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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.

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!

DWTS Who Wore it Better? Part X – The Pre-Season 12 Edition!

So the official cast pictures were released on Thursday, and we could be like every other site and just post them for you to see…or we could have fun and do a new (long-awaited!) edition of Who Wore it Better? :-) Enjoy!

Battle of the hot pink, fringed cut-out Latin dress: Petra’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Dmitry vs. Denise’s cha-cha with Maks in season 8

Courtney: It’s almost not fair to pit ANYONE against someone as gorgeous as Petra :-) And while I always thought Denise looked pretty awkward in every costume they put her in, Petra wears this one well – I think the color looks much more flattering on her that it does on Denise, and I love the loose, wavy hair and understated makeup.

Heidi: Well, Denise’s makeup is too over done when she’s wearing the dress – that was distracting to me. You can tell Petra is a model – she knows how to wear clothes. Conversely, Denise is an actress, NOT a model (or a dancer) and isn’t as comfortable in her skin in this sort of outfit. It shows.

The winner: Petra by a pose.

Battle of the white & black embroidered, ruffled “crotch doily” dress: Lacey’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Mike vs. Lacey’s jive with Kyle in season 11

Heidi: You know this dress might be cute on someone else – but not many people. Julianne could probably wear it. But this is just not a flattering cut on Lacey and I don’t get why she insists on wearing it!! But forget about the dress…what the HELL is wrong with her damn hair!?!?! Good lord, you have hair and makeup people at your disposal and this is what you do? This is not “rebel”, this is…I hate to say trailer park is the first thing that came to mind!! Limp and lifeless. You look at pictures of Lacey with the very dark hair (which makes her eyes pop) and she looks gorgeous. I don’t get why a beautiful girl sabotages herself.

Courtney: *sigh* I have to wonder sometimes what the pros’ (or the costume department’s) motivations are for picking certain costumes for these shoots.  This is one of those times.  I always thought this costume was silly – I think someone mentioned the comically placed “crotch doilies” on it, and it just kinda reminded me of something a circus performer would wear.  As for the hair and makeup – oy.  If I hated Lacey’s bleach blonde hair last season, then I downright LOATHE this dark roots, light ends ‘do she’s rocking now.  Her makeup also seems a little drab in this photo shoot – I kinda liked the “pop” that the bright red lipstick gave her face when she wore this costume the first time.

The winner: Ain’t no winners here, move along.

 

Battle of the white-fringed, asymmetrical Latin dress: Kendra’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Louis vs. Edyta’s cha-cha with Aiden in season 10

Courtney: It’s hard for anyone to hold a candle to Edyta in pretty much any costume, but Kendra gives her a good run for her money here! Both ladies look very pretty, but I think the white is a bit more striking against Edyta’s darker hair & skin.  I kinda wish they had given Kendra a more textured ‘do…maybe some loose waves or something to frame her face better than this straight hair.  And what’s with this pose they’ve got her doing? Does she have to pee? Or did she forget to put on undies before leaving the house this morning?

Heidi: That’s the Playboy pose. You can take the Bunny out of the mansion but you can’t take the….wait. You can take the Bunny out of Playboy but you can’t take the playboy out of the bunny. Happy Hour wuz gud. Anyway, Edyta wins on skin tone.

Courtney: I guess we should also point out that Julianne actually wore this dress recently for she & Derek’s exhibition performance in Hong Kong.  Special thanks to Lori for pointing it out :-)

The winner: Edyta by a spray tan.

 

Battle of the black lace, off-the-shoulder asymmetrical hem tango dress: Wendy’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Tony vs. Niecy’s Argentine tango with Louis in season 10

Courtney: Eh…this seemed like a bit of a cop-out on the part of the costume folks.  “Gee, we’ve got a curvy, outspoken black gal this season.  Let’s put her in a costume that another equally curvy, outspoken black gal wore 2 seasons ago!” Kinda seemed like they were typecasting a bit with this one.  I didn’t love the dress on Niecy, and I don’t love the dress on Wendy.  I think I would have rather seen her in something with a little more impact – they’ve got the other gals wearing hot pink and bright white, why not Wendy?  I guess if I had to chose, I would have to give this one to Niecy – her overall look seems a bit more put-together.

Heidi: I dunno, I think the cut of the dress works better on someone taller, like Wendy. Either way, I don’t like that cut high at the hip and then long in front.

The winner: A rough tie – Wendy wins for fit, Niecy wins for ensemble.  But neither is perfect.

Battle of the sparkly, silver-ruffled rumba dress: Karina’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Ralph vs. Karina’s rumba with Aaron in season 9

Courtney: This dress came from the season where Karina seemed to be having a love affair with ruffles – almost every costume she wore seemed to have them! Some of you may also recall this dress as the one she was wearing when Aaron had his post-rumba meltdown in the confessional :-) Anywho…I guess it’s kind of a pretty dress.  Not necessarily my favorite rumba dress (there have been some gorgeous ones over the years), but it looks nice on her. Funny how it almost looks like it’s pale blue when she wore it in the rumba, and it clearly looks silvery-white here.  Gotta love the magic of photo shoot lighting. I gotta give this one to photo shoot Karina for the oh-so-dramatic poses :-)

Heidi: I think this dress is very pretty – but she wore it for a Rumba?? Seems very strange for a Rumba dress – of course, it was a Rumba with Aaron, so that could explain it. :-)

The winner: Photo shoot Karina…because the only drama comes from her pose, rather than her unstable partner :-)

 

Battle of the hot pink-fringed Latin dress: Chelsea’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Mark vs. Lacey’s Team Kristi cha-cha with Kyle in season 11

Heidi: Chelsea is darling. And too tall for Mark – I wish she was dancing with Derek. :-) I smell future showmance. And exploding Bristol/Mark shipper brains. :-) She looks great in this dress and is confident enough to wear it well. I predict top 3 with these two – either that or a shocking elimination. I still don’t like Lacey’s blonde hair, so I have to go with Chelsea.

Courtney: Ok, Chelsea may be the cutest thing EVER :-) Out of all the celeb ladies, I think she looks the best in the costume they chose for her.  Love the flirty pink color, the fringe, and her adorable blonde bob.  Just darling. Lacey looks alright – definitely not the worst costume she wore last season, but the hot pink with the bleach blonde hair just looks kinda…Barbie-ish.

The winner: Mark, no question. *drum riff* :-)

 

Battle of the black tuxedo-inspired dress w/ruffled neckline: Kym’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Hines vs. Kym’s freestyle with Donny in season 9

Courtney: At first blush, this may not even look like the same costume – but if you look at it a bit more closely, you’ll see that they just removed a lot of the tuxedo details, slapped on some ruffles, and turned it into a simple black Latin outfit.  I think she also wore it for the opening pro dance for the season 11 finale. I kinda like the simplicity of it now, without all the cheesy tuxedo stuff - although the bowtie in the back is a bit odd.  Whichever way you look at it, it makes her legs look miles long!

Heidi:I dunno, I have to go with the cheesy tuxedo version mainly because I don’t like the black ruffles at the neckline or the way it’s cut around her legs in the other version. Plus she’s really rockin’ out the hair in the tuxedo version – she makes the best, fierce dance faces ever, too – as we’ve mentioned before. :-) So, I have to go with the in action shot versus the posed one.

The winner: Cheesy tuxedo Kym, for all-around fierceness!

 

Battle of the white-fringed, sparkly-neckline Latin dress: Chelsie’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Romeo vs. Chelsie’s cha-cha with Jake in season 10

Courtney: I actually really like this dress on Chelsie, even if I never did quite understand how it fit in with the “Risky Business” theme of she & Jake’s cha-cha.  And I dig the fiercer, more mature look she seems to be sporting this season – I like the straight hair better than the crimpy ‘do they gave her the first time around, and I’m glad they 86′ed the long black gloves.  Only one complaint: don’t she & Kendra kinda look like the Bobsy Twins? White, tiered-fringe Latin costumes with rhinestone trim & long, straight blonde hair.  Wish they had put one or the other in a colored costume, just to set them apart…both are gorgeous.

Heidi: For it to fit the Risky Business theme wouldn’t she also have to be wearing a man’s dress shirt?? Or am I remembering that movie wrong?? And doesn’t it always seem to come back to hair with us when we’re talking dresses?? :-) And yes, her dress is too close to Kendra’s – but I don’t think it’s wardrobe’s fault. There is video of Derek picking what he wants to wear and I see no reason to think that the celebs don’t go through the rack and pick what they want. The only thing is, I think they went with a color tone last season so they may have only brought clothes that went well together. Anyway, I’m with you on this one.

Courtney: You’re remembering the right movie – although Rebecca DeMornay never wore a men’s shirt in Risky Business.  She did, however, wear a pretty sexy black trenchcoat & matching fedora…kinda wish they had went with that to maintain the movie theme, but unfortunately I think the men’s-shirt-over-tightie-whities look is so iconic that no one would have remembered the trenchcoat/fedora ensemble. FAIL.

The winner: Photo shoot Chelsie, for not having Fake Jake as an accessory.

 

Battle of the beaded black-mesh Latin dress with the plunging neckline: Anna’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Sugar Ray vs. Kym’s cha-cha with the Hoff in season 11

Courtney: I seriously think this might be my favorite Latin dress on the show, EVER.  Kym was a total bombshell in this getup – the long legs, the smokey eyes, the sexy bedhead hair, the great boobs – I wanted to be Kym in that outfit.  Minus the whole having to dance with the Hoff part, of course – that was painful to watch. Anna looks great in it, but as I always say, it’s hard to out-fox Kym & her awesome boobage.

Heidi:HEY!! I was gonna use “awesome boobage”. :-) I think we’ve been blogging together a long time. :-) Gotta agree with you. Not only awesome boobage, but better skin tone and hair for that particular dress.

Courtney: Indeed we have, dearie :-) “Awesome boobage” is also a memorable line from an episode of South Park where Kenny hallucinates about boobs.  But on a slightly off-topic note, I think (don’t quote me on this, because I haven’t done the research) this is the first time that a female pro has worn a costume for a pre-season shoot that was originally worn by another female pro.  For the promo shoots, the pros seem to just pick out costumes they themselves have worn in the past and really liked…or that a celeb has worn in the past.  Wonder how/why Anna ended up with Kym’s costume from last season…did she just not have any black costumes of her own to wear?

The winner:Kym’s awesome boobage.

 

Battle of the short purple Latin dress with black lace overlay: Cheryl’s pre-season 12 photo shoot with Chris vs. Cheryl’s “Toy Story” paso doble to Gipsy Kings with Tony in season 10

NOTE: We searched high and low for a decent quality photo of Cheryl in the Gipsy Kings performance – to no avail.  Screen-capping was equally unsuccessful. So while a side-by-side comparison is impossible, you can check the dress out in action on YouTube. And here’s a special shoutout to our reader Ryan, who pointed this one out to us when we were stumped on where we had seen this dress before :-)

Heidi: I like it, it’s cute – I think Cheryl really likes the lace overlay deal though.

Courtney: It’s a cute dress – but I’m not wild about it.  Kinda seems similar to a lot of other dresses Cheryl has worn.  I do think it’s funny that Cheryl’s pose for this season’s promo photo is identical to last season’s.  I guess it’s become her signature pose,  now that she’s gotten extensions :-)

The winner: Ummm…Cheryl.

 

And a special note on Kirstie’s dress…

As far as we (and our readers, who’s help we solicited) can tell, the dress Kirstie is wearing has never been worn before on the show - or was worn so long ago that no one can remember when.  If you think otherwise, and can provide the specific instance of when this dress was worn (i.e. “Cheryl wore this for her paso doble with Maurice in season 7″) or, better yet, a picture of when this dress was worn, we will post it in a future edition of “Who Wore it Better?” and give you credit :-) But until then, enjoy some commentary from Heidi & I…

Courtney: This dress looks comfortable.  Kinda like a nightgown.  I’d wear it!

Heidi: Definitely straight out of the boudoir – and that’s where I’d wear it too. :-)

Alright, folks – thus ends another edition of “Who Wore it Better?”.  Hope you enjoyed Heidi & I’s warm-up round of snark before we resume the Cheesecake Awards :-) So who do you guys think will be this season’s fashion plate? And who will be this season’s fashion victim?

March 6, 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 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part I

Whenever the time comes to start speculating about the next season’s cast, one useful “tool” we all seem to use is the patterns in typecasting over the seasons – we know there will likely be at least 1 athlete, perhaps a reality TV star, a singer or two, etc.  But when you REALLY take a good look at the casting “types” over the seasons, it becomes clear that each season has been a carefully-crafted combination of celebs to appeal almost every demographic…and I think we’ve cracked that code :-)

Prior to the cast announcements, I’ve done a typecasting analysis for both season 10 and season 11, and both casts have fulfilled almost every subtype (with some celebs fulfilling more than one “type”).  So why not take a look at the casting rumors for season 12 and see which might fit into the casting equation, shall we? :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.

Possible candidates this season: Since we didn’t get an Olympian last season, I can almost guarantee we’ll get one this season – and the most likely candidate seems to be Nastia Liukin, who has been a rumor for a few seasons now and has started following Mark on Twitter within the past few days.  Other possibilities: Greg Louganis, who seems to have been trying for several seasons now to get onto the show; and while it may be a long-shot, Johnny Weir fans are still campaigning for a “Team Weirnoff” partnership.

The Athlete

Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, Kurt Warner, Rick Fox

Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition.  An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.

Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.

Possible candidates this season: This category has been oddly devoid of really “solid” possibilities this season, aside from the Brett Favre debacle – doubtful, but stranger things have happened on the show! Chris Jericho was also kicked around as a possibility again this season, and it looks like WWE Diva Maria Kanellis is still gunning for a spot on the show.

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle among attractive male competitors, who seem to draw in more votes from the predominantly-female viewing population.

Possible candidates this season: A strong possibility seems to be Kendra Wilkinson, who would be following in the footsteps of her Girls Next Door co-star Holly Madison.  Rumored contestant Lee Meriwether is also a former Miss America.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci, Florence Henderson

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: We’ve got two ladies with quite a sterling reputation in show business – Faye Dunaway & Lee Meriwether. One was the original “Bonnie”  of Bonnie & Clyde; the other was the original Catwoman.  Who do you think we’ll get? :-)

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The lovely Lee Meriwether could do triple duty this season, by fulfilling this category by virtue of her role of Ruth Martin on All My Children. From the online voting for this season’s cast, it looks like Colleen Zenk & Crystal Chappell are also big favorites.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: None that we’ve heard of…but who would you like to see? I’m holding out for a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to sign on – Ron White would be a hoot!

So do you guys think I’m onto something with this season’s rumors? Tune in for my next installment, where I dissect just who we might get this season from the teen idol, host, actor, reality star, singer, & wild card categories!

February 27, 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!