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DWTS Season 14 – The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate, Part II

So last Wednesday, we took a look at the male contestants’ dancing pasts.  Today we’ll take a look at the women, who are arguably less talented (and more comical) this season ;-)

First up, we have the much buzzed-about Sherri Shepherd, who, aside from possibly taking some lessons at Dance with Me prior to the start of this season, also busted some moves in a choreographed hip-hop number at her wedding reception:

Court: She’s not stellar, but she’s keeping up pretty well – and paired with the extra practice she’s gotten prior to the show, I’d say she has a pretty good foundation.  What’s funnier to me about this clip is Elizabeth Hasselbeck – poor girl sticks out like a sore thumb in line :-P

Heidi: Heh. When the women are dancing it’s like “Dancing with America’s Next Top Model” they are so stiff. Thank god for the men – they’re killin’ it. :-)

Vogue: I sure hope Big Bird isn’t around as he might want to steal the wedding bride? 8O

The verdict: Sherri may have some hip-hop moves, but it looks like Val’s got his work cut out for him!

Now let’s take a look at Maria Menounos, who got an impromptu belly dancing lesson during a segment on Access Hollywood:

Heidi: :::whines::: Derek gets ALL the dancers. She’s such a ringer.

Vogue: Hmmm, I’m afraid for Derek now a little. Is anyone else?

Courtney: I think this clip just reiterates for me that her biggest obstacle likely won’t be the dances themselves, but just getting over feeling like a goober when she dances – you can tell she feels totally silly here, and it makes her look even more ridiculous.

The verdict: D’s on goober patrol this season.

Up next, we have Katherine Jenkins, who did a number from Carmen during her arena tour that involved some dancing:

Vogue: She’s got some dance skills for sure. What’s more, girl knows about theatrics and how they work. Mark is theatrical in his dancing as well. He’s going to be in heaven with this one.

Court: If she can overcome the potential fanbase problems I could see her having, she could be pretty good – hell, this dance even looks vaguely paso doble-y.

Heidi: Okay, so why is no one screaming “ringer” over this one? The Opera Singer does some actual dancing. Then again, odds are that Mark won’t focus on her in the choreography so it won’t matter. :-D

The verdict: Opera or no opera – Katherine could actually be kinda good.

Let’s move on to Gladys Knight, who admitted during the cast announcement that the Pips “never let her dance”! So admittedly, there really aren’t any videos of Gladys dancing…but I will never turn down the opportunity to listen to the Empress of Soul herself belt out the song that made her famous – “Midnight Train to Georgia”:

Courtney: I doubt the Pips would have taught Gladys anything truly worthwhile that would help her on this show :-P I mean, side-tap, other side-tap, walk backwards, walk forwards, gesture with your arms.  I’m pretty sure an orangutan with ADD could probably do it.  But I’m nonetheless excited to see what Gladys has up her sleeve :-P

Heidi: Er, well, sure me too…keeping in mind this video is probably from 30 years ago. :-)

Vogue: When Gladys is finished with Dancing With The Stars, she’ll be able to trade places with her back up singers. Nice moves!!

The verdict: Gladys may not have learned much from the Pips, but she could still be a contender.

Up next, we have this season’s “tough cookie”, Martina Navratilova –  and I must admit, I think I found the perfect video for her :-) Why? It’s very ironic…just watch:

Heidi:I certainly admire the thought behind this video – Martina trying to keep people on the move and active. But dancing?? A bit stiff. But then, that comes with age, especially for top ranked athletes.

Vogue: Martina is going to be fierce. I have a feeling when she gets the hip movement down for a Samba, she won’t need a racquet to play tennis anymore. :)

Court: Ok, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m not sold on Martina being as fierce on the dance floor as she is on the tennis court.  And in this clip, she actually doesn’t seem all that enthralled by dance to me – you could replace “dance” with “colonoscopy” and it would make more sense for me :-P But she does seem to have the right philosophy – even if it was scripted.  But check out the dude in the background…he’s cracking me up!

The verdict: Not sure about Martina, but the dude in the background LOVES to dance!

Last up, we have Melissa Gilbert, who is best known for playing Laura “Half Pint” Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.  Here’s a cute clip of the episode where she stole Nellie’s music box and danced to it in the hay loft…although I doubt it played Adele:

Vogue: I’m utterly speechless. At this point in time, I’d say Maks (like Derek) is in trouble as well. 8O

Court: Granted, this clip is older than the hills, and I’m not sure that pioneer girls really had a whole lot of slick moves to bust.  But it’s cute, and it’s the only remotely dance-related clip of Melissa I could find :-P

Heidi: Heh, this could be one of those times that growing older is helpful. ;-)

The verdict: With age comes wisdom. :-)

March 6, 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 Season 14 – POLL: Does Sherri Have An Unfair Advantage?

Some of you may remember that Vogue spotted a picture of Sherri at Maks & Val’s studio a few months back on Twitter, which was then swiftly deleted, and there have been rumors swirling ever since about whether Sherri had been taking lessons for awhile prior to the DWTS cast announcement.  Lots of strong opinions on both sides of the issue, but we want to know what you guys think:

Where do I stand? I find that the thing that seems to bother me the most is the possibility that she was actually rehearsing with her future pro – I think part of the struggle most of the couples have early on is just developing chemistry and getting used to the way each one teaches/learns, since most of them are strangers, and of the ones that do already know each other, odds are they haven’t been under the circumstances that they are when they’re on the show.  If Sherri & Val have already gotten over that hurdle, I think that’s a big leg-up they have over the other couples – and if they’ve been practicing long enough, Sherri may already know the basics of some of the dances, and may even have some choreography.  If that’s the case, I feel like they’ve already gotten lord knows how many weeks of EXTRA rehearsal time in that the other couples haven’t – so while everyone else maybe be muddling through cha-cha basics and foxtrot timing, Sherri & Val might just be putting the finishing touches on their routine.  The only other precedent we have for a situation like this was back in season 9, when Donny admitted to taking ballroom lessons to prepare for his stint on the show – it annoyed me, but at the same time, he wasn’t taking lessons with his future pro. I think I’d be able to better tolerate Sherri taking lessons beforehand if I knew that she was doing it with someone that she wasn’t going to be paired with on the show. But let’s see how Vogue & Heidi feel, shall we?

Vogue: This whole thing makes me question if others have cheated before Sherri? No, we don’t have 100% proof that Sherri was taking lessons with Val that day, but, why the work out clothes (similar to the clothes Nancy wore), and why did they take the picture down which was the icing on the cake that told me that they knew they were in the wrong or trying to hide something? If this was the case, I think Sherri knew she was dancing or possibly going to dance this upcoming season. Granted, it would only be natural to want to learn how to dance (or better your dancing) if you knew you were going to be dancing in a major dance competition on television. I would bet others have done the same who knew they were going to dance too (ie: Donny). Is it unfair to the others who didn’t know they were going to dance, yes. At the same time, I think they know what they are getting into when they sign the dotted line being some of the celebrities might have some dance experience in their background and some may not. Another thing too… even if Sherri’s been practicing ahead of time and she can dance, she doesn’t have the “likable” factor in her corner which is just as important on this show to win. She also has some weight issues that will play a factor in coordination, stamina, and endurance. The other celebrities will have their plus and downsides too. In the end….and experience in dancing or not…all I really want to see on this show is some good dancing. So, part of me says, “Who cares Everyone? Just dance!!”

Heidi: Well, the point Court makes about chemistry and friendship is a huge one – that takes a while to establish and even if she’s been hanging at DWMS and NOT dancing, it’s still an unfair advantage. But come on – why delete the picture if everything was innocent and no shenanigans (aka dancing) were happening??  Why?  It would be SO easy to explain a picture, even though she was in work out clothes, if it was just a one-time, simple thing.  But, like in politics, it’s the cover up that always does the most damage.  Same is certainly true here – we would never be having this conversation if she hadn’t deleted the photo almost immediately.  What is MOST galling to me is that it’s a Chmerkovskiy that’s her partner – you remember, one of them took unfair (and ignorant) shots at Derek last season for appearing to side with the judges and having the nerve to get good partners the last few seasons.  That SAME pro has been incredibly blessed with partners of his own – he just can’t win with them for whatever reason.  If it wasn’t for that, this situation wouldn’t be nearly as annoying as it is.  Is it balls or ignorance that allows a situation like this one to occur AFTER being an asshole to a fellow profession who DOESN’T pick his partners (like Maks did) and was, frankly, speaking the truth when he said “we’ve been on the show for how many seasons now – nothing has changed”??? Was that sentence too long? ;-)  Seriously, it’s the hypocrisy and the apparently desperate need for a Chmerkovskiy to win at any cost that is bugging me.

Where do you guys stand? Do you think Sherri has somehow cheated a bit, or do you think she’s perfectly justified in taking lessons prior to the show? How, if at all, do yout think it will affect the outcome of the competition? Sound off! :-)

March 2, 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 Rants & Raves – Why the Pros Should Count Their Blessings

This post started off far more “rant” than “rave”, but I opted to change the tone a bit, perhaps in hopes that the message would then be more easily swallowed :-) As many of you know, Edyta has recently been writing a series of blogs about her time on the show that have been rather…bitter. Vengeful.  Even malicious.  And it’s unfortunately colored many of our opinions of her for the worse – she even went so far as to block a reader who dared to make a comment expressing “disappointment” in Edyta’s choice to be so critical of the show that made her a household name.  That’s when it dawned on me: some of the pros seem to have forgotten what life was like BEFORE they were on Dancing with the Stars.

For those of you unfamiliar with the “real” world of ballroom, first things first: prior to 2005, when DWTS & SYTYCD hit the air, most ballroom dancers (even the world champions) led lives of relative obscurity.  They may have been well-known within the ballroom community (which is still relatively small), and may have even been what I like to call “ballroom famous” – a title that me & my teammates from my college ballroom dance team bestowed upon dancers that were particularly respected & admired in ballroom circles – but they most certainly weren’t household names, and they weren’t mobbed by fans in public.  In short – they were just like you and I.  Just average people with a not-so-average occupation.

How bout a short poll: how many of you had heard the name “Tony Dovolani” prior to 2005? Now of those who had, how many of you HAVE NOT somehow been involved in the world of ballroom dance at some point in your life? If you fit both of the criteria above, then I applaud you – because prior to 2005, the only mainstream thing Tony had really done was a bit part in the American version of Shall We Dance?, and he was also credited as a choreographer in that film.  The fact that he actually got a few lines to say was pretty impressive, considering that, at that time, the biggest movie/tv role (besides choreographer) that most ballroom dancers could ever hope for was either dancing around in the background as an extra in a big dance scene, or maybe being a “dance double” for a particularly ungraceful actor (true story: the owner of my bf’s dance studio was Ben Affleck’s “foot double” in the movie Going All the Way – apparently Ben has 2 left feet!).  Dancers were lucky to even get credited as extras, let alone hope for a speaking part.  The widely held opinion with most casting directors was that “if you’re doing a dance movie, you’d better find actors that can dance…because you aren’t going to find dancers that can act!” It was a far, far cry from the starring movie roles that Julianne & Derek have been given in recent years, and the tv gigs that Maks (Bachelor Ukraine, Celebrity Ghost Stories), Cheryl & Louis (Suite Life of Zack & Cody), Edyta & Alec (CSI: NY), and Mark (Samantha Who?) were able to get due to their DWTS fame.

You know all those spiffy endorsement deals that so many of the pros on the show have gotten over the years, with their faces plastered over everything from shoes to hair extensions to diet pills to makeup to exercise tapes to dancewear? Yeah, pretty non-existent back in the pre-DWTS days – most competitive ballroom dancers were lucky if they could get a dance shoe or costume sponsor to help mitigate the exorbitant cost of competing.  And speaking of money – let’s just say they weren’t raking it in back then like they are now :-) Don’t get me wrong, some ballroom dancers make quite a good living for themselves just on coaching, choreographing, and doing exhibition performances, but it’s peanuts compared to what they’re rumored to make on the show (which I’ve heard reported as roughly $6k+ per week).  And can you really put a price on the exposure the show gives them??? Since the beginning of the show, how many of the pros have opened successful dance studios with their name plastered on it? So far, I count Cheryl, Karina, Chelsie, and Maks & Tony (with the new Dance with Me in CA).  For those who already had dance studios (like Jonathan & Anna), I can only imagine they started booking up faster after their appearance on the show – I know for a fact that Jonathan is now one of the most in-demand pro-am teachers in the country. 

How many pros have graced the covers of magazines since joining the cast of the show? Back in the day, the biggest magazine a ballroom dancer could hope to appear in was American Dancer, the bimonthly publication put out to its members by USA Dance – which, of course, was only sent to members.  All those invites to parties/award shows/premieres/charity benefits/etc? Probably wouldn’t happen to your average ballroom dancer. And how many pros can now count some pretty big celebrities amongst their friends…and sometimes exes? Without the platform of DWTS, Maks may never have met Kirstie, Derek may never have met Shannon, and Julianne may never have even been in the same room as Ryan Seacrest.  In the entertainment business, it really isn’t what you know, it’s who you know – and DWTS has supplied some primo connections for its pros. 

I don’t want ths post to be a neverending soapbox of why DWTS is so great, so I’ll get to my point: as much as the pros may bitch & moan in the media about the show and how “unfair” or “fake” it is, at the end of the day I daresay their participation in it has done them far more good than harm – it has plucked many of them out of obscurity and opened doors to opportunities far beyond their imagination as young ballroom competitors.  Some (namely Julianne, Derek, Mark, Cheryl & Maks) have parlayed those opportunities into success better than others (namely Alec & Edyta), but even the latter has undoubtedly benefitted from having the show on their resume – Dance Temptation may not have taken off with someone less notable at the helm.  And fans, you can take something away from this too – you may complain about how the show has been so “unfair” or “biased against” [insert pro here] (which, of course, is pretty subjective), but I challenge you to imagine a life without that pro in it.  Would you rather watch Maks occasionally “take a beating” from the judges, or have never known him at all? Would you rather see Tony tough it out with such duds as Wendy Williams & Kate Gosselin, or have no idea who he is? I know many of you will probably argue “you can’t miss what you never knew to begin with”, but I’ve seen how this show brightens some of your lives, and what an important role some of the pros play in it.  They inspire you, entertain you, and can even motivate you to better your own life. Yes, sometimes this show is indeed “unfair”, “fake”, “scripted”, & “storyboarded”, and I’m not saying the viewers or the pros should accept every aspect of the show without complaint. But when it comes down to it, it still fulfills one crucial purpose in the lives of its pros: to share their love of dance with the world…and reap some sweet benefits while they’re at it ;-)

February 10, 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!

DWTS14 Cast – Hunches & Suspicions about Sherri Shepherd & Sam Champion

This is a post that Vogue & I decided to write after making some interesting observations on Twitter & TV :-) Keep in mind that no other news outlet has reported on these two as “casting rumors” this season, and that this is just Vogue and I postulating based on our observations and some gut feelings.  Since the casting rumors so far have been kinda sparse, we figured we’d go ahead and share. But read this with a grain of salt, if you will ;-)

First up, we have Sherri Shepherd – and with that, I’m going to turn it over to Vogue:

Vogue: Thanks Courtney! Well, on the day Dance With Me Studios was filming for the Christmas and New Years Nancy Grace shows, @PulseCreativeNY at twitter was posting pictures promoting what was going down. She posted twitter photos of Maks, Val, Carson, Tristan, and Nancy to name just a few. In the mix and to my surprise, she also posted a picture of SHERRI SHEPHERD. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but, then I got to thinking of the recent rumors about Sherri dancing on Dancing With The Stars and for several seasons now. Sherri has expressed great interest, but, the timing was always wrong at the time. I quickly pmed Heidi about it to see if she was at twitter to see what she thought….especially being Sherri was clothed in work out clothes very similar to what Nancy Grace always wore for rehearsing. Sherri was also pictured with VAL! Now maybe this is something and maybe not since, as you know, Dance With Me Studios is where they teach people how to dance? The interesting part is, no sooner had @PulsecreativeNY posted that picture, she quickly took it down (kicks self for not taking screen shot in time). Now, my suspicions grew even more. lol Another interesting note is that Sherri currently follows Tony, Cheryl, Val, and Kirstie Alley….but, not Maks (atleast not since the last time I checked). She’s talked a lot at twitter about dieting and getting into shape…why? It’s like she’s preparing for something…is it…could it be….Dancing With The Stars? :idea: :) In covering all of our bases, we thought we better mention it.

Heidi adds:  Highly suspicious indeed and, as you might imagine, I asked Vogue what she would do next time she saw something “interesting” on twitter. SCREENSHOT. Immediately. :-) Before doing anything else.   In regard to Sherri herself – I vote NO. Nothing against Sherri, but if she’s already been spending time over at Dance with Me and is taking lessons?? Ha! And you though Derek has had advantages!!  CheaterCheaterCheater (sung in 12 year old voice)!! Who was the last contestant who took ballroom before DWTS?? Donny Osmond is the only one I know of. Didn’t think it was fair then, don’t think it would be fair now.  Of course, maybe Sherri just wants to get in shape without going on the show (what fun would that be?) and is doing it at Dance With Me. Who knows?? Well, we will in 30 days or so. :-)

 

 *photo courtesy ABC

Now we move on to a guy who has only come to my attention as a possible contestant in the past few hours: Sam Champion.  For those of you who don’t know, Sam is the weather guy on Good Morning America, and is a HUGE fan of DWTS.  He usually live tweets Monday night’s performance shows, and even had a Monday night “Tweet-off” with Chris Cuomo (a former fellow GMA anchor who’s now with 20/20) last year – DWTS vs. Monday Night Football. In short – the guy obviously loves DWTS :-) Anyway! It was announced on GMA this morning that the cast would be announced on GMA the morning of Feb. 28…and who was the most excited out of all the anchors? Sam.  Who was off-camera, but made a point of jumping in the shot when Robin made the announcement? Sam.  Who was disappointed when Robin said he’d have to wait until Feb. 28 to hear the cast? Sam.  Who acted extra coy & fiddly during the whole segment? Sam.  If you haven’t yet, go watch the video Vogue posted – Sam acts unusually squirrely, and seems extremely excited to announce the cast.  Perhaps because he’s part of it…?  You also have to take into account that the cast announcements for the past 4 seasons of DWTS have all occured during The Bachelor or The Bachelorette – big primetime ratings draws.  Far bigger than the audience they’re likely to get from announcing the cast in a morning slot…so what would entice TPTB to change the timing, you ask? Perhaps the fact that one of the GMA anchors is going to be one of this season’s celebs? If you think about it, the reason they switched to announcing the cast during the The Bachelor in season 10 was because Jake, that season’s Bachelor, was going to be a part of it.  What’s to say they wouldn’t do the same this time around? To add to my growing suspicions, I was exchanging emails with my lovely mother this morning, and the minute I mentioned we thought someone from GMA was going to be part of the cast (all the anchors were acting kinda odd), her immediate response was “It’s Sam Champion, isn’t it?” Apparently Robin made a comment on the air recently about Sam being a good dancer – a comment that seemed a bit unusual, given the context.  Perhaps a bit of a hint from Robin? Draw your own conclusions, but Sam’s behavior this morning practically screamed “I’ve got a secret…I’m going to be on DWTS!!!!” to me ;-)

Heidi:  As you know, I have to add my two cents to this whole thing, too. My response to Courtney this morning was “well, it’s either Sam or Robin” – based mainly on the fact that Robin is also a fan to the point that she’s had Maks teach her a few moves. :-)  I say no to Robin (but not as much of a no as I do to Sherri and I won’t be mad if she’s on) and YES YES YES to Sam. I would love to see him on the show. Everyone on that show is a giant though, with Sam being about 6’3″ or so. But they’ve had taller. I think Sam is a ray of sunshine and he could fill the Ken doll slot if Derek isn’t around. ;-)

*photo courtesy ABC

So what do you guys think? Could we be seeing Sherri & Sam hoofing as contestants on season 14? :-)

January 27, 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!

What a Night For Dance With Me USA’s Fall Fantasy Showcase! (Photos)

As we reported to you in an earlier posting, Val Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Kirstie Alley (along with her dance partner Serge Onik), Daria Chesnokova, and Elena Grinenko all took part in Dance With Me USA’s Fall Fantasy Showcase last night in Brooklyn. According to the Daily Mail this morning, Kirstie “shimmied, shook, and waltzed her way through two energetic performances”. One follower of Kirstie’s that attended the event said Kirstie danced like a champion and Maks would have been proud of her. From the looks of these pictures, I would say go. You can view more photos like these at the Daily Mail link and also at Wire Image.

Kirstie was also given flowers after her dances. Doesn’t she look incredible?

Also at the event was The View’s Sherri Shepherd (who has also been rumored to dance on Dancing With The Stars for several season’s now). Below is a take of her and Val after he “disrobed” for one of his dances. *sigh*

You can see more pictures of the event as well as reading some fun LIVE commentary from Sherri HERE.

What a night! If anyone has any video footage, be sure to let us know.

ADDING: HERE is a video of one of Kirstie’s performances thanks to @DawnMarchioni at twitter. Below is some coverage with Tony for Extra. He interviews Kirstie on the show, her thoughts on Dancing With The Stars Season 13, and more.;

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

October 31, 2011 I Written By

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

DWTS Search Engine Round-Up – Week of June 10, 2011

 Another week, another random smorgesboard of inquires and curiousities :-D

Are Hines & Kym secretly dating?

Erm…if it was a secret, how would any of us know? :-) I know a lot of us here at PureDWTS were definitely not opposed to a Hinenkym liason, but realistically – I’m not sure Hines’ & Kym’s lifestyles are very compatible at this point. It sure doesn’t sound like they’ve been in the same place at the same time much since the show wrapped, aside from the media blitz the week of the finale.  Kym’s been jet-setting all over the place in the past couple weeks – she was at a nightclub in Vegas last week with Dmitry (no Hines in sight), was in Tampa earlier this week to do some promos on HSN for the DWTS hair extensions line, and is doing a bikini photo shoot for Star Magazine today in LA. Hines was tied up earlier this week as a presenter for the CMT Awards in Nashville, and tweeted earlier today that he was “back home” (which I’m assuming is his house in Atlanta, and not the apartment he had in LA for the duration of the show) and his MBT had arrived. Kym did tweet that she wished she was at the CMT’s with Hines, but I don’t think we can really read too far into that, considering a lot of the pros & celebs still do attend events together after the show – Kirstie danced with Maks at his studios’ Summer Invitational. The point? It’s kinda hard to date when you’re seldom in the same zip code :-) Don’t get me wrong, it’s POSSIBLE – but I just don’t find it PROBABLE.  You be the judge.

Lorenzo Lamas

We were hearing this guy’s name left & right as a casting rumor for season 12 – so much so that we almost positive that he was going to be on.  He was going to Ballroom with a Twist performances, following some of the pros on Twitter, and telling basically any media outlet that would listen that he was “in talks” to do the show. And then – nothing.  We didn’t even see him in the audience this season.  Maybe the media took a tiny bit of info and ran with it, or Lorenzo himself talked this one up to sound far bigger than it really was, or maybe he couldn’t reach a contractual agreement with the show…who knows.  As we’ve said before, sometimes it takes a few seasons of being a rumor before anything actually happens – so I still think he’s a possibility for season 13.  I sometimes wonder if TPTB already have a cast in mind for an entire year, and then try to separate them into spring & fall casts, so that there’s an even distribution of personalities & occupations.  Or maybe they try to work with certain celebs’ schedules…something like “Hey, we know you said you couldn’t do the show this season due to previous obligations…but could we count on you for next season?” We may never know the particulars, but I sincerely doubt they rest on their laurels once they secure a cast for one season…I would bet they almost have to do some far, far in advance planning to secure some of the bigger names they’ve gotten. 

Do Cheryl & Maks smoke?

Only in the bedroom ;-) KIDDING!!! With regards to Maks, this seems to be a touchy subject amongst his fans over at maksimchmerkovskiy.com - but people are curious by nature, so to me there’s no point in beating around the bush and calling the topic off-limits.  Anywho – I guess there’s a video somewhere of him throwing a cigarette butt on the ground before entering a club or something a few years ago, and I found an old article from back in 2009 with pix of him smoking. Honestly, I’m not surprised – most European-born people I know have smoked at some point in their lives.  It seems to be more socially acceptable over there than it is in the US, although it does seem to be losing popularity on a world scale.  I would sincerely doubt he’s a pack-a-day smoker, since he’s an athlete and seems to have incredible endurance (and a busy schedule not conducive to regular smoke breaks); but he could be like a few of my friends who are what I call “social smokers” – those who only smoke when they drink or when they’re around others who are also smoking.  Whatever he is – doesn’t bother me any, as long as he’s not blowing rings of smoke in my face or trying to make out with me. :-) As for Cheryl – found an old article with pix of her smoking as well.  According to my boyfriend, a surprising amont of female pros do smoke – some of them do it to unwind (which seems counterintuitive to me, since nicotine is a stimulant), some of them do it to keep the weight off between competitions.  I certainly hope Cheryl isn’t doing it for the latter reason – although those pictures are old, from back when Cheryl was incredibly thin when she first started the show.  She seems to be a lot more comfortable with her curves now, so I doubt she’d be doing it for that reason.  The verdict? Both are likely just sometimes-smokers, if they even still smoke at all, since I can’t find anything more current than 2009. 

Kirstie Alley’s new movie Syrup

Kirstie mentioned it briefly in the video Vogue posted earlier this week. She’s filming it in NYC this month, and is hoping Robert De Niro is her co-star :-).  However, according to IMDB (and take it with a grain of salt kids, because it’s about as reliable as wikipedia – ask Heidi), the only stars listed for it so far are Kellan Lutz, Amber Heard, Shiloh Fernandez, and Allison Williams.  No mention of Kirstie’s name – then again,  it did just start filming this month, and it doesn’t sound like a lot of details have been released yet. It sounds like the movie’s gonna satirical comedy based on the novel of the same name by Maxx Barry, about two 20-somethings trying to make it soda industry.  Hmmm…interesting.

Are Ted & Nicole Volynets brother & sister or husband & wife?

Brother & sister. Although sometimes their dance routines could suggest otherwise…aaaaawkwardness at the 1:43 mark.

Lacey Schwimmer legs

Definitely one of the more “talked about” body parts here at PureDWTS (but nowhere near as popular topic as Kym’s Awesome Boobage(TM) ;-)), mainly because Lacey doesn’t have the typical long, lean, leggy frame that many of the other female pros have – not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that :-D Lacey’s the second shortest pro, with a height of 5’3″ (Chelsie’s 5’2″), and her legs are noticeably more muscular than most of the other female pros.  While this does tend to make a woman’s leg lines in Latin look less aesthetically pleasing (especially when Lacey insists on wearing something OTHER than ballroom shoes, which annoys me to no end), they do have an advantage – shorter legs usually make for greater flexibility…and Lacey tends to work these dramatic displays into her choreography. I’m still in awe of the spin she did in a bow & arrow stretch position with Kyle in their rumba (3:22 mark). And short legs aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker in the professional world, either – Latin competitor Elena Kryuchkova barely stood 5’0″ (much, much shorter than her partner!), and didn’t have very long legs, and was still a world champion. 

Derek Hough bulge

I have to wonder if some of you have gotten sneaky and are just googling hilariously inappropriate things in hopes that it will lead you here and make the SERU (search engine round-up) each week :-) But alas, it popped up, it was amusing, and I had to share…so here’s the cheesecake from October of last year where Heidi & I discussed the “bulge” at length.  Other highights from that particular edition were Margaret & Louis’ costumes, the smoke monster, and Val vs. Mark…let us reminisce.  And any further inquiries about the bulge can be directed to Pure Derek Hough.  Kthanxbye :-)  

June 11, 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!