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DWTS 15 All-Stars: The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate – Helio Castroneves Edition

 After a brief hiatus to accomodate all of the hoopla of the revealing of the 13th couple, I’m back with another edition of my series examining the highs and lows of our all-stars’ original seasons.  As always, if you’re playing catch-up, check out the previous editions with Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey, Joey Fatone, & Apolo Ohno :-) Today I take on season 5 winner, Helio Castroneves. 

I picked his Mask-inspired quickstep as Helio’s best dance:

 

And for his worst dance, I chose he & Julianne’s bizarrely chilly rumba:

 First, I feel like I have to get this off of my chest: I do not think Helio was the best dancer on his season, and I actually think he was one of the weaker champions we’ve had, in terms of dance skill.  The one big advantage he had, though, was personality - in BUCKETLOADS.  :-D I think that’s ultimately what won him the MBT over Mel B. – while she herself was a big personality, I feel as though he managed to endear himself to viewers a bit more, and generated a stronger chemistry with Julianne than Mel maybe had with Maks.  I think his quickstep is a perfect example of how his chemistry with Julianne & his personality carried him through to the end – he was just so FUN.  Plus, he seemed to really excel at the ballroom dances, which seems to be an area in which even the best male contestants seem to falter.  However, when you take a closer look at his quickstep, you’ll see that he sometimes tends to get so carried away with the character of the dance, that he loses a bit of the technique – a problem similar to Joey’s.  And judging from he & Julianne’s rumba, in which he couldn’t really play a character, his weaker technique seemed to stick out like a sore thumb…and his chemistry with Julianne also suffered.  To date, I still think it’s one of the strangest, least romantic rumbas we’ve ever seen on the show…and as I recall, the judges seemed kind of horrified by it.  I think he & Chelsie are REALLY going to have to work on their chemistry, first and foremost, if they want to stick around – and if they can forge a good chemistry, then I think it’s on Chelsie to strike a balance between making Helio focus on technique, and still giving him the opportunity to be a showman. I do think they’re going to have to make a big splash, though, and they’re going to have to do it soon – because they’re kind of becoming this season’s “forgotten” couple for me: the couple that I always struggle to remember when I’m listing off all of the couples this season, because they haven’t yet made a huge impression on me. 

Court’s verdict: I think Helio’s success this season is seriously going to hinge upon whether he’s able to really connect with Chelsie – and if she’s going to be able to choreograph to suit both his technical weaknesses and his strengths as a showman. 

What’s your take on Helio? Is he going to struggle this season…or will he & Chelsie surprise us all?

August 28, 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 15 All-Stars: The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate – Apolo Ohno Edition

Today we continue our series with season 4 winner Apolo Ohno – and if you’re still playing catch-up, be sure to check out our previous editions featuring Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey, & Joey Fatone 8-)

For Apolo’s best dance, I picked his samba – which I still think is the best samba from a contestant that we’ve ever seen on DWTS:

For his worst dance, I picked the ill-advised Pulp Fiction jive he & Julianne did:

I think the most obvious advantage that jumps out at me when I watch these videos is chemistry – Apolo & Julianne had FANTASTIC chemistry, and I think that helped carry them through week after week.  The question is: can he forge that same chemistry with Karina? If he can, then I think these two could be frontrunners this season.  Apolo’s obviously got some natural rhythm and is comfortable moving his body, so Karina’s definitely got something to work with.  However, Apolo’s Achilles’ heel (hehe) does seem to be really refined footwork – I saw instances in both his samba & his jive (ESPECIALLY his jive) where he just seems to put his feet wherever they feel comfortable, and the end result looks a bit confused and purposeless.  POINT YOUR TOES, APOLO! I also think his showmanship could use a little work – Apolo mentions in samba rehearsals that he’s used to keeping a “poker face” in speed skating, so it’s hard for him to really use his face to emote.  He did pretty well in season 4, but I still saw a few instances of “poker face” – especially if he wasn’t quite sure of what he was doing and was trying to regain his bearings…I noticed it in his jive, whenever he seemed to foul up.  With such big personalities like Joey & Kirstie around this season, I think Apolo is going to have to really work on projecting a BIG personality on the floor – he’s got the range of motion, now he just needs the range of personality :-) I also hope that Karina is able to strike a nice balance between dancing well and not outdancing Apolo – as much as I loved Julianne with Apolo, I do think there were times that she really outshined him, and I noticed it big time in their samba.  I do think Karina is a pro that is able to find that right balance, though, so I think that’s an advantage.

Court’s verdict: Definitely one to watch, especially if he can forge a good chemistry with Karina & clean up his footwork – and if he can bring enough personality to the table to compete with big personalities like Joey & Kirstie :-)

So what are your thoughts on Apolo? Does he have the juice to go all the way?

August 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!

Derek Hough Talks On DWTS All Stars A-Game And How He Found His Dog Romeo

The sweet pics of Derek’s new adorable addition to the family continue! From appearances, it looks like Derek’s sis, Julianne, has fell in love with Romeo (hook, line, and sinker) as well. Don’t miss seeing more new pics at Pure Derek Hough. Our Princess Heidi also has a new Ryan Seacrest interview featured at the site where Derek chats about Romeo and how he found and formed a bond with him so quickly. Derek also chats about new Dancing With The Stars partner Shawn Johnson and the pressure to do well this season and how everyone is going to bring their A-game. A MUST to listen and see!!

August 21, 2012 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.

Dancing With The Stars Alumni Show Support For Gavin DeGraw

Isn’t this a fun take? Sunday night, Dancing With The Stars pros and alumni Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Chelsie Hightower, Ricki Lake and Karina Smirnoff gathered together to support Gavin DeGraw at his concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. You can read all about the night at People.com. Note how Julianne gave Gavin a lap dance!!! Too fun!!

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.

DWTS Season 15 All Stars – Who’s Gonna Dance with Whom??

Since I saw a bunch of people already asking this question in the comments on the site, I figured I would go ahead and give my guesses. These are guesses only – I have no inside information. All I do is use heights, perceived personality, and any other information floating around out there. In the case of this season, I think I will also look at history combined with the knowledge that fairness plays NO part in the decisions TPTB make. :-)

There is also a twist here – one that Mark Ballas hasn’t realized yet in his campaigning for Sabrina.  Mark says he’s “100%” dancing on the show this coming season.  The pairs are announced on GMA on August 13.  Voting for the 13th dancer doesn’t end until August 24.  Do the math.  The ONLY way that Mark can be dancing with Sabrina is if the voting thing is all bull.  Mark can only dance with Sabrina if they cancel the voting on August 13 and let all three people dance. Otherwise, Mark has already been paired with someone else and someone who isn’t sure if they have a spot yet will dance with Sabrina – if she wins the vote.  My guess? Louis…or perhaps someone like Henry. Someone shorter and not always guaranteed a spot on the show. Maybe it’s Derek, since all signs are that he had something else to do this season until recently.  But my guess is that Derek already has a partner too. So, I guess we’ll see if the voting thing is for real, or if it’s all hype that they will cancel on the 13th.  I hope it’s not all hype – I think 15 dancers is WAY too many. The most couples in a season was 16 and that was a nightmare. I hope they don’t go that route again, unless they have a double elimination the first week. Note: if the voting thing is a fraud, they will have to pull up a female dancer from the troupe unless Julianne or Edyta are magically coming back – doubtful in both cases.

So, you’ll notice, below, that I went with the assumption that ALMOST everyone is getting a new partner.  Will TPTB go this route? Well, it would certainly make the show much more interesting – which means they won’t do it. :-) I’m hoping they do, just to add to the entertainment value and to make the playing field a bit more level.

Heidi’s Guesses for the Women!!

Celebrity Height Pro Height Pro Former Partner
 Pam Anderson  5ft. 7in.  6ft. 2in.  Maks Damian
 Kelly Monaco  5ft. 3in.  5ft. 10in.  Derek Alec
 Melissa Rycroft  5ft. 4in.  5ft. 8in.  Mark  Tony
 Shawn Johnson  4ft. 9in.  5ft. 9in.  Val  Mark
 Kirstie Alley  5ft. 7in.  6ft. 1in.  Tony  Maks
 Bristol Palin  5ft. 5in.  5ft. 11in.  Tristan  Mark

Some explanations for my female pairings:

-          I put Maks and Pam together because they would be HOT

-          I put Kelly with Derek because she was supposedly running her mouth about him AND she fits the Derek partner mold

-          Melissa and Mark, and Val and Shawn??  Still not sure about these. Shawn’s older now, so Mark isn’t critical, but…

-          Kirstie and Tony?? It pretty much has to be either Tony or Maks, because Kirstie is tall and big boned – she would overwhelm most of the other men PLUS I would bet she wants someone in the “family”, if you know what I mean

-          Unfortunately, Bristol got Tristan by process of elimination. I didn’t try to pigeonhole her there.  As exciting as a Maks or Derek pairing with Bristol would be, they will give her to someone more easy going. If it’s not going to be Mark, I think it’s Tristan

Heidi’s Guesses for the Men!!

Celebrity Height Pro Height Pro Former Partner
 Joey Fatone  5ft. 11in.  5ft. 7in.  Peta  Kym
 Helio Castroneves  5ft. 8in.  5ft. 5in.  Karina  Julianne
 Drew Lacey  5ft. 6in.  5ft. 4in.  Anna  Cheryl
 Emmitt Smith  5ft. 9in.  5ft. 7in.  Kym  Cheryl
 Apolo Ono  5ft. 8in.  5ft. 2.5in.  Chelsie  Julianne
 Gilles Marini  6ft. 1in.  5ft. 4in.  Cheryl  Cheryl

I found the men to be a bit harder to match up. Here is my rationale:

-          I started with the shorter men, and the most obvious pairing, to me, is Apolo and Chelsie. They won’t be able to resist putting Apolo with a mini-Julianne>

-          That left me with Drew, who will also need a shorter female. I picked Anna. I just couldn’t see Anna with Apolo, which was my other choice, because…

-          I had already put Karina with Helio. I can kinda see that pairing…certainly more than I can see Anna and Helio.

-          When you pair up the shorter girls with the short guys,  you’re left with Joey, Emmett and Gilles.  I really wanted Peta with Gilles, but I have a feeling that Cheryl will get her way on this one. Again.

-          I could see Peta better with Joey than Emmett and Kym better with Emmett.

So there you have it.  I kinda hope it goes this way, since ONLY Kym and Cheryl (of the female pros) would be able to dance with former partners and this way it would be a tiny bit more even. What do you think??

ETA: Completely forgot about our wildcards!!  Well, there is only one female pro left – Lacey. Lacey has already danced with Kyle and she’s not too short for Carson. And they would be fun together as well. As for Sabrina – well, Louis is pimping her a lot on Twitter and since Mark already knows he’s dancing, he can’t be dancing with Sabrina unless something is rigged. I kinda think that they might give Mark/Sabrina another go round – but I also think that they don’t care that much about the pros.  I think they think of it more in terms of giving *Sabrina* another chance. They aren’t shippers. :-)

July 28, 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. :-)

Dancing by the Numbers – DWTS Season 5 Retrospective!

Since they just aired season 5 on GSN, I figured I would do a little numbers retrospective – particularly because of the supposed “shocking” elimination of Sabrina and the horribly prolonged run of Marie Osmond.

I have to say, after watching Sabrina dance again, I have to agree with Len and Bruno when they commented on how she danced her foxtrot “too hard” – it was way too hard and she did miss a couple steps.  Combine that with the talent and/or name recognition of her competitors, then is it really a surprise? Perhaps so, since Jane had been in the bottom two the week before. But everyone but perhaps Helio and Mel B was much better known with the DWTS demographic than Sabrina was – and Mel B was a better dancer and Helio was a huge and charming personality. Anyway, at the end of the night, week 6, the scores looked like this:

The Judges Scores and Percentages

Place Celebrity Score Percentage
1. Mel B 30 16.67
2. Helio 28 15.56
3. Jennie 27 15.00
4. Cameron 25 13.89
4. Sabrina 25 13.89
6. Marie 23 12.78
7. Jane 22 12.22

Now, what these scores mean should be somewhat obvious to longtime readers of this series – Sabrina was not at the bottom of the leader board and, in fact, had a pretty decent lead on Marie and Jane and was tied with Cameron.  In order for Sabrina to be eliminated, the following had to happen:

-          She didn’t cover the spread of the dancers above her, AND;

-          Cameron got ONE more vote per million votes cast than her, AND:

-          Marie got 11,150 more votes per million votes cast than she did, AND;

-          Jane got 16,700 more votes per million votes cast than she did.

Now, conventional wisdom has always said that Sabrina fans got over confident or were sure she was safe. But look at those numbers. That’s  a good bit of overconfident and I’m not sure I believe it any longer. Marie’s faint was the week before, but there is no reason that Jane should go from a bottom two situation the week before to being safe at Sabrina’s expense the very next week.  She made up a pretty big deficit.  I’m inclined to believe that, like other lesser knowns before her, Sabrina didn’t have the fanbase that many believed. And we all know by now that great dancing isn’t always enough.  And in case you still don’t agree – Sabrina was the high scorer in 3 of the 5 previous weeks. The two weeks she wasn’t the high score, she was in second place. The instant she falls out of the top 2, she’s eliminated. Coincidence?? Read more..

July 5, 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. :-)

DWTS is BACK on GSN Starting July 2nd!

Cross posted from Pure Derek  Hough…

DANCING WITH THE STARS, Season Five, will air Monday, July 2nd, Tuesday, July 3rd, and Wednesday July 4th in a special three-day marathon (all times Eastern):

 

  • ·        Monday, July 2nd, 8:30am to 3:00pm
  • ·        Tuesday, July 3rd, 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • ·        Wednesday, July 4th, 9:00am to 3:00pm

 

DANCING WITH THE STARS, Season Five, features a spectacular cast of celebrities from television, movies, music, sports, and fashion, each paired with a professional dancer:

 

Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Karina Smirnoff

Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson

Mel B and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani

Wayne Newton and Cheryl Burke

Jennie Garth and Derek Hough

Hélio Castroneves and Julianne Hough

Josie Maran  and Alec Mazo

Albert Reed and Anna Trebunskaya                                               

Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas

Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska

 

June 16, 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. :-)

Ok, PureDWTS Fans: Who Plans To See “Rock Of Ages”?

Pictured above is former Dancing With The Stars pro Julianne Hough in her new movie, “Rock Of Ages”. Who plans to see this little gem this weekend or sometime there after? Also, and in case you don’t know, Dancing With The Stars Pro Derek Hough has a small cameo in a Pole Dancing scene with his sister Julianne. If you plan to see this movie, be sure to give us your review and/or let us know what you think in the comments section below. Below is more on Derek’s cameo from E Online.

It’s Julianne’s Dancing With the Stars brother Derek Hough!

And you won’t believe the scene he’s in—the one that features Julianne pole-dancing.

“In the strip club, of all places, which is really weird,” Derek, 27, told us at the Rock of Ages premiere in Hollywood. “I was just there visiting, and I walked in and Adam was like, ‘Sit down there.’”

However, it wasn’t long before Derek had enough of Julianne’s stripper moves.

He laughed, “It was just funny because once she started dancing and doing the whole thing, I was like, ‘I think I’m going to go now.’”

Speaking of Julianne and Pole Dancing, be sure to pick up a copy of Glamour Magazine. She’s gracing the July cover as well as interviewed about “Rock Of Ages, what it was like working with Tom Cruise, her boyfriend Ryan Seacrest, and a bit on dancing.

GLAMOUR: Do you miss dancing?

JULIANNE HOUGH: Oh my gosh, yes, just for the sheer fact that I could eat whatever I wanted and didn’t have to go to the gym.

GLAMOUR: You’ve been working pretty much nonstop since you landed Dancing With the Stars.

JULIANNE HOUGH: I’m a very anxious person. If I’m not working, I go crazy. I’ve been lucky in my career. But if I lost everything tomorrow—and had no money—I would somehow make it work. I have that survivor mentality because of a lot of stuff that went on in a previous life. I feel like I’ve had four lives.

More at Glamour.com including some fun photos. Here’s to this movie being a big hit!

June 13, 2012 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.

Dirty Dancing Delayed, DWTS Pro Derek Hough Screen Tested For Role…and A Bit of Rock of Ages

For those dancing fans hoping for another “Dirty Dancing” remake to happen soon, don’t count on it as plans have been delayed for another year due to casting issues. Below is more from Deadline.com. Note the mention on Dancing With The Stars pro Derek Hough and how he screen tested for the movie as did Lea Michele, Liana Liberato, and Nikki Yanofsky.

The remake of the 1987 Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey film was scheduled to be released in July 2013, but now the movie is off the studio’s release dance card at least until 2014. Kenny Ortega, who was a choreographer on the original, is attached to direct the film. No cast had been announced. However Deadline has learned that Glee’s Lea Michele, Trespass’ Liana Liberato and Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky were screen tested as were Brothers & Sisters’ Luke Grime, Nashville Star’s Justin Gaston and Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough.

So, if they are seriously considering Derek Hough as the male lead (which I and many of you would love. He’d be perfect!), could they be waiting for him to be available until after the Dancing With The Stars All-star season happens? It makes a person wonder? I hope so as he just has to do the All-star season. It wouldn’t be right to do it without him. Let’s get Heidi’s thoughts…

Heidi: No, they aren’t going to wait for Derek. As big a fan as I am, that’s not the hold up. They would make him choose if that were the issue, or they would pick someone else.  For one thing, I don’t really believe that Derek is still contractually tied to DWTS beyond a season to season basis – it’s been NINE seasons. Pretty sure he can go do something else if he wants to – Julianne did after what? Five?  Anyway, another article I read from Variety said that Lionsgate bought another company (or was bought, can’t remember) and it said that they now have a very full slate of movies in the pipeline. It implied that was the reason for the delay. I think other articles assumed it was casting issues.

And I say NO to Lea Michele, although she has the right look for it. :-)

Cross Posted from Pure Derek Hough – Derek and Julianne (and Ryan) at the Rock of Ages Premiere:

Julianne looks good, although that’s not my favorite color on her. Derek? There are no words. :-)  Thanks to @n_s_23_23 for these.

Hee Hee…

June 9, 2012 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.

Kendra Wilkinson Would Dance Again If DWTS Producers Made The Call, Don’t Count On Julianne Hough

Below is an interesting interview with Julianne Hough at the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards this past weekend. Access Hollywood starts out by telling Julianne they know she won’t dance again on Dancing With The Stars, but, they want to know who she’d like to see return for the Dancing With The Stars All-Star Season. Julianne says she’d like to see Mel B, Sabrina Bryan, and maybe Jenny Garth return. Julianne also speaks about the new Nicholas Sparks movie “Safe Haven” she’s just signed for. For those hoping for Julianne to return for the All-Star season, I wouldn’t count on it? “Safe Haven” starts filming next month according to US Magazine. She’s going to have her plate full.

Also at the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards was former Dancing With The Stars contender Kendra Wilkinson. She told Access Hollywood she’d be willing to come back for the Dancing With The Stars All-Stars if producers made the call. Below is more….

“I am happy doing my new show, ‘Kendra On Top,’” she laughed, referring to her WeTV program. “But, you know what? ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was fun. If they consider me an ‘All-Star,’ of course I’ll do it, but if not, I won’t cry.”

Kendra hit the Guys Choice Awards with husband Hank Baskett, but he revealed he isn’t as good of a dancer as his wife.

“Now I have to go take dance lessons by myself to keep up with her, so I’ve gotta work on trying to play catch-up,” he laughed.

And, apparently, Hank has a lot of catching up to do. Asked if he was good dancer, Kendra replied. “Not really, no.”

“He’s OK. He’s not the worst,” she added, with a laugh.

Hmmm,…Kendra again anyone? No…just no. 8O

June 5, 2012 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.