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DWTS17: Looking forward… I want to see an Underdog Charmer!

I’m raising my hand, and admitting that some of my FAVORITE contestants on DWTS since season 3, have been the ones that didn’t win… The ones who had a LOT going against them even before they started the season. How many times have we heard one of the following about a contestant?

“How could they cast….?” “NO ONE is ever going to vote for…” “I hope they quit before they start and save themselves the embarrassment!” “Does anyone ever google and see how awful this person is???” It’s DEFINITELY not fair to anyone, when we say or hear things like that. They’re the ones who put themselves out there on the show, and they’re the ones who ended up showing us someone completely different than what we thought. With the help of a very patient professional, they’ve been able to surprise us, and sometimes themselves, and shown a completely different person than who we thought we would see! I love watching the transformations of each of the contestants, and I always love to “see” someone grow and blossom!

This by far ISN’T going to be a complete list, but here are some Underdog Charmers from previous seasons.

Andy Dick from Season 16 taught by Sharna Burgess. Andy’s fresh in our minds, and I am NOT going to go back through his history, since it wasn’t that long ago that it was all brought up again. But, he DEFINITELY ended up charming everyone, and showing a side of himself that I don’t know he even knew he had!
Here’s Andy’s dances for you to enjoy again!Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4Week 5 Week 6Week 7

Lil Kim from Season 8 and Joanna Krupa from Season 9 both taught by Derek Hough. I’m putting both of them together for a reason. Kim came into her season with people determined to hate her, thinking that there was NO WAY that she should be on, since she had spent some time in jail. Joanna came into her season after attempting another reality competition show, where she was paired with a professional athlete, and had a public breakdown, with many words said that were not repeatable. And, since that show aired not long before her season of DWTS, it was fresh in people’s minds, and again, she came in as an underdog. Here are most of their dances to relive!
Lil Kim: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9
Joanna: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9 *I did not include Week 5 for Joanna, because Derek was ill with the flu, and was replaced by Maks for that week only. I could have included that week, but chose not to, just to make it easier on me.

Adam Carolla from Season 6 taught by Julianne Hough. Adam is the first one that I can remember, where there was “visible noise” surrounding his announcement, both over his questionable past, and being paired with Julianne. They even had precautions in place, since they weren’t sure “who” he would end up being on the show. I remember that the trigger-happy censors were so sure that he would need to be bleeped, that they ended up bleeping Julianne instead! He survived 4 weeks, against all odds! It was fun rewatching his dances, because he definitely knew how to crack everyone up back stage! Week 1 Week 2 Week 3Week 4

Soo…… I didn’t put everyone that I could have included in this post, we’ve had MANY contestants that would fit here, so I’m looking to do more posts, with MORE of our Underdog Charmers! Who would YOU include, and why? Who do you think people were NOT looking forward to see dance, because of their pasts, only to be charmed by THEM?

August 6, 2013 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing With The Stars Past GROUP DANCE Review!

This is going to be quick, not much commentary, just the facts. Or rather, the videos. I’ve found myself much busier than I plan to be… But, to get us ready for the fun Group Dance, I’m searching for the videos of the group dances from past seasons. When possible, I’ll post the practice sessions, also.

Season 1, Viennese Waltz. Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts, John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo, Joey McIntyre and Ashly DelGrosso.

Season 2, Salsa. Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya, Lisa Rinna and Louis Van Amstel, Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani, George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska, Tia Carrere and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

Season 3 Disco. Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Season 4 Swing. Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts,John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska, Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke

Season 5 Rock and Roll Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Jennie Garth and Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas, Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani, Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska, Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy

Season 6 Country Western. Sorry, my brain has melted, and I don’t remember the names of the people I’m seeing in the video….. I know them all, but their names are no longer connected. In my brain.

Season 7 Old School Hip Hop Thanks to Gitte and Elara for helping to find this one….

Season 8 1960’s.Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower, Lil Kim and Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke

Season 9 Hustle. Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson, Joanna
Krupa & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (in the place of Derek Hough who was out with the flu), Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova and Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

I think that’s all…

October 24, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

Dancing with the Stars Celebrities: “What Do You Mean, I’m A Ringer??” Part 1

This is the one issue that comes up over and over again when discussing DWTS. We see it in our comments; you see it tossed about on message boards like an accusation or castigation. Almost always it’s in reference to ALL of Derek’s partners, which is just ridiculous. Most of the male pros and a few of the female pros have had a ringer of one kind at one time or another – that’s just the way it goes. NO ONE has a ringer, or “dancer” every single time – that’s abundantly clear to anyone who engages their brain.  Frankly, if we didn’t have the occasional ringer and had a season of mediocre dancing, I think people would tune out very, very fast.  I don’t mind an amusing or talented ringer – what I DO mind is the revisionist history that follows a DWTS season where the accusations start to fly.  Even the mainstream media and certain pro dancers (cough-Louis-cough) – never very clever at the best of times – chimes in on this hue and cry.  It’s quite narrow minded. And it’s just not that simple – as I will show.  :-)

How do I define “ringer” – well, for me, it’s not so black and white. ALL kinds of people have advantages over other people going into the show that have NOTHING to do with dancing.  To isolate ONE positive attribute (dance experience) and ignore the others is too simplistic and narrow minded. There are also degrees of dance experience from someone who taught dance (Mya) to someone who was in a music group which performed a lot of choreography (Nicole, Lance, Sabrina, Mel B, etc.). Even college or professional cheerleaders fall into the ringer camp, albeit a bit lower on the sliding scale than your average boy bander. There is no denying that training to be a cheerleader and learning the choreo gives you a leg up (cough) on someone like Shannon Doherty or Tom Delay. But if you took dance when you were a little girl, prior to even being a teen ager? Give me a break.  We can certainly debate if there is a real difference between cheerleading and the Pussycat Dolls – but spare me the sermons on how Joanna took ballet until she was 11. If anyone is silly enough to point to that as an advantage – well then nearly ALL the female celebrities have that advantage. Not so.

But those are your ringers with dance experience – what about someone who comes on the show and you know instantly that they are going to win?? Wouldn’t they also be a ringer? I say absolutely. If you come on the show and you’re so beloved or popular (with the DWTS Demo) that everyone knows you’re going to win, then I say that’s a form of ringer all its own. Kristi, Shawn and Donny – all extremely popular athletes and entertainers and all nearly guaranteed a win. I say “nearly” because Shawn was nearly unseated by a hot, gorgeous, very talented dancer in Gilles Marini. On paper, however, Shawn was a shoe-in.  Evan Lysacek almost falls into this camp and I thought he would win his season – but he apparently burned a few bridges in his time with a potentially huge voting block of skating fans.  I would ordinarily put someone like Jennifer Grey in this category, but not this time, simply because her liabilities really did outweigh her popularity. Being age 50 is no small thing when it comes to the task of dancing on DWTS; add in the screws in her neck and the problems with her foot and you’ve got someone unlikely to actually win. That she did win is likely a testament to Derek’s ability to choreograph entertaining routines around a fairly limited amount of motion, compared to her competitors, most of which were at least 20 years her junior.  All that said, I did give her a low level ringer status due to the age and physical ailments offsets.  I also put KirstieAlley in this group at a lower level – she’s another older, beloved, iconic actress, although possibly not at the level of Jennifer Grey. Hard to say where to draw the line on that one, as she was older than Jennifer, but didn’t have the same physical ailments.

This is what I mean when I say all kinds of people have advantages (and in some cases huge disadvantages) coming into the show.  You don’t get to just point and scream “RINGER!!!” unless you’re a child who doesn’t know any better.  We’re going to use this blog to actually THINK about this. We’re going to discuss how the *disadvantages* a celebrity has have just as much impact on their chances of winning as their advantages do – no one is just a ringer in a vacuum. And we’re going to list all the pros and their partners, and where they fall on the sliding scale of “ringerdom”. :-)  We’re also going to discuss the difference between dance “experience” and dance “ability” because a lot of people seem to think the two things are interchangeable.  If you need Websters, this would be a good time to pull it out. :-) I’ll also talk about the difference between hindsight (all of Derek’s partners are dancers!!!), and who were actually likely to be good on paper going in. And who weren’t.

We’re going to start with the female pros, mainly because they are easier – and there are fewer true ringers. That will be in Part II – first, some notes on how I got to where I did on categorizing the dancers over the seasons.

Notes: Read more..

September 3, 2011 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. :-)

Why Do DWTS?

Season after season, celeb after celeb, it’s always interesting to see what kind of mixed bag each cast turns out to be.  Athletes, actors, comedians, models…it’s the variety of stars the show pulls in that makes things really interesting!

 But, as amazing an opportunity as the show might be for the celebs, with certain individuals, we have to kinda wonder what exactly their motivations were to do the show…are they really there for the opportunity, or is it something else entirely?

 So it got me thinking…what might be some other reasons certain stars do the show, besides “just for fun”? Read on…

 Reason #1: They’re broke.

I’m sure they’d never say it publicly, but over time it’s become a bit obvious that certain celebs probably do the show to offset some cashflow problems they’ve encountered as of late.  I can’t fault them – the $200K base pay for doing the show is nothing to sneeze at, and the possibility of getting another $100K on top of that if they win is just icing on the cake – especially if you’re like season 9’s Aaron Carter, who owed over a million bucks in backed taxes.  No wonder the kid was crying after a mediocre rumba – he couldn’t afford to get sent home! Or maybe you’re season 10’s Kate Gosselin, who claimed that she was “just trying to support her family” by doing the show (although I don’t think she was motivated entirely by the money – there was some definitely attention whoring going on there).  It’s also likely the primary reason that Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Terese Giudice is trying so hard to get on the show – she & her husband filed for bankruptcy last year after racking up over $11 million worth of debt.  Granted, the pay from doing the show probably is probably a small fraction of what these stars are used to pulling in, but it’s still more than enough for we common folk to live quite comfortably off of for a year or two…beggars can’t be choosers ;-)

 Reason #2: They’re doing reputation damage control.

Another less-than-savory motivation for doing the show, it’s a good idea nonetheless – what better way to distract from a recent brush with the law or sex tape scandal than to show America how charming and talented you can be on DWTS? Take Lil Kim – she was fresh out of a year-long stint in prison for perjury.  And she became one of the most popular contestants on season 8! She even took it a step further and managed to speak freely about her incarceration and even poke fun at it.  Season 4’s Heather Mills was likely trying to undo some the damage done during her long, messy divorce from Paul McCartney, which seemed to give her a rather nasty reputation as a vindictive gold digger. Or there was Mel B., who had just had a baby out of wedlock with Eddie Murphy.  And of course, Kim Kardashian was still trying to live down her famous sex tape with Ray-J.  Did the show help erase these indiscretions? Eh, some better than others.  But if nothing else, it gave America something else to remember them by.

 Reason #3: They’re trying to breathe life into a dead career/jump start a new career.

You know those celebs whose names you have to google at first because you have absolutely no clue who they are? They likely fall into this category: they’ve either been inactive for so long that you can’t remember them (or maybe they weren’t that famous in the first place), or they’re so new on the scene that you’ve never heard of them.  Be honest: how many of you actually remembered who John O’Hurley was, without having to google him? Aside from his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld, he really hadn’t done anything else prior to DWTS – but after the show? His career blew up.  Suddenly he was being offered hosting positions, roles in musicals, voice acting opportunities – all because he did some dancing show that ended up being a hit.  Ted McGinley, another actor with a waning career, tried to do the same on season 7 – albeit unsuccessfully.  On the other hand, those with new careers might be inclined to do the show just to get some exposure…take Gilles Marini.  Most people didn’t know his name, but they sure knew his face-er, body: he was just the “hot naked guy” in the Sex in the City movie.  After a wildly successful run on DWTS, though, he was suddenly popping up everywhere – Brothers & Sisters, Nip/Tuck, Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, you name it! Proof that if you play your cards right while on the show, the payoff will be far greater than just the money you make for doing it ;-)

 Reason #4: They’re generating publicity for their next big project.

Ok, so maybe they’re still famous, but they’ve been in the background for a bit and are getting ready for a “comeback” of sorts – maybe a new album, movie, TV show, etc.  Getting their name out there by doing DWTS is almost a sort of “primer” – it gets their names on the lips of the American public again, so that when their latest labor of love drops, it’s just that much more well-received.  Ever wonder why Macy Gray was on season 9? Well, judging from her completely apathetic attitude, I think we can all agree it wasn’t because she really wanted to learn to dance (hehe).  However, she did have a new album due to come out not long after season 9 wrapped.  Coincidence? Doubt it – sounds like some smart legwork by a savvy publicist.  Louie Vito was only months away from competing in the winter Olympics (his first appearance there) when he did DWTS…probably didn’t hurt getting his name out there early, to help separate him from the hoards of other famous snowboarders.  Even Nicole probably did DWTS to generate some hype for the upcoming PCD album (and new lineup).  Again, it’s a savvy move – with DWTS’ ratings reigning supreme, the contestants become household names, which helps generate interest when they do other projects after the show.

 Reason #5: They’ve got a score to settle.

Sometimes, it’s just all about sticking it to a former rival/family member/group member/etc…a sort of “bet I can make it farther than you can!” challenge.  Almost all of the NFL stars that have done the show have had a sort of friendly rivalry with other former players that had done the show previously…the most well-known of these probably being the Jerry Rice vs. Michael Irvin challenge, which culminated in a face-off during the season 9 finale.  Warren Sapp also sparred with ESPN commentator (and early season 2 castoff) Kenny Mayne on Sports Center.  Joey Fatone also issued a challenge to fellow NSYNC group member Lance Bass to do better than he did – considering his reputation as the “worst dancer in NSYNC”, I think Lance finishing 3rd (to Joey’s 2nd) was pretty admirable! And then there’s the family rivalries – Marie Osmond vs. Donny Osmond, George Hamilton vs. Ashley Hamilton, and Lisa Rinna vs. Harry Hamlin.  Nothing like a little sibling/father-son/husband-wife competition to strengthen familial bonds ;-) Aside from the friendly challenge of sticking it to a family member, there’s also the added security of getting advice from someone close who’s done the show before. 

 So what do you guys think? Know of any other motivations some of the celebs might have to do the show, besides “just for fun”?

August 1, 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 III

As promised, here is your third weekly installment of our continuing analysis of reused costumes on the show. :-) While the first 2 editions dealt solely with costumes reused in season 10, this one is a mixed bag of dresses going as far back as season 5 – proof that if the folks at Randall are reeeeally having a hard time selling a costume to the public, some lucky/unlucky pro or celeb may get the privilege/punishment of having to wear it a second (or sometimes third!) time. Read and discuss!

Oh, and P.S. – we’re trying hard to do a guys’ edition of Who Wore it Better, but it’s proving to be really, really hard…so if you know of any dittos, please let us know, and please at least look up pictures or find them on youtube to ensure they are, in fact, the same costume – some of the ones that have been brought up to me are really just similar (but not identical) pieces.  ;-)

Battle of the black, silver-spangled Latin dress: Melissa’s cha-cha with Tony in season 8 vs. Kym in the ladies’ pro dance opener in season 9
Courtney: As an aside, I really didn’t care for that opening dance that the season 9 pro ladies did – it felt a little low-energy and kinda like it was just thrown together at the last minute to fill space (lord knows why). That probably explains why Kym just doesn’t look quite as “finished” in it as Melissa does – love the fedora and jewelry that really ties it together on her. Both gorgeous ladies with fabulous bodies – but I’m giving it to Melissa for having a little bit of extra “oomph”.
Heidi: Boy, this is a tough one! I do agree about the ladies pro dance – very messy, disjointed. As for the dress…not sure how I feel about the fedora on Melissa – it almost feels like overkill, what with the choker and the bracelets and the earings AND the hat. Who was the famous actress that said she always took one thing off before she left the house? This could have been done here to better effect. She needs to lose something from the head/neck area. That said, Kym is the opposite extreme – too minimalist. And really, those pro dances are the opening numbers so there’s really no excuse for it except maybe laziness.
The winner: Melissa, by a choker.

Battle of the short, red, fringed, Latin dress w/matching belt: Karina in the Michael Jackson tribute in season 9 vs. Julianne’s cha-cha with Helio in season 5
Heidi: Again, two beautiful girls who can wear just about anything. If I have to pick I have to go with Karina because of how well she can wear red. Jules wears it well too, but it looks better on Karina. Have to agree with Courtney, below, also – Jules’ hair is too severe.
Courtney: Now as adorable as Jules tends to look in pretty much anything she wears, I think I actually like this one better on Karina – it could be the lighting, but I think the red looks better against her skin than it does Julianne’s, who looks a bit more washed-out. Also prefer Karina’s loose curls to Julianne’s bump-it updo. I hate those damn things!!!
The winner: Karina, by the skin of her…skin.

Battle of multi-colored, neon-fringed Latin dress: Jewel’s would-be preseason photo shoot with Dmitry in season 8 vs. Misty’s mambo with Maks in season 7
Courtney: Ok, I’m putting it out there – this dress is cursed and should probably be burned due to bad karma. Misty donned it for a mambo; two weeks later she withdrew with a devastating Achilles’ tendon injury. Jewel wore it for her promo photo shoot; not long after she was sidelined with 2 fractured tibias and had to be replaced with Holly Madison. And really, this dress is just tacky with a capital T. I loathe neon – especially multiple shades of it on the same dress – and I particularly loathe it when it’s fringe. Blech. Nobody wins in this one!
Heidi: Have you noticed that Maks has a fondness for multicolored, bright, tacky dresses? It’s weird, because then he puts Joanna in a classy beautiful dress – which I’m going to credit to Derek since the design is done early in the week and Maks has a bad track record. :-) But yes, this is one nasty dress and they seem to pair it with bad hair and OTT jewelery.
The winner: Do you see any winners here? I sure don’t.

Battle of the two-piece, tri-color ruffled & feathered Latin dress: Joanna’s preseason photo shoot with Derek in season 9 vs. one of the dancers in the Tiempo Libre performance in season 9 vs. Kym’s samba with Warren in season 7
Heidi: Okay, I’ve decided that I don’t like multicolored dresses. Too, too much. But like every other possible article of clothing, Joanna can pull it off. Partly confidence, partly issues with her competitors, like Courtney says below.
Courtney: Poor Kym & unidentified Tiempo Libre performer – it’s really hard to hold a candle to Joanna in, well, pretty much any costume. And I daresay she rocks what would be an otherwise rather awkward dress pretty damn well – having a fab figure and a great spray tan doesn’t hurt, either. Kym looks a little pasty in the sunset color scheme; the costume just looks kinda loose on the brunette from Tiempo Libre.
The winner: Joanna, by default.

Battle of the silver-fringed, super-sparkly, cut-out Latin dress: Mya’s preseason photo shoot with Dmitry in season 9 vs. Lil Kim’s cha-cha with Derek in season 8
Courtney: Ok, observation: the lighting in the pre-season shoots never seems to do justice to some of these dresses the way the lights of the dance floor do. This is no exception – the dress just glows on Kim, while it barely reflects any light on Mya. Plus Mya’s pose just looks awkward to me – really kinda surprised they picked that one as her best shot. The dress seems to be wearing Mya, rather than the other way around. Kim DOMINATES this dress!
Heidi: Kim dominates everything. It’s all about confidence and attitude and Kim has plenty of both!! Both dresses were used early on too, so that’s not a reason. It’s weird too, because Mya was a trained dancer – I would expect a more confident stance from her even that early.
The winner: Kim by a ‘tude. :-)

Battle of the blue-fringed & stoned Latin dress: Shawn’s samba with Mark in season 8 vs. Natalie’s preseason photo shoot in season 9
Heidi: Not a fan of this dress, really. I think it looks better on Shawn but only because she’s moving. Hate her hair and think they went overboard on the make up though. Natalie is fine in it and she has a beautiful smile. But I have to give it up to Shawn.
Courtney: Another instance where photo shoot lighting doesn’t do a girl any favors, and neither does standing still – this dress doesn’t look nearly as impressive on Natalie as it does on Shawn. I wouldn’t say it necessarily looks BAD on her, but it’s just kinda…blah.
The winner: Shawn, for not being a statue.


Battle of the long, dark blue, corseted paso dress: Brooke, Kym, & Cheryl in the team paso doble in season 7 vs. Kelly’s preseason photo shoot with Louis in season 9
Courtney: 4 very different ladies, one dress. Poor Cheryl – everything costume they made her wear in season 7 just seemed to look mediocre, and unfortunately this is no exception. I think what bothers me about Brooke wearing it is her expression – it’s supposed to be aggressive, but to me it looks more confused…so she’s out, too. Kym looks decent in it, but I really love Kelly in this one – the dramatic feel of the dress seems to suit her personality well, and looks good with her coloring.
Heidi: Love, love, LOVE this dress. It’s probably one of my favorites ever on the show. Love the color, love the corset, love the flowy skirt. Love. As for who wears it best? Well, not Cheryl, for reasons stated. She doesn’t look horrible in it, she just doesn’t hold up as well as her competitors. The thing I remember about this dress is Kym’s fierce face during the dance with Warren, and how beautifully they all pulled this dance off. I think the dress brought out the right attitude in all the women. Kelly? Yeah, I love it on her too. If I have to pick a winner, I’ll go with a tie between Brooke and Kym, mainly because of my fond memories of that dress.
The winner: Kelly, because Heidi can’t pick just one.

July 22, 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. :-)

Dancing with the Stars – Who Wore It Better, Part II

Since the first installment of our “Who Wore it Better?” series seemed to be reasonably popular (and some of you requested more!) here’s another helping of dittoed costumes for your consideration…discuss & enjoy!

NOTE: As I (Courtney) mentioned in the comments of the other post, we know there are many, many more dittos than this – so many that it’s going to become a recurring series, hopefully with a sort of “theme” to each post. So please, bear with us as we try to find the best pix for each one, and please do list any that you’d like to see a comparison of…we will do our best to make it happen!

Battle of the 2-piece yellow fringe dress: Anna’s pro dance during the Beach Boys’ week 2 results show performance vs. Lil Kim’s samba with Derek in season 8
Courtney: I think the color really pops on both ladies’ skin – I especially love the way it looks paired with red hair (which is why I have so much of it in my closet :-) ). However, I think it makes Kim look a little wide on the bottom, while it looks more balanced on Anna. I’m going with my fellow redhead on this one ;-)
Heidi: Can I pick neither? :-) I don’t like yellow. I guess if I have to pick I’ll go with Kim since she seems to work everything to the fullest. I also don’t think that teeny always equals the best look. See below. :-)
Winner: Anna, due to Heidi’s apathy.

Battle of the pale pink flutter-sleeve ballroom gown: Vienna’s waltz with Jake during the finale vs. Cheryl’s Viennese waltz with Maurice in season 7
Heidi: We’re batting zero on our ditto selections thus far. Just…ick. Gawdawful. I’ll go with Cheryl simply because she wasn’t on the Bachelor.
Courtney: I’m sorry, but I think this dress is hideous – at least the cut of it is. I feel like it adds the illusion of extra weight to both ladies, and I have a feeling it would do the same thing to any gal that was unfortunate enough to get stuck wearing it. I think the silhouette is slightly more pleasing on Vienna, but the color washes out her skin and doesn’t seem to support her, ahem, “assets” well. As for Cheryl, I think the color is great on her, but the cut does nothing for her figure. However, the overall look seems more “finished” on her, with the well-styled hair and jewelry. So I’m giving this one to Cheryl – barely…
Winner: Cheryl, by virtue of a few pieces of jewelry, some hairspray, and a lack of a history on a certain reality dating show.

Battle of the red lace & ruffles Latin dress: One of the dancers in the Haiti benefit “Stars of Dance” performance in week 2 vs. Chelsie’s salsa relay with Louis in season 9
Courtney: As a preface, almost all the costumes used in this particular “Stars of Dance” performance were reused from previous seasons. Unfortunately, I think they also copped out a bit in the hair & makeup department on the performance – seems like all the ladies in it got stuck with the standard-issue pulled-back, flower-in-the-hair and red lipstick, rather than a more customized look to complement their dresses. For that reason, I’m going to go with Chelsie on this one – her look seems a bit more tailored to fit the dress, and I think it doesn’t overwhelm her frame as much as it does the woman in the Haiti performance.
Heidi:I think the dress itself is more finished looking on Chelsie. Her look is also not as severe as the brunette wearing it and that works. It also doesn’t hurt that Chelsie just has a gorgeous smile in the picture we used. :-)
The winner: Chelsie, by a megawatt smile :-D

Battle of the silver-stoned, drapey Latin dress: Tyne Stecklein’s lyrical dance during Maxwell’s results show performance in week 4 vs. Kym’s rumba with Warren in season 7
Courtney: While I like the dress on both ladies, I’m kinda glad they got rid of the weird purple dangling fabric pieces in the front when they tweaked the dress for Tyne (who, by the way, I think is absolutely gorgeous and was stunning in this performance!) and replaced them with less distracting drapes. Love you Kym, but I’m going with Tyne on this one.
Heidi: Hey now, drapey is a requirement for the rumba, as is made glaringly apparent every season on DWTS. :-) As for who I like better, well, I’m not a fan of the emaciated, anorexic, count every rib look, so I have to go with Kym. Although Tyne does bear a striking resemblance to a young Tea Leoni! Very beautiful face.
The winner: Due to Court’s disdain for weird dangly fabric, and Heidi’s disdain for visible ribcages…it’s a tie.

Battle of the red-stoned, cut-out ballroom gown: Chelsie’s pre-season photo shoot with Jake vs. Brooke’s tango with Derek in season 7
Courtney: Another dress where some subtle tweakage does a world of good – I’m glad they got rid of that weird black waist strap from when Brooke wore it. But again, looks like hair & makeup may have gotten a little lazy with Chelsie’s shoot – it just looks like her everyday look, with some bracelets thrown on in a feeble attempt to complete the ensemble. So overall, the look on Chelsie is just kinda plain – while Brooke’s look is more polished & tied-together. Awkward crotch-shot aside, Brooke rocked this one better.
Heidi: I have to go with Brooke. I love the belt thing, but the long black gloves in combination with that belt really make it a much more interesting dress on Brooke. It’s so plain on Chelsie. Not to mention that it would be difficult for any woman to stack up to Brooke in the body department, even one 15 years her junior.
The winner: Brooke. ‘Nuff said.

Battle of the red-stoned & feathered Latin dress: One of the dancers in the Haiti “Stars of Dance” performance vs. Debi’s salsa with Maks in season 9
Heidi: Do I have to choose? Really, I’m sure this dress looks good on someone, but neither of these two ladies. And I don’t think it’s their bodies, I think it’s the hair. Like I’ve said before, your hair can destroy an otherwise good ensemble.
Courtney: I hate this dress, too – probably because, as I mentioned earlier this year, I am ridiculously allergic to real feathers, particularly ostrich ones (which is why I had such disdain for Erin’s first samba dress…then again, that dress was just kinda tacky any way you looked at it). The skirt on this one looks like a dead muppet, and both ladies seemed to get stuck with the same weird, side-parted-but-too-high-up-on-the-crown-and-possibly-guilty-of-bump-it-use updos (and WTF is in Debbie’s hair? Shoelaces???). Neither one wore it better. BURN IT.
The winner: Everyone stuck in this dress loses thus far…except maybe Elmo.

Battle of the red-spangly, stoned-bodice Latin dress: Liana Churilova (Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine’s partner) in the Haiti performance vs. Susan’s cha-cha with Tony in season 7
Courtney: Ok, if anyone has ever been fortunate enough to catch one of Emmanuel & Liana’s performances in person, I think you can agree with me – they’re awesome. She was really the only standout female for me in this performance (except maybe Alexandra Gregoire-Prophete, the sole Haitian lady in the dance who is actually one of Emmanuel’s former partners – also pretty awesome) and definitely rocked this dress better than Susan, who seemed a little overwhelmed by it. I also thought the color popped better on Liana’s skin, and seemed to move better on her.
Heidi: Have you noticed that we have an obscene amount of red in this particular post? :-) Good lord. Anyway, I really like this little dress, but I think Susan may be too scrawny for it and possibly not confident enough for it. She doesn’t look horrible in it by any stretch, but Susan just looks uncomfortable to me.
The winner: Liana, for being comfortable rocking yet another red dress.

Stay tuned next week for another costume showdown. We’re going to try to do a male one too. :-)

July 13, 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. :-)

DWTS 10 Evan & Anna Dance Comparison

Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya ended the season with five recycled dances:
– Two of them happen to be the Viennese Waltz: the first done on the Week 1 and the second one on Week 10
– Four of the Five dances are Ballroom dances (Viennese Waltz, Waltz and Quickstep)
– Two of the recycled songs were originally done by celebs in Season 8

Interesting stats for these songs…

So starting with the two Viennese Waltz’s:

The first song was I’ll Be by Edwin McCain Edwin McCain - Rhino Hi-Five: Edwin McCain - EP - I'll Be as originally done by Season 8’s Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough on Week 5.

And again on Season 10 Week 1 as done by Evan and Anna

The second Viennese Waltz was done to Billy Joel’s Piano Man Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel - Piano Man originally on Season 5 Week 4 by Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani.

And of course on Season 10 Week 10 by Evan and Anna.

Read more..

June 2, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS 10 Week 7 Predictions

Seeing as there was a little confusion as to how I make these comparisons/predictions here’s a quick recap of the process.

I take a look at scores of previous celebs in accordance to the professional they danced with and then narrowed that down to specific dances that a pro has done with past celebs. (Example: If Chelsie and Jake were dancing the Argentine Tango tomorrow, the scores I would use are all previous celebs that have danced the Argentine Tango with Chelsie in past seasons).

Now if there are not enough scores to make any kind of reasonable assumption then I look back to various celebs that have danced that particular dance that is closest to this season’s celeb (in regards to primary profession) and add those scores to the prediction (Example: with Jake Pavelka I would use past reality stars as a basis).

With many thanks to Princess Heidi for an idea of what’s going to happen on Monday, here are my predictions for Monday’s show and Tuesday’s elimination.

Erin Andrews/Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Quickstep
Season 8: (w/ Denise Richards, Week 2): 21/30
Season 5: (w/ Melanie Brown, Week 2): 23/30
Season 4: (w/ Laila Ali, Week 7): 29/30
Prediction: 25/30

Niecy Nash/Louis van Amstel – Quickstep
Season 9: (w/ Kelly Osbourne, Week 9): 27/30
Season 3: (w/ Monique Coleman, Week 7): 27/30
Season 2: (w/ Lisa Rinna, Week 6): 27/30
Prediction: 21/30

Chad Ochocinco/Cheryl Burke – Viennese Waltz
Season 8: (w/ Gilles Marini, Week 7): 27/30
Season 7: (w/ Maurice Greene, Week 6): 21/30
Season 6: (w/ Cristian de la Fuente, Week 7): 25/30
Prediction: 20/30

Nicole Scherzinger/Derek Hough – Slow Waltz
Season 9: (w/ Joanna Krupa, Week 6): 26/30
Season 8: (w/ Lil Kim, Week 9): 25/30
– Since there is so little data, I also looked at past celebs that have been in band groups (NSync, 98 Degrees, etc)
Season 4: (Joey Fatone/Kym Johnson, Week 8): 26/30
Prediction: 27/30

Pamela Anderson/Damian Whitewood – Slow Waltz
– Since Damian is a new pro I looked to various celebs that have danced the Waltz and are known primarily as a television actor (normally I would have done past Playboy models, but there weren’t any available)
Season 9: (Melissa Joan Hart/Mark Ballas, Week 6): 20/30
Season 4: (Ian Ziering/Cheryl Burke, Week 4): 24/30
Season 3: (Joey Lawrence/Edyta Sliwinska, Week 4): 27/30
Season 3: (Mario Lopez/Karina Smirnoff, Week 8): 28/30
Season 2: (Lisa Rinna/Louis van Amstel, Week 1): 19/30
Prediction: 23/30

Evan Lysacek/Anna Trebunskaya – Argentine Tango
– Since Anna has not danced the Argentine Tango with a celeb before I had to use data from previous celebs that are Olympians that have danced the Argentine Tango
Season 9: (Louie Vito/Chelsie Hightower, Week 5): 22/30
Season 8: (Shawn Johnson/Mark Ballas, Week 10): 30/30
Prediction: 27/30

For the team dances I’ve decided to provide for you the scores the celebs have received for the Cha Cha they have done, and if they have not done the Cha Cha yet (looking at Evan and Nicole) I’ve provided the scores for the other Latin dances instead.

Team Madonna (Cha Cha)
Evan/Anna
– Samba – Week 6 – 21/30
– Rumba – Week 5 – 27/30
– Jive – Week 2 – 24/30
Erin/Maks – Week 1 – 21/30
Niecy/Louis – Week 1 – 18/30

Team Gaga (Cha Cha)
Nicole/Derek
– Samba – Week 6 – 26/30
– Rumba – Week 4 – 25/30
– Jive – Week 2 – 28/30
Pam/Damien – Week 1 – 21/30
Chad/Cheryl – Week 1 – 18/30

In regards to the team dances, I believe that Team Gaga will have the edge in regards to scores… this would undoubtedly help Chad since to me Chad and Niecy would be in the bottom two this week with Niecy going home (though I wouldn’t be surprised if Chad is swapped with Pamela).

Those are my predictions… what are yours?

May 2, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

DWTS 10 Week 6 Predictions

Another week has come and gone and with upcoming Monday’s show, comes new dances… in this case the fiesty Samba and the sultry Argentine Tango…

(Un)Fortunately, the Argentine Tango was introduced only two seasons ago as thus there is limited data available for analysis. But I will do with what I can…

Many thanks to Heidi for breaking down who is dancing what in tomorrow’s show

Pamela Anderson/Damian Whitewood – Argentine Tango
– Season 8 (Holly Madison/Dmitry Chaplin, Week 4): 16/30
Prediction: 23/30

Niecy Nash/Louis van Amstel – Argentine Tango
– Season 9 (w/ Kelly Osbourn, Week 10): 26/30
Prediction: 20/30

Chad Ochocinco/Cheryl Burke – Argentine Tango
– Season 8 (w/ Gilles Marini, Week 4): 30/30
– Season 8 (Lawrence Taylor/Edyta Sliwinska, Week 4): 19/30
Prediction: 21/30

The Samba on the other hand has been around since Season 1 of Dancing with the Stars, as thus there is much more data available for analysis:

Erin Andrews/Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Samba
– Season 2 (w/ Tia Carrere, Week 5): 22/30
– Season 4 (w/ Laila Ali, Week 7): 30/30
– Season 5 (w/ Melanie Brown, Week 5): 29/30
– Season 8 (w/ Denise Richards, Week 3): 16/30
– Season 9 (w/ Debi Mazar, Week 3): 17/30
Prediction: 22/30

Evan Lysacek/Anna Trebunskaya – Samba
– Season 2 (w/ Jerry Rice, Week 5): 23/30
– Season 9 (w/ Chuck Liddell, Week 3): 17/30
– Season 9 (w/ Mark Dacascos, Week 7): 19/30
and of course in comparison with that other figure skater…
– Season 6 (Kristi Yamaguchi/Mark Ballas, Week 8): 26/30
Prediction: 26/30

Jake Pavelka/Chelsie Hightower – Samba
– Season 8 (w/ Ty Murray, Week 10): 23/30
Since there is so little information in regards we look to other reality stars for additional data
– Season 8 (Holly Madison/Dmitry Chaplin, Week 3): 17/30
– Season 8 (Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani, Week 9): 30/30
Prediction: 23/30

Nicole Scherzinger/Derek Hough – Samba
– Season 5 (w/ Jennie Garth, Week 5): 25/30
– Season 6 (w/ Shannon Elizabeth, Week 5): 23/30
– Season 7 (w/ Brooke Burke, Week 4): 26/30
– Season 7 (w/ Brooke Burke, Week 10): 28/30
– Season 8 (w/ Lil’ Kim, Week 3): 25/30
– Season 9 (w/ Joanna Krupa, Week 3): 23/30
Prediction: 27/30

As for who I think will leave the competition on Tuesday? According to several calculations, I believe that bottom two would be Niecy and Pam with Niecy going home… though I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Jake is swapped with Pamela.

Those are my predictions, what are yours? :)

April 25, 2010 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

Paso Doble and Mambo time!!!!

There are so many video’s of rehearsals being leaked and I’m so excited to see these newbie’s take on the cha cha, foxtrot, salsa, or viennese waltz in 2 weeks!  Until then…here’s another the good, the bad, and the incredible hot!

 

THE GOOD
Season 8: Lil Kim, Paso Doble
This is a PERFECT example of how amazing Derek choreographs to his partners!  Lil Kim picked up on all the little details in the dance including the wrist flips and the leg kicks!  Her facial expressions were on point and her costume was very fitting! 

THE BAD
 Season 7: Kim Kardashian, Mambo
I think Mark said it best when he said “Kim just needs to come out of her shell and bring it” I do feel like a lot of people expected Kim to be this sexy dancer but it all reality she didn’t have the musicality!  She knew the steps but didn’t put any of her in them which makes for a boring performance. Lastly, Kim never did the moves 100% like Mark does all the time, so it was aesthetically pleasing to watch.

THE INCREDIBLE HOT
Louis Van Amstel always has amazing choreography!

September 11, 2009 I Written By