This season, we opted to do things a bit differently – as we have with just about every other regular feature we do each season, since the format is a bit wacky, to say the least :-P First, we’ve divided WWIB into two parts – mainly to accomodate the fact that Kirstie & Maks’ and the 13th couple’s (who we now know to be Sabrina & Louis) promo photos have yet to be released, but also to buy us some time for the labor-intensive task of finding good pictures for some of these :-) Secondly, we’ve included the couples’ promo photos from their original seasons for comparison as well. But as always, we’ve offered up our usual snark commentary on each of the costumes, for your enjoyment 8-)
Battle of the turquoise & black lace corset dress/Kelly & Alec vs. Kelly & Val: Kelly & Alec’s season 1 promo pic vs. Kelly & Val’s season 15 promo pic vs. Edyta in the season 9 pro tango demo
Courtney: The Iceman cometh! Wow, even Alec’s promo pic screams “I have no emotions” to me. And while Kelly is a bit better, I still wish she’d actually smile in her promo pics – the whole “smoldery non-smile” she does just seems like she’s trying too hard to me. And I’m probably the only one that feels this way, judging from some of everyone’s initial comments on the promo photos, but I’m not really all that wild about Kelly & Val’s pic…you’ll see I’m not much of a fan of the couples that went the “smoldery” route with their promo pix. As for the costume itself – gotta go with Edyta on this one. Granted, it’s hard to hold a candle to Edyta in pretty much ANY costume, but I think I like it better with a lace skirt, as opposed to a fringed one. And while I was cursing under my breath while putting this edition together about how BAD some of the costumes have gotten since Randall left, I thank my lucky stars we’re not still stuck with Designs to Shine, who costumed the first season. Can we say “tacky”? 8-O
Heidi: Val sez, “You…are sooo sexy.” To which Kelly sez, “You are sexy, but I am sleeping with my cousin’s best friend’s husband’s brother and am simply toying with you as a cover to hide our true looove….” That is my long winded way of saying, Kelly is a soap actress…they only do smolder. Sometimes well, sometimes not – and Val is a huge step up from Alec in terms of emotion and Kelly has evolved to smoldering with her mouth *closed*. :-) The dress you ask? I go with Edyta sans fishnets. Although I think it’s cuter in the shorter length.
The verdict: Just say no to soap opera smolder. Read more..
So far, we’ve taken a look at both Kelly Monaco & Emmitt Smith’s original seasons on DWTS. Today, we backtrack a bit to take a look at Drew’s original season :-)
For Drew’s best dance, I waffled back & forth between he & Cheryl’s tango & paso doble…but I ultimately picked their famous “Thriller” paso doble, as I think it best shows off how Drew was the total package of skill & showmanship:
And while I noticed that Drew & Cheryl didn’t really have any truly terrible dances in their original season, per se, I ended up picking their week 1 cha-cha as their worst dance, because Drew looks a bit awkward and unsure of what to do with his hands:
Ohhh, how I DON’T miss the days before the show began broadcasting in HD :-P Once again, I’m struck by the same thing I see when watching Emmitt & Kelly’s dances: the quality of dancing on the show has improved drastically since the first few seasons. Even though I think Drew was much better than Kelly & Emmitt from a technical perspective, I still think he’s going to be hard-pressed to match up with the skill of Joey or Gilles (two guys who didn’t even win their respective seasons), right out of the gate. I also think the choreography back then wasn’t as good as it is now – and that could prove problematic for all 3 of the early winners (Kelly, Drew, & Emmitt), as the pros have all stepped their game up quite a bit since those seasons. It could be a bit jarring for them to go from easily handling the choreography on their own seasons, to having to fight tooth and nail to just get a decent score each week of the all-star season, with the bar being raised so much. On the plus side, Drew seems to have a good deal of “attack” to his dancing – he isn’t hesitant or wishy-washy, and goes for everything 100%. Seems very confident out on the floor, and doesn’t seem to have any glaring timing issues. But man – I had forgotten how short Drew is. He moves “big” for his size, and does seem to extend his limbs impressively far, given his stature – but I’m picturing him next to the very willowy Gilles, who had quite possibly the most fantastic extension in his arms & legs of any guy I’ve ever seen on the show (except maybe Roshon, but I swear that boy was made of rubber!)…and I’m just imagining that poor Drew is just not going to measure up, no matter how far he stretches. Not his fault – but it’s unfortunately the hand he was dealt by nature. Part of me thinks he may have been physically better matched with Chelsie, since she would have given him an extra 2″ of leeway, but I do think he may actually have an advantage with Anna – these two seem to have really hit the ground running with “getting themselves out there” since the announcement of the cast. They are tweeting up a storm, have set up an official Facebook page which they are updating frequently with videos and pictures, and just seem to have forged a really great partnership – I seriously can’t stop smiling when I see these two!
So what, if anything, has Drew done since season 2 to keep his dance skills sharp? Well, he has been practicing for the 98 Degrees reunion tour, and they actually performed on the Today show yesterday:
Ok – admittedly, 98 Degrees was the boy band of the 1990’s that did the least amount of dancing…and the little they did do was pretty basic “work the mic, jazz square here, hand gesture there”-type stuff. But Drew actually seems to be taking this choreography, no matter how cheesy it looks, pretty seriously – he’s snapping his head nicely, making good eye contact, and staying on time. And as crazy as that sounds – I think that may actually be an unexpected advantage he has this season. I know everyone seems eager to point out that Joey being onstage in the Vegas show is huge advantage this season, and it is – but I would argue that really ANY contestant that has been onstage in some song & dance capactity within the last year or so has probably got an advantage. Gotta keep those performing skills sharp!
Court’s verdict: Drew is obviously going to have to step up his game quite a bit in order to compete with more recent contestants like Gilles – but he could be a bit of a dark horse this season, given his work ethic and the chemistry he has forged with Anna. He is probably the most skilled of the “early” champions, and if he’s willing to put in the effort (and Anna can give him some good choreography), he could give some of the favorites this season (Gilles, Joey, Shawn, etc.) a good run for their money. One to watch, for sure!
So what do you guys think of Drew? Possible dark horse…or a possible dud?
UPDATE: Thanks to @BeerBabeSuzi (an NKOTB friend of mine who also runs a fantastic 98 Degrees fan sitethat’s been around for 10 years!), here’s some video of 98 Degrees performing at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania over the weekend – and it looks like Drew has been practicing his Latin hips ;-) The song is “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” and it starts at about the 2:50 mark. Check out Drew on the right, getting pretty into his dance moves ;-)
In case you missed it, last week I posted all the celebrities that have graced Dancing with the Stars with their presence and asked you – the reader – to choose your favorite star from every season. In that post you were only allowed to choose one celebrity per season.
I have compiled all the stars that have received the top votes in their respective seasons and put them all into two polls: Men and Women. Now you can pick up to twelve stars (up to six male and six female celebrities) that you would love to see come back for Season 15 of Dancing with the Stars.
Since the past several seasons have been twelve couples, I figured it would be best to see who you would choose for your Six Favorite Male Celebrities and Six Favorite Female Celebrities from across the seasons.
Note: I know it has been said that Mario Lopez is most likely not going to do Season 15 because he is too busy, but since this is just what the fans want… and he has been a popular celebrity, he’s still part of the poll. :)
You didn’t think I’d forget about the professional dancers, now did you?
In case you’ve missed it… last week, there was a post with polls asking you – the reader – to choose one star per season that you’d love to see come back for the “All Star” Season of Dancing with the Stars (aka Season 15). There have been a lot of pros that have come and gone throughout the seasons, so now is your chance to pick the twelve pros that you’d love to see come back.
I have included pros that have only been on the show for one season, those that have left the show for greener pastures (Alec Mazo, Edyta Sliwinska and Julianne Hough). So anything goes here.
Why twelve professional dancers? For the past several seasons the show have had either eleven or twelve couples… so I figured this season should include twelve couples as well. :) I suppose we’ll see.
So what I’m going to do is start with a series of polls: namely you get to choose who YOU want to see from every season of Dancing with the Stars from Season 1 all the way to Season 14. The polls will be up for a few days… and once the polls are closed I will personally draw up how the top celebrities did in their season in comparison to the averaged data from all the seasons.
At the end of all the chosen celebrities I will create a mock elimination post and hopefully by then we’ll know who would REALLY be cast and I will do attempt to do the same for the casted celebrities – hopefully – before the show starts in September again.
Excited? Well you better be… soon you’ll have an example in the form of Mario Lopez and later of Mel B since they are the only two that we know of that has been approached for the All-Star season. If they end up being top in the poll of their respective seasons, wonderful! If not, well then those are freebie posts for you ;-)
Ahhhh, yes – the cha-cha. The only first week dance that has remained the same in all 14 seasons of the show – they’ve often vacillated between the waltz, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz as the first week ballroom dance from season to season, but they’ve always had the cha-cha as a week 1 Latin dance. That’s 75 regular week 1 cha-cha’s (I’m not counting the cha-cha relay from season 9 – the scoring is too funky) for me to run the stats on, to give us an idea of what we might expect in the coming week :-) So before I run down the list of the biggest “Oh god, that was baaaaaad!” week 1 cha-cha moments, here are a few interesting cha-cha stats:
*The lowest cha-cha score in DWTS history is 12 – and it’s a 3-way tie between Master P & Ashly, Tucker & Elena, and Jeff & Edyta. Two of the couples were eliminated the first week of their respective seasons – and all 3 female pros are no longer on the show :-) (ok, that last one was probably not a direct cause of a bad cha-cha, but just an interesting coincidence ;-))
*Five former DWTS champions did cha-cha as their week 1 dance (Drew, Emmitt, Apolo, Brooke, & Hines).
*The pro who’s done the most week 1 cha-cha’s is Cheryl – she’s started 9 of her 12 seasons on the show with a cha-cha.
*A female celeb didn’t dance the cha-cha as a week 1 dance until season 5 – up until that point, the ladies had always done a ballroom dance the first week, and the men had always done cha-cha.
Now…without further ado…I give you the worst week 1 cha-cha’s in DWTS history :-) Season 14 celebs, pay attention! This is for your own good…do not try to emulate these routines!
10.) Clyde & Elena, season 4
I never got the feeling that Clyde was actually making a genuine effort during his season, really. I think his handlers probably signed him up for the show just to get him some exposure, and it was never something Clyde really wanted to do – he just seemed to do the bare minimum each week and probably hoped to get voted off quickly. His whole “outrage” over Len pointing out that some couples weren’t practicing enough just really made me think that Clyde the Glide doth protest too much – he wasn’t putting in the hours and he knew it. On top of the apathy, there was a huge height difference between he & Elena, and at 6’7″, he was generally just kinda ungainly…add that altogether and you’ve got a cha-cha that’s just kind of an awkward non-event.
9.) Billy Ray & Karina, season 4
I’m not sure who I feel worse for here – Billy Ray or Karina. Billy Ray really was kind of “a left-footed hillbilly from Kentucky” (his own words), and this cha-cha was a pretty hot mess. I like to call this “drunk uncle at a wedding” dancing – some random grooving & flailing & forgotten footwork from Billy Ray while Karina did some cha-cha around him. But I will say this – unlike Clyde, who had probably phoned it in before the season even started, I do think Billy Ray was giving it his all the entire season. This poor guy REALLY wanted to do well for Karina, and he did put in the effort – but some people are just not natural dancers, and Billy Ray is unfortunately in that camp. Read more..
AHHH!!! The Finale!! Home of the FREESTYLE! The one time of the year where the rule book can be tossed out, and ANYTHING GOES! In the prior twelve seasons, we’ve seen some bad freestyles, some good freestyles, and some GREAT freestyles!
All three Pro Dancers in the Finale this season have all been here before, we’ve seen them freestyling before…. Karina, unfortunately, wasn’t successful in her bid for the Mirror Ball full of Glitter dust, with Mario Lopez…. (joking…. Probably is empty, but they SHOULD have some glitter dust inside, for memories of their season…) but still choreographed an awesome freestyle! Cheryl was successful, she is our DWTS FIRST back to back winner, first with Drew Lachey, and second with Emmitt Smith. She also performed a freestyle with Gilles Marini, and lost out in an extremely close final vote. She also appeared with Christian de la Fuente. Derek has also had three trips to the finales and, so far, is unbeaten.
I really think we will be in for a FANTASTIC finale this week! All three pros are fabulous teachers, and know how to show their celebrity-partner to their advantage, and all are fantastic choreographers! Now, I know that Courtney and Heidi have put Mario and Karina’s into their dishonorable mention category, I do think it had quite a bit of “him” in it. And a big problem that it probably had, is that they did start dating while they were working together. Since this season, I do think that Karina has become MUCH better at working with her partner, and choreographing to their strengths, like Cheryl and Derek do. Besides, this is her ONLY trip to the finale.
While we’re waiting for Monday to arrive, we’ll re-watch the freestyles from Karina, Cheryl and Derek, the first time they each appeared in the finale.
First up, Season 2, CHERYL BURKE, in her first season on DWTS, dancing with Drew Lachey.
I’m taking an idea from the comments, and trying to figure this out as I go. I am going to be honest and say that I am deciding how these posts will go, as I make them, and will use ideas and dances you want to see again, when they fit the post.
For now, let’s compare the Champions of each season, using their FIRST dance, and their first impression on the show.
Season 1 Champion is KELLY MONACO, with her professional partner, ALEC MAZO. They danced a Waltz to “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston.
Season 2 Champion is DREW LACHEY, with his professional partner, CHERYL BURKE. They danced a Cha-Cha, and I don’t have the song, so if you can place it, PLEASE tell us in the comments to the song “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin.
Let’s take a POLL! Which dance do you prefer, and why? Answer in the comments.
We all know that Brooke Burke was introduced to Dancing with the Stars world as a contestant on Season 7 before becoming co-host on Season 10.
Now that Samantha Harris is no longer co-host does that make her eligible to dance as a contestant on the show?
The following dance seems to indicate that she could do all right on the show. This is from Season 2, her professional partner was Jonathan Roberts… and they danced the Jive to Prince’s Delirious.
Now I don’t know about that armpit smelling move… but I digress.
And of course Samantha wouldn’t have been persuaded to do this hadn’t Tom Bergeron jump in first… So here is Tom Bergeron dancing the Quickstep with Ashly DelGrosso (now Costa) to the song Get Happy made famous by Judy Garland.
Tom’s so popular he could last a while… =)
And of course as a quick send off… Drew Lachey with Cheryl Burke as a fill-in during a results show episode when Gloria Estefan had to back out at the last minute due to family. This is their Ballroom Medley (it includes Foxtrot, Quickstep, Jive and West Coast) to Danke Schoen as sung by Season 5’s Wayne Newton
When ABC saw the potential in DWTS they decided to move the show into the Spring 2006 lineup rather than wait til the summer. Keeping some of the original formula when picking celebrities (ex-boy band member, retired athlete, soap opera star, model and older gentlemen) they also stretched the demographics a bit more by casting younger and older and reaching out to other areas.
They also rearranged the scoring system. Rather than taking the current week’s judges scores and adding them to the previous week’s phone in votes (in Season One it was only one show a week)… they added a second show per week (aka the Results Show) and celebrities were eliminated based on current week’s judges votes and current week’s phone in votes.
Season 2: Stacy Keibler & Tony Dovolani
Song: Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees
Placement: 3rd Place
Season 2: Jerry Rice & Anna Trebunskaya
Song: Celebration by Kool and the Gang
Placement: 2nd Place
Season 2: Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke
Song: Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big & Rich
Placement: 1st Place
With Season Two being so successful, ABC brought Season Three in for the Fall 2006 lineup. Keeping the gist of the original lineup in tact, their biggest question was how to keep the audience interested for the Results Shows? The answer: the Slim Fast Dance Challenge. This series within a series follows stay at home mom Tysonia Sichinga as she goes through the rigors of learning dances and prepping for a ballroom competition with her professional partner: Christian Perry.
With the success of Season’s One through Three, ABC wanted to capitalize on their pros further and introduced the first Dancing With the Stars Tour featuring various pros and celebs from the first three seasons.
Season 3: Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
Song: It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Placement: 2nd Place
Start at 2:00
Season 3: Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Song: U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
Placement: 1st Place