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DWTS 16 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

So it’s time once again for me to gaze into my crystal ball before the premiere and try to take a wild (but educated) guess at how things are gonna pan out this season – who’s gonna be good, who’s gonna be bad, who’s gonna stick around, and who might get sent packing early.  Admittedly, this kind of snuck up on me – after my prolonged hiatus after season 15, season 16 seems to have arrived at breakneck speed and I’m just struggling to keep up.  Guess that’s what happens when one bad season turns you off of a show completely…don’t know that I’ve been this dubious about a new season of my favorite show since season 5 of Nip/Tuck 8-O

For those just tuning in, a few words of explanation about how I arrive at these rankings.  It’s a combination of factors – how good (or bad) of a dancer I think they’ll be, how much of a fanbase I think they do or don’t have, how likeable/unlikeable I think they’ll be to viewers.  So all those factors considered – this is how I predict the eliminations to shake out.  And they can (and usually do) change after seeing the first episode :-P So in today’s edition, I tackle the bottom half of the couples: the ones I don’t see lasting past the middle of the competition.  Here we go…

12.) Lisa & Gleb – It pains me to say this, considering that they’re my favorite couple, but I’m afraid my favorite Real Housewife of Beverly Hills may be the first on the chopping block this season :-( There seems to be several factors working against them – and the one that concerns me the most is the fact that Lisa’s a reality star, and she’s a Real Housewife at that.  Considering that TPTB have avoided casting from that franchise like the plague until now, and that the Housewives seem to be some of the more maligned reality tv stars amongst DWTS fans (some DWTS fans reeeeeallllly don’t like Housewives – trust me, I’ve gotten tweets complaining, as if I have any control over casting!), I’m worried that some viewers have already written her off, sight unseen.  Then again, I could be completely wrong – since we have no precedent for a Real Housewife on DWTS, how do I know that RHOBH fans won’t tune in and vote in droves for our British lass? :-)  They’re also contending with the fact that Gleb is a brand new pro without much of a fanbase (and without the benefit of being visible to the DWTS viewers already, a la Sharna in the troupe or Lindsay on SYTYCD) – although I daresay Gleb’s stunning good looks certainly don’t seem to be hurting them ;-) Besides those two hurdles, I also worry that they’re just too laid back - their rehearsals are neither memorably good nor memorably bad, which could make them blend into the woodwork amongst some of the bigger personalities this season.  And we don’t really have any idea what Lisa’s dancing prowess is like, nor do we know what Gleb’s teaching/choreographing prowess is like – they could be really good, they could be really bad, they could just “be”.  I’m hoping that we’re in for a pleasant surprise with these two, but my gut’s telling me that they’re probably not going to make it past the first few weeks of the season. Read more..

March 15, 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 Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 3

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..

March 11, 2012 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. :-)

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part I

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just ready for the cast announcement so we can get all of this speculating over & done with! But to help us get a handle on who might be in and out, let’s take a look at what combination of “casting types” we might get this season.

The Olympian

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

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: The only semi-legitmate Olympian prospect I think we’ve heard is Bruce Jenner – and I would like to think that TPTB would have mercy and not subject us to back-to-back seasons of Kardashians in the audience :-D

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, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Jericho, Hines Ward, Ron Artest

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: Vince Young tweeted that he had been asked to the do the show, then suspiciously deleted the tweet.  Guilty much? ;-) We’ve also heard Annika Sorenstam’s name in the mix.

Read more..

February 26, 2012 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 Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 2

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..

September 17, 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. :-)

DWTS Who Wore it Better? Part XIV – The Pre-Season 13 Edition!

While you guys got to ooh, ahh, and discuss the official season 13 promo photos, I was busy trying to compile everything for WWIB – so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit cranky in these critiques. :-) In reality, I actually started compiling pictures for this last week, after the first celebs tweeted pix of themselves at their respective shoots, but it still left a lot to do once they FINALLY released the pix today (3 days late, I might add…ahem, ABC, you listening? ;-)).  Anywho! As I was telling Heidi, there were definitely a few…odd things about this season’s promo photos.  So let’s get right to it, shall we?

Battle of the midnight blue, sparkly one-shoulder rumba dress: Anna’s pre-season 13 photo shoot with Carson vs. Anna’s rumba with Evan in season 10

Courtney: I was joking on Twitter that I bet Carson was the reason the promo photos were released later than usual – he must’ve been picky about he & Anna’s costumes ;-) From the look on Carson’s face, maybe he didn’t get his way – he looks pouty.  Then again, maybe it’s just extraordinarily awkward for him to be touching Anna “that way”…look at how awkwardly his hands are placed.  I worry that these 2 could struggle with really romantic dances like the rumba, if that’s what’s really going here.  Then again, Carson could take to the drama of the dances like a fish to water…but anyway! Love Anna, love this dress & the color of it, but I have to go with rumba Anna for this one, for reasons of hair alone – WTF were they trying to do with it in the photoshoot? Seems like they were torn between some Snooki-like bump in the back and loose waves in the front.  Ooh wee.  And can I just say, this dress is far too similar to the rumba dress she wore with Kurt in season 11 – when you’re dealing with various lighting conditions in photos, it’s hard to tell the 2 apart!

Heidi: Yep, I have to go with Rumba Anna too – and it was also about the hair for me too. :-)  I think we’re, like, mind-melding or something.  Poor Carson. His lack of experience with women may end up costing him.  I believe he did say that himself, did he not?

The winner: Rumba Anna!! It’s all in the hair.

Battle of the flowy, white, jeweled ballgown: Elisabetta’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Val vs. Chelsea’s foxtrot with Mark in season 12

Heidi: Do NOT understand the need to chop off the length on these gorgeous ballroom dresses. WHY?? This dress on Chelsea was so gorgeous, long and flowy – and it loses all it’s impact once it’s chopped off.  Gotta go with Chelsea for style….not to mention that I don’t find Val attractive so that kinda hurts Elisabetta’s chances with me. :-)

Courtney: I may have “hated” on Chelsea & Mark all last season (according to some readers…) but I have to say – this was my favorite dress Chelsea wore.  Thought it was simple, elegant, and age-appropriate.  And while I think Elisabetta looks STUNNING in it, I have to go with Chelsea here – the overall styling & very old Hollywood feel they gave her seems to suit the dress better. One funny note: did they catch Val trying to sniff Elisabetta’s hair? Because his face is half-covered by it, and he looks…guilty. ;-)

The winner:  Chelsea by a length.

Battle of the cranberry silk embroidered ballgown: Hope’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Maks vs. Jennifer’s tango with Derek in season 11

Courtney: Can’t remember who it was that called this the “red velvet cake” dress, but you’re totally on the money…and making me crave baked goods.  :-P Or maybe cranberry juice.  Anywho! We don’t see too many cranberry-hued costumes on the show – maybe because it feels like a very formal shade? Idk.  I love the embroidery on the sleeves & waist, and I always love open-backed dresses, but I have to say I think a bit of the magic of the original was lost when they shortened the dress – by shortening it, I think they were trying to make it feel more “Latin” than ballroom, but the color & styling of the bodice still scream “ballroom!” to me…so for that reason, I’m gonna go with Jennifer.  I prefer the dress long, and the pulled-back hair & matching lipstick complete the look.

Heidi: Again, the chopping up of a perfectly beautiful dress. Gotta go with Courtney and choose Jennifer.  Frankly, the dress just doesn’t look right shorter and Court pretty much summed up why. I do like Maks’ matching shirt though – that’s a nice touch.

Courtney: I think I figured out why exactly I don’t love the shortened version: it looks too much like a figure skating costume.  Slap some skates on Hope and she’s ready for Skating with the Stars. Why couldn’t they have put her in a different cranberry-colored Latin costume? Like maybe Audrina’s Argentine tango costume?

The winner: Red velvet cake is always a winner…but we prefer our pieces with some length to them.

Battle of the silver-fringed, jeweled Latin dress: Karina’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with JR vs. Chelsie’s pre-season 12 photoshoot vs. Chelsie’s cha-cha with Jake in season 10

Heidi: I love Karina’s bangs!  She looks very pretty.  But I think I’ll go with the middle Chelsie…I deduct points for the long black gloves as an accessory choice with this dress. I do not like the above-the-elbow gloves with the short latin dresses. Just don’t get that fashion choice at all. So, while middle Chelsie wins for me, Karina takes second and right Chelsie gets third place. :-)

Courtney: This was one of the many oddities I noticed with this season’s photo shoot pictures – why did Karina decide to reuse a dress that had already been worn for a promo pic? Let alone one that was just used LAST SEASON.  It may not seem like a big deal, but to my knowledge, no costume has ever gotten used in a promo shoot more than once, and since the promo photos are often the ones that linger the longest of any of the photos taken during a particular season, you’d think they’d try harder to make them more…unique.  It’s not like they don’t have a ton of costumes to choose from :-) But I digress once more.  Gotta stick with Chelsie on this one, because this doesn’t look like something Karina would design for herself – all the more reason I am befuddled as to why it was picked for her.

The winner: Chelsie still owns the battle of the silver fringe.

Battle of the cranberry corset-top, tulle-overlayed dress: Lacey’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Chaz vs. Lacey in the “Toxic” showdown with Val in season 11

Heidi: Gotta say, I think this one is a draw for me. I think it’s a rather silly dress to begin with, and while I like the red streaks in Lacey’s hair on the right, I despise those little chopped up gloves that she’s wearing. So….a tie. :-)  I will say though, that that lighting on the left-hand picture compliments the dress more – you can see all the detail work on it much better.

Courtney: Tee hee…my screen-capping skillz make me giggle sometimes ;-) If you’re wondering exactly what Lacey is doing in the photo on the right – I think she’s attempting to make some sort of come-hither gesture to Val and is failing.  :-P I can’t say I’m wild about this dress, but it does look very “Lacey-ish”.  I guess I prefer it in the “Toxic” number – the streaks in the hair & the edgy makeup seem to suit it better than the more plain makeup & hair they gave her in the pre-season photoshoot. Another observation: I know some people are saying “Oh, Chaz must not be that short after all – Lacey’s standing next to him wearing heels.” Well, he may actually be a bit taller than her, but I think they’re already employing a few tricks to help as well – Lacey’s standing further back than he is, which could alter the perspective; and it looks like Chaz’s hair is gelled straight up, and he may have a bit of a heel on his shoes.  Now let’s see if they have tricks to minimize the height difference between Peta & Ron, too…

The winner: Lacey…and no one else. :-P

Battle of the pearl-encrusted, cut-out tango dress: Kym’s Argentine tango with Hines in season 12 vs. Kym’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with David

Courtney: My favorite dress of season 12, PERIOD.  Love the racy cut-out sides, love the nude color, and ADORE the fact that Kym eschewed the cliched rhinestone coating and had it encrusted with pearls instead.  Love the dress in both pix, but I gotta go with photoshoot Kym – the loose, romantic waves they put in her hair seem to really sexify the dress.

Heidi: Ditto – I also like her partner on the right (cute!) and just her posture is better and works with the dress better.  Totally agree about the hair.  Doesn’t Kym choose this color for her photoshoots a lot?? It’s a color that really works on her.

The winner: Photoshoot Kym proves that pearls can be sexy. 

Battle of the black mesh, fringed & jeweled dress: Ricki’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Derek vs. Marissa’s 2nd rumba with Tony in season 6

Heidi: Mmmmm….Derek. :-)  I’ve got to send his trainer cookies or something for the work he’s done on Derek. He looks…bigger. Or in the words of his trainer…”jacked up”. All growed up. Oh. Dresses. Well, since I don’t like Marissa’s stockings, and I don’t like her hair…and, well, I don’t much like HER, I have to go with Ricki for better hair and a hunkier than ever partner. :-)

Courtney: Love that they’ve got 2 former Tracy Turnblad portrayers in the same dress :-) Seems like kind of a cool homage.  I don’t exactly love this dress, so it makes it hard for me to pick a winner.  Seems to look better with Ricki’s coloring, but that could just be a spray tan and some photoshoot lighting giving her a nice glow.  But wait – is Derek wearing a black shirt with brown pants? WTF???

Heidi: Derek’s wearing pants??  Oh…yes, it appears they are a different color. ;-) Seems to be an odd choice for him. Very out of the ordinary. Wonder why?

The winner: In the tale of two Tracy Turnblads, Ricki emerges victorious :-)

Battle of the brown fringed & jeweled Latin dress: Nancy’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Tristan vs. Kirstie’s 1st samba with Maks in season 12

Courtney: Nancy actually looks quite nice in this dress, methinks.  Perhaps even better than Kirstie.  She’s certainly got her tatas ready for battle! Gotta say – Nancy is pleasantly surprising me so far.  She seems like she’s actually excited to be doing this, and has set aside her courtroom aggression for the meantime.  And Tristan, good on ya – you look happy :-D

Heidi: Ah, we finally disagree on one. I have to go with Kirstie. I think she works this dress better just by nature of her hairstyle which is long and flowing rather than…helmut-y.  Yes, I am making up words as we go.

The winner: It serves both Nancy & Kirstie pretty well…so what can brown do for YOU? ;-)

Battle of the silver silk jeweled ballgown: Pam’s foxtrot with Damian in season 10 vs. Chynna’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Tony

Heidi: Chynna isn’t wearing this dress, the dress is wearing her.  Pam embodies what that dress was designed for – she owns it.  Even the elbow length gloves work with this dress and her hair…and her makeup.  Just gorgeous! And am I mis-remembering or is this another dress that was nearly full length and they’ve chopped it again??  Step AWAY from the scissors!

Courtney: Chynna has aged incredibly well, but the overall effect of this silver gown on her seems…bland.  She’s very pretty, yes, but there’s nothing about the picture that really jumps out at me – and I’m afraid that may be the theme for me with regards to Chynna & Tony this season :-( Whenever I’m rattling off the names of the couples, they always seem to be the ones I forget, maybe because there’s been relatively little media coverage of them.  Idk – maybe they’re deliberately flying under the radar so they can surprise everyone in week one.  Time will tell! But Pam, my little blonde bombshell of season 10 – she’s a total Marilyn in this one, down to the sex kitten hair, elbow-length gloves, and red lips.  *sigh* I miss Pam & Damian…

The winner: You don’t mess with Pam Anderson.

Battle of the black, lacey, fringey dress: Cheryl in the season 12 finale opening dance with Chris vs. Cheryl’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Rob

Courtney: This must be one of those generic dresses they always seem to have on-hand in order to fit a particular color scheme, because nothing about it was really triggering a ”Eureka!” moment for me until someone mentioned that it could be Karina’s dress from the season 11 finale – of course it wasn’t, but it at least got me thinking along the lines of finale performances and that’s where I finally found this one.  It’s pretty, but unremarkable for me – Cheryl herself doesn’t even seem to be uber-excited to be wearing it in either picture.  I guess I’ll go with photoshoot Cheryl, because she’s at least smiling…although Rob still looks like kind of a putz to me.

Heidi: Blah. Boring. Both times. :-(  I think Rob IS a putz. It’s actually painful to have him in my DWTS List on twitter.

The winner: Zzzzz….oh, we were supposed to pick a winner? I guess photoshoot Cheryl…now let me sleep…zzzzzz

Battle of the gold lame/gold sequin romper: Kristin’s pre-season 13 photoshoot with Mark vs. Julianne’s freestyle with Helio in season 5 vs. Karina’s pro dance to Selena Gomez with Derek in season 9

Courtney: WARNING: this is NOT the same costume.  Well, Kristin’s is not – I’m convinced they bought that nonsense on the clearance rack at Wet Seal…or bought it at a costume auction after Take Me Home Tonight wrapped (BTW, good movie for a few laughs – well worth the $1.08 the bf & I paid for it at the Redbox ;-)).  In other words – I hate that gold thing and I have no idea why they decided to put such a pretty girl in such a tacky costume when they clearly have a bajillion suitable leftover costumes at their disposal.  *stamps foot* Seriously…whyyyy? Even the the very similar gold sequin romper that Julianne & Karina both wore would be an improvement over this…thing. And don’t even get me started on Mark’s shoes…although, if they were going for the 80′s theme with their photoshoot, he does look vaguely like Duckie from Pretty In Pink…except Duckie is wicked awesome and Mark is just kinda bogus, dude. </80′sslang>

Heidi: Pretty sure they give the dancers a selection to choose from. Just sayin’.  This is one gawdawful dress that made me think trailer park Saturday night when I first saw it. Maybe that’s harsh…but didn’t gold lame dresses go out in the 90′s. Or the 70′s?  Or both?? I mean, really, at least that gawdawful romper (and you all know how I feel about that cut around the legs) IS a romper.  Kristen’s is a dress that is cut up to THERE.  Seriously? You’re going there on day 1? Also, you do realize that Mark got those damn shoes bedazzled don’t you? Because we couldn’t see them well enough as it is – because it is much more important that we see Mark’s feet than his partner’s.  Or…the dude is just tacky.  Are we picking a winner here? I go with Karina because she’s suffocating Derek with her hair. :-)  Helio is cool too though.

The winner: Helio & Karina. And perhaps Jon Cryer.

And a special note on Peta’s dress…

We tried, kids, we really tried…but we (and the many PureDWTS readers I solicited both here and on Twitter) were clueless about this feathered thing Peta is wearing.  I (Court) swear I’ve seen her wear it somewhere OUTSIDE the dance floor (either in the audience of DWTS or another premiere or something), but for the life of me, I cannot recall specifics.  I even asked Peta on Twitter – no response. If you have seen this dress before and can tell us where exactly, we’ll update this post and give you credit :-) But until then, here is some commentary from Heidi & I…

Heidi: What in the hell was Peta thinking?  From the psuedo dress to the pose it’s just all the way wrong.  I think it might actually be the pose that really caps it off.  It kinda looks like Ron is carrying his child in her swimsuit on his hip.  Or you could go slightly porno if you want, but I’m trying not to think about that.  This is actually a horrendous picture for me – such a gorgeous woman but how did she get to this pose in this outfit??

Courtney: I’m sorry, but this seriously seems like the worst of this batch of promo photos to me.  The pose is just totally weird – can you believe that Peta’s leg is actually hidden behind Ron’s back? Believe it – Peta confirmed it.  And this dress just feels odd to me – like they just took a tank top and slapped some feathers on the bottom.  And speaking of bottoms…I hate that Peta’s is just kinda hanging out in this pic.  Add to that the strange pouffy hair, and I’m just left thinking, “WTF???”

September 7, 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!

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 12 End of Season Award Winners – Which Couple Was the Best Dressed?

John: Impossible to decide between Kym, the blonde bombshell with the awesome accent, or the super model with the amazing accent. Does it really matter what they wear or who their partner is? Correct Answer: No.

Vogue: This was a toss up between Hines and Kim or Petra and Dimitry. Both couples always took my breath away. In the end, Kym and Hines got my vote. Not only does Kym have a knack for dancing and teaching, she knows just the right costumes to pull out and when for the most part. They aren’t too gawdy or in your face. They are never ugly or tasteless. They always match the dance which is really important in my opinion. Totally classy all the way.

Courtney: I’d like to say a little prayer of thanks & praise to Our Lady of the Awesome Boobage, because she easily ran away with this title, IMO :-D Seriously – Kym’s hair, makeup, and costumes were picture-perfect this season, and I think she did a great job of styling Hines well, too.  My favorites had to be her quickstep dress (quite possibly my favorite ballgown in the history of the show) and Argentine tango dress (who would have thought thousands of pearls could make a bigger statement than the cliched rhinestones?).  I think Kym’s biggest strength in styling both her & her partners is that she knows when to keep it simple – most of her popular costumes are very uncomplicated silhouttes, in flattering colors and textures that compliment the moves of the dances.  Wish some more of the female pros would take a page out of her book…you listening, Lacey & Karina? ;-) Petra was a vision in all of her costumes this season – but how couldn’t she be, when she’s such a vision on her own? And a sweetheart to boot…I have to admit, I really liked she & Dmitry together this season, despite thinking I would find them boring.  While I don’t think all of Kirstie’s costumes were terribly flattering (still trying to figure out her jive & waltz costumes…), I do think they were memorable and fit the dances well.  Thought some of Romeo & Chelsie’s costumes were just lovely – god I loved both their Fred & Ginger-inspired foxtrot costumes, and their Titanic-inspired waltz costumes! Rounding out the write-in category: Ralph & Karina (12), Chelsea & Mark (7), Chris & Cheryl (1), and “No one” (1). Ralph & Karina were kinda hit-or-miss for me – loved their foxtrot costumes, hated their salsa costumes, loved their rumba & waltz costumes, hated their paso doble & quickstep costumes.  Karina’s kinda all over the place for me, costume-wise.  Looks like Chelsea & Mark are a polarizing couple – people seemed to either really love or hate both their dancing & their costumes! She had a few good ones (foxtrot, cha-cha), but I’m afraid she was overshadowed by the ridiculous ones (paso doble, samba, freestyle). As for Chris & Cheryl – I didn’t really LOVE any of their costumes this season, but I didn’t really hate them, either.  They were just…there.

Marianya: Instead of saying “best dressed” I’ll instead say who I think didn’t annoy me with their costumes. In this case it would have to be Petra and Dmitry. However, if we’re measuring the entire course of the show, then of course Hines and Kym. :D

Heidi: In re-watching the various seasons, I’m continually in awe of the hot blond with the awesome boobage – and I ain’t talkin’ Derek. :-)  What I can’t figure is why Kym is so under the radar – I guess she’s second only to Derek in the lack of self promotion.  It’s like she goes into hiding between seasons…but this girl is just gorgeous!!  Inside and out. It’s safe to say I have a straight gurl crush. :-)  Seriously – two trophies, great record with her partners, gorgeous…and the best dance-face around.  Best example is her Team Paso with Warren – fierce.  Speaking of Paso Doble’s with Warren – that pleather ensemble and the Matrix tribute dance?? Awesome.  This season, I have to go with the quickstep dress -fantastic.   She’s my new favorite girl, easily.

July 19, 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 12 End of Season Award Winners – Which Couple’s Elimination Was the Most Disappointing?

John: I had an odd season with no real emotional favorite (although, I did like Chelsea). However, Ralph was just a class act. Plus, I’m afraid Mr. Miyagi might come and kick my trash if I said otherwise.

Vogue: LOL JOHN!! Seriously, Ralph for me too!!! The judges finally had their way. I’ll never understand why they picked on him so? A total shame. He belonged in the Finals! I really enjoyed him and I was the happiest when he and Karina brought in an Oriental influence to some of their dances. Beautiful!!

Courtney: With the exception of maybe Kendra & Louis (who I still must applaud for a very classy exit), I was disappointed to see all of the above couples eliminated – but the sting was definitely the greatest with Ralph :-( Echoing Vogue’s sentiments, it was the last straw – the judges had finally gotten away with manipulating the outcome of the show.  And Ralph looked so heartbroken, even though I think he knew it was coming.  I think Ralph’s unceremonious ousting (and season-long abuse by the judges) will go down in DWTS history as the most unfair cut…even moreseo than Brandy, because this time around – only the judges are to blame.  I also got a little sad when Romeo was cut, just because he had grown so much in the duration of the season & seemed so humbled and thankful for the experience.  Chris was just so funny & charming (and he got dealt a crappy dance the week he was sent packing) that it hurt to see him go too; and Petra was just an absolute angel and seemed truly humbled by the experience.  Really and truly, with the exception of Wendy – I think all of this season’s eliminated contestants were very classy & gracious when they were eliminated.  Very impressive :-) Some write-ins: Kirstie & Maks (7), Mark & Chelsea (2), None (2), Mike & Lacey (1).  I never really count those who make it to the finale but don’t win as “eliminations”, but I could see how those could sting just as bad.  I liked Kirstie & I was glad to see her beat Chelsea, but I think deep down I know that there was no way she could bridge the points gap between her & Hines, thanks to the judges.  I felt bad for Chelsea (who I think was a bit of a pawn this season), but I can’t say I was disappointed to see her go – her very presence in the finale seemed unfair, and had she won – it would have been a very hollow win.  I didn’t hate the player – I hated the game.

Heidi: I don’t think the judges realize that manipulating someone into the finals doesn’t mean people are suddenly going to start voting for her. By that stage of the game, the voting is pretty set (for those doing the serious voting especially).  And if you’re not getting votes, it might be for a good reason, not an accident. Most have learned from Sabrina by now. For that reason alone, it was a shame that Ralph got the boot. But I agree with Courtney in that I was sad to see a lot of them go for a variety of reasons. But Ralph’s ouster just pissed me off. I have to think that the judges get in their heads the “good dancer” and “bad dancer” labels for each contestant and they can’t seem to bridge that when someone starts to improve and do well.

Marianya: Really? Really?! REALLY?!?! How do you choose? There were so many (ok, really only two in my book) disappointing eliminations, but one that I was definitely screaming and pouting about was Ralph and Karina the judges proverbial punching bag. I mean COME ON! The moment that TPTB allow people to call in and pick which dances they liked you have to expect the popularity vote, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. **Sighs**

July 15, 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!

DWTS12 End of Season Award Winners – Which Celebrity Improved the Most Throughout the Season?

John: After seeing Master P, I wasn’t sure that Romeo would ever turn the corner and let himself go. I think he definitely deserves this award in my book.

Heidi: I also have to give it to Romeo, easily. Kirstie was more of an inverted bell curve – started out good, faltered a good bit, and then got better

Marianya: Romeo… I really grew to like him over the course of the season, I could have gotten used to him being around a bit longer…

Vogue: Yep, Romeo for me too! During the pre-show period and in the beginning, he seemed a little full of himself and I was beginning to get really annoyed when he didn’t want to wear the dance shoes or seemed too cool to get into it all. I didn’t think he’d last long even though you could feel and see a tiny spark there. Then suddenly, he started surprising us all. I loved how he bloomed in so many ways. It was pure joy and even magical watching him when he put the coolness aside and became a class act…..now that was COOL!

Courtney: No disagreement here! I loved watching Romeo really grow throughout the season.  I think the turning point was his foxtrot – that was the first time he seemed to really enjoy himself and took the quality of his dancing to a whole new level.  By the time he was eliminated, I daresay he was giving Chelsea, Kirstie, Hines & Ralph all a decent run for their money, technique-wise.  He also seemed to really grow as a person – he started off the cool cat that thought wearing dance shoes was lame; as the weeks went by, he shed the bravado and the facade and showed a vulnerability I don’t think anyone could’ve expected from him when the season started – except for my mom, who loved him from day 1…she’s got good intuition ;-).  Definitely a bright spot of this season for me! As for Kirstie – I kinda agree with Heidi that it wasn’t so much that she improved, but she started off good, kinda fell into a slump, and then recovered and was good again at the end.  Chris would probably be my 2nd place on this one – he started off pretty darn bad, then slowly improved before getting dealt a crappy hand (or rather, song & dance) the week he was eliminated.  Kendra improved a little bit the last 2 weeks or so that she was in the competition, but I don’t think it was a vast improvement; Petra stayed about the same for me the short time she was around.  Write-in responses: Ralph (6), Hines (5), Chelsea (3).  I don’t think Hines improved at all – he started off good and remained consistent the entire season.  Kinda the same deal with Chelsea – I think she was a good dancer the whole season through, but the ups & downs she had with the judges due to bad choreography choices on Mark’s part probably gave the false impression that she was improving. Big difference between getting good scores w/the judges (which are often skewed to fit their biases) and actually improving ;-) As for Ralph – I feel like it’s a bit of the same phenomenon: Ralph really started off good and ended pretty good with the smooth dances, and consistently did bad at the Latin dances…but the way the judges were all over the place with the scores, it often made it seem like he was doing far better (or worse) than he really was.

July 13, 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!

Pure DWTS End-of-Season Awards – Season 12

We know you all love the comedy of the Cheesecake Awards, but we here at PureDWTS do know how to be serious, as well :-) So it’s time to vote in our end-of-season awards – we started this last year as a way to look back at the season and see what the bests and worsts were, and see how our readers really felt about the season as a whole.

The voting categories are below – please vote on each one.  We will reveal the results in a series of posts in the upcoming weeks, as well as our commentary on the results.  Vote away and enjoy!!!

NOTE: There is an “other” box, if you really & truly don’t agree with any of the options listed for a particular category. We did our best to compile a list of good nominees for each category, but not everyone is going to agree. C’est la vie.  So if you want to vote “other” – simply click on that option and type in your answer.  However, a word of caution – if I cannot understand what you typed, I won’t count it in the vote totals.  I’m afraid some went a little crazy with the “other” box last season, and I was left to muddle through some badly misspelled, grammatically confusing, and downright incoherent answers…as well as answers that were already listed as nominees.  *facepalm* So for the sake of my sanity, kids, please – at least try to spell things correctly, and make sure the thing you are voting for isn’t already listed a nominee ;-)

June 15, 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!