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Dancing with the Stars – Winning Freestyles Through the Years, Part One

All the talk about freestyles actually had me go back and watch quite a few of the winners and losers to see what the couples have to live up to on Monday. It’s a rather daunting task, to create one that is really good and, just as important, MEMORABLE. If you subscribe to the Derek Hough school of thought, you want it to be remembered more than you want the MBT. Which of the couples will manage that Monday night?? A couple of them have really good track records, for sure. :-)

Season 1 – it’s rather shocking to watch season 1′s freestyles and remember that they did ACTUAL ballroom. You’ll note that once the Hough Ballas Crowd came along, the bar on the freestyles rose considerably. This one was not bad, considering the time frame, but there were a lot of mis-steps in it. Pay particular attention to the judges and how mellow they are and non-dramatic. This was before they became invested in being the stars of the show. Read more..

May 16, 2014 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. :-)

‘Dancing With The Smiths’ Help Raise $1 Million For Childrens Charity

Isn’t it cool when the celebrities keep up with their dancing? That’s when you know they really love it. These endearing qualities fit Emmitt Smith for one. What’s more, check out how he used his love for dancing for his Children’s Charity Benefit and Celebrity Invitational in Texas held on May 10th and 11th. The theme was called “Dancing with the Smiths”. It featured friends one of which included last season’s All-Star winner and fellow competitor Melissa Rycroft. She also served as Honorary Host for the evening. Tony Dovolani was also present. The event ended up raising $1 million dollars for children in need. Below is a fun picture of Emmitt dancing with his wife Pat (wouldn’t it be cool if she danced on Dancing With The Stars?). You can view more fun photos of them all (including Tony and Melissa) at My Sweet Charity. A huge thanks to @DWTSgossip for the heads up and picture links for this story.

May 25, 2013 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 15 End-of-Season Awards: Which Dance Was the Worst?

And the fun continues…

 worst15

Write-ins:

Gilles & Peta’s Bollywood – 3

Bristol & Mark’s cha-cha – 2

Shawn & Derek’s non-samba samba – 2

Kirstie & Maks’ paso doble trio – 1

Shawn & Derek’s bhangra – 1

Gilles & Peta’s cha-cha – 1

Melissa & Tony’s freestyle – 1

Sabrina & Louis’ paso doble – 1

Shawn & Derek’s rumba – 1

Kelly & Val’s contemporary – 1

Courtney: This is all I’ll say about the write-ins: it’s obvious when someone is writing in a certain dance simply out of spite, or just to try to get a reaction out of people.  How very puerile of them :-) Was Pam & Tristan’s cha-cha a bizarre, fumbly train wreck? Yeah, but I almost think it’s unfair to even count first week dances…because they’re the ones with the highest potential to look like crap.  I usually find myself more turned off by bad dances that occur later on in the season – because by that point, you can’t cite “first week jitters” as a reason to f*ck up.  For that reason, I actually think I chose Gangnam Style – I hated that dance because it was a cop-out.  They basically got a free pass to do ANYTHING they wanted – they could have put a completely unique spin on it, thrown in some cool tricks & lifts, and incorporated some ballroom steps to please Len.  Instead, it was as if they said “Y’know what? Let’s just copy the video, add some additional raunch, and call it a day.” Was it fun? Sure.  But I can think a dance is fun and also think it’s terrible. Case in point? Carson & Anna’s pirate Viennese waltz in season 13.  Amusing in a trainwreck fashion, but I definitely wouldn’t say it was my favorite of that season…or even that week, and it was still a complete mess. I think my second choice was Bristol & Mark’s quickstep, because it just ended up being a complete mess, both in terms of choreography & execution.  Not sure what to make of the surfer flamenco – I guess I would categorize that one as a “cop-out” as well, since it seemed like they said “Welp, we don’t know any flamenco, so let’s do paso in skimpy swimsuits and hope nobody notices!”

Heidi: Courtney!! How dare you say that people write in comments just out of spite!! That NEVER happens here!! Well, okay, only every other day. ;-) Totally agree with you that I wouldn’t look at first week dances and cry out “worst dance ever!!” So many of them DO look like crap in the first week. Anyway, when I looked at this category two dances immediately came to mind – Team Gangnam Style and Gilles’ Bollywood nightmare.  Team Gangnam style just disgusted me because they didn’t even TRY. Any actual dancing that was included was sloppy and disjointed – I seem to recall thinking that Emmett was the only standout from that mess.  Pretty sure that’s the one I voted for…although I could have written in Gilles. :-)

Vogue: When I saw this poll, I almost voted for the Team Gangnam dance as the Worst dance. I remember thinking it was just awful comparted to Team Call Me Maybe’s dance which was so well executed, choreographed and full of creative content. In the end though, I voted for Val and Kelly’s Surfer Flamenco (what an awful combination) as that dance beat them all as worst dance ever in all of the seasons of Dancing With The Stars PUT TOGETHER! 8O

February 21, 2013 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 15: Why I Hated the All-Star Season

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…much to the chagrin of my detractors ;-)

Yes, I am back, after a rather prolonged post-season 15 hiatus. Part of it was due to a hectic year-end at work, part of it was due to other stuff, and part of it had to do with what I’m about to elaborate on in this post. Thanks to everyone who checked in on me on Twitter, and I can assure you I’m back full-time now :-)

Many of you have noticed that I tend to take a bit of a break from Pure after the end of each season – mainly due to the level of burnout we all seem to reach after being in full-on DWTS mode for 3 months straight while we’re covering each season. Generally, I just need a break – some time to appreciate other things in my life besides DWTS – and I’m back after a week or two. This time, though, I had a harder time getting back into the swing of being excited and inspired to write about DWTS – and for awhile, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I had a revelation…

…I HATED THE ALL-STAR SEASON.

There, I said it. I hated the all-star season, and I think it has now surpassed season 9 as my least favorite season of DWTS EVER. Reflecting on this past season, aside from a few standout performances (and all the great interactions I had with Pure readers :-)), I was hard-pressed to really feel nostalgic and pleased about it. In fact, what I tended to remember the most was all the frustration, chaos, and general feelings of “WTF is going on???” that I had while watching and blogging from week to week – and when I really got to thinking about it, I found that there were 5 key problems that left me feeling totally turned-off the all-star season. Without further ado, I give you those reasons… Read more..

February 13, 2013 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!

Emmitt Smith Chats On Casting Football Players For Dancing With The Stars And More

Emmitt Smith tells the Huffington Post that he’s “not upset, only disappointed” that he didn’t win the All-Stars mirror-ball trophy. He also had some thoughts on casting future football players. For instance, below are his thoughts on Tim Tebow and Victor Cruz….

“I don’t think Tim Tebow would kill it. I don’t think he would do well on the dance floor. I think he would be limited. Victor Cruz might kill it. At least, he could salsa,” says Emmitt.

Speaking of football players on the show more generally, Emmitt said, “It opens another level of exposure I wouldn’t get from the game itself. When I was playing the game, I had a helmet on my head; people rarely saw my face. I think it’s a smart business move, but at the end of the day, you have to have some of the same qualities. I’m known as a champion on the football field, I wanted to be known as a champion in the ballroom. So you don’t want to just get in for the exposure, because you can be exposed positively or negatively.”

So true!! That goes for everyone too not just football players. If a celeb is going to dance, do it for the love of dance, not just for exposure. Also, bring on VICTOR CRUZ! :D

You can read more at the Huffington Post including Emmitt’s thoughts on White dancers versus Black dancers.

December 6, 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 Audience Casting Watch: Christie Brinkley, Danica McKellar, Adrienne Maloof….

Sometimes I have to wonder about the celebs who show up in the audience to watch Dancing With The Stars and if they might not be considering dancing on the show in the future? For instance, Emmitt Smith was in the audience for the Dancing With The Stars Season 14 finals (or was it the semi finals?). The next thing we know, he was picked to do the Dancing With The Stars All Stars season.

I also remember Christie Brinkley being in the audience for Season 14′s Semi Finals which brings me to this piece on Anderson Cooper yesterday with Christie doing a Samba with this season’s Dancing With The Stars All Star Gilles Marini.

Nice, huh? :)

During her run in “Chicago”, Access Hollywood asked Christie if she’d ever do Dancing With The Stars. She wouldn’t say yes or no. In fact, she said, “never say never”. She also said TPTB have asked her to do the show before, but, the timing has never been right.

While atttending “Chicago”, Kym Johnson said would like to see Christie dance and remarked “hopefully” Christie would do the show someday in this interview…. Read more..

December 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.

Vote for Your Favorites in the PureDWTS All-Stars End-of-Season Awards!!!

It’s that time of the season again – time to wrap up the season by voting in our end-of-season awards :-)

First, some guidelines: I picked what I thought to be the most likely nominees for each category, just based on the vibes I’ve been getting from your comments all season.  I know some of you are going to disagree.  For that reason, I have allowed write-in votes…probably against my better judgement.  HOWEVER, I’m asking you guys to PLEASE USE THE WRITE-INS SPARINGLY.  Make sure the nominee you’re writing in isn’t already listed as one of the options, make sure it’s spelled correctly, and fits the scheme of the other nominees (i.e. if the category is “best dance”, you would write in something like “Kelly & Val’s paso doble”, and not just “Kelly”).  If I cannot understand what you’ve written in, your vote is getting thrown out.  If your write-in doesn’t make sense given the context, your vote is getting thrown out.  There was an absolutely ridiculous (and unneccessary) number of write-ins in last season’s awards, and I almost said “f*ck it” and threw them all out, because some of you guys clearly didn’t know how to follow directions.  Don’t bring me to the point of “f*ck it” again this season. 

I will give you guys a week or two to get your votes in, and then we will reveal the results category by category in a series of posts.  I’ve included a brief explanation of each award above each poll, since there seemed to be some confusion in last season’s polls. Now vote away!!! Read more..

November 30, 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!

Finalists Thoughts Before The Dancing With The Stars Finale, Camera Blocking Picture

People.com has just a little teaser on Dancing With The Stars tonight. It has quotes from Tony, Shawn, and Kelly for how they are feeing on the finale….

“For me, winning the trophy would be everything,” he says.

The women, who reached the finals last Tuesday after Apolo Ohno and Emmitt Smith were sent home, are vying in a race that features two former champs.

Johnson, who won in season 8, says she’s “so excited” to go for the trophy again, while Monaco, the show’s first winner back in 2005, is ready for battle. She notes she’s one of five girls in her family and “can step in the ring” with anyone.

“I embrace girl power!” she says. “So I think it’s awesome. I’m honored to be up there with two amazing women.”

You can read the full article at People.com. Also, take a look at the picture in this tweet. It has a picture from camera blocking yesterday….


the beginning of the end. last #DWTS camera blocking of the season. #allstars http://t.co/xoO7XEk2
@MakenaKate
Makena Coscarelli

You can also watch their Good Morning America interviews HERE. Kelly and Val talk of their bond. No, it’s now a showmance, but, it’s genuine. He’s so thankful for what Kelly has done for him this season. Melissa and Tony talk of the competition. It’s no time to “be a sissy”. Shawn says this finals are intense. Derek jokes it’s a “cat fight” between the three women.

Here’s to tonight All!

November 26, 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.

DWTS All Stars, Week 9 – The Cheesecake Awards!!

Courtney and I were much too lazy to worry about screencaps and gifs this week, so you’ll have to live without them. Well, I was too lazy. Courtney’s actually been sick. Boo. Anyway, on with the show.

The Award for a Metaphor FAIL (a.k.a The Master of the Mixed Metaphor Award): Len Goodman for “That dynamite was fantastic!!” Referring to Shawn and Derek’s Bhangra

Heidi: Um, say what?? :-) And yes, I tried to mix the metaphor in the Award title too, just in case you were wondering. Anyway, Len really let loose and lost control. He was freakin’ giddy giving them that 10 and then his whole “SHUT UP! Shut the front door and call me Mary..” thing was pretty funny. And confusing. Is this an English thing?? :-)

Courtney: Hehe…you can definitely tell when Len goes off-script, because he makes absolutely no sense.  No cheesy “more bounce for the ounce!” or “what was on the label wasn’t in the tin” organized comments – it’s like he gets Tourette’s Syndrome when he actually likes a dance :-P

The Award for Best Audience Wrangling/Stage Direction: Tom Bergeron for telling the audience members in front of him “You can stop clapping, this isn’t exciting” and then telling them to keep clapping when something was good.

Heidi: Geez, the muppets could take some lessons from Tom. “How to chastise an Audience Member in a humorous way.” I wonder what he would have done if he had seen the chick in the short skirt bent over last week? “Hey, honey, it’s a bit early for the moon in LA.”

Courtney: I have to wonder if Tom gets as fed up with the nonsense of the show as we do sometimes :-P Read more..

November 25, 2012 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. :-)

Dancing With The Stars Las Vegas Odds Going Into The Finals – One Of Tightest Ever!

Going into the Dancing With The Stars All Star Finale is a tight one at that. The odds makers at Sports Bovada, have placed their final bets. It’s been an interesting season as they’ve seemed to nail who is going to finish ‘last’ every week. Then again, all season we’ve seen them placing Emmitt Smith at the top to win and well, as you know, he was eliminated last week. So, below are the odds as of right now for who will win the Dancing With The Stars All Stars. I’m in agreement with them this time. I think this is exactly how it will play out….

Shawn Johnson 1/3
Melissa Rycroft 4/1
Kelly Monaco 5/1

Last week’s Las Vegas Odds going into Week 7 to compare:

Shawn Johnson 4/7
Emmitt Smith 5/1
Kelly Monaco 15/2
Melissa Rycroft 15/2
Apolo Anton Ono 17/2

Be sure to let us know what you think and how you would place the couples. Let’s get Heidi and Court’s thoughts on the odds too:

Courtney: No arguments here – I still think it’s going to be Shawn’s to lose, with Melissa & Kelly a distant 2nd & 3rd.  I have a feeling Shawn & Melissa will end up pretty close in scores (and both will likely be near-perfect, unless Tony really whiffs this freestyle), and Kelly will likely trail by 3-5 points.  I’m fully expecting the judges to drop the hammer on Kelly, since I don’t think they were expecting her to last through last week’s elim.  When it comes down to the winner, though, I’m fine with either Melissa or Shawn winning  – although I think overall, Shawn & Derek have been the most creative, the best dancers, and the best entertainers this season.

Heidi: I agree that’s the order they SHOULD be in, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination. And these odds guys with the 1/3 appear to think it is a slam dunk. If Melissa gets too far ahead in points – like, say, three – because of Shawn and Derek getting docked again for their quickstep, I think it’s a real horse race. I think Melissa could win this – but her routines will have to be spectacular, and by that I don’t mean all lifts. That said, I’m not convinced at all that the judges will dock Shawn and Derek for the quickstep again. They just don’t have a history of doing that. They didn’t for Mark and Chelsea and I’m sure there are others – probably all on Derek and Mark, since those two are the ones who take risks. They tend to loosen up on their own issues in the finale. Not to mention that I have this sneaking suspicion that Derek and Shawn had the quickstep picked FOR them, as did the others. In any case, Shawn and Derek suffer from the “sure thing” syndrome and I hope their fans realize this. Their biggest risk is that people don’t vote because they assume she’s going to win.  That’s the price of creating AMAZING dances all season long. Not to mention that the producers edits of the packages are going to go OVERBOARD on the sob stories of “Tony’s never won…” and “Melissa and Kelly are such underdogs…” blah blah blah. Unfortunately, that crap works on the average Joe.

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.