These are always fun to watch and this one is no different as we saw hints of last night on the results show.
The couples talked about their first elimination last night with On The Red Carpet. They also spoke of what happens from here and what their dances are for next week.
First up, Bristol and Mark were relieved they weren’t eliminated. Bristol has met her first goal. They don’t say exactly what dance they have (Quickstep or Jive?), but, Bristol is obsessed with the next song they are dancing to. It’s her “anthem”. She sings it every day. “It will surprise you”, Bristol says.
Tony and Melissa! They are so happy they made it to the next round. Tony plans to be harder on himself than ever before. They are going to put their whole heart into this season. They have the Jive next week which Melissa didn’t do the first time she danced on Dancing With The Stars.
George asks Joey on his new cooking show. They have the Quickstep. They love their song and routine. On their song, “The younger kids will get it”, Joey says. He sends some smack to Derek and Shawn.
Speaking of Derek and Shawn….they plan to have a “wild” time of it. Shawn is a “Party animal”. LOL! You can read and see more of these two at Pure Derek Hough including what their next dance will be.
This is cool and Tom’s EYES are cracking me up!!
Here are some highlights from last night as well…
Also, if you weren’t able to catch the Dancing With The Stars After Party, you can watch it in full at the official site HERE.
All in all, a great start to the All Star season!! A whole bunch of fantastic dancing, with few exceptions, no doubt. And yet…we still have a couple instances of really hinky scoring and other hijinks. So, we’ll give Shawn and Kirstie extremely bad songs for foxtrots, give Gilles and other men PERFECT songs and then we’ll be extra sure and not only pimp Emmett, but overscore him as well. I love Gilles and think he was overscored relative to the other couples, but Emmett?? I smell fish. I’ll just echo Courtney and add…Gilles works for ABC, and Emmett is a football player scoring high on MONDAY Night. The female football audience?? Yeah, that’s not suspicious at all. :::rolls eyes:::
But, after all my moaning….those scores are essentially irrelevant because the exactly wrong person was the low scorer and by a significant margin. Anyway…
The Judges Scores and Percentages
As you probably deduced all on your own, Pam and Tristan are in real trouble. The judges were absolutely right when they called her out on her lack of preparation – seems clear they are paying attention to studio time this season, like they have occasionally in the past, and it’s going to be noted if you don’t do well AND you weren’t putting in the time. It’s the All Star Season. It’s to be expected.
Anyway, what does Pam have to do in order to survive to dance again? Pray. And hope that someone else (Drew? Helio?) is completely forgotten. In terms of votes she needs to do ONE of the following in order to be safe:
– Pam has to get 7,340 more votes per million votes cast than Kirstie, OR;
– She needs to get 9,050 more votes per million votes cast than Bristol, OR;
– She needs to get 12,660 more votes per million votes cast than Joey, OR;
– She needs to get 14,470 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa, OR,
– She needs to get 16,280 more votes per million votes cast than either Drew, Helio or Kelly, OR;
– She needs to get 18,100 more votes per million votes cast than either Shawn or Apolo
I could go on but I won’t. You get the picture. The only one of these that I could see happening is Melissa or Helio…with an outside shot of Drew. I don’t think that Pam has the juice to get past either Bristol or Kirstie….or Joey….but I’m going to say right now that Melissa and Helio could be surprises. If there is such a thing as a surprise elimination this season.
Anyway, let’s say that by some miracle (and crazy Tristan fans 🙂 ) Pam survives. Kirstie is the next lowest scorer. In order to stay in the event that Pam gets past her, she would need the ONE of the following:
– Kirstie has to get 1,810 more votes per million votes cast than Bristol, OR;
– She needs to get 5,430 more votes per million votes cast than Joey, OR;
– She needs to get 7,240 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa, OR,
– She needs to get 9,050 more votes per million votes cast than either Drew, Helio or Kelly
Yeah, I think she can do all that easily. I don’t think she’s in trouble. Bristol? Needs ONE of the following to happen if both Kirstie and Bristol survive:
– Bristol needs to get 3,620 more votes per million votes cast than Joey, OR;
– She needs to get 5,430 more votes per million votes cast than Melissa, OR,
– She needs to get 7,240 more votes per million votes cast than either Drew, Helio or Kelly
This is where I’m less sure. I don’t know if Bristol has it this season like she did in her original season. These are the all stars!!
I could go on and on, but at the end of the day, I think Pam is going home. If there’s a shock, I think it will be Melissa. If there is a real surprise that I don’t discuss here, I’ll do a numbers wrap up. 🙂
So, last night after the Dancing With The Stars premiere, Nightline had interviews with Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini, and Melissa Rycroft where they chatted about the competition and whether it’s harder or easier to do the show again. Gilles says it will be challenging to live up to expectations. Melissa is the most afraid of the athletes. You can watch this interview at Nightline here.
More of the cast and Tom Bergeron dish on Dancing With The Stars, what to expect, and the competition at this Nightline link too. They review the first dances as well.
Lastly, Wendy Williams gives her take on the first dances on Dancing With The Stars last at Good Morning America. Wendy says Emmitt was born to dance and he “glides”. She thinks the half points will help the contestants. Wendy is secretly rooting for Kirstie and Maks, but, she doesn’t think they will make the top five. It’s going to be a tough season and the contestants will have to bring everything. She thinks Apolo and Shawn will be in the top three. Sabrina will make the top five and, of course, Emmitt. She predicts Pamela is going home tonight because there was no chemistry with Tristan (wha?? I thought they had great chemistry. She just didn’t dance that well). Lots more at Good Morning America. So, what do you think of Wendy’s review? Did she nail it? Pretty much so, I think. I think Val and Kelly could possibly make the top three as well if they perform strong and have all the elements like they did last night. And then there is Gilles and Peta! 😯 Wowza, we have ourselves a competition, don’t we?
Stay tuned for Heidi’s NUMBERS post next! 😉 xx
Wow, what a night!! The dancing was out of this world and, to think, this is only the beginning of the season. Are you happy? Did you have a lot of “glitter” moments like I did? So, let’s get the couples reactions from On The Red Carpet with George Pennacchio….
First up, Shawn tells George she and Derek had a great start and are happy with their scores. Derek says their journey is about a lot of things, not, just dancing well. They talk of how they are both “perfectionists”. Derek says Shawn is perfect right now. So cute. Right after watching this, be sure you hop right over to Pure Derek Hough. Heidi has lots more on these two.
Tristan and Pam! Pam says she she’s got the fantasy part down and the character, she just needs to rehearse more and be consistent in dancing. They have a lot of plans if they make it. George reassures her of how much she is loved…an awww moment (I love this guy! he told her just what she needed to hear).
Kirstie and Maks! Kirstie comments on the low scores , but, says they can only go up now. She feels stronger than before. She says they need to step it up notch because everyone is amazing! Maks says they are right where he wants them to be. Maks says they are going to just have fun every week which is the most important. Kirstie explains her character which she loved playing and how the judges described it.
Val and Kelly are happy with their scores and they had so much fun. If they get voted off, Kelly would be happy since they did their best. Val talks of how he tried to turn Kelly’s fault of not dancing for so long into a charm. Kelly talks of how the cast of General Hospital is supporting her and how thankful she is.
Emmitt is excited for the moment they had last night! They are soaking the moment up. They wore green to bridge the old to the new and to set the standard last night. George says Emmitt reminded us of the joy he brings to the dance floor. So true.
Eeee gad, I had forgotten how long it takes to offer up commentary on 13 couples as opposed to 11 or even 12 😛 Anywho! Hope you guys are still up to chat about the show (and the site has not crashed…again), because we’ve got a lot to talk about. Overall, I’m left with one big concern after watching tonight’s show: is the high level of competition pushing everyone just a bit too hard to stand out? Because there seemed to be an awful lot of over-dancing going on tonight, and the pros seemed to stuff as much choreography as they could into their routines. The cha-cha’s seemed to fare much better with the judges than the foxtrots, but I actually think the foxtrots were more technically sound on the whole. *shrug* Such is life with this show, where, to quote Kanye, sh*t is often pretty “cray”. 😯 Let’s get right into it, shall we?
1.) Emmitt & Cheryl – Is anyone else having flashbacks to last season, when William & Cheryl could do absolutely no wrong in the judges eyes, no matter how badly they danced? 😯 Don’t get me wrong, I love Emmitt – probably one of the most lovable contestants ever to do the show, along with Warren Sapp & Donald Driver. But REALLY, Len??? Best dance of the night?! I’m calling bullsh*t, because while Emmitt was very fun to watch and definitely got into the groove of it and didn’t miss any steps or get off-time, I daresay many other contestants had far more content and a higher level of difficulty…and they, too, were fun to watch. And yet again, I saw Cheryl doing an awful lot moving around a stationary Emmitt – not as bad as a regular season, but still there. *sigh* I thought it was odd that they got the pimp spot, and now after the gushing & overscoring (one of a few incidents of suspicious scoring tonight), my only theory is that they might want to keep Emmitt around in order to stand a hope & a prayer of competing with Monday Night Football, which consistently tops the ratings. I highly doubt they’ll succeed, but they will likely die trying – and we’ll probably lose some stronger dancers as a result 🙁 I like Emmitt, and I liked this dance – but I already smell a rat.
2.) Gilles & Peta – A very well-danced, well-choreographed foxtrot – definitely the best of the night, and very pretty to watch. But was it REALLY a full 2 points better than the next highest-scoring foxtrot? Or either of the other foxtrots done by male contestants? I really don’t think so – I think Gilles may have benefitted from a more classic song and just a generally more calm demeanor, but I don’t really think he was leaps and bounds better than Shawn or even Drew’s foxtrots, and and I actually think Shawn’s had a far higher level of difficulty. I’m also just feeling kinda lukewarm about Gilles at this point – some of the laid-back charm that made him so appealing in season 8 seems to have been replaced with this brooding intensity and extreme desire to win…which is actually off-putting. No doubt Gilles is a great dancer and a great showman – but as of right now, I’m on the fence about whether or not he’s the full package of skill, charm, and entertainment worth of the MBT this time around. However, I do think he may have a bit of a leg up in that he’s part of the ABC family – and thus the TPTB likely have a vested interest in keeping him around for awhile and drumming up publicity for his new project. I anticipate we’ll see him around for awhile – even if his dancing isn’t quite up-to-snuff and he doesn’t loosen up.
3.) Apolo & Karina – I actually think these two came the closest to being the “full package” tonight – they were fun to watch, had great chemistry, and a good amount of skill in their routine. And I do think Apolo has the right attitude about this season: he wants to work hard and do well, but he’s there to have fun, too. Yes, there were a few stumbles – mainly due to “overdancing”, which is a problem just about everyone (with the exception of Pam, Bristol, & maybe Kirstie) had tonight. Folks, when you push too hard and throw too much stuff into a routine to try and get noticed, it likely will backfire – and it seemed like with the costumes, lights, pulsating music and over-the-top dancing, there was just a tad too much going on in their cha-cha tonight. I think they may have fared better with a little more subtlely to their choreography – but there really isn’t anything subtle about LMFAO or “Party Rock Anthem”, so I can’t really blame them for going that route. I actually think Apolo’s Latin technique has improved since his original season, and he’s good and knowing where to place his weight in order to create Latin hip action. Still a bit stiff in the hips, but I’m counting on Karina to help loosen them up this season – just like I’m counting on Apolo’s Olympic fanbase to carry him through to the finale. I still think Apolo’s gonna walk away with the MBT this season, when all’s said & done…
4.) Shawn & Derek – One thing’s for sure: Shawn is definitely NOT the timid, well-mannered girl next door I remember from season 8! I actually found myself far more impressed by her dancing this time around – she seemed to let go of the constant desire for perfection in her movement that I seemed to see in season 8, and actually managed to let loose and really work on her performance quality a lot more. This dance was punchy, energetic, and Shawn didn’t miss a bit – which is impressive, considering how much content this foxtrot had…almost too much content. I’ve gotta say – I think of all the foxtrots tonight, Shawn & Derek were the most screwed right off the bat just because of their song. It was this season’s “Easy Lover” – a song with a foxtrot rhythm so buried underneath a heavy drumline, vocals, and melody, that it forces the dancers to move at hyperspeed just to look like they’re actually keeping up. Can you really blame them for having so much movement in their routine when the song is here, there, and everywhere – all at once? None of the other foxtrots tonight had songs that were nearly as difficult – which leads me to wonder if they were trying to either a) handicap Shawn a bit due to her Olympic fanbase, b) challenge Derek to create another incarnation of his 50’s paso doble/Psycho tango/”Material Girl” rumba, or c) all of the above. Regardless of their motives as far as Shawn & Derek are concerned, I still think we’ll see these two in the finale – as long as wacky decisions like this made by TPTB don’t somehow ruin them 🙁
5.) Kirstie & Maks – I was pretty unimpressed by this foxtrot – I’ll get that off my chest right off the bat. Yes, they did get a bit of a crummy song FOR A FOXTROT (note me qualifying in caps, for all the Adele fans out there who are only selectively literate and likely inclined to attack me for *gasp!* disliking Adele), and that likely hindered them a bit – but I actually feel like Maks held back a bit with the choreo, and Kirstie felt a little heavy on her feet to me, compared to how I remembered her from season 12. I think Kirstie probably could have handled a few more bells & whistles, because this felt a bit bland…seemed like a lot of foxtrot basic steps with a turn here & there. But for what they lacked in choreography, they more than made up for in chemistry – these two are still a hoot to watch a year and a half later 😛 And leave it to Kirstie to put the patented Bergeron ass pinch to shame by laying a long, hard kiss smack dab on The Berg’s pie hole. Talk about stealing the show 😛 Anywho, even if these two aren’t the judges’ darlings this season (and I don’t really think they were most of the time in season 12, either), I do think they have some longevity, between their collective fanbases and just how freakin’ fun they are to watch 😛
6.) Sabrina & Louis – Kids, remember my main complaint in The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate: Sabrina Bryan Edition? Anyone? Well, reader Melissa remembered that I pretty clearly stated that Sabrina danced wayyy too aggressively, and that everything she did seemed so hard-hitting. And wouldn’t you know – the judges main complaint tonight was the exact same thing! Not much has changed in the 5 years since Sabrina originally did the show – she is still hitting every line so hard that’s almost unpleasant to watch, and she even seems to throw herself off-balance in trying so hard to punctuate every single step. Yes, she’s a good dancer – but a great one? I don’t believe it yet, because to be a great one, she’d have to soften up her lines and incorporate more light & shade into her dancing: periods of punctuated movement juxtaposed with softer, more fluid movement in order to enhance the impact of both. Right now, Sabrina is just “LIGHT!!! LIGHT!!! BRIGHTER LIGHT!!! EVEN BRIGHTER LIGHT!!!”, and I kinda had a feeling this would be something even Louis would struggle with: dimming Sabrina’s “light” in order to show her versatility. I know Louis is probably out to prove something, and if he’s anything like he was in season 12, when he thought Kendra was the sh*t, he’s going to dive head-on into his bag of tricks and pull out every single flashy, impressive move he can in order to say “Look at me!!! Look at me!!! I AM AN AWESOME DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER!!!” And this cha-cha was unfortunately a prime example of both Sabrina AND Louis enabling each other’s choreographic problems – impressive choreography, yes, but I think I would have appreciated it more if every step wasn’t punching me in the face. Can they soften things up? We’ll see – I still think they’ve got a few weeks in them, just due to scores.
7.) Kelly & Val – Kelly was the revelation of the evening for me…contrary to my initial worries, she ROCKED this cha-cha, and seriously made me wonder what she had been up in the past 7 years that created such a vast improvement in her dancing. I don’t know if it was anything she did (except maybe breaking up with her deadbeat boyfriend of 18 years), but I daresay the chemistry (and that should be spelled in all caps – CHEMISTRY) she has forged with Val has taken her from Bambi on ice to contender in no time flat. Now I’m by no means one of those “crazy fangirl shippers” that I roll my eyes at on Twitter when they’re trying to fabricate romances between Hines & Kym/Bristol & Mark/Kirstie & Maks/etc., but with the amount of sexual tension I was sensing between these two? Get thee to a hotel…forthwith, my dears. 😉 I thought Val was the calm, pragmatic, unflappable Chmerkovskiy – but the way I saw him all twitterpated in the celebraquarium when Kelly’s hair brushed his face? Or when he was spellbound by her tatas in rehearsal? Val has become one smitten kitten, I daresay – and I actually don’t see anything wrong with that, especially since it seems to be working well for their dancing. I’ve never seen Kelly so confident, sexy, and fun-loving out on the floor – and I am excited to see more 😀
8.) Joey & Kym – I’m actually a little bit puzzled as to why they picked these two to kick off the show, as I thought Apolo & Karina’s cha-cha was far more impactful – but these two were fun nonetheless, and I can see that doing the Vegas show has paid off for Joey. Very high-energy & fun – but, like many other celebs tonight, a little too hard-hitting. Joey got a bit of excited puppy syndrome and may have proverbially peed on the floor, as he seemed to get a bit ahead of Kym at a few points and hit a few lines just a bit too enthusiastically. It was a fun, well-executed routine – but as I predicted, Joey will probably have to work on refining & tidying up his movement, and becoming a bit lighter on his feet…because this felt a little messy. He’s got showmanship for days, don’t get me wrong – but he seems to lack the refinement and laid-back charm that Apolo & Emmitt had in their cha-chas that likely got them better scores. I still think Joey’s a contender, no doubt – but he’s gonna have to buckle down (and calm down) if he want to go toe-to-toe with Emmitt, Apolo, & Gilles.
9.) Bristol & Mark – Bristol actually surprised me a bit tonight – she seemed quite a bit more relaxed and confident than her initial cha-cha 2 years ago, and I daresay this cha-cha was an improvement for her. At first I think I rolled my eyes a bit at how many of their “old standby” moves from season 11 Mark threw in – a lot of shimmying, hip twists, and hair flipping. Then I realized it was probably a smart move on his part, in order to make Bristol feel more comfortable and familiar with the dance. She’s still a pretty tentative mover, and likely not even in the same league as some of the other female contestants in terms of skill – but I do think that she’s better than before, and I do see potential for improvement. For tonight, I was just glad to see her scored properly – no cushy 8’s or sympathy 9’s to make her feel better. As cruel as it sounds, I think the judges created some pretty unrealistic expectations on Bristol’s part in season 11 by giving her such generous scores – by the end of the competition, she seemed to assume that she just deserved them outright, even if her dancing was clearly not up to snuff with the other competitors. By starting out scoring realistically, I think they’ll nudge her to improve each week…the question is, can we rely on them to score her realistically week after week?
10.) Drew & Anna – It really pains me to put these two here, because I really had high hopes for them going into this season. But Drew just seemed so damn tense out on the floor, and I think Anna may be pushing him a bit too hard in rehearsals – and it’s creating an uneasy dynamic between them that seems to spill out onto the dance floor. There were parts of this foxtot that were really good – mainly the parts that stayed in hold, in which I thought Drew had gorgeous posture and some clean, gliding feet. Then there were parts that just kinda made me cringe – like those silly jumps Anna was having him do that he was just fumbling pitifully with (he should have asked Helio the jumping bean to give him some pointers ;-)). I don’t know if it was just nerves from opening night, or just shaken confidence in being in such a competitive season – but I just felt bad for Drew tonight, because he just struck me as being petrified. I’m really hoping these two can learn to relax & have fun, because I do see a lot of potential in Drew – potential that could definitely be harnassed again.
11.) Melissa & Tony – I generally liked their foxtrot and I’m just in awe of Melissa’s ridiculously fit physique after having a baby, as well those crazy long, flexible legs of hers. But I’m getting a bad gut feeling that these two may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle tonight – a moderate-to-good dance that may have been lowballed a bit in the scores, wedged between a pretty memorable, good dance (Apolo & Karina) and an astonishing train wreck (Pam & Tristan). I loved the beginning part with Melissa showing off her mad stretching skills, and the more Broadway-y parts she & Tony did side by side. But when they got in hold, I was actually a little taken aback by Melissa’s posture; something about it just seemed…wonky. And just as I did in season 8, I once again found myself a bit annoyed by Melissa’s spaghetti arms – just a bit too soft for some of the moves she was trying to hit hard. Generally, I liked it – but is it the first dance that pops into my head when I think about tonight? Definitely not – maybe not even the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th. And that’s what has me worried. I think she’ll be safe this week due to Pam’s trainwreckittude, but I would not be surprised if she was a “shock” elimination within the next few weeks.
12.) Helio & Chelsie – I like Helio, I really do – maybe it’s the Indycar fan in me, but I just find him to be so damn lovable. But tonight? He was easily the weakest of the male contestants, and was maybe only slightly better than Kirstie in terms of content & execution of his dance. I did see some posture & footwork issues, and I think he may have gotten a bit lost at a few points because I caught him looking a bit sheepish just kind of standing there awkwardly. He also seems to want to stick his little Brazilian tushy out behind him when he’s dancing – which is unfortunately no bueno. On the other hand, he was grinning like a kid in a candy store the whole time, and is actually pretty good at those kooky jumps Anna was having Drew try to do (Helio, help a brother out and give Drew some hopping lessons ;-)). So it actually ended up being kind of a fun dance to watch, in a similar vein to Gavin’s wacky boat samba last season. But I find myself kind of forgetting about these two – and I’m not sure Helio & Chelsie have the same endearing chemistry that Helio & Julianne had. Are they safe this week? Probably – I hope. But I’m skeptical about the next few…
13.) Pam & Tristan – Ohhhhh my. I really wish I had something else to say other than “WTF was this???” I daresay this aimless, bizarre cha-cha was a prime example of how lack of practice time makes you stick out like a sore thumb – and both Pam & Tristan looked like they had just rolled out of bed with a hangover and were just shuffling through it (did I miss something? Was that intentional?) Even Tristan, who’s usually pretty energetic (and with women far older than Pam, no less!) seemed kinda apathetic about the whole thing. Yeah, they were kinda screwed by their song, too, but that was the least of their problems. Honestly, I will be very, very shocked if they’re able to stick around after that hot mess. Love both of them – but that was just bad to the bone 😯
So who do you guys think is going home tomorrow? And who are your favorites so far? 🙂
Maks Chmerkovskiy has written his first new blog for Dancing With The Stars Season 15 at TV Guide. He says ‘tonight’s the big night’and it’s ‘going to be a big one’ as he explains how he’s dancing with Kirstie Alley again and how it’s like “building a sandcastle” with her (love that part!). Note too how he writes that his contract with Dancing With The Stars doesn’t end until 2015.
Kirstie deserves to be an All-Star. She’s fantastic in so many ways. I know she’s been saying she’s been dancing since Season 12, but she hasn’t! I’ve been calling her out on it. She definitely took to this whole dancing thing a lot more than probably most of the other celebrities have on the show. But after the show, she realized really quickly that without the element of time, this is a whole new ballgame. It’s not the same. It’s like building a sandcastle. You can have fun at your leisure. But imagine building a sandcastle with someone watching over you telling you have a minute left. It’s her and me building the sandcastle together while the show dictates the rules. It’s funny because in rehearsals, she’s been saying, “What the hell was I thinking?” And I say, “After all the pain and bruises went away and you were no longer exhausted every day, you were left with a very positive experience from the show. After that, if anyone asks you how the show was, you say, ‘It was amazing!’ So when they come to you for All-Stars, you say, ‘Of course!'” Maybe that’s why we don’t have any celebrities from the last two seasons — they haven’t gotten enough distance from the show yet. It’s still too fresh.
We’re having fun. Kirstie’s having fun, and that’s all that matters to me. How ready are we? We are as ready as we’ll be the day of the show. There’s nothing more we can do. This season is the best of the best. Last season was arguably the best level we ever had. This is going to top that. We have so many former winners, so many finalists who probably should have won. There are people who won personality and some who won on skill. I told Kirstie, “You just gotta dance.” The fact is, she can’t compete with a 20-year-old. That’s the truth. She’s 61 years old. She just has to go out there and do her thing. What makes her happy is what she will show on the dance floor. We left off on a very positive note on how far she came last time, so now how much father can she go? Right now, she’s at Week 7 or 8 from last season. I just want us to have fun and dance.
Also, Kym Johnson has a new blog up at People.com where she talks of doing tougher routines wtih Joey Fatone. She also talks of who she’s heard is good this season…
First of all and in case you missed an addition to another post, don’t miss seeing a piece on GMA today with Niecy Nash at stage rehearsals last night here. She interviews the couples and you can see the couples dancing. A great teaser and Niecy is funny!
Also, Conrad Green, the producer of Dancing With The Stars, previews the show and gives his take on the couples at TV Guide as well. Below is a take, but, be sure you read the link for the full article. Take note the tweeks for the show he mentions in the last paragraph….
“To be honest, I didn’t think we’d get that many,” executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. “It’s quite incredible, isn’t it? I was hoping we’d get a good response and it was more than any of us could’ve expected. This whole cast is really the cream of the cream of the crop.”
That’s not an overstatement: Of the 13 returning stars, only two of them — Pamela Anderson and Sabrina Bryan, who’s back via fan vote — didn’t make the finals in their original seasons. Two third-place finishers (Bristol Palin and Melissa Rycroft) and three runners-up (Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Gilles Marini) also join the ex-Mirrorball winners (Helio Castroneves, Shawn Johnson, Drew Lachey, Kelly Monaco, Apolo Anton Ohno and Emmitt Smith).
“I think it’s a testament to how much they enjoyed it the first time that so many winners and finalists are back,” Green says. “Looking at it on paper, you can argue one or two people who you wanted to see back who aren’t there, but almost everybody we approached said yes. The problem is this show requires you for three months and a lot of other people had committed to other things already. This has always been a really fun interlude in their careers, so I think a lot of them, if they were able to, made the space for it. And now we have a really crazy, competitive cast.”
Having such a formidable bunch means that there will be some tweaks to the show. Celebrities will be creative directors of a dance for a week, for which they’ll come up with the theme and wardrobe, pick the music and all but choreograph their routine. Gone is the Dance Duel, which was introduced last season to prevent a Sabrina Bryan-like shocking elimination (though Green allows that it may return in a normal season) and in is a temporary scoring system emphasizing technique. “We’re thinking about having Len [Goodman] give a couple of extra points to the celebrity who did the best technical dance of the night,” Green says. “It’s an extra boost; it’s not a punishment for everyone else. We’ll tweak scoring here and there to make sure there’s a bit more discipline and content in there, given that these people have done the show before.”
The ‘creative director’ idea sounds kind of cool, but, hmmm, not sure what to think of the extra points from Len? Thoughts?
Also, Louis Van Amstel wrote a new blog for GMA today. He writes of Sabrina, rehearsals last night, and gives us his take of tonight’s premiere.
Today is show day and we have an early 7 am call time to go through orchestra rehearsal, where all couples get about 10 minutes with the band to hear their song played live for the first time. You have to remember we all rehearse to the original track until the day of the show. Most of the time it sounds amazing live with the band, but sometimes the songs are so different or complicated that it adds so much pressure and nerves. There’s not a lot we can do that last minute, but we have an amazing band leader in Harold Wheeler, who always does everything in his power to accommodate any changes we’d like to make.
After orchestra rehearsal it’s time for dress rehearsal where the entire show is run as if it’s live — minus the commercials. This is necessary to make sure the show runs smoothly and all departments are happy. Sometimes the costumes need some tweaking or lighting need to be changed. This is where the nerves get to an all time high! Thank goodness for all of us you guys don’t get to see dress rehearsal ….things can sometimes get very dramatic.
Tonight Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson will open the show followed by Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough. Sabrina and I will dance third, which I like because we don’t have to go out first and yet we don’t have to wait so long before we perform. I don’t know the entire following order of the show, but I do know Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance 12th and Emmett Smith and Cheryl Burke perform last.
Every couple will come out strong and dance their hearts out. I also believe the judges will be extra critical on all the dances, since most celebs have gone through an entire season already and have dance experience.
On a sentimental note, I feel so blessed to part of this amazing cast, having the best celebrity partner in Sabrina Bryan. I’m still so thankful for ABC and the BBC worldwide for giving me the opportunity to do what I love doing so much on such a worldly stage in front of millions.
Thanks to all of you for watching “DWTS” faithfully over the years, I truly hope this season is going to blow your minds and inspire to take on your own desired dreams. Enjoy the show!
You can read more here.
PopTVDotCom was able to catch the stars of Dancing With The Stars going into their last day of rehearsals before the premiere tonight! Some answer if it’s easier the second time around and more. Thanks PopTVDotCom, you rock!
Sabrina and Louis have some last minute thoughts for us as well in this video….
ADDING: Also, here is a piece on GMA today with Niecy Nash at stage rehearsals last night.