So the other day, we counted down the top 10 worst first week cha-cha’s in DWTS history. As you can see, we only have a top 5 for this countdown – probably because there have only been 37 week 1 foxtrots in the history of the show, and the bulk of them are neither good nor bad…but just hard to remember Only a handful have stuck out in my memory as notable – and those are the ones you are seeing But first, some factoids for your enjoyment…
*The foxtrot has only been used as a week 1 dance in 7 seasons: seasons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, & 12. The other seasons have either had a waltz (seasons 1, 2, & 8) or a Viennese waltz (seasons 10, 11, 13) as the week 1 ballroom dance. Season 9 had both the foxtrot and the Viennese waltz as first week ballroom dances.
*The lowest week 1 foxtrot score ever given was a 13 – it was given to Mike & Lacey in season 12.
*Besides the 3 newest pros (Val, Tristan, & Peta), the only pro this season that’s never done the foxtrot as a regular week 1 dance is Derek – unless you count the foxtrot relay in season 9 (I don’t, because it was only 30 seconds ;-)).
5.) TIE: Sara & Tony, season 3 and Leeza & Tony, season 4
Zzzzzzzz….uh, um, what? Sorry, fell asleep – thought I was watching paint dry, at the rate these foxtrots were moving! I’m not sure if these ladies thought they would shatter into a million pieces if they moved more than an inch or two, but there was just so little going on in these numbers – just some very slow strolling and painfully cautious turns. The foxtrot is already a pretty simple dance, so it’s up to the pros and their celeb partners to inject some much-needed jazz into it to make it entertaining…and when they don’t, you get these sleepy, unremarkable foxtrots that I bet half of you probably didn’t remember.
4.) Rocco & Karina, season 7
Rocco seemed like a really nice guy, but he was pretty dorky on the dance floor You could tell he was really trying as he bobbed and skipped and flailed his platter hands across the floor here, but he also had the “I feel like a massive tool” look on his face the whole time. Granted, I think both he & Karina were nervous about her ankle injury earlier that day, but honestly – Rocco was just not a dancer. Sorry, dude.. Read more..
As promised, I am excited to bring you the first installment of our season 4 “costume retrospective” with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for the show from seasons 2-12 of DWTS! You’re in for a real treat, guys – in this edition, Randall not only reveals his inspiration for each of the couples’ costumes, but also explains how the costume department at the studio came to be, some interesting challenges that posed by Heather’s weekly transcontinental traveling, and what you DIDN’T see in Joey & Kym’s disco costumes Read on!
Did you know that the DWTS costume department wasn’t always located in the same studio as the show itself? Randall explains how tough it was in the early days: “This season was the second season (and the last season) that we had a company in Burbank, CA make the costumes. A nightmare trying to get the couples over the hill into North Hollywood, with intensely congested traffic. I remember one fitting where Heather Mills was 2 hrs. late getting there, even though it was only about a 15 mile drive, due to traffic. That delayed fitting was the catalyst to our getting our own workroom (the very next season), which helped the cast and my crew TREMENDOUSLY! We gave up the Green Room and created our workroom right in the same bldg. as the show, 2 floors above the soundstage.” Can you imagine how stressful it was for both the costume personnel AND the couples to make that trek for the costumes??? And what kind of problems it posed when there were wardrobe malfunctions that needed a quick fix??? Thank goodness the powers that be recognized the need for an in-house costume department, and made the necessary accomodations
*photos courtesy AP/Chris Pizzello
Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes: “Karina’s “tie dyed” red/burgundy burn-out velvet was a great choice of fabrics/color for their first dance. Individual strands of bugle bead fringe accented her body movements. Billy Ray’s costume was kept simple for this first week.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Ian & Cheryl’s costumes: “Cheryl’s costume had chrome “nail heads” and other silver hardware, giving a bit of an edgier look. We tied in Ian’s look with a chrome studded belt.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Edyta’s costume: “Edyta always looks sensational in “just a little something” and this costume was no exception! The crystal encrusted petal bra and that voluminous Cuban style circular skirt was perfect for this first week’s costume! Love the tropical coral color too.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: “Julianne’s red beaded fringe number was TONS of work to create, but oh-so-worth it! That skirt just did NOT stay still! And Apolo’s red bandana was a fun tribute to his signature look when competing in speed skating. I loved that he was comfortable (and confident enough) to wear a bit of red trim on his shirt – to tie in (not only his bandana, but also ) with Julianne. Apolo was an incredible athlete, and dedicated and determined to do whatever was needed to give him an edge. I’ve noticed (and appreciated ) that about all of the athletes that have been on the show.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Joey & Kym’s costumes: “Kym Johnson/Joey Fatone – now here is one confident (and FUN) celebrity! Joey really wanted for us to trim the back of his vest with TWO WORDS – FAT and ONE. The producers didn’t want us to do that, so we went with his Fatone (one word) rhinestone encrusted on the back of his vest. And what a FUN costume for Kym – a tribute to the 70’s-80’s “ABBA” look. Smoking on Kym’s smoking body, don’t you think? Very fun, and a bit tongue-in-cheek.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Laila’s costume: “Laila is such a phenomenally gorgeous woman, and one terrific athlete. Because she is so tall, and has quite the muscular body, I really wanted to make sure her femininity came through. In spite of all her muscles (fantastic biceps!!!!) Laila is ALL woman! This rust silk satin gown with crystal encrusted appliqué was soft yet sexy, and did that skirt ever soar when she moved! Of course standing over 6 ft. tall in heels certainly made for a dramatic silhouette, one which Maks could still certainly handle.”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Heather’s costume (and the special challenges it posed): “The first few weeks of pre production and the first couple of weeks of the live show posed quite a challenge for us and Heather. Because of the notoriety of Heather, we had to do so much secretively, so as to not alert the public as to her being on the show (during pre-production I was the only person on my staff who knew she was one of the celebrities – we had to keep it THAT hush, hush!). So consequently, we had a company in London create the first two weeks’ costumes for her, as she was training weekly in England (flying over to compete and then returning back to England). The company we used had been the costume makers for the UK version of DWTS (Strictly Come Dancing) and we are good friends, so I felt really comfortable having them take care of Heather. They travelled a great distance to give Heather her fittings. This gown was one of their creations and fitted Heather’s style and physique perfectly! I think that the biggest challenge was to find a dance shoe company that could/would make VEGAN dance shoes. Being a strict vegetarian, Heather was quite concerned about wearing dance shoes which always have leather suede soles, for proper traction on the dance floor. Thank goodness her assistant knew of a great shoe company that made several pairs for her to try out, rehearse in, and another set to perform in. And Heather was incredibly helpful, not to mention a total JOY to work with! I don’t know that I have ever had (before Heather or since) a person who got so excited on each and every design session. There were times when we were giggling and she was clapping and exclaiming how much fun this was. Heather was one of my most memorable celebrities that I have worked with, totally professional and very appreciative!”
*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson
Wow! I never realized what challenges the costume department had to overcome behind the scenes! But obviously, they handled them with such skill and perseverence that we never saw them. But it is fun to know behind-the-scenes tidbits like these…definitely makes the show more fun to watch, at least for me
Still need more DWTS costume goodness? You can always check out Randall’s website and Facebook page, and be sure to stay tuned here for more costume retrospectives from the man himself – we’ve got Randall’s take on the week 2 costumes coming at you later this week
Chaz/Any dance from Chaz – 3 (Another one I’m tempted to throw out, because this seems a bit mean-spirited…and it doesn’t follow the directions)
Hope & Maks’ paso doble – 2
Elisabetta & Val’s cha-cha – 2
Ricki & Derek’s samba – 1
David & Kym’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s freestyle – 1
Rob & Cheryl’s samba – 1
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 1
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Too many to list – 1
Courtney: Again, no big surprises here – looking back, I really do think Ron/Metta & Peta’s cha-cha was pretty hard to watch…and just kind of bizarre. Hope & Maks’ tango, while very “clunky”, didn’t seem as bad to me – she was at least trying, where I felt like Ron just said “f*ck it” and was out there just winging it. I have to give Nancy & Tristan’s jive a bit of a free pass, considering they got what I think could be the WORST jive song in the history of the show. Chynna had a brain fart – yes, it was hard to watch her crash & burn out there, but after seeing their encore performance during the finale, the dance itself didn’t seem quite so bad. I would say that Rob & Cheryl’s Viennese waltz the first week had the potential to be as bad as Ron’s cha-cha, but Cheryl is such a pro at this point, I think she managed to conceal more of Rob’s flaws with backleading than Peta did with Ron’s. JR & Karina’s cha-cha – yeah, it was a pretty hot mess, but I found that JR’s dancing in the finale was generally not up to snuff with the other stuff he had done all season…chalk it up to injury, I guess. David & Kym’s jive was another hot mess, but again – he at least looked like he was trying. It’s funny how effort can make or break a dance for me – a dance can be a hot mess, but I tend to cut it a bit of a break if I feel like the celeb is at least TRYING. Likewise, a dance can be pretty good, but if I feel like the celeb is not really trying or doesn’t really care (think Kate Gosselin) – I cannot bring myself to like it, no matter how great it may be. Rounding out the write in category, I’ve got to raise my eyebrows at some of the responses, unfortunately. Regardless of how one feels about Chaz’ life decisions, I don’t think all of Chaz’s dances were the worst ones this season, by any stretch – in fact, his cha-cha and samba were both pretty good, in my eyes. And regardless of how one feels about Ricki and/or Derek, I don’t think any of their dances came close to being the worst, either – I think they may have gotten excessive praise for a few of them, but I don’t think any of them are inherently bad. Hell, I was actually surprised that no one brought up their 80′s foxtrot – if any of their dances seemed even remotely qualified to be the worst of the season, it was that one…but again, I blame a crappy song and theme. It’s funny that people bring up Hope & Maks’ rumba – with all the drama that followed it that week, I think it may have colored some people’s opinions of that dance for the worse; however, I actually kinda liked it, because Hope actually seemed to let go and show some vulnerability that week. I just hated those damn flat boots she had to wear
Heidi: Heh. I forgot Ron was even on this past season, so it would be difficult for me to call him the “worst” – maybe being utterly forgotten is worse than being the worst. I always laugh when someone throws in Ricki and Derek for a “worst dance” category. She was not Derek’s best partner ever, but worst out of this group? LOL – I think a bit of envy is at play here. I will also freely admit that Maks’ and Hope’s behavior toward the end of the season completely colored my thoughts on their dancing and, frankly, them as people. But you know what? That is the risk you take when you persist in that type of behavior with no apologies. You have to own it. Be responsible for it. Like it or not, you’re on TELEVISION and what you do will have an impact on people, either positive or negative. Now, I’ve had a negative opinion on Maks before and he turned it (and me) around with Kirstie. He may be able to do it again. But how many times can one keep making the same mistake before they just get written off? So, at the end of the day, that is likely what you’re seeing in the number 2 ranking for Hope and Maks – unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) I’m rarely alone in my opinions or reactions. I’m just not that unique. As for Tony and Chynna – I think people are very sympathetic with someone just blanking on someone and then feeling awful about it. Sympathy plays a huge part in this show, as we’ve said time and again. Plus, I think most people can see the difference between forgetting ones steps and being a “bad” dancer. I don’t think she got voted out for blanking, I just don’t think she had a fanbase to begin with and her previously good scores had been protecting her from elimination.
Vogue: Wow, I’m shocked to see Maks and Hope’s Tango scoring so high for worst dance? But, looking back at it again, I was quickly reminded of her “attitude” which was turning a lot of fans off at the time including myself. I also thought Tony and Chynna’s Tango would have scored higher as “worst dance”. In the end, I agree with who won in this catagory. Ron didn’t even seem to care and Peta seemed to have given up as well on him which I didn’t fault her a bit. If she comes back this next season, I really hope she gets a good partner. I’d really like to see her given a good chance to teach.
You guys voted…now it’s time to reveal your picks for the bests and worsts of season 13!
Other responses (keep in mind I am paraphrasing, as there were some…creatively-written responses ):
JR & Karina’s freestyle – 11
JR & Karina’s waltz – 7
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s 1st jive – 4
Ricki & Derek’s rumba – 3
Ricki & Derek’s quickstep – 2
JR & Karina’s instant jive – 2
Rob & Cheryl’s tango – 1
Elisabetta & Val’s quickstep - 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Ricki & Derek’s portion of the team paso doble – 1
Rob & Cheryl/JR & Karina’s instant samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s quickstep – 1
JR & Karina’s “Vietnamese” waltz – 1 (I assume you meant “Viennese”? )
Chynna & Tony’s rumba – 1
Derek & Mark’s dance w/Charm – 1 (one of the results show dances)
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Carson & Anna’s Vogue – 1
GET NANCY OFF THE STAGE – 1 (I have half a mind to toss this one out completely…)
None really impressed me to say they were the best – 1
Courtney: Can’t say I’m too surprised – choreographically, I think Ricki & Derek’s tango was really the strongest dance of the season, and the execution and performance value were there as well. It’s also a great example of how a less-than-desirable song/theme isn’t necessarily a death sentence, if put in the hands of a creative pro – in fact, a challenging song can often push a pro to really rise to the occasion and crank out something incredible. JR & Karina’s samba was fun & well-executed, but maybe not quite as creative; ditto for Rob & Cheryl’s samba. Gotta say – I was kind of rooting for Carson & Anna’s cha-cha. It has yet to get old for me Nancy & Tristan’s foxtrot and Hope & Maks’ quickstep were both fun & light, but I actually think Hope & Maks’ foxtrot was a stronger dance, both performance-wise and technique-wise…but I feel like it got overlooked because it was wedged between two weeks where Hope didn’t do so great. The quickstep happened during her “breakthrough” week, so I think it comparison it may have appeared better than it really was. Hope looked to me like she was holding on for dear life in the quickstep, but seemed much more at-ease during her foxtrot. I dunno…it is what it is. Other responses: I liked JR & Karina’s freestyle a lot, but for some reason (which I can’t really put my finger on), it’s lacking a certain something for me that would really qualify it as the best dance of the season. I have to raise my eyebrows a bit at the fact that 4 people (or rather, 4 different IP addresses ) really thought Nancy & Tristan’s rumba was the best dance of the season…I mean, the dirty glance Tristan tossed Carrie Ann’s way at the beginning was hot, but other than that…Nancy was kinda lifeless in that dance, at least for me. As I recall, the judges weren’t too keen on it, either.
Heidi: I think JR was up and down an awful lot for someone who won the show, actually – and their freestyle?? I know we discussed it at the time but I can’t put my finger on it either. There was nothing really technical in it beyond the one or two lifts – I always seem to prefer the freestyles that stick to a lot of ballroom moves but break all the rules in terms of lifts and hold – which explains why I am a Derek fan. He generally puts a lot of ballroom in his freestyles. Tristan and Nancy?? Just no. I liked them as a couple, and Tristan is a cutie – but the jury is still out on his choreo skills. Nothing I saw from them was “wow” – although I adored the Spamalot dance just cuz it was Spamalot. And I’ll give credit to Maks’ fans for being loyal at least. Best dance of the season? Nope. Their dances were just too awkward looking most of the time.
Vogue: I don’t think I’ll ever forget my jaw dropping during and after Ricki and Derek’s Psycho performance. I love it when that happens. I’m a huge fan of theatre-like dance productions anyway being a huge fan to Madonna and Lady Gaga. Derek covered all of his bases not only with the dance itself, but, with the costuming and the brilliant backdropping. This performance will go down as one of the ‘most memorable’ on Dancing With The Stars. I’ll never forget it. I also loved Maks and Hope’s Quickstep. I felt they were both finally starting to find their element with this dance. It was good to see her finally relaxing. Whatever the case, their Quickstep gets best costuming.
Keep watching in the coming weeks as we reveal more of the results of your voting!
Judging from the comments of my inaugural Ask Courtney post, it looks like many of you are baffled about this one. But fear not, I am about to shed some light on the mysterious “heel lead” Len seems to prattle on about
Before I start, though, I want everyone to stand up and take 5 steps in whatever direction you have a clear path. Did you do it? Well congratulations! You just did a heel lead. Literally, all a heel lead really entails is taking a step where the first part of your foot that hits the ground is your heel, and then the ball of your foot, and then your toes. Unless you’re injured or just prefer to walk on your tiptoes all the time, this is how people normally walk. It’s a very natural motion.
Where it gets dicey is on the dance floor. In the ballroom dances (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz), you’re (almost) always supposed to step forward on your heel; in the Latin dances, you’re always supposed to step forward on the toe. You step backward on the toe in both dances (it’s nary impossible to step backward with a heel lead…I dare you to try. You will feel silly ). When Len starts bitching about heel leads, it seems like it’s usually a male celeb stepping forward on the toe in one of the ballroom dances – it leads to a very stilted, awkward gait, and seems to throw both the male celeb and the female pro off balance. It also negates the possibility of them getting the proper “rise & fall” characteristic of the ballroom dances (with the exception of tango, which has no rise & fall). This is probably most noticeable in the regular waltz, which has the most exaggerated rise & fall.
As for doing a heel lead when you’re not supposed to – the only thing that springs to mind is Derek’s infamous rant after Shannon’s rumba in season 6, where he accused the judges of overlooking some other couples “doing heel leads out there!”. I haven’t the time or patience at the moment to pore through all of the other rumbas from that particular night and look for heel leads, but I imagine that they probably looked kinda bland. Part of what makes rumba (and all Latin dances, for that matter) look cool is the hip action – hip action that can really only be done well if you’re leading with your toe. So if you’re doing heel leads in Latin dances, it probably looks like you’re just walking like a normal person – hardly the exciting movement we’ve come to expect from dancing on this show.
Hope that clears things up a bit Keep the questions coming, guys!
This is a feature I’ve contemplated doing for awhile, and I think now might be the right time, with one season over and the rumor mill not quite started up on the next. For those of you that don’t know, I actually do have quite a bit of ballroom knowledge, as I’ve been dancing for about 9 years now and my boyfriend is actually a ballroom dance teacher. Because of that, I’m probably better able to answer some of the more “technical” dance questions than the average viewer, and many of you have seen me get a bit more in-depth in analyzing the dances, in terms of technique and what have you.
I’ve noticed that many of you seem to be getting more curious about the actual ballroom world, as well as how the rules of the actual ballroom world apply to DWTS (or, rather, how TPTB seem to TRY to apply them ). So this is the place where you can finally get answers to those burning questions about ballroom technique, certain rules, dance steps, etc. - I will do my best to give you guys thorough, relevant responses, and if there’s something I don’t know the answer to, I will defer to my boyfriend, who is a true expert on the subject So if you are curious about a certain ballroom subject, feel free to post your questions in the comment section of this post, or tweet them to me @putuincespence, or you can email them to John and he can send ‘em my way. Try to keep them fairly objective – things like “Why do ladies have to wear heels in ballroom?” or “What makes the jive so hard?”, rather than “Why does Derek stink at choreographing samba?” or “Why does Mark always wear spats?” I’m not really equipped to handle subjective stuff like that, hehe. I’m going to try to answer a new question each week, at least until things start to pick up with the new season.
So to kick off this inaugural “Ask Courtney” post, I thought I’d tackle a question I’ve seen quite a few of you ask in passing this season: Why can’t you break hold in the quickstep?
For those of you that didn’t know, quickstep is the only dance on DWTS in which the couples cannot break hold in the middle of the dance. To quote Len, they can do “a little bit at the beginning, and a little bit at the end” out of traditional dance hold, but they must remain in-hold for the majority of the dance. Notorious violators of this rule? Mark & Shawn in their Aladdin quickstep, and Nicole & Derek in their sailor quickstep. So why did they get in so much trouble???
The answer to this is a bit silly to me, because it’s one of the few ways that DWTS has attempted to adhere to actual ballroom dance rules – which I often find don’t really translate well to this show. In “real world” ballroom, there are two styles: International style, which tends to be more strict and is more difficult; and American style, which is a bit more relaxed and open to interpretation. With the ballroom dances, you can either do the International Standard style (in which the couple must remain in-hold the entire time) or the American Smooth style (where the couples are able to go in and out of hold as much as they like). The International Standard dances are waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz; the American Smooth dances are waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz. You’ll notice there is no quickstep in the American Smooth style – it is only danced in the international style, thus the couples are forced to adhere to the international style, in which hold cannot be broken. Since there is overlap in the other 4 styles, the DWTS pros can choose to dance either the American or International styles of the waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz – and most choose the American style, since it’s easier and allows for more creative freedom. But even though they’re trying to adhere to “real” ballroom rules by forbidding the breaking of hold in the quickstep, they’re still not being completely true to the rule, since they’re allowing open work at the beginning & end. In a real international standard quickstep (or any other international standard-style dance), the couple would only be allowed to walk a few feet towards each other to get into hold before dancing – any sort of open work at the beginning (i.e. Ricki & Derek’s tap sequence) is a huge no-no. You have to be in-hold before you do ANY dancing in real quickstep.
So what do I suggest? Eliminate the silly “no breaking hold in quickstep” rule – it’s just a pointless vestige of the show’s often feeble attempts to mirror the real world of ballroom. If you’re going to allow open work at the beginning and end of the dance (which I think is a good idea, as it’s more audience-pleasing than just getting straight into hold), you may as well allow it in the middle, just like all the other dances, because most viewers aren’t going to understand the reasoning behind forbidding it, anyway.
So what ballroom questions do you guys have? Lay ‘em on me, and I’ll do my best to get you answers
So at this time last season, I did a run-down of what we can expect in the final 4 weeks of the season. You guys seemed to like it, so I did it again And this time I’m spilling who’s on what team for the team dances! Read on…
A good mix of Latin and ballroom left for JR, and he’s fortunately gotten some of the harder dances (samba, Viennese waltz, jive) out of the way early. Not that I think it would really matter, give his popularity and skill , but it just reduces the likelihood of a potential “Ralphing” from the judges…that is, giving a celeb a cruelly low score on a dance that they struggled with but weren’t necessarily terrible at, in an effort to oust them. I guess my only concern for JR going into these last few weeks is the more aggressive dances – tango & paso doble, and moreso the latter. So far, he’s only had to be silly & energetic (jive, quickstep, foxtrot), sexy (samba), or romantic & vulnerable (Viennese waltz & rumba). We’ve yet to see a very aggressive JR – can he muster it? I think so, but at the same time, he just seems like such a nice guy. I could see the judges pulling a “well, the steps were there, but I didn’t feel the power and anger behind them” or some nonsense like that. Those frakkin’ asshats.
The one potential problem that jumps out at me immediately here is the samba – it’s problematic for just about everyone, but for whatever reason, it’s the one dance for which Derek’s choreo doesn’t always “wow!” me (although there have been very few sambas on this show that have actually wowed me), and that the judges seem to get particularly nitpicky about. “There wasn’t enough content”, “You guys weren’t in sync”, “Your footwork was messy”, yadda yadda yadda. I can just hear them bitching now If they’re going to attempt to set Ricki up for an “off” week again, I would almost bet they’re going to do it with the samba. I’m mildly concerned for her paso, for the simple reason that I just don’t see her being terribly aggressive; but thankfully, that’s a dance that Derek seems to thrive on, so it could work in her favor. Waltz & cha-cha? Easy dances – no biggie
Ummm, yikes. Samba is the obvious troublemaker here, and the jive is probably not going to do Nancy too many favors, either. One requires a fairly significant amount of technique (which I’m not sure she can muster); the other requires stamina, which I also have yet to see from Nancy. So far, she’s kinda lucked into getting much slower, easygoing dances; she hasn’t really had to haul ass in a dance, which is why I could also see the Viennese waltz being problematic. She just seems to move soooo slooooow sometimes…I’m having nightmarish visions of her losing time in both her Viennese waltz and jive in several places. And then there’s the tango. *sigh* We saw how well she did the first time she had an aggressive dance – her paso looked more like a leisurely stroll in the park than a bullfight. But who knows – maybe she can summon her inner tart for the tango, now that she’s shaken her stuff in the group dance But MacGrace fans, I’d buckle in for a rough few weeks ahead – because I think Nancy may have the toughest group of dances to deal with, out of the remaining couples
David & Kym – remaining dances: waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, samba
The dreaded samba strikes again! I could see poor David stumbling through that one with a bit of a “deer in the headlights” look on his face – no doubt, he’d give it his best shot, but I’m not sure he’d succeed. He probably will be fine with the waltz & foxtrot, since he seems to be doing better with the ballroom dances; he could falter a bit with the cha-cha, since Latin hip action seems to evade him – but I daresay it wouldn’t be as hard on him as the samba. Honestly, if he can soldier through the samba, I think he could have a decent shot at the finale…if he keeps up the improvement we’ve seen from him in the past few weeks, and can avoid being…well, creepy.
Rob & Cheryl – remaining dances: waltz, tango, quickstep, samba
Again, the big red flag here is the samba – somehow I don’t see Rob getting his hips moving like JR’s, or with as much energy. The samba, to me, is the dance that truly separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls – it’s hard, and as I said before, the judges seem uneccessarily nitpicky about it. However, I’ve also noticed that they might tear a samba apart in their critiques, but still give it a halfway-decent score. Maybe someday I’ll look at the scoring closer and see if they maybe cut breaks on the samba, points-wise. Anywho! I could see Rob really doing well at his remaining ballroom dances – from what I saw in his foxtrot, he seems to have a flare for the ballroom as opposed to the Latin. Quickstep could be a potential problem if he can’t come out of his shell a bit more, and he may need to intensify his blank stare in order to succeed in the tango…but I could see him having a shot at the finale, too. Interesting indeed.
Yet another couple who still has the pesky samba to contend with. Hell, at this rate, the samba could be the deciding factor in who gets that coveted 3rd spot in the finale – whoever manages to muddle through it alive could be a possible candidate! Haha. I know a lot of Hope fans have been saying “Just wait till she has the paso, she’s gonna be awesome!”, but I’m still skeptical – especially after watching her muscle her way through that tango. Yes, paso requires strength and aggression; but it’s still a dance, and it still requires some degree of finesse and restraint. Can she muster it? I’m not sure. Waltz could also be problematic, since it requires a grace I have yet to see from Hope – and because it’s so slow, any potential snafus are going to stick out like a sore thumb. Quickstep? Could go either way – if she’s able to let loose and have fun like she did in the foxtrot, I think she’ll do well; but if she goes stiff and tight like she did in the jive, it could be disasterous.
So what’s going on with the team dance? It’s this coming week (Week 7) and the teams are Ricki & Derek, Rob & Cheryl, and Hope & Maks vs. JR & Karina, David & Kym, and Nancy & Tristan. Ricki’s team is doing a paso doble; JR’s team is doing a tango. Heidi will reveal the songs in her “Who’s Dancing What?” post on Sunday. Now while I’m somewhat relieved that they’ve taken a break from the team cha-cha, I’m a bit concerned that this won’t necessarily be an evenly-matched face-off – the same two dances were the team dances in season 9, and team tango basically annihilated team paso. Then again, team tango also had Derek, who thus far is undefeated in the team dance, and choreographed a dynamite team paso in season 7. I’d say Kym is probably the 2nd most successful (2 team dance wins, and 1 tie), followed by Cheryl (2 wins, 1 loss). Quite possibly my biggest concern: the dynamic between the pros on team paso. Derek & Maks worked great together on the team Apolo cha-cha in season 11; but in light of some of the conflict this week, is it going to create any friction? I would hope not, but you never know. Will be interesting to see how Tristan fares in his first team dance, and on a team with his main squeeze, no less I’m tentatively saying team paso will take this one, just based on the pros on that team having previous experience.
What about the marathon dance? Sorry, not gonna be one this season. The group dance basically replaced it, which I’m actually kind of thankful for – the marathon dance seems to favor those with particularly high endurance, so I’m not sure Nancy, Chaz, or even Rob would have fared well in it. At least the group dance was just a fun little ditty that let us see the couples in a new light.
When are they gonna do the Argentine tango/salsa? Not 100% when, but they are coming. If I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably going to follow the pattern of last season, and they had these dances in weeks 8 & 9. And if my spidey sense is correct, some of the couples with only 1 Latin dance remaining (like Rob & Cheryl) COULD end up with salsa as their instant dance. Also in the vein of last season: for the couples who still have the standard tango remaining, they may end up doing the Argentine tango instead, and skipping the standard one altogether – that’s what happened with both Chelsea & Kirstie last season. However, if a couple has already done the standard tango, I’m thinking they’ll probably do Argentine tango as well – that’s how it played out with Hines. And then he ended up never doing the regular waltz. *shrug* Go fig.
Are they going to do the “Instant Dance” again? Yes, in week 8. And as always, it will be a Latin dance – so that week, the remaining couples will likely all do one regular ballroom dance, and then an instant Latin dance.
Do you know if the “Winner Take All” dance is coming back? Praise 8 lb 10 oz baby Jesus, it is NOT COMING BACK! Apparently it was wildy unpopular…can’t imagine why. *snicker* But I do like to think Heidi & I had something to do with its demise, since Heidi was the one that first noticed what a crock of crap it was, and I just basically shouted it to the heavens. But just because there isn’t a WTA dance, don’t assume that everything is going to be business as usual – I could see them rehashing the smackdown or medley dance, just to fill time and have something “different”.
Vogue here adding some video footage of the Teams practicing 4 hours after the Results show last night:
COWABUNGA!!! I don’t know about you guys, but I sure had fun during 80s night 8) I love how it brought out the fun side in all of the couples. Plus it felt like I was listening to the 80s mix on my iPod. Always a plus
Can’t say I’m terribly surprised at how things stacked up tonight, although I hope that the voting does help a few couples who I’m not quite ready to let go of yet. Gotta say – song selection tonight really seemed to trip some up and help others out. Hope it’s not the final nail in the coffin for a few couples!
1.) JR & Karina – I definitely breathed an audible sigh of relief about 15 seconds into this dance when I realized that JR was gonna slay it, instead of going down in flames like I thought he would with that wretched song It was one of the better sambas I’ve seen on the show – JR managed to cut loose and really get his hips working in a way that most celebs attempting the samba can’t. The bounce wasn’t quite there, but he more than made up for it in sheer energy & fun. The dude even managed to do SEVERAL samba rolls in a row! Quite a feat, considering my bf doesn’t even like to do them in competition…let alone teach them to newbies. And best of all – it was nice to finally see him getting proper credit from the judges, both in comments and in critiques. No wishy-washy “8″ paddles, no “Well, it was pretty good, BUT-”…just a sincere, “Well done, JR!” Considering the kinda crazy points spread tonight, I think the likelihood of them being in danger is about the same as Len doing the Safety Dance tomorrow night
2.) Ricki & Derek – Wish I could say these two conquered their crummy song the same way JR did, but unfortunately Heidi & I’s qualms about “Easy Lover” as a foxtrot weren’t unfounded – this dance felt awkward & disjointed, although not necessarily terrible in the technique department. The judges were right about one thing – the parts in hold were actually quite lovely, and were indeed a proper foxtrot. The parts not in hold weren’t quite so lovely, but in the same token, why harp on someone for doing the Roger Rabbit if it’s freakin’ 80s week? It’s not like they did it for a very long time, and I felt like it was in the character of the dance, with the “80s prom” kinda theme it had going on. It’s the same beef I had with the judges last season when they ripped apart Ralph’s “Sweet Home Alabama” samba – honestly, what did you expect them to do, given the song & the theme? *sigh* Whatever…I kind of expected them to manipulate things so that Ricki had an “off” week, so I can’t say I’m shocked and awed. Just annoyed, as usual I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re completely safe (the points spread this week is looking pretty precarious…), but I will say that I think there are couples more LIKELY to head home. Besides, they might benefit from a bit of rage-driven power voting this week, since the judges decided to be asshats Read more..
Lot’s to still cover! First up, below is a recap and a review on the night with Louis Van Amstel on Good Morning America. See if you don’t agree with him? I thought he did a super job and I pretty much agree.
Louis also reviews the couples in his new ABC Dancing With The Stars blog >>>>HERE if you are interested in checking it out. He nailed it for how I feel on Kristin and Marks’ dance…
I’m watching the package and I wonder what the personal story is? Kristin looks hot, hot, hot, and is very feminine, but I wish she would actually believe it and express it more internally.
Let’s get right to all the new interviews after the dances last night and who better to do it with than George Pennacchio of KTLA and On The Red Carpet!
First up, Maks and Hope!! Maks is so happy and proud of Hope. He doesn’t plan to buy into the “I’m not sexy” stuff that Hope is always saying. Hope says the sexiness is deep inside and it’s taking a ‘special someone’ to pull it out of her (she points to Maks!)
Next up, Carson and Anna! They are totally excited with the results of their dance. The Tango is “who he is”. They talk of collaborating on their costume designs. They are so glad to be here and that he is getting more confident and more relaxed. They show off George’s CIA notes!
Chynna and Tony talk of all the cool support they are getting. She talks of her personal story and is thankful for a standing ovation. George talks of how much Billy Baldwin is helping them.