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Derek Hough talks Lifts, Rumba and Jennifer Grey in New TV Guide Blog

We’ve had lots of whiners comments about why Derek didn’t get docked for the lift he did in his rumba with Bindi, and comments about the lack of rumba content – mainly just for Derek although a lot of other couples had the same issues (no surprise there, right?) – and Derek does us a favor and explains what HE was told when preparing for the dance. And he shows, once again, that he’s pretty well connected in Hollywood. 🙂 From TV Guide:

I texted Jennifer immediately afterward and she was like, “Love it! That was great!” Kenny Ortega also texted me and was super pumped about it. I’m glad they both loved it. We really tried to honor the original dance as much as we could. I know some of you were worried that we would be docked for a lift in the rumba since that’s not allowed, but we all had a lot of leeway in our choreography because it was about paying tribute to these iconic dances. We did some rumba in the beginning, but the dance was by no means a rumba! We were all told the rules were going to be loose so we didn’t have to be concerned about that. Now you may be wondering why they didn’t just give us a mambo since that’s the dance in the movie, but I’m kinda glad they gave us the rumba. We got it over with!

This week, we have the Argentine tango. We’re dancing to “Cry Little Sister.” With Bindi, we’ve seen the sweet side of her obviously. This is gonna be the fierce, sexy, strong side of her. I’m excited for everyone to see that. She totally gets into character and I think it’s gonna be good.

I suspected he would rather have had the other song, which makes me very curious about how the songs were handed out. Bindi, as the person with the highest cumulative score, should have had first choice. We’ll have to wait and see how that went down. Or how they portray it went down, in any case.

October 23, 2015 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. :-)

PureDWTS Season 21, Week 6 – Top 5 Complaints About “The Lift” And Why They’re Kinda Dumb

As I mentioned earlier on Twitter – I find it funny how all of the armchair dance critics just seemed to come out of the woodwork and point out everything that was wrong with “the lift” in the past 48 hours or so 😛 Every one of them was quick to point out Derek’s “shaking arms”, Bindi’s “bad posture”, or offered up examples of others who did “a much better job”. Just one question for, critics: you have attempted this lift yourself, haven’t you? I mean, for you guys to be so critical of it yourself, I assume you’ve researched it extensively and have honed the technique enough in order to offer up intelligent arguments about everything Derek & Bindi did that was just “sooooo wrong”? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Fortunately, I’m actually uniquely qualified to talk about it, as I HAVE done this lift, and my senior kinesiology thesis in college was a 25-page analysis on how to do the lift from Dirty Dancing.  After one very long semester of hours logged in the lab with a crashmat and my partner (and a few injuries), we got it down to a science, and wrote a very arcane paper full of physics & kinesiology jargon that explained how to do it – and we got an A 🙂 Now, as it has been quite a few years since I graduated, and the computer I had from college has since crashed, I was unable to dig up a copy of my original paper (I even went so far as to email my professor to see if she had a copy – turns out, she’s on sabbatical this semester). However, I still remember a lot of what I said in the paper, and I doubt many of you care about things such as concentric/eccentric muscle contractions – so I tried to condense it as much as possible here, and make it relevant to DWTS. So I decided to tackle the top 5 complaints I’ve been hearing about the lift, and explain why I think Bindi & Derek actually did a damn good job, given the circumstances. Read more..

October 21, 2015 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 Derek Hough And Bindi Irwin Practice The Dirty Dancing “The Lift” (Photos), Rehearsal Interview, And More

If you haven’t seen pictures of Derek Hough and Bindi Irwin rehearsing “the lift” for their “Dirty Dancing” dance, see E! News. The New York Post and the Daily Mail have even more. They are amazing!! To read and see more including a new rehearsal interview with ET, a discussion on whether a slower version Of “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” will work (there is a piano version I love that would be perfect in my opinion!!), Derek’s blog, pics of Jennifer Grey arriving to rehearsals, screen caps galore from last week (Heidi is outdoing herself), and lots more see Pure Derek Hough.

October 17, 2015 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

PureDWTS POLL: Best Male & Female Celeb Dancers in DWTS History?

So I was eating my lunch outside today (since it was the first day in quite some time that wasn’t rainy) with some coworkers, when the topic of my favorite DWTS contestant of all-time, Alfonso Ribeiro, came up.  We had been talking about the celebrity golf tournament he was in this past weekend (Vogue reported on it here, if you haven’t seen it yet), and the fact that he did the Carlton, and I think I said “He’s probably the best male dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” To which another coworker replied “Nah, Corbin Bleu was the best dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” And of course, a debate commenced over who was the better technician, who was the better entertainer, who was more athletic, etc. etc. etc.  We ended up agreeing to disagree, but it got me thinking: really & truly, out of the 20 seasons we’ve had – who is the best guy we’ve seen, and who’s the best girl?

I did a bit of a snap poll on Twitter, but I figured “Why not make it a bit more official?” and do an actual poll here? So below, I picked the most likely candidates for who would likely qualify for “best dancer” on DWTS – most would probably fall under the “ringer” category, but that’s kind of expected when we’re voting on dance skills alone.  Keep in mind that it’s not about popularity, or how well-known they were when they did the show – just dance skills & presentation, period; and independent of any previous training they might have had – so no “Well so-and-so was better because they had no previous experience and were great and that’s what DWTS is all about!!!” Strictly voting on dance skills/showmanship alone, kids.

Obviously, I voted for Alfonso for the men – I think he was the most consistent of all the male ringers we’ve had, and also the best showman; I also think part of his appeal was that he was a really organic, natural mover that seemed to really get into the pocket of whatever dance was thrown his way, even if he had no previous experience with it. While I agreed with my coworker that Corbin was more athletic and likely had more refined technique than Alfonso, I think he wasn’t as much of a natural as Alfonso and had to work harder to appear at ease with the movement of some of the dances – which didn’t always work, and made him a lot less consistent throughout his season.

For the ladies, it wasn’t as cut-and-dry for me – my knee-jerk answer was Nicole, but then I remembered she had some ups-and-downs and some dances that she wasn’t naturally good at (her first rumba and her samba come to mind); then I thought of Meryl, but while her technique was usually flawless, I remember thinking she sometimes lacked in the showmanship department, and could be a timid mover at times. Then I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi, who was a strong dancer AND entertainer, but I remember thinking that she seemed to always have that skater’s “perma-smile” that made her look a tad cheesy at times.  As surprising as this may be for some of you, I actually ended up picking Zendaya as the best female dancer we’ve seen on the show – for a lot of the same reasons I picked Alfonso: she was consistent, she was a showman, and she was a very NATURAL mover.  Granted, I thought Val failed her in the choreography department on multiple occasions (which may have eventually prevented her from winning, I think), and I didn’t love every single dance; but I do think she probably had the best skill set to work with, and seemed the most comfortable out on the floor.

So what do YOU guys think? Vote in the polls below, and then tell us how you voted & why 🙂

July 20, 2015 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 – Winning Freestyles Through the Years, Part Two

Okay, here’s part 2 – be sure to watch part 1 so you can get the full history.

Part 2 could be called the “Hough-Ballas-Johnson” Section. 🙂 What I notice about Derek and Mark’s early Freestyles is that they craft something exciting but they still get a lot of actual dancing in there. I remember critics saying it was all lifts and no dancing….crack is wack, ya’ll. Looking forward to seeing both freestyles from them this Monday as they’ve both matured so much in both style and choreography.

Season 7 – Brooke and Derek. I loved this freestyle. It’s funny to watch now as Derek is a good bit smaller – you’ll also note that this is the beginning of his recurring back problems. What I loved about this freestyle is that, from Brooke, it was unexpected, I think. She was the best dancer this season and I remember thinking that there was no way she was beating Warren the showman – I think this dance might have done it for her. Read more..

May 17, 2014 I Written By

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

Ricki Lake, Jennifer Grey, Allison Holker, And More Attend DWTS Anna Trebunskaya’s Baby Shower

It’s official. Dancing With The Stars Anna Trebunskaya is going to have a baby GIRL!! She talked all about it with Life & Style Magazine at a recent baby shower. Below is more including who else attended the baby shower. Be sure to see some new pics of Anna at the link. She looks happy and gorgeous as ever!!

“I’m just so excited to meet her,” Anna gushed to Life & Style at her baby shower on Dec. 14.

“I want to see how she looks! The eye color, hair color and structure, I just don’t know how all the DNA’s going to mix together. I just want to hold her!”

Ricki Lake, Jennifer Grey, Samantha Harris and So You Think You Can Dance’s Allison Holker were all in attendance at the shower and found out about the baby’s gender in a sweet way.

The mom-to-be sliced a specially made cake by Sweet E’s bakery to reveal pink filling inside.

Anna, a DWTS veteran, thinks she might have a little dancer on the way. “This little one loves jive!” she shared with the mag. “Whenever’s there’s jive, there’s always some kind of movement.”

Even though she’s more than seven months along, she’s still undecided on a name.

“We have about five saved on our phones,” shares the beauty, who has yet to reveal the father.

ADDING: Kristin and Suri of Afterbuzz TV were there too…

December 18, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Derek Hough Blogs After Week 2 of DWTS Season 16

This blog is jam packed with information. Love it!  He talks about Jazz versus the Jive, Dorothy, injuries and why he’s never been to prom.  A few excerpts from TV Guide:

We have the jive next. It’s a hard dance. It’s a lot different from the jazz, which definitely played to Kellie’s strengths. The jive is so fast and the technique in it is so difficult. There are a lot of different elements. This is the first week where the pressure’s really on since we only have five days to do a routine going forward. It’s tough because the jive is so fast, so that means more steps. There’s more choreography within that minute and 15 seconds. You could do six steps in one second in the jive, whereas in the rumba, you probably do, like, two steps in five seconds.

The way I choreograph is I choreograph from the spot. I don’t really come in with a routine ready to go and teach it to my partners. I like to create with my partner. I like to play with ideas. I could have an idea that I think it’s great, but I could try it with them and they might not feel great doing it, so I like to experiment with my partner to try to maximize getting the best out of them.

It’s also Prom Week. I never went to prom and Kellie never went to prom either, so I’m trying to figure out a way to ask her to prom. I’m nervous! I didn’t go to prom because I grew up in England and they don’t really have proms there. I was also traveling and competing, so I didn’t have a normal social life. I didn’t go to school parties and dances. I never felt like I missed out on that type of stuff. Now I get my first prom with Kellie!

We were all sad to see Dorothy withdraw. We had no idea she was going to. We learned with the audience. We were completely in the dark about it. I think it was a very mature and smart thing to do on her part. It’s important to look after your health. That’s it. Nothing is worth sacrificing your health. I love what the Dalai Lama said — it doesn’t really go into her situation — but he said, “Mankind surprised me about humanity. Because we sacrifice our health for money and we sacrifice our money to gain back our health.” You always have to put your wellbeing first. But it was obviously very sad that she pulled out. You never want anyone to pull out. I think only, like, four people have pulled out during the show from injury. We have a lot of injuries on the show of varying degrees and I think we all are used to seeing people push through on the show. Dorothy’s an athlete and I think if she could, she would’ve pushed through, but it was too serious.

Jennifer Grey and I were very close to withdrawing many, many times. I had a doctor literally in a rehearsal saying to me, “You can do that move. You can’t do that move. If you do that move and you drop her, she can be paralyzed.” I was like, “OK…” No pressure, right? Actually on the very last show, she blew a disc in her lower back and she had surgery the next day after we won. We won a trophy and she’s in the hospital getting surgery less than a day later. It was crazy, but we were so close to pulling out that season.

March 29, 2013 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. :-)

How to Fix DWTS – An Open Letter to Producers (Part 4)

This post is the 4th and final part of a series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show – it’s for their own good. 🙂  This part is more to the audience, but also for the producers.  If you want to read parts 1, 2, and 3 you can find them here:

How to Fix DWTS Part 1

How to Fix DWTS Part 2

How to Fix DWTS Part 3

A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic.

————-

I’ve never been one to believe in a high degree of manipulation of the show via the packages. I mean, let’s face it – no one MADE Maks be an ass with half his partners. And I’ve had people who work on the show tell me that what you see is usually what you get. Not to mention that after many seasons on the show, these pros know if you give the producers exciting footage, they are going to USE it. So, don’t be stupid. Take up the song “The Camera’s really on me now” by Derek Hough and Nicole Scherzinger. And suck it up. I get that the job of the producers is to get ratings. You get ratings by getting people talking. Be it a showmance or a knock down drag out fight. If you’re not smart enough to realize that camera really is recording everything you do, then it’s on YOU.  Maks and Hope really WERE awful, Karina and Apolo (sadly) really were stressed out and boring, and Drew and Anna were indeed too intense and serious. Read more..

February 10, 2013 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. :-)

How to Fix DWTS – An Open Letter to Producers (Part 3)

This post is part 3 of a new series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show – it’s for their own good. 🙂  If you want to read parts 1 and 2, you can find them here:

How to Fix DWTS Part 1

How to Fix DWTS Part 2

 

A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic.  And by all means – if you remember other instances of fishiness, feel free to share. I can’t guarantee we will agree, but I would be interested to hear.

Dear DWTS Producers (cont.)

We’ve talked all about the stupid scoring methods the judges have, although not really touching on how much you producers influence that scoring. It’s really hard to say what is Len being an ass and what is producer directed underscoring with the goal of drama, making it a horse race or holding on to the contestants who grab viewers attention, albeit not necessarily actual votes.  Who’s doing it and their ultimate goal? Don’t know, kinda care, really wish you would CUT IT OUT. I think it’s obvious. One only has to compare how Len scored Shawn, Nicole and Mya to see a pretty distinct pattern. I didn’t look much farther than those three, initially, but after my last posting I had to look at another talented dancer, Jennifer Grey. Jennifer didn’t suffer from the same scoring bullshit as the other three ladies. Why? Well, my guess is that she wasn’t anywhere close to “guaranteed” win (in the producers and judges eyes, mind you) that the other ladies were. She was 50 years old at the time and had some rather serious medical issues – almost didn’t dance in the finale, if you recall. Falsely crapping on her dances would seem…well, heartless.  She started the show as the sympathetic character with a very nostalgic feel. The other pseudo ringer that season was Brandy – she learned to dance for a movie, like Jennifer, and went to a performing arts high school – like Jennifer. Keeping in mind that I haven’t seen her dances since her season aired, you will note that she was getting consistently beaten by Jennifer in scoring up until week 5, when she beat Jennifer. She also beat Jennifer in week 6, then tied her in weeks 7 and 8, before being eliminated. I’m tempted to say that she had the Len curse that season….but since I haven’t watched the dances in a while I can’t really make the call. Looks like it though.

Brooke and Kristi were the high scorers nearly every week they were on the show, season 5 was all over the place, and Gilles seemed destined to win season 8, which leads me to believe that this little game didn’t really start happening until after that season. Were they getting tired of sure things, even though Gilles ended up not winning? Decided to make the game more interesting? Totally pissed that Shawn won and Gilles/Melissa didn’t?  I wish they would quit it. It’s always nice to have excitement on a show, but not at the expense of reality. Read more..

January 20, 2013 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. :-)

How to Fix DWTS – An Open Letter to Producers (Part 2)

This post is part 2 of a new series where I basically tell the producers of DWTS how they should change the show. Cuz I’m bossy like that. 🙂  If you want to read part 1, you can find it here —> How to Fix DWTS Part 1  A reminder for those easily induced into righteous indignation – this is NOT about the various couples but about the JUDGES and the Producers – I’ve provided examples of problems that I remember from season to season. If you get your knickers in a twist about Melissa or Shawn or Mya or Nicole or Maria, I’m not going to waste time arguing with you, I’m going to call you names (maybe to myself, maybe publicly – we’ll see) and then ignore you. Keep it on topic.

Dear DWTS Producers (cont.)

Scoring – to keep the “better” dancers over the “not so much” dancers.  “Better” being highly subjective. This is another common problem that many of us have seen on the show in the mid weeks of a season.  Say you have a dancer named Hope. She’s not a great dancer, but she’s explosive when paired with the bad boy of the ballroom – good for controversy and smack talk if not much else. Well, you want your show to be talked about and there are much more “disposable” celebrities on at the same time, so what do you do?? Well, of course, you pad Hope’s scores to give her just enough of a boost that she sticks around for a couple weeks, even if there are better dancers (such as Kristin, Chynna and even David – well, maybe not “better”  in David’s case, but certainly more charming) that are at risk of leaving. Ya gotta have your ratings, right?  Now, when all the disposable celebs are gone and you start scoring Hope for real, what happens?? Well, both Hope AND her fans and the rest of the audience are saying, “Wait a second. Last week I got a much better score for a dance that wasn’t as good as this one.”  And the conspiracy theories abound. And with good reason, right?  Hope’s not even the best example of this – I’m sure my readers can come up with good-ish dancers who were intentionally over scored just so they would stay longer than the really crappy dancers, only to start getting lower scores in the later weeks – so that the *great* dancers would survive.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Of course, they don’t always get worse scores in later weeks.  I have to wonder just how much protecting of Melissa was done early on for dancing that wasn’t that great.  She got a 37 (out of 40) on a Jitterbug in week 4 that had seriously messy lifts (the in and outs mainly) – one of which was almost a fall. It kinda makes me laugh cuz Shawn was picked on for “tricks” yet this dance was ALL tricks and any dancing there was was simplistic.  CAI, Len and Paula even called them on it and they still got a 37. She got a 27 the week before on a samba that was just too precious – and a 30 when they re-danced it and she did no better on it. Me thinks they were terribly afraid of Kirstie and Emmitt, early on, when it came to Melissa, and they were pulling a Maria late in the season (see below). Except for the very last one (maybe) her tangos and pasos were routinely over scored – so soft. :::shrug::: Hope and Melissa are far from the only examples. Maria was overscored on her Jive (if Shawn had danced that dance, Len would have decimated her), either to let her be eliminated with a high score (dangerous) or because they were hoping (strangely) that she could get past Donald, who they clearly didn’t care for much.  I always thought her salsa was overscored as well.  She was definitely a better dancer than many of the others in week three, when the salsa happened, but I imagine there was some doubt as to the strength of her fanbase.  The judges/producers seem to have so many goals, it’s hard to keep track of. One of them has to be making sure the better dancers with questionable fanbases make it to the end over the crap dancers who are popular. Read more..

December 17, 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. :-)