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Romeo Miller After Dancing On Dancing With The Stars & More

What’s Romeo Miller aka Lil Romeo been up too since dancing on Dancing With The Stars? Lots!! Black News recently caught up with Romeo to talk about his career and charity work for children. He disses on his Dad and has great messages for young kids again. He explains why he is so commited because of the personal struggles he’s went though. Below are some takes about his Dancing With The Stars journey. Be sure to read the link for more. Great interview with some great questions for him in it!!

KW: What interested you in doing Dancing with the Stars, especially after your father fared so poorly on the program during the 2nd season?
R: I wanted to do this show to show our future generation not to be afraid to fail. More and more kids are dropping out of high school and letting their dreams slip away because of failure. I felt that this show was the perfect opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and take an unknown journey with my fans. I did Dancing with the Stars for the kids and my charity “URBANBORN” [UrbanBorn.org]. And FYI, my dad taught me all of my dance moves. [LOL]

KW: Did you have to get in shape for the show, and how challenging did you find learning the choreography?
R: Coming straight from playing Division 1 Basketball at USC, I was in terrific shape. But after doing the show, I was in even better shape! My vertical jump went from 39 inches to 42 inches, and my cardio and footwork was better then ever. Being a perfectionist, I made the choreography a lot tougher because I wanted every dance to be perfect. I’m a very fast learner, but becoming a ballroom dancer was definitely the most difficult task in my life yet. I definitely respect dancers a whole lot more now.

KW: Tell me a little about the charity you played for.
R:Â People may not know that I’ve gone to regular school through my whole career. Education has always been the rock in my life, and I think that every kid should have the proper education and that experience. School for me has been like the real world in a bubble. Everything about school and education has built me to be the man that I am today, and I wanted to share that with our future. With UrbanBorn.org I do a lot of “Read to Achieve” events and I go to a lot of underprivileged schools to express the importance of education. The kids are the future and I just want to let them know that somebody cares.

KW: What’s more fun, making movies or being a contestant on a reality show?
R: I would definitely have to say making movies! [Laughs some more] Although I loved the Dancing with the Stars journey, I must admit I have never been sooooo nervous in my life. When I’m making movies, I’m a lot more comfortable and relaxed. I feel reality is more fun for the viewers because you get to see the celebrity in a different light. But for me, learning a new dance in a few days to perform in front of 20 million people equals nervous breakdown. [Chuckles]

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: What message do you think people will take away from Jumping the Broom and what did you learn from appearing on Dancing with the Stars?
R: Jumping the Broom teaches that anything is possible with true love. From Dancing with the Stars, people will learn that in order to succeed you’ll sometimes have to fail and  that, at the end of the day, all that matters is you doing your best. Life has no limits if you just try.

July 1, 2011 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Pittsburgh Holds Rally For Dancing With The Stars 12 Champs Kym Johnson And Hines Ward

Today Hines and Kym brought the Mirror Ball Trophy to Pittsburgh so the city could celebrate their Dancing With The Stars Season 12 victory. Hundreds of fans showed up outside the City-County building at Noon in Pittsburgh while Kym and Hines gave a speech and danced. They had fun with the crowd by holding dance contests and more. Details below along with a fun message from Hines. Go to WTAE to see lots of cool video coverage. Lots of fun photos of the event HERE. These two are so cute and it’s good to see them together again.

Johnson danced and twirled a Terrible Towel on stage, and she helped her partner judge a quick dancing contest with three couples who had posted their own videos on YouTube earlier in the week.

All the finalists got to have their photos taken with Ward, Johnson and the Mirror Ball Trophy.

Ward and Johnson also whipped out their phones and shot some video of the crowd for themselves.

Ward thanked everyone who watched the show and voted for him and Johnson to win. He said they tried to use black and gold colors in their outfits as much as possible because “I just really, really wanted to put the city of Pittsburgh on the map and let everybody know that we are the city of champions.”

He also had a separate message — and some words of advice — for the show’s male viewers.

“I know it took a lot for you guys to watch ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and I apologize if the wives make you take dancing lessons now,” Ward said. “You know what? But do it, because a happy woman is a happy household, so go out there and dance with them.”

And on a side note….check out the new purchase Hines bought for his Mom this past week! Isn’t this cool? He’s so good to her!!

I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS Search Engine Round-Up – Week of June 3, 2011

Buckle in, kids – we’ve got a lot of interesting stuff to chat about today ;-) 

Maks & Cheryl in Vegas/Maks & Cheryl kissing

Oh boy – I think I was secretly wishing that no one would ask about this, because I feel kind of odd giving any more attention to what has become a Twitter firestorm.  But no such luck…*sigh* The basic gist: some pictures surfaced of Maks apparently kissing (I say apparently because his rep insists he was “whispering in a fan’s ear”) a dark-haired chick in a black, backless dress over the weekend in a club in Vegas.  Cheryl has long, dark hair and was wearing a black backless dress that night.  The two have been good friends for quite some time, and I vaguely remember some questions about a possible romance between the two in season 7.  So for me, it wouldn’t be a total stretch if these two suddenly became amorous – if even for one night after a few too many drinks (lord knows I had a few nights in my younger, wilder days where a guy friend started looking like more than just a friend after I got a few gin & tonics in me – ooh wee, that required some damage control the next day!).  Not that I care enough to really debate it – so what if Maks & Cheryl are getting cozy??? More power to ‘em – they both have had a rough go of it in the relationship department the past few years…maybe dating someone they’ve been friends with for a long time will be good for both of them. The only thing I will contest is this: if they weren’t kissing (as his rep insists), then I’ve been doing it wrong all these years – as well as whispering in peoples’ ears.  Apparently that’s done via mouth-to-mouth contact.  Glad Maks’ rep could clear that one up for me ;-) Hahahaha…I IZ NOT STOOPID, Maks’ rep. Oh, and to those who intend to scold me for posting a link to the pix – spare me.  People came here wanting to know about it; I’m gonna give them full disclosure.  If they do a basic google search, they’re gonna find ‘em anyway. Plus there’s some other hella funny pix in that gallery – including a few of a very intoxicated-looking Teddy V. wearing a cardigan that’s about 3 sizes too small and some dorky glasses.  Bahahahahaha!

Total votes for DWTS finale/How many votes did Hines get?

HA.  If you think this info is readily available to the public – keep dreaming :-) I can’t recall if they’ve ever revealed the grand total of all the votes cast for a finale – they’ve hinted at percentages and margins (much like Heidi does in her By the Numbers posts) and made vague statements such as “the most votes we’ve ever had cast for a finale!”, but I don’t think they’ve ever said “x number of votes were cast last night”.  The votes are tabulated by an independent audit firm (don’t ask me which one) and I’m guessing they’re paid handsomely for their confidentiality. Really, guys – revealing the vote totals is kind of like insider trading…it provides the viewer with information that allows them to further manipulate the outcome of the show.  If you know that Hines needs x% of votes to pass Ralph, and that there are x votes being cast – that basically tells you exactly what needs to be done to ensure Hines sticks around.  It takes away some of the element of surprise, and also tends to benefit those at the bottom of the leaderboard – they then have a pretty good idea of how hard they need to vote to keep Joe-Schmoe-Sucky-Dancer around another week.  On top of that, I’m fairly certain that ABC gets revenue for every vote cast…and if the viewers know that they only have to cast a finite number of votes to save their favorite, they’re less inclined to “vote like crazy” – and hence, less $$$ in the pockets of TPTB. I know that a lot of Kirstie fans who were upset at the outcome of the finale were petitioning to get the vote totals released to the public – it’s not going to happen, but if it did, then it would just give disgruntled fans more fodder for complaint.  We’d have people demanding recounts, debates over the elderly not voting properly due to impaired vision, hanging chads, etc…oh wait, wrong election :-) Anywho – don’t hold your breath for ABC to fold and announce the vote totals.  Just accept that the show will never be 100% fair, or will even be a “full disclosure” type of show. 

When does DWTS season 13 start?

September 19, 2011 :-) Which makes me think that the cast announcement will happen roughly 3 weeks before the premiere, likely during the finale of The Bachelorette…I’m guessing August 29 (don’t quote me on that).  If that’s the case…we can probably expect the official annoucement of the couples on August 31, and the official cast pictures on August 2.  The show itself may be unpredictable, but at least the timetable for it is pretty finite :-)

DWTS gifting suites

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be on the receiving end of some of the free stuff that gets lavished upon the pros, celebs, and crew at DWTS :-D From what I’ve heard, it’s right up my alley – lots of fun girlie stuff, like skincare products, makeup, jewelry, etc.  Perhaps the most exciting item gifted to the cast this season was jewelry from Anne Koplik Designs, the official jewelry designer to the show.  Some of the jewelry I’ve seen from them has been absolutely EXQUISITE – check it out for yourself here. Wish you could nab some fab free stuff from them? WELL YOU’RE IN LUCK!!! Stay tuned, kids, because a little birdie (John) told me that we’re going to be doing another jewelry giveaway sometime soon, courtesy of the lovely folks at AKD (follow them on Twitter @AKoplikDesigns!).  Word on the street is that this time, we’re going to be giving away a ring ;-) I’ve seen it, and it’s every bit as gorgeous as the earrings from Kym’s samba and the earrings from Chelsea’s Argentine tango that we gave away earlier this season. Among the other items I’ve heard given away in these suites are Boscia skincare products (yet another thing Anna & I have in common, besides our red hair, asthma, & dance skills – a love of Boscia!) & Gleam by Melanie Mills – a shimmery body makeup created by the head makeup artist at the show, which makes everyone’s skin look FLAWLESS.  I was fortunate enough to get a sample of it (shout out to Candy at Gleam for hooking me up!) and let me tell you – it’s UH-MAY-ZING.  Smells delish (very light coconut/vanilla fragrance), makes skin smooth & even-looking (even if you don’t have a tan!) and best of all – it doesn’t rub off on your clothes/furniture/boyfriend/etc. Yes, I am in full-on Romeo Miller plug mode right now ;-) Some of the celebs & pros have also gotten in on the gifting action – I believe I heard Cheryl gave out copies of her book, and according to Rick Fox, The Situation was a “walking gifting suite”, doling out samples of his jewelry, vodka, & iPhone app to anyone & everyone involved in season 11 :-P

Brooke Burke has a crush on Ralph

This probably stems from Brooke’s appearance on the Rachael Ray show on May 24, where she admitted that Ralph was her “childhood crush” and she had pictures of him plastered all over her bedroom.  Wonder how Ralph reacted when she shared that gem :-P

Will Derek/Mark/Maks be back next season?

Our best answer: time will tell.  When it was announced back in January that Derek would be sitting out this season to film Cobu 3D, both Derek & Conrad seemed to state with certainty that Derek would be back for season 13.  However, Julianne has said the same thing in the past about “definitely” coming back to DWTS – and we have not seen her for 4 seasons now, due to her music & blossoming movie career.  I think it’s safe to say that, barring some catastrophic scandal that blackballs her from both Hollywood & Nashville…she’s never coming back to DWTS. Sorry kids. Now Derek may have every intention of coming back (or maybe not, after the fiasco of this season), but if offered another movie role – what’s to say he won’t take it? As for Maks – I could have sworn Vogue did a post where Maks says in an interview that he’s unsure of whether he’s coming back, but of course – I cannot find it.  Hopefully I didn’t hallucinate that…feel free to hop in & link to it, Vogue! However, Tom seemed to allude in a recent interview with EW that Maks might not be back, since the famed “Tom Bergeron ass pinch” is being retired. I can’t say I wouldn’t blame Maks for either sitting out a season or calling it quits at the show – I can imagine the past 3 seasons have been rather frustrating for him (3rd place w/Erin, getting axed before the finale with Brandy, & runner-up this season), and he’s also got his hands full with opening a new dance studio in CA that he’s going to be co-owning with Tony – not to mention several other successful studios on the east coast.  Maybe now’s a good time for him take a break and recharge.  And then there’s Mark.  *sigh* I have heard nothing of any merit that suggests he won’t be back next season – however, judging from the reaction of a lot of fans both here and on Twitter, it seems like a widely-held opinion that Mark could benefit from some time away from the show.  His choreography (and behavior) the past few seasons seems to have deteriorated, and he seems to be investing more and more time & effort into his music…and hence, less effort into the show & his partners.  Perhaps he too could use a break.  Unfortunately, though he probably SHOULD take a break – I don’t think he will.  He seems to crave the attention it brings him.  As for all 3 – we’ll only know their plans for sure come mid-August, in the week or so preceding the cast announcement.  That’s when the pros usually start announcing whether or not they’re going to be on the fall season.  And Heidi does a SUPERB job of keeping up with all the Twitter madness during that period :-) So stay tuned!

Dancing with the Stars camel toe

*facepalm* Is this yet another one of you kids’ freaky fetishes??? LOL.  I mean, y’all have a D-Hough foot fixation, a Shirley Ballas boob obsession, and you wanna see Mike buck nekkid? Those 3 I can understand.  But CAMEL TOE???!! Oy vey.  I daresay it’s only been mentioned once at PureDWTS – in an edition of Who Wore it Better – and I believe Heidi chastised me for even mentioning it.  Now I know why. :-)  

June 4, 2011 I Written By

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

Pure DWTS Finals – Black Eyed Peas, Go-Go’s, Sara Evans, and More To Perform For Dancing With The Stars Finals Week

Let The Finals Begin! Monday night our dancing couples will perform two numbers. The first dance is the judges’ choice and the second is the famous freestyle. Then on Tuesday, the three couples will perform their favorites dances from this Season which the judges will rank. Also, on Tuesday, the Black Eyed Peas, the Go-Go’s, and Country singer/former Dancing With The Stars Season 3 contestant Sara Evans will perform. Details below from ABC MediaNet. I imagine other surprises are in store for us as well including the return of all the contesants and pros who were eliminated this Season. We have yet to hear anything about the “Design A Dance” Contest and Performance as well which I’m starting to wonder if they scrapped?

In the final one-hour performance show on MONDAY, MAY 23 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET), the couples will compete in two dances. The first number, the Judges’ Choice, is the style that the judges have determined to be the one each couple showed promise in and could now excel at based on hours of practice and performance. Then all three contenders will perform their fan favorite Freestyle dances.

The anticipation builds and competition continues for the two-hour Season Finale on TUESDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), as the three finalists perform their own favorite dance of the season and are ranked by the judges. In addition, each of this season’s 11 couples returns to the dance floor for a special performance. All of the excitement and frenzy will lead up to the moment we’ve been waiting for – who among the three finalists will reign as champions of “Dancing with the Stars” and take home the coveted mirror ball trophy?

Also on Tuesday’s spectacular Season Finale, one the best-selling, most popular and most innovative groups in over a decade, The Black Eyed Peas, will perform the exclusive television premiere of their new single, “Don’t Stop the Party,” live. The Black Eyed Peas have transformed themselves from a beloved backpack rap troop from the West Coast Underground into fully-fledged, massive global superstars whose music can be heard in any country around the world. Having created several albums, each more innovative and popular than the last, The Black Eyed Peas – will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap – are releasing their sixth full-length album, “The Beginning.” This follows on the heels of 2009′s “The E.N.D.,” their most popular and most creative album to date – and the one that reaffirmed their singular status as global music icons. “The E.N.D.” sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and entered the Billboard Top 200 Chart at No. 1, outperforming their previous CD, “Monkey Business.” It yielded five Top 10 singles (the first album to do so in 20 years), spent an entire year on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, and earned the group three new Grammy Awards, for a total of six Grammy Awards they’ve won. In all, they’ve sold 29 million records worldwide (plus over 30-million digital tracks), sold more than 3 million tickets and headlined over 300 different tour dates in 29 different countries. “The Beginning’s” first single, “The Time (Dirty Bit),” went straight to No. 1 on iTunes in 11 countries within the first 24 hours. Much of “The Beginning” was conceived during their most recent worldwide headlining tour, where they visited more than 20 countries and played to more than a million people.

For the first time in a “DWTS” Season Finale, Macy’s Stars of Dance presents the Macy’s Design-a-Dance fan favorite Jive song pick, “We Got the Beat,” to be performed live in the ballroom by the Go-Go’s. The winning “DWTS” pro dancers and concept will also be revealed Tuesday night. This will be the band’s first television performance together in over five years and kicks off a spectacular summer of events celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Go-Go’s debut, history-making album, “Beauty and the Beat.” The Go-Go’s recently announced the addition of a tour kick-off performance to be held in Las Vegas, NV at The Beach at Mandalay Bay on May 27, 2011. When “Beauty and the Beat” was released and flew up the charts 30 years ago, it became a perennial soundtrack for summer and reached the top of the Billboard charts, the first for an all-female band who wrote and performed their own music. Also just released, “The Go-Go’s: Beauty and the Beat 30th Anniversary Edition” by Capitol/I.R.S. commemorative edition, available in 2CD, digital and hot pink vinyl format, which features the remastered original album plus exclusive, previously unreleased live show recordings from 1981.

Country music star/”DWTS” Season 3 alum Sara Evans returns to the ballroom floor after having to withdraw from the competition. Having made a huge comeback, Sara’s new RCA Nashville album, “Stronger,” was released March 8 and scored back-to-back weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. First week sales earned the album a No. 6 debut on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. The album’s first hit single, “A Little Bit Stronger,” recently reached the No. 1 position on the country radio charts and stayed there for two consecutive weeks. “A Little Bit Stronger” was also recently RIAA-certified as a Gold Digital Single, reflecting digital sales in excess of 500,000 downloads. Beginning June 18, Evans will join Rascal Flatts on their summer “Flatts Fest” tour.

May 21, 2011 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS12 Week 9 Power Rankings

So how many of you still think us crazy bitches here at PureDWTS were smoking crack when Heidi predicted that all of this would happen…waayyy back on Wednesday?

Yes, I’m gloating on behalf of Heidi, and I don’t care – because honestly, I’ve never hoped she’d be wrong more than I have this past week.  But in a show of true favoritism & wanton idiocy, the judges played into every single cliche they could that resulted in an extraordinarily padded score for Chelsea – and a brutal beating for Ralph, leaving him so far down in the basement in scores that nothing short of divine intervention could possibly save him from going home tomorrow night.  Whoops…did I spoil the rankings for you?

1.) Chelsea & Mark – These two couldn’t possibly be any safer, and it’s not due extraordinary dancing – Chelsea was decent tonight, but nowhere near deserving some of the truly inflated scores that were being handed to her.  Her Argentine tango had the potential to be good – if she wasn’t moving so damn gingerly.  Wendy’s foxtrot had more impactful footwork than this! She captured the mood, yes; but the lifts looked a bit clunky & she never seemed to really hit any of the steps with the staccato that I like in a tango (perhaps she should have watched the playback of Mark doing the “salsa” last week for inspiration).  As for the rumba…*shaking my head* Strike one: using a silly prop like gauzy fabric.  Strike 2: using an “edgy” song from the Twilight soundtrack.  Strike three: wearing character shoes instead of ballroom shoes – AGAIN. If that wouldn’t be enough to get her out, strike 4 would have been the complete lack of hip & leg action I saw from her.  I might have enjoyed this more had I not been spoiled by great rumbas in the past by Jennifer & Mel B, which actually were 30-worthy.  Their “winner take all” cha-cha was decent, and definitely more complex than any of the others – but I still feel like Chelsea’s legs stay pin-straight throughout the dance, and she lacks the characteristic bending & straighting of the knees.  But none of this matters to the judges – they’ve made it abundantly clear that they want her in the finals, and so to the finals she goes. Pffft.

2.) Hines & Kym – Hines, god bless him, was the one true bright spot of the evening for me – and dadgummit, I cried with he & Kym after their Argentine tango! While I don’t think that tango was perfect (I’m gonna chalk it up to nerves due to Kym’s injury), he definitely schooled Ralph & Chelsea in what A. tango should look like – and Kym, god bless her too, soldiered through and the two of them actually managed to perform a routine that made me give a damn.  It was definitely nice to see Hines back in the same fight mode that I haven’t really seen from him since his samba in week 3 :-) Their salsa was definitely cute – and Hines is the master of staying on time and not missing steps.  But like their A. tango, I don’t think it was perfect. Near-perfect, but not perfect – something about Hines’ face just made me think he wasn’t 100% in the dance.  He definitely had the cleanest cha-cha – but I guess the judges would rather have complexity over cleanliness, which is why they chose Chelsea over him.  I give up.  I would have given these two the 15 points as the icing on the cake for their soldiering through what looked to be a very, very scary injury to me (this is coming from a girl who’s grandfather was a paraplegic for 10 months after a simple fall at home).  I don’t mess with spinal injuries – this made my stomach churn even worse than seeing Evan land on his neck after a stunt in season 10.  But I digress.  These two are  safe, thanks to some pretty damn good performances on an otherwise dismal night…and one very ridiculous points spread.

3.) Kirstie & Maks - I’m afraid I just don’t have a lot to say tonight about these two, other than “Did I miss something?” I don’t think Kirstie was at her best tonight, and I guess I’m gonna chalk it up to burnout – of the 4 remaining contestants, she’s the one that I still worry about most when it comes to endurance.  However, the judges seemed to think she was fantastic, and much more so than Ralph – I just don’t understand it.  She misses steps in her paso (which, on an unrelated note, seemed to end rather abruptly…anyone notice that?), and got a tad off-time in her Viennese waltz.  Yet she still scores considerably better than Ralph, who I don’t think missed any steps.  *shrugs* I’m beyond trying to understand it at this point.  I definitely preferred her V. waltz to her paso doble, as it was actually pretty lovely, aside from the timing issue I saw a few times.  Felt a little let down by her cha-cha - it felt like the same cha-cha she’s done twice before this season, and she still messed it up a bit this time :-( Again, I’ll give her a break due to lack of energy, but I was counting on her to hopefully bump Chelsea out of the running for those extra 15 points…and she didn’t deliver.  Luckily, she’s got the fanbase to pull her through, and a pretty decent lead over Ralph  – she & Maks better step up their game in a big way, though, because both Chelsea & Hines are miles ahead of her in terms of stamina.

4.) Ralph & Karina – I should have known better than to think that the judges might turn over a new leaf and actually be nice to Ralph tonight…because the barrage of criticism they threw at him was downright sickening at times.  No love for his Argentine tango, which really wasn’t all that bad – he may not have been 100% in the sultry “character” of it, but I daresay his technique was better than Chelsea’s, since he actually managed to get some impact with his steps.  The judges went straight for the jugular on his salsa, too – I actually thought he had more energy and more entertaining content than Hines’ salsa did, but either the judges were blind to it or I was drawn to it more than the average bear, because it was lost on them.  And Karina – god bless her for calling Bruno out on what I’m deducing was one very uncalled for lewd comment – had I been there, I may have needed to be put in a straight jacket after breaking that fool’s nose and then going for his gonads.  Admittedly, his cha-cha was the weakest – but I knew that going in.  The poor guy has never been great at cha-cha – he was facing a stacked deck going into this 3-ring circus of a “bonASS dance”.  I wanted to shove  a dirty sock in all three of the judges mouths as their sole words of compliment were “You tried so hard tonight!” before heaping praise on Hines.  Made me sick. And now, he’s gotta face the music tomorrow night – and I’m sure the judges will all sit there, with their smug little smiles on their faces, and pretend to be disappointed that the poor guy is going home and that they’ll miss him – when in reality, they’re the ones to blame for his departure.  Bravo.

And so ends quite possibly the most disappointing night of DWTS I have ever watched.  Sorry to burst the bubble of any of you that had the time of your life watching tonight – because I was miserable for most of it, due to the blatant over & underscoring going on.  I don’t deal with hidden (or in this case, not-so-hidden) agendas very well.  But I’m gonna suck it up and go power vote for Ralph, in the event that there were enough Ralph fans as pissed off as Heidi & I were at how things panned out that are doing the exact same thing.  Wouldn’t it be so awesome to watch the judges’ jaws drop if Ralph stuck around for yet another week? ;-) I know, I know…wishful thinking.  But a girl can dream :-) Fare ye well, Ralph…

May 16, 2011 I Written By

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

DWTS Season 12 – Carrie Ann Inaba Talks ‘DWTS’ and ‘State of Grace’

So far, Carrie Anne is happy with all the contestants. She talks about who surprised and disappointed her Monday night. She is the most impressed with the “men” this year. She also discusses her dance drama “State Of Grace”. They are making the pilot and hoping it will be approved for a series soon. I hope it’s approved. I can’t wait to watch Erik Roberts in his role.

March 23, 2011 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Why Dial Idol Doesn’t Work For DWTS

It seems as though every season, some people either freak out or get excited over what they see on Dial Idol for DWTS - maybe their favorite is in the lead, maybe the couple they hate is in the bottom, maybe a high-scoring couple looks like they aren’t getting votes.  While I agree that it would be great to “pull back the curtain” and get a peek at what the volume of votes for each couple might actually be, I can tell you this right now: it’s a carefully-guarded secret, and TPTB have ways to keep it that way – despite the efforts of supposedly “genius” software like Dial Idol.  So let’s debunk this one, shall we?

First of all, a bit of background on Dial Idol. It’s a software program created in 2005 by Jim Hellriegel, a fan of American Idol, that uses your computer modem to automatically “speed-dial” in votes for your favorite contestant.  It then measures how often a busy signal bounces back on a particular contestant’s phone number, and, assuming that a greater number of busy signals bouncing back means that more people are trying to vote for a particular contestant, then the more votes a certain contestant must be getting. The idea was pretty clever (at the time), and despite efforts by the FOX legal team to get it shut down due to copyright infringement, it’s perfectly legal, and has correctly predicted the winners of 5 seasons of Idol.

So, you ask, why can’t the same program work for DWTS?

REASON #1: We have a limited number of votes.

Keep in mind, this software program was created for Idol, and on that show, there is no limit on the number of times you can vote; so, in theory, you could get hundreds of votes in for your favorite contestant before the phone lines closed.  Hence, the more votes you can dial in, the more often you either do or don’t get a busy signal, and the more accurate the Dial Idol results are going to be. We don’t have that luxury on DWTS – we get a small, limited amount of votes each week, meaning we have fewer opportunities to measure a potential busy signal.  For those with a bit of knowledge in statistics, the smaller your sample size is = the less accurate your results are going to be. And the sample size for DWTS is going to be much, much smaller than it is for Idol, due to the voting limit.  Really and truly, it almost seems like a waste of time to even use Dial Idol to get your phone votes in to begin with – you’d reach your limit pretty quickly, unless the phone lines are particularly busy (such as in the finale). 

REASON #2: We have a larger “window of opportunity” to vote.

The voting lines on Idol don’t open until the end of the show and are open for 2 hours after that; the voting lines on DWTS are open from the beginning of the show until 30 minutes after the show is over.  Not only do DWTS voters get an extra half-hour to vote by phone, but we’re not limited to waiting until we’ve seen all the performances before we cast our votes.  So what does that mean? Some smart “power voters” (like Heidi) will start voting for their favorites as soon as the show starts, when the phone lines aren’t so busy. Some viewers (like my mom) will wait until one performance catches her eye midway through the show and will give all her votes to them. And some voters will wait until the end of the show to cast their votes.  What does this mean? With a larger time window to vote, there’s also the potential for the voting to get “spread out” a bit more – meaning there’s less liklihood of getting a busy signal, even though there may be just as many votes being cast for a particular contestant. With Idol, everyone is scrambling to get their votes in at the same time – meaning busy signals galore, and a more accurate estimate of just how many people are voting for a particular contestant. With DWTS, there may be a bit of a scramble to get votes in after the show is over, but Dial Idol likely won’t pick up on votes that were made earlier in the show, when there wasn’t the same urgency to hurry up and get your votes in…and hence, fewer busy signals to measure. 

REASON #3: Dial Idol doesn’t take text message or online votes into account.

 Perhaps the biggest caveat of Dial Idol is that it only measures phone votes – and with more and more shows also opening up voting via text message and Internet (Idol included, as of this season), it’s going to become progressively less accurate.  There is absolutely no easy way to quantitatively measure text message or online votes – no busy signal to bounce back, no publicly-available statistics, etc. If you think about it, phone voting is possibly the LEAST convenient method of voting for a reality show anymore – if there’s a busy signal, you just have to wait and keep hitting redial; even though the call is toll-free, you still use up minutes if you call from a cell phone; and fewer and fewer homes have landlines anymore – leaving fewer avenues to dial in your votes.  I get the feeling that more and more viewers are resorting to voting online or via text – there’s no waiting, there’s a longer window of opportunity to vote (at least online), and you’re able “cheat” the system a bit by creating multiple accounts to vote online (I can’t vouch for Idol, but I think we’ve all seen what a boon online voting can be for some DWTS viewers!).  Why even waste time and money on slow phone voting when you can get the instant gratification of voting via text or Internet? And thus our Dial Idol “sample size” gets even smaller.

 REASON #4: Dial Idol gives itself a “safety net” of accuracy.

 Ever notice how sometimes the results at Dial Idol are different colors? You may have written it off as the web designer just trying to make the site more “visually pleasing”, but the colors do have some significance – it’s basically a way to show how confident they are in the results for each contestant.  And that’s where the sneaky yellow-colored results come in – officially, it’s a way to say that the results are “too close to call” between all of the contestants who’s results are yellow; unofficially, I think it’s a way for Dial Idol to save face in the event that they’re completely off-the-mark, and pad their accuracy percentage. :-) See the column that says “Dial Idol Range”? Those numbers from 1-whatever for each couple are where they’re predicted to be ranked in terms of votes.  And when those numbers are yellow, it means it’s too close to call, and the contestant could fall anywhere between those 2 numbers.  Let’s use this week’s DWTS results on Dial Idol as an example. Chelsea & Mark are in the lead with a Dial Idol score of 31.92.  But all of the couples’ scores are yellow, meaning it’s too close to call, and all of the couples could potentially be as low as 11th place.  What does that mean? That if there was an elimination this week, and Chelsea & Mark get sent home, it would still count as a “correct” prediction for Dial Idol, since they said it was too close to call and that Chelsea & Mark could be anywhere between 1-11th place. Inflated accuracy percentage much? Is your faith in Dial Idol wavering yet? :-) That sneaky yellow “too close to call” is what lulls a lot of people into a false sense of security – their favorite couple may be in the lead with their Dial Idol score, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe from elimination.  And even the green & red colors, which signify “likely safe” and “likely in danger”, respectively, are no guarantee – Dial Idol has been wrong about those before, too.  Why, you ask? Which brings me to my final point…

REASON #5: NOT EVERYONE USES DIAL IDOL TO GET THEIR VOTES IN!!!!

Remember what I said about sample size? The more people that use Dial Idol, the more accurate it becomes (in theory).  The problem is – we don’t know how many people are actually using Dial Idol to vote, and in order to get a decent representation of what kind of votes each of the contestants is getting, there has to be people using Dial Idol to vote for each of the contestants.  The same applies to any show that Dial Idol supports – how can it measure the busy signal for each contestant if there isn’t at least one person using it to vote for each contestant? Let’s say no one uses Dial Idol to vote for Chris & Cheryl.  Then there’s going to be no busy signals bouncing back, and to those who don’t know the particulars about how Dial Idol works, it’s going to appear as though they got the low score and are predicted to head home.  In reality, there simply isn’t any data to determine whether they’re going to stay, go, or how they stack up against other contestants.  Or, on the other hand, let’s say most of the people using Dial Idol are voting for Hines & Kym.  It’s going to result in an inflated score for them that may make it look like they’re safe, but without equally as diverse data for each of the other contestants, there’s no way to know for sure. 

The bottom line? Short of forcing everyone voting on the show to use Dial Idol to phone in their votes, giving us limitless votes, and making us wait until AFTER the show is over to vote, and finding a way to measure the impact of online voting & text message voting, Dial Idol is NEVER going to have the same success on DWTS that it has had on Idol up to this point.  I say “up to this point” because now Idol also has online voting, and I think that will impact the results even more.  So who knows, Dial Idol may become obsolete soon…yet another reason not to put too much stock in it ;-)

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!

DWTS12 Week 1 Power Rankings

So ends the first night of season 12 :-D Overall, I think I’m fairly happy with what transpired – I think some favorites emerged, some not-so-favorites fell from grace a little, and some personal growth was made that was really kind of cool to watch! I have to admit, this is the first season in quite some time where I went in without a clear favorite – seriously, I was watching tonight with a completely open mind.  No Kelly’s, Pam’s, or Situation’s to root for from day 1 :-) But I think I definitely have some favorites now…I’ll let you guys figure out who they are ;-)

Thankfully, there is no elimination this week, so those couples who didn’t do so hot tonight at least have one more chance to redeem themselves and hopefully avoid next week’s elimination.  But just for fun, I’m going to rank anyway, as if there were an elimination tomorrow night – just to see how these couples stack up :-) ONWARD!

1.) Kirstie & Maks – Way to end the show with a BANG! Kirstie was energetic (yet not spastic), fun, and surprisingly on-point – I definitely think she had the strongest cha-cha of the night.  It was a great balance of technique & entertainment – which is exactly what I look for in each and every dance.  I loved the sass she brought to the routine – it felt natural, and not forced (like Kendra’s). She & Maks are surprisingly well-matched…I get the feeling these two really “get” each other, and being that in tune with one another is going to be a huge asset in the competition.  And I know we’ve all already said it, but Kirstie is a hoot – I’m glad she doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Between the buzz of the preseason, and a phenomenal performance tonight, I think these two are about as safe from elimination as you can get – Kirstie’s got a lot of people pulling for her!
2.) Ralph & Karina – I hearby retract my previous statement that Ralph was “awkward” and “might not get very far” – this was my favorite performance of the night! Ralph must sleep in a hyperbaric chamber or something, because he looks almost untouched by time – and he’s retained that boyish charm that made him so loveable in the Karate Kid movies.  I have to give Karina props, too – she really seems to have a knack for foxtrots (remember the potentially disastrous “Boom Boom Pow” that she managed to make really cool last season?), and this was no exception – loved the classy, traditional feel of it.  Man, Ralph can really move – he was jumping, kicking, extending, and twirling with incredible ease – I felt like I was watching an old Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movie. He was clean, crisp, & cool.  Ralph also seems to have the same self-deprecating sense of humor that Kirstie does, which seems to appeal to the masses – he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and isn’t afraid to have fun out on the floor.  Now that Ralph has caught everyone’s eye, I think his fanbase will grow exponentially – as long as he & Karina can keep up the momentum they started this week.
3.) Hines & Kym – I was expecting Hines to wow me after watching his rehearsal footage, and the man did not let me down :-) This was fun, cool, and a nice first “taste” of what Hines is capable of. I like that he’s not afraid to really move (like Romeo), and he can really work the crowd.  However, he does seem like he might have a bit of the same problem that Warren had initially – he tends to be a bit clunky when he places his feet, and may struggle with more refined foot movements.  But luckily for him, Kym has dealt with this before, and will get him on the right path for continued success.  I thought this was a bit underscored – I would have given it at least a point higher. But I’m sure the Steeler Nation will pick up any slack in scores with their power voting ;-)
4.) Chelsea & Mark – This was a bit odd for me (and apparently Heidi & a few others who I was discussing the show with on Twitter), because at times this routine felt a bit more like something Derek would have choreographed; then Mark would inject some of his signature “spazz” into it and ruin it. I really liked the parts of it that felt fluid – mainly the parts where they actually stayed in hold – but there was wayyyy too much open work for my tastes, and it seemed…jerky.  Chelsea seems like she has great potential – she actually seemed to keep up with Mark’s energy and not look totally ridiculous – but she does seem a bit wobbly, especially on her turns.  However, she has a great smile and a sunny disposition, which I think will carry these two far…at least to the quarter-finals.  Overall, I’d say it was pleasant, but not fantastic; and I think Mark needs to either reign it in a bit or Chelsea needs to step it up a bit so they don’t look so lopsided energy-wise.
5.) Kendra & Louis – I’m afraid these two were the biggest letdown of the evening for me – with all of the talking Louis’ been doing about Kendra being a “frontrunner”, I was expecting major moves to be busted in their routine…and unfortunately, it was just more…bust. Kendra seems to have inherited Wobbly Model syndrome, as she seemed to waver through every turn, and it actually made me a bit nervous – at one point, it looked like Louis might have almost dropped her. And I agree with whatever judge said that Kendra does everything with a bent knee – she should have a look at Kirstie, who in my opinion almost NAILED the characteristic bending & straightening action of the knees in the cha-cha…and while she’s at it, Kendra can also learn how to be “sassy” and not have it look forced & uncomfortable.  And maybe it’s just me, but these two came across as the one of the least likeable couples tonight – a couple of things Kendra said just came across as a bit coarse to me, and I am already sick of Louis talking about how great Kendra is & how he deserves the MBT. Tonight, I feel like Louis took a shovel, dug a small hole, and then handed the shovel to Kendra and let her dig them into an even bigger hole. Oy vey…I hope these two can clean up both their dancing & their personalities!
6.) Ray & Anna – I hearby declare “Ray” the acceptable abbreviation of Sugar Ray’s name here at PureDWTS :-) I got a bit worried watching their package, when I saw how seriously Ray is taking this competition – made me worry that he might have a hard time enjoying himself.  But I got such joy watching him ham it up out there during his foxtrot! It started off a bit slow & stiff, but as the music played on I think he loosened up & started to have fun.  Looks like Ray’s got some major issues while in dance hold, though – very stiff.  He seemed to fare much better with the open work.  Hopefully he’ll be able to cut loose & have fun with the jive next week.  My main worry about these two is that Ray is going to get so “in his own head” in each dance that it’s going to make him forget to also HAVE FUN.  But it looks like he & Anna are very well-matched, so hopefully she’ll loosen him up.
7.) Romeo & Chelsie – Ok, I think we can all admit that Romeo is nowhere near as bad as his dad :-) That said – he still has LOTS of room for improvement.  He seems way too apprehensive about cutting loose & “looking silly”, which is something he’s going to need to get over – FAST – if he wants to stick around this season.  I really think that might be the one thing that’s hindering him…I saw shades of great dancing in his cha-cha tonight, as if he may have forgotten for a split second to “be cool”, and then he’d catch himself and go back to being “walls up, too cool for school” Romeo.  He seems like he does have moves…somewhere underneath all that bravado.  As for Chelsie – honey, maybe you’ve been spending too much time with Mark, because you’re starting to dance around your partners more & more.  Make HIM dance to YOU :-)
8.) Chris & Cheryl – I’m gonna give these two a slight benefit of the doubt tonight, because I think they may have gotten stuck with the crappiest song of the night for their cha-cha…too many awkward rhythm changes.  That said – I really wanted to like these two, but this was lackluster.  I can see what direction Cheryl was trying to go with it – playing on the edgy “rock star” persona Chris has – but it just felt kind of awkward & tacky to me.  Chris, god love him, seems to really be trying – I’m just not sure he’s succeeding.  He’s a bit “stompy”, as he tends to pound his feet into every move, rather than placing them – but the poor guy is a huge bundle of muscle.  I’d also like to see him really “pick up” his posture & present his chest more, because dude has a nice chest…and I like nice chests.  I’m hoping he can clean up & refine some of his movements a bit more for next week, when he has a ballroom dance. I think there are less-skilled dancers with less-popular pros and fewer fans that will likely go before him, which will hopefully keep him around long enough to improve.
9.) Petra & Dmitry – Let me start of by saying this: Petra is a SAINT.  Someone who just seems so thankful to be alive, and wants to share that joy with others in any way she can.  I think that’s an attitude we call can aspire to.  I just wish that joy translated into great dancing, because this was…well, okay to marginal. The poor girl is just so tall & lanky, with limbs that go on forever, and she seems to struggle with where to put them – makes me very, very worried for her jive next week.  She also seemed to get off-time a bit, which resulted in some telltale shuffling on Dmitry’s part to compensate. The choreography was pretty, but wasted too much time at the beginning and end for me – I would rather Dmitry use that time to do some sort of trick with Petra, instead of just walking around with a jacket.  And unfortunatley, this song was pretty, but sleepy; the overall result was a pretty-but-sleepy dance.  I’d like to see her improve, because tall, willowy ladies like her are STUNNING when they can really nail a dance – so let’s hope this performance and next week’s are enough to keep her around.
10.) Wendy & Tony – These two are just one big enigma for me.  One minute, Wendy seems to be having fun and being goofy; the next, she’s somber & in tears. And it’s only the first week! Her cha-cha kind of felt the same way for me – she started off looking like she was ready to have fun & cut loose, and then she’s making these tiny, timid little movements the whole time. If Wendy is known for injecting major attitude into everything she does, then I’m sorry, but there must have been an imposter out on the floor tonight.  Tony was a total non-event in this dance for me - I forgot he was even there.  I’d say these two are probably the most awkward pairing, as neither one seems to mesh very well with the other – and I feel like neither is 100% invested in the show this season, and it shows.  I’m tentatively putting these two as safe, because I think Wendy’s alleged “huge fanbase” (we’ll see about that) might rally to keep her around if she sucks again next week.  But she could be interchangeable with…
11.) Mike & Lacey -  FACT: DWTS viewers have, historically, not really been huge fans of comedians (think Penn Jillette, David Allen Grier, Jeff Ross, Ashley Hamilton, etc.).  FACT: They also don’t seem to like celebs who don’t seem to be taking the competition seriously.  I think Mike may have violated both of those rules tonight by putting off the “I’m a funny perv who doesn’t really care about how I do on the show” vibe.  I thought the guy was hilarious (and I will save my detailed opinion for the cheesecake ;-)), but some less laid-back viewers could just take it as Mike being an ass. And this foxtrot didn’t do he or Lacey any favors - there are no words. It was just…”special”.  And an all-around hot mess.  I would say this dance could be the final nail in the coffin for these two, but something tells me that if Lacey can pull out a decent jive (and Wendy can be timid & tearful another week), then they may get a “get out of jail free” pass.  But I’m skeptical, considering that people are still saying “Mike WHO?”
Woohoo! My first rankings of the regular season are donesky – so what do you guys think? Who are the front-runners, who’s in the middle of the pack, and who’s bringing up the rear? Let’s hear it! And stay tuned for some cheesecake later in the week…Heidi & I are already preheating the oven…;-)
March 21, 2011 I Written By

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

DWTS12 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part II

 Thanks everyone for the great feedback from part I of my preliminary power rankings :-) A lot of you brought up some really interesting points that got me thinking (and sometimes reconsidering) my predictions! Keep the interesting discussion going, as I reveal my predictions for the top half o’ the pack :-) Onward!

6.) Chris Jericho & Cheryl Burke - I know a lot of you probably aren’t expecting Chris to do exceedingly well on the show, but I don’t think we can overlook the fact that he has (statistically speaking) the strongest female pro this season.  Cheryl has an extremely good track record for taking even the most mediocre partners decently far – only twice in her 11 seasons on the show has she not made it past the halfway point (and one of those times was actually a withdrawal due to injury).  I think she may also be the most popular female pro on the show this season, and has amassed a quite fervent fanbase over the year.  And really, after watching  Chris’ rehearsal video – I really don’t think the guy is a total loss. He was moving decently well, and I get the impression that he’s really excited to be on the show this season – that enthusiasm alone is an asset, as I think he will put in the practice hours to really do well. As for athleticism – I think he could be the best lifter this season, as he’s had years of practice body-slamming his WWE opponents ;-) Hehe.  I think he’ll at least make it to the halfway point of the show, but he may not be able to overcome more skilled dancers and fan favorites such as…

5.) Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Do I think Kirstie will be this season’s Nicole/Jennifer/Kristi? Hell no.  But  I could see her being another Ty Murray – an unlikely favorite that people keep around week after week because they’re just so damn LIKEABLE.  Kirstie may be the contestant who’s gotten the most buzz this season – did you notice how she was the only one getting asked questions during the cast announcement press conference? And like Petra, Kirstie is also dancing for a “cause” – losing weight.  What middle-aged housewife (the largest cross-section of DWTS viewers) hasn’t at one time or another struggled with their weight? I think this lends a very relatable, human quality to Kirstie – and people love an “average Joe” underdog. And really – Kirstie is a HOOT.  She may be the second coming of Cloris Leachman, with some of the outrageous stuff that comes out of her mouth! She’s actually a pretty good dancer too – at least judging from her rehearsal tapes.  I think her biggest struggle is going to be stamina, because she seemed to get winded after about 30 seconds of dancing.  I hope for her sake that she doesn’t get the jive until later this season, when she’s worked on her endurance.  Luckily, she has one of the most popular male pros to help her out, and I really think Maks is more of an asset now than ever before – with Derek gone, I think he may be the  most consistently good choreographer on the show.  Let’s just hope he can cut back on the “fluff” that Len hates…then again, we do have Dmitry for that this season :-) Haha.

4.) Romeo & Chelsie Hightower – Another couple that I’m sure no one is expecting a whole lot out of – but I think Romeo might be a “late bloomer” on this show, and won’t show his true ability until at least the midpoint of the season. I know a lot of people have commented that Romeo seems to be “too cool for school” or seems a bit arrogant – and I agree, to a certain point.  I think he’s putting up a front for now, since he’s got his hip-hop reputation to protect; but I think he’s also got an ego, and won’t deliberately throw the competition like his dad.  And don’t let his rehearsal tape fool you – Romeo does have some dance moves, and was even in the movie Honey.  He also played basketball at USC, so the dude is an athlete.  I get the feeling he may be downplaying his dance experience a bit, just in case he isn’t very good, but as the season wears on and he gets more comfortable, I think we’ll start seeing a lot more energy & expression out of him.  He’s got an advantage in Chelsie, who is the resident blonde, Mormon girl-next-door; she’s gotten stuck with some real stinkers as partners the past few seasons, so I have a feeling her fans might rally & keep her around a bit longer this time.  She also has a real knack for concealing the true craptastic-ness (yeah, I made it up) of some of her less-skilled partners…except for that “Hound Dog” jive.  *shudder*

3.) Kendra Wilkinson & Louis Van Amstel – Despite Louis’ own assertion that Kendra is a “front-runner” this season, I think she may very well fall short of the MBT…and I’m afraid it will be his fault. No doubt Kendra can move, and I’m sure she’ll bring a lot of personality to her performances.  I just hope that Louis isn’t digging both of them into a hole with all the bravado he’s been throwing around - Louis isn’t the most popular pro to begin with, and if he keeps up with the smug tweeting and cocky comments during interviews, I could see people turning against this pair.  I actually feel a bit bad for Kendra – she seems a bit nervous with all the pressure being put on her to live up to people’s expectations, and I think Louis is just reinforcing that pressure at this point.  I hope he can really give her some dynamite choreography too, as he has tended a bit towards the silly & ridiculous in recent seasons…and I wasn’t particularly wowed by some of the routines he gave Kelly, either. As for Kendra herself – I think she’ll be likeable enough.  As we’ve seen before, a Playboy past isn’t necessarily a death sentence on the show – Kelly Monaco went on to win her season, Pam Anderson stuck around for awhile, and Joanna Krupa made it all the way to the semifinals.  What IS the kiss of death, though, is lack of personality - which is exactly what sent her friend Holly Madison home.  With both moves and personality, I think she’ll be quite successful this season.

2.) Hines Ward & Kym Johnson – Of all the rehearsal videos, these two were the ones that impressed me the most. Hines has both dance skill and the entertainment factor – he moves well, and he’s fun to watch.  Definitely a pleasant surprise for me, considering I was worried about him being too laid back! He may not be as funny to watch as Warren was (still my favorite of all Kym’s parters), but he does look like he’s having a lot of fun. Hines also has atheticism on his side, plus a legion of fiercely devoted Steelers fans – seriously, I think it borders on insanity sometimes :-) And really – no NFL player that’s been on the show has ever truly sucked.  Kym is also a well-liked pro, and it seems like many of her fans are determined to keep her on the show longer this season after her first-week ousting last season (thanks, Hoff). I think Kym has a pretty good shot of making it to the finals this year with Hines, but I think they’re going to come up a bit short if they’re up against….

1.) Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas – Yes, pick your jaw up off of the floor, I honestly think these two could win this season. Chelsea’s young, wholesome, and not totally inept in the dancing department; Mark is probably tied with Maks for “most popular male pro” this season.  Now I’m not saying that being a “Disney kid” is a shoo-in to the finale – but it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt, either.  Sabrina, Cody, & Kyle all managed to make it at least halfway through their respective seasons.  Something about child stars and their ability to really play to a crowd seems to really be a boon for them on DWTS…plus they all just seem so LIKEABLE. I never got the arrogant vibe from any of the names I mentioned above. They all just seemed so happy to be on the show, like each dance was the most fun they’d ever had their life.  Mark is a pro that always seems to do better with a partner with at least a little dance experience – I think we’ll see him back at 100% this season (if he can manage to set aside his music career for a few months…) with a renewed interest in the show.  If he can get Chelsea to the finale, I think he’s likely the strongest freestyle choreographer on the show this season – and like we always say, the freestyle can really make it or break for finalists.  And the showmance rumors that are likely starting to brew always seem to pique public interest too…if Mark plays this up (more like WHEN Mark plays this up!), they could eek out a few weeks based solely on the curiousity of viewers ;-)

 Alright gang, so ends my official “pre-season” predictions.  Will they change? Of course.  But is it a good catalyst for discussion? Heck yah!!! So who do you guys see making the finale? And who do you think will take the MBT this season? DISCUSS! :-)

March 18, 2011 I Written By

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

DWTS12 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

So begins another season, and with that comes power rankings :-) For those of you unfamiliar with these rankings, they’re basically a measure of how likely a certain couple is to stick around during  a particular week – the higher the ranking, the less likely a couple is to get voted off; the lower the ranking, the more likely they are to get voted off. Keep in mind that this takes several factors into account – not just score, but also likeability, fan base, how memorable a couple was, etc.  The most exciting part is that these rankings can change dramatically week after week – very interesting to discuss & debate :-)

Each season, I do a preliminary power ranking of all the couples before we’ve actually seen them dance live on the show – I actually predicted the top 5 couples of season 10 without every seeing any of the couples dance.  My preliminary rankings for season 11 were crap, but then again, last season was pretty unpredictable :-) But let’s get on with season 12, shall we? I’ll begin with the bottom half of pack – the couples that I don’t see making it past the midpoint of the show. As an aside – this has definitely been the hardest season for me to “forecast”, as I think the playing field is unusually level this season – no immediate stand-outs in terms of dance experience.  However, there does seem to be some disparity in levels of fame & popularity, which I think may play a bigger role this season than it has in the past.

11.) Petra Nemcova & Dmitry Chaplin – I’m afraid this season’s “prettiest” couple is also in danger of being the first to go, unfortunately.  Judging from the rehearsal videos, it looks like Petra may be this season’s worst dancer…she definitely seems to be suffering from Awkward-Moving Model Syndrome, and seems like her long arms and legs are just all over the place.  So Dmitry’s got some work to do…and I think he might struggle with it.  Dmitry did well with Mya, yes, but Mya was already an experienced dancer; I think Petra is going to be more along the lines of never-really-danced-before-in-my-life  Holly, who only made it to week 3 of her season. These two seem like they’re very relaxed and get along well, but that could also pose a problem – there’s some bigger, more famous personalities on this season, and these two are really going to have to make an impression in order to stand out.  Can they do it? I’m skeptical.  Overall, I think the biggest problem these two are going to face is just being memorable – if they fade into the woodwork, they’re goners.

10.) Wendy Williams & Tony Dovolani – Does anyone else find it odd that there has been very little practice footage of these two so far, and that Tony has been uncharacteristically quiet about their progress? I also thought it a bit weird that Wendy seems to tweet more about her show & getting her hair and nails done than she does about actually practicing.  Who knows – it could be these two just wanting to suprise everyone come showtime.  But I’m starting to get the impression that these two may not be as invested in the show as some of the other couples are. It’s one of the reasons I think these two may be an early exit – another is Wendy’s big mouth.  She’s dissed a good number of celebrities on her show, and makes no apologies about it.  Some controversy can be a boon to a contestants success on the show; but sometimes, it does more harm than good.  Then there comes to problem of Wendy’s height – the last time Tony had a partner this tall with no dance experience whatsoever was Kathy Ireland, and she was gone during week 2.  Ladies of height have traditionally not done so well on the show, as many of them seem uncomfortable moving with their stature. And after seeing the rehearsal footage of these two – yikes.  Tony’s definitely got his work cut out for him, as Wendy seems to be not only an awkward mover, but also a timid mover…did you guys see how badly she freaked out just over falling back into Tony’s arms? Wendy’s fans may save her from elimination the first week, but unless she has some miraculous (and I do mean miraculous!) improvement from what we’ve seen so far, I doubt she’ll make it past week 2.

9.) Mike Catherwood & Lacey Schwimmer – I definitely don’t think Mike will be the best dancer we’re gonna see this season, and he’s definitely the “Who?” of this season’s cast – but I think these two will dodge at least the first two elims based solely on Lacey’s popularity and Mike’s charm.  As I’ve said in the past, Lacey’s got a rabid, young fan base that seems extremey motivated to vote, and that alone could save these two from the deathly bath of the red lights…for a little while.  As less popular couples fall, though, they’re going to have to step up their game to stick around – and judging from what we’ve seen and heard so far from Mike, I doubt he’s going to have the judges whipping out the 8′s, 9′s, & 10′s anytime soon.  What he does have, though, is an decent amount of charm – which could have female viewers picking up the phone for him for at least a few weeks.  One thing that could hurt these two: Lacey’s budding singing career.  I see her tweeting more and more about “being in the studio” and “laying down vocals” – and it’s reminding me of Mark last season, who seemed more excited about his singing gigs than he did about his progress with Bristol (not that I fault him too much for that one ;-)).  I just hope that Lacey hasn’t already checked out of this season, because I would like to at least see a few weeks worth of dancing out of her and Mike.

8.) Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff – It’s definitely interesting to me how support for Ralph has really jumped in the past week or so – enough of an increase to catch the attention of the Vegas oddsmakers. I think Ralph is definitely going to be a sentimental favorite for those who grew up watching The Karate Kid trilogy, but for those who haven’t seen it (perhaps the cross-section of younger viewers) or don’t remember it too well, Ralph could be a bit of a “nobody”, considering he really hasn’t done a whole lot since the trilogy.  From what we’ve seen in the rehearsal footage thus far, I think he definitely has potential and is already much better than some of the other contestants this season (see above ;-)), but he does seem to struggle with confidence and does move with a certain degree of caution.  As for his pro – I think he may be at a bit of a disadvantage, as Karina seems to be the most polarizing female pro on the show this season, and perhaps the one with the smallest fanbase.  He may have some residual athletic skill from his karate days, but I don’t know that it’s going to be as significant as, say, Hines or Chris’ more current athleticism. I really do hope Ralph is able to come out of his shell and get voters’ attention, because the guy seems totally likeable :-) I’m excited to see more from these two.

7.) Sugar Ray Leonard & Anna Trebunskaya – Isn’t it funny how Anna always ends up with partners that are total teddy bears? :-) I definitely can see these two being one of this season’s most well-liked couples, but I don’t think they’ll likely have enough steam to make it past the midpoint of the competition.  Yes, Sugar Ray is a living legend in boxing and will likely get quite a few votes from boxing fans; however, boxers tend to really take a beating during their careers, and those effects seem to show up later in life…and he’s 54. Watching their rehearsal videos, it’s clear that Sugar Ray has some rhythm, but he also seems like it takes him some time to really pick up on some of the moves – so Anna might have to really “drill” some of this stuff into his head.  The good news is that Sugar Ray also seems to have the most intense focus of any of the celebs this season, and is really willing to work hard and put in the effort in order to perform well.  I just hope he remembers to have fun at the same time :-)

So there’s the bottom of the pack…what do you guys think? Anyone else you think should be there…or anyone you think will go way further? :-) Let’s hear it! Be sure to stay tuned for part II, when I reveal my predictions for the top 3…and who I think will take the MBT this season ;-)

March 17, 2011 I Written By

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