…and check out how Kelly Monaco, Andy Dick, and Chaz Bono make an appearance. This is a good one…
As many of you know, I was in Las Vegas last weekend and had the pleasure of seeing the DWTS live show at the Tropicana – which, of course, I will review for you guys, since certain other individuals *cough*JOHN*cough* haven’t managed to write the 2nd half of their review of the premiere of said show This post could get a bit wordy, as I took quite a few notes (and just have a really good memory, to boot) and I’ll throw in a few other possibly-unrelated-to-DWTS details for context, as well as some general Vegas info, since some of you have asked about my trip - so if you’re only interested in my review of the show, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs. And if you hate spoilers (i.e. you want to be COMPLETELY surprised when you see the show), I’d either just skip this post altogether or just read my overall take at the bottom - because I’m not holding back. You’ve been warned And special thanks go to Heidi, for helpin’ a girl out with some picture merges that were driving me cray-cray
So why was I in Vegas in the first place, you ask? My best friend Kendra is getting married at the end of July, and she wanted a bachelorette party for the ages – so naturally, we HAD to go Vegas There were 12 of us altogether (11 rowdy bachelorettes and 1 gay bachelor, who I must say put us all to shame with how fabulously he was dressed the entire trip ), and the majority of us stayed at the Flamingo, since we were able to get a great rate on standard rooms – with 4 girls to a room, it was only $82 total for each of us for 3 nights, which is pretty awesome for a well-known hotel on the strip that isn’t a total dive. Overall, I wouldn’t say the Flamingo is a particularly special or ritzy hotel (if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d go with the Bellagio, Palazzo, or Venetian…but be prepared to shell out big $$$), but if you’re on a budget, it’s certainly more than sufficient – the rooms are clean and the decor is kitchy & cute (think 1960′s, Rat Pack, original Ocean’s Eleven – lots of dots, stripes, retro furniture, and of course, pink ). I’m very into the nostalgia of Vegas, so the Flamingo appealed to me in that it was originally built by infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel, and legend has it that the actual motive behind his murder was to change the management of the Flamingo. But anyway – if you’re in Vegas, I definitely recommend trying their Paradise Garden Buffet – it’s pretty affordable, as far as buffets in Vegas go, and is quite good…especially the brunch buffet. Plus the views of their courtyard and flock of live flamingoes are gorgeous Also at the Flamingo? Donny & Marie Osmond’s live show – I didn’t see it (no time, and honestly, not much of a desire), but I did see these in the lobby:
The one on the left is Donny’s costume from his freestyle with Kym in season 9, as well as his MBT (and yes, according to the guest services director that I asked, it is his real MBT – apparently he insisted it be put in the case with his costume); the one on the right is Marie’s dress from her quickstep with Jonathan in season 5 (and one of those freaky dolls she designs – guess they had to put SOMETHING there when they found out that Donny wanted to display his MBT, although I’m not sure why they didn’t display this doll instead). I found Marie’s costume pretty unremarkable up close – for as fabulous as it looked on the show, upon further scrutiny, it’s really just a tan silk gown with some gems glued on; but Donny’s suit is very well-made and clearly took a lot of work. Interesting how different the costumes look on tv vs. in person (more on that later). Read more..
The Las Vegas Weekly interviewed Dancing With The Stars pro Lacey Schwimmer about the Vegas Show and why people should go see it. She also chatted about why she didn’t do Dancing With The Stars Season 14 and if she would do the All-star edition coming up. Here is a take with more. To read the full article, visit the Las Vegas Weekly.
Would you consider another season of DWTS?
I would definitely consider another season. There’s all this talk about an all-stars season and bringing people back. I think it’s a phenomenal idea, and I would totally, totally do it.
In your DWTS career, who’s been the most fun person to work with?
You know, the little Disney kid that I have right now in Vegas with me, he’s like my little brother. He’s only three years younger than me, but he’s just a doll to work with, and he’s so much fun to have around. He’s always positive, he’s always happy and he’s just awesome. His name’s Kyle Massey and he’s just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
Who’s been your most difficult DWTS partner thus far?
I get, you know, the partners that are very hard to place … the cases like the Steve-Os, who are not quite concentrated on dancing. But I’m really patient, and I can make anybody dance, pretty much. I don’t look at it as a difficult situation; I look at it as a growing and learning experience.
So, what do you think of Lacey coming back for the All-star edition and which partner would you want her paired with again? I’d love to see a return of Kyle Massey. I loved Chaz Bono too and maybe that’s why he’s been taking lessons and working out with it still?
Picture above from Zimbio Pictures.
Chaz Bono has been attending the shows this season. He loves Dancing With The Stars. He does some reflecting and predicts who he thinks will win this season as well. I miss Chaz. I’m so glad he danced last season. It’s so cool how he hasn’t stopped dancing….
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..
So we’re less than 24 hours away from finding out who is and isn’t part of this season’s cast. Who’s pumped??? I know I am…but we’ve still got a few hours left to speculate, so let’s see what other cast types we’ve to fill this season, shall we? For those of you that may have missed it, check out part I as well.
The Teen Idol
Previous examples: Joey McIntyre, Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond, Lance Bass, Mel B., Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, Ian Ziering, Cody Linley, Sabrina Bryan, Mario Lopez, Kyle Massey, Chelsea Kane, Romeo
Advantages: If sales of Tiger Beat are any indicator, the teenyboppers will come out in full force to support their favorite heartthrobs/idols. Being young & good-lookin’ sure doesn’t hurt! Many also have the added advantage of having a decent dance background, especially if they were part of a musical act.
Disadvantages: Youth can also have its disadvantages – as in immaturity. What some might call “youthful exuberance”, others might call “immaturity” or “attention deficit disorder” – poor Cody Linley had a hard time sitting still! Emotional immaturity (a la Aaron Carter’s post-rumba meltdown in the confessional) can be especially off-putting. They’ve also got to contend with the large middle-aged female contingent of viewers/voters – they far outnumber the young viewers likely to vote for them.
Possible candidates this season: There’s that random Nicole Anderson chick that’s a friend of Chelsea Kane’s, and Heidi found some compelling evidence that rapper Darnell Robinson may be participating this season.
Previous examples: Jerry Springer, Brooke Burke, Leeza Gibbons, Mario Lopez, Kenny Mayne, Lisa Rinna, Tucker Carlson, Mark Dacascos, Rocco DiSpirito, Erin Andrews, Wendy Williams, Mike Catherwood, Carson Kressley, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake
Advantages: Being that they’ve been at the helm of their own shows, these guys usually have the media savvy & charisma to appeal to the masses, as well as the previous exposure & recognizability. Most (not all!) are also decently attractive, which never seems to hurt (unless, of course, you’re a model – see previous post for explanation).
Disadvantages: Many hosts are only used to hosting – as in just sitting down & talking (or dodging the occasional punch, if you’re Springer), so the lack of movement experience problem seems to come into play.
Possible candidates this season: This category seems to have EXPLODED with possibilities this season – the most solid of which being Sherri Shepherd, who was caught leaving the DWTS studio the other day. I’m still wondering if someone fr0m GMA is part of the cast this season, since they all seemed to act so coy when announcing they’d be revealing the cast. And then we have the Maria Menounos rumor as well.
Previous examples: John O’Hurley, Melissa Joan Hart, Steve Guttenburg, John Ratzenberger, Debi Mazar, Denise Richards, Ted McGinley, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennie Garth, Vivica Fox, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Shannen Doherty, Jennifer Grey, David Hasselhoff, Ralph Macchio, Kirstie Alley, David Arquette
Advantages: Being that their bread & butter is acting, most can usually nail the emotions of the dances. Bonus points if they’ve done any Broadway (like Winokur) because they have likely had dance experience.
Disadvantages: For lack of a better term, many of them seem to be “has-beens” – actors that haven’t been particularly active in the mainstream in the past several years – or were never that big to begin with (can anyone else think of anything John O’Hurley has been in BESIDES Seinfeld?), making it harder for them to garner votes from a public who may not remember them.
The Reality Star
Previous examples: Kim Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Rycroft, Steve-O, Holly Madison, Trista Sutter, Shanna Moakler, Kate Gosselin, Jake Pavelka, Audrina Patridge, The Situation, Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari
Advantages: Many have achieved pop culture icon status on their respective reality outlets, making them fairly recognizable.
Disadvantages: They may be memorable for the wrong reasons – people tended to remember things like Kim Kardashian’s sex tape more than her reality show when she was on DWTS, and people seemed more focused on Holly Madison’s split from Hef than her antics on The Girls Next Door. Many can also come across as attention-hungry & talentless(*cough*JakePavelka*cough*) – reality TV is often looked down upon as a way to get famous without having any talent whatsoever.
Possible candidates this season: Lots of talk about Ali Fedotowsky, who suspiciously moved to LA last week.
Previous examples: Mya, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mario, Belinda Carlisle, Master P, Chuck Wicks, Sara Evans, Willa Ford, Monique Coleman, Toni Braxton, Macy Gray, Nicole Scherzinger, Chynna Phillips
Advantages: As with the teen idols, many have had dance experience concurrent with their music careers.
Disadvantages: Most seem to be committed solely to one genre of music (often R&B or country), making it hard to appeal to a wide fanbase.
Possible candidates this season: Lots of loose lips at the Grammys about Gavin DeGraw, but it seems like less of a possibility now, considering that he is about to go on tour.
The Wild Card
Previous examples: Heather Mills, Tom DeLay, Mark Cuban, Steve Wozniak, Priscilla Presley, Buzz Aldrin, Bristol Palin, Chaz Bono
Advantages: The sheer novelty of having someone with such an off-the-beaten-path claim to fame (famous divorcee/widow, entrepreneur, disgraced politician, etc.) may be enough to have the public voting them – just to see what happens. Being the “underdog” is a powerful thing…as we saw with Bristol in season 11!
Disadvantages: Due to their often dubious fame, people just may not have any clue who they are – I personally had to Google Mark Cuban’s name. There’s also the risk of backlash from some viewers who don’t think they’re “stars” per se, and shouldn’t even be on the show in the first place.
Possible candidates this season: Surprisingly, not too many outlandish rumors…especially since Herman Cain & Michelle Bachman have denied they’re doing the show. Phew!
So we’re getting down to the wire, kids…any last-minute predictions before the big reveal?
What is Dancing With The Stars pro Peta Murgatroyd and Chaz Bono up to? According to their twitter accounts, Peta has been giving him dance lessons. I wonder what for or is he just wanting to use dancing as a workout tool like the Daily Mail is mentioning? Whatever the case, I wish them both the best…especially if a bigger project related to dancing is in the works. To see more fun pics of the two, visit the link.
Don’t forget – DWTS Season 4 is on GSN on Saturdays. This saturday (tomorrow) we get weeks 3 and 4, at least according to my TiVo. My contact at GSN tells me that while I was correct that it airs in the eastern time zone at 6pm, I should give 8pm for the pacific time zone. But, as always – check your local listings to be on the safe side.
Some videos that I was holding off on posting until now…first, the beautiful Gilles.
Other responses (lots of paraphrasing here…and some in-line commentary):
Hope being rude about getting three 7′s in the semifinals – 1 (One of the dangers of overscoring: bad dancers expecting good scores all the time…)
The Kadrashian’s voting tweets/Kim tweeting Rob’s voting # as Justin Bieber’s - 2 (Kadrashian, Kardashian, Cardassian, Klingon…whatevs)
Awful scoring by the judges – 1 (In other news, fire is hot & water is wet…)
Maks, “This is MY show!” – 1 (Ehhh…I think this kind of falls under the same category as “Maks fighting with the judges”)
Anything to do with Hope – 1 (Lemme guess: Maks was the innocent bystander?)
Carrie Ann telling Maks not to smile - 1 (Again – this is kinda the same thing as “Maks fighting with the judges”)
Carrie Ann being an awful judge – 1 (Again, nothing new – but it ain’t just Carrie Ann…)
Kym’s comments – 1 (???…Are you talking about her calling Roethlisburger a DB? Cause that was just funny…;-))
The continued presence of Maks’ evil clone (bring back the Maks that danced w/Kirstie) – 1 (Preaching to the choir…)
Both/all of Maks’ controversies - 2 (I’m thinking I should have just put “Maks” as one of the responses…)
The continued inability for Brooke to do her job – 1 (Not so much a controversy as a source of comedy…)
Derek & Maks rivalry – 1 (Seemed like more of a one-sided thing to me…)
Rob, who still cannot dance, coming in 2nd – 1 (Lemme guess: Ricki fan?)
Courtney: The biggest controversy category is always a bit amusing (and simultaneously, a bit of a headache) for me, as it tends to reveal a bit of the rivalry between certain fanbases – and also seems to invite a TON of write-in responses, as some people want to hone-in on one very specific aspect of one of the previously listed options. And somehow, Maks’ name always seems to come up. *sigh* I’m honestly a little surprised that there weren’t more votes for “Maks vs. Hope”, because the “shove heard ’round the world” seem to really strike a nerve with people – and boy, were lines drawn! I guess I’ve come to expect the perennial “Maks vs. the judges” controversy; and in retrospect, after watching some older episodes of the show, I’m starting to wonder if some people were a little hypersensitive about the Chaz issue, as I’ve noticed that Bruno has always tended to use animal analogies to describe some contestants’ dancing…not saying that Bruno was right, but I’m wondering if those comments would have evoked the same response had they been directed at another contestant…say, Rob or Chynna. Definitely not the most sensitive choice of words on Bruno’s part, but I don’t think they were as fat-phobic/insulting/condescending as some were some were making them out to be. Bottom line: Bruno’s an idiot, but I don’t think he’s a cruel idiot…unless you name is Hope. But that’s another story The Kardashians started out strong as the antagonizers, but as the season wore on (and Rob actually started doing well, and stopped running his mouth to the press), the hype kind of died down. Hehe…”Nancy’s nudism” was actually a half-joking nomination on my part, as I think I wanted to have 6 responses. So for those 19 of you that voted for it, I have to ask: were you really that perturbed about catching a peek of Nancy’s nipple or underwear, or at the prospect of her *gasp* passing gas on live tv? Cause I certainly didn’t lose any sleep over it As for the write-ins…I find that the majority of the responses kind of fell under some of the nominees we had already, although some of the nominations make me curious about the demographics of those doing the nominating…but I’ll just leave it at that
Heidi: I didn’t think Maks yelling at the judges was that big a thing. So what? At the end of the day he’s comes off looking like an unprofessional jerk and it’s not the first time. Anyone following my private twitter account even saw where I was agreeing with him…up until the point that he just wouldn’t STFU. He couldn’t stop with just having his say out on the floor, he carried it upstairs, then he carried it to the media like a petulant child. For me it was the Hope versus Maks thing – that was very painful to watch. He went way too far this time. It was just disgraceful.
Vogue: I voted for the “Maks vs Hope” on this one. The “shove” to this day haunts me. As most of you know, I’m a big Maks fan and I was never more disappointed him as I was in all my time watching him dance. On one hand I understood how Hope was bringing out the worst in him and vice versa. She was in no way innocent…and yet, no one deserves to be physically abused. No, it wasn’t full out physical abuse, but, it was still a shove/yank, or whatever you want to call it. Do I still love Maks and am I fan? Yes, because none of us are perfect, he’s acknowledged the incident, being wrong, and he’s a constant work in progress….and, in the end, aren’t we all? His comments to the judges were over the top too at times, but, sometimes I think they are necessary to keep them more balanced and to cool it. So, I can’t fault him all the way on that one. IE: Bruno’s over the top nasty comments to Chaz.
*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Taylor
Below is another promo Carson and Karina did for Kasa.com in Santa Fe, NM leading up to tonight’s premiere of past episodes of Dancing With The Stars airing on the Game Show Network. They dish on Season 13 and the family they found. They talk of the costuming department. Carson even talks of coming back for Season 14 and being a guest judge or being part of the band. I’m not sure if he’s being serious or not, but, I’m game! How about you? LOL!
Here’s to tonight at 6 p.m. ET on GSN. In cased you missed it and if you’d like to watch Part 1 of Karina and Carson being interviewed some more, go here.