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DWTS 11 Stat Class: Who has the Edge? Part 2

Hello! Here it is… my calculated rankings for the celebs this season. Mind you, unlike others on this site, these do not reflect my opinions, but rather a calculation that I am attempting to use to predict the placement of the celebs based on past data. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but it is fun to speculate nonetheless.

For a quick refresher for other bloggers’ opinions of rankings please see Heidi and Courtney’s (Part I and Part II) posts as well as John’s posts about the odds/competitiveness factor and the number of twitter followers for each celeb.

If you recall from DWTS 11 Stat Class: Who has the Edge? Part 1, I gave a breakdown of the professional dancers as they were place by attempting to normalize the average. Granted with a built in bias there is only so much that can be done.

Before I go through the individual celebs here is an idea of how each age group placed on average through all ten seasons of the show thus far from highest to lowest:
1.) Teens (ages 10 thru 19) – 2 celebs
2.) 20s (ages 20 thru 29) – 17 celebs
3.) 30s (ages 30 thru 39) – 48 celebs
4.) 60s (ages 60 thru 69) – 7 celebs
5.) 40s (ages 40 thru 49) – 27 celebs
6.) 50s (ages 50 thru 59) – 12 celebs
7.) 80s on up (ages 80 on up) – 2 celebs
Note: Florence Henderson is the first person to be on the show while in their 70s, thus there is no normalized average for that age group as of yet.

Now that we know which celebs will be participating this season and who their professional partner will be, it’s time to calculate and attempt to predict how the celebs would place in the upcoming season. First I will give an analysis and a little of my opinions belief of each celeb and how each of the three factors (Age, Primary Occupation and Professional Partner) either help or hinder them as individuals.

Brandy
Age: 31
Typically those in their 30s do reasonably well on the show. Trailing those in their teens, and 20s (is that really any surprise?).
Primary Occupation: Singer
Singers in general stay in the middle of the pack placing just out of the semi-finals but better than most of the worst dancers. Mya being the only one to break out of that middle-of-the-pack while Macy Gray exited earlier in her season. Singers also incurred the most pre-season injuries (Lil Romeo and Jewel)
Professional Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Prior to his Season 6 vacation, Maksim placed fairly well with his celeb, typically hitting the midway point (Willa Ford being an exception). However, aside from Erin, Maksim hasn’t done quite as well with his partners, then again they were both actresses. Brandy could find herself closer to the top half of the middle-of-the-pack group. She might even find herself in the semi-finals… but I’m not too sure about beyond that.

Jennifer Grey
Age: 50
Oddly enough those in their 50s, on average, has done worse than those in their 60s. Sympathy vote perhaps? Granted Jennifer recently turned 50 so she might still have a little bit of that spunk from those in their 40s, but even those in their 40s didn’t do as well as those as their 60s.
Primary Occupation: Actress
Actresses don’t really do well on DWTS rarely breaking the midway point. The ones that do break the midway point either were very popular or have some sort of dance experience or had picked up choreo before. Jennifer picked up choreography for the infamous last dance on Dirty Dancing, but that was over 20 years ago… they say that dancing is like riding a bike though.
Professional Partner: Derek Hough
Granted all this could be balanced out by the mere fact that her partner is Derek Hough. Right now he has the highest placement average of all the pros. Just adding the Derek factor into the equation… she her chances of getting into the semi-finals or more just went up.

Margaret Cho
Age: 41
Those in their 40s hit the midpoint of the competition trailing those in their 60s. Going beyond that depends on other factors as well.
Primary Occupation: Comedian
To me, I’ve known her more as a comedian than as an actress. So I’m placing her in the comedians group. Comedians in general have the worst finishing trends on DWTS, placing dead last on average.
Professional Partner: Louis van Amstel
However, Margaret could buck the trend like Niecy kind of did. After all they both have Louis van Amstel as their partner. Despite doing decently with other celebs in the past, Louis has stayed largely in the middle of the pack. So the question would be, would the Louis factor help Margaret like it helped Niecy? It’s up the viewer, and the GLBT community I think :D

Audrina Patridge
Age: 25
Celebs in their 20s do rather well in the competition just behind those in their teens.
Primary Occupation: Reality TV Star
On the other side of this coin, Reality Stars in general hit the lower half on average. Those Reality Stars in their 20s have actually hit the midway point in competition… so… Audrina could be a surprise and goes up on the rankings.
Professional Partner: Tony Dovolani
And then there’s her partner. Tony’s been kind of up and down throughout his tenure on the show. With a ringer-type he does well (who doesn’t?) but with non-ringers, not so much. The other fact is that he has worked with two Reality Stars from opposite sides of the spectrum. So this partnership is a bit of a tossup.

Florence Henderson
Age: 76
Believe it or not this is the first time that DWTS has someone in their 70s. So there isn’t much material (ok not any) to work off of. So let’s look at those in their 60s and 80s. Those in their 60s tend to do a lot better than those in their 80s (who tend to finish towards the back of the pack).
Primary Occupation: Actress
And based off of some of the comments I made about actresses for Jennifer Grey, this is one that I don’t believe would get terribly far in the competition. But if everyone loves Mrs Brady, who knows? Maybe that star power would get her to the midway point.
Professional Partner: Corky Ballas
Corky has only been on the show once before and he placed seventh in a cast of thirteen partners, so there is no telling how he would do this time around. If the averages of the other two factors are any indication… he might have his work cut out for him.

Bristol Palin
Age: 19
Uh, this “known” person hits the prime age group. Those in their teens do rather well on average, and is it really any surprise as to why? They are young and malleable… theoretically ;-)
Primary Occupation: Other
On the other hand… The “others” are known persons that don’t fit the stereotypical celebs/stars type. And those in this “others” group almost hit dead last on the ranks, just ahead of the comedians.
Professional Partner: Mark Ballas
Mark Ballas tends to falter the most with non-ringer types… the closest similarity being Kim Kardashian. But Bristol is young, she could theoretically win audience members over… Who knows? But the numbers tell me otherwise.

Michael Bolton
Age: 56
Please see Jennifer Grey
Primary Occupation: Singer
Please see Brandy. Though Michael Bolton is well known for a lot longer than Brandy has, plus his music has a wider reaching net. Most of his demographic (I’m assuming) intersects the demographic of the show so he may have that to his advantage.
Professional Partner: Chelsie Hightower
Now let’s add little Chelsie into the mix and now you have someone that could hit the midway point perhaps, and has a semi-decent chance of getting past that midway point…

Mike Sorrentino
Age: 27
Please see Audrina Patridge
Primary Occupation: Reality TV Star
Please see Audrina Patridge
Professional Partner: Karina Smirnoff
Basically the same as Audrina, only male. One main point though is that male reality stars fare worse on average than female reality stars. Karina, by contrast, has hit middle of the road pack status with her celebs in recent seasons. So unless he’s drop dead gorgeous he may hit the midway point. Personally between Mike and Karina it may be more the Battle of the Abs rather than Dancing with the Stars.

David Hasselhoff
Age: 58
Please see Jennifer Grey… Another celeb in their 50s? That makes it what? Three? Gee whiz people. It’s like they are desperately trying to create another John O’Hurley. But celebs in their 60s do better than those in their 50s. Well David is pretty close to 60, maybe he’d find himself just past the midway mark…
Primary Occupation: Actor
Anyway actors tend to do better than actresses (yes I ended up separating the two). There is just something about their charm and charisma that makes the older female demographic (I’m assuming here) just want to pick up the phone for them.
Professional Partner: Kym Johnson
And of course there is that beautiful blonde Aussie bombshell that has probably worked the most with male celebs in their 50s on up. She has had a decent track record and knows how to turn on the entertainment charm for the male celebs. This might be another Donny Osmond in the works… but David is no Osmond, David’s an actor that branched out while Donny was an entertainer ever since he could dance and sing. So David stands a good chance of making it past the halfway point… I don’t know about the finals though.

Kurt Warner
Age: 39
Please see Brandy. Although he’s closer to his 40s so you might also want to look at Margaret Cho for the age range commentary.
Primary Occupation: NFL
He’s not as known as some of the other ex-NFL players that has come through the doors. But after looking him up on Wikipedia it does seem like he has a following of sorts. Football players tend to do really well in the standings (ok, on average they hit the number one spot), and the younger they are the higher up the ladder they tend to get. So I’m expecting him to go past the midway point and quite possibly compete at least in the semis and if I really want to go out there he could go to the top two. But quarterbacks do the least amount of running which could work against him.
Professional Partner: Anna Trebunskaya
In the few seasons that she has been on she has placed second with an Olympian and an NFL player. This bodes well for Kurt… but being in the position of the “non-athlete” of the NFL doesn’t really help matters any, but time will tell.

Kyle Massey
Age: 19
Please see Bristol Palin.
Primary Occupation: Disney
He’s a Disney Channel star which automatically brings him votes. Add to that his age and possible fan base I could see him knocking on the semi-finals door… as for walking through? That’s a whole other story.
Professional Partner: Lacey Schwimmer
Lacey, Lacey, Lacey… she’s only been on the show for three seasons and she’s done all right, however Kyle isn’t the same strong Disney powerhouse that Sabrina Bryan was or even Monique Coleman. The series that most people would know (That’s So Raven) was so three years ago, and whatever he has going now isn’t as known either. But Disney related celebs have fared rather well… and we can’t discount the Disney power.

Rick Fox
Age: 41
Please see Margaret Cho
Primary Occupation: NBA
But there has only been one other NBA player and that was Clyde Drexler from waaaaay back when. So there isn’t much to go on (maybe I should do a breakdown by heights). If we expand from NBA players to athletes in general they typically do hit the midway point in the competition, after that it’s entirely up to them. But since Clyde never made it to the halfway point in his season could Rick do better? Who knows
Professional Partner: Cheryl Burke
With Cheryl Burke as his partner his chances just got better. Cheryl has had practice working with athletes from all walks of life, and has been in the top half of the casts in almost every season she has been on (Wayne Newton being a notable exception). Perhaps Rick would be able to get his wish and surpass Kurt Warner on the show?

Now that we know my thoughts on the factors and how they could affect the celebs, lets look at how the factors add up… here is my calculated ranking by elimination sequence:
Week 1.) Margaret Cho
No surprise here based on what we know, but I’m hoping she’ll do as well as Niecy did and go further.
Week 2.) Florence Henderson
A little surprised, but considering her age and her profession, the only thing that could help her go further is her fan base… she’s Mrs Brady afterall.
Week 3.) Rick Fox
With so little information about NBA players, this is the best that could be done, which doesn’t bode well for Cheryl Burke… could they still buck the trend? The jury’s out on that one.
Week 4.) Audrina Patridge
Well considering that both Audrina and Mike have similar circumstances coming into the competition, most everything relies on who they ended up getting as their partner. Since Audrina’s partner is Tony her chances of lasting in the competition is a lot lower than that of Mike.
Week 5.) Michael Bolton
Age is working against him, as well as being simply a singer versus an entertainer. This is going to depend largely on the voting audience unless he has some sweet moves that he has kept largely hidden from the audience.
Week 6.) David Hasselhoff
Same as Michael Bolton, with age working against him and technically being an actor rather than entertainer I’m not expecting David to last that much longer than Michael Bolton or vice versa.
Week 7.) Jennifer Grey
If Jennifer makes it past the midway point it would be primarily due to the sheer power of Derek Hough. Which is a good thing too, because he could bring out the best from her without (hopefully) resorting to iconic dances.
Week 8.) Mike Sorrentino
With Karina as his partner, Mike could do rather well, granted good eye candy is always a good thing as long as he could dance.
Week 9.) Brandy
As mentioned by others already, if Brandy gets far along in the competition it would be due to her age and sex appeal… but if she can’t dance then everything else is a moot point.
Week 10.) Bristol Palin
Don’t kill me!!!! Youth does it everytime and since we have only had two teens on the show and one won their season while the other got fourth place in their season then it stands to reason that teens could do well this time around.
Runner Up.) Kurt Warner
Really… this is no surprise considering history… and the power of Anna T.
Winner.) Kyle Massey
Again don’t kill me… he’s young and there have only been two teens on the show prior to this, plus he’s Disney… all Disney people have done well in their respective seasons. The only problem with this is that Kyle’s “big show” ended three years ago while other Disney related people had a current project that kept them current. So this to me can’t work… even though the numbers tell me otherwise.

September 16, 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 11: Press Conference

So after the announcement and a few questions for most of us television watchers we went back to whatever show we were tortured to watch. But the Q&A continued and here is a transcript of that Q&A.

First Access Hollywood got a chance to ask a couple of questions…

Access Hollywood: I understand, Florence, you campaigned the hardest to get this position. What did you actually do for them to call you and say ‘ok we want you on’?

Florence: I took all my clothes off. No, uh, I have loved this show since it began. I absolutely love it, I’ve been in the audience so many times and I was never asked, really. But they would leak every year that I was going to do it.

Tom: Luckily this season we didn’t have to worry about that at all. Those pesky leaks.

Florence: I’m just so thrilled that they called me and I’m on it. It’s just fantastic for me.

Access Hollywood: One last question before I give the microphone to my colleagues. First of all I’m Shawn Robinson from Access Hollywood.

Florence: We know you.

Access Hollywood: David, who has better abs, you or the Situation?

David: Well we would just have to find out. You just have to watch.

Brooke: I think Maks is gonna wanna chime into that one too.

Tom: Yeah, probably.

Yes, let’s all blow up Maksim head more than it already has. Any more hot air perhaps it’ll explode. Don’t get me wrong I love Maks, but please don’t feed his ego, it’s gotten so big that if I ever get a chance to see him again, I would love to prick him with a pin just to see if some air would escape. :D

Anyway, the hosts asked a couple of questions.

Brooke: Kurt, we had so many football players on the show that have done really well. Do you feel like that natural competitive nature gives you an advantage on the ballroom floor?

Kurt: I hope so. But I’m not so sure, I know that they have done well in the past. One thing I have to fall back on is the fact that I am the first quarterback. And so I’m the first non-athlete of the NFL players to actually get out on the dance floor. So we’ll see if it carries over, if I could meet the standard that they’ve already set.

Tom: So we have humility and the potential for nudity on this show in Season 11.

Tom: Margaret I almost asked a question about your partner, but I won’t because that’s going to be revealed later in the week. But what are you looking forward to most and least in the training.

Margaret: I’m really looking forward to just watching everybody dance. That’s the exciting thing, we know everybody from other things. So I’m excited to watch everyone and excited to learn it. I’ve never done any ballroom dancing, I’ve got some stripper moves, so maybe…

Brooke: Which could come in handy. Especially if you have to do the solo this year.

Margaret: Oh! So I’m magic on the pole. Watch out.

Brooke: Which also means she’s brave. Half the battle.

Tom: I’m really loving this season so far.

Yes pole dancing! Wahoo! You go girl, *whispers* oh, she was joking? *more whispers* seriously? Darn it. I was so hoping, maybe Michael Bolton learned a thing or two in his advanced years… wait, scratch that… imagination just went into overload. HELP! Anyway, Tom almost slipped and asked about her partner… any idea as to whom that could be?

So someone from the press by the name of “George” asked a couple of questions, I didn’t catch who he was working with.

George: This looks to me like the tallest season of Dancing with the Stars yet and then in the back row there sits Kyle. Kyle what is your strategy to take these three dudes on?

Kyle: Basically being the youngest, that means that I’m the hip one of the group.

Brooke: Young and bold.

Kyle: They’ve been throwing short jokes at me all backstage. We’re all going to dance our hearts off, but it’s just the battle of the best.

George: And before I pass the mic over, how many of you already fear the power that is America’s mom, Florence Henderson. By a show of hands. (Everyone raises their hand) Ok so Florence, everyone’s hand went up.

Florence: Well, let me just say Jennifer Grey was worried about being 50, I’m 76, so.

Yes yes yes, everyone made a gasping sound, shocked that she’s so well weathered. For the record I saw Christopher Knight and his wife Adrianne Curry at the Chicago Comic Con a couple of weekends back, signing autographs… and wow… how the time flies by. His wife is a reality star as well, the first winner of America’s Next Top Model as created by Tyra Banks. In any case, I’m rather glad they found someone in their 70s for the show, since that’s the age range that they have been missing thus far.

Back to the hosts…

Tom: Bristol what made you decide to do this?

Bristol: I wanted to get out of Alaska for a few weeks.

Tom: Oh really?

Brooke: We’re going to have to ask you in a few weeks if you still feel the same way.

Bristol: I know, I’m like melting. And I just wanted to get in shape and have a good time.

Now why is it that when I heard “melting” immediately I thought about the Wicked Witch of the West? I’m just saying.

Anyway, the Insider got their turn.

Chris Jacobs: Rick, there’s two athletes in the cast this season and you guys have hoisted championship trophies in the past. Any inner competition to outlast your fellow athlete, Rick?

Kurt: For me there is.

Rick: Kurt threw down the gauntlet in the back already. It’s hard not to compete, this is what we all are going to be doing. We’re going to be competing, not only to learn how to dance but also to hopefully hoist the trophy. It’s been eight years for me. So I’m looking forward to competing for it.

Ok, so a piece of trivia for you guys, there has only been one other NBA player that’s been on the show. Can you guess who it is? If you guessed Clyde Drexler you’d be right! His partner was Tony Dovolani’s professional partner, Elena Grinenko way back in Season 4. Now Clyde was in his 40s when he was on the show, and he had won an NBA championship with the Houston Rockets back in the mid-90s when Jordan decided to play baseball for a while. Rick won the championship three times with the L.A. Lakers in the new millennium, they are both small forwards though Clyde also played shooting guard… so the similarities are astounding. However, Clyde placed 8th out of 12 celebs in his season… would history repeat itself?

Anyway, next up.. AOL! Wait, since when did AOL have their own media outlet? Ugh, I feel old.

AOL: Mike from AOL. Without giving away who your partners are. Do any of you have input into who would be selected as your dancing instructor.

Kyle: I had no clue. It was completely just, “alright walk into that room and you’d meet your partner”. And I was like, “alright”.

AOL: Ok so ladies, you did not fight over who gets Maks

Florence: They are all so great. We would have been happy with anybody, really.

Margaret: I used “the secret” to get my partner.

Jennifer: I did campaign for Edyta, because I thought it would br good to have the first girl on girl… but I heard that she’s not willing.

Brooke: everyone’s bringing a little edge. I was actually going to ask you that, Brandy, were you hoping for someone in particular.

Brandy: I was just happy to be part of the cast, I didn’t really care I just wanted to learn how to dance

Again, enough with feeding Maks ego, his ego does not need to be fed anymore. I mean seriously. Why aren’t they talking about other pros on the show? I mean, yeah, the eye candy is amazing, but still.

And Jennifer wanting to have a girl on girl dance? Kind of like Steve Guttenburg with Jonathan Roberts on that tango… or rather the mango? You know, if you go to college ballroom dance competitions, you DO see some girl on girl dance partners on the floor. Totally legit. But Jennifer stumbled a couple of times towards the end, a couple of odd pauses… a clue perhaps? Or am I overanalyzing?

Anyway… back to the hosts.

Tom: Did you all start training with your respective partners? So you all started?

David: You guys have all started?

Girl: Yesterday.
Girl: Two days.
Guy: Somewhat

Brooke: Audrina, how do you feel that your experience working in reality is going to give you an advantage in this competition.

Audrina: I’m really nervous about performing in front of a live audience. Because with reality there maybe people around yet you’re filming and you know it’s going to be edited and that, this is going to be live and so it’s very different.

Tom: A little bit of a MTV smack down do you think?

Brooke: Does anyone have any dance experience?

Margaret: Strippers! Already said.

So it seems like training is a bit staggered for the celebs. Some started two days ago, other just the day before. Some already know their partners but haven’t worked with them yet… etc etc etc. I wonder why the need to stagger things?

Now In Touch had a chance to ask questions….

In Touch: Florence I’m just wondering, do you have any stipulations on costumes. Is there anything that you will not wear?

Florence: Not that I can think of, I’m so excited. I love doing new things, I love new challenges, whatever they want me to wear that I can keep on. I’m a little concerned because at my age your arms, you stop waving your arm keeps waving, things like that. So I’m sure they’ll take care of me. It’s the most fantastic costume show ever. I’m looking forward to it.

So why is the clothing question aimed at Florence? Oh, yeah, the skimpy tiny outfits. Well if Cloris is willing to work in them, Florence should be game.

Now it’s People Magazine‘s turn!

People: Brandy you have some experience in the entertainment industry, you’ve done lot of dancing. Do you think you have an added edge?

Brandy: Absolutely not, because the dancing that I’ve done is completely different than the dancing that we’re going to be dancing on the show.

Jennifer: What about that ballroom dancing you did on Cinderella?

Brandy: Girl that was camera faux

Brooke: Yeah, there’s no faking here on the show. It’s all the real thing

Wuh? You mean she didn’t actually dance in that movie! But I really liked that movie, *pouts*. So what did she and Paolo Montalban do during the Viennese Waltz sequence? Stand in the center of the room while the camera just circles around them with the background of dancers legitimately dancing to create the illusion of the two of them dancing? Ugh, sometimes I hate the movies.

So Ingrid from the Outside (has anyone heard of this magazine?) gets to put in her question.

Outside: Bristol, everybody we know from TV or movies or sports, a lot of America doesn’t know that much about you, what do you think people would be surprised about you and your personality?

Bristol: Like you said, a lot of people don’t know who I am. I hope people just realize that I’m a hard worker and that I’m going to put my heart into this and I’m just excited to be part of the cast.

Outside: Two of you were former judges on another reality show

David: Yeah, we’re in trouble

Outside: You’re in big trouble. How do you think that’s going to affect you being on the other side of the camera this time

David: it’s going to be awful. All the people that we voted off are going to buzz us out quick. They are just waiting.

Brandy: Thank god I was nice as a judge, and I’m glad I was only on there for one year. Sorry David.

David: Oh, oh no

Outside: Do you think it would make it more likely for you to talk back to the judges on this show.

Brandy: Yeah I’ve been talking back since I was a kid. So I probably will anyway.

David: I’m just going to smile alot, I’m just going to have fun. It’s all about fun, it’s a fun show, it reaches so many people at every age. It’s like America’s Got Talent, it’s the same thing, it’s good solid entertainment it’s what the world needs to watch. That’s why I’m here

Tom: From your lips to Nielsen’s ears.

Nice public ribbing between two ex-judges of another reality talent show. Anyone else find it odd that Dancing with the Stars got the two ex-judges of America’s Got Talent in the same season? How the heck did that happen? Or just one hell of a coincidence?

Now it’s Inside Edition‘s turn

Inside Edition: Pam Anderson we saw her last season on the show, did she give you any pointers for your appearance on this season? Did she give you any advice?

David: She just said, stand like this, and you’ll go far. I’ve been working on that. I saw her at the Central Comedy roast after she annihilated me and she goes, “I think you should do Dancing with the Stars” she said that she had a blast and she was never in better shape and she did really well, I actually voted for her, I thought she did great.

I have to find that central comedy roast that they were on. So that’s why David came on the show, because Pamela said, “go do this.” Man if all women had that kind of power…. :D

And finally a question from Extra

Extra: Jennifer this if for you, from Dirty Dancing to Dancing with the Stars, do hope you get to perform I’ve had the Time of my Life.

Audrina: I do

Jennifer: I’m just really thinking about getting through the first dance at this point. I’m open to surviving on this thing honestly.

Audrina: Freestyle!

Personally I wouldn’t want Jennifer to recreate that dance in any capacity, not without Patrick Swayze… That dance should stay immortalized in the movies. But that’s just me. Besides I can’t think of anyone that I would want her to dance that dance with now… it would have a different feel no doubt.

Anyway… and there you have it… the Q&A that we didn’t get to see on television! There seems to be some good camaderie going already behind the scenes which is a good thing. What do you think?

August 31, 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... =)

Dancing with the Stars 9 Week 4 Power Rankings

I have an annoucement to make.

Heidi is indisposed at the moment…she fainted (and subsequently hit her head) because Derek TOOK OFF HIS SHIRT.  ALL THE WAY OFF, PEOPLE!  And while my reaction may not have been as strong as Heidi’s, I will admit – it was nice to see a guy with his shirt completely off instead of hanging open or unbuttoned, as if to tease the female viewers (shame on them).  Been jonesin’ for that since Gilles’ paso last season…

…but I digress.  I dub tonight’s show as the “Lipstick Mark” show due to the fact that almost everyone felt compelled to leave their mark on their partner (sometimes more than once…I love you to bits, Louis Van  :-) ) Tonight was such a mixed bag, with 4 new dances, so it was hard to really make any other generalizations other than the lipstick marks.  Sorry :-) But I will say that those who got the lambada or the Charleston definitely had an advantage over those that got the 2-step or bolero…and let’s just say those that got bolero got ROYALLY screwed…

1.) Joanna & Derek - Derek may have singlehandedly shot himself (and Joanna, of course) to the top in viewer votes when he doffed his shirt.  But even if he hadn’t – that routine would have been commotion enough!  This is the routine that the hens in my office will be aflutter about tomorrow. The steps and execution of the lambada were good (if not a bit repetitive), but this week they brought the chemistry (man oh man! :-D ) that I have had yet to really feel from these two…definitely the sexiest dance of the night.  Heidi, you were definitely onto something when you said that Joanna really had an advantage in having Derek – because right now, it’s his overall likeability, innovative (and lusty!) choreography, and penchant for taking his clothes off that is probably keeping Joanna on right now.  Let’s face it: Joanna is good, and pretty, but not so much well-known…but sex sells, people.  SEX SELLS!

2.) Mya & Dmitry – I know, I know…everyone thinks Mya & Dmitry are boring.  But tonight I feel as though they had a breakthrough…I definitely felt the heat from Mya.  However, I think I’ve figured out where the disconnect happens in their chemistry – Dmitry.  I was getting all sorts of vibes off of Mya tonight, and almost none from him.  For me, he’s basically out there just doing choreography and showcasing Mya – which is what he’s supposed to do, but at least put some feeling into it! I have to say – Mya felt the most “authentic” to me in the lambada – I could totally picture her in a seedy nightclub in Rio, grinding away and dripping with sweat. Anyway, these two tied for the top spot, and got the coveted “money spot” (the last dance of the evening) – and they were oily.  REEEAAALLLLY oily.  I think the light reflecting off of Mya’s legs was supposed to inspire the viewers to vote…and they might, but even if they didn’t, I think their scores alone could carry them through.

3.) Donny & Kym – I almost feel like it’s pointless to really try and rate Donny on his dancing, because no matter what he does, I think he more or less has a first class seat straight to the finale…UGH.  Ok, I will admit that their Charleston was technically pretty good – Donny seemed to keep up with the intricate hand and foot work, and seemed to carry off the character of the waiter well (surprise, surprise). But – and there is a but (anyone catch the SYTYCD reference? ;-) ) – he did fall out of step at one point, and got called out for it.  So maybe the coddling from the judges is about to wear off and they’re going to start being harder on him…then again, his rabid female baby boomer fanbase will probably just rally that much harder to keep up his vote percentage up.  I could go on and on about things that I didn’t like about Donny tonight (or any night, really)…but there really is no point…he’s staying around for a long time…phooey. :-(

4.) Melissa & Mark – I am pleased as punch with Melissa tonight…she finally brought both the energy and the enthusiasm we all have been waiting for! I think she definitely had an advantage in having the Charleston, as Mark seems to really thrive in high-energy, goofy choreography.  They tied for the highest score, and I have a feeling they might get the encore tomorrow night (sorry Heidi, while I too would enjoy an encore of Derek & Joanna’s lambada, I have a feeling the FCC might veto that! haha ;-) ) The black and white during the beginning was fun (and memorable!), as was Mark’s mustache (as smarmy as it made him look).  They may have had a bit of a disadvantage in going so early in the show, but nevertheless, I don’t see these two going anywhere this week…

5.) Kelly & Louis – I adddoooorrrreeee these two.  So cute together – but rather than a romantic chemistry, it’s really more of a brother-sister chemistry, which is cute nonetheless ;-) While Kelly’s Charleston was not as high-energy as Melissa’s or crisp as Donny’s, she brought her own brand of sass to it, which always seems to work in her favor.  And Louis with that dreadful makeup…ai ai ai.  I can’t decide which was worse tonight – Louis’ makeup or Mark’s mustache. But people will remember it! Plus these two are just so doggone likeable even when they aren’t the center of attention (anyone else catch those two goofing off in the background while someone got their scores? ;-) ), that they’ll probably coast through this week and several more, because they seem to have the voters wrapped around their jazzy little Fosse fingers :-D

6.) Mark & Lacey – I’m starting to see glimmers of stage presence from Mark, and little bits of the wild Lacey choreography I love.  I think he seemed to take to the “swagger” of a cowboy fairly well, which made him more entertaining to watch.  And I have to give Lacey props – this was the most authentic, well-choreographed 2-step of the evening…not only that, but Mark seemed to keep up with it and do more than just walk around the room spinning the girl (although honestly…that’s pretty much all guys do in 2-step :-/).  Still not super memorable for me, but a dramatic improvement from last week (and prior weeks).  And they did pull out their highest score thus far…

7. ) Aaron & Karina – Oy. I think Aaron may be giving Donny a run for his money with the dramatic displays he’s pulling…except he doesn’t have as big a fanbase to keep him in.  This is the first week that Aaron has really been “off-putting” to me – I thought his crying over the rumba scores was over-the-top (only girls are allowed to cry on DWTS! DUH! ;-) ) and his overall “work, work, work” demeanor came across as stubborn and a bit whiney.  Their lambada wasn’t terrible – it just wasn’t great, or particularly memorable.  Not a whole lotta content – just Karina spinning and a bunch of tricks (although I will say that his tumbling pass in the opening was flawless…and it should be, for as big a deal as he made about it!).  I can definitely see him losing some votes this week due to last week’s meltdown, but then again, the opposite could happen – he could become memorable because of his dramatics. Guess it depends on whether his “off-putting” outweighs his charm or not…

8.) Natalie & Alec - May as well call this one rumba redux – felt like a recycled version of their rumba last week, just without the sheet and with a lot more glitter.  In her defense (and Alec’s as well), bolero was definitely the hardest of the 4 new dances, and I think having to do it the week after you did the rumba makes it hard for you to be memorable, as they are often so similar in timing and footwork (at least when done by amateurs), they’re nary indistinguishable.  I felt maybe a tad more chemistry between them (just a tad), but it was a valiant effort – Natalie has great legs, and moves beautifully.  And she’s still sweet as pie, even when she’s “frustrated” with Alec, and she did tie for the 3rd higest score of the night…the question is: will her smile and scores get her the votes?

10.) Louie & Chelsie – The only reason these two aren’t in my “danger zone” is that I think they may be able to ride the coattails of this whole “showmance” thing for a little while longer.  People are still abuzz about the rumba, and Chelsie tweeted some awfully chummy pix of the two of them at Disneyland over the weekend.  And if I were them, I would milk that for all its worth – cause this 2-step was pretty underwhelming, at least on Louie’s part.  Granted, Louie is good at doing tricks, and he always seems to stay on time and can actually keep his hands straight while spinning Chelsie (which is all this really was, anyway).  But he’s really starting to feel a bit “blah” to me in terms of showmanship…he just grins and walks through the dance.  And he definitely doesn’t have the mainstream fanbase of Donny or Melissa, or the judges’ scores in his favor – he’s basically slipping through on cuteness and showmanceyness (yah, I just said that) alone.  So Louie & Chelsie, if you happen to read this – SHOW-MANCE.  I don’t care if you hate each other – get caught walking hand-in-hand at the Grove, or kissing while sharing a milkshake, or something else cute and couple-y for people to talk about – it’s your only hope!!!

11.) Chuck & Anna – Oh Chuck, you big loveable teddy bear.  You can’t really dance for beans, but you’re just so darn huggable that I don’t even care.  Let’s face it: there’s not much to be said technically here: not a lot of content, mainly just Anna spinning around…probably the least authentic 2-step of the evening.  But I stand by my belief that Chuck would totally rock at doing lifts – didn’t even break a sweat.  The fluidity with which he hurled Anna up onto his shoulder…magnificent.  But I fear their days are numbered, and likeability will only trump bad dancing for so long (unless you’re an Osmond…*cough cough*).  So glad we got to see him do lifts, though! :-)

12.) Michael & Anna – No surprises here.  Although I do find it a bit funny that they got the hardest dance…almost as if production was trying to engineer who went home…hmmm…but anyway.  All this was was some flaily arms and some faux sexy times (which was really just kinda icky…although not as icky as Donny & Kym).  Just Anna doing the occasional dip and Michael trying in vain to look romantic. Epic fail.  I think the “I stink but I’m fun!” train has just run out of steam for these two…they already had one foot out the door last week.  And Anna was really a letdown for me this season – she was brilliant in the pro competition, and nothing on the actual show.  *sigh* I was really waiting for her to hit her groove…

So long, Michael & Anna…it’s been fun, but fun can only take you so far in this competition.  So now let’s hear what you guys think…feel free to agree or disagree, all opinions are welcome! And while you’re at it, someone might want to send Heidi some e-smelling salts…I hear she’s still passed out from tonight’s show ;-)

October 12, 2009 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!

DWTS9 Week 3 Power Rankings

Ummmm…wow.  Something strange sure was in the air tonight (no pun intended, in reference to Natalie’s song ;-)) – not sure it was love, but maybe loss of inhibitions? Kelly may have been right – the full moon (which was in Aries – the sign of primal desires!) over the weekend must have been doing all sorts of crazy things to the couples – makeout sessions with the judges, makeout sessions with each other, and all out sex on the floor – as well as some big shake-ups in the power rankings.  Anyone else feel like they need a cigarette (or a shower? ;-)) after tonight’s show?

1.) Donny & Kym – Not gonna lie – I thought their rumba this week was BOR-ING.  Donny had no hip action, no energy, and little to no chemistry with Kym – in fact, it was kind of icky to me to see them trying to be romantic with one another.  But not nearly as icky as the stunt he pulled with Bruno! Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I have absolutely NO ISSUES with two men kissing.  My issue with Donny is that I felt like he was compensating for lack of performance by pulling some outlandish stunt that is sure to get tongues wagging tomorrow.  Since his routine had no theme for him to play to, he had to make some big scene in order to remain memorable to the voters.  Tacky, tacky, tacky, Donny.  Did you see the way he was trying to snatch the mic from Tom? Nobody messes with my glorious Tom Bergeron! Not even Chuck Norris.  But, as tacky and over-the-top as I found it, it is bound to make its way into every media outlet possible tomorrow…the plague of the histrionic Osmonds continues…

2.) Louie & Chelsie – Again, another couple with marginal technique rises to the top – but for some reason, I really like these two…especially after that encounter that unfolded on the dance floor! I will say this about Louie’s technique: he was always there for Chelsie after each trick, and he did have one pretty good lunge.  But man – these two are the only ones who really nailed the chemistry aspect well in the the rumba tonight…maybe a bit too well! It’s quite obvious that Louie is pretty smitten with Chelsie, and I think she may be warming up to him as well.  And it’s likely to work to their advantage – sex sells, and the voters always seem to love a good showmance (since we haven’t seen one since Derek & Shannon in season 6!) If I were them, I would strategically start being seen together out in public, and act super touchy-feely at every opportunity on the show – really ride the wave of this showmance thing, guys! Cause let’s face it: it’s not Louie’s technique that’s going to pull him through…

3.) Kelly & Louis – The voters also seem to love a good “comeback kid” – as if they weren’t pulling for her already! I think her meltdown after the tango last week will likely garner quite a few sympathy votes – but her samba was not really that bad, either! Loved the interaction between those two – they had more chemistry in their samba than a lot of the couples had in their rumba! Kelly is still moving a bit small & timid, but hopefully she will build enough confidence to really do well further down the line…

4.) Mya & Dmitry – I’m a bit at odds with these two.  The rumba was decent (but not nearly as good as their jive last week), and Mya had a very good rumba walk, but their chemistry (or lack thereof) left me stone cold.  If Chelsie & Louie nailed the chemistry of the rumba, Mya & Dmitry nailed the technique – although I think the slow pace of the rumba may have exposed Mya’s weak leg action (she wasn’t really bending and straightening enough to get her hips moving).  While they may have lacked any chemistry (and the readers here will likely villify her for being “cold” & “boring”), the judges scores still factor into the determination of who goes and who stays – and they’re at the top of the leader board, and got the first two tens of the season.  Just sayin’…

5.) Joanna & Derek – I’m currently bracing for impact from Hurricane Heidi as I write this.  These two were actually rather blah for me this week.  Joanna didn’t seem to really find the characteristic “bounce” of the samba (then again, no one really did) and she looked a bit off-balance to me, likely due to taking too big steps.  The one shadow roll they did was great – but I wanted more! I didn’t really get the whole entrance on the rope (although I’m sure Heidi has a perfectly rational explanation for it! lol), and poor Joanna – that wig was just awful.  But I think these two will make a comeback next week with one of the new dances.  They ain’t goin’ anywhere ;-)…

6.) Aaron & Karina – The higher you climb, the further you fall.  Another stone cold rumba – with rather wonky arms, I might add.  I was a bit unpleasantly surprised by the way he flung them around – he looked like he might take Karina’s head off at one point – and the hips never really got a-rollin’.  Poor Aaron seemed to be so focused on the routine that he forgot to interact with Karina…after that rumba, I say “Poppycock!” to anyone perpetuating the rumor of a showmance between these two (we all know there can be only one showmance per season – and we already have Louie & Chelsie! :-D). But I think I may have figured out why he may rub some of you the wrong way: he’s just such a perfectionist.  Watching him beat himself up trying to get the steps right during the package leads me to believe that he might come off as a bit abrasive to some – and I blame his hip-hop background for the alleged “cocky-ness”.  Hoping these two bring it next week, cause I actually really like them…

7.) Natalie & Alec – Anyone else think that production is desperately trying to make these two seem not so blah? The most dramatic part of this rumba was the entrance (a smoke machine? REALLY????! :-(), and maybe the music.  The rest of it (aside from Natalie’s superb back bend at the end) was pretty cold for me.  Like everyone else, Natalie didn’t get the hip & leg action, and she still seems nervous & stiff to me when she dances.  All in all, I think they were a bit overscored…again, maybe production pulling the puppet strings??? ;-) Either way, I doubt these two are going home this week – despite being pretty boring & unmemorable, their scores are still probably good enough to keep them in…

8.) Mark & Lacey – I had such high hopes for these two!!! But again, they left me with really nothing memorable.  I didn’t like (or really understand) the costumes, I hated the music (those two must have done something to get on production’s bad side with that pick), and I hated the choreography because I didn’t remember it at all.  Mark did seem a bit less stiff this week, but he is still, overall, STIFF.  Oh, and did I mention there was little to no interaction between these two? I can’t even comment on chemistry, because they were barely making eye contact.  Being the first to dance didn’t seem to help them, either.  Here’s hoping that Lacey’s fanbase pulls them through another week…and that Lacey gets her “edge” back…

9.) Chuck & Anna – I am really beginning to adore Chuck Liddell.  I stand by my comment about his being a “gentle giant” – I loved seeing him get a pedicure with his daughter in the package! And he did manage to crack a smile this week during his samba – which, I might add, was not bad! He was still shuffle-y, and dropped his frame, but all in all, he managed to stay on time, and seemed to have a bit more energy behind his moves this week.  I actually enjoyed watching him this week, as opposed to cringing, lol.  And I have to say – as intimidating as they may come across, I don’t really think they could have picked a better pro for Chuck.  He & Anna’s personalities really seem to mesh well.  And I feel as though I have grossly underestimated his UFC fanbase in the past few weeks…I would honestly be surprised if these two went home this week…

10.) Tom & Cheryl – As much as some may love to hate this guy, I gotta give him props – he seems to genuinely want to do well, and he does.  The man managed to pull off a pretty watchable samba, despite 2 stress fractures.  He stayed on time, he did the steps – I can’t really say that he was the worst tonight.  The energy of the routine did seem a bit low, but they did chose a pretty clever theme that will likely stick in voter’s minds – that, and voters seem to sympathize with injured cast members.  His days are likely numbered (if he doesn’t withdraw from the competition first), but I am pretty sure his journey won’t end this week…

11.) Michael & Anna – The whole “I stink as a dancer, but I’m having fun!” schtick seems to be getting a bit old.  I see little to no improvement in his dancing week-to-week, and honestly, all of he & Anna’s routines are starting to feel the same to me – similar music, similar costumes, similar choreography.  I did see a few glimmers of good technique here and there – he did pretty good whisks – but overall, I felt like it was just him out there yukkin’ it up. But maybe that yukkin’ will pull him through one more week…

12.) Melissa & Mark – Here’s another couple that may or may not be getting assistance from production (although they aren’t the “chosen ones” like Natalie & Alec) – tiki torches? REALLY???!! That was the only thing that was on fire (literally) about their samba – Melissa is still moving small, and looking timid.  And for some reason, I just have the hardest time remembering anything significant about she & Mark’s routines.  I think these two could be in trouble, for the simple fact that there is nothing memorable or exciting about their routines. But on a slightly unrelated note – did anyone else feel like Mark’s costume was totally out of place? He looked like he was about to do a foxtrot, not a samba! :-(

13.) Debi & Maks – I’m afraid these two have reached the end of the road.  After falling into the bottom 2 last week, they really need to make a good impression this week – and I think they fell short.  Carrie-Ann was right – their choreography was a bit “safe” (much like Kathy & Tony’s last week…hmmm…;-)) and the steps they did do seemed sloppy and timid.  And that skirt they had Debi in was god-awful…were they hoping to distract us from her poor technique??? And once again, I’m left remembering absolutely nothing about their routine, other than the fact that I didn’t like it. 

So official prediction: Debi & Maks headed home.  Goodbye and godspeed, guys! :-) And I apologize for the brevity of some of my analyses…I am currently fighting off a sinus infection and am not at 100% capacity :-( Wash your hands, people, it’s flu season! And let’s hear what you think!

October 5, 2009 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!

DWTS9 Week 2 Power Rankings

So its the first night we get to see the guys and the girls competing together…and aside from a few standout performances, tonight was actually a bit lackluster for me.  Too many unmemorable, mediocre routines rounding out the middle of the pack, while those at the top continue to impress and those at the bottom seem to just sink further.  Tonight may have set a record for the use of the 6 & 7 paddles, which seems fitting for a night with so many ho-hum routines…

1.) Aaron & Karina – This boy is a natural! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone cover as much floor in a quickstep on DWTS  as he did, and actually manage to keep their topline while doing the signature hops and jumps.  Now I’m sure the Donny fans are going to tear me to pieces for not putting Donny first, but I have to say, Aaron edged out Donny both performance-wise and technique-wise this week.  That, and he had a secret weapon: Muppets. MUPPETS, PEOPLE! It’s brilliant…such a cute, recognizable theme, and likely the routine that will stick in people’s heads from tonight – who wouldn’t remember Animal rockin’ out in the balcony and Gonzo attacking the judges? :-)

2.) Donny & Kym – While Donny’s jive wasn’t as impressive for me as either of his dances last week, it’s clear that he is still a force to be reckoned with – he seems to do especially well with routines that have a sort of “theme” for him to play into (the Chicago foxtrot last week, the secret agent jive this week), and is actually quite savvy at interacting with the audience while maintaining a connection with Kym.  Technique-wise – he was better than I thought.  He had some pretty high kicks and some good spins.  It seemed to help that they put him in what I like to call the “money spot” – the very last performance of the night, so its fresh in the voters’ minds as they’re dialing in. And the screams from the crowd don’t seem to be dying down at all, so I daresay Donny could probably walk center stage and read the phonebook as a routine and he still wouldn’t get voted off!

3/4.) TIE: Mya & Dmitry and Joanna & Derek – Honestly, this one was too close to call for me.  Mya delivered another routine of impeccable technique – for the first time since I started watching the show, I wasn’t thinking of them as “pro” and “celeb”.  Mya was certainly keeping up with Dmitry well enough to make it look more like two pros dancing! Her spins were ridiculous, and she nailed the flicks and kicks. And she is starting to come out of her shell a bit – I thought her routine was fun & flirty, and it was also nice to see Dmitry out of his comfort zone (which is bare-chestedness) costume-wise.  Joanna & Derek had a fun, high-energy routine, and I am starting to see that Joanna does indeed have some natural talent – she too nailed the flicks & retractions, despite having legs from here to Omaha (which definitely makes it harder). However, they seemed to be at a bit of a disadvantage being the first to perform – I was having a hard time remembering specifics by time the show was over.  But, they seem to be popular with viewers (who doesn’t like a good-looking young couple? :-)) which could cancel out their underscoring from the judges tonight.  On the other hand, Mya is tied for the highest score – and the judges scores do factor into the equation along with viewer votes to determine who goes and who stays.  Hmmm….

5.) Kelly & Louis – Poor Kelly.  I really wanted her to knock it out of the park again tonight! And she probably would have, if she hadn’t flubbed in the middle of it – it definitely seemed to throw her off and she never really recovered from it while performing.  However, the first half was quite impressive – Kelly was actually good at turning her head in the right direction (this sounds simple enough, but in tango, the figures change so fast that sometimes you end up looking the wrong direction!) and her footwork was pretty clean.  Now why did I rank her this high? Because all the media I saw this past week was abuzz with news of Kelly Osbourne’s success on DWTS.  For once (are you listening, Heidi? ;-)), I actually saw more Kelly news this week than Donny news! I think Kelly has managed to cement herself in the hearts of a lot of the viewers, so even if she flubs – I don’t see her going home anytime soon.

6.) Louie & Chelsie – Ahhhh, the pocket couple (I think I’ll call them that henceforth).  Have to agree with the judges on this one – there wasn’t a whole lot of actual jive steps their routine.  They relied heavily on Louis’ extreme athleticism, and peppered in a lot of tricks – which, even if the judges dislike them, always seem to go over well with the viewers.  The little bit of actual jive I saw was actually quite good – Louie seemed to nail the “bounce” and the leg retractions.  And again – they’re both just cute as can be. All the women in my office could talk about last week was how adorable Louie was! And cuteness is definitely not a disadvantage in this competition…

7.) Mark & Lacey – Mark is, unfortunately, not making as big a splash as I would have expected from him so far.  While he’s clearly quite athletic (no one gets as much height on their jumps as he does!), I can’t help but feeling a sort of disconnect when he dances – like he’s so “in his head” that the audience doesn’t seem to exist.  He also continues to move rather stiffly – he was more or less walking through the quickstep, rather than gliding.  But I do see improvement – he seems to be loosening up his body a bit more, which should aid in movement.  I also can’t help but feel like Lacey is maybe losing her “edge”, choreography-wise – her routines have felt increasingly more “Len-friendly” this season, rather than the bold, unconventional ones of the past.  And I feel like her edge is what really set her apart from the others in viewer’s minds – I’m crossing my fingers for an exciting, rebellious routine from her at least once this season!

8.) Michael & Anna – People just seem to love this guy.  And I will admit – he is a joy to watch perform.  That big grin, the obvious fun he’s having.  But his dancing is still atrocious.  He moved tiny tonight – comparing his quickstep to Aaron’s, he barely covers any ground.  His shoulders are beyond slouchy. His footwork is messy. But I will hand it to Anna – she definitely gave him more content tonight, and pulled out a proper quickstep.  Choreography-aside, I think he’ll be around at least a little while longer because he’s just so likeable.

9.) Natalie & Alec – I’m definitely beginning to agree with whoever commented that Alec is completely unmemorable.  Heck, Carrie Ann can’t even remember his name (she called him Alex when giving their scores)! And now I fear that Natalie is starting to blend in as well.  Don’t get me wrong – I think her technique is every bit as strong as Kelly & Joanna’s.  But, like Alec, you just tend to lose track of her…it was a nice quickstep, it was well-executed, she looked gorgeous – and beyond that, I don’t remember any of it.  It would be a shame to see her leave so early because she is actually very good, but unless she & Alec can break away from the pack soon, I think Alec will be back to spending his nights at home with Edyta instead of performing!

10.) Melissa & Mark – Probably slightly (and I do mean very slightly!) more memorable than Natalie & Alec, but not a strong enough execution to really make an impression.  Poor Melissa looked like she was about to pass out – she was having a hard time keeping up with Mark, and like last week, she never really got into the rhythm of the dance, either.  She dances very “tentatively” – she moves small and soft, so as not to really get fouled up.  I also felt like she was almost feigning enthusiasm and energy in this dance – her expressions seemed forced.  And overall, the only thing I’m left remembering about the routine is how ridiculous Mark looked in those sparkly socks.

11.) Debi & Maks – Seriously, someone should start a club called COCABM – Coalition of Celebs Abused by Maks. Is it a contest now…how quickly can you make your partner cry? Poor Debi.  The way he was screaming at her in the lead-in was uncalled for and just kinda made him look like an [insert inappropriate part of the body of your choice here].  The theme of the dance was cool – “Le Tango De Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge, the week that Baz Luhrmann is guest judging – but the execution of it left me wanting more.  If they are going to pick such strong, iconic pieces of music to perform to, they had better bring their A-game – this felt more like C-game, with Debi not closing her feet and holding her arms and neck a bit weird (granted, she did have a rather bad neck injury).  She is also still struggling with thinking too much while dancing, which results in very little showmanship.  But I think the final nail in the coffin for these two will be Maks behavior – not neccessarily bad dancing by Debi. 

12.) Tom & Cheryl – This wasn’t a terrible tango – Tom did move through the steps, and he does exude a certain air of grace when he’s on out the floor.  His movements weren’t as staccato as I would have liked – he moved through it more fluidly, like in the foxtrot – and he did nearly drop Cheryl on her head at the end.  I think we definitely saw some of the limitations of old age showing through at that moment – he simply didn’t catch her quickly enough, and wasn’t strong enough to stay on balance.  But if anything, I think it might garner quite a few sympathy votes – for some reason, people seem fascinated with this guy. 

13.) Chuck & Anna – I was really looking forward to seeing Chuck harnass his aggression and strength in his tango.  Unfortunately, all I really got from it was another “deer in the headlights” routine.  He tends to clod through his steps with heavy feet, and seems to struggle with maintaining his frame.  I think he maybe subconsciously is afraid he’ll hurt Anna if he takes her in a proper hold.  And he still looks terrified out there – even his “strong” facial expressions seemed to look frightened – and he barely says 10 words while talking to Samantha.  But at the same time, he does have this kind of “gentle giant” appeal – I did catch a bit of  puppy-dog eyes when he was getting his scores.  However, beyond that – I think another married couple (Jonathan & Anna) might be reunited in the near future.

14.) Kathy & Tony – Blah, blah, blah.  Not bad, but not good.  Definitely not memorable.  She still seems uncomfortable with her height and doesn’t really move across the floor.  She got through the routine, but that’s all she really did – got through it.  It was really rather slow for a quickstep, and nothing really stood out about it.  She improved a tiny bit since last week, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to pull her through again this week.  And I still feel like all her responses to questions feel rehearsed and premeditated! Don’t know if I’m the only one that notices it, but I’m fairly certain we won’t be hearing it next week.

Let’s hear your thoughts about tonight’s episode. How would you rank the dancers?

Also, check out the list of music from this episode of Dancing with the Stars.

September 28, 2009 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS Week 1 Power Rankings, Part II – The Girls

Can I just start off by saying that this season’s celeb ladies seem to be miles ahead of their male counterparts??? Aside from only 2 real duds that I can think of (see below), the rest of the ladies seem to really have a shot at doing well – I was far more impressed with the dancing tonight than I was with the dancing last night.  The boys are going to have to really step it up if they want that trophy!

And on an unrelated side note – Tom Bergeron is, quite possibly, the best reality tv show host EVER.  He’s funny, likeable, and thinks on his feet – only he could diffuse a dogfight between Len & Bruno with such wit.  Remind me again why Jeff Probst won the Emmy for Best Reality TV Host…

Anyway, onto the rankings…I still have the 2nd half of House to watch and haven’t even started CSI: Miami! :-)

1.) Joanna & Derek – Someone is probably scraping Heidi off the ceiling right about now, cause these two were on FIRE tonight.  Two VERY energetic routines – the sexiest salsa of the evening, and a very nice foxtrot (can’t say that I thought it was the best, but we’ll get to that later).  They definitely have chemistry (can’t wait for the rumba!), and on top of that – Derek is a total ham, and Joanna seems to play off of that.  Now here’s my problem with them: I don’t think Joanna’s technique is nearly as good as Mya or Kelly or even Natalie’s, and I noticed (especially during their salsa) that she seems to look to Derek for reassurance after each step – a sort of “Did I do that right???” look creeps over her face and detracts from her expression of the dance.  I think their scores were a bit too high, and I can already see them becoming the “Judge’s Pets”, much like Brooke was in Season 7 – they can do no wrong in the eyes of the judges week after week.  Oh well…straight through to the final with these two…and a happy season for Heidi, hehe.

2.) Kelly & Louis – I hereby retract any statements I made previously in which I doubted Kelly’s dance abilities.  These two emerged as my favorite couple of the season tonight…why? 1 – Kelly actually has some of the best technique out of the girls, 2 – She can laugh at herself when she messes up, and 3 – She had the time of her life out there tonight, and it showed.  She has definitely matured from the bratty, foul-mouthed teenager of The Osbournes into a classy, charming, media-savvy young woman – and who can really hate on a girl who absolutely loves her family? Aside from being downright lovable tonight, she actually has great dancing chops – her Viennese waltz was light & graceful, and she even had some great interaction with Louis at the beginning (which, despite Louis’ crush on my boyfriend, seemed to work for me!).  Her salsa was fun and energetic – yes, she flubbed a few times, but she laughed it off and made up for it with some great leg work – she’s the only girl I saw that really closed her thighs together properly to really get good hip & leg action.  Is she better than Mya? No, but she’s definitely more memorable, and that might keep her around longer.

3.) Mya & Dmitry – I stand by my statement that Mya would be the best dancer out of the girls this season.  Her technique is IMPECCABLE…her turns were clean and butter-smooth, and she has the best arm extensions I’ve seen out of any celeb, male or female, on DWTS.  What she has in technique, however, she lacks in expression.  I think a lot of it has to do with her whole R&B singer persona, which I noticed in her lead-in – Mya was cool and slick, and probably wasn’t used to showing the kind of emotional vulnerability that one needs to exude in romantic dances like the Viennese waltz.  But that same slickness & sexiness worked to her advantage in the salsa – I barely noticed Dmitry because Mya was the one stealing the show! Great energy, great technique – I just wish she’d let down her guard a bit more.  If she manages to do that, she could be the wild card in the finale – the one that slips through at the last minute after a rollercoaster season.

4.) Natalie & Alec – What an athlete! This girl is strong, and it shows in her movement – she really “finishes” each move, and punctuates it well.  I actually think her & Alec’s foxtrot relay was better than Joanna & Derek’s.  Her salsa was great in some parts (she’s really getting the hang of the leg action), and not so great in others (she tends to let her arms get a bit flimsy, which makes her look awkward).  And, on like Mya, she seems to have a hard time connecting with the audience – although I think Natalie’s struggle is more motivated by nervousness…she tends to really get into her head too much and overthink the steps, and forgets to have fun.  But that smile of hers is glorious, the few times it does creep out – if she can couple that with her great technique, she might stick around to the semi-finals.

5.) Melissa & Mark – I like Melissa, I really do.  But she just kinda faded into the background for me tonight :-( Both of her dances felt too “soft” – she never really got grounded in the beat, and tended to move very small.  It was especially noticeable in her Viennese, which is supposed to really move across the floor, while Melissa just seemed to stroll across it.  Her salsa was equally as unmemorable for me, but I blame that more on Mark – none of the choreography really seemed to “pop”. Like Natalie, I think she gets too focused on the steps and the result is a rather bland performance that doesn’t really leave an impression.  But Melissa is the girl next door, and people like her – and Mark seems to have the same teenybopper following that Derek does (no Heidi, this is not a dig on you – I have just seen too many BHB shows where the majority of the audience was squealing 13-year-olds!).  Don’t know if that popularity is enough to keep them around, so hopefully Melissa will step it up and learn to relax on the floor.

6.) Debi & Maks – I have to say, I respect the heck out of Debi’s work ethic – she really seems to want to do well on the show. However, that same drive to win and attention to detail tends to seep into her dancing, which results in her looking like she is, to quote Len, “muscle-ing through” each move.  She appeared very tense & stiff in both her salsa & foxtrot.  But all is not lost! I see glimmers of good technique in there – her footwork is actually very good, and she is the only lady that did actually manage to do a traditional feather step with heel turn in her foxtrot (which is actually a step in international foxtrot, which is quite a bit harder than the American version!).  Her focus & attention to detail is fantastic.  Now she just needs to channel that focus into loosening up!

7.) Macy & Jonathan – Erm, I think Macy would be a shoo-in for the trophy if they awarded it based on eccentricty! I didn’t quite know what to make of her most of the time – she seemed fidgety and aloof during the lead-ins, and then a bit feisty and goofy while dancing (she had her mouth open like a large-mouth bass most of the time!).  But unfortunately, mostly just aloof.  While she pales in comparison to the apathy of Master P, she really doesn’t seem like she wants to be there – she even admitted it in a roundabout way during her intro, when she said she was doing it “because her mom wanted her to”.  Alas, poor Jonathan – he seems to have gotten stuck with another stinker this season.  But Macy does have 2 things going for her: she actually stays on time while dancing (er, if you can even call it that…it’s more like “grooving”), and she got bleeped on live tv. The folks at “Vote for the Worst” are probably jumping for joy right about now – they just found this season’s Cloris.  While she lacks Cloris’ energy and boldness, she still is quirky.  That might be just enough to get her through this week!

8.) Kathy & Tony – The curse of the models continues.  While Joanna seems to have escaped it, Kathy is unfortunately fitting into the mold that most of the models that have done the show have formed over time: awkward, timid movers that don’t seem to be comfortable moving with their height.  For someone with legs as long as hers, she was moving so small – 5’2″ Kelly was moving far more than she was, and Kathy is 5’11”.  Her foxtrot was much better than her salsa – but it was still nowhere near as good as Joanna’s or Natalie’s. She also seems to have inherited the same blank “deer in the headlights” expression that so many of the models have developed over the years – painted on smile with nothing behind it.  I don’t know if anyone else noticed it, but she also seemed to come across as a bit pageanty and rehearsed when interacting with some of the others – maybe it was just me, but it was a bit off-putting.  Either way, I don’t think she was memorable enough to stick around this week…sorry Kathy :-(

So officially, my predictions for who’s getting booted during the double elimination tomorrow – Ashley & Edyta and Kathy & Tony, regardless of whether or not it’s a male and a female or just the bottom 2 vote-getters. Feel a bit bad that Edyta seems to be getting shafted again – she either is the one that almost wins it, or the one that gets sent home the first week.  I have a feeling I’m not alone in this sentiment *cough*John*cough…oh well, maybe next season…

September 22, 2009 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS Week 1 Power Rankings, Part I – The Guys

Due to the unique nature of this season (with the guys performing on the first night and the girls performing on the second night), I’ve decided to rank the guys separately, then the girls, and then an “overall” if you will…I would just wait to do them all at once, but then what fun would it be without you guys discussing it while it’s still fresh in your minds? :-)

Alright, I’m going to be as brief as I can…I still have House & CSI: Miami to watch!

1.) Donny & Kym – Donny really did knock it out of the park tonight.  While I don’t think he was technically as strong as Aaron or Mark, his footwork was clean, and of course, he played the best to the crowd. Kym definitely choreographed to his strengths – the Chicago-themed foxtrot was really a very clever choice.  He was also the strongest of the 4 in the salsa relay – while not as eye-catching as Louie & Chelsie or even Chuck & Anna, he had the best execution and showmanship.  And it’s likely his showmanship that will carry him straight through to the final…that, or the legion of screaming women in the audience!

2.) Aaron & Karina – Ok, I knew Aaron would be pretty good, but MAN – the kid even surprised me with some of the stuff he was pulling out! Definitely the strongest technically for me tonight – some of the hip action & arms I saw from him were truly amazing. He also had probably the highest degree of difficulty in his routines – his Viennese relay definitely had the most tricks (which executed very well).  He also comes across as a very likeable kid in the lead-ins – he has the same boyish charm that I think  made Cody Linley so endearing.  He does have one weakness, however: he doesn’t really let his face convey any sort of emotion while dancing.  Very deadpan – like he is really focusing hard on the task at hand.  I do see glimmers of “swagger” come through when he’s trying to be sexy, though ;-)

3.) Louie & Chelsie – These two really pleasantly surprised me! First off, they are too cute for words – they’re this season’s “vertically challenged” couple (to quote Mia from SYTYCD this season, when referring to another adorable pocket-sized couple – Randi & Evan), plus they’re both young and energetic.  And Louie actually seemed to nail the “flow” of the foxtrot – all with a brilliant smile on his face.  He got to show of his athleticism in his salsa – while it might not go over well with Len, flashy tricks & stunts always seem to be a hit with the viewers.  I can see America keeping them around for awhile, for the simple reason that they’re just adorable – like Aaron, Louie seems to have the impish boy-next-door act down pat!

4.) Mark & Lacey – While Mark was technically stronger than Louie, I felt that his energy wasn’t quite as strong or endearing – like Aaron, I can see him having issues with showmanship because he gets so much into his own head, trying to really nail the technical aspects of the dance.  That said, Mark probably has the best combination of strength and agility of all the guys on the show – that, and he has awesome pecs.  And abs.  And arms.  And an awesome bone structure. And when the bulk of the voting public is female – that’s a good skill set to have ;-)

5.) Michael & Anna – I fear that Anna has fallen into the trap of trying to add a lot of “filler” to their routines to try and conceal the fact that Michael is not a great dancer, rather than trying to help him improve.  Michael seems to have the opposite problem of Aaron & Mark – he is so much into the crowd interaction & “having fun” part of the dance that he tends to get a bit sloppy.  But man, is he fun to watch! And he & Anna seem to interact well during their practices – he’s definitely going to be the jokester of this bunch.  He has the same goofy energy that Warren Sapp had – but unfortunately, not the same level of skill.

6.) Tom & Cheryl – Yes, Tom was pretty bad.  But not nearly as bad as I expected him to be! What he lacked in technique (which was a lot) he made up for in energy & feeling…I actually enjoyed watching him dance, and found him to be (I can’t believe I’m saying this…*gulp*) rather charming, especially in the Viennese waltz relay.  The dude is 62 and he did a POWER SLIDE ACROSS THE FLOOR, PEOPLE!!! That takes guts, even if you’re young.  But alas, charm & energy can only carry you so far – and I don’t see Tom lasting any longer than week 3, tops.  He’s stiff, his footwork is sloppy, his shoulders are hunched, he can’t do the tricks that the younger competitors can do – and he’s still a disgraced politician.

7.) Chuck & Anna – Chuck maybe said a total of 20 words all night.  While he still may scare the crap outta me (and a good portion of America), I think it was Chuck who was quakin’ in his boots tonight – hence the intimidating silence, and overall lack of emotion.  His foxtrot was painful to watch – just as I feared, he is heavy on his feet, which results in rather stiff, stilted movement.  Having the fedora passed back & forth as a prop was cute, but I almost feel like it was just another thing for Chuck to worry about…he looked petrified every time it changed hands.  But man, Chuck certainly handled his woman during the salsa relay – his strength definitely showed every time he dipped, turned, and spun Anna.  Aaron & Louie might be the masters of acrobatics this season, but I think Chuck could easily outdo them both when it comes to lifts – which we don’t get to see until later in the competition :-( So unless he can pull out a smile (or really any kind of emotion) when he dances…I doubt we’ll be seeing those lifting abilities.

8.) Ashley & Edyta – These two were a non-event for me.  I am having a hard time remembering anything truly memorable they did, and I even took notes on all the performances! Ashley’s not great, but he wasn’t bad either – I think he actually had one of the better foxtrots of the night, as he seemed to really get the fluid motion of it.  His salsa was boring.  Period.  I have a strong feeling these two will be gone come Wednesday, for the simple reason that they got lost in the shuffle – nothing, good or bad, made them stand out.

Alright guys, let’s hear what you think…I’m off to enjoy the rest of fall premiere week! :-)

September 21, 2009 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 2009 Final Power Rankings

Well, for those long time readers, you know that I’ve already posted two different methods of predicting the Dancing with the Stars 2009 winner. So, the rankings won’t be a surprise. However, there’s still a whole lot of uncertainty about tonight’s Dancing with the Stars Season 8 winner. So, let me know if you feel different than me in the comments.

Now, let’s get to it. The following are my final Dancing with the Stars 2009 power rankings:

1. Shawn & Mark – I would have maybe been more nervous for Shawn if she didn’t tie for the top score last night. However, with her judges score tie with Gilles and her extreme popularity is going to land her the mirror ball trophy. You could see how happy Mark was last night when she was scoring high. Turns out he’s into a lot of money like Shawn Johnson will make from DWTS. The only reason that fans of Shawn Johnson could be skeptical is if somehow her fans got complacent and figured she had it in the bag. That said, I have a feeling we’re about to see the youngest ever Dancing with the Stars champion: Shawn Johnson.

2. Gilles & Cheryl – I think that Gilles scores were too high last night. Seriously, it wasn’t fair to Melissa that he was scored as high as he was scored. Len showed that he’s just a puppet by not scoring him down on his freestyle. All of that said, that doesn’t really affect his power ranking too much. Gilles has benefited greatly from being on the show. He wasn’t very well known before the show, but he is now. Cheryl brought something amazing out of him and he should be really happy to get second place on Dancing with the Stars.

3. Melissa & Tony – Melissa had a bit of a lackluster night last night. She’d been king of trailing off this way for a couple weeks. I bet her revealing outfits won’t win her any votes either. She’s still wildly popular. The start of the Bachelorette might have been good for her as well. Melissa fans are incredibly passionate, but this might be the end of Melissa Rycroft’s time in the spotlight. Third place for Melissa is actually an incredible achievement. Who would have thought she’d ever even be on the show. Well done Melissa.

That’s it. Tonight, we’ll find out the final Dancing with the Stars 2009 results. Not to mention I can’t wait to hear Jeffrey Ross roast these 3 stars. Plenty to talk about there. We have a frenchy, a little girl and a no name. This should be a fun night.

May 19, 2009 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Dancing with the Stars Power Rankings Week 10

We’re back again with another week of my Dancing with the Stars power rankings. Last week’s Dancing with the Stars power rankings got rocked a little when Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough were sent packing. From the looks of the boards and other online sources, it seems like a lot of people were surprised that Derek and Lil’ Kim were sent home.

We’re down to the Dancing with the Stars final 4. This is a big week, because making it to the finale of Dancing with the Stars is an achievement in itself. This is even more true for the professional dancers who get paid more the farther they go. Without further ado, here’s my Dancing with the Stars top 4 power rankings.

1. Shawn & Mark – I’m still putting my money on Shawn because of popularity. As expected the top 3 were within a point of each other which basically means it comes down to America’s vote. Watch for the same type of scoring this week.

2. Gilles & Cheryl – Gilles is lucky to have the waltz this week. It’s a perfect dance for his frame and posture. Expect it to be a highlight of the show. Salsa is just a fun dance that should get him and Cheryl a few extra votes from the fans as well.

3. Melissa & Tony – I almost placed Melissa above Gilles, because Melissa fans have really been doing amazing things. Seems like all the bitter women are still providing Melissa the sympathy vote. However, Melissa has the dreaded Quickstep which is hard dance to do and score well. So, expect her judges scores for the quickstep to be lower.

4. Ty & Chelsie – I shouldn’t bet against the cowboy, but his time has come. The other three are just so good that I think it will be difficult for Ty to overcome what will be poor scoring. Yes, I am saying that Ty’s samba butt shaking is going to score low.

Anyone care to disagree with my Dancing with the Stars power rankings?

May 11, 2009 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Dancing with the Stars Power Rankings

This is my first edition of the Dancing with the Stars power rankings. It’s basically a copy of ESPN’s power rankings that they do for the various professional sports teams. Since the show is tonight and I just came up with this idea, so this one is shooting from the hip just a little bit. Expect even more research and analysis next week. I should mention that these power rankings are heavily influenced to where we’re at in the show. The scores at this point in the show basically start to even out and so relative fan base becomes much more important.

Here’s the first ever Pure Dancing with the Stars power rankings:
1. Shawn & Mark – Shawn blows everyone else out of the water when it comes to popularity. The Olympic popularity really can’t be argued with. As we get nearer to the end of the show, the scores start to become closer and popularity matters more. Plus, I expect Shawn to really break out in one of these next dances. Not to mention I predict her freestyle will be off the charts.

2. Gilles & Cheryl – Most consistent couple without a doubt. They’re going to get high scores regardless since Gilles is a great dancer paired with possibly the best teacher on the show, Cheryl. Only problem is that Gilles was a relative unknown before the show. He’s grew a nice following and Cheryl has a passionate following, but not as large as Shawn and Mark.

3. Lil’ Kim & Derek – Derek has been working wonders with Lil’ Kim. There scores have shown it. I almost dropped their power ranking down because of Derek’s knee injury, but I expect Derek will dance and we won’t even notice it.

4. Ty & Chelsie – These two just keep surprising everyone. I thought Ty was going to be sent home the second week of the show and he’s still around and kicking. Hard for me to bet against the cowboy now.

5. Melissa & Tony – Melissa should follow up with a better performance this week. I could have ranked them a little higher because of this, but I have a feeling the sympathy votes for Melissa are nearing an end.

Anyone disagree with these rankings? If you do, let’s see your Dancing with the Stars rankings in the comments and reasons why they should be ranked differently.

May 4, 2009 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.