Season 13 – JR and Karina. I remember not being overly impressed by this one at the time, possibly because I saw so many moves that I had seen in Derek’s previous dances, not that they belonged to him or anything. But in retrospect, it’s quite good and it’s certainly the best of the season. Loved the ending bit the most. Read more..
There’s a little something for both the guys (jimmbboe) and the ladies (Heidi, myself, and anyone else who salivates over Apolo’s physique) in this one
Karina sat down with SELF magazine to talk about the success of her first fitness DVD (Shape Up with Karina Smirnoff), her own energy supplement, and her philosophy on fitness & health. She also had some sweet things to say about JR (“We developed a friendship that will stand the test of time and became a true team in every sense of a word, supporting each other and pushing each other to be the best that we could be.”), and talked a bit about AIM, the charity she has been working with:
AIM stands for Alternative Intervention Models. It’s an organization that was set up by Leila Steinberg, and it has divisions for charities in the foundation like art, singing, sports and dancing. It’s an organization that allows me to teach underprivileged kids how to express themselves through the arts. Kids who can’t afford it, who come from low socio-economic families, or schools at risk, can become a part of AIM and express themselves in any way that they want to, whether it’s coming up with a song or learning how to cha-cha. I love being a part of it! You can check it out at my website, www.karinasmirnoff.com, or AIM’s website for more information.
Very cool to see what Karina’s been up to outside of the ballroom But the highlight for me was the behind-the-scenes rehearsal pix of she & Apolo this week…
Nice biceps you got there, Apolo.
Again, with the biceps…meeeeooooowwww.
Yep, we’re back to talk fashion for yet another season’s promo pix And kids, this batch was a bit of a challenge for even me – at least 3 brand-spanking new dresses that weren’t dittoed, some wacky alterations, weird lighting, and the fact that we don’t have pix of Cheryl & Katherine yet made this edition a little less fun and a little more frustrating. But alas, it’s here now, so enjoy! And a very special thanks to our reader Manny, who graciously helped us out with the screen cap of Niecy, since Hulu only has season 13 available to stream and the DWTS website has taken down all of the photos from old seasons…grrrrr. *shakes fist at sky*
Battle of the gold, silver, super-sparkly jive dress: Kym’s pre-season 14 photo shoot vs. Kym’s jive with David in season 13
Heidi: I know I’m going to disagree with Court on this one – by choosing the photo shoot version. I like the more asymmetrical hem and I like her hair better in that pic. But damn, Kym always looks amazing and she does stick to the similar color pallette much of the time.
Court: Kym has always known what looks good on her (everything) and what doesn’t (not much), but I love how she seems to stick to a lot of nude colors and just lets all the embellishments do the talking. I remember thinking “Wowwwww…that’s soooo sparrrrrkllllllyyyy!” as she walked down the stairs last season in this number. But alas, the magic is a bit lost in the whitewash of the photo shoot – so I’m gonna go with jive Kym on this one
The winner: We love Kym in the nude (colors)
Battle of the black lace turtleneck tango dress: Bristol’s Argentine tango with Mark in season 11 vs. Martina’s pre-season 14 photo shoot
Court: I think this may actually be the very first ditto of a Bristol costume we’ve ever seen! Although if you’ve seen one Bristol ditto, I think you’ve pretty much seen them all, as this girl wore A LOT of black lace in season 11 – a fact that made my searching though her costumes all the more confusing But anyway…I gotta say, I’m not really wild about this costume on either woman. It just seems kinda…dowdy. But I guess if I had to pick, I’d actually pick Bristol – because I can at least tell it’s a tango costume with the way she’s styled & made up. Martina…just kinda looks like she’s gesturing for no apparent reason. But she looks damn good for her age!
Heidi: I can’t pick…too distracted by Marky’s face in that picture. The hell? Okay, all kidding :::cough::: aside, I have to agree with Courtney. Martina looks fabulous, but Bristol is fully made up for this dress and she wears it pretty well. I will say, very proud of Martina for going with a dress that is probably more daring on the bottom half than I would have expected.
The winner: Bristol takes this one because we can actually tell what she’s doing. Read more..
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.
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
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.
Don’t forget – DWTS Season 4 is on GSN on Saturdays. This saturday (tomorrow) we get weeks 3 and 4, at least according to my TiVo. My contact at GSN tells me that while I was correct that it airs in the eastern time zone at 6pm, I should give 8pm for the pacific time zone. But, as always – check your local listings to be on the safe side.
Some videos that I was holding off on posting until now…first, the beautiful Gilles.
Ricki/Ricky/Rickie/Ricci – 14
Chaz/Chazz – 2
JR/They were all bad except JR – 2
Kristin – 1
GET NANC OFF THE STAGE – 1 (Who’s “NANC”?)
Courtney: I really don’t think any of the other contestants had such a profound transformation as Rob – after week 1, I think I said “Yeeeep, he’s a goner next week or the week after!” and then each week, he actually started to get better…and better…and better…and more likeable, too. Like his buddy Romeo (who went to USC too…did you know that? ;-)), he seemed to let go of his “tough guy” image, and really embraced the experience…and when celebs with hang-ups finally open up, that’s when they really start to get good. I know there are people who still swear that Rob can’t dance – but really & truly, he ended up outdancing both JR & Ricki in the finale, and probably cumulatively had better technique than everyone except Ricki during the whole duration of the competition. Continue to deny it, if you wish – but from a technical standpoint, the boy did improve Nancy did improve, but I don’t think she had the same leaps & bounds that Rob had; Hope was so all over the place that it was hard to tell if she was really improving, or was just sucking less than the previous week – I would say her foxtrot, quickstep, and instant jive were high points, but compared to all the low points (pretty much every other dance she did), I think she ended up pretty weak overall. David did legitimately improve – he would have probably been my 2nd choice after Rob for this award. He started off as a pretty hot mess and then managed to gain some focus to take him further. Ricki was more like a Hines to me – started off good, and stayed good for most of the season. Any improvement was minute, as she never really stunk to begin with. Chaz improved, but did seem to hit a wall by the time he left; was Kristin even around long enough to see any improvement? And as for JR…oy. He actually seemed to get worse during those last few weeks, but I think he had the right energy (and a big enough fanbase), so he managed to still win.
Heidi: I find it pretty hard to argue against Rob on this one – I mean, I was rooting for him!! Not only did he improve as a dancer, but you could tell that he really liked hanging out with Derek and Mark….well, the whole cast. He was having FUN. He was making jokes at his own expense. He was just funny. It’s almost like this was the first time that HE got to be the center of attention and he blossomed because of it. I think DWTS really improved his sense of self-worth which is a great thing. He went from gossiping about the cast to being part of that family and being invested in it. It was very nice to see. “They are all bad except JR” – what, are you FIVE?? Sheesh.
Vogue: Yep, Rob Kardashian all the way on this one!! When I first heard he was going to dance, I was turned off especially being I’m not a fan to the Kardashian’s in general. I thought between he and his sisters, they’d turn this show upside down with all the attention focused on them. I thought Rob would be a horrible dancer. I didn’t think he’d care about dancing, growing, or advancing. Wow, was I ever wrong and I love it when people do that to me. Rob not only listened to Cheryl, worked hard, and improved his dancing, he wanted to grow as a person as well. I was a total fan by the end and even hoped and thought he’d deserved first place. What a class act he turned out to be!! He will not only go down as most improved, but, as one of my favorite contestants on this show!! I was continually impressed with Chaz and how he worked so hard and improved too. Hope improved as well, but, much too late and her attitude was questionable all through out the show and until the end.
*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Taylor
Are you guys ready for Apolo Ono and Julianne Hough?? Lalia Ali?? Joey Fatone?? Join us on a trip back to the spring of 2007!! GSN will be airing back to back performance and results shows from Season 4 on Saturdays at 6pm Eastern (5 pm Central). And guess what?? Some of our most popular features are going to flashback to 2007 as well! This will take retrospective Cheesecake to a whole new level. We can’t guarantee we’ll do it every single week, since Courtney and myself do enjoy our little vacations from the DWTS schedule, but we are thinking we will get flashes of inspiration from watching older seasons of the show. I’m seeing possible LOLz posts, some numbers just to see if how close (or not) eliminations were, and who knows what else? Maybe Courtney will be inspired to a “Who Wore it Better” in conjunction with Randall’s guest posts. Of course, it will help if you’re watching along with us.
And of course, we’ll keep watching out for rumors and innuendo.
NOTE FROM COURT: If my DVR is correct, they’re going to be airing the season 4, week 1 & week 2 performance shows back-to-back, followed immediately by the week 2 results show. So the cheese/WWIB/Randall’s Retrospective/etc will be covering those two weeks – be sure to watch them both
While you wait, GSN’s Site has a new video to enjoy –
And then there’s the matter of pictures I got from GSN and neglected to post…
Hope & Maks’ rumba – 6
Ricki & Derek’s jive – 3
Hope & Maks’ first jive – 3
Chaz/Any dance from Chaz – 3 (Another one I’m tempted to throw out, because this seems a bit mean-spirited…and it doesn’t follow the directions)
Hope & Maks’ paso doble – 2
Elisabetta & Val’s cha-cha – 2
Ricki & Derek’s samba – 1
David & Kym’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s freestyle – 1
Rob & Cheryl’s samba – 1
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 1
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Too many to list – 1
Courtney: Again, no big surprises here – looking back, I really do think Ron/Metta & Peta’s cha-cha was pretty hard to watch…and just kind of bizarre. Hope & Maks’ tango, while very “clunky”, didn’t seem as bad to me – she was at least trying, where I felt like Ron just said “f*ck it” and was out there just winging it. I have to give Nancy & Tristan’s jive a bit of a free pass, considering they got what I think could be the WORST jive song in the history of the show. Chynna had a brain fart – yes, it was hard to watch her crash & burn out there, but after seeing their encore performance during the finale, the dance itself didn’t seem quite so bad. I would say that Rob & Cheryl’s Viennese waltz the first week had the potential to be as bad as Ron’s cha-cha, but Cheryl is such a pro at this point, I think she managed to conceal more of Rob’s flaws with backleading than Peta did with Ron’s. JR & Karina’s cha-cha – yeah, it was a pretty hot mess, but I found that JR’s dancing in the finale was generally not up to snuff with the other stuff he had done all season…chalk it up to injury, I guess. David & Kym’s jive was another hot mess, but again – he at least looked like he was trying. It’s funny how effort can make or break a dance for me – a dance can be a hot mess, but I tend to cut it a bit of a break if I feel like the celeb is at least TRYING. Likewise, a dance can be pretty good, but if I feel like the celeb is not really trying or doesn’t really care (think Kate Gosselin) – I cannot bring myself to like it, no matter how great it may be. Rounding out the write in category, I’ve got to raise my eyebrows at some of the responses, unfortunately. Regardless of how one feels about Chaz’ life decisions, I don’t think all of Chaz’s dances were the worst ones this season, by any stretch – in fact, his cha-cha and samba were both pretty good, in my eyes. And regardless of how one feels about Ricki and/or Derek, I don’t think any of their dances came close to being the worst, either – I think they may have gotten excessive praise for a few of them, but I don’t think any of them are inherently bad. Hell, I was actually surprised that no one brought up their 80’s foxtrot – if any of their dances seemed even remotely qualified to be the worst of the season, it was that one…but again, I blame a crappy song and theme. It’s funny that people bring up Hope & Maks’ rumba – with all the drama that followed it that week, I think it may have colored some people’s opinions of that dance for the worse; however, I actually kinda liked it, because Hope actually seemed to let go and show some vulnerability that week. I just hated those damn flat boots she had to wear
Heidi: Heh. I forgot Ron was even on this past season, so it would be difficult for me to call him the “worst” – maybe being utterly forgotten is worse than being the worst. I always laugh when someone throws in Ricki and Derek for a “worst dance” category. She was not Derek’s best partner ever, but worst out of this group? LOL – I think a bit of envy is at play here. I will also freely admit that Maks’ and Hope’s behavior toward the end of the season completely colored my thoughts on their dancing and, frankly, them as people. But you know what? That is the risk you take when you persist in that type of behavior with no apologies. You have to own it. Be responsible for it. Like it or not, you’re on TELEVISION and what you do will have an impact on people, either positive or negative. Now, I’ve had a negative opinion on Maks before and he turned it (and me) around with Kirstie. He may be able to do it again. But how many times can one keep making the same mistake before they just get written off? So, at the end of the day, that is likely what you’re seeing in the number 2 ranking for Hope and Maks – unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) I’m rarely alone in my opinions or reactions. I’m just not that unique. As for Tony and Chynna – I think people are very sympathetic with someone just blanking on someone and then feeling awful about it. Sympathy plays a huge part in this show, as we’ve said time and again. Plus, I think most people can see the difference between forgetting ones steps and being a “bad” dancer. I don’t think she got voted out for blanking, I just don’t think she had a fanbase to begin with and her previously good scores had been protecting her from elimination.
Vogue: Wow, I’m shocked to see Maks and Hope’s Tango scoring so high for worst dance? But, looking back at it again, I was quickly reminded of her “attitude” which was turning a lot of fans off at the time including myself. I also thought Tony and Chynna’s Tango would have scored higher as “worst dance”. In the end, I agree with who won in this catagory. Ron didn’t even seem to care and Peta seemed to have given up as well on him which I didn’t fault her a bit. If she comes back this next season, I really hope she gets a good partner. I’d really like to see her given a good chance to teach.
*photo courtesy ABC/Adam Taylor
You guys voted…now it’s time to reveal your picks for the bests and worsts of season 13!
Other responses (keep in mind I am paraphrasing, as there were some…creatively-written responses ;-)):
JR & Karina’s freestyle – 11
JR & Karina’s waltz – 7
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s 1st jive – 4
Ricki & Derek’s rumba – 3
Ricki & Derek’s quickstep – 2
JR & Karina’s instant jive – 2
Rob & Cheryl’s tango – 1
Elisabetta & Val’s quickstep – 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Ricki & Derek’s portion of the team paso doble – 1
Rob & Cheryl/JR & Karina’s instant samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s quickstep – 1
JR & Karina’s “Vietnamese” waltz – 1 (I assume you meant “Viennese”? :-))
Chynna & Tony’s rumba – 1
Derek & Mark’s dance w/Charm – 1 (one of the results show dances)
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Carson & Anna’s Vogue – 1
GET NANCY OFF THE STAGE – 1 (I have half a mind to toss this one out completely…)
None really impressed me to say they were the best – 1
Courtney: Can’t say I’m too surprised – choreographically, I think Ricki & Derek’s tango was really the strongest dance of the season, and the execution and performance value were there as well. It’s also a great example of how a less-than-desirable song/theme isn’t necessarily a death sentence, if put in the hands of a creative pro – in fact, a challenging song can often push a pro to really rise to the occasion and crank out something incredible. JR & Karina’s samba was fun & well-executed, but maybe not quite as creative; ditto for Rob & Cheryl’s samba. Gotta say – I was kind of rooting for Carson & Anna’s cha-cha. It has yet to get old for me Nancy & Tristan’s foxtrot and Hope & Maks’ quickstep were both fun & light, but I actually think Hope & Maks’ foxtrot was a stronger dance, both performance-wise and technique-wise…but I feel like it got overlooked because it was wedged between two weeks where Hope didn’t do so great. The quickstep happened during her “breakthrough” week, so I think it comparison it may have appeared better than it really was. Hope looked to me like she was holding on for dear life in the quickstep, but seemed much more at-ease during her foxtrot. I dunno…it is what it is. Other responses: I liked JR & Karina’s freestyle a lot, but for some reason (which I can’t really put my finger on), it’s lacking a certain something for me that would really qualify it as the best dance of the season. I have to raise my eyebrows a bit at the fact that 4 people (or rather, 4 different IP addresses ;-)) really thought Nancy & Tristan’s rumba was the best dance of the season…I mean, the dirty glance Tristan tossed Carrie Ann’s way at the beginning was hot, but other than that…Nancy was kinda lifeless in that dance, at least for me. As I recall, the judges weren’t too keen on it, either.
Heidi: I think JR was up and down an awful lot for someone who won the show, actually – and their freestyle?? I know we discussed it at the time but I can’t put my finger on it either. There was nothing really technical in it beyond the one or two lifts – I always seem to prefer the freestyles that stick to a lot of ballroom moves but break all the rules in terms of lifts and hold – which explains why I am a Derek fan. He generally puts a lot of ballroom in his freestyles. Tristan and Nancy?? Just no. I liked them as a couple, and Tristan is a cutie – but the jury is still out on his choreo skills. Nothing I saw from them was “wow” – although I adored the Spamalot dance just cuz it was Spamalot. And I’ll give credit to Maks’ fans for being loyal at least. Best dance of the season? Nope. Their dances were just too awkward looking most of the time.
Vogue: I don’t think I’ll ever forget my jaw dropping during and after Ricki and Derek’s Psycho performance. I love it when that happens. I’m a huge fan of theatre-like dance productions anyway being a huge fan to Madonna and Lady Gaga. Derek covered all of his bases not only with the dance itself, but, with the costuming and the brilliant backdropping. This performance will go down as one of the ‘most memorable’ on Dancing With The Stars. I’ll never forget it. I also loved Maks and Hope’s Quickstep. I felt they were both finally starting to find their element with this dance. It was good to see her finally relaxing. Whatever the case, their Quickstep gets best costuming.
Keep watching in the coming weeks as we reveal more of the results of your voting!
This is just a tease for some upcoming information about DWTS on GSN. I am working on getting a bit more information – as soon as I know it, you’ll hear about it. From GSN:
GSN (Game Show Network) has an amazing gallery of stunning new original art—as well as revealing one-on-one, behind-the-scenes video interviews—with a buzzworthy group of DANCING WITH THE STARS celebrity alums and pro dancers from a variety of seasons, including reigning champ J.R. Martinez!
As we recently announced, GSN has acquired seasons 4-14 of DANCING WITH THE STARS, and we assembled a one-time only group of series veterans and dance pros to celebrate and promote our upcoming January 21 launch of the series.
GSN will kick off our airings of DWTS with Season 4 on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at 6:00pm ET/5pm CT. Season 4 episodes will air back-to-back every Saturday night on GSN through March 3, 2012.