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Casting: How Far Will Dancing With The Stars Go For Ratings And Popularity? (Rant Post)

Edyta Sliwinska has written a new blog at Dancing Pros about the producers pairing celebrities with the pros on Dancing With The Stars. In her new blog, she examines “who puts these couples together, how does it happen and, is it fair?” Let’s just say matching dancers and celebrities based on age, look, height or personality isn’t always how producers pair the couples up. Creating the right demographic for buzz, controversy, drama, and purchasing power is more the case. Are you surprised? Below is a take….

So let’s abandon this nonsense notion that the producers try to match dancers and celebrities based on age, look, height or personality. I could give many more examples to prove my point: Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco (huge height difference), Karina Smirnoff and Steve Wozniak (this time the producers went for the ‘Beauty and the Geek’ theme), Derek Hough and Jennifer Grey ( born over 25 years apart). And really, if once in a while a couple happens to be a perfect match, I would claim that it simply happened by chance. The real motivation of the matchmakers from hell at DWTS is to create controversy and buzz. And therefore Cheryl was paired up with Chad and Karina Smirnoff with Mario Lopez, because the prediction was that these attractive and single people, paired up together would certainly generate rumors about their romantic involvement. And they did. However, publicity-hungry producers, at the same time created some great partnerships. My personal opinion is that not many couples could match the amazing chemistry that Mario and Karina showcased on the dance floor in season 2. You might also guess that egotistical Max Chmerkovskiy is not coincidently paired up with some of the strongest women that had appeared on the show. Leila Ali, Misty May-Tranor, Hope Solo and Erin Andrews succeeded in professions dominated by men. Mel B, Debi Mazar and Kirstie Alley are known for their feisty personalities. Pair up a woman who knows how to stand up for herself with an arrogant Russian dancer and you will get a recipe for a drama.

Getting a right demographic of the audience has been a long time struggle for the producers of DWTS. Please don’t get offended if you are 49 or older, but the most desired viewers age, the one that advertisers are willing to pay big bucks for, is between 18 and 49. These are the ages of people believed to have the most purchasing power. Personally I think its nonsense. Most people over 50 that I know spend and have more money then people my age. But I’m not here to convince you about the defectiveness of TV executive’s thinking. It’s a simple fact: major TV networks do everything to attract younger audiences. Does it surprise you then that younger pros usually get better celebrities? When Cheryl Burke won DWTS twice in a row she was at the time the youngest dancer on the show. Later, even younger Julianne Hough, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough replaced her on the podium.

Luckily for the audience the producers can’t predict everything. Some couples who were favored to win were voted off someway along the way, like Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan. Others, who no one expected to do well, made it to the finals or even won like Alec Mazo and Kelly Monaco in season 1. This tiny bit of unpredictability might be the reason why you still watch the show with a trill.

Be sure to read Edyta’s new blog in full at Dancing Pros.

I have to say I am not surprised by a lot of what she writes. I love this show and I will continue to watch and be a major fan, but, sometimes, I have to wonder about the heart behind the scenes? Also, I would suffice it to say that Maks is a guaranteed ‘shoe in’ to be on this show for as long as he wants (not that I mind that as long as he doesn’t cross the line like last season).

Heidi’s Note: Edyta complains that the producers are after a big audience and as much fireworks as possible???  Can I get a resounding DUH!!!! Please? Gee, that’s why TV shows exist.  Anyone who thinks their only goal is to entertain or be “fair” is naive in the extreme.

A) NONE Of this is a surprise, but; B) Edyta doesn’t know jack about how they cast the show.  She was one of the dancers, not one of the producers.  She’s hypothesizing like everyone else, but she’s got an actual ax to grind (from the sound of it) since she’s never won the show.  Her explanation for Derek, Mark and Julianne winning?? They get preferential pairings because they were younger. She clearly hasn’t seen a complete listing of Maks’ partners (or Derek’s, Mark’s or Julianne’s for that matter). Of course, she implies that Maks’ partnerships are designed to create fireworks – that doesn’t mean they aren’t good dancers or ringers.  At the end of the day, Edyta’s opinion is no more valid or “true” than Maks’ is when he said that “Derek always gets great partners” or when DEREK does one of his usual PC song and dances.  The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.   I think she’s right about some things, bitter about others. Just like everyone else.

I would also argue that the female celebs are easier to match with male pros than vice versa – the female celebs are more likely to be shorter or similar in heights, and they are more likely to have previous dance or performing experience. The producers can tinker more with matching personalities, age groups, whatever. With male celebs you are more likely to have a huge variation in height and are therefore limited in pairings….as for age not playing a part?? I bet it does…but Edyta never even considers the fact that some celebrities have the clout to request a particular professional. People have requested Derek, Mark and Maks (and probably Edyta herself, along with Cheryl and Julianne, etc)….and they’ve gotten them.  When you have a couple celebs in a season making requests and getting them, that really narrows down who the remaining ones can be paired with.

Of course she’s right about them wanting ratings and the various ways they will go about getting those ratings…they’re in business.  But I think she over simplifies and makes the easy argument without considering all the angles.  Just like many fans of the show.

January 12, 2012 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.

PureDWTS Exclusive! An Interview with Randall Christensen, Part I

A few months back, we asked you guys to submit questions for Randall Christensen, the costume designer for DWTS from seasons 2-12.  Well now that the holidays are over and we’re starting to get back into the swing of things, we’re sharing Randall’s responses :-)

We’ve been lucky to get a chance to chat with Randall, since he has kept very busy since moving on from DWTS! He’s currently working a couture swimwear line with MiracleSuit (check out Vogue’s post on the Macy’s MiracleSuit fashion show last summer!), is working on a sportswear/ready to wear collection, and is still designing dancesport costumes for Randall Designs, Inc., his costume design company for the past 30 years.  Let’s see what this dancewear icon has to say in response to some of your burning questions :-)

At what age did you start designing?

Randall Christensen: I started designing for my professional partner and students back in the early ‘80’s, learning the craft with “hands on” experience.  I am self-taught.

Who were your mentors?

RC: My first mentor (and still most influential) was Bob Mackie.  He was designing for Carol Burnett as well as Cher for their (respective) shows.  I was a pre-teen and tried to NEVER miss a single one of their shows, as I was mesmerized by their costumes!

Seems like things at DWTS run on a pretty hectic timetable. Can you descibe what a typical week was like for you at DWTS?

RC: A typical week at DWTS starts new on Monday/Tuesday with new designs for each couple.  If we are lucky enough to get the music by Monday (instead of typically Tuesday) I try to get the couples up to the wardrobe department to discuss concepts for the next week’s costumes.  I only get 15-20 (30 mins. tops) to listen to the music, research ideas, discuss, design and finalize.  Then the entire show is shopped Wednesday by 5pm and delivered back to the studio, where I go over every women’s design with our cutter/fitter (the mens’ costumes are done off site, by our dance tailor in downtown Los Angeles).  The costumes are cut/sewn/preliminarily fitted on Thursday, then I have celebrity fittings all day Friday. My assistant helps on Saturday with the professional women’s fittings, they’re altered and ready for the final fitting on Sunday, after the couples do their blocking for the camera.  Adjustments are made and then are trimmed, beaded, crystallized and trimmed out to completion.  Monday morning is time to review each costume before setting them in the individual dressing rooms.  We have dress rehearsal only a few hours before we go LIVE on the east coast.  During that time any last minute adjustments are made and redelivered to the couples’ dressing rooms, sometimes just minutes before they’re to go to the top of the stairs for their walk down – live!  We have to design/shop/fit/finish each and every costume in 3.5 to 4 days!!  Whew!

What types of fabrics are the best for ballroom costumes?

RC: Thank goodness for stretch fabrics, jerseys, lycras, etc.!  These help the costume to be quite comfortable as well as flexible.  We can then get a terrific fit with little to no wrinkles in the fabric.  Chiffon (both silk and polyester) are great for the ballgown skirts, due to the wonderful movement.  Charmeuse satin is a terrific vintage type fabric, reminiscent of some of Ginger Rogers’ gowns.

Are there limitations, or can you work with pretty much anything?

RC: I push the limits every chance I get!  How else can you continue to come up with fresh ideas?  That being said, some fabrics are VERY challenging!  I try not to use brocades, as they are just to stiff and unforgiving for costumes.  Not to mention the fact that they do not flow at all!  I love using natural trims, for an organic vibe, still mixing in crystal rhinestones of course.  We have to have a sparkle on almost everything.

What is the most extravagant costume you’ve ever designed for the show, and who wore it?

RC: I would say the most extravagant costume would have to be Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette-inspired Viennese Waltz gown (complete with powdered blonde wig and all).  To be as authentic as possible, we went to a costume house and purchased a “cage” to make the silhouette as close to the look of the era as possible.  It was almost all completely sewn by hand, on the dress form as there is no way to get that wide cage (for the hips) on the sewing machine to work on.  Quite labor intense, but what a gorgeous look!  And still, we did it in just under 4 days……I still break out in a sweat thinking about that one!

*photo courtesy ABC/Kelsey McNeal

If you could only pick one DWTS costume as your “all-time favorite”, which would it be and why?

RC: Besides Toni Braxton’s Marie Antoinette gown, I would have to say Joanna Krupa’s “Futuristic Paso Doble.”  We pushed the limits (again) of what we could do in just 4 days.  The silver silk lame with electric lights (all wired into the dress) was sensational, but a nightmare to get done in such a short time.  We had a lighting specialist up from San Diego for 3 days just wiring the darn thing.

*photo courtesy of ABC

Everyone has regrets. Have you ever looked back at a costume you’ve designed for the show and thought “What was I thinking???” If so, which one & why?

RC: Oh, I’m sure we ALL have regrets, but I have to say, we have a really good track record if you consider that from concept to completion is 4 days maximum.  The discipline the couple has to have to stick with the original design, in spite of choreographing after the design is done, a procedure which is completely backwards! That being said, each and every week I look at the costumes, making mental notes as to what we could have done better, or what I would have done differently.  The beauty is I get another chance 4 days later.

Who have been your favorite celebs and/or pros to design for, and why?

RC: I count myself quite lucky to have such a great rapport with the pro dancers, and we have such fun with (and trust in) each other.  Our design sessions are quite intense and rewarding. I have enjoyed the trust that almost all of the celebrities have shown to me.  I honestly think that they put their trust in me (and their pro partner) due mainly to the fact that they are in such a foreign and vulnerable area.  They have not danced like this before, and really have to rely on our experience and expertise.  The trust that Susan Lucci, Jennifer Gray, Florence Henderson, Chelsea Kane and Kirstie Alley (to name a few) showed me was quite humbling and really rewarding!  This definitely impacts how wonderful their costumes showed on them.

Do you have an all-time favorite? 

RC:  I would have to say that as far as professional dancers, Edyta Sliwinska made ME look good!  I wish I could take credit for her beauty, but she came that way!!  That being said, I have to admit that Edyta was remarkably prepared each week, knew what looked good on her, and above all else, she left me to interpret her ideas and trusted me completely.  What a dream lady to work with!  Toni Braxton and Brandy both were appreciative, trusting and so lovely to design for.

What happens to the costumes after they’ve been worn?

RC: The celebrities have the option of purchasing any of their costumes, once the season is over.  Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson purchased all of their costumes, along with several celebs. buying their favorite one(s).  We keep a great majority of the costumes from past seasons in a storage facility quite close to the studio.  We also keep a few on hand right in the workroom, in case we need a last minute “fix.”  We have NEVER had to use one of those yet!

We’ve noticed some get reused and others don’t. How do you decide which ones get reused?

RC: We reuse costumes based on the producers’ requirements/suggestions, as well as our guest choreographers’ ideas.  Many times (most of the time) we re-work them so that their silhouettes more readily coordinate with each of the other dancers’ looks, for a more cohesive themed look. There is just not enough hours in the week to make ALL the costumes seen on Monday’s and Tuesday’s shows.  That said, we ALWAYS make something new for our couples for Monday’s show.  The pro numbers and (pro) group numbers may get previously worn costumes, but NEVER on celebs nor their partners for Monday’s competition!

*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Larkey

Do certain pros want specific kinds of alterations (i.e. shorter hems, lower necklines, mesh inserts, etc) on costumes that have been worn before by someone else?

RC: Again, it’s all about the overall theme/silhouette desired.  Our pro dancers do have their specific preferences, and if we could accommodate them, we most certainly would.  Some of those preferences are just going to be kept secret – no use spoiling the illusion……

Tune in later this week when we reveal part II of our exclusive interview…and Randall talks theme nights, panic attacks, and his love of princess seams (?) ;-) You won’t want to miss it!!!

January 9, 2012 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 Former Pro Alec Mazo: “Working with your spouse is fruitful if….”

As you know from a previous reporting, Edyta Sliwinska and hubby, Alec Mazo have started a new facebook page called “Dancing Pros” in promotion with their stage show “Dance Temptation”. Last week, Edyta wrote her first blog where she discusses how she got picked to do Dancing With The Stars. This week, Alec takes the wheel to write about the capability of married couples being able to work together. In doing so, he’s honest in saying “sometimes”. He takes us to the beginning when he met and started competing with Edyta to their decision to do Dancing With The Stars. Below is a take on the Dancing With The Stars part….

Edyta and I grew tired of competing and made a decision to go on DWTS because we wanted to be together, which would be difficult if we kept competing in Ballroom.

At first, the decision to go on DWTS was right on the money, figuratively speaking. Our motives were purely personal. There was no money incentive from DWTS – they paid very little the first couple of seasons and we could have made triple the pay at the studio. Since we joined DWTS from the first season, we had no idea how successful the show would become. However, working with other people (me with Kelly Monaco and Edyta with Evander Holyfield) made us realize how much we wanted to be together based on the time together/apart balance. Our personal relationship thrived. I should note that at this point, being on DWTS meant that we were often in the same building at CBS studios, but were really not working together outside of result show performances and occasional choreography advice to each other. Another plus was that when we went home, we could talk about the common goals and objectives. We understood each other very well and this communication helped our personal relationship. The key takeaway from this experience was that working together with your spouse is fruitful if you can balance your time together/apart, work within your circle of expertise, have common goals/objectives, and understand each other’s personalities while keeping the communication channel open.

Once again, fascinating! You can read Alec’s first blog in full at Dancing Pros. He plans to write more on the subject soon.

January 5, 2012 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.

Edyta Sliwinska Writes Her First Blog On How She Got Picked To Do Dancing With The Stars

Edyta Sliwinska and her hubby, Alec Mazo have started a new facebook page called “Dancing Pros” in promotion with their stage show “Dance Temptation”. As previously reported, the two plan to hit the road again with it again next summer. Yesterday, Edyta wrote her first blog. In the blog she writes about how she got picked to do Dancing With The Stars. Below is a take about the process….

Everyone in the dance world knew about the British show ‘Strictly come dancing;’ it was hugely popular, so when I heard that it will be produced in America, I immediately submitted my resume, videos, pictures, magazines scraps, you name it. By the way if you are thinking of becoming a professional dancer, you should have all of the materials together and ready to go. You never know when the opportunity might knock to your door. In my case it happened in May 2005 and I was so ready for it. I considered all other options (I think I went a little too far thinking I could be a lawyer). Somewhere deep inside I knew I loved dancing. I was invited for an audition to Los Angeles. The producers already knew that I’m a good dancer, or at least good enough for what they were looking for, from all the videos, competition results and so on. Now they had to make sure I had the right personality to play the part. And here came a lengthy interview with hours of question. It was like a real interrogation with the only difference being that I wasn’t asked to tell the truth but to give a few different answers, the more outrageous then better. I had to deliver these snippets ‘in my own way’, but after a while I was so confused I forgot what ‘my own way’ was. They needed to typecast me somehow. My head was spinning; I had to be charming, sexy, competitive, arrogant… Uh, it was my first taste of what television was about. Later I understood that on TV, personality is just as important as skills. In fact I know a former world champion who didn’t get on the show because she was too shy and didn’t look interesting enough on camera. She is an amazing dancer, someone I’ve looked up to for years. Back to the audition, the next in the process was a short dance lesson to examine our teaching skills. That was easy considering my experience with kids in my SF dance studio. If you can teach a 5 year old you can teach anyone.

“Personality” has so much to do with a part on Dancing With The Stars, maybe even more than dancing ability itself?

More fascinating Dancing With The Stars things from Edyta here. They’ve posted some pictures from Dance Temptation as well at their facebook page which you can view one above. Beautiful!! I miss seeing Edyta dancing so much!! She will always be one of my favorite female dancers!

December 30, 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.

Edyta Sliwinska And Alec Mazo’s “Dance Temptation” Touring In The Summer 2012

Missing Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo like I am? As some of you may remember from our past postings, the two produced a new show this past year called “Dance Temptation” which they premiered in Niagara Falls over the summer. Well, something is very much in the works again. Edyta tweeted that as soon as Alec is finished with school, they plan to hit the road again with it again next summer. Be sure to watch this space closely for more information on the show when they time gets closer. For now, enjoy the stunning new “Dance Temptation” Poster (seen above) and some scenes from the show below….

I so want to see this and I hope they take it to every major city in North America!!! :)

Thanks to PureDWTS reader Carlos for the heads up on this!!xx

December 15, 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.

DWTS13 Who Danced it Better? Halloween Edition

And the parade of song dittos just keeps on coming.  :-) Seriously, I find myself groaning aloud each week when I see the song list – “Ugh, that one AGAIN!” or “I feel like they just used that song!!!” But alas, at the very least, it makes throwing these posts together a cinch ;-)

Lotsa dittos this past week – the only ones who managed to make it through semi-unscathed by the reuse of songs that probably shouldn’t have been reused were Nancy, Hope, & David.  Guess that was to be expected, though, since there aren’t too many songs that are both Halloweenish and suitable for ballroom!

Battle of Evanescence “Bring Me to Life”

As most of you already know, it was Evan & Anna’s paso doble song in season 10:

And then, this past week, it was the song for Team Paso Doble:

Court’s take: I have to say I was a bit shocked that they were reusing the music from a very memorable routine, and I gotta give this one to Evan & Anna.  Both routines are great, and this song is damn near perfect for a very dramatic, intense paso doble – but compared to Evan & Anna, who were absolutely KILLING their routine, team paso doble was just kinda kicking it in the shins.  :-) And on a side note, it’s amazing what you notice when you watch these routines the 2nd or 3rd time around – Evan looks a lot better than I remembered him being at the time (guess a few seasons of subpar dancing will make you recognize REAL talent even more!), and Hope looks off-time in several parts of team paso.  That cape section Evan did was SUPERB. 

Battle of Rihanna’s “Disturbia”

Lance & Lacey had their tango to it in season 7, Lacey’s very first season on the show:

 And it was Team Tango’s song this past week:

Court’s take: Why oh whyyyy did they pick this song to reuse for a tango??? I mean, the lyrics are edgy…but the beat is so clubby & dancey.  Not edgy enough for a tango, IMO.  But anyway.  As overrated as I thought Lance & Lacey’s tango was at the time (and I still kinda do), it was better than team tango’s interpretation of the song.  I liked how Lance & Lacey went the classy-edgy route, with the dark costuming and slight tweaks in choreo to make the dance feel “creepier”; in retrospect, it just seems like team tango was doing a regular tango in straightjackets and kinda let that be our only indicator that it was a scary Halloween tango.  I will say this, though: I still think Lacey’s ballroom is horrid.  You could drive a boat show between her & Lance…and that footwork? Yeesh.  And as ho-hum as I felt about the team tango on the whole, I actually really liked JR & Karina’s section, upon second viewing.  Liked that body wave move they did in reverse :-)

 Battle of Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams”

It was first used as Chad & Cheryl’s tango in season 10:

 And then it was Ricki & Derek’s paso this week:

 Court’s take: Considering that most of you probably didn’t remember that it was Chad & Cheryl’s tango, you’ll probably agree that Ricki & Derek had the better interpretation :-) Chad & Cheryl were just a non-event to me – it was just a garden-variety example of their usual routine each week that season, with Chad just kinda walking through the steps while Cheryl danced circles around him.  I think I remembered Cheryl’s dress more than the dance itself – that was during her sheer-skirted ballgown phase, and I remember the back being vaguely…thong-like.  :-P It may not have been the most compelling paso doble that Derek has ever choreographed, but for me it at least managed to take a step beyond the stereotypical Halloween schlock we saw this week.  Plus I just kinda dig Little Red Riding Hood – my favorite Halloween costume everrrrrr. ;-)

 Battle of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters”

Monique & Louis had it as their cha-cha song during the first Halloween show back in season 3:

And JR & Karina got it as their tango this week:

 Court’s take: This is almost a no-contest to me – Monique & Louis!!! The song was positively sucktastic as a tango and I think JR may have been 2nd only to Nancy in song screwage this week.  Wayyyy too hard to keep timing.  And let me just say this: I think Monique may be one of the most underrated contestants that’s ever been on this show, and I think Louis is capable of being every bit as creative as Derek, Maks, or Mark – when he has the right partner :-) I loved this cha-cha – it was fun, cute, cheeky, creative, and yet still a proper cha-cha.  And Monique is like the DWTS-conceived love child of Kyle Massey & Lil Kim – she was a sassy showgirl like Kim, with the skill & youthful appeal (and Disney pedigree) of Kyle.  That girl could DANCE, too – kinda makes me wonder if she would have fared better (and possibly won) if she was in a less-competitive season. 

 Battle of “The Addams Family Theme”

Another gimme from the original Halloween episode in season 3, it was Joey & Edyta’s tango:

And Rob & Cheryl had it again this Halloween episode:

Court’s take: This is a little bit of a weird one for me, as I’m not particularly fond of “The Addams Family” as a tango – even though it has a strong tango beat, it just seems…hokey. :-) And I think both guys had different strengths in their respective routines – Joey’s was definitely better from a technical standpoint, but I thought Rob played the character a bit better.  I enjoyed both for different reasons.  But overall – I just don’t ever want to hear this song again on DWTS!

November 2, 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 Halloween Dancing preview… A review of Season 3

There were a few ways to review this week, and I went back and forth for a while, trying to decide. I thought about the Halloween dances, and the team dances from the past. Since many of the songs are duplicates, I thought about finding all of the prior dances to those songs. But, my search skills on youtube stink and that failed, so instead, I found the dances from Season 3, Week 8, when they performed on Halloween. And, SOME are duplicate songs for this week!!

So, enjoy these Halloween dances, and GET READY for more great dances tonight!
,
Addams Family with Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska dancing Tango

Sympathy For The Devil with Joey and Edyta dancing Paso Doble

Witchcraft with Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke dancing foxtrot

Spooky with Emmitt and Cheryl dancing rumba

Superstition with Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff dancing samba

Dark Waltz with Mario and Karina dancing Waltz… Get your tissues ready! They should have won their season!

Somebody’s Watching Me with Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel dancing tango

Ghostbusters with Monique and Louis dancing Cha Cha Cha

October 31, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Former DWTS Pro Edyta Sliwinska In New “Ballroom With A Twist” Production (Videos)

For those of you missing former Dancing With The Stars pro dancer, Edyta Sliwinska, she will be performing in “Ballroom With A Twist” at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles which begins tonight. In promoting it, you can watch her and her partner Sasha dancing on Good Day L.A. below….

DWTS’ Edyta Performs on GDLA: MyFoxLA.com

George Pennacchio also interviewed Edyta on the production. He asks her about her time on Dancing With The Stars and her future plans as well. She and hubby, Alec Mazo, have big plans for their own stage show called “Dance Temptation” (which we reported to you on over the summer) once he finishes school (I hope so! I’d love to see them tour everywhere with this show!!!). More below….

October 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 Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 2

This is Part 2 in what will likely be a 3-part series. If you want to read Part 1, you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer??

Well, let me tell you, researching these former contestants was not particularly enjoyable. But, I felt like some research had to go into this in order to try to be somewhat informed and to remove some of the subjectivity. Not all of it can be removed, but I tried.

How did I get my results?

For each celebrity who was *possibly* experienced or popular, I focused research on their web sites (if available), their Wiki pages, and YouTube videos.  Then there were google searches. Yikes.  If a celebrity was clearly not a ringer in any way shape or form (ie Football players, rodeo riders, race car drivers) I did not look into their background any further. I did spend some time on this, but since I have another job that takes my time, it’s possible I missed something. :-) BUT, just because you don’t agree with my rankings, it doesn’t mean I DID miss something. Just sayin’. :-)

Determining if someone is actually a fanbase ringer is rather difficult as well. My metric for that determination is: Is this person well known and well loved by the biggest DWTS demographic – that is women aged about 30 to 65. These are the people most likely to watch the show and vote.  Where it gets tricky is guys like Joey Lawrence and Ian Zeiring – it’s guys like this that caused me the most pain.  Why? Well, because my brain is saying, “Nah” but my gut is saying “Just because you’re not a fan doesn’t mean they don’t have sizable fanbases. :-) So, at the end of the day, I decided for my purposes that for them to be a fanbase ringer, it had to be OBVIOUS.  That is – if I know they’re super popular, then they probably really are.  If I don’t really know much about them….then they probably aren’t. I fit the demographic, after all. :-) Read more..

September 17, 2011 I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

DWTS Who Wore it Better? Part XIII – The Chelsie Appreciation Edition

Well she may not be on the show this season, but “out of sight” is certainly not “out of mind” for us here at PureDWTS! What better time to show Chelsie she’s loved than now? :-)

I must confess, due to my own pessimistic tendencies, this was originally supposed to be the Anna Apprecation Edition, because I was so certain she wouldn’t be back this season.  But thankfully, she is, and now I have inspiration to create subsequent editions of WWIB featuring all of the female pros – eventually. ;-) Finding costume dittos is hard sometimes, even for someone with a freakishly near-photographic memory like mine…

Battle of the peach jeweled ballgown: Brooke’s Viennese waltz with Derek in season 7 vs. Chelsie’s pro dance with Dmitry to Jewel in season 8

Heidi: I think the look worked on Brooke simply so that the dress didn’t detract from the emotion of the dance, which was a Viennese Waltz to Daughters, by John Mayer.  It’s kind of plain on her, otherwise. I prefer it on Chelsie, and I like her softer hairstyle with this dress. Of course, it could just be the lighting. :-)

Courtney: I noticed several patterns with Chelsie’s costume choices while compiling this post.  The first is that she has an affinity for doing very lifty, contemporary choreo while wearing shortened ballgowns.  You can’t see in this picture, but this dress has actually been shortened substantially – check it out on the Randall website. May not be of any consequence to you guys, but I do find it kind of interesting how the costume department, when pressed for time & unable to create new costumes, just takes what they have on hand & changes it to work for them – very resourceful.  Anywho! I always thought the dress was very pretty on Brooke, but I’m not sure it’s a color she would pick for herself – seems too demure, and better suited to someone more wholesome and youthful, like Chelsie. And I’m not wild about Brooke’s hair – looks too…plastered down? Idk.

The winner: Chelsie, for better coloring…or maybe lighting.

Battle of the black, fringed, jewel-trimmed Latin dress: Chelsie in the season 11 finale opening dance vs. Anna’s opening credits shoot with Sugar Ray in season 12

Courtney: Another pattern I noticed with Chelsie: she is so freaking hard to get a decent screen cap of!!!!! Seriously – she never stops moving, and her technique is so good that she moves with such a range of motion that she’s seldom in a position where she’s facing the camera, in a neutral position.  I got so many bad screenshots of her moving her body in crazy ways that made it impossible to see her costume well.  She also seems fond of black-fringed costumes – this one is pretty similar to the one she wore for her cha-cha with Romeo, and she wore gloves for both.  In truth – I’m not wild about this version of the black-fringed costume.  Since there’s very little sparkle, it just seems to look a little blah on both ladies for me.  At least with the Romeo version, there was quite a bit of sparkle to give the costume some depth.  I prefer colored versions of this particular style, such as the hot pink & multicolored versions featured in WWIB Part XI.

Heidi: I don’t care for the long black gloves with the short, fringed latin dresses – I don’t get that wardrobe choice at all. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about it really – it’s hard to see but I really prefer the dress on Anna – and again, it could just be the background and the lighting influencing me. I’m so easy. :-)

The winner: Anna by a hair…with an assist from the background & lighting :-)

Battle of the sheer, white, feather-trimmed ballgown: Cheryl’s Viennese waltz with Chad in season 10 vs. Chelsie’s dance with Mark in the “America’s Favorite Dancers” show

Heidi: They all have their “tics” don’t they?? :-) Mark’s is high water pants and polka dots, Cheryl’s is the sheer ballgown skirt.  I much prefer Cheryl’s tic in this case, although I do find it a rather strange choice. As for who wore it better?? Well, I think Chelsie is wearing it like it’s a dress made for CHERYL, if that makes sense. It doesn’t really seem like it belongs on her, and I also prefer Cheryl’s hairstyle, as it is fancy, fancy, fancy…just like the dress.

Courtney: Ahhh yes – another representative of Cheryl’s ongoing infatuation with sheer-skirted ballgowns :-) This one is odd for me: I think the bodice is gorgeous, with all of the beading & delicate details, but the skirt…looks totally silly to me. Like they let a class of preschoolers decorate it with a bunch of feathers & pom-poms.  All that’s missing is the uncooked macaroni and you’ve got yourself a craft project! I don’t know…they both look good from the waist up, and bizarre from the waist down.  I’m apathetic.

The winner: Cheryl loves her some sheer skirts…and rocks them well.

Battle of the red, jeweled midriff Latin costume: Chelsie in the pro dance with the Mwano family in season 11 vs. Edyta’s salsa relay with Ashley in season 9

Courtney: Chelsie costuming pattern #3: she will never show her stomach completely.  Seriously…find me an example of her midriff being completely exposed and I will gladly admit I’m wrong.  She’ll wear cut-out dresses, or ones that show a teeny-tiny bit of belly, but then you’ve got 2-piece costumes like this where they slap a piece of mesh down the front.  This costume definitely had to go through some un-Edytafication before Chelsie would wear it…the mesh, the extra layer of fabric on the skirt to cover the sides, the increased chest coverage.  Normally I would give this one to Edyta, no contest, but the open sides of the skirt look weird to me.  Gotta go with Chelsie this time.

Heidi: Edyta, by a mile.  It was originally designed for her and by adding back material it just makes an already unfortunate dress worse. :-)  When you add the mesh on the front it make the whole dress look heavy, what with the double patterned belts around the hips and under the bra line.  I think Edyta is just playing the part here better than Chelsie is – and damn that woman has a body.  :-)

The winner: Edyta, for playing the part.

Battle of the lavender, jewel-trimmed, one-shoulder ballgown: Kym’s Viennese waltz with Donny in season 9 vs. Chelsie’s Viennese waltz with Jake in the season 10 finale

Heidi: I think Chelsie is a bit too short for this dress – maybe if it was straight to the floor instead of layered it would work better for me. Both women look very pretty, but I’m gonna have to go with Kym, I believe.

Courtney: This is another thing I hate about screen-capping – it always makes colors look too warm.  The dress is closer to the color on the left than the color on the right – but it’s a pretty color, regardless.  I think it’s a good example of the “less is more” concept of costuming – very simple silhouette, flattering color, minimal trim.  Lovely :-) Looks great on both ladies, but I have to give this one to Kym – love her romantic wavy hair.  Looks like Chelsie may have been the victim of the dreaded quick-change, which usually necessitates un-fussy, generically-styled hair to fit multiple costumes.

The winner: She of the Awesome Boobage dominates once again.

Battle of the gold, fringed, halter-top Latin dress: Chelsie in the season 8 intros vs. Ashly in the 150th episode pro dance to “Hard to Handle” in season 6

Heidi: Hmmm….tough call. Both ladies wear this dress well. It compliments both Chelsie’s sunny, California girl look, and Ashly’s darker hair and complexion.  This one is a tough call!!  I think I’m leaning toward Chelsie, but I have to idea why. :-)

Courtney: Maybe because we have a hard time believing a wholesome Mormon mommy like Ashly would pick out an outfit like this for herself? ;-) I dunno, at least that’s what I think – both ladies are on the wholesome side, but Chelsie is able to pull off sexier, flashier outfits a bit better, IMO.  The impression I get from Ashly in this dress is that “I had to wear a gold dress to match the other dancers, so I bit the bullet and picked out the most conservative one I could.” Plus I love the way a gold outfit looks paired with blonde hair :-)

The winner: Chelsie, for looking more comfortable being sexy.

Battle of the pale blue, jeweled high-neck ballgown: Nicole’s waltz with Derek in season 10 vs. Chelsie’s pro dance with Dmitry to Goo Goo Dolls in season 11

Courtney: I had completely forgotten about this one – and now that I’m looking at it, I’m realizing that it is really a beautiful dress. Simple silhouette with delicate details.  Again, looks great on both ladies, but I’m gonna go with Nicole on this one – I think this dress is better balanced as a long dress, and the high neck looks a bit odd on Chelsie.

Heidi: I think the high collar on this dress rather begs for an upswept, formal hairstyle. It draws the eye to a nice neck and you don’t want your hair ruining the effect. So, I have to go with Nicole also. The bodice of the dress with the shorter length (and lack of shoes) on Chelsie just doesn’t look quite right.

The winner:  Nicole, by a length…of dress.

August 29, 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!