Isn’t this a fun group shot of some of our couples with co-host Brooke Burke? The Dancing With The Stars Make-Up crew has more photos of the couples and cast from “behind the scenes” of week 9. Be sure to see them all here. A MUST SEE!
Okay, let’s see if I understand this correctly: there is either a “dance your favorite” or “judges choice” (and judging by Shawn’s choice I’m going to go with favorite) and a freestyle (supersized, whatever the hell that means) on Monday night. Then on Tuesday they do an instant dance of a style (and song) to be picked on Monday night.
Looks to me like Derek and Shawn are playing this the same way they have played all season – risky. Good for them. Go big or go home. It will be hard for the other two couples to be remembered after seeing that Quickstep again. Melissa’s choice is also somewhat risky, considering I don’t think she’s really fixed the issues that she’s always had – her legs. We’ll see how the judges score – both couples are putting them to the test, IMO.
That said – the choices of all three couples could also be called not really risky, just from a previous scores stand point. All three couples have had at least two dances that were scored lower than the ones they chose to re-do. Their previous scores are shown, below, in parenthesis. Looking at it that way, only Shawn’s choice seems gutsy, seeing as how I doubt Derek’s changing the choreo. I think Mark played it this way one season as well and didn’t get docked the second time around. We’ll see. I expect that Melissa and Kelly are going purely for the perfect 30 (which they will likely get) and Derek/Shawn’s strategy seems to be the same as it’s always been: go for the audience.
Another point…I don’t really believe in coincidences. All three couples chose to do a week 3 dance?? REALLY?? That’s about as coincidental as all three couples choosing AT in Nicole’s season. I wonder…
Good luck to all the couples!!
ETA: The order listed below for Shawn and Melissa is from DWTSGossip on Twitter, NOT our source. Val tweeted that he and Kelly were going first. This order is for Monday night ONLY – most likely. In the past, the Tuesday dance has either been drawn out of a mirrorball OR is just reverse order from Monday night.
ETA2: New interview with Shawn which has this interesting little spoiler in it – don’t think I knew this for sure but had heard it might be the case. From the Des Moines Register:
Q: Let’s talk about your dances this week.
We have six numbers this week. Our freestyle is going to be really exciting, with a lot of cool aspects. I wish I could talk about it, but it has to be a surprise. We’ll also be doing a repeat dance of our favorite dance this season, and I can’t say what that one is, either.
Plus, we’ll be doing a group number with everybody from the season. On Tuesday, we are doing an “instant dance,” which means we’ll draw either samba, cha-cha or jive and have 20 minutes to prepare it. I’m really nervous for that.
ETA3: Someone is dancing to “I’ve had the time of my life.” I tend to think Derek and Shawn, but we’re not positive.
ETA4: Carnival de Paris is another song – could be Melissa with the aerial dancers and all.
Favorite Dance: Iconic Paso (27)
Instant Dance: ??
Dancing 1st and 4th
Voting #: 1-800-868-3411
Favorite Dance: Iconic Samba (27)
Instant Dance: ??
Dancing 2nd and 5th
Voting #: 1-800-868-3406
Favorite Dance: Iconic Quickstep (26.5)
Instant Dance: ??
Dancing 3rd and 6th
Voting #: 1-800-868-3402
Just some “Good Morning America” notices…
Monday, Good Morning America will go inside the “Dancing with the Stars” final rehearsal. Then on Tuesday, last year’s Dancing With The Stars champ, Donald Driver, will weigh in on Monday night’s finale. Wednesday, Good Morning America will roll out the “red carpet” for the finalists. The finalists will also dance and answer questions from the audience.
To read more in detail, see this ABCMedia Press release.
ADDING: Also, all three couples will be guests on The View on Wednesday, Nov. 28th as well according to ABC.
It’s that time again, Dancettes! As the Dancing With The Stars Season 15 All Star finale approaches, I’m more curious than ever to see how astrology might play a part in the outcome of our couples dancing? Maybe astrology has nothing to do with it or maybe it does? Whatever the case, it’s fun to explore why each person might be the way they are and, furthermore, to see how certain signs ‘combined’ together might effect their performances or unions as they have so far on Dancing With The Stars. Let’s get started and feel free to discuss and elaborate for what you know of people with these signs (including of yourself) and how you might think it has or will help the top three finalists win this competition.
First up, Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson:
Derek was born May 17th. He is a Taurus…the sign of the Bull. People born under this sign are steadfast, sensitive, passionate, and strong individuals. Most of the people born under this sign fit the “bull” and “solid like a rock” scenario in some way when it comes to everything that touches them…from work, creativity, personality traits, and relationships. Pretty much nothing can break them and they are able to accomplish and rise above anything even in the worst or most challenging conditions. We see it week after week with Derek on Dancing With The Stars in so many ways. For instance: if all hell breaks loose on the show and/or he disagrees with the Judge’s, etc, who is the quiet, silent one standing strong and steadfast with a piercing gaze through it all like a “true bull” itself? Yep, Derek Hough!
As for Shawn, she was born on January 19th. She is a Capricorn…the sign of the goat, one of which, will slowly, but persistently, climb until they reach the highest place on a mountain. If you know a Capricorn, you know they are one of the most hard working and “work minded” signs in the Zodiac. Even when they are not working, they still are working in some way. This is not a bad thing. It’s just their nature. To ask differently of them, would kill their spirit as well as expecting anything less from them. So, it’s no wonder why this sign has been deemed as one the most successful of the zodiac. Is this sounding familiar to Shawn Johnson yet …an Olympic champion as well as a two time Dancing With The Stars finalist? Read more..
The three finalists have been revealed! Now it’s time to see what’s up for next week’s final dances for what we can find out from their interviews after the results show last night.
In this ET Online interview, Derek and Shawn don’t reveal much. They are excited and just want to head back to the rehearsal studio and start practicing. Tony and Melissa just want to have fun and continue the same trend they’ve been doing all along and come up with the best freestyle. Kelly and Val are so excited. They encourage their fans to keep voting. They just want to have fun.
For more with Derek and Shawn, be sure to visit Pure Derek Hough!! Here is more with Tony & Melissa and Val & Kelly with On The Red Carpet….
Tony isn’t sure about what they will do for their freestyle yet, but, he guarantees they will work the hardest and it will rock! It will also be different and have tricks that have never been seen on the show before. He wants to bring out the “big guns” for this one. He has 15 routines in his head, but, for now he’s just enjoying the moment that they made it.
Val is nervous, but, excited that he and Kelly made it to the finals. He hasn’t come up with a freestyle yet, but, he will by the morning. He will do his best. Kelly says they will put everything out on the table and go for it. She has never easily given up on things. Val names Kelly’s strong suits by saying she has a presence, a story, and a struggle. She’s had her ups and downs and she’s real. She impresses with her raw emotions and interpretations of it. When Kelly is on the dance floor, she really loves to dance. She gives him a big hug at the end.
So, what would you like to see of their freestyles and what do you think they should do or concentrate on?
I hope Derek and Shawn keep going the theatrical and creative route and throw in everything they can including a few gymnastic moves. I hope Tony won’t throw too many tricks in that we see Melissa too pushed like Apolo was this past week in he and Karina’s first dance. Sometimes “less is more”…know what I mean? I hope Val will concentrate on the strong suits he mentioned on Kelly. I think she is a better “slow” dancer. So, I hope he keeps it slow for their freestyle.
Here’s to next week, Everyone! xx
Toni Redpath, a ballroom choreographer and judge from “So You Think You Can Dance”, has reviewed the Semi-Finals of Dancing With The Stars. She’s got some interesting comments. Below is how she felt on the contestants first dances. Be sure you read how she felt on their second dances at her official Facebook page here. She feels like us in some cases and not in others depending how you feel….
Melissa… Argentine Tango… Thank goodness for a recognizable dance. Great dance for her, as she can show off her beautiful legs. Some parts were amazing, some parts look a little awkward (like the pretzel move just before the final walk off). Great job to Tony for pulling off this evening with a bad back.
Shawn… I was curious to see if she could pull off such a mature & sexy dance considering how, in my opinion, she’s taken a step back in her emotional performance level since the Titanic routine. Unfortunately she came across as robotic & stand-offish instead of sultry. Remarkable physical performance though, but that’s not enough to win this competition.
Apolo… Rumba is a good dance for him. I love all the basics that Karina put in. Sliding doors, Nat opening outs, fan etc… Just beautiful after all the madness that ensued earlier in the evening. Apolo did a good job, but is throwing himself off balance by sending his upper body into turns first… Otherwise, amazing.
Emmitt…. Danced his Tango with a lot of intensity and I love the set of ripple stalks. However, footwork & posture are always going to be his great downfall if it ever becomes important in the competition. If it’s just a popularity contest he’ll be fine though. He’s just so loveable
Kelly… Breakout performer of the night… She’s really pushing herself in the emotional aspect of her dancing… Shawn should learn from her; dancing is not just about technical execution & dynamic movement, you have to have an emotional connection to the music & your partner, otherwise the audience won’t emotionally connect with you.
Some of you may recall what I’ve said on more than one occasion in various blogs on this site. I’ve said…when the judges get REAL, someone who has been previously deluded gets mad. And that, my friends, is Val and his big bro, who really needs to stay off twitter during the show. I think that’s all the attention that I will give these children – really what more can be said about them at this point?
Anyway, Shawn and Melissa did great, although I thought that Melissa’s AT was overscored by a point or two for being too soft (as per usual). She also made the mistake of her Lindy – too many lifts such that some of them were a bit messy. I also find it amusing that when given the opportunity Melissa and Tony LOAD UP on the lifts and tricks (Lindy and AT…and the caveman hustle, for that matter), but some fans whine about Shawn. Derek stripped their AT down to technical cool – it was also a tad soft, but it was a better dance than Melissa’s, despite what CAI thinks. Like I said in the comments – I want Melissa in the finale, so I’ll live with a tiny bit of overscoring. But if Shawn didn’t deserve a 30, Melissa didn’t either.
Apolo?? AWESOME Rumba – far better than Kelly’s. I will confess that I don’t know enough about Jazz to know if that was good or not. I liked it, despite a couple minor difficulties. But hell, Emmitt slipped last week and got 10’s, why not Apolo?? Emmitt was overscored on his first dance and, as Courtney pointed out on Twitter, it’s this sort of scoring that sends better dancers home. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Here is our scoreboard after two dances – and my top three coincide with the Judges Top 3. Awesome. Not that it means anything.
At the bottom, we have Emmitt and Kelly. I think that if Kelly or Emmitt manage to stick around it will be at Melissa’s expense and I hope like hell that doesn’t happen because Melissa is ten times the dancer that Kelly is. But, that’s the funny thing about an All Star season – you aren’t guaranteed a spot just because you’re a good dancer. That goes for Apolo and Shawn too – no guarantees. Read more..
What a night of television last night and one of the best for Dancing With The Stars!! I was at the edge of my seat all night, were you?
So, lets’ go straight to the interviews afterwards with the couples and George Pennacchio of On The Red Carpet. He asks them on the next 22 hours, what is keeping them going, and if they think they deserve to be in the finals. Great questions again and he puts them on the spot a little….
Cheryl and Emmitt! Cheryl tells George this is the week she is the most frightened, but, both Cheryl and Emmitt are hoping their fan bases will pull them through. Emmitt says it’s one of those things where you have to wait and see “where the chips fall”. What keeps Emmitt going is that there is always room for improvement. He gives Cheryl props for “teaching an old man how to dance” and to “another level” this season. They gave it their all last night and now they just have to wait and see what happens.
Tony and Melissa talk of how they dedicated their Michael Jackson dance to a friend who died this past week. Tony was so proud of Melissa for what she was producing on the floor. It was a “masterpiece” for him. His back was hurting, but, Melissa was like a “feather in his arms”. What’s keeping them going is their “friendship”. Melissa has been Tony’s “rock” through everything they’ve been challenged with this season and now he is just “enjoying every moment”. They hope they’ve made the finals. They’ve tried to do everything they can do to earn them a spot.
Apolo says the “fans” are what is keeping him and Karina going. They try to give it their all for them every week. Apolo and Karina says their rumba was their most “connected” dance than all the other dances they’ve danced. They poured all their hearts out and just danced. Karina will take that “moment” with her forever no matter what happens tonight and why she loves this show and the journey. Apolo doesn’t know if they will be back next week, but, either way, it’s been amazing and everyone is a “champion”.
Well, if you’re reading this, it means enough people FINALLY stopped hitting “refresh” on the homepage that I could get logged into the dash and actually get these posted :-P And with the way things are going, things might not calm down until Tuesday morning…so if this is late, sorry, but we got hit with too much traffic and my pleas for people to scale back the traffic on Twitter went unanswered. C’est la vie.
Maybe I’m just tired and apathetic from a full day of Thanksgiving grocery shopping and house cleaning, but I’m feeling a bit blasé about tonight – a few standout performances that I enjoyed, but overall, nothing too surprising, and I think things played out the way they should have…and as we suspected, the judges finally got real and managed to call certain couples out on the crap they’ve been getting away with for the past several weeks, and couples that have been putting in the effort finally got the love they deserved. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
1.) Shawn & Derek - In quite possibly the biggest surprise of the night for me, I actually ended up enjoying their Knight Rider bhangra the most out of any dance I saw tonight! Judging from some of the frustrated tweets we were seeing from the usually-unflappable Derek this weekend, I was fully prepared for this to be a hot mess – but it actually was the most high-energy, in-synch, and entertaining routine for me tonight. I think the speed of it was what really impressed me – they were both moving so fast, and doing such intricate steps, and were still somehow staying almost perfectly in synch. And the most amusing aspect? Shawn actually seemed to dance it better than Derek! I also thought they managed to put that hideous Bollywood routine that Gilles & Peta did to shame, which was another perk Overall, I think they handled the wacky dance theme challenge the best of the five couples. Moving onto their Argentine tango – another technically flawless dance. Shawn’s feet & legs were sharp and precise, which was the main complaint I had about Melissa’s dance – but I do agree a bit with Carrie Ann (and those words literally hurt my mouth) that Shawn & Derek had a little bit of a disconnect with the emotion of the dance. HOWEVER – this is something for which I really have to blame the music. “Bad” is a great song, but maybe not a great song for an Argentine tango – it’s a song about a guy asserting his authority and masculinity, and he’s doing it in a cheeky way. It’s not about passion or the thrill of the chase between a man and a woman…so I feel like if they had actually gone the smoldery route, it would have looked a little odd and out of place given the music. I also thought Derek did a slightly better job of really accenting the music with his choreography than Tony did. When it came to the two Argentine tangos we saw tonight, Melissa may have had more of an emotional connection, but I thought Shawn had the better technique. I thought they should have gotten the same score – either downgrade Melissa a point or upgrade Shawn a point, whichever. In the end, I think they may be the only couple that is a lock for the finale…at least I hope.
2.) Apolo & Karina – HALLELUJAH!!! They finally got the praise they deserve for their chemistry. Loved their rumba – I thought it was the perfect combination of good choreography and good emotion, and Apolo just NAILED the technique. And for those who poo-pooh “Man in the Mirror” as a rumba song – I think they injected far more romance into that rumba than Kelly & Val did with a song that was far more outwardly romantic. Then there was the “Big Top Jazz” – sigh. It wasn’t perfect – I agree that there were a few stumbles, and it felt a little frantic at times. But I really don’t think it was nearly as bad as the judges (Carrie Ann in particular) were making it sound – the degree of difficulty was much higher than Kelly’s flamenco or Emmitt’s Lindy hop, and possibly even Melissa’s hustle, and I still think he managed to stay far more in-synch than both Kelly & Emmitt. I also thought the lifts were amazing, and didn’t know what Carrie Ann was talking about, claiming they were clunky – I actually think Apolo could give Tony a run for his money, and I’ve always said that Tony is the best lifter we’ve ever seen on the show (and Julianne the best liftee). Was it his best dance? No. Did I enjoy it? Somewhat. But hopefully it’s just a minor, mediocre hiccup in an otherwise pretty damn strong season. I think Apolo is the strongest guy left, and deserves to be in the finale – and I feel a little bit better knowing he’s got a 3-point lead over Emmitt & Kelly, even if it doesn’t equal out to a huge margin. I do think he’s getting a decent amount of votes – both from loyal voters who’ve gotten pissed at his low-balling this season, and possibly from the voters who go for the “hot guy”…now that Gilles is gone, at least some of them must be impressionable enough to toss a few votes Apolo’s way Perhaps I’m being optimistic there, but while I wouldn’t necessarily put money on Apolo making it through to the finale next week, I would say I’m at least 76% confident he will. I think the judges do realize he’s one of the strongest dancers left, and probably want him in the finale…hopefully America agrees. Read more..
USA Today has an article up where pro Chelise Hightower gives her thoughts on the remaining five couples on Dancing With The Stars. She was “surprised” on Gilles Marini’s exit last week, but, says, “You never know what to expect on the show.” Below are more of her thoughts and predictions for Melissa, Shawn, and Apolo. You can read more of her thoughts on Emmitt and Kelly at USA Today. Note too (at the link) that she’s picking Shawn to win it.
The reality TV star has been a dark horse in this race. “She was already a great dancer before, but she’s improved so much. She’s had a boost of confidence and that confidence is very noticeable,” says Chelsie. Melissa had perfect scores on two performances last week, so she’s riding high. “She could definitely be a finalist and a contender for the mirrorball.” Melissa and her pro, Tony Dovolani, must dance a “Caveman Hustle.” The name pretty much says it all. Says Chelsie: “I think they’re going to go a fun route.” What else can they do?
The Olympian is a firecracker on the dance floor, and Chelsie predicts we’ll see her in the finals. But this week, Shawn and her amazing pro partner, Derek Hough, are tasked with dancing a “Knight Rider Banghra.” Chelsie says a banghra Indian dance is “similar to Bollywood, which is a really, really cool dance.” (Gilles and his partner were only a half point away from perfect scores with their Bollywood dance during Week 4.) The twist will be the Knight Rider part. But, as Cheslie points out, Derek will “make it look great no matter what.” Derek has been tweeting photos of David Hasselhoff, who starred in the 1980s Knight Rider show.
Apolo Anton Ohno
“Third place is so up for grabs,” says Chelsie, assuming Shawn and Melissa will make it to the finals. Apolo, Emmitt Smith and Kelly have “‘been on the same level, I feel like, the whole season. Whoever can show the strongest dances will take the spot. But it’s going to be really tight.” With “Big Top Jazz” as their dance/theme, Apolo and partner Karina Smirnoff might do some clowning around on the floor. Jazz was a big dance in the 1990s, explains Chelsie, who says it’s totally open to interpretation. “It’s not a ballroom dance at all.” No matter what happens, Apolo landed a spot on People’s Sexiest Men Alive list, so even if he doesn’t win the trophy, he can boast about that.