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DWTS13 Freestyle Retrospective: The Top 10 Best Freestyles in DWTS History

So the other day, we counted down the top 10 worst freestyles in DWTS history, and re-lived some of the biggest stinkers we’ve seen in 12 seasons. Today we’ve saved the best for last: the showstoppers, the jaw-droppers, and the dynamite freestyles that have set the bar for all the freestyles to follow. :-)

Some patterns we’ve noticed: most of these routines are high-energy, use recognizable songs, and have either a theme or a general “feel” for the celebs to connect to. It’s a pattern that seems to work – let’s hope this season’s finalists stick to it!

Heidi’s Note: You’ll also note that you have a better shot of making this list if your name if Johnson, Hough, or Ballas.  Possibly Schwimmer – she’s one for two, isn’t she??

10. Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer, season 11

Courtney: This is a good example of a hip-hop freestyle actually working out well – basically the polar opposite of Lacey’s ill-fated hip-hop freestyle with Lance. This time around, the song & theme fit her partner to a T – Kyle LOVED “Tootsie Roll”, and it really showed. Now while the choreo wasn’t really all that complicated, it was the fact that Kyle just milked each step for all its worth that really made it fun – I swear, I think the only more charismatic contestant to ever do the show is Carson. :-P Kyle had swaaaaaag, and was a true showman…and it didn’t hurt that he wasn’t too shabby a dancer, either.

Heidi: The thing that made this work was that it fit Kyle to a tee and he LOVED it. He was having the time of his life and he had the skills to pull off a hip hop routine. You combine that with some pretty clever choreography and you have a brilliant freestyle. He’d be much farther up on my list…but this is surprisingly hard to come up with and putting them in order? Impossible! Anyway, when I stand up off the couch and cheer, you know it’s good. And this one was also FUN in all caps. :-) Read more..

November 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!

DWTS13 Who Danced it Better? The “Most Memorable Year” Edition

As many of you may have noticed, costumes aren’t the only things that get reused on DWTS – songs get recycled as well, sometimes ad infinitum! After oodles of requests from you guys for a feature like this, I’ve finally carved out the time to sit down and make it happen :-) Marianya actually used to do these posts awhile back – if you go to the search bar and type in “dance comparison”, you’ll see several editions she did for season 10.  Heidi & I are going to try and do it as well as she did, but you know us – if it doesn’t involve snark, we probably have the attention span of goldfish. :-)

Battle of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”

 This was actually the VERY FIRST song ever used on DWTS, when Joey McIntyre & Ashly Costa (née Delgrosso) danced their cha-cha to it back in season 1…

 After that, it didn’t pop until again until 10 seasons later, as the opening pro number for the 200th episode results show in season 11:

And of course, most recently, Kristin chose it as her “most memorable year” song for her samba with Mark:

Court’s take: I was pleasantly surprised at how the band managed to tweak the beat to feel more “samba-y” for Kristin, but as much as she tried to shake her booty and flip her hair – she just didn’t manage to fully embody Beyonce’s swag. Loved Joey & Ashly’s attitude for their cha-cha, although in retrospect Joey was probably not as good as I thought he was back then – the standard of competition has definitely gone up in 13 seasons ;-) But for me the real standout was the 200th episode pro dance; loved the fact that we saw multiple styles in it (cha-cha, quickstep, a little bit of samba) as well as a TON of pros from the past coming, almost literally, out of the woodwork – all the usual suspects, as well as some rarer ones like Anna D., Corky, Ashly, & even Inna (remember her?) While they may have a bit of an unfair edge…gotta give it to the pros in this one.  That dance was HOT.

 Battle of No Doubt’s “It’s My Life”

 First, Louie Vito had it for his foxtrot with Chelsie in season 9:

 And of course, our favorite fashionista, Carson, tangoed to it with Anna for his “most memorable year” dance:

 Court’s take: Poor Louie never stood a chance against the fabulousity of Carson :-P Plus the song just feels better as a tango for me. 

 Battle of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”

 Fittingly, it was astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s foxtrot with Ashly in season 10…

 

And then Rob honored his late dad with the song when he foxtrotted with Cheryl to it this week:

 Court’s take: While I thought Buzz was adorable, his age kinda limited his range of motion – and by extension, the tempo of the music he danced to.  It just felt so slooooow.  I actually really enjoyed Rob’s – it was light and carefree, and Rob looked like he really connected to the song and enjoyed himself.

So whose renditions of these songs do YOU guys prefer? :-)

October 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!

Dance of the Day… Let’s compare Donny and Nicole!

It’s definitely getting more difficult in choosing my favorites! It’s been said over the seasons, that the quality of the dancing has been improving, as the seasons go on, and I am seeing that! What do you think? We’re almost done, and shortly, we’ll move on to compare other things, and then come back to this. I want everyone time to watch and vote for their favorites, so when we get through the 12 seasons, we’ll come back to finish. Meanwhile, if you’ve not watched and voted for your favorites, here’s what we’re doing…

We are watching our DWTS Champions on their first week’s dancing, and comparing our first impressions of them. So far, we’ve seen Kelly Monaco and Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno, Helio Castroneves and Kristi Yamaguchi, and Brooke Burke and Shawn Johnson. Today, we will see Donny Osmond and Nicole Scherzinger, and then following, Jennifer Grey and Hines Ward.

When we’re done, I’ll move on for a time to allow people to vote in the above polls, and we can compare rumbas and foxtrots before coming back to here. We’ll take the 6 poll winners, and put them against each other, in 2 groups of 3, and we will watch their Week 5 dances. Then we’ll take the winner of each of those, and they’ll battle it out with their Freestyles! When I announce the winners, we’ll see some randomly selected dances that we’ve not reviewed yet. Does that make sense?

Anyway, onward we go! DONNY VS NICOLE!!!

Season 9 brought us Donny Osmond with his professional partner, Kym Johnson. Donny’s sister, Marie, was a contestant on Season 5, and she made it to 3rd place, and had the infamous doll dance. I had thought about using it on a day we were rewatching dances we didn’t want to relive, but instead, if you want to see it, just click the link. Donny had a show in Vegas with his sister, while he was also training and competing on DWTS.

DONNY AND KYM SEASON 9 WEEK 1, Foxtrot to All That Jazz.

Nicole Scherzinger came to us during a Season which brought us several competitors who all had the ability to win…. If they weren’t all competing against each other. However, her biggest competitor was herself, as she was the ultimate perfectionist. Tom has a great line, after the critiquing of Nicole and Derek, about parallel universes…. You’ll hear it when you watch. Bruno and Carrie Ann gave glowing critiques, while Len sat and picked it apart, showing the flaws…. I do think some critique is necessary, so that the celebrity can grow as a dancer, but couching it so that it doesn’t come across like they are a terrible dancer is important… But, Len obviously saw Nicole’s potential, and decided to make her work toward that.

NICOLE AND DEREK SEASON 10 WEEK 1, Viennese Waltz to Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne

So, which Week 1 dance did you like better? Donny or Nicole?

June 28, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS – Did He REALLY Say That??? The Tony Dovolani Edition

Our Pros, Celebrities, Judges and Hosts often say things that perhaps, from a professional standpoint, they shouldn’t. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re experiencing foot-in-mouth disease, sometimes they’re aggravating, sometimes it’s just none of their damn business. Courtney and I thought it would be fun to take some of these comments and discuss them, under the heading of “People say the Silliest Things”. Plus, some of us miss DWTS when it’s not on – this will be something to talk about. :-)

First up, Tony Dovolani, in People Magazine Online:

“I enjoyed every bit of last season — well, most of it, I mean,” Tony Dovolani, who partnered with controversial contestant Kate Gosselin last season, told PEOPLE at the ESPY Awards Wednesday in L.A. “Next season I would like to have a more able partner, someone who doesn’t have so many distractions in their life. The producers know how I feel.”

Heidi: Oh, Tony, there are many things wrong with this statement, if remotely accurate. First off, some pros were not fortunate enough to even get a partner, let alone one that you (hopefully inadvertently) imply is disabled. Complaining about Kate – no matter how horrible she was (and she was horrible – no mistake) probably seems like Paris Hilton complaining about her new house only having 5 bathrooms to people like Dmitry, Lacey, Kym and others. And you know what, Jonathan is only sporadically on this show and he ALWAYS has a worse partner than you’ve had. Geez, you were on the cover of freakin’ PEOPLE magazine!! Besides, even slight disses against a former partner, no matter how true, strikes me as very unprofessional – and saying “the producers know how I feel” sounds arrogant. Not to mention the producers probably remember that you just took Melissa Rycroft to the final two seasons ago – more than Jonathan can say.

And then we have this gem: E!’s Awful Truth

While dishing all the goss with the Dancing with the Stars crew recently, Tony had no problem telling it like it is about Jake Pavelka and Vienna Giardi’s recent “juvenile” break up: “It was such great TV I couldn’t help but watch,” Dovolani recently joked about Jake and Vienna’s ABC special. “Wow, wasn’t that a train wreck or what? My wife and I kept looking at each other like ‘Is this really happening’,” Dovolani reiterated. “But it was great TV. Thank you!”

Courtney: Ooh wee. Now while I agree wholeheartedly with our Albanian friend that the very public, very messy demise of Jake & Vienna rivaled some of the train-wreckery previously known only to various VH1 dating series (again, I reiterate: “Can we please get a poly-a-graph test here?!” only reinforces to me that Vienna should have been cast on Rock of Love XXVII instead of The Bachelor), Tony, honey, there are definitely things that could be said with a little more tact – or in this case, not at all. So much for the alleged camaraderie of the season 10 cast (which was tenous at best), and the reasonably classy reputation that the majority of the pros tend to keep in the media. It would honestly not surprise me in the slightest if some of the pros from this season were conveniently not able to participate next season due to “lack of celebrities to match well with” – if they can sit Kym out for a season for holding out for more money, I wouldn’t put it past the producers to punish some of the more mouthy pros by not asking them back for season 11. And without getting into detail, as far as relationships go – I don’t think most of the pros on the show are in any position to be giving out opinions on relationships – there’s been enough tabloid fodder about some of them (who shall remain nameless ;-) ) to make Jake & Vienna’s split look downright civil. Just sayin’…

Heidi: Isn’t it weird that the very YOUNGEST pro on the show is the one who has shown the most tact when asked about Jake and Vienna? Chelsie was asked a direct question and, from what I saw, left it at a “could see it coming” type thing. But Courtney…you left out the best (worst?) parts of this E! thing!!

“Honestly, not my worries,” Dovolani dished to us when we asked him what he thought of the recent Kate Plus 8 investigation. “I haven’t stayed in touch with her, she hasn’t stayed in touch with me. I needed a break and I got a break—which was awesome—with my family.”

Aside from persuading “Tone-dog” to team up with Lindsay Lohan on the next season of DWTS, the babe told us he’s had it with one group of so-called celebs allowed on the ABC hit.

“I think we’ve had enough Bachelors on our show,” T.D. ‘fessed.

As for whether he’s ready to give the boot to all reality TV celebs? He said the ban doesn’t have to go that far.

“As long as they have followers I guess they are stars.”

Heidi: Well, provided that Tony is accurately quoted here, I don’t really know what to say. Dude, it just seems to me that taking direct shots at the producers in public is not really the road to job security. I could be wrong – but this is a show that has 16 to 20 pros already in the stable and they’re likely to only go with 11 to 13 stars again. Do you want to take chances?? I mean, Derek is possibly out for Season 11 (who can tell, he may never leave the bedside of a certain malaria ridden, Brit pop princess), but as far as I can tell the rest of the gang is eager to dance with a star. As far as stars to match YOU, well, there’s Maks (who is being rather circumspect right now) and Dmitry. And I KNOW Dmitry wants back on the show. He’s tweeted as much. Dude, what ARE you doing?? Even if the producers don’t care, I’ve seen several articles about your comments with the word “me-ow” included, not to mention “thrown under the bus” and other indications that we’re not alone in thinking these weren’t the wisest words you’ve ever spoken.

July 18, 2010 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 – Emmy Nominations 2010!!

Dancing with the Stars leads the “reality” show nominations with 9. From Reality TV World:

Reality TV receives 54 Emmy Awards noms, ‘Dancing’ leads again

Leading the 2009-2010 reality TV Emmy Awards nomination field for the fourth consecutive year is ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which received nine nominations from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — one fewer than the reality record-setting 10 nominations it received last year.

CBS’ The Amazing Race was next with seven nominations — including one in the Outstanding Reality Competition category it has won every year since the Academy created it seven years ago. Just like each of the last three years, The Amazing Race will compete against American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, and Top Chef for the award

Keoghan will compete against American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, Project Runway host Heidi Klum, and Survivor host Jeff Probst in the category, which Probst has won both times it has been awarded since its 2008 creation.

The Amazing Race also received nods for cinematography, directing, picture editing, sound editing, and sound mixing while Dancing with the Stars also got nominations for hairstyling, lighting, makeup, sound mixing, and technical direction as well as a pair of choreography nods in which Derek Hough was nominated both individually and with Chelsie Hightower.

Derek was nominated with Chelsie for their acoustic Paso Doble in Season 10, and he was nominated individually for his futuristic Paso Doble with Joanna/Quickstep to ‘Anything Goes’ with Nicole. I have to read the rules, but I think the last two dances were a combined nomination – I guess you can submit up to 3. Mya Michaels, for example, has three dances listed under her nomination, but it appears to be only ONE nomination, not three. If I understand what I have read about the rules prior to the nominations being announced, you only can have two nominations if they are from different shows OR if one is part of a team, which is why Derek is nominated twice. Chelsie submitted their Paso as a team, then Derek submitted the Futuristic Paso and the Quickstep – hence, two nominations.

You can read all about the Emmys and see the full list of nominations at Emmy.com.

July 8, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 10 – The Conspiracy

No, actually I don’t believe in a conspiracy, but lots of Evan and/or Erin fans do.  So, I’m going to attempt to debunk it, although I suspect that no amount of reason and/or logic and/or math will do that for disgruntled fans.

Erin fans, you’re out of luck. Unless you think the show is completely rigged, there is no way that Erin was “robbed” in the finale.  She was in second place after three dances and still Evan beat her into the final two. That’s simple votes, AND she was helped tremendously by the judges over scoring of her Samba.  I’m pretty much leaving her out of this discussion unless someone wants to argue with me about it.

First off, a list of the common conspiracy theories floating around out there, compiled by my equally evil sidekick (or co-conspirator, if you prefer), Courtney:

“The judges pimped Nicole from the beginning.” What the hell kind of drugs are you folks on?? The Judges picked her apart every time she made the slightest of errors, while some of the other couples got away with glaring mistakes.  For example:

Week 1, Len told her she had “no footwork” and “lacked musicallity” which was absurd overcompensation. He gave her a 7.

Week 2, Len told her he was “ambivalent about the whole thing” and gave her an 8 while the other two gave her (well earned) tens.

Week 3 – Len, to put it simply, shredded them. Carrie Ann yelled about a lift (get over it already) and the broken hold.  I don’t complain about this week too much because Derek broke the rules and he knew he was breaking the rules, so they earned their criticism. But I have to agree with Carrie Ann and Bruno – other than the two rules, it was a freakin’ amazing, creative, brilliant dance. Len gave them a 6 – which was ridiculously underscored. Break two rules, deduct two points, not FOUR.

Week 4 – their least memorable dance of the season. It was about this time Nicole got VERY defensive about her relationship with Derek. It affected the dance – but the judges did not blindly pimp a less than stellar dance. All three judges were critical of various things and they ended up with a 50 out of 60.

Week 6 – Len says “ugly legs” which is a load of bull. He likes certain moves in his sambas and they didn’t have enough of THOSE moves, despite having other samba moves recognizable to this non-professional. There is a point when the under scoring to make it a race becomes obvious and stupid – this would be that week. Len gave her a 7. Seriously. If Len were really being critical in an even handed manner he would have given everyone else on the show that week 4s.

Now, it was very obvious what Len was doing – over compensating for the fact that she was a great dancer going in.  But what we’re talking about here is that some people actually believe that Nicole was pimped the whole way through – that the judges always loved her. Ridiculous. If Len was as hard on everyone, and as critical about certain moves and footwork, then no one else would have gotten above a 5 or a 6 – ever. But for as much as some complain about the show not being fair with Nicole on it, it’s also not fair that lesser dancers get better scores than they should when having much larger errors than Nicole ever had. But that’s the way the show rolls – I have to accept that Erin was absurdly over scored in the finale, and you conspiracy theorists have to accept that the show does bring on people with previous experience. Although, Erin and Evan also had previous experience – two strikes on them.

“Nicole is a professional dancer.” – Assuming this is true (which technically it isn’t) – Big fucking deal.  The best dancer doesn’t always win, and if they do – then people must actually like them. Someone on the US Weekly boards put it very well: “If 98% of the people on the ABC boards today were angry that Nicole won, then who were the ones voting for her enough to make her win?” Nicole is not the first, nor will she be the last, person with some dance experience to be on this show.  Hello, Mel B (Maks fans – he didn’t win then either), Willa Ford, Sabrina Bryan, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Marie Osmond…even Kristi had dance training if i remember correctly. Remember that Donny actually took ballroom lessons BEFORE the show started for his Vegas act? That’s more than Nicole had. Now, let’s talk about Mya – where were you folks last season when someone who actually TEACHES dance was on the show. What, it’s okay because she didn’t win?? You mad now because a ringer similar to (but far less experienced than) Mya actually WON the show and beat the other ringers out?  Mya is the person with the most experience ever on the show. Nicole has no more experience than Mel B, Sabrina, Lance Bass…and really what we’re talking about here is experience learning choreography. NO one on the show has had actual ballroom training, to my knowledge, other than Donny Osmond. So why are people so pissed at Nicole REALLY? Because their favorite ringer and Olympic gold medalist, defied expectations and lost? Because he is an Olympic Gold Medalist, EVERYONE expected Evan to win – he’s the ringer of all ringers like Kristi was, moreso than Nicole. So why the outrage at Nicole? He was the one to beat. BUT I said it before and I’ll say it again – no previous gold medalist had a Nicole to deal with. Likeable AND talented – Gilles was a close as an Olympian had to a Nicole and he made some critical errors late in the season.  Heh – I guess this completely blows up the theory that “people” don’t like and won’t vote for people with previous experience. I’ve always said that was bull – people didn’t vote for Mya because they didn’t like her as much as they liked Donny. And we see evidence of that again this season – more people voted for Nicole because they liked her more AND she was a better dancer. Not to mention that the other two in the final three also had experience and, in a different season when Nicole wasn’t on, THEY would have been taking the ringer heat.

“Nicole is a slut/whore/skank/etc. and was banging everyone on the set for votes.” – Hehe, this was actually my personal favorite.  If she were in fact doing this, she was banging the wrong individuals – she should have been making housecalls to every voting viewer in the nation, rather than “blowing Bruno good after the first show” (no joke – actual comment made on one comments section), which we know would have been as effective as trying to wash your hair with ranch dressing.  Courtney had an extremely pithy comment in here about the intelligence of people making this argument, but we will just leave it as – “this is a really stupid argument”.  ;-)

“Nicole was the chosen winner before the show had even started.” - Seriously, what would the producers have to gain by a) choosing a winner before the show even started, and b) choosing Nicole as that winner? If the uproar over her win is any indicator, her victory has probably done more harm than good to viewership.  There’s just no incentive in it for them…really people, c’mon on now – you’re reaching ;-)  Ya need a real motive for the producers to do this – they don’t have one, actually. If you’re going by ratings, then they would have kept Kate Gosselin longer than they did – and they sure didn’t try! They gave her the lowest scores possible and it was VIEWER VOTES that kept her around.  And can you build more buzz than by having Nicole eliminated early? I think not – look at Sabrina. Talk about buzz. I think the biggest indicator that the producers didn’t tell the judges who was ahead was Len himself saying that Nicole should win. Courtney made the point in the Cheesecake Awards that Len, like everyone else, was afraid that Evan (not the best dancer) would win, so he was making his feelings known in advance. Having seen Len bitch and moan about the best dancer NOT winning in previous seasons, I think he was prepared for the (late) conventional wisdom to prevail once again – the gold medalist wins. Everyone, including myself, underestimated dedicated Derek and Nicole fans. I think she may be the first pop singer to have a huge fanbase that was actually aware of HOW to vote to win.

I must say, just because someone is a great dancer, it does not mean that they’ve had more training than someone else. It just means they are more talented.  Brooke Burke. Gilles Marini. Those are two people (just off the top of my head) who were really good dancers who won (or should have won) who had no training at all.  Erin has had some degree of training as recently as college – she had to learn choreography, just like Nicole. Evan took ballet at least once a week and had a ballroom dancer, Mark Ballas, choreograph a routine for him on ice – gee, there must be some translation there, eh? All those gorgeous spins he can do on the floor – just magic?? Of course his skating training applies. Nicole? Like others before her, she could do a variety of dance moves required for pop singer – but she was also not trained in ballroom.  She was just a better dancer then Erin and Evan. Period. And to top it off, she had a very popular pro (whose popularity and sheer talent, like it or not, cannot be discounted) and she herself was very likable (to the masses – and no, the ABC Boards do NOT qualify as the masses) – it’s a winning formula.  Great dancer, good personality (ie not boring), great choreographer as a partner who is extremely popular in his own right. I hate to say it, but Evan did not have a very popular partner (as much as I’ve come to like her) and his own personality was rather dry at times – none of my friends liked him and none voted for him. And these are NOT Derek fangirls that I’m talking about. I’m talking former Gilles/Donny voters. Don’t get me wrong, I love Evan – it’s some of his fans who annoy me. If only they had a fraction of the class that Evan himself clearly possesses.

But let’s forget about all that stuff, even though it makes sense.  Let’s look at the actual numbers. I’ve heard so often that “Evan was robbed” let’s see if that’s even remotely true per the judges scores. Yes, they scored him lower than BOTH Erin and Nicole – but was that unfair? Did it cost him the competition? I predicted before the finale that the judges would go one of two ways: they would either cop out and give everyone the same basic score OR they would rank the dancers according to how they thought the results should be – in their opinion.  At first, it appeared they would go with the former; at the end of the first dance, there was only one point between them and at the end of the performance show, Erin and Nicole were tied with 55 points and Evan was ONLY 3 points behind at 52. Like it or not, three points ain’t nothing – it adds up to 1.8% difference between Evan and Erin/Nicole- peanuts, when you’re an Olympic Gold Medalist.  We can argue about if Evan was underscored (he was) or Erin was overscored (she was) – but I’m saying it doesn’t really matter in the end. Nicole was the best dancer and she was TIED with the worst dancer of the three going into the Finale, with Evan only 1.8% behind.

So, Evan fans really poured it on since their guy was down, right? Well, not from what I hear. I heard what they said they did in terms of voting and it wasn’t what I would call “power voting”. I read how many times they voted and my thought was “amateurs”. ; -)  But internet fans aren’t going to win the show on their own – the average viewer has to vote too. Anyway…

So, the first dance on Finale night is a three way argentine tango. Again, I predicted that this was NOT a smart move on Erin/Maks part because a dance is more than just one lift and her dance didn’t have near the technical difficulty that Nicole’s did plus that lift was NOT clean the second time.  Maks should know that they typically reverse dance order from the first night which would mean Erin was going AFTER two better dancers.  And I can hear the bitching and moaning now: “but they changed the rules, they changed the scoring, they were ranked instead of all given the same chance at a 30″. Boo Hoo – they change the rules EVERY SEASON – where have you people been? I’ve been complaining about how they change the show every season on this very blog for three seasons now.  Frankly, I like this rule change. Another thing I’ve been complaining about for a while is how the judges wuss out and give everyone an automatic 30 (although they’ve been doing better last couple seasons) or 29 — whether they deserve it or not.  This rule change actually made them rank the contestants, which is what they SHOULD do – and is there anyone who sincerely believes that they were ranked incorrectly? Basically, there seem to be two choices in this instance – they are ranked or they are given wuss scores.  I can see some preferring the automatic 30, but I doubt if the situation was reversed you would be so quick to choose that option. If Evan were actually the better dancer, would you like Nicole getting that automatic 30? Doubtful. :-)

In any case, at this point Evan is 5 points behind Nicole. It’s at this point that Erin exits the competition – even though she is 1 point ahead of Evan. Was it a conspiracy against Evan that Erin had more points? Nah, the judges were trying to make it a horse race and it didn’t work. Erin just didn’t have the votes. Evan clearly did. Although he didn’t have to have many to beat Erin – approximately 4100 votes per 1 million votes cast. Evan versus Nicole? At this point, after three dances, he is only 2.03 percent behind her.

That brings us to the final dance. Can anyone seriously claim that Evan’s quickstep was better than Nicole’s Jive? Oh, I’m sure some will try. Nevermind, we’re talking percentages. After all four dances, Evan is 2.3 percent behind Nicole. Two. Point. Three. Peanuts.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Evan also got a 30 on his final dance.  That means the percentage changes back to 2.03 percent difference between the two of them.  So, essentially, those two points that Evan DIDN’T get means he has to get 0.271 percent more votes than he would have if he had scored a 30. Seriously – can anyone call that a conspiracy??

Let’s take it a step farther and assume that Evan was underscored on his Freestyle.  He got a 24, Nicole got a 27. I think that Nicole’s freestyle, even with the bobbled lift, was better and more entertaining than Evan’s. But let’s give him a 26 – we’ll assume that Len was his usual self and stuck with the 8. If Evan keeps the 30 I gave him in the last paragraph and he gets a 26 instead of a 24 on his freestyle (and all other scores remain the same), the percentage difference between him and Nicole is reduced to 0.97 percent. Easier for Evan to win with this percentage difference? Of course. But what this REALLY means is that the judges actual scoring increased the margin between Evan and Nicole by 1.06 percent. Did this make a difference? Highly doubtful. Come on, it’s 1.06 percent. If the 1.06 percent made a difference, that means that Nicole won by an extremely small margin. Listen to Tom’s script on Finale night. Did he say anything about how close it was at the end? Did he ramp up the excitement and suspense? No, not like he did when Shawn beat Gilles by less than 1 percent.  I don’t think it was even close, frankly. They didn’t really act like it was close.

Still think there was a conspiracy? Well, there’s no hope for you then. You should stop watching this show.

Think that the conspiracy was that Nicole was even on the show? She was destined to win? I have to ask – where have you been? If you’re going to eliminate anyone with previous experience, the entire top 3 would be cut out, in addition to Lil Kim, Lance Bass, Melissa Rycroft, Sabrina, Mya, Mel B..the list goes on. Where do you draw the line? Joanna danced until she was 11, should she be cut? If you lower the dance experience age that far, I wager there would be no female celebs on the show. And if you’re going to do that, then you have to eliminate anyone with a massive fanbase because of their unfair advantage – which eliminates Evan, Donny, Kristi, and Shawn, to name a few. Suck it up people – it’s a vastly entertaining show, but it’s in no way FAIR. And do you really want it to be if it means never seeing Evan, Kristi, Shawn, Donny, Nicole, Sabrina, Mel B, Lance Bass….any of them DANCE?  Not only would it be boring (and give me nothing to bitch about), but the ratings would plummet.

June 13, 2010 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. :-)

SPOILERS!!! DWTS Season 10, THE FINALE – And the Winner is…

After a bazillion weeks of dancing, it came down to the final two I expected. And the winner is…

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough!!

Congratulations to Nicole and Derek – such a high level of dancing tonight. Amazing.

Congratulations to Evan and Anna on a fantastic season – very worthy competition. I would have been happy if you had won, I predicted you would win, but I’ve never been so glad to be wrong. Nothing against you, Evan – on the final night of dancing, Nicole and Derek delivered.

Congratulations to Erin for making it that far and taking 3rd place with a lot of grace and dignity. Well done.

Stay tuned for the Cheesecake Awards – tomorrow night. They gave us a ton of material, to be sure. :-)

May 25, 2010 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 10, Pre-Finale Media!

So, Edyta Slwinska says on twitter that “it’s supposedly a shocking elimination” – she’s tweeting from dress rehearsal and she sounds skeptical. Question is, since there is one more dance…how would they know? Think Tom has two scripts? Is he reading a fake script? Did Edyta mis-hear Tom saying “*Will* there be a shocking elimination”? All interesting questions to ponder in the next couple hours. :-)

ET

Len is hilarious

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I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Season 10, THE FINALE – Dancing by the numbers

Random Musings

Oh dear, just as I was afraid – too many high expectations which lead to disappointment on many fronts. I personally wasn’t too disappointed, mainly because my boy Derek retains his standing as King of Choreography, win or lose. ;-)

At the risk of sounding biased – and acknowledging that I said in advance this would happen so I shouldn’t be surprised – the underscoring of both Nicole and Evan (and the extreme overscoring of Erin) was ridiculous. There is no way in hell that Erin deserved a 29 for her Samba, while Evan and Nicole both get lower scores. Maks has this tendency to waste too much time at the beginning and ending of the dances and neither dance was particularly “clean”. Nicole’s rumba was amazing – the core strength at the end when she wraps herself around Derek deserved a 10 on all on its own (and I wonder how they discovered that move ;-) ) – and Carrie Ann’s lift rule is ridiculous at that point in the dance. Pretty sure she let Louis and Maks BOTH get away with something similar last season, in addition to letting Mark get away with it at least twice, once this season. I believe her words were “it was at the end and it fit so beautifully” when he did it with Shawn. I don’t have a problem with the rule in general – but they don’t actually apply that one evenly. No wonder Derek was up in arms. That said – Maks should take a cue from Derek. Protest, then apologize and take responsibility. Very mature, Derek. Or canny. Or both. :-)

I was tempted to save this comment for the Cheesecake awards, but I can’t wait – did you all see the look on Len’s face while Carrie Ann was talking about lifts?? LOL – it was freakin’ hilarious. He was looking at her like she had three heads. Of course, Len was on crack too, but I was glad to see he agreed that the dance was over when the lift happened and said so. His face was priceless though.

LOL – just saw Maks claim on Twitter that you know you’ve been a part of something special when you’re part of the most talked about Freestyle of the season. Um, Maks, you do realize that it’s not all GOOD, right?? LOL – is this like the Supreme Court Justice thing?

Freestyles? Derek and Nicole came out on top –but I have to say that, while I didn’t care overly much for Evan’s, a 24 was ridiculously low. The judges are trying to make this into a horse race and I predict that by the end of dance three it will be a three way tie. Ridiculous. Who are they trying to kid, here? Are they consciously storyboarding the finale or is it an unconscious thing? Whatever, it worked – lots of media asking the question “Can Erin Win?” They got what they wanted, but at their own expense (again). I saw a comment on Twitter that Erin technically works for ABC as an ESPN Reporter – true? I also saw a reference to Derek’s freestyle choreography being “ripped off” Mark’s – I suggest these people go back and watch Mark’s again both with Kristi and Shawn (like the cross promo, John? :-) ). Note where Mark uses a Derek/Julianne move at the beginning of his dance with Shawn. The only similarities are Derek’s pants and the energy level. Kristy does hip hop/mambo routine, while Shawn does Jaberwockies/gymnastics, while Nicole does a range of quickstep/jive/lindy hop/salsa.

You know, I say these things every season and yet I continue to be surprised and annoyed by it. I must be a dork. :-) I also, every season, try to figure out if the Judges know the vote tally going into the finale or if that is kept secret from them. It would explain a lot. Imagine this headline “Lowest Scored Dancer Going into the Final Night WINS” – meaning Evan. Huge press, the media idiots completely buying into the storyline. Even better “The Two BEST Dancers LOSE DWTS!!!” – more huge headlines and a smidge of credibility, erasing the stain of “ringer” and “Olympians always win”. Since I consider the second one fairly unlikely, I almost expect to see Evan scored harshly again tonight, so they get their big story when he wins. Only thing is, you can’t really know how the votes are going. Plus, they would have to be extraordinarily mean to overcome the relatively minor difference in scores from last night.

The Math

It’s almost pointless to actually do that math, seeing as how the scores are so close and will change before they announce third place and the winner. But, anyway:

Dancer/Total Score
Nicole/55
Erin/55
Evan/52

When you add up the total points awarded and divide into the individual dancers total score, their percentages are as follows:
Nicole/33.95
Erin/33.95
Evan/32.10

If there were no other dances to be scored, this would mean that Evan only needs 18,501 more votes than both Erin and Nicole per 1 million votes cast in order to win. Piece. Of. Cake. Of course, there’s a rub. Evan and Erin both have celebrities pimping votes for them. Nicole is not as well placed as those two. But do you vote for whoever your favorite celeb tells you to vote for? I sure hope most people don’t – that’s so sheep-y. :-) On the other hand, all three fan groups were voting maniacs last night. Judging by my tweetdeck only (and this is not the least bit scientific, only annecdotal), Nicole and Erin have the edge in power voters. Thanks to crazy ass scoring by the judges, this could turn into a horse race – but I still think it’s a race between Evan and Nicole. I could be wrong. Dial Idol has Erin in last place and they are calling her third – but you know that I don’t think that site works for DWTS. They said she was going home last week. Still, two weeks in a row in last place – a certain degree of repetition in even the most flawed polling has to make one wonder.

But that’s all that – there IS still one more dance before third place is decided. All three dancers chose Argentine Tango, AND if they do it like they’ve done it in some years past, they completely reverse the dance order. If they do that, Nicole will be first and Erin will be last, with Evan still in the middle. I don’t think this benefits Erin – if they actually judge the dances side by side, Erin’s has the lowest degree of difficulty. If all the dances are good, with no obvious flaws, and Erin scores even with the other two, I call foul. But that’s probably what they will do. :-)

So, here’s my guess. I predict that the last dance will either be scored such that there is a three way tie OR scored such that nothing changes in terms of difference between the dancers. I’m going to stick with my original prediction of Evan as the winner with Nicole a close second and Erin in third place. I hope I’m wrong – I think Nicole deserves the mirrorball.

What do you guys think? Do you think they (the judges) know that that 3 points ain’t no big thing for an Olympian and know they can score him lower and get a good story? Or do you think they are really punishing him for a poor dance? Are they storyboarding? Or wussing out?

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. :-)

DWTS10 Week 10 Power Rankings – FINAL PREDICTIONS!

“Hmmm.”

 That basically sums up my feelings about tonight.  I was expecting to be really “wowed” at every dance – and I was indeed wowed at certain moments – but overall, I kinda just feel lukewarm about tonight’s performances.  Disappointing :-( Hopefully tomorrow night will be much more rewarding! But alas, I still must rank – for the last time this season.  So without further ado – the final predictions for season 10.

 1.)    Nicole & Derek – I am placing my faith in humanity on this one! Personally, I think Nicole’s performance throughout the season (and tonight especially) makes her the most deserving of the trophy (go ahead and disagree, cite “no growth” and “previous experience” as reasons you won’t vote for her – but she’s been the most entertaining this season for me, and the reason I’ve looked forward to each show!).  That rumba – now THAT is a redemption dance.  It’s nights like these when I truly loathe Carrie Ann and her ridiculous “lift policing”, because her harping really seemed to overshadow her praise of an otherwise perfect dance.  A little confused with Len’s complaint of Nicole not looking confident – so, the rumba is all about vulnerability, but it has to be confident vulnerability? Seems like a bit of a contradiction.  The line at the end was just gorgeous.  I actually think I liked their rumba better than their freestyle…which was still great compared to the other two this evening.  The energy and execution (aside from the botched lift at the end…there was a collective “oh no!” at my house when it happened) were unmatched, and while there wasn’t necessarily a “theme”, I think the costumes and choreo worked well with the song.  After tonight’s show almost cast Evan in a bit of a bad light (and brought Erin up to tie with her), I’m beginning to think Nicole might really have a shot at this, despite Heidi & my skepticism…fingers crossed :-D 

2.)    Evan & Anna – Oy.  These two were definitely off their game tonight.  While the Viennese waltz was a definite improvement from the previous one, I almost feel like Evan was overcompensating for lack of chemistry by flailing around the floor dragging Anna along with him.  It certainly didn’t help me much that they were dancing to “Piano Man”, quite possibly one of my least favorite songs ever written (sorry, music can ruin a whole performance for me ;-) ), and one that doesn’t necessarily have a romantic undertone to it for Evan & Anna to play to.  The freestyle…eh.  It was high-energy, yes, and Evan looked like he was having a blast – going with a jive-like routine was probably a good idea – but I have to agree with the judges: they were out of sync and you could tell Anna was not happy with it.  I didn’t think the lead-in package did them any favors either – after quite possibly being the most harmonious couple so far this season, I don’t think their breakdown could have come at a worse time – then again, maybe this will get Evan’s fans to rally.  Overall, I’m left with a feeling of blah from these two tonight – kinda forgettable.  Again, hopefully Evan can square off with Nicole in the final 2, because I do think he deserves to be there, but I’m starting to think that he may not be the voting juggernaut that we think he is… 

3.)    Erin & Maks – I’m left on the fence about these two in both dances – parts I loved, parts I hated.  The samba was a definite improvement – this was the first time I’ve seen Erin truly “let loose” and have fun, even if she did still struggle with the runs a bit. Thought the bit at the end with the grinding on the judges and kissing Len was silly and a waste of time – but that seems to be Maks’ M.O. these days, throwing in fluff at the end to fill in the few remaining bars of music.  But overall, a fun dance that showed growth.  Ok, now as for the freestyle – I actually loved the idea of it.  While I may hate “Piano Man”, the show redeemed itself when they used “Alone”, which is in my top 10 favorite songs of all time (god, I <3 Heart!), and I loved the idea of doing something slower & more artsy as a freestyle.  However…I thought the overall execution of the idea just missed the mark completely.  The choreography felt extremely frantic and messy to me – and I’m not sure who the blame for that lies with…could be Mandy, could be Erin, because Maks seems like he let those two take the reigns this time, out of lack of experience in the contemporary style.  Thought the couch at the beginning was completely unnecessary, and they relied too heavily on the bed choreographically.  I really had a hard time not comparing this to two different routines from season 4 of SYTYCD – Mandy’s lyrical to “Alone” for Will & Jessica, and Mia’s contemporary bed routine for Twitch & Kherington – because that’s really what this felt like to me…those two routines combined, but not as good as either one.  I definitely give them props for taking the risk – this is routine I will definitely remember as a standout – but it just fell short, which is what I’m thinking will happen with Erin tomorrow night…she’ll just fall short of Evan in terms of votes, and will likely get third.

And with that, I lock in my predictions for season 10, and hang up my ranking hat until September :-) But the best part of the rankings is the feedback, so troops, SOUND OFF! How do you think things will play out tomorrow night?

 P.S. I know I’ve been shamelessly plugging Purdue for the past 2 weeks in the college competition, but I’m gonna do it one more time: VOTE FOR ‘EM! Yes, they will likely get their butts handed to them by Utah Valley (seriously, they’re like robots…how are they that in sync???), but let’s at least make it close race, mmmkay? ;-)

May 24, 2010 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!