Derek Hough: “Do you understand what you’ve gotten yourselves into? Do you realize that people will get hurt?” Derek asked while he and partner Kellie strike an intimidating pose. “You’ll be dropping like flies and we’ll be there to clean it up,” he later warned before laughing.
Val Chmerkovskiy: Zendaya’s partner’s message started off sweet as he wished Derek a happy birthday, before adding, “Hopefully your birthday wish isn’t to win Dancing With the Stars!”
Pro dancers Derek Hough and Val Chmerkovskiy have both written new blogs before finale time on Dancing With The Stars. First up, Val writes of how different this finale is from last season. Last season it was bitter then sweet, but, this season is a “good time to win”. More below in detail including his thoughts (adding: or hints?) for why he should win since he’s never won a mirror ball before (this excuse for someone to win always annoys me. How would he have felt in his competition days if he was told he shouldn’t win since he won before? That’s not the way it should work. It should be about the best dancing, not who hasn’t won a mirror ball before or a win won’t mean the same in my opinion).
It’s finale time but this finale is different — completely different. Last season it was bitter, but then it became quickly sweet. I hate losing, but losing to someone like Tony (Dovolani) and Melissa (Rycroft) was a great feeling for me. That’s my brother pretty much, and I’m super happy for him to win because it was long overdue! I had no right — even just out of respect for Tony, to feel even one inch of, “Oh, it’s not fair!” I have the utmost love and appreciation for that champion.
But this season, I feel like it’s a good time. I don’t feel like it’s too early, I don’t feel like it’s too late. It’s a good time. I feel like if the stars can’t align this time, I’m not sure when they’ll align again. I know I said that last season with Kelly (Monaco) because she was incredible and we had an amazing season, but I never thought I’d be able to follow it up. Zendaya, complete polar opposite of what Kelly and I were, was able to follow up and follow it up in a very unique way.
There has never been a couple like us. This final between my three competitors – between them, they have about 30 seasons and six trophies. But when you look at Zendaya and I, you have never seen a champion like that.
If we win, the generosity and gratefulness that will be pouring out of my body at that moment will be overwhelming for everybody in the room. I will drown people in my appreciation!
More at Today.com.
As for Derek, he talks of the slow process this past week. He’s had some issues with his neck, but, he’s battling through. The freestyle is about “less is more” as he hinted to us in the On The Red Carpet interview,. Below he talks of the story about it and their other dances….
The story in our freestyle is we see Kellie as who she is. We often see the bright, fun, light and sweet Kellie — and she’s all those things. What you see is what you get with her. But there is a side to her that is very vulnerable and very fragile. The song is called “Beneath Your Beautiful” and it’s about showing it all. To show it all, you can’t hide behind anything. That’s why I against having a big production. I just wanted to try to make it about her ability and her dancing, and try to wow the audience with what she’s doing and not what’s around her. The production we have is fun though.
We have two other dances Monday and then the Instant Dance on Tuesday. The quickstep is extremely exhausting! It’s more difficult than our first one. The music is a lot more vigorous, so it’s faster all around. We got a 29 last time, but that quickstep was actually one of my least favorite dances, just because I felt like it was just a dance. The choreography was difficult, but it was more of a demonstration, like, “This is a quickstep.” This one, we want to put on more of a show and make it more of a finale quickstep. We just have to be really careful. There’s a fine line between doing too much and making it too busy.
The cha-cha relay is only 40 seconds each couple, but with everything this week, it’s kind of outrageous that we have it in the first place! I was like, “Awesome! Four couples in the final. That probably means less work for us.” Then it’s, “Nope! Just kidding! More work! Four couples and four dances each!” But we feel good about our pieces. Now we just have to execute.
I can’t wait. More at TV Guide.com. Also, don’t miss visiting Pure Derek Hough as soon as you can. Heidi has an article up about Derek wanting to expand his career beyond Dancing With The Stars. She has some birthday coverage and more too.
ETA: Also, be sure to check out On The Red Carpet. There is more coverage with these two couples with George Pennacchio.
Lance Bass, Audrina Patridge, Bruno Tonioli, Elena Grinenko Help To Preview The DWTS Finale, Couples Interviewed
The day we’ve all been waiting for!! Good luck too all who make this show happen. And to help us get excited even more is ABC’s Dancing With The Stars Season 16 Finale Pre-party!! Former contestants Lance Bass and Audrina Patridge stop by (it’s fun to see these two again). Bruno Tonioli is unplugged. He mentions all the dances he’s loved so far and gives some advise and predictions for what might happen tonight (you’ll love this part too). Also, former pro Elena Grinenko joins the panel to help preview tonight’s finale (it’s fun getting her take too. I always love her accent.). Also, there is some interview footage with the couples from the 300th episode party at the end. They talk about some of their dances tonight. This is a really good one! Also, don’t miss some backstage coverage from yesterday (Sunday) on GOOD MORNING AMERICA HERE.
And does anyone still care?? :-) I’m trying to care, really I am.
Thought for the day: I looked up the actual definition of “social engineering” which lead me to “confidence trick” and “exploits characteristics of the human psyche”. Just sayin’.
This is how it stacks up so far. I don’t think the dance order has really mattered for a couple weeks in terms of voting. I think at this stage it could have more of an impact on the judges scoring. They could put Kellie and Zendaya first and judge the other two against that bar. Or Zendaya and Aly – I’m still not sure, however, that their love affair with Aly wasn’t a product of not wanting Ingo in the finale. Same for Jacoby. I thought he was great, but I sense that he’s seen his last 30’s if he’s not getting the lion’s share of the votes. Anyway, here are the dances – think Kellie was the least favored here, not sure. Also note that I’ve not included the instant dance on Tuesday night. As previously reported, only the top three perform that. Someone is told they are fourth place right at the beginning of the show…or within the first hour, anyway.
If I were a betting woman, I would say this will be the order…
Zendaya and Val
Dance 1 (Judges Choice): Samba
Dance 2: Cha Cha Relay
Dance 3: Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3406
Kellie and Derek
Dance 1 (Judges Choice): Quickstep
Dance 2: Cha Cha Relay
Dance 3: Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3401
Jacoby and Karina
Dance 1 (Judges Choice): Jive
Dance 2: Cha Cha Relay
Dance 3: Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3412
Aly and Mark
Dance 1 (Judges Choice): Samba
Dance 2: Cha Cha Relay
Dance 3: Freestyle
Voting # 1-800-868-3408
Zendaya and Aly both having Samba strikes me as…fishy. I need Courtney the ballroom dancer because Samba doesn’t strike me as the “easiest” dance of the four that were handed out, but I’m honestly not sure who, if anyone, is getting hosed here. I think the Samba ladies have an easier “fake it till you make it” dance – the same can’t be said of Quickstep. I think probably Jacoby is probably the worst off, even though he LOVES to Jive. He’s FUN, but is he technically a good jiver??
Our last Las Vegas Odds post for Dancing With The Stars Season 16! You ready? This time Sports Bovada has placed Zendaya and Kellie Pickler in ‘neck and neck’ odds for first and second place. Then in a little further down in third place is Aly Raisman and Jacoby Jones in 4th. Do you agree or disagree with this scenario? Do you think Zendaya is going to take it all or will Kellie or one of the others? Who is the dark horse? I tend to think JACOBY is the dark horse. Watch out for him to be explosive Monday night. I think Kellie will take it all with Jacoby placing second or even first? We will soon see, but, that’s where I’d put my bets and who I’m rooting for. I’m really liking Aly now too especially after her and Mark’s Afro Jazz dance.
So, below are the new odds:
Zendaya Coleman 2/3
Kellie Pickler 6/5
Aly Raisman 14/1
Jacoby Jones 20/1
Here are last week’s Las Vegas Odds to compare.
Zendaya Coleman 2/3
Kellie Pickler 13/10
Aly Raisman 12/1
Jacoby Jones 18/1
Ingo Rademacher 150/1
Let’s see what Heidi and Courtney think and be sure you let us know your thoughts and predictions too in comments….
Courtney: To be quite honest, I’m just kind of ready for this season to be over – and I find myself giving fewer and fewer hoots about who wins each week. :-P I’m fully expecting Zendaya to get set up to win this thing, and I’m vacillating between them making it a neck-and-neck race with either Kellie or Aly…it SHOULD be Kellie, but they seem to have this love affair with Aly as of late, even though I still find her to be a total snooze to watch. I do think the freestyle round could be a make-or-break dance – even though I said the same thing last season, and the strongest freestyle didn’t win. I think Kellie & Jacoby could be the standouts in that round, although if Zendaya goes the hip-hop route and Aly goes the gymnastic route (and I think both are pretty likely), I’m guessing the judges are going to gush, regardless of how impressive the dances actually are. I’m worried that Jacoby is going to get lowballed, regardless of how well he actually dances, and that he may not be able to hope for anything better than 4th :-( I’d say he’d have the MBT in the bag in a regular season, but with the judges getting increasingly wonky each season, I don’t think that holds true anymore. All this manipulation makes me think it’s time to move on and blog something else…
Heidi: Word, Court. Do the odds makers have it right? Probably. Is that how it SHOULD be? No, but you don’t have to be a genius (or, actually, maybe you do :-D ) to see the set up here. They LOVE them some Zendaya and Aly, yet Kellie isn’t emotionally connecting to Derek. Uh huh. Well, I guess it probably is easier to emotionally connect when you get to add a bit of hip hop to every dance and you don’t even have to wear ballroom shoes…or do the rumba. In any case – the truth (and the chances of the odds being right) will be in the scoring and the words they use to critique the dancers – not the actual dances themselves. What little weasel words will they use to tear anyone not named Zendaya down to try to manipulate the audience?? I think the key will be in how they score Jacoby, actually. They will either low ball him to keep him away from the trophy (which means that one or all of the ladies is getting enough votes to beat him if his score is low enough) OR they will score him about right and let the chips fall (which means he’s getting a ton of votes and it doesn’t matter how they score him). There are two things at play here – the judges ego/show credibility and TPTB vested interests. We MAY get to see which one is stronger. What I mean when I say “judges ego” – do you really think that any of those three want to come out on the wrong side of history?? They (and TPTB to a much lesser extent) want to be able to point and say “Look, the people pick the winner and we the judges were also right on target” – it’s ego. That’s why I say that if Jacoby is going to win *regardless* cuz he’s getting a ton of votes – they will score him appropriately, or maybe even a bit of an over score. However, if it is possible for someone else to win (Zendaya is really all they care about with Aly and Kellie a distant 2nd and 3rd, respectively), they will low ball Jacoby with the intent of one of the other three getting the trophy. Then the scoring of the other three comes into play. I suspect, thanks to her own fanbase and lots and lots of help from the producers all season, that Zendaya is getting a ton of votes. I think it’s an all or nothing thing with Jacoby, frankly – which leads me to think that the odds makers have it about right. Of course, the judges did put Jacoby in first place last week, AHEAD of two better dancers, so…foreshadowing??
Every season, I’m always fascinated to learn how Astrology may play a part with our couples and their dancing on Dancing With The Stars. When doing some studying up on the final four couples and their astrological personalities and characteristics from Season 16, it’s no wonder why we saw some behaviors take place on the dance floor and between each of them in their packages, etc. Let’s dive into it and feel free to predict, speculate, and inform us of what you know and think of these zodiac personalities and combinations (let us know what your sun sign is too if you want). Furthermore, and when taking a look at these combinations, who do you think has the strongest chance of winning Dancing With The Stars Season 16?
Derek Hough and Kellie Pickler:
According to the sources I’ve always used, this is a “match”. Derek (as many of you know) is a Taurus “the Bull” born May 17th while Kellie is a Cancer “the Crab” born June 28th. Taurus and Cancer are essentially very compatible signs in terms of love and relationships being the needs of one are the defining characteristics of the other. Taureans are comfort seekers and need reassurances, which is something a Cancer-born person can easily and naturally provide as they are naturally sensitive and nurturing as well. Not only are they support signs, both signs are intellectually forward thinking people so “creating” and making things happen for whatever they are passionate about is done with ease.
Also, when I first found out Kellie was a Cancer, my first thoughts were of pros Tony Dovolani, Peta Murgatroyd, and Dancing With The Stars alumni Katherine Jenkins who are also all Cancers. Note how all three have a “gaze” in their eyes which can make them look as if they are crying, or are ocean like, or look as if they are in the water swimming, or in a distant place. This might be what Carrie Anne is picking up on when she commented Kellie is disconnected at times and she wished she would show more emotion in her dancing. Though in my opinion, it’s not that Kelly isn’t feeling the emotion (because “emotion” is also a strong Cancer characteristic), it might be that ‘distant gaze’ instead which is conflicting. Though if so, watch out, I think Kellie and Derek are very much aware of this issue as this past week we saw “the Crab” make a turn for the best in this area. Would you agree?
Looking closer at their specific birth dates:
Strengths together: Exploring, respectful, expansive
Weaknesses together: unrealistic, chaotic, bankrupt
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff:
Awww, and we have another Cancer in our midst. Jacoby Jones was born on July 11th. Note how he too has a gaze type look in his eyes at times where he looks to be in a distant place. Though with Jacoby, he seems to have naturally mastered this characteristic to his advantage many times to entertain on Dancing With The Stars. Would you say this is true? Some of his looks during and after performing have had me in tears of laughter.
As for Karina, she is Capricorn born on January 2nd. Capricorns are very work driven and passionate about their quests in life. This is not an issue for Cancers as they too are Read more..
Yesterday, George Pennacchio visited the couples in rehearsals for the Dancing With The Stars Season 16 finale. As he says, they might be a little nervous, but “the countdown is on”. Below Derek & Kellie and Zendaya & Val speak a little about what to expect and you can see them dancing too (looking good!). Hopefully, we’ll get to see his interviews with Karina & Jacoby and Aly & Mark soon.
Awww, didn’t these two look fabulous at the Dancing With The Stars 300th Episode party (Good morning, Jim! :) ))?? Speaking of this team, there is a fun article at the Washington Post about Jacoby and him being the underdog to win Dancing With The Stars Season 16. However, he has some supporters who say don’t count Jacoby out just yet and why. Read this and see what you think. I love this and couldn’t agree more….
That makes Jones and his partner, professional ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff, the underdogs. But like his scrappy football team, prone to heroic comebacks and close calls, Jones just might be able to pull it off. And he has some enthusiastic supporters back home who agree.
Fellow wide receiver Torrey Smith, a Stafford High School and University of Maryland graduate, flew to California along with his fiancée to watch Jones rhumba on Prom Night. “I think Jacoby and I might have just completed the first Chest Bump on #DWTS,” Smith tweeted.
First chest bump, maybe, although Jones is hardly the first football player to find success on the show. Retired running back Emmitt Smith won Season 3, and former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward took home the mirror ball in 2011. What’s different about Jones, however, is that he’s so much taller — 6-feet-2 and 220 pounds — and at 28, he’s still in his prime, football-wise.
On the show, judge Bruno Tonioli has called Jones “a stallion at the peak of his power” and praised his recent paso doble as straight out of a Quentin Tarantino film. The effusive Italian is given to hyperbole, but professional dancers are also impressed with what Jones has accomplished in just three months.
“He is just so amazing,” said Alicia Graf Mack, a Columbia native — and huge Ravens fan — who is a star in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. “It’s always surprising to me when people who are so tall and big can move that quickly. That’s why [Jones] is the talent that he is for the Ravens. He has the power, but he can run quickly, and he has fast footwork.”
Graf Mack made a guest appearance on “Dancing With the Stars,” and is all for programs that bring dance to the masses, even if it’s just a minute and a half of choreography that’s mostly for show. In Jones’s case, there’s the added value of seeing a record-holding athlete say on national television that dance rehearsal is harder than football practice.
“To see a man like that move so gracefully, there’s a lot of value there,” Graf Mack said. “He sees dance as competitive and athletic, and not something that takes away from his masculinity, and that’s important.”
Whether that story line resonates with the people who pick up the phone and vote for their favorite dancer Monday night is another question, but Graf Mack is optimistic.
“There’s the appeal of seeing a guy who has never danced before,” she said. “The American public likes to see the underdog rise to the top. As we all know, Jacoby Jones knows how to perform in a clutch situation. I think my Ravens guy is going to come through, definitely.”
Pictures of Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff courtesy of Zimbio Pictures. You know where to go to find more. ;)
Did you know the music for Mark and Aly’s Afro Jazz dance had to be edited 30 minutes before show time? It’s true. You can read all about it in Mark Ballas’ new blog at USA Today. He doesn’t give many hints about their upcoming finale dances on Dancing With The Stars except to say “it’s something new and different”. Here is more….
The Afro jazz number was a blast. I’ll let you in on a little secret: our music got edited again 30 minutes before the show. This resulted in my being stressed out over teaching Aly her transitions again. But she handled it so well and stayed completely calm when I was freaking out! Then she went out and nailed it, not missing a beat. I loved doing the Afro jazz and hope the show includes styles like that in future seasons.
Aly’s goal was to make the finals and we accomplished it. Of course, we would love to take it all the way. However, the only way to avoid cracking under pressure is just to be grateful we are here and enjoy the process. I want this final week to be the best experience for Aly.
I’m looking forward to the freestyle — it’s something new and different. But the freestyle is also hyped as the most important dance of the season. In my view, every dance is important. I want to hand in a great body of work, and I feel like we have done that.