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Dancing with the Stars Barbies


I don’t know why I get so excited, but I thought it was pretty cool when I heard that they were coming out with some Dancing with the Stars inspired Barbies. I was lucky enough to have the 3 DWTS barbies they created sent to me and as you can see from the above picture, my daughter and nieces loved them (aren’t they cute?).

The 3 DWTS inspired barbies are the Paso Doble Barbie, Samba Barbie and Waltz Barbie. The looks of the Dancing with the Stars Barbie were inspired by Brooke Burke, Kym Johnson, and Kathy Ireland. In our house, the Samba Barbie didn’t have enough clothes on and so it’s now a Snow White dress with the Samba Barbie. They are really well done and could be interesting collectors items in the future. Although, I couldn’t help letting my daughter not open them and enjoy them the way a Barbie should be enjoyed (we’ll see if my son enjoys them a way a son enjoys Barbies).

Here are the 3 DWTS inspired Barbies on Amazon for those interested:
Samba Barbie

Waltz Barbie

Paso Doble Barbie

My favorite is the Paso Doble Barbie. The rich red dress is a nice contrast to the dark hair. I’m not sure if having Dancing with the Stars Barbies means that DWTS has gone mainstream or if it means it’s jumped the shark. Either way, I think it’s pretty cool. I wonder if they’ll come out with DWTS Ken dolls next.

Here are some other pictures of my daughter and nieces holding the DWTS Barbies. They had fun with this:

May 16, 2012 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

DWTS Who Wore it Better? Part XV – The Pre-Season 14 Edition!

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 :-P 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..

March 9, 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!

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part I

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.

The Olympian

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 :-D

The Athlete

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.

Possible candidates this season: Vince Young tweeted that he had been asked to the do the show, then suspiciously deleted the tweet.  Guilty much? ;-) We’ve also heard Annika Sorenstam’s name in the mix.

Read more..

February 26, 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!

DWTS13 Preliminary Power Rankings, Part I

 It’s time once again for me to dust off my crystal ball and attempt (often in vain) to predict who the winners & losers of the season will be :-) Most of you are probably familiar with the power rankings, but if you aren’t, here’s a quick run-down: I do a power ranking after each performance show that ranks the couples from most likely to stay to most likely to go home – it’s essentially a prediction of who’s going home and who’s got staying power.  And kids, please – keep in mind that it’s not based solely on scores, or popularity, or running order, etc. It’s a complex formula of many factors – fanbase, dance ability, entertainment value, choreography, scores, yadda yadda yadda.  And before the season starts, I like to do a “preliminary” ranking – a prediction that just takes into account what we know about the couples right now, without ever having seen them dance live (rehearsal videos don’t count – those can differ drastically from the final product!).  Make sense? Keep in mind that this is just my opinion – differing ones are welcome and great to discuss, and there are no right or wrong answers ;-) So let’s start with places 12 through 7 – the couples that I don’t see lasting past the midpoint of the season. 

12.) Ron Artest & Peta Murgatroyd - I really want Peta to stick around for at least a few weeks this season to show us what she can do, but unfortunately, I’ve got a lot of reservations about Ron…and it kinda stinks that Peta’s so new that her fanbase is likely not going to be able to compensate for a lack of support on Ron’s behalf.   First of all, the physical problem: Ron’s 6’7″ and Peta’s 5’7″, so even with heels on, Peta’s gonna have quite a bit of height to make up for.  It’s not impossible (ask Cheryl, who at 5’4″ partnered 6’7″ Rick Fox somewhat effectively in season 11), but it’s not necessarily easy or visually-pleasing, either.  Ron’s an athlete, so that might help a bit – but not all of the athletes that have done the show have been natural movers (Clyde Drexler comes to mind).  Now the greyer area: Ron’s never been one to hold his tongue, and he’s infamous for rather erratic behavior.  He’s come a long way since the infamous Pacers/Pistons brawl, but he’s still kinda wacky…and I’m honestly not sure whether that’s a boon or a burden when it comes to fanbase.  He’s well-known, but I’m interested to see how many people he’s turned off with his antics.  Another potential problem: from the few videos I’ve seen of he & Peta so far, I’m not picking up a lot of chemistry. I get this feeling this could be a rather awkward pair to watch interact.  On top of that, I’ve been hearing murmurings that Ron has been showing up considerably late for practice, and has only wanted to practice for an hour or so at a time. A lack of commitment this early in the season? Sounds like a harbinger of doom to me.  I really want Peta to stick around, and I’m hoping Ron proves me wrong…but I’m just not optimistic. Read more..

September 14, 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!

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part I

It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

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. Read more..

August 26, 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!

DWTS Season 12 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part I

Whenever the time comes to start speculating about the next season’s cast, one useful “tool” we all seem to use is the patterns in typecasting over the seasons – we know there will likely be at least 1 athlete, perhaps a reality TV star, a singer or two, etc.  But when you REALLY take a good look at the casting “types” over the seasons, it becomes clear that each season has been a carefully-crafted combination of celebs to appeal almost every demographic…and I think we’ve cracked that code :-)

Prior to the cast announcements, I’ve done a typecasting analysis for both season 10 and season 11, and both casts have fulfilled almost every subtype (with some celebs fulfilling more than one “type”).  So why not take a look at the casting rumors for season 12 and see which might fit into the casting equation, shall we? :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

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: Since we didn’t get an Olympian last season, I can almost guarantee we’ll get one this season – and the most likely candidate seems to be Nastia Liukin, who has been a rumor for a few seasons now and has started following Mark on Twitter within the past few days.  Other possibilities: Greg Louganis, who seems to have been trying for several seasons now to get onto the show; and while it may be a long-shot, Johnny Weir fans are still campaigning for a “Team Weirnoff” partnership.

The Athlete

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

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.

Possible candidates this season: This category has been oddly devoid of really “solid” possibilities this season, aside from the Brett Favre debacle – doubtful, but stranger things have happened on the show! Chris Jericho was also kicked around as a possibility again this season, and it looks like WWE Diva Maria Kanellis is still gunning for a spot on the show.

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle among attractive male competitors, who seem to draw in more votes from the predominantly-female viewing population.

Possible candidates this season: A strong possibility seems to be Kendra Wilkinson, who would be following in the footsteps of her Girls Next Door co-star Holly Madison.  Rumored contestant Lee Meriwether is also a former Miss America.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci, Florence Henderson

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: We’ve got two ladies with quite a sterling reputation in show business – Faye Dunaway & Lee Meriwether. One was the original “Bonnie”  of Bonnie & Clyde; the other was the original Catwoman.  Who do you think we’ll get? :-)

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The lovely Lee Meriwether could do triple duty this season, by fulfilling this category by virtue of her role of Ruth Martin on All My Children. From the online voting for this season’s cast, it looks like Colleen Zenk & Crystal Chappell are also big favorites.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: None that we’ve heard of…but who would you like to see? I’m holding out for a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to sign on – Ron White would be a hoot!

So do you guys think I’m onto something with this season’s rumors? Tune in for my next installment, where I dissect just who we might get this season from the teen idol, host, actor, reality star, singer, & wild card categories!

February 27, 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!

DWTS11 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

It’s that time of the year again! Time for me to do my preliminary power ranking of this season’s couples as a sort of prediction of how things will play out between now & November.  For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about (or just need a refresher from last season ;-) ), I do a weekly ranking of the couples after each performance show that is basically a measure of how likely they are to stick around that week.  Now this is NOT a ranking of who danced the best; we all know that just because a couple is at the top of the leaderboard, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe.  This is a far more comprehensive ranking – it takes into account not only a couple’s performance, but also how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting demographic is, how memorable they are, etc. 

I correctly predicted last season’s top 5 before the season even began – I’m hoping to best that this season by correctly predicting the top 6 ;-) But anywho, here’s my bottom half – the 6 couples I don’t think we should get too attached to, because I don’t foresee them sticking around for long…but there are always surprises!

 12.) Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino & Karina Smirnoff – I really did have high hopes for these two, but unfortunately I just think they have too many odds stacked against them to last past the first week – that is, unless The Sitch turns out to be a natural, because they haven’t even started practicing yet.  And they likely won’t until the week prior to the show, if what Karina’s tweeting is correct, since he’s wrapping up taping of the current season of Jersey Shore.  Speaking of that show – I’m on the fence as to whether it’s going to be a boon or a burden for him.  I said that I didn’t think Wildboyz & Jackass fans would tune in & vote for Steve-O, but he lasted until week 5…but I think Steve-O was also getting a bit of a sympathy vote from his recent stint in rehab.  I’m not sure there’s anything for voters to feel sympathetic about as far as Mike’s concerned.  And Jersey Shore is a really polarizing show – people either love it or hate it, so I hope to god that Mike is charming as can be if he wants to stick around.  Karina is a pro that seems equally as polarizing – people seem to either adore her or loathe her (I’m in the former camp), and I’m afraid that her voting fanbase is just not going to be able to compensate for any lack of votes on the part of his fans.  I hope to god that I’m wrong, because I really would like to see how these two do…but I’m preparing myself to see Mike join the infamous “first eliminees” club.

11.) Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer – The only reason I see these two lasting longer than Mike & Karina is Lacey’s fanbase: she seems to have a decent-sized one, and they seem to be the type that are very motivated to vote.  Echoing Heidi’s sentiments, Kyle is definitely the celebrity that has people going “Who?” this season – even co-workers of mine that have kids who watch Disney religiously were drawing a blank when I mentioned his name (and yes, for those of you who are new, I do use the ladies in my office as a sort of sample demographic – most are in their 30s & 40s with school-aged kids, which seems to be the biggest viewing demographic of the show).  As for his dance prowess, if Lacey’s tweets and the rehearsal pictures that have been released are any indicator, then Kyle seems to be a bit of an awkward mover – and a jokester, so Lacey may have a hard time getting him to focus.  Kyle may benefit slightly from the “mom” vote, but unless he’s really pretty good…I don’t think these two will last past the first few weeks.

10.) Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas – If Kate Gosselin’s longer-than-anyone-could-have-expected tenure on the show last season was any indicator, it’s that America loves controversial celebs – and I daresay Bristol has that position covered this season.  Just like Heidi, I don’t see her getting sent home any sooner than week 3 – heck, I could even see her lasting until week 4 or 5, at the expense of a better dancer.  I actually see her lasting longer if she’s exceptionally bad – just like viewers latch onto the best dancers, they also seem to enjoy keeping the bad ones around…everyone loves watching a train wreck.  Mark’s also got one of the bigger fanbases on the show, so even if people don’t particularly care for Bristol, they’ll vote to keep Mark in the game, especially since he was eliminated so early last season.  Judging from the rehearsal photos, it looks like Mark’s got his work cut out for him – Bristol definitely looks awkward.  She’s also been pretty quiet and mundane in the media, so I don’t think she’s gonna make a huge impression in anyone’s minds – unless she’s just a really bad dancer.  In which case, George Lopez may dub her this season’s Kate, and take it upon himself to campaign to keep her in…that fool.

9.) Audrina Patridge & Tony Dovolani –  There’s been a good amount of debate so far about whether Audrina’s gonna sink or swim…I’m leaning towards the former. Audrina’s done a little bit of modeling, and I don’t know of any dancing she’s done (besides what you do in a smoke-filled club), so I’m inclined to think that she’s gonna go more the route of Holly Madison and Kathy Ireland than Melissa Rycroft or Stacy Keibler.  Don’t get me wrong, she seems like a very sweet, pretty girl – a very sweet, pretty girl that’s not gonna make a whole lot of waves, good or bad.  And unless she’s got some hidden skills we don’t know about (superhuman flexibility, gymnastics, etc.), I doubt Tony’s choreography is going to really showcase her well.  As for voting power…I know The Hills had a cult-like following, but at the same time, just because someone likes that show doesn’t mean they necessarily like Audrina (I’ve known plenty who watched the show who absolutely despised her, for whatever reason).  And Tony’s gotten sent home fairly early before – I don’t think he has the voting fanbase to carry them both.  Oh well…at least she’ll look pretty in the costumes!

8.) Margaret Cho & Louis Van Amstel – No doubt, these two will be the comic relief this season.  I didn’t think anyone could top the hilarity of Niecy & Louis, but this very well may do it!  Do I think that Margaret is going to be a stellar dancer? Hell no, but neither was Niecy – I’m pretty sure she & Louis realized that pretty quickly, which is why they went to town working the comedy angle, and it worked for them.  Margaret is a well-known comedian, so I could see die hard fans of hers coming out to vote; Louis is a bit more of a wild card, as I don’t really know if he has the broad-spectrum appeal of Derek or Mark – he does, however, seem to have the support of the LGBT community (as does Margaret), which quite a powerful demographic.  I don’t think that alone (and their schtick) is going to carry them through to the midpoint of the competition, though, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot for Louis to pull out of her in terms of real skill.  Margaret is also known to get a bit bawdy in her comedy – something I think she may have to reign in if she doesn’t want to risk offending a good part of the voting audience.  Overall, I think they’ll be fun to watch – but the humor will eventually wear thin and pale in comparison to better dancers and bigger fanbases.

7.) Michael Bolton & Chelsie Hightower – I know some people don’t really have high hopes for these two, but I think some people are really underestimating Michael’s appeal – I remember grown women & teenagers alike going CRAZY for this guy in the early 90s.  As in screaming, crying, and bra-throwing crazy.  And to be honest, the guy has aged pretty well – he’s definitely not terrible to look at (thank god he got rid of that ratty-ass hair!), and he’s still making music.  I would bet those same women from 20 years ago still carry a bit of a torch for him, and they will step up to the plate & vote.  As will the growing population of Chelsie fans – I think she’s all but filled in the role of the blonde, Mormon girl-next-door left vacant by Julianne.  Will Michael be one of the breakout dancers of this season? Meh – probably not.  But I do think he’ll make an honest effort, and I daresay he won’t be nearly as bad as some other guys.  And honestly, I’m actually starting to warm to the idea of he & Chelsie together…it doesn’t seem like quite the odd couple that it first appeared, especially when you compare them to Ashly & Buzz (which, oddly enough, seemed to work as well).  I honestly vacillated between putting them at 6th or 7th – and I still think they could potentially make it to the top half of the pack.  But I think it’ll hinge upon how the couple I placed at #6 does…

…and with that, I give you the first half of my pre-season power rankings ;-) Curious about who I have making it to the finale, and who I have taking home the mirrorball trophy? Then stay tuned for part II…and I’ll give you a hint: my winner is different from the one Heidi predicted ;-)

September 9, 2010 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 11 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 11, Part I

Prior to the cast announcement last season, some of you may remember me analyzing the typecasting of DWTS – basically, the patterns in celeb casting over the seasons which can help us to predict who we might see each season.  Interesting to note – last season’s cast fulfilled all 12 of my types (counting Nicole as both a “Teen Idol” and a “Singer”).  So why not examine those types again and see what we might get for this season? ;-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

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.

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: Johnny Weir fans (including Karina Smirnoff) have been tweeting like crazy trying to get him cast this season, but I don’t see them succeeding.  I see more possibilities with swimmer Greg Louganis, who has been trying to get on the show for several seasons now, or gymnast Nastia Liukin – a teammate of Shawn Johnson’s & an alleged former flame of Lysacek.

The Athlete

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

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.

Possible candidates this season: At this point, the numerous (reputable) news outlets reporting that Kurt Warner is going to be on season 11, along with Kurt’s own coy dodging of questions regarding his participation, make him almost a lock for this season in my eyes.   Don’t see a whole lot of hope for wrestler Shelley Martinez. Landon Donovan is a toss-up for me – maybe, maybe not. We here at Pure DWTS would love to see a representative from a more unique sport – such as jockey Chantal SutherlandTroy Aikmen – nice try, but we’re pretty sure you’re just joshin’ us ;-)

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons ;-)

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of “pretty girl backlash” – the female viewers may turn on them due to jealousy or perceived arrogance, or just never vote for them in the first place, instead giving their votes to the attractive male participants.

Possible candidates this season: Rumors have been flying about UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, and True Beauty contestant Amy Schmoldt has been hinting that she’d like to do the show.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: The Betty White rumor seems to be kaput, so that only leaves Ryan O’Neal, whose name we’ve heard only a few times as a possible contestant.

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The most likely is probably Nancy Lee Grahn, since she’s on an ABC soap.  Although I’d love to see Martha Byrne’s campaigners succeed in getting her on the show! As for the men – seems like the only name we’ve heard is Antonio Sabato Jr., and that really just seems more like wishful thinking on the part of his fans.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: The only name we’ve heard is Heather McDonald, and we can’t even telling if she’s serious or kidding :-P

Tune in for part II, when I make my predictions for who we might see in the way of reality TV stars, teen idols, and much more!

August 25, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore it Better, Part IV

Wow…can’t say that I really expected these costume posts to become as popular as they have! I was pleased as punch earlier today when I did a search for “Who Wore It Better?” and found many sites (even ones not related to DWTS!) linking to our posts.  Glad to see everyone’s having as much fun playing fashion critic as we are ;-) 

Now I only have one concern: how long is it going to be before other not-to-be-named DWTS fan sites (that are notorious for posting content very similar to ours, ahem) start “borrowing” our pictures and commenting on them the same way we have? Hmmm…well just remember, kids: you saw it here FIRST ;-)

 

Battle of the two-piece black vinyl paso dress: Anna in the pro dance to Def Leppard in season 6 vs. Lacey in the pro dance to Kevin Rudolf in season 8

Courtney: Eh…I’m having a hard time with this one.  I think it physically looks better on Anna, but she doesn’t have the personality to carry off the whole rocker persona; I think Lacey has the right attitude, but it just doesn’t look as flattering on her.  I have the hardest time when the girls go barefoot to do Latin – the movement just doesn’t seem as dramatic & crisp, and I feel like it makes their legs look short.  So I guess I’m going with Anna on this one.

Heidi: Well, I’m with Anna too, but it’s purely a personal preference for her as a dancer. I also don’t like the barefoot ballroom deal – I think of ballroom almost always elegant (even the raunchy latin) than the contemporary stuff that the bare feet bring to mind. Personal preference, although I give Lacey props for this particular dance.

The winner: Anna, by a high heel.  ;-)

 Battle of the white, heavily-stone ballgown with matching choker: Melissa’s Viennese waltz with Tony in season 8 vs. Anna’s waltz with Jonathan to Norah Jones in season 9

Heidi: Best couple dancing on the show, bar none, goes to Anna and Jonathan when waltzing. Makes me all schmoopy – and that’s so not me. ;-)  Don’t like the sleeve things on Melissa – the simpler look from Anna is cleaner and prettier. Not to mention the look on her face.

Courtney: You know I love Anna to bloody bits, so this one is no-contest for me ;-) I think wardrobe was wise to eighty-six those weird sleeves from when Melissa wore the dress, and replace it with one simple drape across the front.  And Melissa, please, don’t slouch – everything looks better when you stand up straight! Wow…I just love that picture of Jonathan & Anna.  *sigh* They are just a dream to watch.  BEAUTIFUL.

Heidi: It’s so funny that you said that about Melissa. I really like Melissa now that her fans aren’t being nasty all over the DWTS message boards, but my first thought on seeing that picture was “straighten up, girly!”

The winner: Anna, by a husband.

 Battle of the black & tan, two-tone fringe Latin dress: Shawn’s cha-cha with Mark in season 8 vs. Anna in the ladies’ pro dance opener in season 9

Courtney: I’m probably going to incite a firestorm of debate with this one, but…I actually like the dress better on Anna than Shawn. *hides face in fear* Shawn is adorable, don’t get me wrong – but I feel like the overall fit of the dress is better on statuesque Anna, while it seems to really shorten Shawn’s torso and hits her hips at an odd angle.  And as I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the over-styled, severely bump-itized hairdos…I much prefer a more loose, carefree hairstyle, so I’m sorry, but I have to give this one to Anna.

Heidi: Oh you’re fine. And you won’t get any argument from me. ;-) What the problem is, I think, is that the black/tan border hits Shawn in the wrong spot – she is so short that the dress almost works against her, shortens her frame more, whereas Anna has such a long torso that it just seems to wear better on her.

Courtney: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.  It just seems like everyone thinks Shawn is just so adorable in everything she wears…and while Shawn is cute, I don’t think this dress was particularly flattering on her. 

The winner: Anna by a long torso.

 

Battle of the yellow-fringed, cut-out Latin dress: Jennie’s samba with Derek in season 5 vs. Kym in the pro dance to Robin Thicke in season 8 vs. Ashly & Cheryl in the pro dance to the Beach Boys in season 10

Heidi: Ashly has this weird drape of fabric right across her waist – what is up with that?? It looks horrible like that!! Jennie looks ghostly in it, so I think it comes down to Cheryl and Kym.  I like it on both of them, but I think Cheryl has the edge due to the darker hair and the darker skin.

Courtney: Talk about a dress that’s been around the block a few times-er, seasons! Yellow seems to make Jenny look a little jaundice, so she’s out; the cut of the dress seems a bit odd on Kym, so she’s out too – honestly, I think it’s nary impossible for blondes to wear yellow without looking pale, so poor Jennie & Kym were already at a bit of a disadvantage.  That leaves Ashly & Cheryl, who got a bonus drape of fabric added to distract us from the fact that we’ve already seen this dress twice before, hehe.  Now while I think both carry off the color quite well, yellow just doesn’t seem to strike me as a color that Ashly has a lot of in her wardrobe…so I’m going to go with Cheryl.  Cheryl has the personality to carry off yellow ;-)

The winner: Cheryl!! We found a dress for her! :-D

 

Battle of the white & blue, two-piece fringe Latin dress: Brooke’s jive with Derek in season 7 vs. Denise’s preseason photo shoot in season 8

Courtney: Blech…two ladies whose personalities I don’t particularly care for, in a dress that I don’t particularly care for.  Do I really have to pick one? Ugh, fine…Brooke, I guess.  The color at least looks good with her hair and skin.  Denise looks washed out.  But at least they got rid of those suspender-like drapes for Denise and replaced it with a single, well-placed drape.  Ok, that’s it…nothing else better to say.

Heidi: I have to go with Brooke even though they had those two vertical drapes which were just plain weird.  You’re right, it looks better with her hair and skin than it does on Denise.

The winner: Brooke, in spite of the suspenders

 

Battle of the red-fringed ballgown with draping sleeve: Julianne’s quickstep with Cody in season 7 vs. Nancy’s would-be preseason photo shoot with Tony in season 8 vs. Ashly’s preseason photo shoot with Buzz in season 10

Heidi: Hmmmm….I don’t think I can see enough of the dress on Nancy, and poor Ashly seems to have a baby bump in her picture, so I go with the Hough of the bunch, despite being bitter about Footloose to this day. ;-)

Courtney: Ironically enough, I think Nancy actually wore this one the best – even though she never actually danced on the show! Haha.  Love her hair and how the pose she’s in really lets the fabric & fringe drape beautifully.  It’s ok on Julianne – red just doesn’t seem to be the best color on her.  As for Ashly, the color is nice – but the cut of the dress, coupled with the pose, just really isn’t flattering on her.  It kinda stinks, but I feel like wardrobe has really “mommy-ized” her since her return to the show – poor girl has a great body and is only in her 20s, yet this season they seemed to put her in dresses better suited to a much older woman.  Bring back the old Ashly costumes, PLEASE!

The winner: Tie between Jules & Nancy – because they don’t look pregnant

 

Battle of the red-bodice, black-lace overlay tango dress: Kelly, Joanna, & Kym in the group tango in season 9 vs. Kathy’s tango with Tony in the season 9 finale

Courtney: It was a little surprising to me that they dittoed a dress in the same season it was originally worn, but I guess maybe they just didn’t have time to make Kathy a new costume just for the finale.  And maybe that’s why she seems a bit awkward in it, too.  Kelly & Joanna look nice in this dress, but I think Kym’s hair and makeup and overall expression really work this dress the best.

Heidi: Yeah, I’m with you – Kym has the right expression for the dance AND the dress, I think. Joanna suffers from having the weird rumba hair left over from earlier in the evening and Kelly looks fish-facey.  Kathy looks amazing too though…but I’m going with Kym.

The winner: Kym, by a fierce face

  Want more? Be sure to check out parts I, II, & III to relive the magic of our first three installments, and we’ll be back again next week with a fresh batch of dittoed costumes ;-)

 

July 28, 2010 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 10, Week 3 – Media, Part III

Entertainment Tonight from April 7, 2010 – Jon sues for custody, Kate takes the high road (sorta). Also, Buzz’s elimination. Erin and Maks comment on the next dance. Reba’s song for Kate. Las Vegas odds – Hmmm….I may have to put some money on Evan. Also a bit with Chad, and we hear from Kathy Ireland on her favorite (Stepford Wife?).

Entertainment Tonight from April 8, 2010 – Erin’s very first statement could also be said for Nicole. Hmmmm….thanks for sharing, Erin. :-)

Extra from April 6, 2010 – Erin’s death threats. Chad and Cheryl and Erin and Maks on romance crap. Kate’s Easter, Buzz’s rehearsal and Pam’s good luck charm (Charo). Aiden has his 33rd birthday (lucky guy finally gets some press).

April 11, 2010 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. :-)