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!

DWTS Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 3

This is the 3rd and final part of the series where I take a look at the partners the pros have had and their “ringer” status. Part 1 discusses how I define a ringer – you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer?? Part 2 discusses the female pros and their partners and how I labeled them – I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve not been quite as blessed as the men. Reasons for that should be self evident – female celebrities are more likely to have some sort of dance experience, even if it is taking ballet or tap as a child.  NOTE: This was mostly written before the pairings were announced for Season 14 – those pairings certainly change the game for lots of pros. Lots of potential ringers on this season.

I strongly recommend you read the first two parts before you comment – I don’t want to have to reiterate everything I wrote MONTHS ago. :-)  Also, be wise and don’t complain about the length, admit that you didn’t read it all, and then argue with me – that will just earn you scorn and an eye roll.  I know this is long – I considered breaking it into two parts, but then I figured it’s still long in two parts. People will either be interested or they won’t.  :::shrug:::  Also take note that I, personally, don’t care about ringers themselves. I think a season without them is deadly.  What I DO care about is hypocrisy, revisionist history and the fairy tales that some like to spread about who has had ringers and who hasn’t.

From where I sit, there are two types of ringers – and then there’s just being blessed. Fanbase ringer (ie. Donny Osmond, etc.) or Experience Ringer (Mel B, Nicole, Sabrina, etc.), and lucky get (Lalia, Brooke, Gilles, JR). Just because someone happens to be a great dancer doesn’t mean they are a ringer. When someone is blessed with a partner who can dance, it doesn’t mean they were handed a ringer. That particular argument is so illogical that it’s hard for me to take seriously. If they actually seriously auditioned people to be on this show by making them dance with a pro for an hour or two, it would be understandable. But they don’t stand people in a room with a pro dancer and then say, “wow, she’s got some moves, let’s give her to Maks” or “she sucks, lets give her to Tony.” It doesn’t work that way. If it did, they wouldn’t be able to get people on the show. And can you imagine a pro like Tony sticking around if that was the approach they took?

As it happens, and as many people connected to the show have reiterated, the process of how a pro gets a celebrity often has to do with height, personality, looks, chemistry and the cast as a whole…and this becomes obvious as the show progresses. They are actually quite good at matching people up. I would imagine they give this a lot of consideration as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, ratings.  You’re going to try to avoid having a bunch of pairings that make people go “eeewww” or get seriously pissed off. I think you need to limit that to one couple per season. Can you imagine what it would be like for every pro on a season to have a partnership similar to that of Hope and Maks??  I would want to stab my eyes out with a fork if they were ALL like that and there was no Carson/Anna or David/Kym. Seriously – think about it.  So, it may be good to have ONE Maks/Hope – gives people (me and Courtney) something to talk about, rant about, get passionate about, etc. (This is separate from a discussion of whether Maks finally went too far or not – I don’t think that’s what the producers intended.) Read more..

March 11, 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!

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

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

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

How did I get my results?

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

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

September 17, 2011 I Written By

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

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!

Dancing with the Stars – History of the Judges Scores, Part 2

Part 2 in my series about the Judges Scoring History covers season 6 of Dancing with the Stars; the season of Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas (read Part 1 here). Prior to re-watching the season, I remembered it as a season in which Kristi dominated. I don’t think, anymore, that that is necessarily the case. She is still probably the biggest ringer the show has ever cast, when looking at it from a fanbase AND experience point of view, but she didn’t dominate the show in like I remember. I also never got the feeling – like I did with Nicole – that the judges were purposely underscoring her in order to make it look more like a horse race. In fact, I have very few gripes with the judging in this season, period.

Here were the scores from Week 5, onward:

Season 6 Weekly Scores (Part I)

Celebrity Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Kristi 29 (Rumba) 30 (Jive) 26 (V. Waltz) 29 (Quickstep)
28 (Cha Cha) 26 (Samba)
Jason 27 (Rumba) 24 (Cha Cha) 29 (Quickstep) 29 (Tango)
26 (Paso Doble) 23 (Samba)
Christian 23 (Rumba) 27 (Foxtrot) 25 (V. Waltz) 28 (Tango)
21 (Samba) 29 (Mambo)
Marissa 24 (Samba) 26 (V. Waltz) 27 (Tango) 25 (Foxtrot)
25 (Rumba) 25 (Mambo)
Mario 27 (Samba) 28 (Rumba) 24 (Foxtrot) 27 (V. Waltz)
27 (Mambo) 26 (Jive)
Shannon 23 (Samba) 24 (Rumba) 27 (Tango)
24 (Rumba)
Marlee 22 (Samba) 21 (Mambo)
Priscilla 21 (Rumba)

Season 6 Weekly Scores (Part II)

Celebrity Week 9 Week 10 Week Finale
Kristi 29 (Tango) 30 (Cha Cha) 30 (Jive)
28 (Jive) 30 (Freestyle)
Jason 28 (Foxtrot) 24 (Cha Cha) 30 (Quickstep)
27 (Paso Doble) 27 (Freestyle)
Christian 27 (V.Waltz) 26 (Cha Cha)
29 (Samba) 26 (Freestyle)
Marissa 26 (Quickstep)
26 (Rumba)

- Week 5 – The judges essentially raved about Mario and Kristi, while all the rest got constructive criticism. I think the judges gave Marissa an accurate score, but were quite harsh on Priscilla and Shannon. Both of them, in addition to Christian, were underscored, particularly when compared to Marissa. Christian, frankly, was robbed. They gave the encore to Kristi, but I was shocked to realize that, IMO, the best dance of the night belonged to Edyta and Jason.

- Week 6 – Here we see, again, a bit of over-scoring – Christian had been in the bottom 2 the previous week, so this week he gets raves on a dance that clearly seemed rushed to me. Again, Mario and Kristi get raves, and Marissa gets handled with kid gloves. Marissa isn’t a “bad” dancer, per se, but she isn’t as good as Shannon or Pricilla. I often think that if you dance better than the judges expect, you get better scores than people who danced better – if those people are expected to dance better. Follow me? Anyway, Mario would have gotten a higher score if not for the lift police. I don’t disagree with the judges and Shannon’s hips (she has none, lucky beyotch), but the words exchanged with Bruno were quite harsh – the look of utter shock on Shannon’s face was hard to look at and that shock is a likely catalyst for what comes later…but more on that later.

- Week 7 – This is the week where everyone has one good dance and one not so good dance. And that pretty much sums it up. I would say there’s a trend between this season and Season 5, but it can likely be chalked up to the first week with two whole dances. The only scoring that impressed me as off (other than Marissa) was Jason. As much as I loved him, I thought he was slightly overscored in his quickstep. I just don’t get the love affair they have with Marissa. I mean, she’s not a “bad” dancer, but I don’t think she’s always worthy of the scores she gets. I think she might be getting the “personality” score.

- Week 8 – A week later than Season 5, we hear the old mantra of “that was good, but not quite good enough for heading into the semi-finals. Marissa got it, as did Jason on his second dance. Christian did not get the talk, he actually got raves and this was the week after he tore his tendon in his arm. He actually did very well, but I thought that he was not as good as Mario who was scored lower. Kristi got her usual raves although she and Mario both got some flack for their second dances. Kristi because her Samba was “awkward and out of control” – and I absolutely agreed with that assessment. WAY too much stuff in that dance. Mario’s feet were apparently bad or “rough” – but still, better than Christian. While I agreed with Jason’s critiques, there is no way he was 3 points behind Kristi in the second dance. As for Marissa, she is far below the other dancers in terms of quality.

- Week 9 – Marissa gets a break (a little) on the scores, much like the semi-final ease up in Season 5. She still gets a good bit of criticism (lack of body content in hold, missed leap on the run), including the “It’s not a semi-final dance” for the second one. But her quickstep was pretty good, so I can see the improvement in score. On the other hand, Kristi, Christian and Jason all get basically rave reviews with minor critiques thrown in. Kristi got the “too hectic” from Len on her Tango (agreed) and the “hair out of sync” from Carrie Ann on her Jive (agreed) – which was really Mark out dancing her a bit, like he has a tendency to do with all his partners on Jive. Christian was “occasionally flatfooted” on his Viennese Waltz. I take it back, Jason was not critiqued at all and in my notes I have the words “slightly over rated” for his Paso Doble. That’s okay, because I have “underscored” next to his Foxtrot. :-)

This is a random note, but I noticed that Marissa got harder dances, while Kristi got dances that were perfect for her. The dances on this night were determined by “random draw” and I always wonder about those and if they are REALLY random. At the end of the night I also felt that Jason out danced Kristi, even though she beat him by two points.

- Week 10 – Jason and Christian are pretty much left in Kristi’s dust. She is the most consistent and technically superior of the three so that’s no big thing. Not much point in discussing the scoring, although I will say that Christian’s injury does catch up with him – I didn’t get the feeling there was underscoring going on to prop up Kristi. As for Jason – the Cha Cha was clearly not his dance, especially not in a “cha cha challenge” where they all dance to the same song one after the other. Not that Kristi needed propping. I predicted as soon as her name was announced that she would win. She’s *Kristi Yamaguchi* after all.

Season 6 Summary – On finale night, Christian is announced as 3rd place before there is anymore dancing. After that, both Kristi and Jason are given perfect 30’s – pretty safe, since Kristi is still 9 points ahead. I didn’t note whether I found Jason’s score to be valid or not, since it really didn’t matter at that point. No one is going to over come a 9 point lead against Kristi. That’s not to say the scores weren’t valid – they were. I had very few problems with how this season went down. No real surprises. No shocks. They did make a point, from time to time of saying that a dance wasn’t up to par for a given point in the season – which is how it should be.

Random Observations:

  • Christian and Jason’s bromance is the sweetest thing about this season.
  • Kristi wasn’t the phenom that I remember her to be. She’s very, VERY good, but I actually enjoyed Christian and Jason more, from an entertainment standpoint.
  • Week 8 this season was the first non-bottom 2 reveal.  I’m waiting to see what season they do away with it altogether and if it becomes obvious WHY they do it.
  • Len did his Master Class with the remaining couples in Week 9 – I had forgotten how hilarious he can be. This one ends with him in a limo with Kym. :-)
  • Mark DIDN’T have polka dots in Kristi’s 1st Jive costume other than her hair bow – yes, you know this is remarkable if you’ve been paying attention. He did succumb to the polka dots for their jive in the semis.
  • Derek hurts his neck, then gets food poisoning, then has a meltdown with Shannon the confessional – who was saying he’s never been challenged?? :-) Anyway, the meltdown – they apologized over and over and over and both seemed to regret it. Somehow, that got lost in the discussions of the subject well after the fact.
  • This season had one of the great Pro Dances that seem to have faded away in the seasons since.
  • February 27, 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 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!

    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!

    DWTS11 Preliminary Power Rankings, Part II

    So last week, I formulated who wouldn’t last past the midpoint of the competition in part I of my season 11 preliminary power ranking.  Today, I’ll reveal my top half – and who I think is going to walk away with that mirrorball trophy.  Enjoy & dicuss!

    6.) Florence Henderson & Corky Ballas – I think these two could be interchangeable with Michael & Chelsie, depending on how memorable Florence can be.  No doubt Florence will likely be the better dancer – she’s had legit experience, plus the footage I’ve seen of her practicing so far looks reeeeaaally good.  She seems like a very focused, hard worker.  She’s also got the boon of being the oldest cast member, which seems to bring its own voting fanbase with it.  The one problem I think Flo might have is the comparisons she’s likely gonna get to Cloris, since that’s been Corky’s only other partner – and she and Cloris are NOTHING alike, besides their older age.  While part of Cloris’ appeal was her outrageous behavior, it’s something we’re not going to see out of Flo…like I’ve mentioned before, Flo is very demure and classy, and not the type to throw out off-color comments and innuendo.  As for Corky and his fanbase…that’s a little harder to predict.  He’s only been on the show once before, and it seemed like it was his partner’s outrageous behavior that kept them around so long.  I’m not sure if Mark’s (or Derek’s, for that matter) fans are gonna throw any votes his direction, or if he has enough of a fanbase of his own to really make a difference.  Regardless, I’m actually kind of excited for these two – it will be nice to see what a dynamite choreographer like Corky can really do with a partner that’s willing to work. 

    5.) Kurt Warner & Anna Trebunskaya – Now Kurt could be the worst dancer in the competition this season, and I still don’t think he’d get sent home any sooner than week 6 or 7, just due to being a former NFL player (the worst any of them have done is 7th place).  On top of that, he’s the first quarterback we’ve ever had on the show, and the QB’s are typically the most well-known players on each team. But I think Kurt could actually be pretty good, if his work ethic during dance practice is anything like his work ethic on the football field.  And really – Kurt just seems like a genuinely good guy.  Comes from humble roots, evangelical Christian, family man, does a lot of charity work…I’m not sure there’s a more likeable guy in the competition.  He also seems to have a goofy side (see The Great Previous Dance Experience Debate, Part II), which always seems to balance nicely with a serious work ethic.  I think Anna has also beefed up her fanbase after having such a breakout season with Evan – people have warmed to her considerably, and she seems to have gotten a good deal more comfortable with her own choreography.  But while these two will likely be Mr. & Mrs. Congeniality this season, I don’t think Kurt necessarily has the dance chops (or the explosive personality) to make it to the semifinals.  

    4.) David Hasselhoff & Kym Johnson – I’m saying this right now – I don’t think the Hoff is going to be a fantastic dancer.  Decent, maybe; but not great.  However, I do think he will be this season’s funny man, and that will take him farther than his dance skills will.  From the bit of media that I’ve seen so far with him in it, I’m having flashbacks of Donny in season 9 – the Hoff is definitely hamming it up.  Very chatty, cracking a lot of jokes, but seems enthusiastic…I do think he’ll make an honest effort, but I’m just not sure he’s got a ton of natural skill to pair it with.  But that’s ok, because if there’s one thing Kym is really good at, it’s taking an okay partner and giving them choreography that really lets them shine – I think that’s exactly what she did with Donny & Warren, and I’m sure that’s what she’ll do with David.  Plus Kym is quite possibly the most likeable female pro in the competition – mellow, sweet, and drop dead gorgeous.  I think they’ll look good together, and will likely be one of the couples out there that is truly enjoying themselves – it probably won’t trump some of the better-dancing couples, but I could see it taking them to the semifinal. 

    3.) Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough – Looks like Heidi and I are in agreement on this one – Team Jenougher will probably make it to the finale, but just don’t quite have the juice to go all the way.  Like Heidi, I agree that Jennifer’s age and recent health issues will likely hinder this pair a bit; however, I do think she will be a sentimental fave with the voters, and they will come out to vote for her in big ways…even if she isn’t the greatest.  She does have a big advantage in having Derek; choreographically, I think he’s the strongest male pro and the one most likely to bring out the best in his partners.  He’s also got an uber-strong fanbase, and they’re smart about how they vote.  The only thing I can’t really predict is if there’s going to be any backlash from his win last season – I can’t decide if those that are still pissed about Nicole winning are going to refuse to vote for Derek now, even if they really do like what he’s doing with Jen.  Ditto for the same people that are clinging to the (flimsy) notion that Jennifer is a “professional dancer” and that DWTS is strictly for stars with “no dance experience” (keep dreaming) – are they gonna refuse to vote too, just on principle? By the same token, are they gonna refuse to vote for Brandy, Florence, & the Hoff too? I would like to think that in a season like this, with a fairly level playing field, that people wouldn’t try to concoct conspiracy theories like that – but there’s always some renegades.  That whole mess aside, I do think these two will be one of the stronger couples this season…but I’m not sure they’re going to have enough momentum to win. 

    2.) Brandy & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – I’m sure there will be shock, awe, and outrage over this one, but when it comes down to it I just don’t think Brandy is going to be the stereotypical “pop-star ringer” that everyone is saying she is.  As we proved with the previous dance experience post, Brandy’s career has not been nearly as dance-heavy as, say, Nicole, Sabrina, or even Mel B’s.  And unlike Nicole & Sabrina, who were still in the high point of their careers when they did the show, Brandy’s been out of the spotlight for a little while now…aside from an album she released last year that flopped, and the reality show she has with her family on VH1 (which I’m not sure paints her in the best light), she hasn’t really been up to anything “big” in over 10 years.  I’m not sure how much of her original fanbase is still invested enough to come out and vote for her, which will likely cause her to rely heavily on pulling people in with great dancing.  And from what I’ve seen from the media so far – Brandy seems like a focused, hard worker, but doesn’t seem to be a natural when it comes to ballroom.  However, I do think she has an advantage in having Maks, who does have a large fanbase, and is a good choreographer – when he isn’t pissing off the judges or throwing fits (then again, like Heidi, I blame a lot of his less savory behavior last season on Erin, who seemed to bring out the worst in him, for whatever reason).  However, it is encouraging to see Maks & Brandy practicing and no tantrums being thrown by either party – the energy between them seems much more synergistic than it was between him and some of his other partners.  I daresay this will likely result in some really good, memorable routines.  However, when it comes down to it, I think they’re no match for… 

    1.) Rick Fox & Cheryl Burke – Ok, pick your jaw up off the floor, and let me explain why I think these two could be the couple to beat this season.  First off, athletes generally do well (duh) – and pretty male athletes tend to do REALLY well (think Jason Taylor, Apolo Ohno, Helio Castroneves).  And when a pretty athlete teams up with a pretty female pro – watch out.  I have already said multiple times that I think these two are going to be this season’s most handsome couple.  Plus Cheryl is statistically the strongest female pro on the show – two wins, one 2nd place finish, one 3rd place finish, and 2 trips to the semi finals in her 9 seasons on the show – and she’s also one of the toughest, which Rick has said works well for him.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that Rick is not completely inept in the rhythm department – ex-wifey Vanessa Williams was a fantastic dancer, and I can’t imagine that a little bit of know-how didn’t rub off on him during their 5-year marriage.  Rick also has the boon of being a star not only from his basketball career, but also his acting career – he’s appeared on quite a few TV shows.  Both he and Cheryl seem to have pretty good-sized fanbases on their own, too, which gives them a bit of an edge over couples where the celeb isn’t as popular as the pro, and vice-versa.  Seems like this couple has a pretty good hand to play…but they do seem to be keeping their poker face up.  Not a whole lot of media leakage on these two, which makes me think that they’re really trying to play up the whole surprise factor when Rick turns out to be pretty damn good.  Cheryl seemed to do the same thing with Gilles, and look how he panned out.  But I daresay it will be interesting to see what these two have up their sleeves ;-)

    So there you have it – I’ve laid out my predictions for this season’s couples, without any of them having actually set foot on the floor.  Definitely hoping for some surprises this season, since this is the most level the playing field has been in quite some time.  But what do you guys think? Am I onto something? Am I full of crap? SPEAK UP! :-D

    September 15, 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 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!

    Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore it Better? Part VII

    Holy cannoli, kids! Can you believe we’re already into Part VII of our series? That means, as of this post, you’ve seen 49 dittoed costumes.  FORTY-NINE.  And there’s still more to come! The folks at Randall sure are getting their money’s worth out of these dresses, eh? ;-)

    But you’d better enjoy it while it lasts, kids – once season 11 premieres, Heidi and I may be too busy to continue this series and still do our regular season features (DWTS By the Numbers, the power rankings, the Cheesecake Awards…all the in-season stuff you love!).  And the beautiful Marcela only has so many pictures she can share with us! So unless anyone’s got a cache of (decent-quality, un-watermarked) pictures from all 10 seasons that you’d be willing to share with two very appreciative bloggers ;-), please…savor every last one of these costume contrasts ;-)  (Heidi: No question, we may be too busy starting Friday when the Pros find out if they’re back for the season or not. ;-) )

    Battle of the purple cut-out bodice dress with the black & blue ruffled skirt: Cheryl’s paso with Maurice in season 7 vs. some random pro Sandra Udis in some random pro dance in a subsequent season :-P

    Courtney: Ok, we confess: we have no clue who the blonde is, or what performance this dress was dittoed in.  Believe me, we searched high & low – to no avail.  So if anyone does know which performance this was, please, do share! :-) Well I don’t think the dress does either lady any favors…hell, the purple bodice seems to clash with the electric blue trim on the skirt! And this was unfortunately during Cheryl’s “frumpy” season – the season where every single costume they put her in just wasn’t flattering.  But her shoes seem to match better, so I’ll give it to Cheryl.

    Heidi: Another week, another gawdawful dress. Lordy.  I think besides the blue versus purple is definitely a problem – but Cheryl’s hair is just to severe for that cut of dress. It makes it worse. I have to agree with Courtney – the matching shoes give Cheryl they edge, although the dress sucks on both of them.

    The winner: Cheryl, by a foot.

     

    Battle of the royal blue, asymmetrical silk ballgown with beaded belt: Debi’s foxtrot relay with Maks in season 9 vs. Lacey in the “story telling” pro demo in season 10

    Heidi: This is one of those rare instances when the dress in motion doesn’t do the wearer a favor. I seem to recall that Debi, when dancing, didn’t look fab in this dress, but she sure looks great in it standing still!! I have no clue what Lacey has going on here.

    Courtney: Ok, I’m sorry, but this pic of Lacey is just cracking me up – she looks like she has to poop or something.  Like one of the dancing people in the Pepto commercials.  Yes, I am feeling extra juvenile this week, kids :-P Awkward stances aside, I like the dress better on Debbie – looks more dignified and flatters her figure better.  Lacey, like Cheryl, seems to have the problem with certain silhouettes making her look heavier than she really is.

    The winner: Debi for dignity ;-)

     

    Battle of the skimpy, pink overdye silk ballgown: Edyta’s foxtrot with Joey in season 3 vs. Anna’s preseason photo shoot in season 6

    Courtney: Wow, is it just me, or is there something delightfully ho-tastic about this dress? :-P Well, really just the top of it – it’s awfully scandalous as far as ballgowns go.  Without being too lewd…let’s just say it looks like something one might see at an “adult novelty store” or a “gentlemen’s club”.  But what’s really funny to me is that for as skankalicious as the cut of the dress is, the color seems really sweet & demure…almost like a prom dress.  Anywho…the cloying pink color of this number seems to flatter Anna better than it does Edyta.

    Heidi: Let me be more crude – you’re likely to see the top part of this outfit in a place with a lot of Poles. ;-) And I don’t mean Poland. Anyway, Anna manages to actually remove some of the skank-tastic-ness from this dress. A combination of the color and her pose and the sweet smile. Gotta hand it to her. ;-) Is this two weeks in a row that Edyta has actually lost????

    Courtney: Indeed it has been two weeks in a row.  Maybe Edyta isn’t the costume goddess we once thought she was!

    The winner: Anna…for making the dress look more like it’s from Russia, than from Pole-land ;-) Get it??? Hehe!

     

    Battle of the long-sleeve, black mesh cut-out ballgown: Edyta’s tango with Jason in season 6 vs. Kym’s tango with Mayo in the new pro competition in season 8

    Heidi: Kym, Kym, Kym!!  Fierce expression and a rockin’ bod. Best boobage on the show. She’s sooo hot. But besides how fantastic Kym looks – have we ever seen Edyta slump her shoulders like that before?? It really detracts from her whole…Edyta-ness!!

    Courtney: Some minor tweakage does a world of good here! Glad they replaced Edyta’s flesh-colored hip strap with something more substantial that matches the dress – doesn’t look odd like it did before.  And Heidi and I agree – Kym has the most fierce expressions and really works her costumes for all they’re worth.  So hot!

    The winner: Kym’s fierce face and rockin’ bod (and awesome boobage!) wins over Edyta’s slumpy shoulders.

     

    Battle of the olive green, army-inspired paso dress: Julianne’s paso with Cody in season 7 vs. Aliona Vilani in the pro dance to Rascal Flatts in season 8

    Courtney: Anyone else remember Aliona when she tried out for season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance with her boyfriend Leonidas Proskurov? I thought for sure she was going to make it to the top 20…but thankfully, they took Chelsie instead – I daresay Chelsie had both the chops and the personality to succeed on the show.  Ok, back on topic.  I really don’t care for this dress.  I never really understood why they opted for a military theme while dancing to Shiny Toy Guns, but I guess I’ll give it to Julianne – the dress looks a lot less “clunky” on her, while I think Aliona is weighed down by bulky boots & dark leggings.

    Heidi: I only remember Aliona from her Viennese Waltz with Derek on the last tour – amazingly beautiful dance. Kudos to Maks for that choreography, although I’ve heard the pros have a lot to do with their own solos. Anyway, not only do Aliona’s leggings kill it, but Julianne really has it pulled together. Between the cute little hat and the hair that goes with it, she’s workin’ it the right way.

    The winner: Julianne by a hat.

     

    Battle of the two-piece, ruffle-y yellow beaded Latin dress: Karina’s mambo with Rocco in season 7 vs. Edyta in the pro dance to Robin Thicke in season 8 vs. one of the performers in the Tiempo Libre performance in season 9

    Heidi: Ick. Yellow. I got nuthin’ else.

    Courtney: I’m afraid I’ve fallen in yellow costume apathy, because I’m having a hard time liking some of the yellow dresses we’ve featured in the past few weeks.  This ensemble is just ok for me.  Sorry Edyta, but the way your hair is styled just doesn’t seem to mesh well with the outfit; and Tiempo Libre dancer, it looks a bit ill-fitting on you.  Karina, it looks like you’ve been playing with your It Cosmetics Airbrush Abs kit again, but I’ll give it to you…even with an ace bandage around your ankle, you manage to pull this one off. 

    The winner: Karina…is it bad that she wins this one by an ace bandage and some airbrushed abs?

     

    Battle of the red, beaded Latin dress with the sweetheart neckline: Marissa’s mambo with Tony in season 6 vs. Niecy’s preseason photo shoot with Louis in season 10

    Courtney: Marissa, no doubt – I just absolutely love her expression in this picture!  She just looks like she’s having the most fun ever.  The beads are just sparkling away, and she’s got a huge smile on her face.  Niecy, on the other hand – I feel like she falls victim to the curse of the preseason photo shoot.  It always seems to make the dresses look less than impressive, and everyone seems to look so…I don’t know, made-up? Niecy and Louis both look kinda artificial to me, like they’ve been over-airbrushed. 

    Heidi: I agree, I love the look on Marissa’s face (although I didn’t like her ‘tude in post show interviews at all – seemed petty and jealous) – like she can’t believe she’s doing it. I also can’t stand Louis anymore either, so that’s a point against Niecy – although I like her just fine.

    The winner: Marissa by a grin.

      

    Get your copycat costume fix while it lasts, kids! Reminisce over parts I, II, III, IV, V, & VI of “Who Wore it Better?” ;-)

    August 19, 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!

    Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore it Better, Part V

    …and the fun continues! Alright fashion critics, have at it ;-) 

    On a side note, we have to give a very special thanks to our friend Marcela, who frequents this site all the way from Brazil! Marcela was kind enough to share with us many dittoes that she had found, and even sent us side-by-side pictures of them.  Marcela, here’s a big “Obrigado!” from all of us here at Pure DWTS…you rock! :-D

     

    Battle of the black & white floral-print ballgown: Brooke’s quickstep with Derek in season 7 vs. Cheryl in the pro dance to Michael Buble in season 9

    Courtney: Hmmmm. I’m not hugely fond of this dress, so I think it’s making it hard for me to figure out who it looks better on.  I think it probably suits Brooke’s body a bit better (surprise, surprise…that woman could make a burlap sack look good!), but I’m not a fan of the severely pulled-back side bun hair they gave her.  I think it doesn’t suit Cheryl’s body quite as well, but I think her loose, carefree hair & hoop earrings better suit the breezy feel of the dress.  I dunno…I’m defaulting to Heidi.

    Heidi: Does liking Brooke’s partner better count?? :-)  Seriously though, look at both of the men – I think you’ll note that the men’s outfits match the hairstyles on the ladies. They made Brooke much more formal, to complement Derek’s dinner jacket and bow tie and slick hair, whereas Cheryl’s hair is more loose and flowy which compliments Jonathan’s lack of jacket and undone bow tie. BOTH couples are very finished, for what they are trying to portray.

    The winner: Have to call it a draw for two complete ensembles – men included. ;-)

     

    Battle of the gold-fringe Latin dress: Chelsie’s salsa with Ty in season 8 vs. Nicole’s jive with Derek in the season 10 finale

    Heidi: Derek and Nicole’s Jive was just fan-flippin-tastic – and that includes seriously rocking that dress. Chelsie might be too sweet to be that fierce. And that ain’t no jive talkin’. ;-)

    Courtney: Now as fierce as both these ladies look in this sparkler, I’ve gotten give it to Nicole – she just slightly out-fierces Chelsie with that fabulous hair flip.  That jive was seriously awesome – and Tina herself sure knows how to rock a gold fringe dress!

    The winner: Nicole, by a Tina Turner ‘tude

     

    Battle of the hot pink, cut-out ballgown with matching gloves: Kym’s foxtrot with David in season 8 vs. Melissa’s preseason photo shoot with Mark in season 9

    Courtney: This gown is just adorable – reminds me so much of Marilyn Monroe’s dress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes…which is why I think it looks so cute on both of these lovely blonde ladies ;-) Love Melissa’s 40’s-esque finger waves, but I also love Kym’s tighter curls.  In the end, though, I just have to give this one to Kym – while I don’t particularly remember David well that season (except for his rather embarrassing exit speech), I do remember Kym just working it in this foxtrot, and this dress just sparkling away as she moved.  Therefore, I must give this one to our favorite Aussie blonde :-D

    Heidi: They both do look awesome. But when you mention Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, it made me think of Marlee Matalin’s dance with Derek, Mark, Fabian Sanchez and Genya Mazo and I ran to check the video. Nah. Not the same dress as Marlee. ;-) ANYway, I have to give it to Kym too – that body is hard to beat and I just like her personality better anyway.

    The winner: Kym, for being the Aussie answer to Marilyn herself!

     

    Battle of the itty-bitty, coral one-sleeve Latin dress: Edyta’s cha-cha with Jason in season 6 vs. Julianne’s pro dance with Derek to Jennifer Hudson in season 7

    Heidi: That Julianne had the guts to wear a dress AFTER Edyta wore it – well, I have to hand it to her. Girl is brave. Of course she works it just as well as Edyta, so why not? I like it better with Julianne’s coloring, I think.

    Courtney: This has got to be one of the TINIEST costumes I’ve ever seen on the show – and that’s saying something, considering that Edyta is, to quote Lawrence Taylor “allergic to clothes”, hehe.  Not that I blame Edyta at all – as I’ve said before, if I had a body that fabulous, you’d have to put me in a nudist colony, because I would be naked ALL THE TIME.  However, this dress looks too much to me like many of the others Edyta has worn, while the look is a little more surprising on Julianne – the coral looks surprisingly flattering on her.  So kudos to Julianne for out-Edytaing Edyta!

    The winner: Julianne for bravery. ;-)

     

    Battle of the yellow & orange overdye Latin dress: Julianne’s salsa with Cody in season 7 vs. Lisa’s quickstep with Mayo in the new pro contest in season 8

    Courtney: I found it very, very strange that they opted to put Lisa in a Latin dress to do a quickstep – I guess they were trying to fit the whole “Walking on Sunshine” theme with the colors of the dress.  But it just looks so mismatched up to Mayo – he’s so covered & dark and she’s so…bare.  And I hate that shaggy haircut of hers – I feel like it totally obscures her face.  Now Julianne, on the other hand, is just an absolute delight in this dress – can you believe this was only about a week after her appendectomy?!

    Heidi: Girlfriend did one hell of a jive with Derek a week after her appendectomy, so yes, I can believe it. ;-) This one is kind of a toss up for me – Lisa cut off the tail of the dress and the colors look better with her tan, but her hair and her overinflated lips get me every time. Love Julianne, but she added a huge flower up near the shoulder that I can’t get behind, plus it took me a minute or two to figure out that the tail of the dress was wrapped around her right leg. Don’t know what she’s got around her left ankle. Anyway, I guess I find the flower and the tail less egregious than the hair and the lips. ;-)

    The winner: Julianne, for normal lips.

     

    Battle of the fringed, zebra-print Latin dress: Mel B’s jive with Maks in season 5 vs. Lacey’s preseason photo shoot in season 7

    Heidi: I kind of find this dress awful. And Lacey didn’t follow the “take one thing off” rule before she left the house. ;-) That said, I like it better on her because of the gloves and the red hair. Add in that I am SO NOT a Mel fan and well….Lacey wins. ;-)

    Courtney: Another dress I just don’t particularly care for – looks like something off the sale rack at Wet Seal.  However, I do think it fits both ladies’ feisty personalities well.  I guess I’ll go with Lacey – the streaks of red in her hair offer a nice pop of color to offset the black & white in the dress.

    The winner: Lacey…just barely. This dress sucks.

     

    Battle of the red, cut-out, ruffly Latin dress: Shannon’s mambo with Derek in season 6 vs. Kym’s preseason photo shoot in season 7

    Courtney: Wow, this batch is really a mixed bag for me – I’m either loving or hating these dresses.  This, unfortunately falls into the latter category – BLECH.  Am I the only one that thought that Shannon looked terribly awkward in almost every costume they put her in? Aggghhh, and that hair – looks like they were trying to style it like her ex-husband’s (look him up – Joe Reitman.  Eek!) Kym does a decent job of making a crappy dress look acceptable, so I’ll go with her. 

    Heidi: I think Shannon WAS awkward in a lot of the dresses. This one is funny because she had lots of padding in the bra AND in the butt, and she wasn’t afraid to tell EVERYONE. It made all the media that week very entertaining, especially when Derek is pulling down the back of her dress to show reporters and she then proceeds to rip his shirt open. And to think they tried to tell people they were just friends. Um, right. ;-) I also have to give it up to Derek for once again attempting a camouflage (with all those ruffles) a lack of hip action. Despite me enjoying this dress on Shannon for all the backstage reasons, it’s pretty clear that Kym just wears it better. The confidence will get you every time. I bet Kym didn’t need the padding either. ;-)

    The winner: Duh, Kym! Even though this dress sucks too. ;-)

     Pssst! First time here? Then you should definitely check out parts I, II, III, & IV of our “Who Wore it Better?” series! :-D  

    August 4, 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!