Well, here we are! Another Cast Announcement Live Blog!! The show is starting shortly and then they will drag their feet for approximately an hour and 20 minutes. :-) Go below the table for further commentary. Also, if you want to refer back to Courtney’s rumor round up, just click the link.
The Celeb Dancers and their Partners
ETA: Seriously….a 14 year old?? Not cool, TPTB, not cool.
ETA2: Special guest is Alfonso…with his MBT. With a gold MBT, actually, in honor of the anniversary season.
ETA3: Hmmm….only 10?
ETA4: Stupid Derek. Very stupid.
ETA: According to Courtney on Twitter, the following are troupe members…
So it’s that time again – we’re at t minus 69ish hours until the cast announcement, and it’s time to take stock of all the casting rumors we’ve seen thus far. As always, I’ve divided the rumors up by how likely they are to actually be on this season – “legitimate possibilities” are names we’ve heard multiple times from multiple (reputable) sources, or stars that have dropped some big hints themselves; “longshots” are names we’ve heard and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they’d do the show, but they’re less likely than the “legitimate possibilities”; “wannabes/campaigners” are stars that have said they would do the show if asked, or are actively trying to get on the show, but haven’t been reported as an actual rumor by another source; “pure randomness” is just that – things we’ve seen that are interesting and might or might not mean anything, but are worth mentioning nonetheless; and the “definite no’s” are those that have said no, they wouldn’t do the show if asked. I also added a new category – PDWTS Guesses – which are just that: guesses we’ve made, based on nothing else but gut feelings we’ve had. They are NOT RUMORS! Just our own guesses, based on whatever :-)
We’ve included links to our previous posts on these rumors, to jog your memory. And it’s all in one handy-dandy place…because we love you :-) And accept no substitutes, kids – any blog can slap a “rumor roundup” label on something, but that doesn’t mean it’s as good as the real thing…we’ve been calling ours “rumor roundup” for YEARS ;-)
ETA #1: With US Weekly basically confirming the Daily Mail’s claims, it’s pretty much confirmed that Val’s partner isRumer Willis. And then DancingABC posted the below pic with a clue about Emma’s partner…who else thinks it’s motorcycling enthusiast Chris Soules?
ETA #2: The Shane Harper randomness hasgained some traction, so I’m upgrading him from “pure randomness to “legitimate possibility”; we’ve gotMichael Sam’sname thrown in the mix, which has made me downgrade Malcolm Butler & Russell Wilson to longshots, since they’ve never had more than one football player on the same season; and the DancingABC Instagram has thrown us another clue, with Mark’s partner hidden behind a curtain of blonde hair. I’m thinking it’s Savannah Chrisley, who has sported varying lengths (and shades) of blonde over the years, and Mark seems to be the designated pro for good Christian girls :-P Why do I get the feeling this is going to be a long night of updates?
Wow, what a show last night from the graphics, the songs, the stories, the characters, and the dancing. We really have to commend the whole cast, the costume designers, the make up crew, and producers for everything put into this show. My Dad called right after the show and was going wild about it. *sigh an unforgettable evening for sure!!
So, for media starters and interviews after the show today, be sure to see ABC7. George Pennacchio has a great recap and some interviews. You can also view him interviewing the couples at On The Red Carpet as they uploaded some of their interviews in the night and they are excellent as always. Don’t miss them at this link and keep checking back for more. Below are a few of them. From these interviews so far, we learned that Maks & Meryl have a Tango next for Party Anthem Week. Val & Danica, Sharna & Charlie, Mark & Candace have a Cha Cha (more revealed as you scroll down).
Lee: We were pleased with #DWTS on one night. It opened up Tuesdays for us. #TCA14
What do you think of this news? I think it’s for the best and I ended up liking it more.
ETA2: Below is a take from ABC MediaNet. Note how it mentions there will be 12 celebs again:
“DANCING WITH THE STARS” (Monday, March 17, 8:00-10:00 p.m., ET)
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 18th season with an all-new celebrity cast. The competition will feature twelve celebrities who will brave the dance floor for the very first time. Each week, these celebrities will leave their comfort zones and endure hours of grueling rehearsals to master technical choreography and entertaining performances. In the end, only one star will rise above the rest to be crowned champion and win the coveted mirror-ball trophy.
Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (“Dancing with the Stars” Season 7 Champion), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
“Dancing with the Stars” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green, Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs.
Despite some shocking eliminations throughout DWTS’ 17th season, Lee revealed that the network is pleased with the new one-night format and it helped with the series’ ratings. “It actually grew. We didn’t quite end the season as high, but the season itself was higher.”
The ABC president explained that season 18 will also follow the one-night trend. “We want to find ways to turn that up just a little bit. We were pleased with how it worked for us,” he said.
Fans were thrilled to see a mini-shake up on the judges’ panel when former professional dancer Max Chmerkovskiy filled in for head judge, Len Goodman, for an episode. Lee agreed that he loved Max’s creative input and there’s a possibility that we could be seeing the hunky Ukranian back with a paddle in his hand. “We thought Max did a fabulous job and we’re going to continue working with him in the future. Nothing to announce now, but we will keep working with him,” he said.
Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas did a spot for Newswatch 12. Below he talks of his fortunate and most memorable moments on Dancing With The Stars. He’s asked about the controversial moments with Bristol Palin. He also gives some dance tips for anyone wanting to do the show, how he quit smoking, and more.
How about this flaming orange satin dress on Karina Smirnoff? Doesn’t she look breath taking? Last bight, the Dancing With The Stars pro graced the Red Carpet at the “Saving Mr. Banks” premiere at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. You can view more fabulous new photos of her at Zimbio Pictures. Below is some paparazzi footage as well. Jim…you are going to love. :D
Things are really heating up now, aren’t they?!! To keep your dancing blood flowing even further (lol), below are a few more names to throw out there in the “campaigning/wondering about/watch out and non-watch out” categories!!
First of all, a week or so back, PureDWTS reader Jake was reporting in comments that he had read Teri Hatcher may be dancing in the UK version of Dancing With The Stars. We found this link that confirmed the rumor at the Daily Star. However, Jake also wrote that The Sun was reporting that Teri may switch and dance in the US version of Dancing With The Stars instead. Well, we can put both of those rumors now to rest. In this tweet recently, Teri wrote that as much as she loves it, she wouldn’t be doing “any dancing competition”.
We are also hearing some rumblings about Olympian Gabby Douglas! We couldn’t find a lot to support this rumor except that there is some twitter campaigning and news that she recently moved to Los Angeles. She was also seen in the audience last season supporting Aly Raisman. Also, take a look at this interview at Access Hollywood from last May. She said she could see herself dancing on Dancing With The Stars, but, wouldn’t do the show until after the 2016 Olympics since she wants to concentrate on her training. So, has she changed her mind since then? Also, would TPTB ask her to dance after already having two gymnasts dance in two seasons in a row?
“Definitely! I love the dynamic of being paired with a partner, just having so much behind the scenes, backstage, and just going out there performing for the fans and the crowd. Why not?”
Gabby is also a yogurt spokesperson as a few of you have mentioned in comments which supports this recent rumor. Now I’m starting to think there is more to support the idea of her dancing on the show this season than I first thought? 8O :?:
Another huge campaign taking place since June is for Ross Lynch to dance on Dancing With The Stars!! In case you don’t know, Ross is best known for portraying Austin Moon on the Disney Channel television series “Austin & Ally”. According to wiki, he can sign, act, and dance. What’s more, he is Derek Hough’s cousin and was briefly mentioned in a new Access Hollywood with Derek Hough yesterday. I wasn’t even going to mention Ross until this mention which got my curiosity up. That and the fact that TPTB loves to push Disney stars. What a doll he is too. I’d be totally open to this one.
Lastly, @DWTSgossip wrote to us about singer Todd Carey and how he’s following some Dancing With The Stars twitter accounts. If you go to his twitter account, you’ll see that he’s following several fan accounts as well as Dancing With The Stars judge Carrie Anne Inaba and pro dancer Sasha Farber. Also, @DWTSgossip reports that she only noticed this because he followed her and then un-followed her which in turn raised her suspicions. Was this just something random or has he been asked or is he interested in dancing? Or maybe it means nothing at all and he’s just a fan to the show. Hmmm, one thing is for sure….he is a cutie and time will soon tell. :D
Let’s see what Court thinks and you let us know what you think too…..
Courtney: Not gonna lie – had never heard of Ross Lynch or Todd Carey prior to reading this post. So I guess I don’t really have on opinion on those two…except that if they do cast this Ross guy and he does well, you know there’s going to be accusations of “He’s getting pimped because he’s Derek’s cousin, everything is always Derek’s fault, blah blah blah”. So for that reason alone, I hope he DOESN’T get cast this season – would just be another kink in the chain that makes our blogging lives more difficult as we deal with the trolls. As for Gabby – she’d be a great get (and I remember thinking last season, as Aly just bored me to tears, “Really wish they had gotten Gabby instead…”), but I think gymnasts 3 seasons in a row might be a bit much…gymnasts might become the new NFL stars on DWTS, and illicit grumbles of “I’m tired of gymnasts! Get some other athletes!” Yes, I do find my opinions on who gets cast these days very much colored by how much whining I expect to hear here at Pure about them :-P Teri would be fun to watch, but like Jamie Lee Curtis (who would also be a GREAT get), I think she’s someone that enjoys the show, but is just content to watch it at home, as opposed to participating in it herself.
WARNING: If you came here to seriously bitch & moan about how so-and-so has an unfair advantage due to their previous dance experience and how you’re boycotting the show and yadda yadda yadda – look elsewhere :-) We’ve been doing this for a few seasons now, and here’s the gist: many of the celebs on the show have at least SOME dance experience coming into the show – be it good or bad…and often, comically bad. Hence the quotations around the title – this is a very tongue-in-cheek post, kids. ;-)
Today we’re gonna take a look at this season’s male celebs, and see just exactly how much hoofin’ they’ve done in the past and discuss what it might mean for them on the show – and we’ll probably point & laugh and generally act like teenage boys in our commentary. 8-)
First up, let’s take a look at Jack Wagner, who is perhaps best known as Frisco Jones from the soap opera General Hospital from 1984-95. Jack’s also a musician, and this clip is montage of Frisco & his on-screen (and former off-screen!) love, Felicia, dancing to his song “Dancing in the Moonlight”:
Court: Ahhh, the magic of VHS recordings back in the 80s & 90s…such a crisp picture. :-) Overall, a lot of soap opera-y swaying, with a little bit of goofball pseudo-swing dancing and fake tango thrown in…although some of what he was doing looked like it could have almost been west coast swing. Hmmm. Think he could get Anna to recreate that fake tango he did with Felicia, complete with a beret and French mustache? :-P
Heidi: When are they going to start dancing? What?
Vogue: Wow, let Jack wine and dine me anytime. :mrgreen: But, seriously, if Jack can turn on the charm and romance as we see in the video above, can you imagine what his Waltz’s (or anything he dances to for that matter) are going to be like? *faints and fans myself*
The verdict: Only soap operas can make non-dancing look so..electrifying.
Now let’s take a look at Gavin DeGraw, who admittedly doesn’t do a whole lot of dancing, but rather “rhythmic swaying” during an impromptu version of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” during a live show (skip to the 2:20 mark):
Heidi: Nice pack…um….yeah, he’s aright.
Vogue: Uh oh, watch out for a killer and wicked Samba if nothing else. 8O
Court: I don’t know about you guys, but when I get the uncontollable urge to sing Tina Turner songs, I doff my guitar and start dancing like a drunken gypsy.
The verdict: Just say no to random Tina Turner covers, kids.
Up next we have Donald Driver, who, like many NFL players, seems to have his own brand of “touchdown dance”:
Vogue: Who needs Victor Cruz when we’ve got this guy instead? SERIOUSLY!! The Cruz for the Driver!! :)
Court: Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle…he’s sexy & he knows it. That dance looks vaguely peacock-ish – like he’s showing us his fancy feathers.
Heidi: And the feathers are, like, really small cuz we only get a wiggle with a swing of about an inch and a half. :-) Or would it be really big feathers and you only have to do a tiny wiggle to get lots of feather shaking?? :::confused:::
Courtney: It’s the latter, dear. Peacocks’ feathers span out so far that it kinda makes them top-heavy – if they shake ‘em too hard, they fall over. I’ve witnessed it ;-)
The verdict: Is Donald brave enough to let us see his peacock? ;-)
Our next contestant is this season’s resident heartthrob, William Levy, who is probably best known for being J. Lo’s man candy in her “I’m Into You” video. But alas, some semi-rhythmic writhing on a beach doesn’t really count as “dancing”, so I found this clip, which appears to be from some telenovela – it’s completely in Spanish and it looks to have Russian or Greek subtitles (WTF?), but the basic gist appears to be that he and another beefcakey guy had their car break down on a dirt road, some other considerably less-beefcakey guy tried to fix it and failed, but thankfully a taxi full of middle-aged female tourists was driving by and stopped to offer assistance (and ogle the shirtless beefcakes)…and whilst fixing the car, the urge to dance hits William and he does a brief bit of salsa with one of the tourist ladies (1:39 mark):
Court: Telenovelas are funny :-P I have no idea what the hell they’re saying, but the minute I heard one of the tourists yell “Guapo!” and gesture towards the 2 shirtless men – I knew it was on, senor. Gotta say – William doesn’t look totally inept. He’s probably done at least a little salsa & merengue in his day – kinda like JR. But he’s also a model, so he’s probably more used to standing still that moving around. I predict lots of posing and Cheryl dancing around him this season :-)
Heidi: He’s the one in the hat? Yeah…no fanbase in the US but it might not matter. :-) But he better be the second coming of Gilles. He had relatively little competition.
Vogue: I predict right now that William Levy will be one of the sexiest male dancers to have ever graced the Dancing With The Stars stage. What’s more, it will be a “natural” kind of sexy that he can’t help. He just has that “look” to melt hearts. If Cheryl can find a way to capitalize on that and make him into a dancer, watch out.
The verdict: William es un chico muy guapo! Mis pantalones estan en fuego!!!
We’ve saved the 2 strongest contenders for last. First, let’s take a look at Roshon Fagen, who busts some pretty impressive moves at the end of a Radio Disney interview on the set of Shake it Up (2:00 mark):
And then Roshon assures us that he gets “Down on the Dance Flo” in this music video:
Heidi: Dude’s voice hasn’t even changed yet. :-) Also not impressed with his dancing here – mainly because someone was saying he’s a trained dancer. Trained in what kind of dancing, I have to ask.
Vogue: He’s young. He has lots of energy to burn. What’s more, he’s refreshing. I think Roshon is going to be a huge contender in this competition.
Court: Maybe formal hip-hop training? Idk…I don’t really know if there is such a thing. Ooh, that’s a hefty promise, Roshon – promising you get down on the dance floor? I hope you’re ready to deliver :-) Kid can certainly move, but can he translate that gyrating into a foxtrot? A waltz?
The verdict: Kid’s got potential…but can Chelsie harnass it?
Last but certainly not least, we have Jaleel White, who already seems to be the favorite to win this season for many of us. Since Jaleel is best known from his days as Steve Urkel from Family Matters, I simply have to include a clip of his famous “Urkel dance” – which, surprise surprise, I cannot find an embedabble copy of him doing the original one on YouTube, so here he is doing it as Al’s date to the dance on Step By Step during a crossover episode (if you want to see the original, go here.) :
And more recently, here he is cutting a rug in Cee Lo Green’s “Cry Baby” video:
Vogue: I’m impressed. He’s got it all and a ‘smoothness” to boot. What’s more, I felt an automatic attraction with he and Kym during the cast announcement. This is going to be good. I’m really looking forward to these two.
Heidi: Not bad, not bad. Lose the penis and dance with Derek and he’d be a ringer for sure!!
Courtney: I have to respect any man that played such a dork for so many years…and yet somehow seems uber-slick & smooth now :-) I’m actually kinda curious how much Jaleel is going to draw from his Urkel repertoire while on the show…I know he was really touchy about the whole Urkel thing for several years after Family Matters ended, because he was having a hard time finding roles because people couldn’t imagine him as anything other than Urkel. Should be interesting to see if he pays homage to it, or avoids it completely.
The verdict: Do not underestimate the Urkel.
Stay tuned for our assessment of the female competitors later this week ;-)
Did you get to see Mark Ballas and Derek Hough on Disney’s “Shake It Up” Sunday night? It was cool show. If you missed it and special thanks to our Princess Heidi you can view their segment below. Heidi has made some awesome screencaps of the show at Pure Derek Hough as well. Be sure to check them all out when you can! They’re beautiful!!