This is a cute interview with People Now and Lance Bass who was once on Dancing With The Stars. He is rooting for Nick Carter On the show. Check it out.
A couple of seasons ago, I created a set of criteria with which to measure the benefits some dancers on DWTS have compared to the other dancers. That is, ringers versus non-ringers. I attempted to be as logical and scientific as possible, although it’s impossible to remove all subjectivity from the issue. But it’s far better than simply saying “so and so isn’t a ringer, IMO”. In your opinion? If your opinion is purely subjective with no effort at logical or rational thought, then what good is it??
No good at all, actually. The original series sprung from an effort to debunk the old, tired and stupid claim that the only reason Derek does well is because he gets all the good partners and no one else gets them. Utter BS, of course. It would be a good idea to read that series before starting this one as I can’t guarantee that I’ll include all the same rationale this second time around and I don’t take well to discussing a subject with someone who is so rude as to not read the blogs. Read more..
Lance Bass, Audrina Patridge, Bruno Tonioli, Elena Grinenko Help To Preview The DWTS Finale, Couples Interviewed
The day we’ve all been waiting for!! Good luck too all who make this show happen. And to help us get excited even more is ABC’s Dancing With The Stars Season 16 Finale Pre-party!! Former contestants Lance Bass and Audrina Patridge stop by (it’s fun to see these two again). Bruno Tonioli is unplugged. He mentions all the dances he’s loved so far and gives some advise and predictions for what might happen tonight (you’ll love this part too). Also, former pro Elena Grinenko joins the panel to help preview tonight’s finale (it’s fun getting her take too. I always love her accent.). Also, there is some interview footage with the couples from the 300th episode party at the end. They talk about some of their dances tonight. This is a really good one! Also, don’t miss some backstage coverage from yesterday (Sunday) on GOOD MORNING AMERICA HERE.
With all of the coverage of the upcoming all-star season we’ve been doing, we realize it can get a little hard to keep up and remember who’s said yes, who’s said no, who’s just a maybe, etc. So for the sake of maintaining everyone’s sanity and trying to keep at least some degree of organization, here’s a handy list of what celebs we’ve been covering as it pertains to the all-star season, broken down by their original season, along with a brief summary of where they stand. We’ll keep this post stuck to the main page until the cast announcement, and we’ll post updates in red as they come in.
ETA #1: Updated with coverage of Joey Fatone & Trista Sutter, and an update of Ralph Macchio.
ETA #2: Added info on Kelly Monaco.
ETA #3: Update on Maria Menounos.
ETA #4: A little over 24 hours until the cast announcement and updates & rumors coming fast & furious! Thanks Vogue & Heidi :-)Updates on Gilles Marini, Joey Fatone, Melissa Rycroft, Stacy Keibler, Kendra Wilkinson, & Carson Kressley; added info on Melissa Joan-Hart & Pamela Anderson.
Trista Sutter – a few interesting tweets that seemed to imply she was heading somewhere to do something secret, but now says she is definitely not taking part in the all-star season
Kelly Monaco – hinted at a GH fan event that she was “going to need fans’ help with something that’s getting announced next Friday!”
Stacy Keibler – played coy, said “possibly” if she was asked to return; says we’ll “have to wait & find out”; rumored as a possible X-Factor host; Entertainment Weekly claiming she’s not likely to do the show
Drew Lachey – said he “had a blast and would be open to doing it again”, but wasn’t sure how things would play out
Jerry Springer – said he may do SOMETHING for the show and would love to be in the audience, but wouldn’t dance again
Mario Lopez – spilled the beans about being asked to do the all-star season on Live with Kelly way back in May, and was thinking about it; however, he now says he’s “too busy” and “doesn’t think he’ll be able to do it” – mentioned as a rumored candidate to host X-factor
Joey Lawrence – asked fans on Twitter to vote for him to get on the all-star season
Joey Fatone – says he isn’t really sure if he’d do it or not, and that he hasn’t gotten a call yet; Entertainment Weekly claiming he’s “likely” to do the show Read more..
As many of you know, I was in Las Vegas last weekend and had the pleasure of seeing the DWTS live show at the Tropicana – which, of course, I will review for you guys, since certain other individuals *cough*JOHN*cough* haven’t managed to write the 2nd half of their review of the premiere of said show 😉 This post could get a bit wordy, as I took quite a few notes (and just have a really good memory, to boot) and I’ll throw in a few other possibly-unrelated-to-DWTS details for context, as well as some general Vegas info, since some of you have asked about my trip – so if you’re only interested in my review of the show, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs. And if you hate spoilers (i.e. you want to be COMPLETELY surprised when you see the show), I’d either just skip this post altogether or just read my overall take at the bottom – because I’m not holding back. You’ve been warned 😉 And special thanks go to Heidi, for helpin’ a girl out with some picture merges that were driving me cray-cray 😛
So why was I in Vegas in the first place, you ask? My best friend Kendra is getting married at the end of July, and she wanted a bachelorette party for the ages – so naturally, we HAD to go Vegas There were 12 of us altogether (11 rowdy bachelorettes and 1 gay bachelor, who I must say put us all to shame with how fabulously he was dressed the entire trip ;-)), and the majority of us stayed at the Flamingo, since we were able to get a great rate on standard rooms – with 4 girls to a room, it was only $82 total for each of us for 3 nights, which is pretty awesome for a well-known hotel on the strip that isn’t a total dive. Overall, I wouldn’t say the Flamingo is a particularly special or ritzy hotel (if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d go with the Bellagio, Palazzo, or Venetian…but be prepared to shell out big $$$), but if you’re on a budget, it’s certainly more than sufficient – the rooms are clean and the decor is kitchy & cute (think 1960’s, Rat Pack, original Ocean’s Eleven – lots of dots, stripes, retro furniture, and of course, pink :-)). I’m very into the nostalgia of Vegas, so the Flamingo appealed to me in that it was originally built by infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel, and legend has it that the actual motive behind his murder was to change the management of the Flamingo. But anyway – if you’re in Vegas, I definitely recommend trying their Paradise Garden Buffet – it’s pretty affordable, as far as buffets in Vegas go, and is quite good…especially the brunch buffet. Plus the views of their courtyard and flock of live flamingoes are gorgeous Also at the Flamingo? Donny & Marie Osmond’s live show – I didn’t see it (no time, and honestly, not much of a desire), but I did see these in the lobby:
The one on the left is Donny’s costume from his freestyle with Kym in season 9, as well as his MBT (and yes, according to the guest services director that I asked, it is his real MBT – apparently he insisted it be put in the case with his costume); the one on the right is Marie’s dress from her quickstep with Jonathan in season 5 (and one of those freaky dolls she designs – guess they had to put SOMETHING there when they found out that Donny wanted to display his MBT, although I’m not sure why they didn’t display this doll instead). I found Marie’s costume pretty unremarkable up close – for as fabulous as it looked on the show, upon further scrutiny, it’s really just a tan silk gown with some gems glued on; but Donny’s suit is very well-made and clearly took a lot of work. Interesting how different the costumes look on tv vs. in person (more on that later). Read more..
This is the 3rd and final part of the series where I take a look at the partners the pros have had and their “ringer” status. Part 1 discusses how I define a ringer – you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer?? Part 2 discusses the female pros and their partners and how I labeled them – I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve not been quite as blessed as the men. Reasons for that should be self evident – female celebrities are more likely to have some sort of dance experience, even if it is taking ballet or tap as a child. NOTE: This was mostly written before the pairings were announced for Season 14 – those pairings certainly change the game for lots of pros. Lots of potential ringers on this season.
I strongly recommend you read the first two parts before you comment – I don’t want to have to reiterate everything I wrote MONTHS ago. Also, be wise and don’t complain about the length, admit that you didn’t read it all, and then argue with me – that will just earn you scorn and an eye roll. I know this is long – I considered breaking it into two parts, but then I figured it’s still long in two parts. People will either be interested or they won’t. :::shrug::: Also take note that I, personally, don’t care about ringers themselves. I think a season without them is deadly. What I DO care about is hypocrisy, revisionist history and the fairy tales that some like to spread about who has had ringers and who hasn’t.
From where I sit, there are two types of ringers – and then there’s just being blessed. Fanbase ringer (ie. Donny Osmond, etc.) or Experience Ringer (Mel B, Nicole, Sabrina, etc.), and lucky get (Lalia, Brooke, Gilles, JR). Just because someone happens to be a great dancer doesn’t mean they are a ringer. When someone is blessed with a partner who can dance, it doesn’t mean they were handed a ringer. That particular argument is so illogical that it’s hard for me to take seriously. If they actually seriously auditioned people to be on this show by making them dance with a pro for an hour or two, it would be understandable. But they don’t stand people in a room with a pro dancer and then say, “wow, she’s got some moves, let’s give her to Maks” or “she sucks, lets give her to Tony.” It doesn’t work that way. If it did, they wouldn’t be able to get people on the show. And can you imagine a pro like Tony sticking around if that was the approach they took?
As it happens, and as many people connected to the show have reiterated, the process of how a pro gets a celebrity often has to do with height, personality, looks, chemistry and the cast as a whole…and this becomes obvious as the show progresses. They are actually quite good at matching people up. I would imagine they give this a lot of consideration as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, ratings. You’re going to try to avoid having a bunch of pairings that make people go “eeewww” or get seriously pissed off. I think you need to limit that to one couple per season. Can you imagine what it would be like for every pro on a season to have a partnership similar to that of Hope and Maks?? I would want to stab my eyes out with a fork if they were ALL like that and there was no Carson/Anna or David/Kym. Seriously – think about it. So, it may be good to have ONE Maks/Hope – gives people (me and Courtney) something to talk about, rant about, get passionate about, etc. (This is separate from a discussion of whether Maks finally went too far or not – I don’t think that’s what the producers intended.) Read more..
So we’re less than 24 hours away from finding out who is and isn’t part of this season’s cast. Who’s pumped??? I know I am…but we’ve still got a few hours left to speculate, so let’s see what other cast types we’ve to fill this season, shall we? 😉 For those of you that may have missed it, check out part I as well.
The Teen Idol
Previous examples: Joey McIntyre, Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond, Lance Bass, Mel B., Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, Ian Ziering, Cody Linley, Sabrina Bryan, Mario Lopez, Kyle Massey, Chelsea Kane, Romeo
Advantages: If sales of Tiger Beat are any indicator, the teenyboppers will come out in full force to support their favorite heartthrobs/idols. Being young & good-lookin’ sure doesn’t hurt! Many also have the added advantage of having a decent dance background, especially if they were part of a musical act.
Disadvantages: Youth can also have its disadvantages – as in immaturity. What some might call “youthful exuberance”, others might call “immaturity” or “attention deficit disorder” – poor Cody Linley had a hard time sitting still! Emotional immaturity (a la Aaron Carter’s post-rumba meltdown in the confessional) can be especially off-putting. They’ve also got to contend with the large middle-aged female contingent of viewers/voters – they far outnumber the young viewers likely to vote for them.
Possible candidates this season: There’s that random Nicole Anderson chick that’s a friend of Chelsea Kane’s, and Heidi found some compelling evidence that rapper Darnell Robinson may be participating this season.
Previous examples: Jerry Springer, Brooke Burke, Leeza Gibbons, Mario Lopez, Kenny Mayne, Lisa Rinna, Tucker Carlson, Mark Dacascos, Rocco DiSpirito, Erin Andrews, Wendy Williams, Mike Catherwood, Carson Kressley, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake
Advantages: Being that they’ve been at the helm of their own shows, these guys usually have the media savvy & charisma to appeal to the masses, as well as the previous exposure & recognizability. Most (not all!) are also decently attractive, which never seems to hurt (unless, of course, you’re a model – see previous post for explanation).
Disadvantages: Many hosts are only used to hosting – as in just sitting down & talking (or dodging the occasional punch, if you’re Springer), so the lack of movement experience problem seems to come into play.
Possible candidates this season: This category seems to have EXPLODED with possibilities this season – the most solid of which being Sherri Shepherd, who was caught leaving the DWTS studio the other day. I’m still wondering if someone fr0m GMA is part of the cast this season, since they all seemed to act so coy when announcing they’d be revealing the cast. And then we have the Maria Menounos rumor as well.
Previous examples: John O’Hurley, Melissa Joan Hart, Steve Guttenburg, John Ratzenberger, Debi Mazar, Denise Richards, Ted McGinley, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennie Garth, Vivica Fox, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Shannen Doherty, Jennifer Grey, David Hasselhoff, Ralph Macchio, Kirstie Alley, David Arquette
Advantages: Being that their bread & butter is acting, most can usually nail the emotions of the dances. Bonus points if they’ve done any Broadway (like Winokur) because they have likely had dance experience.
Disadvantages: For lack of a better term, many of them seem to be “has-beens” – actors that haven’t been particularly active in the mainstream in the past several years – or were never that big to begin with (can anyone else think of anything John O’Hurley has been in BESIDES Seinfeld?), making it harder for them to garner votes from a public who may not remember them.
The Reality Star
Previous examples: Kim Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Rycroft, Steve-O, Holly Madison, Trista Sutter, Shanna Moakler, Kate Gosselin, Jake Pavelka, Audrina Patridge, The Situation, Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari
Advantages: Many have achieved pop culture icon status on their respective reality outlets, making them fairly recognizable.
Disadvantages: They may be memorable for the wrong reasons – people tended to remember things like Kim Kardashian’s sex tape more than her reality show when she was on DWTS, and people seemed more focused on Holly Madison’s split from Hef than her antics on The Girls Next Door. Many can also come across as attention-hungry & talentless(*cough*JakePavelka*cough*) – reality TV is often looked down upon as a way to get famous without having any talent whatsoever.
Possible candidates this season: Lots of talk about Ali Fedotowsky, who suspiciously moved to LA last week.
Previous examples: Mya, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mario, Belinda Carlisle, Master P, Chuck Wicks, Sara Evans, Willa Ford, Monique Coleman, Toni Braxton, Macy Gray, Nicole Scherzinger, Chynna Phillips
Advantages: As with the teen idols, many have had dance experience concurrent with their music careers.
Disadvantages: Most seem to be committed solely to one genre of music (often R&B or country), making it hard to appeal to a wide fanbase.
Possible candidates this season: Lots of loose lips at the Grammys about Gavin DeGraw, but it seems like less of a possibility now, considering that he is about to go on tour.
The Wild Card
Previous examples: Heather Mills, Tom DeLay, Mark Cuban, Steve Wozniak, Priscilla Presley, Buzz Aldrin, Bristol Palin, Chaz Bono
Advantages: The sheer novelty of having someone with such an off-the-beaten-path claim to fame (famous divorcee/widow, entrepreneur, disgraced politician, etc.) may be enough to have the public voting them – just to see what happens. Being the “underdog” is a powerful thing…as we saw with Bristol in season 11!
Disadvantages: Due to their often dubious fame, people just may not have any clue who they are – I personally had to Google Mark Cuban’s name. There’s also the risk of backlash from some viewers who don’t think they’re “stars” per se, and shouldn’t even be on the show in the first place.
Possible candidates this season: Surprisingly, not too many outlandish rumors…especially since Herman Cain & Michelle Bachman have denied they’re doing the show. Phew!
So we’re getting down to the wire, kids…any last-minute predictions before the big reveal? 😉
I confess: no one specifically asked this question, but some of you may have noticed that tend to get bit irritated whenever a female celeb or pro on the show opts to forgo the traditional heels in favor of boots, sneakers, or going barefoot. I thought I’d explain just why I get my knickers in such a twist over it
There are two primary reasons why heels are worn in both the Latin & ballroom dances: the first is aesthetic, and the other is technical. Aesthetically, the shoes are worn to give the the women’s legs a long, lean appearance – the neutral flesh tone of the fabric blends nicely with the skin, giving a nice, long, unbroken line; the heels themselves of course make the women look taller, which in turn enhances the illusion of long legs. You may have noticed that the women on the show don’t often wear colored dance shoes – that’s because a color that contrasts with the skin tends to “chop off” those nice long lines, and make the women’s legs look shorter. Why is it so important to have long legs? Because the longer your legs are, the nicer your lines are going to look, and the better technique you’re going to show – and the happier the judges are.
From a technical aspect, the shoes actually help to ensure that the ladies are using the proper technique in their dances. Remember my post about heel & toe leads? Well the shoes that the ladies wear for Latin are specially balanced so that the ladies’ body weight is shifted over her toes – and remember, all the Latin dances move forward (and backward) with a toe lead. The ballroom shoes tend to keep the ladies’ body weight balanced evenly on her heels & toes, much like normal shoes, as all the steps in the ballroom dances move forward on the heel and backward on the toe – just like normal walking. The shoes alone can’t guarantee that a dancer will always have the right technique – but they certainly do help!
So let’s say a woman *cough*Lacey*cough* decides to forgo wearing the proper shoes while dancing, and instead wears something more flat-footed, like boots. In the Latin dances, it’s probably going to result in her legs looking very short & stubby, and her lines not as impressive. Case in point: Lance & Lacey’s cha-cha in season 7:
Or, in Hope’s case this past season, those boots just gave her a complete lack of hip action, and resulted in a very flat, boring rumba:
The effect is a bit less noticeable in the ballroom dances, since they move so similarly to natural walking movement, and I can’t really think of a time on the show that someone has danced a ballroom dance barefoot. However, I do remember Twitch & Kherington’s Viennese waltz routine from season 4 of SYTYCD, and I remember not being wild about them doing it barefoot, as it just looked somewhat “unfinished” and more like contemporary than real ballroom:
So there you have it – you be the judge. I personally think that all ballroom & Latin dances should be done in the proper footwear, and it’s only (semi)acceptable to go barefoot if you’re a pro doing a contemporary-ish pro dance. But what do you guys think?
This is Part 2 in what will likely be a 3-part series. If you want to read Part 1, you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer??
Well, let me tell you, researching these former contestants was not particularly enjoyable. But, I felt like some research had to go into this in order to try to be somewhat informed and to remove some of the subjectivity. Not all of it can be removed, but I tried.
How did I get my results?
For each celebrity who was *possibly* experienced or popular, I focused research on their web sites (if available), their Wiki pages, and YouTube videos. Then there were google searches. Yikes. If a celebrity was clearly not a ringer in any way shape or form (ie Football players, rodeo riders, race car drivers) I did not look into their background any further. I did spend some time on this, but since I have another job that takes my time, it’s possible I missed something. BUT, just because you don’t agree with my rankings, it doesn’t mean I DID miss something. Just sayin’.
Determining if someone is actually a fanbase ringer is rather difficult as well. My metric for that determination is: Is this person well known and well loved by the biggest DWTS demographic – that is women aged about 30 to 65. These are the people most likely to watch the show and vote. Where it gets tricky is guys like Joey Lawrence and Ian Zeiring – it’s guys like this that caused me the most pain. Why? Well, because my brain is saying, “Nah” but my gut is saying “Just because you’re not a fan doesn’t mean they don’t have sizable fanbases. So, at the end of the day, I decided for my purposes that for them to be a fanbase ringer, it had to be OBVIOUS. That is – if I know they’re super popular, then they probably really are. If I don’t really know much about them….then they probably aren’t. I fit the demographic, after all. Read more..
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..