So with the Olympics in Rio drawing to a close this coming Sunday (and the pros starting to meet their partners later this week), there’s obviously been speculation that we’re going to see some Olympians on the show this season – seems like Ryan Lochte & Simone Biles are the two most talked-about when it comes to casting rumors. Which got the Pure Angels thinking about all the previous Olympians we’ve seen on the show, and how well (or not well…) they did. So why not take a look back at every Olympian (from both the summer AND winter games) that’s ever done DWTS, and see how they stack up?
The main rankings are mine, but Heidi, Vogue, & I all had slightly different rankings when it came to the top 10 – so you can see their individual top 10’s at the bottom. I’ve included videos of a few of the dances we mention, to jog memories – lord knows ours needed jogging from time to time 😯
Interesting patterns? Gymnasts and skaters seemed to fare the best, and tennis players and boxers tended not to leave much of an impression on any the three of us. I think we all universally agreed on at least the bottom 2 on the list – they were THAT bad 🙁 Read more..
Former Dancing With The Stars pro, Cheryl Burke, has a new dance show premiering in Japan called “Love On The Floor. You can read all about it at US Weekly. It stars Charlie White, Meryl Davis, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Daisuke Takahashi. Cheryl also talks on Dancing With The Stars and why she left which you can read about in the take below as well as how she’d like to bring “Love On The Floor” to Las Vegas and Broadway next. I so hope she can.
“Another reason why I felt like my time was up was because I wanted to achieve my goal as a performer. … I’m 32 years old. I felt like, ‘How about me? What can I do to make myself as a performer think outside the box and grow and motivate and inspire myself before my hips stop working?’” she continues.
“Now I’m dancing with kids — and now I know how the celebrities feel!” Burke says. “Not only am I directing, I’m creating, I’m editing the music, I’m coordinating everyone’s schedule — I feel like I’m running a start-up company!”
The dancer says performing with younger artists has also inspired her again after the lack of time to do anything new led her to think she wasn’t a great dancer. But she isn’t blaming her time on DWTS for creating the self-doubt.
“I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done DWTS, and I love DWTS,” She says. “But everything is meant to be. DWTS has given me a platform to be able to do something like this.”
And after her Tokyo residency? Burke says she’d “love to take the show and do a residency in Vegas! I could see it on Broadway as well.”
So I was eating my lunch outside today (since it was the first day in quite some time that wasn’t rainy) with some coworkers, when the topic of my favorite DWTS contestant of all-time, Alfonso Ribeiro, came up. We had been talking about the celebrity golf tournament he was in this past weekend (Vogue reported on it here, if you haven’t seen it yet), and the fact that he did the Carlton, and I think I said “He’s probably the best male dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” To which another coworker replied “Nah, Corbin Bleu was the best dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” And of course, a debate commenced over who was the better technician, who was the better entertainer, who was more athletic, etc. etc. etc. We ended up agreeing to disagree, but it got me thinking: really & truly, out of the 20 seasons we’ve had – who is the best guy we’ve seen, and who’s the best girl?
I did a bit of a snap poll on Twitter, but I figured “Why not make it a bit more official?” and do an actual poll here? So below, I picked the most likely candidates for who would likely qualify for “best dancer” on DWTS – most would probably fall under the “ringer” category, but that’s kind of expected when we’re voting on dance skills alone. Keep in mind that it’s not about popularity, or how well-known they were when they did the show – just dance skills & presentation, period; and independent of any previous training they might have had – so no “Well so-and-so was better because they had no previous experience and were great and that’s what DWTS is all about!!!” Strictly voting on dance skills/showmanship alone, kids.
Obviously, I voted for Alfonso for the men – I think he was the most consistent of all the male ringers we’ve had, and also the best showman; I also think part of his appeal was that he was a really organic, natural mover that seemed to really get into the pocket of whatever dance was thrown his way, even if he had no previous experience with it. While I agreed with my coworker that Corbin was more athletic and likely had more refined technique than Alfonso, I think he wasn’t as much of a natural as Alfonso and had to work harder to appear at ease with the movement of some of the dances – which didn’t always work, and made him a lot less consistent throughout his season.
For the ladies, it wasn’t as cut-and-dry for me – my knee-jerk answer was Nicole, but then I remembered she had some ups-and-downs and some dances that she wasn’t naturally good at (her first rumba and her samba come to mind); then I thought of Meryl, but while her technique was usually flawless, I remember thinking she sometimes lacked in the showmanship department, and could be a timid mover at times. Then I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi, who was a strong dancer AND entertainer, but I remember thinking that she seemed to always have that skater’s “perma-smile” that made her look a tad cheesy at times. As surprising as this may be for some of you, I actually ended up picking Zendaya as the best female dancer we’ve seen on the show – for a lot of the same reasons I picked Alfonso: she was consistent, she was a showman, and she was a very NATURAL mover. Granted, I thought Val failed her in the choreography department on multiple occasions (which may have eventually prevented her from winning, I think), and I didn’t love every single dance; but I do think she probably had the best skill set to work with, and seemed the most comfortable out on the floor.
So what do YOU guys think? Vote in the polls below, and then tell us how you voted & why 🙂
Tenth Anniversary Dancing With The Stars Special
June 1, 2005 to the Present
The Super Bowl of Dance
Touchdowns were scored all night long at The Super Bowl of Dance! The enormity of the production, the memories, everything on a huge celebration scale resembled The Super Bowl! Ten years, twenty seasons, deserved to be celebrated on that grand scale!
Dancing With the Stars had humble beginnings but has turned into The Super Bowl of Dance! The show is an ABC wonder. A juggernaut has evolved out of those humble beginnings. This show is The Best Entertainment Show on The Planet!
I am still on a major high from being privileged to share in The Super Bowl of Dance! The Anniversary Special, the 20 Seasons of Dancing With The Stars, scored a touchdown in our hearts. The family the show resembles is like our family. I grew up with this family, so to speak. I have proudly seen every season, every show. It is a happy atmosphere to visit each night it is on the air. Read more..
Carrie Ann Inaba has written a new blog at Parade about her memories of being on Dancing With The Stars. In this take, she writes of how all came to be for her.
Ten years is a long time. Dancing with the Stars has been on the air for 10 years. A Decade! It’s an amazing time to reflect upon.
I remember when I went in to interview for a new dance show that had originated in England. At the time, I was working on with Nigel Lythgoe on American Idol and as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. At the interview, I was happily surprised to see many fellow choreographers, peers and people I respected who had been in the business for a long time. It was fun and exciting to talk shop and be a part of something so very new and different. I was offered two jobs: judging roles on both Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. It was a very hard decision for me to make. I loved both concepts, and I had worked for so long with Lythgoe. But I had also worked with Conrad Green, the executive producer of Dancing With the Stars. In the end, I chose Dancing With the Stars.
I was so thrilled to be part of this new craze of dance shows that were just becoming popular. And look at us now! Dance is mainstream. Dance has become almost as popular as our sports. It’s become a major part of pop culture and people now talk the language of dance. I can bring up dance at a dinner table and everyone chimes in, all generations and all walks of life. Dancers are now respected as athletes and artists. It has been a beautiful evolution for my dance community, the community I have lived in for most of my adult life. And the best part is that people now know the incredible power of dance. The celebrities who have done our show have all experienced firsthand the joy, the pain, the thrill, the emotional freedom, the physical power and the transformational power of dance. They know now what I have known for most of my life. Dance heals. Dance empowers. Dance expresses what words cannot. And our audience, our beautiful extended family has experienced it all too, and they also have been able to enjoy those incredible artistic creations and performances throughout the past 20 seasons. They’ve witnessed the power, beauty and joy of dancing, and they have embraced it. They have embraced us.
Lots more at Parade. I thought she looked stunning last night on the 10th Anniversary show. I loved these photos…
Did you watch the Dancing with the Stars 10th Anniversary Show? If so, what did you think? What were your favorite dances? Any thoughts?
I’m in the middle of watching it right now! I am LOVING IT!! It’s so good to see everyone. I loved Mark and Derek/Sasha’s dance with their former partners. I loved seeing Alfonso & Witney and Maks & Meryl! More in comments later.
Below are some performance videos from the show courtesy of @idolxfactor1….
USA Today has a cool report posted on the Dancing with the Stars 10th Anniversary Show. Here is some more information for what to expect tonight…
The special, taped last week and airing Tuesday (8 p.m. ET/PT), includes a group dance with seven NFL stars and a gold football, to the rearranged tune of Monday Night Football’s opening theme; first-season winner Kelly Monaco and pro Val Chmerkovskiy re-creating an earlier dance, stripping to a bikini and Speedos, as they splash on a water-soaked platform; and Patti LaBelle singing Lady Marmalade, backed by fellow Dancing alums Amber Riley and Lil’ Kim.
The taping closed with a group finale that featured more than 50 stars, pros and judges from the series’ 20 seasons crowding the dance floor.
“It was wonderful to look across from the judges (table) and see all the alumni from previous seasons. I forgot that so many people had been on our show,” says judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who has been present for every Dancing show. “It was fun to see Marlee Matlin out there again, what a wonderful woman. Having Amy Purdy back in the ballroom, she’s one of my all-time favorites. Apollo Anton Ohno sitting next to me.”
Celebrities say they also enjoyed the reunion for a one-time huge hit that still draws a solid audience.
“Next time they shouldn’t wait so long. We love each other. When you do that show, you become a family,” says singer Gladys Knight, who took a leap of faith to compete in Season 14. “It was totally out of my comfort zone. The Pips were the dancers. But it was an awesome experience.”
Longtime pro Karina Smirnoff, who performed in the football dance, says she choreographed it in a way to honor Dancing’s long run.
“I wanted to pay homage to moments that were memorable within their seasons, so that’s why I had Jacoby (Jones) jump over my head and had the move with Donald (Driver) where I held my ankles and he twirled me around, says Smirnoff, who is not competing this season. “It allows people to not only enjoy their dancing on the (anniversary special) but it reminds them of what these guys did on the show during their seasons.”
More at USA Today including photos!! GMA and Nightline also did reports on the show. You can watch some fun footage and interviews in the new Media Post.
Below are some clips from the Dancing with the Stars 10th Anniversary special which is airing on ABC tomorrow night courtesy of the Dancing With The Stars Official You Tube Channel. Be watching this link as they may post more.
ETA: @DancingABC also posted a new promo at twitter. Be sure to see it HERE.
Some of the photos from the Dancing with the Stars 10th Anniversary special coming out are just beautiful. You can view a collection below courtesy of @DancingABC instagram. Amber Riley News also posted a gallery which is featured below. If you visit the Disney ABC site at this link and scroll down, you can view even more. The official site also has a special page set up where you can read on some of the dances. Be sure you are following @DancingABC instagram as they may post photos in the coming days. Lastly, if you missed our first collection of twitter and instagram collection, see this previous posting. There are more spoilers here. Don’t forget the Dancing With The Stars Anniversary Special will take place Tuesday night, April 28th.