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DWTS Season 15: “All-Star” Season – Pick your Stars!

In case you missed it, last week I posted all the celebrities that have graced Dancing with the Stars with their presence and asked you – the reader – to choose your favorite star from every season. In that post you were only allowed to choose one celebrity per season.

Earlier this week there was a post asking you to pick six male and six female professional dancers that you would love to see back for Season 15. Since there were a lot of requests for the inclusion of the DWTS Troupe dancers, stick around for Friday to see what I have planned. But back to the celebrities:

I have compiled all the stars that have received the top votes in their respective seasons and put them all into two polls: Men and Women. Now you can pick up to twelve stars (up to six male and six female celebrities) that you would love to see come back for Season 15 of Dancing with the Stars.

Since the past several seasons have been twelve couples, I figured it would be best to see who you would choose for your Six Favorite Male Celebrities and Six Favorite Female Celebrities from across the seasons.

Note: I know it has been said that Mario Lopez is most likely not going to do Season 15 because he is too busy, but since this is just what the fans want… and he has been a popular celebrity, he’s still part of the poll. :)

Enjoy!
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June 6, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS Season 15: “All-Star” Season – Pick your Pros!

You didn’t think I’d forget about the professional dancers, now did you?

In case you’ve missed it… last week, there was a post with polls asking you – the reader – to choose one star per season that you’d love to see come back for the “All Star” Season of Dancing with the Stars (aka Season 15). There have been a lot of pros that have come and gone throughout the seasons, so now is your chance to pick the twelve pros that you’d love to see come back.

I have included pros that have only been on the show for one season, those that have left the show for greener pastures (Alec Mazo, Edyta Sliwinska and Julianne Hough). So anything goes here.

Why twelve professional dancers? For the past several seasons the show have had either eleven or twelve couples… so I figured this season should include twelve couples as well. :) I suppose we’ll see.

Enjoy!
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June 4, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS Season 15 – All Star Cast Wish List

So what I’m going to do is start with a series of polls: namely you get to choose who YOU want to see from every season of Dancing with the Stars from Season 1 all the way to Season 14. The polls will be up for a few days… and once the polls are closed I will personally draw up how the top celebrities did in their season in comparison to the averaged data from all the seasons.

At the end of all the chosen celebrities I will create a mock elimination post and hopefully by then we’ll know who would REALLY be cast and I will do attempt to do the same for the casted celebrities – hopefully – before the show starts in September again.

Excited? Well you better be… soon you’ll have an example in the form of Mario Lopez and later of Mel B since they are the only two that we know of that has been approached for the All-Star season. If they end up being top in the poll of their respective seasons, wonderful! If not, well then those are freebie posts for you ;-)

Ready? GO!
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May 30, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

The Top 5 Worst First Week Foxtrots in DWTS History

So the other day, we counted down the top 10 worst first week cha-cha’s in DWTS history. As you can see, we only have a top 5 for this countdown – probably because there have only been 37 week 1 foxtrots in the history of the show, and the bulk of them are neither good nor bad…but just hard to remember :-P Only a handful have stuck out in my memory as notable – and those are the ones you are seeing :-) But first, some factoids for your enjoyment…

*The foxtrot has only been used as a week 1 dance in 7 seasons: seasons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, & 12.  The other seasons have either had a waltz (seasons 1, 2, & 8) or a Viennese waltz (seasons 10, 11, 13) as the week 1 ballroom dance.  Season 9 had both the foxtrot and the Viennese waltz as first week ballroom dances.

*The lowest week 1 foxtrot score ever given was a 13 – it was given to Mike & Lacey in season 12.

*Besides the 3 newest pros (Val, Tristan, & Peta), the only pro this season that’s never done the foxtrot as a regular week 1 dance is Derek – unless you count the foxtrot relay in season 9 (I don’t, because it was only 30 seconds ;-)).

5.) TIE: Sara & Tony, season 3 and Leeza & Tony, season 4


Zzzzzzzz….uh, um, what? Sorry, fell asleep – thought I was watching paint dry, at the rate these foxtrots were moving! I’m not sure if these ladies thought they would shatter into a million pieces if they moved more than an inch or two, but there was just so little going on in these numbers – just some very slow strolling and painfully cautious turns.  The foxtrot is already a pretty simple dance, so it’s up to the pros and their celeb partners to inject some much-needed jazz into it to make it entertaining…and when they don’t, you get these sleepy, unremarkable foxtrots that I bet half of you probably didn’t remember.

4.) Rocco & Karina, season 7

Rocco seemed like a really nice guy, but he was pretty dorky on the dance floor :-P You could tell he was really trying as he bobbed and skipped and flailed his platter hands across the floor here, but he also had the “I feel like a massive tool” look on his face the whole time.  Granted, I think both he & Karina were nervous about her ankle injury earlier that day, but honestly – Rocco was just not a dancer.  Sorry, dude.. Read more..

March 14, 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!

PureDWTS Ask Courtney: Why Do Ladies Have to Wear Heels For Ballroom/Latin?

I confess: no one specifically asked this question, but some of you may have noticed that tend to get bit irritated whenever a female celeb or pro on the show opts to forgo the traditional heels in favor of boots, sneakers, or going barefoot.  I thought I’d explain just why I get my knickers in such a twist over it :-)

There are two primary reasons why heels are worn in both the Latin & ballroom dances: the first is aesthetic, and the other is technical. Aesthetically, the shoes are worn to give the the women’s legs a long, lean appearance – the neutral flesh tone of the fabric blends nicely with the skin, giving a nice, long, unbroken line; the heels themselves of course make the women look taller, which in turn enhances the illusion of long legs.  You may have noticed that the women on the show don’t often wear colored dance shoes – that’s because a color that contrasts with the skin tends to “chop off” those nice long lines, and make the women’s legs look shorter.  Why is it so important to have long legs? Because the longer your legs are, the nicer your lines are going to look, and the better technique you’re going to show – and the happier the judges are. :-)

From a technical aspect, the shoes actually help to ensure that the ladies are using the proper technique in their dances.  Remember my post about heel & toe leads? Well the shoes that the ladies wear for Latin are specially balanced so that the ladies’ body weight is shifted over her toes – and remember, all the Latin dances move forward (and backward) with a toe lead.  The ballroom shoes tend to keep the ladies’ body weight balanced evenly on her heels & toes, much like normal shoes, as all the steps in the ballroom dances move forward on the heel and backward on the toe – just like normal walking.  The shoes alone can’t guarantee that a dancer will always have the right technique – but they certainly do help!

So let’s say a woman *cough*Lacey*cough* decides to forgo wearing the proper shoes while dancing, and instead wears something more flat-footed, like boots.  In the Latin dances, it’s probably going to result in her legs looking very short & stubby, and her lines not as impressive.  Case in point: Lance & Lacey’s cha-cha in season 7:

Or, in Hope’s case this past season, those boots just gave her a complete lack of hip action, and resulted in a very flat, boring rumba:

 The effect is a bit less noticeable in the ballroom dances, since they move so similarly to natural walking movement, and I can’t really think of a time on the show that someone has danced a ballroom dance barefoot.  However, I do remember Twitch & Kherington’s Viennese waltz routine from season 4 of SYTYCD, and I remember not being wild about them doing it barefoot, as it just looked somewhat “unfinished” and more like contemporary than real ballroom:

 So there you have it – you be the judge.  I personally think that all ballroom & Latin dances should be done in the proper footwear, and it’s only (semi)acceptable to go barefoot if you’re a pro doing a contemporary-ish pro dance.  But what do you guys think? :-)

February 15, 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!

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part I

A few months back, we asked you guys to submit questions for Randall Christensen, the costume designer for DWTS from seasons 2-12.  Well now that the holidays are over and we’re starting to get back into the swing of things, we’re sharing Randall’s responses :-)

We’ve been lucky to get a chance to chat with Randall, since he has kept very busy since moving on from DWTS! He’s currently working a couture swimwear line with MiracleSuit (check out Vogue’s post on the Macy’s MiracleSuit fashion show last summer!), is working on a sportswear/ready to wear collection, and is still designing dancesport costumes for Randall Designs, Inc., his costume design company for the past 30 years.  Let’s see what this dancewear icon has to say in response to some of your burning questions :-)

At what age did you start designing?

Randall Christensen: I started designing for my professional partner and students back in the early ‘80’s, learning the craft with “hands on” experience.  I am self-taught.

Who were your mentors?

RC: My first mentor (and still most influential) was Bob Mackie.  He was designing for Carol Burnett as well as Cher for their (respective) shows.  I was a pre-teen and tried to NEVER miss a single one of their shows, as I was mesmerized by their costumes!

Seems like things at DWTS run on a pretty hectic timetable. Can you descibe what a typical week was like for you at DWTS?

RC: A typical week at DWTS starts new on Monday/Tuesday with new designs for each couple.  If we are lucky enough to get the music by Monday (instead of typically Tuesday) I try to get the couples up to the wardrobe department to discuss concepts for the next week’s costumes.  I only get 15-20 (30 mins. tops) to listen to the music, research ideas, discuss, design and finalize.  Then the entire show is shopped Wednesday by 5pm and delivered back to the studio, where I go over every women’s design with our cutter/fitter (the mens’ costumes are done off site, by our dance tailor in downtown Los Angeles).  The costumes are cut/sewn/preliminarily fitted on Thursday, then I have celebrity fittings all day Friday. My assistant helps on Saturday with the professional women’s fittings, they’re altered and ready for the final fitting on Sunday, after the couples do their blocking for the camera.  Adjustments are made and then are trimmed, beaded, crystallized and trimmed out to completion.  Monday morning is time to review each costume before setting them in the individual dressing rooms.  We have dress rehearsal only a few hours before we go LIVE on the east coast.  During that time any last minute adjustments are made and redelivered to the couples’ dressing rooms, sometimes just minutes before they’re to go to the top of the stairs for their walk down – live!  We have to design/shop/fit/finish each and every costume in 3.5 to 4 days!!  Whew!

What types of fabrics are the best for ballroom costumes?

RC: Thank goodness for stretch fabrics, jerseys, lycras, etc.!  These help the costume to be quite comfortable as well as flexible.  We can then get a terrific fit with little to no wrinkles in the fabric.  Chiffon (both silk and polyester) are great for the ballgown skirts, due to the wonderful movement.  Charmeuse satin is a terrific vintage type fabric, reminiscent of some of Ginger Rogers’ gowns.

Are there limitations, or can you work with pretty much anything?

RC: I push the limits every chance I get!  How else can you continue to come up with fresh ideas?  That being said, some fabrics are VERY challenging!  I try not to use brocades, as they are just to stiff and unforgiving for costumes.  Not to mention the fact that they do not flow at all!  I love using natural trims, for an organic vibe, still mixing in crystal rhinestones of course.  We have to have a sparkle on almost everything.

What is the most extravagant costume you’ve ever designed for the show, and who wore it?

RC: I would say the most extravagant costume would have to be Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette-inspired Viennese Waltz gown (complete with powdered blonde wig and all).  To be as authentic as possible, we went to a costume house and purchased a “cage” to make the silhouette as close to the look of the era as possible.  It was almost all completely sewn by hand, on the dress form as there is no way to get that wide cage (for the hips) on the sewing machine to work on.  Quite labor intense, but what a gorgeous look!  And still, we did it in just under 4 days……I still break out in a sweat thinking about that one!

*photo courtesy ABC/Kelsey McNeal

If you could only pick one DWTS costume as your “all-time favorite”, which would it be and why?

RC: Besides Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette gown, I would have to say Joanna Krupa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble.”  We pushed the limits (again) of what we could do in just 4 days.  The silver silk lame with electric lights (all wired into the dress) was sensational, but a nightmare to get done in such a short time.  We had a lighting specialist up from San Diego for 3 days just wiring the darn thing.

*photo courtesy of ABC

Everyone has regrets. Have you ever looked back at a costume you’ve designed for the show and thought “What was I thinking???” If so, which one & why?

RC: Oh, I’m sure we ALL have regrets, but I have to say, we have a really good track record if you consider that from concept to completion is 4 days maximum.  The discipline the couple has to have to stick with the original design, in spite of choreographing after the design is done, a procedure which is completely backwards! That being said, each and every week I look at the costumes, making mental notes as to what we could have done better, or what I would have done differently.  The beauty is I get another chance 4 days later.

Who have been your favorite celebs and/or pros to design for, and why?

RC: I count myself quite lucky to have such a great rapport with the pro dancers, and we have such fun with (and trust in) each other.  Our design sessions are quite intense and rewarding. I have enjoyed the trust that almost all of the celebrities have shown to me.  I honestly think that they put their trust in me (and their pro partner) due mainly to the fact that they are in such a foreign and vulnerable area.  They have not danced like this before, and really have to rely on our experience and expertise.  The trust that Susan Lucci, Jennifer Gray, Florence Henderson, Chelsea Kane and Kirstie Alley (to name a few) showed me was quite humbling and really rewarding!  This definitely impacts how wonderful their costumes showed on them.

Do you have an all-time favorite? 

RC:  I would have to say that as far as professional dancers, Edyta Sliwinska made ME look good!  I wish I could take credit for her beauty, but she came that way!!  That being said, I have to admit that Edyta was remarkably prepared each week, knew what looked good on her, and above all else, she left me to interpret her ideas and trusted me completely.  What a dream lady to work with!  Toni Braxton and Brandy both were appreciative, trusting and so lovely to design for.

What happens to the costumes after they’ve been worn?

RC: The celebrities have the option of purchasing any of their costumes, once the season is over.  Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson purchased all of their costumes, along with several celebs. buying their favorite one(s).  We keep a great majority of the costumes from past seasons in a storage facility quite close to the studio.  We also keep a few on hand right in the workroom, in case we need a last minute “fix.”  We have NEVER had to use one of those yet!

We’ve noticed some get reused and others don’t. How do you decide which ones get reused?

RC: We reuse costumes based on the producers’ requirements/suggestions, as well as our guest choreographers’ ideas.  Many times (most of the time) we re-work them so that their silhouettes more readily coordinate with each of the other dancers’ looks, for a more cohesive themed look. There is just not enough hours in the week to make ALL the costumes seen on Monday’s and Tuesday’s shows.  That said, we ALWAYS make something new for our couples for Monday’s show.  The pro numbers and (pro) group numbers may get previously worn costumes, but NEVER on celebs nor their partners for Monday’s competition!

*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Larkey

Do certain pros want specific kinds of alterations (i.e. shorter hems, lower necklines, mesh inserts, etc) on costumes that have been worn before by someone else?

RC: Again, it’s all about the overall theme/silhouette desired.  Our pro dancers do have their specific preferences, and if we could accommodate them, we most certainly would.  Some of those preferences are just going to be kept secret – no use spoiling the illusion……

Tune in later this week when we reveal part II of our exclusive interview…and Randall talks theme nights, panic attacks, and his love of princess seams (?) ;-) You won’t want to miss it!!!

January 9, 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!

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!

Dancing with the Stars – History of the Judges Scores, Part 3

Okay, folks, it’s been a while but here is part three in my series about the History of Judges scoring. As you may recall, from Part I and Part II, this series got started in response to the judges over-scoring of Bristol Palin in Season 11. The question was – were the judges always like this? Did they always over score some (young) people while underscoring true condenders? Have they always tried to make it into a horse race? It has also morphed into trying to also answer the question “have they always been extremely nasty (see Michael Bolton) to some, seemingly without reason??” Season 12’s example was Ralph Machio – their displays were often disgusting. But more on that another time. This post is looking back on the judging of Season 7.  I think you might find a couple of very interesting things happened in this season that may have been a harbinger of things to come – but we can’t be sure until we also watch subsequent seasons. :-)  One thing I can say – I did NOT see as much commentary about “we are going into the semi-finals and this isn’t good enough” as we did in Season 5, but the scoring still seemed reasonable and not over the top.

Here were the scores from Week 5, onward:

Season 7 Weekly Scores (Part I)

Celebrity Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Brooke 29 (Jitterbug) 26 (Rumba) 30 (Foxtrot) 28 (Tango)
29 (Team Tango) 27 (Mambo)
Warren 25 (Hustle) 25 (Rumba) 21 (Foxtrot) 28 (Tango)
29 (Team Tango) 26 (Jive)
Lance 21 (WC Swing) 27 (Jive) 25 (Rumba) 26 (Foxtrot)
20 (Team Cha Cha) 24 (Samba)
Cody 28 (Jitterbug) 23 (Samba) 22 (V. Waltz) 24 (Foxtrot)
20 (Team Cha Cha) 24 (Mambo)
Maurice 27 (Salsa) 21 (V. Waltz) 25 (Cha Cha) 24 (Quickstep)
29 (Team Tango) 24 (Paso Doble)
Susan 22 (Hustle) 23 (Mambo) 24 (Paso Doble)
20 (Team Cha Cha)
Cloris 21 (Salsa) 15 (Cha Cha)
Toni 22 (WC Swing)

Season 7 Weekly Scores (Part II)

Celebrity Week 9 Week 10 Week Finale
Brooke 21 (Jive) 28 (Samba) 30 (V. Waltz)
28 (Salsa) 30 (Freestyle)
Warren 24 (Mambo) 25 (Samba) 27 (Hustle)
25 (Jitterbug) 28 (Freestyle)
Lance 28 (Mambo) 26 (Samba) 28 (Jitterbug)
29 (Jitterbug) 27 (Freestyle)

Week 5 – What is significant this week is that they really took Lacey to the woodshed, with comments similar to “we know you’re a pro at West Coast Swing, you need to feature your partner”. Lacey said she wasn’t upset, but I think she was ready to cry. While the judges were a bit over the top, I didn’t think it was too extreme – mainly it’s hard to watch a pro get raked, even if they deserve it. Really, this week the judges were critical of Toni and Susan in a way that was reasonable, and slightly overscored Cody – but not in a huge way. Mainly because I think Julianne overdanced him a bit and didn’t get called on it. But their Jitterbug was very good, regardless. But then I remember at the time thinking that Brooke was also overscored a bit, maybe by a point. That said – who’s to know, we’re talking Jitterbug here. Also overscored? Maurice – I don’t think Maurice ever did a “27” dance while on the show, but they scored him on improvement.

Week 6 – This is the week of Michael Flatley as guest judge and just about everything was out of wack. Michael seemed to be scoring with the wrong part of his anatomy, and Carrie Ann was having…well, at the risk of being sexist – PMS. So, she raves over Susan (who always dances like a china doll), then she kinda harshes on Cloris saying “We lost Toni for this?” Okay, so Cloris is insane and can’t dance –but take it up with the voters, sweetheart . Not to mention the judges gave her a 21 the previous week!! Then Carrie Ann turns around and is a bit over the top (perhaps to compensate for Michael Flately) on Brooke’s Rumba. No, it wasn’t Brooke’s best dance but she acts like it’s a disaster – then gives her an *8*! Crack is wack. Michael gives her a 10 which even Derek is stunned by. I think the 8 score was actually fine, it’s just CAI’s comments that were really out of line with how she actually scored it. My other gripe was Warren – this was a week where he really didn’t seem to do much dancing, and made some mistakes the judges called him on, but still got a 25 – which would have put him ahead of Brooke if not for Michael’s 10.  It’s weeks like this one (which had been rare up to this point) where you really wonder what is going on in the judges brains.  Can you seriously give a contestant a 21 and then be pissed when they’re still there the following week and do a crappy dance?? Try using the right paddles, sweetie.

Week 7 – Again, the judges rave over Susan for a dance that was weak, not sharp or aggressive and boring. They’re on crack again. All three of them. On the other hand, they pretty much crucify Warren – not sure that I agree with that. Cody also did a better dance than Susan to my eye and they were actually rather harsh on him, saying he was plodding, or like a “fledgling bird that can’t take off”. This is also the week that Len goes insane over Lance being barefoot, although he still ended up with a 25, and Lacey smarts off to the judges. I thought they underscored Cody and overscored Susan. The rest of the scores I rather agreed with, for the most part. This was also the week of the Team Cha Cha and Team Paso – the first season of Team dances – and Team Paso lead by Derek was miles ahead of team Cha Cha to an embarrassing degree. Of course, they learned that it’s not really fair to put a Paso against a Cha Cha and Len acknowledged that. IMO, Team Paso’s team dance is the best team dance to date.

Week 8 – Remember when Len went insane and called Brooke’s Tango not up to a professional level, essentially judging her as a professional because CAI said she was getting that good the week before? That was this week. I have to wonder if this is the start of the purposely underscoring the frontrunner to make it look like a more even contest, because this was crazy. HE was crazy Of course, he gives Brooke an 8, and a few minutes later gives Maurice an 8 and Cody an 8….sure, that’s logical. Not. Not that Maurice and Cody were overscored, but that Brooke was purposely underscored. The rest of the scoring is pretty on target, although you start to notice that Warren is getting great scores but not getting the footwork – and they call him on it then give him great scores anyway.  Charm goes a long way and people loved him – don’t want to lose that!

Week 9 – This is an example of how the last third of a dance being totally screwed up affects the view of an entire performance. I remember Brooke’s Jive being a disaster. But when I watched it for this post, it really didn’t become bad until the last third. The judges comment on technique going down the toilet – but I think she just forgot the steps. Hence, no technique. What really bothered me though, was what appeared to be some very poor sportsmanship in the background while they were talking to Brooke. Gee, who on this show would be a poor sport?? Anyway, CAI gets all hoity toity about a deliberate lift and Derek’s saying something to Brooke about some style, blah blah – watch the background.

Anyway, after that, everyone gets hosed in the first round except Lance, and I pretty much agree, over all, with all of it. Second round everyone does much better and my only complaint, again, is Warren. No technique but pretty decent scores. Round two, Brooke comes roaring back, and Cody gets pretty critical comments again. Warren, on the other hand, gets great comments but only an average score.  Lance gets rave reviews.  I agree with all of this, including Lance ending up in first place at the end of the night.  I mention Cody’s critical comments because this is one of our metrics – do the youngsters get treated easier than their older competition. I would say no, in Cody’s case.

Week 10 – Ah, the finale, when the judges are pretty easy on everyone. :-)  They pretty much are easy, although they continue to comment on Warren’s lack of technique but infectious joy. He’s the Marissa of Season7. :-) They got as close as realistically possible to throwing it to the voters as they could while still maintaining credibility. I mean, Warren did have bad footwork, and Brooke was a step or two above the men in technique…and Lance’s freestyle could have been a lot better.  The only critical comments handed out go to Lance for that freestyle.  So, if you have a chance, watch the Season 7 freestyles on YouTube and we’ll continue to debate the age old question – does a bad freestyle cost you the competition? Think about the 3 points Lance could have gained had he done a better freestyle – it could have been a game changer. Would he have won? Probably not – he couldn’t beat Warren and they were essentially tied. The best it probably would have done is MAYBE handing him second place.

So, is this the season where the judges go all crazy and start getting fame hungry and mean to dancers?? I have to wonder. Could Cloris’ lengthy stay have made them snap, as seen by CAI’s attitude in week 6? And did they realize that if Brooke kept scoring well above everyone else the drama would be done (these observations coincide with the birth of “in jeopardy!), so they under score her and over scored others?? I guess we’ll see when I get around to the next installment.  I think we can safely say that they don’t overscore all young dancers. I thought there were a few occasions where they underscored Cody. I also think that, barring that one week where Len was insane and the week when Michael Flatley too Len’s place, Brooke was fairly scored the whole way. Overall, I didn’t have too much of a gripe with this season – all complaints were relatively minor. On to Season 8!! Can’t guarantee I’ll get to it before the hard work of Season 13 REALLY begins (really, it began a couple weeks ago). :-)

 
Notes: Week 5 had a real bottom 2. But there was no bottom 2 revealed in week 6. In week 7, we have “jeopardy!”. I think this was a relatively new concept at this point.

Ever notice how Mark always manages to make it back on the results shows with his partners?? I don’t think anyone else has ever managed it to the degree he does. Well, good for him, I guess.

Brooke only went last once (but it was before a team dance) and never had the encore (that wasn’t a team dance). Warren, on the other hand, went last Four times and had the encore 2 times. Lance had one encore. As we’ve often discussed on this site, running order is pretty important, as are encores – that Brooke managed to win with little to no pimpage is pretty amazing.

For those paying attention to me and Courtney griping in recent seasons about random ass dances and no pattern, this is for you.  Back in the day, it WAS reasonable and was easier to compare dancers. TWO dances per week for the first 4 weeks. Four dances in Week 5.  I vote we go back to this very sensible formula. Here’s the dance schedule, from Wikipedia:

 

 

August 16, 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 Tacky Dance Themes

So I was going through old dances and remembered how on Season 10 there was a “Movie Night” where every dance was a theme song to a movie. But there have been other dances that were done over the seasons that were themed to a movie in the past… So stemming from “Movie Night” and some of the tackiest dances to come with it, I decided to come up with a few dances from the past that were just as tacky, if not funny ;)

EDIT: So what is my criteria for a “tacky” dance theme? Three simple factors naturally (music, costumes, nuances), but they all have to tie into one thing: the television or movie program that they are tied to. Each factor will be rated on a scale of one (not that tacky) to three (way too tacky). You’ll see what I mean as I go through each dance.

Season 4: Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
Dance: Tango
TV/Movie Program: Star Wars
Tackiness Quotient
Music: Star Wars Theme Song… enough said. Score: 3
Costuming: So we have Kym dressed up as a Princess Leia wannabee, and Joey Fatone starting off as a Jedi Knight, complete with a lightsaber. Granted Joey shedded the cloak and had a suit underneath rather than the Jedi cloths that are so prevalent in the movies, so it wasn’t totally tacky, but still. Score: 2.5
Nuances: First they started the package with having R2D2 in rehearsal, and then the dance started with a lightsaber sequence? Yeeeaaaah, how about no? I’ll give them props in having Joey wearing a suit rather than a full Jedi getup, so it’s not totally tacky, but darn it’s high up there. Score: 2
Conclusion: Total Score: 7.5 out of a possible 9.
Yes, I think this dance was tacky, but hey, Joey likes Star Wars so I can’t fault him for that. In fact Joey liked this dance so much that he wanted to reprise this dance for the finale… Que sera sera.

Season 3: Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Dance: Tango
TV/Movie Program: Addams Family
Tackiness Quotient
Music: Addams Family Theme Song… again enough said. Score: 3
Costuming: Edyta as Morticia and Joey Lawrence as a taller, skinnier, and mustache-less Gomez? uh… Well it doesn’t necessarily invoke the movie as much as one would think so… Score: 2
Nuances: The dance steps are pretty cut and dry, and it didn’t really invoke the Addams Family mood, let alone the “tango” dancing that Morticia and Gomez are known for.. so Score: 1
Conclusion: Total Score: 6 out of 9.
So this dance happened because waaaay back when, Season 3 happened to coincide with Halloween, as thus every song danced for “Halloween Night” had some sort of spooky theme to it. And what is a Halloween Night without an Addams Family dance?

Season 3: Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
Dance: Cha Cha
TV/Movie Program: Ghostbusters
Tackiness Quotient:
Music: The Ghostbusters? Eh, not as bad… but still pretty bad. Score: 2
Costuming: So they both started with the Ghostbusters getup before stripping? But what the frack is Monique wearing? Forget what she was wearing, look at her make-up and hair! Ugh! Just for that alone.. Score: 3
Nuances: For me, there wasn’t really anything that invoked the Ghostbusters as much as I would have thought. So they lucked out. Score: 1
Conclusion: Final Score: 6 out of 9
Same as above, what’s a Halloween Night without some ghosts? Who do you wanna call when there’s a ghost in the neighborhood? Ghostbusters! But in all seriousness, other than the song (and even the song wasn’t all that tacky) the dance to me seemed a bit cut and dry… so not really as tacky as other dances because it could have been a lot worse.

Season 7: Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas
Dance: Foxtrot
TV/Movie Program: Pink Panther
Tackiness Quotient:
Music: Pink Panther Theme Song… It’s an instrumental, and more often than not instrumental piece don’t induce tackiness to me, but the Pink Panther (I believe) is a bit more widely known and as thus… Score: 2
Costuming: What’s the Pink Panther without a lot of PINK… ugh. Way too much pink for my liking… Score: 3
Nuances: Overall it’s a decent routine, for what it was. Lots of finger snapping and what not. There are times that I kind of cringed as thus this gets… Score: 2
Conclusion: Final Score 7 out of 9
Nobody pulls off pink better than… Mark! With some well placed nuances and what nots it isn’t a bad routine… it’s just ok for what it was.

September 7, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris Dances

We all know that Brooke Burke was introduced to Dancing with the Stars world as a contestant on Season 7 before becoming co-host on Season 10.

Now that Samantha Harris is no longer co-host does that make her eligible to dance as a contestant on the show?

The following dance seems to indicate that she could do all right on the show. This is from Season 2, her professional partner was Jonathan Roberts… and they danced the Jive to Prince’s Delirious Prince - 1999 - Delirious.

Now I don’t know about that armpit smelling move… but I digress.

And of course Samantha wouldn’t have been persuaded to do this hadn’t Tom Bergeron jump in first… So here is Tom Bergeron dancing the Quickstep with Ashly DelGrosso (now Costa) to the song Get Happy made famous by Judy Garland Judy Garland - Judy Garland's Greatest Hits Live - Get Happy.

Tom’s so popular he could last a while… =)

And of course as a quick send off… Drew Lachey with Cheryl Burke as a fill-in during a results show episode when Gloria Estefan had to back out at the last minute due to family. This is their Ballroom Medley (it includes Foxtrot, Quickstep, Jive and West Coast) to Danke Schoen as sung by Season 5’s Wayne Newton Wayne Newton - The Capitol Collector's Series: Wayne Newton - Danke Schoen

September 6, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)