Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

Dancing by the Numbers – DWTS Season 5 Retrospective!

Since they just aired season 5 on GSN, I figured I would do a little numbers retrospective – particularly because of the supposed “shocking” elimination of Sabrina and the horribly prolonged run of Marie Osmond.

I have to say, after watching Sabrina dance again, I have to agree with Len and Bruno when they commented on how she danced her foxtrot “too hard” – it was way too hard and she did miss a couple steps.  Combine that with the talent and/or name recognition of her competitors, then is it really a surprise? Perhaps so, since Jane had been in the bottom two the week before. But everyone but perhaps Helio and Mel B was much better known with the DWTS demographic than Sabrina was – and Mel B was a better dancer and Helio was a huge and charming personality. Anyway, at the end of the night, week 6, the scores looked like this:

The Judges Scores and Percentages

Place Celebrity Score Percentage
1. Mel B 30 16.67
2. Helio 28 15.56
3. Jennie 27 15.00
4. Cameron 25 13.89
4. Sabrina 25 13.89
6. Marie 23 12.78
7. Jane 22 12.22

Now, what these scores mean should be somewhat obvious to longtime readers of this series – Sabrina was not at the bottom of the leader board and, in fact, had a pretty decent lead on Marie and Jane and was tied with Cameron.  In order for Sabrina to be eliminated, the following had to happen:

-          She didn’t cover the spread of the dancers above her, AND;

-          Cameron got ONE more vote per million votes cast than her, AND:

-          Marie got 11,150 more votes per million votes cast than she did, AND;

-          Jane got 16,700 more votes per million votes cast than she did.

Now, conventional wisdom has always said that Sabrina fans got over confident or were sure she was safe. But look at those numbers. That’s  a good bit of overconfident and I’m not sure I believe it any longer. Marie’s faint was the week before, but there is no reason that Jane should go from a bottom two situation the week before to being safe at Sabrina’s expense the very next week.  She made up a pretty big deficit.  I’m inclined to believe that, like other lesser knowns before her, Sabrina didn’t have the fanbase that many believed. And we all know by now that great dancing isn’t always enough.  And in case you still don’t agree – Sabrina was the high scorer in 3 of the 5 previous weeks. The two weeks she wasn’t the high score, she was in second place. The instant she falls out of the top 2, she’s eliminated. Coincidence?? Read more..

July 5, 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. :-)

DWTS is BACK on GSN Starting July 2nd!

Cross posted from Pure Derek  Hough…

DANCING WITH THE STARS, Season Five, will air Monday, July 2nd, Tuesday, July 3rd, and Wednesday July 4th in a special three-day marathon (all times Eastern):

 

  • ·        Monday, July 2nd, 8:30am to 3:00pm
  • ·        Tuesday, July 3rd, 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • ·        Wednesday, July 4th, 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

DANCING WITH THE STARS, Season Five, features a spectacular cast of celebrities from television, movies, music, sports, and fashion, each paired with a professional dancer:

 

Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Karina Smirnoff

Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson

Mel B and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani

Wayne Newton and Cheryl Burke

Jennie Garth and Derek Hough

Hélio Castroneves and Julianne Hough

Josie Maran  and Alec Mazo

Albert Reed and Anna Trebunskaya                                               

Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas

Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska

 

June 16, 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. :-)

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part I

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just ready for the cast announcement so we can get all of this speculating over & done with! But to help us get a handle on who might be in and out, let’s take a look at what combination of “casting types” we might get this season.

The Olympian

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: The only semi-legitmate Olympian prospect I think we’ve heard is Bruce Jenner – and I would like to think that TPTB would have mercy and not subject us to back-to-back seasons of Kardashians in the audience :-D

The Athlete

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: Vince Young tweeted that he had been asked to the do the show, then suspiciously deleted the tweet.  Guilty much? ;-) We’ve also heard Annika Sorenstam’s name in the mix.

Read more..

February 26, 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!

Dancing With The Stars Past GROUP DANCE Review!

This is going to be quick, not much commentary, just the facts. Or rather, the videos. I’ve found myself much busier than I plan to be… But, to get us ready for the fun Group Dance, I’m searching for the videos of the group dances from past seasons. When possible, I’ll post the practice sessions, also.

Season 1, Viennese Waltz. Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts, John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo, Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso.

Season 2, Salsa. Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya, Lisa Rinna and Louis Van Amstel, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani, George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, Tia Carrere and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

Season 3 Disco. Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Season 4 Swing. Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts,John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke

Season 5 Rock and Roll Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Jennie Garth and Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas, Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani, Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska, Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy

Season 6 Country Western. Sorry, my brain has melted, and I don’t remember the names of the people I’m seeing in the video….. I know them all, but their names are no longer connected. In my brain.

Season 7 Old School Hip Hop Thanks to Gitte and Elara for helping to find this one….

Season 8 1960′s.Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower, Lil Kim and Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke

Season 9 Hustle. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson, Joanna
Krupa & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (in the place of Derek Hough who was out with the flu), Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova and Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

I think that’s all…

October 24, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS13 Preliminary Power Rankings, Part I

 It’s time once again for me to dust off my crystal ball and attempt (often in vain) to predict who the winners & losers of the season will be :-) Most of you are probably familiar with the power rankings, but if you aren’t, here’s a quick run-down: I do a power ranking after each performance show that ranks the couples from most likely to stay to most likely to go home – it’s essentially a prediction of who’s going home and who’s got staying power.  And kids, please – keep in mind that it’s not based solely on scores, or popularity, or running order, etc. It’s a complex formula of many factors – fanbase, dance ability, entertainment value, choreography, scores, yadda yadda yadda.  And before the season starts, I like to do a “preliminary” ranking – a prediction that just takes into account what we know about the couples right now, without ever having seen them dance live (rehearsal videos don’t count – those can differ drastically from the final product!).  Make sense? Keep in mind that this is just my opinion – differing ones are welcome and great to discuss, and there are no right or wrong answers ;-) So let’s start with places 12 through 7 – the couples that I don’t see lasting past the midpoint of the season. 

12.) Ron Artest & Peta Murgatroyd - I really want Peta to stick around for at least a few weeks this season to show us what she can do, but unfortunately, I’ve got a lot of reservations about Ron…and it kinda stinks that Peta’s so new that her fanbase is likely not going to be able to compensate for a lack of support on Ron’s behalf.   First of all, the physical problem: Ron’s 6’7″ and Peta’s 5’7″, so even with heels on, Peta’s gonna have quite a bit of height to make up for.  It’s not impossible (ask Cheryl, who at 5’4″ partnered 6’7″ Rick Fox somewhat effectively in season 11), but it’s not necessarily easy or visually-pleasing, either.  Ron’s an athlete, so that might help a bit – but not all of the athletes that have done the show have been natural movers (Clyde Drexler comes to mind).  Now the greyer area: Ron’s never been one to hold his tongue, and he’s infamous for rather erratic behavior.  He’s come a long way since the infamous Pacers/Pistons brawl, but he’s still kinda wacky…and I’m honestly not sure whether that’s a boon or a burden when it comes to fanbase.  He’s well-known, but I’m interested to see how many people he’s turned off with his antics.  Another potential problem: from the few videos I’ve seen of he & Peta so far, I’m not picking up a lot of chemistry. I get this feeling this could be a rather awkward pair to watch interact.  On top of that, I’ve been hearing murmurings that Ron has been showing up considerably late for practice, and has only wanted to practice for an hour or so at a time. A lack of commitment this early in the season? Sounds like a harbinger of doom to me.  I really want Peta to stick around, and I’m hoping Ron proves me wrong…but I’m just not optimistic. Read more..

September 14, 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!

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part I

It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)

The Olympian

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

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

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

August 26, 2011 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

DWTS Season 12 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part I

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

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

The Olympian

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

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

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

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

The Athlete

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

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

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

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

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

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

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

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

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

The Legend

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

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

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

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

The Soap Star

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

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

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

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

The Comedian

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

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

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

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

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

February 27, 2011 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars – The History of Judges Scores, Part 1

Obviously, season 11 made a lot of people crazy, what with all the good dancers that left before a much lesser dancer. I’ve said over and over that the judges scoring was at issue – too high for some, too low for others – but lets take a look at if that’s really the case or not…and if it was at all out of the ordinary. The question is – was Bristol scored in line with previous younger contestants with little dance ability?? Or was she given an easy ride?? I put it in the context of Bristol because of the uproar her continued presence on the show created – many claimed that either there was a huge voting block for her (already debunked that one, IMO) or the judges were much easier on her than they were on similar contestants in the past (me included).

This is going to be a series, because once I started I realized that it was likely going to be too large of a project to fit into one post. So, it will be broken down by season, starting with Season 5, and then there will be a summary post at the end. What I am doing is -re-watching the seasons, starting each at episode 5 in order to weed out the really pathetic people. :-) I’m watching with an eye to the judges – how they score, do they have patterns, how they behave toward the contestants. I expect to note other, related patterns – have they always had the same bits that annoy/please them? Do they have a favorite pro? And so on. What we all (me included) will have to remember is that even though this will have the appearance of a scientific study, it is still highly subjective. There is only so much a bunch of numbers can do for you – at some point, personal bias comes into play during the analysis (like it does during the judging). Not to mention that there isn’t likely to be enough data for scientific validity anyway. :-)

Let’s start with the contestants and their scores for Season 5:

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part I)

Celebrity Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Helio 23 (Rumba) 28 (Cha Cha) 25 (Tango) 27 (Paso Doble)
28 (Samba) 30 (Quickstep)
Mel B 29 (Samba) 30 (Rumba) 24 (Foxtrot) 27 (Tango)
30 (Paso Doble) 29 (Mambo)
Marie 21 (Samba) 23 (Paso) 28 (Quickstep) 24 (Rumba)
24 (Cha Cha) 25 (Jive)
Jennie 25 (Samba) 27 (Mambo) 25 (V. Waltz) 24 (Jive)
28 (Rumba) 26 (Foxtrot)
Cameron 26 (Rumba) 25 (Samba) 24 (Quickstep) 27 (V. Waltz)
27 (Jive) 24 (Cha Cha)
Jane 26 (Rumba) 22 (Jive) 24 (Quickstep)
26 (Cha Cha)
Sabrina 28 (Rumba) 25 (Foxtrot)
Mark 21 (Samba)

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part II)

Celebrity Week 9 Week 10 Week Finale
Helio 30 (Foxtrot) 25 (Jive) 30 (Quickstep)
30 (Cha Cha) 29 (Freestyle)
Mel B 30 (V. Waltz) 28 (Cha Cha) 30 (Mambo)
30 (Paso Doble) 27 (Freestyle)
Marie 29 (Quickstep) 24 (Samba)
27 (Mambo) 22 (Freestyle)
Jennie 28 (Tango)
30 (Cha Cha)

At the time this season originally aired, many thought that Marie was a much worse dancer than Jennie. While I’m inclined to agree that she was not as good, the life and entertainment value Marie brought to her dances is no small thing either. I think the thing that sticks in people’s minds is the dreaded doll dance and the fact that Marie’s retorts to the judges made her one of the most annoying contestants in memory. I would say that, by week 6, the quality of dancing was pretty high, even including Marie. Her dances were pretty up and down in terms of score, but she gave everything she did a lot of life – something Bristol never did.

Now the judging – my recollections that I voiced during season 11 were correct. The did tend to judge harder going into the semi-finals and they did appear to have a favorite – Mel B. By week:

- Week 5: The judges pretty much shredded Helio’s rumba and Len was pretty critical of Sabrina’s as well – over the top was his comment. Agreed. Mel B was in the bottom 2 the previous week, so she got a 29 on a Rumba that wasn’t as good as the one Edyta choreographed for Cameron – in my personal opinion. ;-) I was actually pretty surprised at how good Cameron and Edyta’s rumba actually was.

The problem with comparing Cameron and Mel is, of course, they are not the same gender – what is required in the rumba is different for each of them. Mel was the best dancer of the season, but I think the judges were a tad generous in the interest of keeping her out of the bottom 2 (and yes, it was a REAL bottom 2).

– Week 6: Nothing much of note, here, except the judges all comment on Sabrina’s Foxtrot as being too hard – which coincidentally has always been my comment about her and Mark’s partnership.

- Week 7: The judges on a “the finals are coming up you have to do better” kick – they said something of that sort to both Jane and Helio. They said Marie’s Cha Cha didn’t have enough content (and I would agree) and they were pretty critical of Mel’s first dance. You’ll note that most of the couples have one high scoring dance and one much lower scoring dance. Of course, it wouldn’t be DWTS if the judges weren’t erratic; Cameron noticeably missed steps in his Quickstep, yet got the same score as those who did NOT miss steps, namely Mel and Jane. For some reason, they were much too hard on Jennie’s Viennese Waltz.

– Week 8: In week 8 I got the feeling that the judges had figured out who they wanted in the final two – Mel and Helio.  Now, Mel and Helio WERE awesome, but once they made their decision it seemed they judged accordingly, instead of judging the actual dances. That is, at least one of them played spoiler on the other couples. It is very hard to objectively look at these dances and say the judges were unfair – so remember, these are my feelings from watching the show a long time after they originally aired.  This is not commentary disparaging Mel or Helio – I loved both of them and think they, at the end, got scores they deserved. What I’m saying is that I think the judges were harder on those they didn’t see as good enough for the finale – regardless of how they actually danced.

Anyway, Marie’s scores were fair, although I think Len overscored her on her Jive. All three agreed she didn’t have enough content on her first dance and Carrie and Bruno said the same for her Jive. While I agreed with the comment Jennie got about her posture not being great, I thought a 24 was too low. Then, some of you may remember she did a lovely Foxtrot and Bruno, of all people, said he wanted to be “dazzled” and he wasn’t. Ridiculous. They said Cameron’s Cha Cha was too “hard and stiff” – maybe so, but a 24?  You can see they are indeed getting much tougher because it’s later in the competition – whether you agree with them or not.

- Week 9: Well, I guess if you actually make it to the semi-finals, they let up a little bit. :-)  Why do I say that? Well, all the judges comment on Marie messing up her footwork, yet she gets a 27 on that dance. Yet, Carrie Ann says she doesn’t see a connection between Jennie and Derek – who danced perfectly otherwise, and she gets a 28. Oookay.  I do think the judges also overscored Marie on her first dance.  Looking at the scores, it sure seems to me that they ranked the dancers. One part of me doesn’t have a problem with that – except I don’t see as much of a gap between Helio and Jennie as they do, and I see MORE of a gap between Jennie and Marie than what they actually scored.

- Week 10: And Marie’s scores plummet.  Of course, that doll dance was a nightmare and the 22 was being kind, but they also scored her Samba very low. I don’t disagree with that in the finals. If you’re in the finals you have to BRING it. I think they underscored Helio’s first dance by a point and overscored Mel’s freestyle by a point or two – that thing was BORING. But really – the writing is on the wall here in terms of the judging. I don’t think they are picking a favorite that was undeserving in the slightest. No storyboarding here. :-)

Season 5, in Summary: Well, they DID comment on the fact that they were scoring harder later in the season.  Several stars were victims of this, including the final 2.  So, when did this change – and do you agree it did change??  Other than that, I didn’t see anything seriously out of order with the judging, beyond the occasional wacky call.  I will say that the worst dancer in the final 6, Marie (IMO) was a MUCH better dancer than I remember and easily a more entertaining/better dancer than Bristol – yet she was scored tougher than Bristol.

Random Observations:

  • Up until Week 7, they did a real “bottom two” every week.  I think the reason they didn’t do a bottom two in the 7th week is because it was the week Marie’s father passed away – and she was in the bottom two but safe. After that, they realized they liked the drama of “in jeopardy” better than showing a real bottom two. And thus endeth my conspiracy theory for Season 5. :-)
  • Late weeks formula was to do the couples choice of Latin and Ballroom for the Semi-Final. Then in week 10 it was Judges Choice, Freestyle and then the final dance of the final 2′s choice.
  • I actually agreed with the judges most of the time. This will likely be significant later on.
  • I think Mel B might have been the best of all of Maks’ partners. I like how she handled him and how they were with each other.
  • The weeks where there were two dances, they still only had ONE package – this was before they got greedy and felt the need to keep the show at 2 hours no matter how many contestants there were. :-)
  • Cameron and Edyta dance a Viennese Waltz to the theme from Harry Potter in Week 8; this makes me realize that the crazy ass songs for certain dances is not a recent thing. Edyta’s doing? Or the producers? In more recent seasons – the producers.
  • In week 10, Maks wastes quite a few bars with Mel B in the audience – so when Courtney and I were commenting on it in recent seasons, it was not a recent phenomenon. :-)
February 9, 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 Season 11 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 11, Part I

Prior to the cast announcement last season, some of you may remember me analyzing the typecasting of DWTS – basically, the patterns in celeb casting over the seasons which can help us to predict who we might see each season.  Interesting to note – last season’s cast fulfilled all 12 of my types (counting Nicole as both a “Teen Idol” and a “Singer”).  So why not examine those types again and see what we might get for this season? ;-)

The Olympian

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

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition.

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

Possible candidates this season: Johnny Weir fans (including Karina Smirnoff) have been tweeting like crazy trying to get him cast this season, but I don’t see them succeeding.  I see more possibilities with swimmer Greg Louganis, who has been trying to get on the show for several seasons now, or gymnast Nastia Liukin – a teammate of Shawn Johnson’s & an alleged former flame of Lysacek.

The Athlete

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: At this point, the numerous (reputable) news outlets reporting that Kurt Warner is going to be on season 11, along with Kurt’s own coy dodging of questions regarding his participation, make him almost a lock for this season in my eyes.   Don’t see a whole lot of hope for wrestler Shelley Martinez. Landon Donovan is a toss-up for me – maybe, maybe not. We here at Pure DWTS would love to see a representative from a more unique sport – such as jockey Chantal SutherlandTroy Aikmen – nice try, but we’re pretty sure you’re just joshin’ us ;-)

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

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

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

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of “pretty girl backlash” – the female viewers may turn on them due to jealousy or perceived arrogance, or just never vote for them in the first place, instead giving their votes to the attractive male participants.

Possible candidates this season: Rumors have been flying about UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, and True Beauty contestant Amy Schmoldt has been hinting that she’d like to do the show.

The Legend

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: The Betty White rumor seems to be kaput, so that only leaves Ryan O’Neal, whose name we’ve heard only a few times as a possible contestant.

The Soap Star

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: The most likely is probably Nancy Lee Grahn, since she’s on an ABC soap.  Although I’d love to see Martha Byrne’s campaigners succeed in getting her on the show! As for the men – seems like the only name we’ve heard is Antonio Sabato Jr., and that really just seems more like wishful thinking on the part of his fans.

The Comedian

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

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

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

Possible candidates this season: The only name we’ve heard is Heather McDonald, and we can’t even telling if she’s serious or kidding :-P

Tune in for part II, when I make my predictions for who we might see in the way of reality TV stars, teen idols, and much more!

August 25, 2010 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 10 Evan & Anna Dance Comparison

Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya ended the season with five recycled dances:
- Two of them happen to be the Viennese Waltz: the first done on the Week 1 and the second one on Week 10
- Four of the Five dances are Ballroom dances (Viennese Waltz, Waltz and Quickstep)
- Two of the recycled songs were originally done by celebs in Season 8

Interesting stats for these songs…

So starting with the two Viennese Waltz’s:

The first song was I’ll Be by Edwin McCain Edwin McCain - Rhino Hi-Five: Edwin McCain - EP - I'll Be as originally done by Season 8′s Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough on Week 5.

And again on Season 10 Week 1 as done by Evan and Anna

The second Viennese Waltz was done to Billy Joel’s Piano Man Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel - Piano Man originally on Season 5 Week 4 by Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani.

And of course on Season 10 Week 10 by Evan and Anna.

Read more..

June 2, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)