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DWTS4 – Randall’s Costume Retrospective, Week 2

 First of all, thanks to all of you for such a great response on Randall’s Costume Retrospective from week 1 of season 4! Glad everyone is enjoying his commentary as much as I am :-D  Now let’s see what he has to say about the costumes from week 2, shall we?

Heather’s costume: “This black/green pants suit was created in England and was such a fun costume to dance the mambo.  The circular bell bottoms were flying all over the place, and accentuated all of the intricate footwork that Heather did.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes: Dancing to “Ring of Fire”, Billy Ray really wanted to pay tribute to Johnny Cash.  We embellished the back of his jacket with a completely rhinestone-encrusted guitar, quite the vintage country western look of that time period.  To this day it is one of my favorite men’s costumes.  And Karina’s costume had all those firey red rhinestones totally encrusting her bodice, along with that cute vintage June Carter Cash skirt, with a ballroom flare to it.  Quite the perfect couple coordinating their costumes with such a great song.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Ian & Cheryl’s costumes: Cheryl’s asymmetrical panel skirt w/slits really showed off some really cool Quicktep moves and Ian’s sleeveless jacket w/coordinating color shirt was a great finish to the couple’s look.  Cheryl’s costume was trimmed out in “Volcano” colored stones which has about 6 colors showing, depending on how the light hits it.  Cheryl has such a curvy and sexy body and this dress really capitalized on showing off her fantastic curves.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: Julianne’s pink quickstep gown is still such a memorable gown.  I still have people commenting on it, after all these years.  I think the combination of the fringe skirt overlayed on top of one layer of sheer silk chiffon was a first, and it really showed off some terrific choreography of Julianne’s.  I am so glad that Apolo was game to wear the gray tails suit, as it was a great look with Julianne’s pink.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

John & Edyta’s costumes: The shaded (emerald green to mint green) silk satin ballgown was quite nude for a ballgown look, but who else but Edyta pulls off such a look (consistently)?!  Even with the chiffon floater (bat wing), she was able to control it so that it didn’t get in John’s way when they were dancing (for the most part!).  And John looks sensational in his classic white tie and tails.”

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Kym’s costume: During the dress rehearsal, Kym stepped in the hemline of her gown, which meant that in the (less than 1 ½ hour) turn around from dress rehearsal to LIVE show time, we had to shorten the skirt a couple of inches – which meant that we had to RIP OFF yards and yards (!) of paillette beaded trim on the hemline, shorten the skirt about 2” and RESTITCH the beaded trim back on!  I have to say that we were literally sweating bullets trying to make that happen before we went live!  I still get a hot flash every time I think about that dress!“ 

*photos courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Shandi’s costume: I sure wish I could take the credit for Shandi looking so INCREDIBLE, but honestly I have to say……she comes that way!  That’s the way she looks all of the time!  Tall and incredibly curvy and sexy.  I just did a little “window dressing” and called it a costume!  Wow!!

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Wow! Kym sure knows how to give Randall a heart attack, huh? ;-) Be sure to tune in next week when Randall gives his commentary on the costumes from weeks 3 & 4, which air this Saturday starting at 6 PM EST on GSN.  Need more Randall between now and then? Check out his website, or holler at him on his Facebook page :-)

January 25, 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!

DWTS4: Randall’s Costume Retrospective, Week 1

As promised, I am excited to bring you the first installment of our season 4 “costume retrospective” with Randall Christensen, the costume designer for the show from seasons 2-12 of DWTS! You’re in for a real treat, guys – in this edition, Randall not only reveals his inspiration for each of the couples’ costumes, but also explains how the costume department at the studio came to be, some interesting challenges that posed by Heather’s weekly transcontinental traveling, and what you DIDN’T see in Joey & Kym’s disco costumes ;-) Read on!

Did you know that the DWTS costume department wasn’t always located in the same studio as the show itself? Randall explains how tough it was in the early days: “This season was the second season (and the last season) that we had a company in Burbank, CA make the costumes.  A nightmare trying to get the couples over the hill into North Hollywood, with intensely congested traffic.  I remember one fitting where Heather Mills was 2 hrs. late getting there, even though it was only about a 15 mile drive, due to traffic.  That delayed fitting was the catalyst to our getting our own workroom (the very next season), which helped the cast and my crew TREMENDOUSLY!  We gave up the Green Room and created our workroom right in the same bldg. as the show, 2 floors above the soundstage.” Can you imagine how stressful it was for both the costume personnel AND the couples to make that trek for the costumes??? And what kind of problems it posed when there were wardrobe malfunctions that needed a quick fix??? Thank goodness the powers that be recognized the need for an in-house costume department, and made the necessary accomodations :-)

*photos courtesy AP/Chris Pizzello

Billy Ray & Karina’s costumes:Karina’s “tie dyed” red/burgundy burn-out velvet was a great choice of fabrics/color for their first dance.  Individual strands of bugle bead fringe accented her body movements.  Billy Ray’s costume was kept simple for this first week.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Ian & Cheryl’s costumes: Cheryl’s costume had chrome “nail heads” and other silver hardware, giving a bit of an edgier look.  We tied in Ian’s look with a chrome studded belt.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Edyta’s costume: Edyta always looks sensational in “just a little something” and this costume was no exception!  The crystal encrusted petal bra and that voluminous Cuban style circular skirt was perfect for this first week’s costume!  Love the tropical coral color too.

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Apolo & Julianne’s costumes: Julianne’s red beaded fringe number was TONS of work to create, but oh-so-worth it!  That skirt just did NOT stay still!   And Apolo’s red bandana was a fun tribute to his signature look when competing in speed skating.  I loved that he was comfortable (and confident enough) to wear a bit of red trim on his shirt – to tie in (not only his bandana, but also ) with Julianne.  Apolo was an incredible athlete, and dedicated and determined to do whatever was needed to give him an edge.  I’ve noticed (and appreciated ) that about all of the athletes that have been on the show.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Joey & Kym’s costumes: Kym Johnson/Joey Fatone – now here is one confident (and FUN) celebrity!  Joey really wanted for us to trim the back of his vest with TWO WORDS – FAT and ONE.  The producers didn’t want us to do that, so we went with his Fatone (one word) rhinestone encrusted on the back of his vest.  And what a FUN costume for Kym – a tribute to the 70’s-80’s “ABBA” look.  Smoking on Kym’s smoking body, don’t you think?  Very fun, and a bit tongue-in-cheek.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Laila’s costume: Laila is such a phenomenally gorgeous woman, and one terrific athlete.  Because she is so tall, and has quite the muscular body, I really wanted to make sure her femininity came through.  In spite of all her muscles (fantastic biceps!!!!) Laila is ALL woman!  This rust silk satin gown with crystal encrusted appliqué was soft yet sexy, and did that skirt ever soar when she moved!  Of course standing over 6 ft. tall in heels certainly made for a dramatic silhouette, one which Maks could still certainly handle.”

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Heather’s costume (and the special challenges it posed): The first few weeks of pre production and the first couple of weeks of the live show posed quite a challenge for us and Heather.  Because of the notoriety of Heather, we had to do so much secretively, so as to not alert the public as to her being on the show (during pre-production I was the only person on my staff who knew she was one of the celebrities – we had to keep it THAT hush, hush!).  So consequently, we had a company in London create the first two weeks’ costumes for her, as she was training weekly in England (flying over to compete and then returning back to England).  The company we used had been the costume makers for the UK version of DWTS (Strictly Come Dancing) and we are good friends, so I felt really comfortable having them take care of Heather.  They travelled a great distance to give Heather her fittings.  This gown was one of their creations and fitted Heather’s style and physique perfectly!  I think that the biggest challenge was to find a dance shoe company that could/would make VEGAN dance shoes.  Being a strict vegetarian, Heather was quite concerned about wearing dance shoes which always have leather suede soles, for proper traction on the dance floor.  Thank goodness her assistant knew of a great shoe company that made several pairs for her to try out, rehearse in, and another set to perform in.  And Heather was incredibly helpful, not to mention a total JOY to work with!  I don’t know that I have ever had (before Heather or since) a person who got so excited on each and every design session.  There were times when we were giggling and she was clapping and exclaiming how much fun this was.  Heather was one of my most memorable celebrities that I have worked with, totally professional and very appreciative!

*photo courtesy ABC/Carol Kaelson

Wow! I never realized what challenges the costume department had to overcome behind the scenes! But obviously, they handled them with such skill and perseverence that we never saw them.  But it is fun to know behind-the-scenes tidbits like these…definitely makes the show more fun to watch, at least for me :-)

Still need more DWTS costume goodness? You can always check out Randall’s website and Facebook page, and be sure to stay tuned here for more costume retrospectives from the man himself – we’ve got Randall’s take on the week 2 costumes coming at you later this week ;-)

January 23, 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 Season 12 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part II

In part one of my typecasting analysis, we took a look at who we might get from the Olympian, athlete, model, comedian, legend, & soap star categories.  Now let’s take a look at the other 6 categories and speculate on who else we might see before tonight’s cast announcement!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The site is getting hit with an extraordinary amount of hits right now (which is great! :-D) but it’s also slowing us bloggers down while we post – hence, there are no links in this edition because it’s just taking too long to add them all in.  However, you can access all of the DWTS casting rumors in Vogue’s post from the other day if you need a refresher on some of these :-)

The Teen Idol

Previous examples: Joey McIntyre, Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond, Lance Bass, Mel B., Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, Ian Ziering, Cody Linley, Sabrina Bryan, Mario Lopez, Kyle Massey

Advantages: If sales of Tiger Beat are any indicator, the teenyboppers will come out in full force to support their favorite heartthrobs/idols.  Being young & good-lookin’ sure doesn’t hurt! Many also have the added advantage of having a decent dance background, especially if they were part of a musical act.

Disadvantages: Youth can also have its disadvantages – as in immaturity.  What some might call “youthful exuberance”, others might call “immaturity” or “attention deficit disorder” – poor Cody Linley had a hard time sitting still! Emotional immaturity (a la Aaron Carter’s post-rumba meltdown in the confessional) can be especially off-putting.

Possible candidates this season: I think the Lindsay Lohan rumor has been almost completely shot down, but Full House fans have been campaigning for both Jodie Sweetin & Candace Cameron Bure in the online voting.  I’ve also seen a surge of support within the past few days for New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight to do the show.

The Host

Previous examples: Jerry Springer, Brooke Burke, Leeza Gibbons, Mario Lopez, Kenny Mayne, Lisa Rinna, Tucker Carlson, Mark Dacascos, Rocco DiSpirito, Erin Andrews

Advantages: Being that they’ve been at the helm of their own shows, these guys usually have the media savvy & charisma to appeal to the masses, as well as the previous exposure & recognizability.  Most (not all!) are also decently attractive, which never seems to hurt (unless, of course, you’re a model – see previous post for explanation).

Disadvantages: Many hosts are only used to hosting – as in just sitting down & talking (or dodging the occasional punch, if you’re Springer), so the lack of movement experience problem seems to come into play. 

Possible candidates this season: Wendy Williams name has been repeated quite a bit, although Joan Rivers’ name was out there for awhile as a possible contestant.

The Actor

Previous examples: John O’Hurley, Melissa Joan Hart, Steve Guttenburg, John Ratzenberger, Debi Mazar, Denise Richards, Ted McGinley, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennie Garth, Vivica Fox, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Shannen Doherty, Jennifer Grey, David Hasselhoff

Advantages: Being that their bread & butter is acting, most can usually nail the emotions of the dances. Bonus points if they’ve done any Broadway (like Winokur) because they have likely had dance experience.

Disadvantages: For lack of a better term, many of them seem to be “has-beens” – actors that haven’t been particularly active in the mainstream in the past several years – or were never that big to begin with (can anyone else think of anything John O’Hurley has been in BESIDES Seinfeld?), making it harder for them to garner votes from a public who may not remember them. 

Possible candidates this season: Lorenzo Lamas has been claiming he’s on the casting “short list” for weeks now, so we’re thinking he’s a lock. 

The Reality Star

Previous examples: Kim Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Rycroft, Steve-O, Holly Madison, Trista Sutter, Shanna Moakler, Kate Gosselin, Jake Pavelka, Audrina Patridge, The Situation

Advantages: Many have achieved pop culture icon status on their respective reality outlets, making them fairly recognizable.

Disadvantages: They may be memorable for the wrong reasons – people tended to remember things like Kim Kardashian’s sex tape more than her reality show, and people seemed more focused on Holly Madison’s split from Hef than her antics on The Girls Next Door.  Many can also come across as attention-hungry & talentless – reality TV is often looked down upon as a way to get famous without having any talent whatsoever. 

Possible candidates this season: Aside from the omnipresent Heidi Montag rumor and ridiculous rumors about both NeNe Leakes & Kim Zolciak from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, we’ve also heard of former Idol contestant Danny Gokey gunning for a spot.

The Singer:

Previous examples: Mya, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mario, Belinda Carlisle, Master P, Chuck Wicks, Sara Evans, Willa Ford, Monique Coleman, Toni Braxton, Macy Gray, Nicole Scherzinger

Advantages: As with the teen idols, many have had dance experience concurrent with their music careers. 

Disadvantages: Most seem to be committed solely to one genre of music (often R&B or country), making it hard to appeal to a wide fanbase.

Possible candidates this season: There’s been big campaigns in the online voting for both Zack Wilde & Paul Byrom, but nothing really “legit” to go off of.

The Wild Card

Previous examples: Heather Mills, Tom DeLay, Mark Cuban, Steve Wozniak, Priscilla Presley, Buzz Aldrin, Bristol Palin

Advantages: The sheer novelty of having someone with such an off-the-beaten-path claim to fame (famous divorcee/widow, entrepreneur, disgraced politician, etc.) may be enough to have the public voting them – just to see what happens.  Being the “underdog” is a powerful thing…as we saw with Bristol last season!

Disadvantages: Due to their often dubious fame, people just may not have any clue who they are – I personally had to Google Mark Cuban’s name. There’s also the risk of backlash from some viewers who don’t think they’re “stars” per se, and shouldn’t even be on the show in the first place.

Possible candidates this season: Not sure if it was the hailstorm of controversy from Bristol last season or what, but this category was booming with rumors this season – everyone from Tony Robbins to Christine O’Donnell to Al Sharpton to Brooke Mueller.  Will any of them actually do the show? That remains to be seen.

So we’re mere hours away from the official announcement, gang – who do you think is in and who do you think is just wishful thinking? Be sure to check back here for Heidi’s Casting Announcement Live Blog starting at 8 PM EST…she (and the rest of us) suffer through The Bachelor so you don’t have to :-) And make sure you’re following @puredwts & @tvblog on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates on who’s in!

February 28, 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!