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PureDWTS Guest Blog: “Reflections On Season 17, A Commentary And Other Dancing With The Stars Musings”

As promised, PureDWTS Guest blogger and poet Lois is back with a commentary in wrapping up the season!!

REFLECTIONS ON SEASON 17 – A COMMENTARY AND OTHER DANCING WITH THE STARS MUSINGS

BY: Lois A Troutman, November 30, 2013

Anticipation was building to a fever pitch! Rumors were swirling! The announcement of the cast for Season 17 was fodder for Internet and water cooler chat! The nation was hungry to know the names of the brave celebrities who would be lacing up new dancing shoes! The smell of leather permeated the studios of DANCING WITH THE STARS! Shoes were waiting for twelve pairs of feet to fill them!

Re-wind to September 4, GOOD MORNING AMERICA! Finally the new cast and their pro partners were announced! Each brave soul entering the studio to begin their dancing journey!
The dance party had begun! The pairings would be:

EMMA SLATER and BILL ENGVALL
SHARNA BURGESS and KEYSHAWN JOHNSON
PETA MURGATROYD and BRANT DAUGHERTY.
CHERYL BURKE and JACK OSBOURNE
TYNE STECKLEIN and BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY
KARINA SMIRNOFF and CORBIN BLEU
TONY DOVOLONI and LEAH REMINI
DEREK HOUGH and AMBER RILEY
MARK BALLAS and CHRISTINA MILLIAN
TRISTAN MCMANUS and VALERIE HARPER
SASHA FARBER and NICOLE POLIZZI
VAL CHMERKOVSKIY and ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN

I was familiar with many of the cast but not with a few. This is why I love this show every season. I am always pleasantly surprised by those I am not familiar with. I am pleasantly surprised by the growth of the celebrities on their dancing journey. I find each season fascinating! There are many learning opportunities by watching the show. From learning more about the celebrities to the dances we see.

I would be fascinated to go behind the scenes! I would love to see how the juggernaut, the brains behind the show, puts it on every week. We did see some behind the scenes commentary. But, they should put on a comprehensive special allowing us to follow from the beginning to end of a show. What goes on behind what we see on the air?

I would love to see a special with all of the dancing pros dancing together. And a special with exhibition dances by the dancing couples, no judges, no scoring. Just dances galore! Those specials would be music to my dancing lover’s heart!

For Season 17, changes were made to the format of the show. The most notable was the elimination of the Tuesday night results show. I wondered how they could pack everything into a two-hour show that had been done in three hours in previous seasons. My feeling still is that the show seemed rushed. Am I correct in my feeling that the dances, at least in the beginning, were shorter in order to make them fit into less time? Tom Bergeron needed to keep the pace of the show by limiting comments from the judges, for example. He limited the teams from doing longer celebrations. I still think a Results Show is needed. Yes, towards the end of the season musical guests appeared again. But, I still love the musical guests that were on the Results Show every week. I loved the extras that had to be eliminated due to time restraints, such as more rehearsal footage, etc. I preferred the Skybox for the couples as opposed to the glitter benches. They seemed more restrained there. It seems more appropriate for them to be located away from the judges.

Another thing that was limited by the two-hour time restraint were many more pro dances. I believe the show made up for that somewhat by the super-sized opening numbers. But I will take all the dancing I can get. I would love to see more pro dance numbers again. And, there were very few encore numbers. I loved seeing the encore numbers each Results Show. I hope the Results Show is reinstated for Season 18. I hope they keep the show on twice a year. I hope the show goes to Season 20 and beyond. I believe this show can be kept fresh by introducing things such as different type dances, like trio and fusion to name two of the ones introduced. The powers that be have done marvelous work so far. I expect they will continue to refresh the show.

Questions brewed, most importantly, the voting. I was a bit confused at first how the show could only be one night. And how our votes could be factored in. There was a voting snafu which saved all of the couples into the next week. I had read of voters thinking their votes were cast for the wrong couples when they voted on Facebook. Or having phone issues, etc. Of course, each season there are those who feel the show is rigged. I will never, ever believe the show is rigged. People must keep voting. The modern technology used in voting is not foolproof.

This season many talented dancers were eliminated, Elizabeth, Nicole, Christina, Brant. Some complained, which happens every season, that less talented dancers were saved. The debate will always be there, voting on popularity v. voting on who has improved the most, the best dancer. My opinion is just vote with your heart. There is no scientific formula, no right or wrong answer. There is actually fun in debates, but use common courtesy. We will never all agree on who has won the MIrror Ball Trophy.

This season brought three guest judges, JULIANNE HOUGH, CHER, and the one, the only MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY! I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspectives they brought to the table. The judges are the brunt of much controversy. Are the scores too high, too low? I feel I am not in a position to judge them. It will be what it is. Is there a need to replace the judges, add a judge? Again, that is not for me decide. I will just say if the judges’ system isn’t really broken, why fix it? AMERICAN IDOL has tried judge after judge. Few of them have measured up to the originals.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the astounding talents of every pro, teaching and the troupe! They are the backbone of the show. They make the dancers into what they become on their dancing journey! I am in awe of their talents!

In conclusion:

One central thing to remember. DANCING WITH THE STARS is first and foremost a sparkling entertainment extravaganza! I love the entire show! From the sequins to the costumes to HAROLD WHEELER’s orchestra to the commentaries from everyone. Thank you for everything you give to me!

Season 17 is in the DANCING WITH THE STARS History Books! It was another season filled with the brilliance of the art of dancing! What more could we want?

Season 18 is around the dancing bend! See you in the middle of March, 2014!

December 1, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS Season 17, The Finale!! – Let’s Recap Tonight’s Show!! (SPOILERS) PART II

Well, we’re off!! The opening dance wasn’t nearly as exciting or as well executed as it was the first time around, but still good.

I confess I didn’t watch Enrique as he doesn’t really interest me.

I dig the pro segments, specially when Derek looks so gorg!!

And Amber and Derek win the Encore. Hmmmm…I hope her fans didn’t spend all their time tweeting. :-)

Discuss.

SPOILERS….in case you couldnt’ tell from the comment…

After getting 9’s in the fusion, there was pretty much no way, mathematically, that Jack was going to win. That left it between Corbin and Amber, Corbin with a bigger deficit than has ever been overcome in a finale.

Season 17 Champs: AMBER RILEY AND DEREK HOUGH.

I think this is the first African American woman to win the MBT, correct? Also the first plus sized woman?? Awesome.

November 26, 2013 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. :-)

PureDWTS Season 18 Food For Thought & Poll: Possible New Pro…?

So my friend Amanda over at PureSYTYCD shot me a tweet this afternoon – she gets to go to the SYTYCD live show tonight in Atlanta, and she happened to run into some of the cast at the mall earlier today.  She apparently got to talk to Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall (co-winner of the most recent season of SYTYCD), and according to him, someone from his season “will be on DWTS next season”.  He didn’t specify who, and he didn’t specify whether they’d be a pro or in the troupe – but there were 4 ballroom dancers on SYTYCD this season, so I figure he must be referring to one of them (although stranger things have happened…look at Tyne).

Yes, it’s probably a bit early for anyone to know for sure whether they’ll be on the show next season, but it did get me thinking: maybe TPTB are already scouting out new talent for next season, and they want to go fishing in the SYTYCD pool once more…so it might be possible that they’ve at least been “in talks” with some of the ballroom dancers from season 10 of SYTYCD about coming over to DWTS.  If so…who could it be?

The four possible choices are Brittany Cherry, Jenna Johnson, Alan Bersten, and Paul Karmiryan.  Both Brittany & Jenna are part of the VIBE family that gave us Lindsay & Witney, so I’m guessing that by extension, they’ve also worked with Mark on more than one occasion.  Both ladies have also appeared in guest dance numbers on DWTS before (see below – Brittany’s the brunette on the left, Jenna’s the one on the right).  I don’t know quite as much about the guys – I know Paul actually won the Armenian version of SYTYCD a few years back and lives in California, and Alan comes from a dance family (his older brother also auditioned for SYTYCD, but the judges chose Alan) and lives in Minnesota.

If this little nugget of info is true, who do you guys think will be joining us on DWTS next season?

I’m personally leaning towards Jenna – she’s the VIBE connection, she went pretty far on SYTYCD, and she seems to have the same “big” personality on the floor that we see from Witney.  Definite troupe material, IMO.  Not sure I’d want any of these 4 to proceed straight to pro, but I think any of them would make a decent addition to the troupe.  What do you guys think? Do you think we’ll be seeing any of these dancers gracing the DWTS floor next year?

brittanyjennagroup

October 25, 2013 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!

PureDWTS Miscellaneous Media – New Rehearsal Photos, Pre-Emmy Goodies

Hey Guys, just a little media round-up this morning! First, don’t miss heading to the Daily Mail for some new pictures of the cast arriving and leaving rehearsals yesterday for Dancing With The Stars. This time pics of Henry Byalikov, Gleb Savchenko, and Lindsay Arnold are included. These pics of Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd are fun too.

Zimbio Pictures also has some new pics of Karina Smirnoff as she attended a HBO Luxury Lounge Featuring Motorola And PANDORA Jewelry Emmy Party. As always, she has great style.

KarinaSmirnoffPreEmmyPartyHBO

More of our beautiful Karina at Zimbio Pictures.

Lastly, this is a huge huge day for Derek Hough! The 2013 Emmy Awards take place tonight. Miss Heidi sets us up with a review of him in his nominated categories (which includes videos) at Pure Derek Hough. Note that Derek is also PERFORMING tonight in a dance number which we think will take place before the Choreography awards are given out. In a new blog for TV Guide, Derek writes a little about the performance and feeling fortunate about being nominated….

It’s been kind of crazy this week because I’m also in rehearsals for the Emmys. If you haven’t heard, the Outstanding Choreography award is being presented on the main show for the first time ever and all the nominees are putting together a big number for the show with Neil Patrick Harris. It’s such an amazing honor to be part of this and to be able to perform and choreograph on the TV industry’s biggest night. It’s all looking awesome. It’s just one big number. Some of the nominees will be making an appearance and some won’t be. I want to tell you all about it, but I can’t! It’s funny — the producers told us to tweet pictures and videos this week to get people excited, so we started doing that and then they’re like, “OK, stop. We don’t want to give everything away.” But it’s really cool. It’s a nod to a lot of the shows that are nominated. It’s really diverse and just the costumes alone will blow your mind.

I’ve been very fortunate to be nominated twice this year. It sounds so clichéd, but it really is an honor. I’m not worried or nervous. I’ve been getting a lot of amazing comments from people and those mean a lot. Honestly, it would be amazing if I were lucky enough to win, but I’m excited to see what happens either way. There are some incredible people nominated and they all deserve to win. And if I don’t win, I’ll be a two-time loser! It’s happened to me before, so I’d be able to say that I’m a two-time loser twice! But the past times I’ve been nominated, I didn’t really enjoy the whole experience. This time, I’m really taking everything in. Right now is one of those rare times where choreographers are well-known. Our work is typically in the background, but shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have really allowed people to connect to us and learn about us so much so that we can be on the Emmys ceremony. It’s special.

It’s going to be a great night. More at Pure Derek Hough on some other Pre-Emmy goodies. All the latest on Derek tonight will be posted there as soon as possible.

Ok, and that makes this post a wrap for now! ;) xx

September 22, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

DWTS Executive Producer Conrad Green And Cast Comment On Dancing With The Stars Season 17

And the fun has just begun!!! USA Today has a cool piece up with quotes from the new cast of Dancing With The Stars and why they decided to dance, etc. Dancing With The Stars producer Conrad Green also comments on the cast. Below is a take.

“I feel like it’s one of the best (fields) we’ve had in years. Every single person justifies their place,” executive producer Conrad Green says of the new dancing dozen. “We wanted to get people with compelling stories. We wanted to get people who will be able to put on a show for us. We wanted something that would appeal to every age of the family and we’ve got that with this cast.”

A strong field could help the long-running dance competition as it shrinks from two shows a week to one, eliminating the Tuesday results show.

“It’s a critical season for us. We’re going to one night a week. We really want to make a bang with it and we know the single biggest determining factor in how well the show does is the cast,” Green says.

The new dancers are excited about the opportunity.

“I’ve always been a fan of the show and I am in the best shape of my life, so I feel if I can lose 50 pounds in six months, I can learn the waltz,” says Polizzi, who gave birth to son Lorenzo last year, in an e-mail.

Standing out among the stars is Harper, best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, who in March said her life expectancy was three months. However, she is close to remission, a doctor says in an upcoming NBC special.

“She’s feeling great at the moment. Her treatment is working out wonderfully. I think she’s very much seizing life and doing things she wants to do and trying to give a positive message to people who are suffering from some of these terrible illnesses, that you can still get out and do things and really make the most of the time you have,” Green says of the 74-year-old actress, who was a dancer in her 20s. “It’s an incredibly positive and quite moving story.”

So exciting! You can read the story in full at USA Today.

September 4, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

The Cast of Dancing with the Stars Season 17 IS… (Live Blog)

Here’s your new cast!! Discuss. And go here to see all the cast portraits!

Snookie with Sasha

Keyshawn Johnson with Sharna

Valerie Harper with Tristan

Brant Daughtery with Peta

Christina Milian with Mark

Bill Nye with Tyne

Elizabeth Berkley with Val

Corbin Bleu with Karina

Amber Riley with Derek

Bill Engvell with Emma

Jack Osborne with Cheryl

Leah Remini with Tony

Working on Video!!

Cast announcement

The Cast talks of DWTS Season 17 surprises

The new cast answers tweets

The pair offs

ETA1: They are pimping the crap out of this and are saying we have 44 minutes to the reveal. The dancers and celebs are on a big bus (video coming) and Tom and Brooke are leading the way in a big convertible. A helicopter is clearly following them. This appears to be a big deal. ;-)

ETA2: Here’s a teasing vid from @dancingABC on Instagram. In other news, Nancy Grace is making me remember why I hated her pre-DWTS and she’s making me hate her again now.

ETA3: Well, some of the folks in the comments found this list which seems to be at least part of the cast list…from GMA

Derek’s view from the bus:

Derek's view from the bus

Here’s your troupe –

The troupe on GMA

Lindsay’s view of Times Square
Lindsay's time square pic

Brooke with the list:
Brooke

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 Mark Ballas, Lindsay Arnold, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd Celebrate National Dance Day At The Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala

You won’t want to miss viewing some fabulous new photos of Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas and Lindsay Arnold attending the 3rd Annual Dizzy Feet Foundation’s Celebration Of Dance Gala at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California last night at Getty Images.

As far as we know, Peta Murgatroyd also attended this event and was planning to dance with Mark Ballas according to her twitter, but, Getty doesn’t have any new photos of her.

The three were on tap as well as other dancers and celebs to celebrate National Dance Day! All proceeds from the event funds and supports dance and dance education for children in low-income areas. Dizzy Feet also provides scholarships to students and supports and increases quality of dance education in the United States.

To see a round up of pictures from the night for other stars who attended like Paula Abdul, Allison Holker, and more, see Wire Images.

ADDING: According to @DMITRYDREAMTEAM at twitter, former Dancing With The Stars pro Dmitry Chaplin was also at this event. He performed with Anya Garnis. Anya tweeted this picture.

ADDING 2: Sharna Burgess also attended this event. Wow, she looks gorgeous too. Check her out!! It’s good to see her return back to California!!

July 28, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Dancing With The Stars Lindsay Arnold Attends Miss USA Pageant (Photos)

How about this dress? Last night, Dancing With The Stars Lindsay Arnold graced the Red Carpet at the Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino!! If you’d like to view more pictures of Lindsay, see Zimbio Pictures.

June 17, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Vote for Your Favorites in the PureDWTS Season 16 End-of-Season Awards!!!

 Ok gang, now that the hype has had some time to die down…it’s time to vote for your favorites & least favorites in this season’s end-of-season awards :-) Pretty self-explanatory – just select what you think is the best option for each category and submit it.  “But Courtney, you don’t have my favorite listed!!!” Yes, there is an option for write-ins…HOWEVER…

…after the absolute chaos that was the HUNDREDS of write-in votes last season, I’m going to really crack down on the write-in votes.  If you absolutely MUST write-in a response other than the ones we have listed (and I took great pains to include the responses that I thought would be the most likely choices for each category), you MUST do so with a certain format in mind…for example, if you were trying to write in “Zendaya & Val’s Argentine tango” for the best dance, you MUST do it just like I typed it – captalize the first names of the celeb first, then the pro; throw an “&” in the middle, and then put the type of dance after that.  Examples of what not to do: “zendaya val tango” or “Zendaya tango” or “any dance Zendaya did!!!!” Yeah, especially that last one – you get to choose ONE DANCE, not 13.  Any responses that don’t fit the scheme I just laid out are getting thrown out – sorry guys, but I just don’t have the energy (or desire) to weed through 300+ nonsensical, misspelled, & obnoxious responses.  Got it? Good.  Now vote away :-) We’ll share the results in the coming weeks.  Read more..

June 4, 2013 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!

After Buzz TV Discusses The DWTS Season 16 Finale With Sharna Burgess And Lindsay Arnold

Below is After Buzz TV’s new podcast of the Dancing With The Stars Season 16 finale. This time dance pros Sharna Burgess and Lindsay join Kristyn Burtt and co-host Suri Serano. Enjoy!

May 23, 2013 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.