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DWTS Season 14 – The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate, Part I

WARNING: If you came here to seriously bitch & moan about how so-and-so has an unfair advantage due to their previous dance experience and how you’re boycotting the show and yadda yadda yadda – look elsewhere :-) We’ve been doing this for a few seasons now, and here’s the gist: many of the celebs on the show have at least SOME dance experience coming into the show – be it good or bad…and often, comically bad.  Hence the quotations around the title – this is a very tongue-in-cheek post, kids.  ;-)

Today we’re gonna take a look at this season’s male celebs, and see just exactly how much hoofin’ they’ve done in the past and discuss what it might mean for them on the show – and we’ll probably point & laugh and generally act like teenage boys in our commentary. 8-)

First up, let’s take a look at Jack Wagner, who is perhaps best known as Frisco Jones from the soap opera General Hospital from 1984-95.  Jack’s also a musician, and this clip is montage of Frisco & his on-screen (and former off-screen!) love, Felicia, dancing to his song “Dancing in the Moonlight”:

Court: Ahhh, the magic of VHS recordings back in the 80s & 90s…such a crisp picture. :-) Overall, a lot of soap opera-y swaying, with a little bit of goofball pseudo-swing dancing and fake tango thrown in…although some of what he was doing looked like it could have almost been west coast swing.  Hmmm.  Think he could get Anna to recreate that fake tango he did with Felicia, complete with a beret and French mustache? :-P

Heidi: When are they going to start dancing? What?

Vogue: Wow, let Jack wine and dine me anytime. :mrgreen: But, seriously, if Jack can turn on the charm and romance as we see in the video above, can you imagine what his Waltz’s (or anything he dances to for that matter) are going to be like? *faints and fans myself*

The verdict: Only soap operas can make non-dancing look so..electrifying.

Now let’s take a look at Gavin DeGraw, who admittedly doesn’t do a whole lot of dancing, but rather “rhythmic swaying” during an impromptu version of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” during a live show (skip to the 2:20 mark):

Heidi: Nice pack…um….yeah, he’s aright.

Vogue: Uh oh, watch out for a killer and wicked Samba if nothing else. 8O

Court: I don’t know about you guys, but when I get the uncontollable urge to sing Tina Turner songs, I doff my guitar and start dancing like a drunken gypsy.

The verdict: Just say no to random Tina Turner covers, kids.

Up next we have Donald Driver, who, like many NFL players, seems to have his own brand of “touchdown dance”:

Vogue: Who needs Victor Cruz when we’ve got this guy instead? SERIOUSLY!! The Cruz for the Driver!! :)

Court: Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle…he’s sexy & he knows it. That dance looks vaguely peacock-ish – like he’s showing us his fancy feathers.

Heidi: And the feathers are, like, really small cuz we only get a wiggle with a swing of about an inch and a half. :-)  Or would it be really big feathers and you only have to do a tiny wiggle to get lots of feather shaking?? :::confused:::

Courtney: It’s the latter, dear.  Peacocks’ feathers span out so far that it kinda makes them top-heavy - if they shake ‘em too hard, they fall over.  I’ve witnessed it ;-)

The verdict: Is Donald brave enough to let us see his peacock? ;-)

Our next contestant is this season’s resident heartthrob, William Levy, who is probably best known for being J. Lo’s man candy in her “I’m Into You” video.  But alas, some semi-rhythmic writhing on a beach doesn’t really count as “dancing”, so I found this clip, which appears to be from some telenovela – it’s completely in Spanish and it looks to have Russian or Greek subtitles (WTF?), but the basic gist appears to be that he and another beefcakey guy had their car break down on a dirt road, some other considerably less-beefcakey guy tried to fix it and failed, but thankfully a taxi full of middle-aged female tourists was driving by and stopped to offer assistance (and ogle the shirtless beefcakes)…and whilst fixing the car, the urge to dance hits William and he does a brief bit of salsa with one of the tourist ladies (1:39 mark):

Court: Telenovelas are funny :-P I have no idea what the hell they’re saying, but the minute I heard one of the tourists yell “Guapo!” and gesture towards the 2 shirtless men -  I knew it was on, senor.  Gotta say – William doesn’t look totally inept.  He’s probably done at least a little salsa & merengue in his day – kinda like JR.  But he’s also a model, so he’s probably more used to standing still that moving around.  I predict lots of posing and Cheryl dancing around him this season :-)

Heidi: He’s the one in the hat? Yeah…no fanbase in the US but it might not matter. :-) But he better be the second coming of Gilles. He had relatively little competition.

Vogue: I predict right now that William Levy will be one of the sexiest male dancers to have ever graced the Dancing With The Stars stage. What’s more, it will be a “natural” kind of sexy that he can’t help. He just has that “look” to melt hearts. If Cheryl can find a way to capitalize on that and make him into a dancer, watch out.

The verdict: William es un chico muy guapo! Mis pantalones estan en fuego!!!

We’ve saved the 2 strongest contenders for last.  First, let’s take a look at Roshon Fagen, who busts some pretty impressive moves at the end of a Radio Disney interview on the set of Shake it Up (2:00 mark):

And then Roshon assures us that he gets “Down on the Dance Flo” in this music video:

Heidi: Dude’s voice hasn’t even changed yet.  :-)  Also not impressed with his dancing here – mainly because someone was saying he’s a trained dancer. Trained in what kind of dancing, I have to ask.

Vogue: He’s young. He has lots of energy to burn. What’s more, he’s refreshing. I think Roshon is going to be a huge contender in this competition.

Court: Maybe formal hip-hop training? Idk…I don’t really know if there is such a thing. Ooh, that’s a hefty promise, Roshon – promising you get down on the dance floor? I hope you’re ready to deliver :-) Kid can certainly move, but can he translate that gyrating into a foxtrot? A waltz?

The verdict: Kid’s got potential…but can Chelsie harnass it?

Last but certainly not least, we have Jaleel White, who already seems to be the favorite to win this season for many of us.  Since Jaleel is best known from his days as Steve Urkel from Family Matters, I simply have to include a clip of his famous “Urkel dance” – which, surprise surprise, I cannot find an embedabble copy of him doing the original one on YouTube, so here he is doing it as Al’s date to the dance on Step By Step during a crossover episode (if you want to see the original, go here.) :

And more recently, here he is cutting a rug in Cee Lo Green’s “Cry Baby” video:

Vogue: I’m impressed. He’s got it all and a ‘smoothness” to boot. What’s more, I felt an automatic attraction with he and Kym during the cast announcement. This is going to be good. I’m really looking forward to these two.

Heidi:  Not bad, not bad. Lose the penis and dance with Derek and he’d be a ringer for sure!!

Courtney: I have to respect any man that played such a dork for so many years…and yet somehow seems uber-slick & smooth now :-) I’m actually kinda curious how much Jaleel is going to draw from his Urkel repertoire while on the show…I know he was really touchy about the whole Urkel thing for several years after Family Matters ended, because he was having a hard time finding roles because people couldn’t imagine him as anything other than Urkel.  Should be interesting to see if he pays homage to it, or avoids it completely.

The verdict: Do not underestimate the Urkel.

Stay tuned for our assessment of the female competitors later this week ;-)

February 29, 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 14 – Make Your Team Name Suggestions!

Ok, so reminiscing about past team names and trying to come up with ones for this season’s couples in another thread just seemed to clarify for me “We need a separate post for this.” :-)

It’s pretty self-explanatory – we wanna hear your suggestions for this season’s team names.  Keep in mind that the team names USUALLY are a sort of portmanteau of the celeb & the pro’s names (“Evanna” for Evan & Anna, “Florky” for Florence & Corky, “Kanenball” for Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas), although they can also consist of nicknames (“Sugar & Spice” for Sugar Ray & Anna) or make no sense whatsoever (“Team Schmurgles” for Kyle & Lacey…still trying to figure that one out!).  And let’s avoid anything too vulgar – if you can’t say it on tv, there’s really not much of a point in saying it here :-)

Heidi mentioned something about tweeting a link to this post to all of the teams to help them brainstorm their names – so make ‘em good, guys, ’cause you never know if Maks, Kym, Tristan, etc. might be reading this! ;-) Keep in mind that this is the name that goes on the t-shirts that the couples tend to wear in rehearsal, around the studio, etc…so if they like your name, you’ll be seeing it everywhere.

ETA #1: We’ve compiled a list of names you guys have suggested for each couple thus far…keep ‘em coming, though! :-D

Just to refresh your memory, here’s a list of the couples again, along with some hints that may help you in creating your names:

Jack Wagner (best known for his role as Frisco Jones on General Hospital) & Anna Trebunskaya:

Team Friskaya

Team General Ginger

Team TrebunSco

Team Wagskaya

Team Jumping Jack

Gavin DeGraw (musician) & Karina Smirnoff:

Team KarDegraw

Team Gavina

Team DeGrawsome

Team DeSmirnoff

Team GKRhythm

Team GaRina

Team KaVin

Team Smirnoffin

Martina Navratilova (tennis player) & Tony Dovolani:

Team LovaLani

Team MarTony

Team Novratilani

Team Dovalova

Team NovDov

Team Tonnis

Team Narvaloni

Team Dovatina

Roshon Fegan (plays Ty Blue on the Disney Channel series Shake it Up) & Chelsie Hightower:

Team BlueTower

Team ShonTower

Team RoShel

Team Dancing Rosh

Team Roshie

Donald Driver (plays for the Green Bay Packers, writes childrens’ books about a character named Quickie) & Peta Murgatroyd:

Team PetaPackers

Team PetaPack

Team BayTroyd

Team Drivertroyd

Team DonaTroyd

Team Donapetia

Team Donaltroyd

Jaleel White (played Steve Urkel on Family Matters) & Kym Johnson:

Team UrKym

Team Leel-Kym

Team Kurkel

Team Did I Do That?

Team Kymeel

Melissa Gilbert (played Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie) & Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

Team Gilskiy

Team Ingallskiy

Team Half-Pintskiy

Team MGM

Team MaksPint

Team Prairie on a Stick

Team MeMak

Team MelMak

Team Maksy & Melly

Team Melliskiy

Maria Menouos (tv presenter for Access Hollywood & Extra) & Derek Hough:

Team MenHough

Team Marek

Team MariDer

Team Houghounos

William Levy (model, considered the “Mexican Brad Pitt”) & Cheryl Burke:

Team WilliBu

Team Levyl

Team WillChe

Team CheWill

Team WilBur

Team WillBurk

Sherri Shepherd (cohost from The View) & Val Chmerkovskiy:

Team EnWyCee

Team Sherkovskiy

Team Sherval

Team Valsherri

Team Shmear

Team Valeopard

Gladys Knight (singer, considered “The Empress of Soul”) & Tristan MacManus:

Team Lucky Pips

Team Gladys Knight & the Irish Pip

Team Knight Tristan

Team Lucky Knights

Team MacKnight

Team G&T

Team MacKnightus

Team Trips

Team Gladyator

Team GladMan

Team MidKnight Tryst

Katherine Jenkins (Welsh operatic soprano) & Mark Ballas:

Team Markins

Team Katnass

Team KatMar

Team KatBalls

Team Ballkins

I’ll go ahead and share two of my favorites :-) The first I actually have to credit @Lannatexasgal for coming up with, and it’s for Melissa & Maks – Team MelMak.  Reminds me of ALF :-D The 2nd I came up with this afternoon and it’s really super dumb…but you know how Gladys Knight performed with the Pips? Well for she & Tristan’s team name…how bout Gladys Knight & The Irish Pip? I know, point & laugh…it’s dumb. :-P

Now ready…set…NAME AWAY!!! 8-)

February 28, 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!