is so illogical that it’s hard for me to take seriously. If they actually seriously auditioned people to be on this show by making them dance with a pro for an hour or two, it would be understandable. But they don’t stand people in a room with a pro dancer and then say, “wow, she’s got some moves, let’s give her to Maks” or “she sucks, lets give her to Tony.” It doesn’t work that way. If it did, they wouldn’t be able to get people on the show. And can you imagine a pro like Tony sticking around if that was the approach they took?
As it happens, and as many people connected to the show have reiterated, the process of how a pro gets a celebrity often has to do with height, personality, looks, chemistry and the cast as a whole…and this becomes obvious as the show progresses. They are actually quite good at matching people up. I would imagine they give this a lot of consideration as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, ratings. You’re going to try to avoid having a bunch of pairings that make people go “eeewww” or get seriously pissed off. I think you need to limit that to one couple per season. Can you imagine what it would be like for every pro on a season to have a partnership similar to that of Hope and Maks?? I would want to stab my eyes out with a fork if they were ALL like that and there was no Carson/Anna or David/Kym. Seriously – think about it. So, it may be good to have ONE Maks/Hope – gives people (me and Courtney) something to talk about, rant about, get passionate about, etc. (This is separate from a discussion of whether Maks finally went too far or not – I don’t think that’s what the producers intended.) Read more..
As many of you may have noticed, costumes aren’t the only things that get reused on DWTS – songs get recycled as well, sometimes ad infinitum! After oodles of requests from you guys for a feature like this, I’ve finally carved out the time to sit down and make it happen :-) Marianya actually used to do these posts awhile back – if you go to the search bar and type in “dance comparison”, you’ll see several editions she did for season 10. Heidi & I are going to try and do it as well as she did, but you know us – if it doesn’t involve snark, we probably have the attention span of goldfish. :-)
Battle of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”
This was actually the VERY FIRST song ever used on DWTS, when Joey McIntyre & Ashly Costa (née Delgrosso) danced their cha-cha to it back in season 1…
After that, it didn’t pop until again until 10 seasons later, as the opening pro number for the 200th episode results show in season 11:
And of course, most recently, Kristin chose it as her “most memorable year” song for her samba with Mark:
Court’s take: I was pleasantly surprised at how the band managed to tweak the beat to feel more “samba-y” for Kristin, but as much as she tried to shake her booty and flip her hair – she just didn’t manage to fully embody Beyonce’s swag. Loved Joey & Ashly’s attitude for their cha-cha, although in retrospect Joey was probably not as good as I thought he was back then – the standard of competition has definitely gone up in 13 seasons ;-) But for me the real standout was the 200th episode pro dance; loved the fact that we saw multiple styles in it (cha-cha, quickstep, a little bit of samba) as well as a TON of pros from the past coming, almost literally, out of the woodwork – all the usual suspects, as well as some rarer ones like Anna D., Corky, Ashly, & even Inna (remember her?) While they may have a bit of an unfair edge…gotta give it to the pros in this one. That dance was HOT.
Battle of No Doubt’s “It’s My Life”
First, Louie Vito had it for his foxtrot with Chelsie in season 9:
And of course, our favorite fashionista, Carson, tangoed to it with Anna for his “most memorable year” dance:
Court’s take: Poor Louie never stood a chance against the fabulousity of Carson :-P Plus the song just feels better as a tango for me.
Battle of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”
Fittingly, it was astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s foxtrot with Ashly in season 10…
And then Rob honored his late dad with the song when he foxtrotted with Cheryl to it this week:
Court’s take: While I thought Buzz was adorable, his age kinda limited his range of motion – and by extension, the tempo of the music he danced to. It just felt so slooooow. I actually really enjoyed Rob’s – it was light and carefree, and Rob looked like he really connected to the song and enjoyed himself.
So whose renditions of these songs do YOU guys prefer? :-)
This is Part 2 in what will likely be a 3-part series. If you want to read Part 1, you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer??
Well, let me tell you, researching these former contestants was not particularly enjoyable. But, I felt like some research had to go into this in order to try to be somewhat informed and to remove some of the subjectivity. Not all of it can be removed, but I tried.
How did I get my results?
For each celebrity who was *possibly* experienced or popular, I focused research on their web sites (if available), their Wiki pages, and YouTube videos. Then there were google searches. Yikes. If a celebrity was clearly not a ringer in any way shape or form (ie Football players, rodeo riders, race car drivers) I did not look into their background any further. I did spend some time on this, but since I have another job that takes my time, it’s possible I missed something. :-) BUT, just because you don’t agree with my rankings, it doesn’t mean I DID miss something. Just sayin’. :-)
Determining if someone is actually a fanbase ringer is rather difficult as well. My metric for that determination is: Is this person well known and well loved by the biggest DWTS demographic – that is women aged about 30 to 65. These are the people most likely to watch the show and vote. Where it gets tricky is guys like Joey Lawrence and Ian Zeiring – it’s guys like this that caused me the most pain. Why? Well, because my brain is saying, “Nah” but my gut is saying “Just because you’re not a fan doesn’t mean they don’t have sizable fanbases. :-) So, at the end of the day, I decided for my purposes that for them to be a fanbase ringer, it had to be OBVIOUS. That is – if I know they’re super popular, then they probably really are. If I don’t really know much about them….then they probably aren’t. I fit the demographic, after all. :-) Read more..
Well, my work is done in compiling all of the music from Dancing with the Stars. Here’s links to all of my posts about the music of Dancing with the Stars. Now that the finale has occurred I’ll have to find another hobby.