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Mark Ballas And Marie Osmond in 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade (Videos)

As we reported to you yesterday, Marie Osmond and Mark Ballas took part in the 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade. Hollywood Sta Craze was there to cover the event a little. Below are some videos of the two. If you’d like to see more parade coverage for what they have, be sure to see the Hollywood Sta Craze You Tube Channel.

November 28, 2011 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.

Stars of DWTS To Be In 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade,Televised Dec.12th

If you live in the Hollywood area, be sure to check out the 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade tonight at 6:00pm Pacific time where former Dancing With The Stars Season 5 contestant Marie Osmond is to lead the event as Grand Marshal. Dancing With The Stars pro Mark Ballas is also expected to take part. For those of you not living in the area, don’t worry. If interested, we’ll be able to view some of the event on the Hallmark Channel on Dec. 12th. More details below from Contracostatimes. If you’d like to read more on the event including it’s history, be sure to check out the link. Note how all proceeds made from the telecast will benefit Toys For Tots.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, then moves east to Vine Street, then south to Sunset Boulevard and back west to Orange.

“CHiPs” star Erik Estrada and “World’s Funniest Moments” host Laura McKenzie will emcee the event, announcing the names of celebrities, marching bands, equestrian units, floats and the giant balloons, as they pass by.

Dean Cain will host the music portion of the televised parade special, which will air Dec. 12 on the Hallmark Channel.

Proceeds from the telecast will benefit Toys for Tots. Among the celebrities expected to take part in the parade are Mark Ballas (“Dancing with the Stars”), Heather Tom and Jacob Young of “The Bold & the Beautiful,” Lou Gossett Jr., Natalie Alyn Lind (“One Tree Hill”), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (“America’s Got Talent”), Melissa Peterman (“Reba”), Sasha Pieterse (“Pretty Little Liars”), Francia Raisa (“Secret Life of the American Teenager”), Sha Na Na, Lea Thompson and, of course, Santa Claus.

The parade will also feature more than a dozen marching bands, balloons, floats and equestrian units.

November 27, 2011 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.

DWTS13 Freestyle Retrospective: The Top 10 Worst Freestyles in DWTS History

So every season, as we draw nearer & nearer to the finale, it seems like the question on everyone’s lips is “What are they gonna do for their freestyle?” We debate which pros are the stronger freestyle choreographers, which celebs can handle the lifts, who’s got the most dance skills, who is going to struggle, etc. So Heidi & I decided to tackle the big question: what makes a good DWTS freestyle?

While everyone may argue over what works and what doesn’t, with 12 seasons under our belts, we have enough historical data to see some patterns – and there are definitely some things that all good freestyles seem to have in common, and some things that the bad freestyles have in common. Today we’re starting with the worst – these are examples of what this season’s finalists should likely avoid, and of which they should probably try to do the opposite :-)

A little insight into how we arrived at this list: I made a list of my own, and then bumped it against a list Heidi made and we looked for similarities. I also asked for suggestions on Twitter, to see if my finger was on the pulse of the more dedicated viewing audience; I polled my co-workers (likely more representative of the average viewer than most of us lurking on the Net ;-)) as well to get their thoughts. Turns out, most of you guys came up with the same examples of good & bad – which is good, since it shows that opinions on freestyles seem to be pretty universal. But without further ado, I give you the top 10 WORST freestyles in DWTS history:

10.) Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas, season 12

Courtney: This was one that a lot of you seemed divided on – some of you loved it, some of you hated it. I ultimately decided to include it in the “worst” list because it seemed to have something in common with a lot of the other freestyles on this list: it wasn’t reflective of the celeb it was meant to showcase. Yes, it was high-energy, it was well-executed (for the most part), and it was entertaining – but what did it really have to do with Chelsea? While she managed to keep up with Mark fairly well and got through the choreography, I never really got the feeling that it was a routine she really felt connected to, or that she even would have picked for herself. It was as if she had given Mark carte blanche with the routine and he chose everything – the music, the costumes, the theme, etc., and Chelsea was just along for the ride. I think choosing an obscure song didn’t help, and the choreo seemed to showcase Mark more than Chelsea – the poor girl just seemed to be trying to keep her head above water. Add to that some bland costumes and a wardrobe malfunction, and you’ve got a freestyle that’s overall just “Meh.” Definitely not 30-worthy, IMO.

Heidi: Well, this one I would have put in “dishonorable mentions” but it’s almost in that pile anyway, at slot #10. :-) The problem here, like you say, was Chelsea wasn’t connected to it (and similar ideas appear throughout this post). Not only that, but the music didn’t really match the costumes and none of it matched the choreo. It seemed all mixed up to me. It had a latin flavor, yet they were doing a light hip hop type choreo (I don’t really know how else to explain that) and their costumes matched neither. Then – why the lights and the bike?? I feel like I missed something on this one. There was also a section where it seemed like they just went from one cool trick to the next. The best freestyles (including some of Mark’s) had a good bit of actual ballroom dancing thrown in in places. This one is just a bit weird for me.

9.) Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya, season 10

Heidi: PEOPLE, unless your pro is Dmitry – do NOT argue with them about choreography. At all. Geez. That said, this is another freestyle that was good on paper, but in execution just didn’t work for some reason. Clearly it worked in person, since the studio crowd loved it…but the dance didn’t seem to fit either Evan OR Footloose. When Derek did Grease with Brooke, there was a clear, but brief, homage to the movie. The dance went with the song and it worked perfectly for Brooke. When he did a song from Dirty Dancing with Jennifer – again, a subtle, brief homage to the movie and it worked for Jennifer because, of course – she was in the movie. I think by the time they get to the freestyle the pros are just drained and they forget to really tie it altogether – and if you pick an iconic song, you have to really tie it altogether so that the dancing fits the iconic song but also works for your partner. It seems like this dance doesn’t fit either. He didn’t dance it badly by any stretch, but neither did Gilles in their Flashdance freestyle. That doesn’t make it good.

Courtney: I was always a bit puzzled as to why they picked Footloose – did one of them really, really like the movie? Or was it just another easy, dance movie theme to go with? I think that’s the one big difference between a freestyle like Jennifer’s and a freestyle like Evan’s (or Mya’s, or Gilles’, or Stacy’s – see below) – relevance. Dirty Dancing was relevant to Jennifer; but was Footloose really relevant to Evan? I want a freestyle to basically sum up a partnership for me – I want it to feel like both the celeb & the pro connect to both the dance and each other, and for the routine to feel like a nice closure to their season together. For me, going with Footloose as their theme left more questions than answers. Ooh, and can I just say that I think bringing in an outside choreographer is the absolute kiss of death? It doesn’t see to mesh well with the chemistry the couple has forged over the course of the season, and usually leads to coupled being led dangerously out of their comfort zone. And both Evan & Anna seemed uncomfortable with this one – almost pained, at times. Read more..

November 16, 2011 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 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..

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part I

It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility. Read more..

August 26, 2011 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!

Dance of the Day…. Let’s watch Jonathan!

Okay, I know I seem to be jumping around with the Dance of the Day, but that’s just how my brain works. So, things may seem out of order, or scattered, but I promise, eventually, we’ll get back to stuff we’ve started.

Soon, we’ll go back and finish our Dance of Champions, and we have many different dance styles to compare, but I thought it would be nice to try to compare some of our pros over the seasons. Plus, it kind of ties in, I think, with an idea I tried to start before, but didn’t materialize.

Let’s watch Jonathan Roberts, the sweet and caring husband to our feisty Anna Trebunskaya… The two have created some of the most touching professional dances on results shows, but he’s also been a great teacher, and friend to a variety of celebrity partners, and I wish he would return….

Jonathan was one of our original Professional dancers, on Season 1, pairing with model Rachel Hunter. I did not watch Season 1, and I haven’t found the spot on Wikipedia that is telling me what they danced when…. So I have no idea where they placed that season, but they did NOT finish last. I have found a list of his partners for each season that he was on, and resorting to whatever I can find on video site.

Rachel and Jonathan performed a TANGO in Week 3 of Season 1, to Britney Spears “Toxic.” They scored an 8,9, 9 for 26 points.

Jonathan returned to the dance floor in Season 2, partnered with Giselle Fernandez. And since i didn’t see most of this season either, I can only say I THINK she’s in journalism. They also performed the Tango in Week 3, to “Hernando’s Hideaway,” by Victor Sylvester. They got a 7, 8, 7 for 22 points. You can watch Giselle and Jonathan’s Tango HERE.

Jonathan next appeared in Season 4, with Animal Rights activist, Heather Mills, who had an artificial leg, which didn’t stop either of them. I wanted some complacency, and looked for a Tango from Heather and Jonathan, and instead, decided to show their Week 3 dance, the Jive to Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get a Witness?” They scored a 24. You can watch their jive HERE.

Marie Osmond was partnered with Jonathan in Season 5, and together, they produced some memorable routines, my favorite is their Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy routine. Week 3 gave them the Tango, and I liked how he combined the song, her acting/comedic skills, into a terrific tango. The song was “Please Mr Brown,” by Alma Cogan, and they scored a 9, 8, 9 for 26 points.

Tennis Great, Monica Seles, and Jonathan were unfortunately eliminated in Week 2 of Season 6, but first, they performed a foxtrot in Week 1, and the Mambo in Week 2, to “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. I was quite sad that they only scored a 15. No, she wasn’t the best dancer, but she had fun, and did learn a lot, and that counts more. Wish she could have stayed longer. You can see their Mambo HERE.

Again, we greatly missed Jonathan in Season 7, but he returned in Season 8 with Belinda Carlisle. I was hoping they could have stayed to dance to some Bananarama, but that wasn’t to be. They were the first eliminated, in Week 2. I chose their Waltz from Week 1 to share with you, because I think it was beautiful…. No, not technically precise, but such wonderful choreography! Their song was “What The World Needs Now,” by Dionne Warwick, and it scored a 6, 6, 5 for 17 points.

Jonathan’s last season as a teaching Professional Dancer on DWTS was Season 9, where he was partnered with Macy Gray, they were the first eliminated. In week 1, they performed the Viennese Waltz to “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. Again, I loved the choreography, even if it wasn’t executed well…. They scored a 6, 4, 5 for 15 points. You can watch them Viennese Waltzing HERE.

We miss you, Jonathan!

August 13, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Cheesecake Retrospective! Season 5, Week 5

Welcome our summer serving of CHEESECAKE!!! :-) Hey, we hear people like this series and I have to say that I enjoy writing it with Courtney as much as some of you enjoy reading it. New to the series?? Look at the right side of the web page, near the top – see the Cheesecake Awards box? Click it and you can go back and read all our other Cheesecake posts. :-) Warning – if you are new to this site, we don’t spare anyone’s feelings.

What we’re going to do is randomly skip around throughout the series old episodes and do a cheesecake post just like we do during the season. Of course, we’re not going to re-do episodes we’ve already done – no need, as we have plenty of material out there to cover before the new season starts. At the end of each post like this one, we will announce our next selection – that way, anyone who wants to can watch that episode on Hulu prior to us posting it. Hulu covers seasons 5 through 11 – and I imagine they will have 12 up soon if they don’t already.

Season 5 participants included Helio Castroneves, Marie Osmond, Jennie Garth and Mel B – to name a few. :-) And the subject (or rather, victim) of our first retrospective takes us back to the week of October 22-23, 2007 – long before the days of Lacey, the Argentine tango, the Design-a-Dance, Brooke as co-host, the Bristol controversy, and the judges smoking crack.  It was the week before the very first “shock” elimination in DWTS history (Sabrina & Mark), and was memorable for Mark & Kym’s “I Dream of Jeannie” samba, Sabrina & Mark’s eyebrow-raising rumba, and Marie’s fall heard ’round the world.  Let’s get nostalgic, shall we? ;-)

Best Tactic for Avoiding Elimination: Marie fainting on live television

Courtney: Do you remember where you were when Marie bit the floor that fateful night? :-) I do – I was waiting tables at Hooters in Lafayette, IN, and heard one of the cooks scream from the kitchen “Dude!!! I think Marie Osmond just died!” Of course, every flat panel in the restaurant was hastily flipped to ABC, so we all could watch replays of Marie doing her best Aunt Pittypat and crumpling to the floor mid-critique, while Tom, Jonathan, the judges, and the audience stood slack-jawed.  This was quite possibly the best and most dramatic ploy for dodging elimination that I have ever seen on the show :-) And, in retrospect, I almost (almost!) wonder if it was done intentionally – Marie was already pretty winded post-samba, and then she started hopping up and down in excitement like a circa-2005 Tom Cruise, which I can only imagine hurried along her inevitable spill.  I believe Len’s choice of the word “gaiety” was the straw that broke the camel’s back – it must’ve been just too much for her wholesome Mormon ears, because the moment it passed his lips, her eyes were rolling back in her head and she was doing the slo-mo wipeout.  The look on Len’s face was priceless: mildly concerned, but almost disappointed that he wasn’t going to get to finish his critique.  There must’ve been a bit of a chaotic shuffle in the control room, because there was about a 10 second lapse of silence & the audience looking stunned between when Tom told them to cut to commercial and when they actually did. See? They had a Muppet stage crew even back then, kids ;-) Anywho, after that dramatic display – who wouldn’t toss a few sympathy votes her way? Not only was this the first instance of real onstage drama – it was quite possibly the birth of the sympathy vote as well. Historic!

Heidi:Ugh. Marie. Screaming at Bruno while hopping around like an idiot – no wonder she fainted, she used up all her air impersonating a 5 year-old. Was it planned? Nah, she’s just an ass. :-) I loved Tom’s follow on to the whole thing: “you know, in the movie’s swooning is so romantic….but IT SCARED THE CRAP OUTTA ME!!” Honest AND funny. LOL. As for the Muppet stage crew – well, I think a lot of them thought at first it was Marie doing a bit – you know acting like a jackass and goofing off. To this day, seeing Marie makes me cringe because she was just gawdawful unbearable on the show. She did make a good point on one of the entertainment shows later – the dude is supposed to catch you when you swoon, poor Jon just wasn’t on the ball. :-)

Best Argument for Not Getting Lyrical with Your Choreography: Jane & Tony’s bizarre “breathing” arm movements during their rumba

Courtney: Dang, Dr. Quinn’s body is even more incredible than I remember! But I digress.  Tony & Jane’s rumba song was “Breathe Again” by Toni Braxton (who would show up as a contestant a year later), most well known for it’s chorus of repeated “breathe again, breathe again”.  Well I guess Tony decided to get artistic when he was putting this rumba together, because he incorporated this weird back-and-forth arm movement that was supposed to be “breathing” in time with the chorus – except instead of breathing, it looked more like he & Jane were imitating the mighty albatross in a very sleepy game of charades.  Just…unintentionally comical.  CAW CAW!!!

Heidi:Oh. That was supposed to be breathing? Um, yeah, didn’t get it. :-)

Proof for the DWTS Theory of Tenure: Mark Ballas

Courtney: I’d like to take this opportunity to unveil my latest scientific DWTS theory – I like to call it the “Theory of Tenure”, and its underlying principle is that the longer a pro is on the show, the less of a true, competitive ballroom dancer they become.  This becomes apparent when looking at several of the pros’ evolution on the show, but the transformation is exceptionally marked (no pun intended) with one, Mark Ballas.  Season 5 was Mark’s rookie season on the show, and he was fresh off the competition floor – his choreography was pretty hardcore ballroom (not a lot of frills), his costumes were pretty normal, and his hair was much longer. None of the shaved head, tattooed, envelope-pushing rubbish he’s resorted to the past few seasons.  This rumba was quite lovely to watch, actually.  But what’s truly funny to me is that you can see little bits of the Mark of today peeking through – an enthusiastic piroutte here, a corny joke there. He was trying hard to keep the jimmy legs in check ;-)

Heidi: Mark was such a sweetheart back then…but he still had that bizarre, stiff looking smile. It scares me a bit. :-) I was watching the other day and also noticed he didn’t have too much to say in the Red (Blue this season) room. Interestingly enough, I was watching that OTHER dancing show the other night too – and Louis Van Amstel makes it VERY clear that the DWTS Theory of Tenure does not apply to all the pros – particularly those who are more mature (mentally, if not always in behavior). Louis choreographed a seriously kickass Tango that was strict ballroom – American version, I believe Mary said. Total content, killer lift at the end but not prone to all the flashy crap that SYTYCD choreographers doing ballroom feel like they have to add, thereby making it NOT legit ballroom – and certainly not straying from the rules of ballroom like Mark was so fond of doing in the name of “fresh” this past season on DWTS. And let me tell you, that Tango rivaled anything done on SYTYCD this season and certainly beat anything done this past season on DWTS. I am NOT a Louis fan by ANY stretch of the imagination – but I loved that dance. He disproves this theory…and he disproves (as Derek does frequently) that it is NOT necessary to stray from the Ballroom “rules” in order to create an amazing, fresh, exciting dance.

The Rocky Horror “Time Warp” Award: Mark, Maks and Tony

Heidi: Holy crap – they all look like BABIES. It looks like this was done ten years ago instead of 3 or 4. Wait…Mark at least WAS a baby then. What? 21?

Courtney: Tony definitely had more hair.  Maks was still trying to figure out what to do with his after chopping it off, and was toying with the babyfaced look (dislike).  Mark was still very “ballroom-y” – the heavily slicked-back, just slightly too long look.  Although I swear it looked a little teased on top.  I think he hit his stride in season 6 – no teased-up flat-top.  Just about an inch of hair that was neatly gelled.  Looked pretty good.  Then he decided that hair was for the common folk and went all cue-ball on us.  *sigh*

The “Translation Needed STAT!!” Award: Bruno Tonioli

Heidi: Dude, it’s Ro-DAY-o Drive, not rodeo “look at me I’m riding a bull” Drive. It took me a good 15 seconds or so to figure out what the hell he was talking about in his commentary to Jane and Tony. Apparently I wasn’t alone as Tom felt compelled to correct his pronunciation. :-) Bruno, word to the wise: If you can’t say it, you can’t shop it.

Courtney: Guess they were still working out the kinks in the Brunobot 5000, Version 2.0. At least he wasn’t being a total pervert like he is now…maybe they need to find the recovery disk for his propriety program.

The Award for Setting an Example That Will Unfortunately Be Ignored in Future Seasons: Mark Cuban, for arguing with Kym about their Choreography

Heidi: DON’T ARGUE WITH THE PROFESSIONALS ABOUT CHOREOGRAPHY. This should be a no-brainier, but not to those with egos rivaling the best Pro dancers. People, these dancers maybe be young – but they are the best at what they do and they have a pretty good idea what pleases the audience. Now, Mark went home this week and that may not be the reason why – but it certainly doesn’t help when the audience sees the novice MALE dancer arguing with the pretty, blonde professional. Who ignored this example?? Evan and Anna – to disastrous free style results. I’m sure there are more, but that’s the one that springs to mind most recently. I’m sure most pros don’t mind some input (Derek has often said he liked it from Nicole and Lil’ Kim) – but don’t let it escalate to “fight” level. Not even the appearance of a disagreement. It will backfire.

Courtney: I think my jaw might have dropped a little when witnessing this one, because it’s just not something that happens on the show much these days  – aside from the examples Heidi mentioned above. I think the celebs know better now than to question choreo.  Except if your name is Kate Gosselin, and you fancy yourself an expert on just about everything, and get off on arguing like the bitter old divorcee with the duck-butt hairdo that you truly are.  :-) But Kym seriously looked like she had no idea what to do – the aggression from Mark just seemed to come out of nowhere.  Clearly Mark hadn’t yet learned that you do not mess with She of the Awesome Boobage – not because she’s a barracuda, but because she’s just so damn sweet.  The ONLY instance in which I think some arguing between celeb & pro regarding choreography might have been good was between Mya & Dmitry when he was choreographing their “WTF?!” Hairspray freestyle.  I really wish she would have been more vocal about doing her idea instead of his.

Heidi: Okay, I re-phrase – don’t argue with Pros who have been on the show for a few seasons. :-) Yeah, the Mya/Dmitry freestyle was just bad and I chalk it up to him being new.  Of course, I don’t think he’s adjusted from SYTYCD to this day, so who knows.

The Award for Best (Worst?) Analogy: Samantha Harris for “Next We’ll See You do the Grocery Shopper.” Said to Mark Cuban, I believe, after he showed off his “style” of dancing.

Heidi: Huh whuh?? Grocery Shopper?? Do you suppose she means the “shopping cart” dance move?? I wasn’t sure, so I googled -and found someone asking the question “is that really a dance move or just another Sam Harris kooky comment?? LOL!! I also found that there are a couple videos of dancing Grocery shoppers that are dated 2010 – but I don’t think it’s an actual dance move and I think it’s Sam Harris doing her usual verbal tripping up. :-) Courtney? What say you??

Courtney: Maybe it’s one of those things where the term for it changes in different parts of the country…y’know, like “toilet” vs. “commode”? Or “purse” vs. “pocketbook”? “Water fountain” vs. “bubbler”? Yeah…maybe not.  And I know I may have bitched about Samantha when she was on the show…but I would still much rather have her cheesy ass back than deal with Brooke “Rainman” Burke yet again.  At least Samantha could come up with semi-entertaining banter off the cuff, and didn’t look like she had chased a few horse tranquilizers with a Cosmo before the show.

Heidi: Purse versus pocketbook??  That’s not regional, that’s generational! That’s mom versus grandma!  :-)  I kid….but really, pocketbook??

The Award for Best (Worst??) Metaphor (I think…): Carrie Ann Innaba for “I can see the colors of your growth”.

Heidi: WTF?? So Carrie and Sam were eating mushrooms together back at craft services. Or smokin’ some weed in their trailers. Or something. OR, CAI is doing hallucinogens – which would explain all the colors. Well, that’s what I’ve heard, anyway. :-)

Courtney: I’d like to show Carrie Ann the “colors of the wind”. Maybe Hines & Kendra would like to join me…they seemed pretty gaseous this season.

The Award for the Funniest Package (Clean Version): Helio and Julianne

Heidi: I cracked up when they are doing a move where Julianne has her back to Helio and he’s all smiley like normal and Julianne says, “Are you being macho” and he instantly goes into his version of Macho which is actually “constipation face”. :-) There were several little moments like that in this package and I laughed every single time. Even after all this time. :-)

Courtney: Y’know what? These two weren’t quite as enchanting as I remember them being the first time around.  Maybe it was because they had an off-week? Or maybe we’ve had enough charming couples in seasons since that it’s not such a rarity? Idk.  I remember thinking they were cute as a button when this season was airing, but upon watching this episode again last week – meh.  This rumba was stone cold. I guess I blame a kind of crappy rumba song & some pretty bland costuming.  And Julianne actually had a few moments of what looked like 100% bona fide bitch cross her face as the judges were critiquing this one…kinda surprised, really, since everyone usually pointed out Karina & Anna in the early days for their “pouty faces” and eye rolls when getting critiques from the judges.  I daresay Julianne wasn’t exactly a happy camper this particular week and let her face show it more than usual.  I guess their package was KIND OF cute…sort of.  I just was left feeling kind of “meh” about them this time around.

Heidi: Actually, I agree about Julianne. I found several instances of her in Season 7 where she just annoyed me with her comments during the judges talking.  I have several instances where I was muttering “Shut it, Julianne. She let it get to her a lot back then – but then, she was also only…what? 19 or 20?? That’s YOUNG for the responsibility the pros have.

The Award for Best Round Trip (AKA: The Come Full Circle Award or Award for Doing a 360): Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Heidi: Maks was absolutely delightful this season – hilarious and charming. “I met the Spice Girls!!!” LOL – that was hilarious. He was a great deal of fun with Mel B. It’s a round trip because we had a few seasons of “bad Maks”….but his season was Kirstie was also very delightful. So he went to a bad place for a bit…but he came back.

Courtney: Something bad must’ve happened during Maks’ hiatus in season 6, because he was oodles of fun in season 5 and seemed troubled when he returned for season 7.  And yes, fun Maks from season 5 definitely resurfaced for season 12 – you could tell Maks was having a ball with Mel B, and their practices seemed to move much more smoothly (and with a lot more laughter!) than some of his practice sessions with his celeb ladies in subsequent seasons.  Loved his bandit mask that he wore to keep Mel’s germs off of him!

Heidi: LOL!! I was trying to think of an award for that!  He said something like, “My immune system is very fragile right now.” Which had me cracking up – dude, your partner is SICK and you’re worried about YOUR immune system.  Hilarious.

The “Fret not, dearies, there’s better things in your future!” Award: Jennifer Esposito & Melissa McCarthy, who were sitting in the audience as publicity for “Samantha Who?”

Courtney: It may not be that big of a deal, but I was just amused by the fact that these two lovely ladies were playing second bananas to Christina Applegate on a short-lived sitcom on ABC at the time, and were probably forced by their higher-ups to go sit in the audience and pretend to be having fun in order to promote the show.  Now they’re both central characters on much more popular shows (Blue Bloods and Mike & Molly, respectively) – on CBS. :-) Guess good things await those who pay their dues on ill-fated ABC sitcoms…

Heidi: And Melissa was one of the presenters for the Emmy Awards so she was standing up there when her name was announced as a nominee for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. So Awesome.  Christina was in the audience during the Season 7 finale, clearly cheering on Lance – she looked rather bitter after Brooke and Derek’s freestyle. :-)  Well, not bitter…resigned.

Early Signs of Upcoming Dementia Award: Len, for mistakenly referring to M&M’s as “fruity”

Courtney: This might also fall under the “feeble attempt at a pun” category, because Len was trying to take their names and liken them to a “fruity, sweet, & delicious” candy…only one problem: M&M’s aren’t fruity, last I checked.  Unless of course, you referring to the limited edition coconut ones, which are FAB – but not probably what Len was talking about.  Pretty sure he meant “Skittles”, but didn’t want to ruin his perfect little pun.  You can even hear Tom chuckle in the background at that one.  Then again, maybe M&M’s are like Coke, and they taste different in different parts of the world… do we have any British readers? Are M&M’s fruity over there? Like…currant-flavored or something? Y’all seem to really like currants over the pond…

Heidi: Len was having a moment. :-)  But ya know, those Brits are just insane – UK’s sweetheart is a woman who lip syncs and is going back to her womanizing husband so it’s ENTIRELY possible that they have fruity M&M’s.  It would not surprise me. :-)  I mean, don’t they eat sheep’s stomach and something called “spotted dick”??  And this is the straight guys!

Best Example of How a Musical Guest Should Perform: Jennifer Lopez

Courtney: Seriously, I miss the days when musical guests on DWTS  could & would do more than just stand at a mic and sing, albeit rather apathetically (looking at YOU, Jennifer Hudson).  Jennifer may not be the most gifted vocalist in the world, but she sang (on pitch!) AND got out there and danced, without losing her breath, and when she wasn’t dancing, she at least moved about the stage and tried to get the crowd amped up.  How many musical guests in recent seasons can say they’ve done all of that? Anymore, I feel like some of the musical acts we get on the results show are there only because their handlers think it’ll be good publicity, and they seem to half-ass their way through their song and leave it to the pro dancers be the main source of entertainment.  Say what you will about Jennifer (people seem to really love or hate her – I’m in the former camp ;-)), but she got out there and performed her ass off…that’s more than I can say for some of the musical guests we’ve seen.  And while she may not have needed the entertainment value of the pro dancers she had for “Let’s Get Loud”, they were awesome too…damn I miss the days of the truly outstanding pro dances.  Seasons 5 & 6 were the heydey of the awesome pro numbers!

Heidi: Ahem. I have to object.  I do love Jennifer on AI, but I heard that she made DWTS re-shoot that song because there was too much focus on the pro dancers (also read it was one of the few that Derek had a hand in choreographing) and not enough on her. At which point I felt the need to bitch-slap. :-)  We don’t get enough pro dances as it is (although it was better back then than it is now), don’t be re-shooting to cut them out. You can tell this is the case just because of how the dancing is going full-on when the camera cuts back to Jennifer. They normally do a lot better of pausing the dancing when the camera isn’t on them, or splitting between dancing and singing.  I was irked. Pretty sure it came from one of the pros too, that little tid bit.

Courtney: Diva or not, I liked her performance.  I’d rather have a musical guest that tries too hard than one that looks like they’d rather be getting a root canal than performing on the show. And at least she had a number where she included pro dancers, even if it was limited – seems like a lot of the artists these days bring their own dancers and eliminate the need for the pros altogether.

Next time, on the Cheesecake Awards….Season 6, Week 7!!! You have two weeks or so.

July 20, 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. :-)

Dance of the Day… Let’s compare Donny and Nicole!

It’s definitely getting more difficult in choosing my favorites! It’s been said over the seasons, that the quality of the dancing has been improving, as the seasons go on, and I am seeing that! What do you think? We’re almost done, and shortly, we’ll move on to compare other things, and then come back to this. I want everyone time to watch and vote for their favorites, so when we get through the 12 seasons, we’ll come back to finish. Meanwhile, if you’ve not watched and voted for your favorites, here’s what we’re doing…

We are watching our DWTS Champions on their first week’s dancing, and comparing our first impressions of them. So far, we’ve seen Kelly Monaco and Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno, Helio Castroneves and Kristi Yamaguchi, and Brooke Burke and Shawn Johnson. Today, we will see Donny Osmond and Nicole Scherzinger, and then following, Jennifer Grey and Hines Ward.

When we’re done, I’ll move on for a time to allow people to vote in the above polls, and we can compare rumbas and foxtrots before coming back to here. We’ll take the 6 poll winners, and put them against each other, in 2 groups of 3, and we will watch their Week 5 dances. Then we’ll take the winner of each of those, and they’ll battle it out with their Freestyles! When I announce the winners, we’ll see some randomly selected dances that we’ve not reviewed yet. Does that make sense?

Anyway, onward we go! DONNY VS NICOLE!!!

Season 9 brought us Donny Osmond with his professional partner, Kym Johnson. Donny’s sister, Marie, was a contestant on Season 5, and she made it to 3rd place, and had the infamous doll dance. I had thought about using it on a day we were rewatching dances we didn’t want to relive, but instead, if you want to see it, just click the link. Donny had a show in Vegas with his sister, while he was also training and competing on DWTS.

DONNY AND KYM SEASON 9 WEEK 1, Foxtrot to All That Jazz.

Nicole Scherzinger came to us during a Season which brought us several competitors who all had the ability to win…. If they weren’t all competing against each other. However, her biggest competitor was herself, as she was the ultimate perfectionist. Tom has a great line, after the critiquing of Nicole and Derek, about parallel universes…. You’ll hear it when you watch. Bruno and Carrie Ann gave glowing critiques, while Len sat and picked it apart, showing the flaws…. I do think some critique is necessary, so that the celebrity can grow as a dancer, but couching it so that it doesn’t come across like they are a terrible dancer is important… But, Len obviously saw Nicole’s potential, and decided to make her work toward that.

NICOLE AND DEREK SEASON 10 WEEK 1, Viennese Waltz to Hold You In My Arms by Ray LaMontagne

So, which Week 1 dance did you like better? Donny or Nicole?

June 28, 2011 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Season 12 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 12, Part I

Whenever the time comes to start speculating about the next season’s cast, one useful “tool” we all seem to use is the patterns in typecasting over the seasons – we know there will likely be at least 1 athlete, perhaps a reality TV star, a singer or two, etc.  But when you REALLY take a good look at the casting “types” over the seasons, it becomes clear that each season has been a carefully-crafted combination of celebs to appeal almost every demographic…and I think we’ve cracked that code :-)

Prior to the cast announcements, I’ve done a typecasting analysis for both season 10 and season 11, and both casts have fulfilled almost every subtype (with some celebs fulfilling more than one “type”).  So why not take a look at the casting rumors for season 12 and see which might fit into the casting equation, shall we? :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.

Possible candidates this season: Since we didn’t get an Olympian last season, I can almost guarantee we’ll get one this season – and the most likely candidate seems to be Nastia Liukin, who has been a rumor for a few seasons now and has started following Mark on Twitter within the past few days.  Other possibilities: Greg Louganis, who seems to have been trying for several seasons now to get onto the show; and while it may be a long-shot, Johnny Weir fans are still campaigning for a “Team Weirnoff” partnership.

The Athlete

Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, Kurt Warner, Rick Fox

Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition.  An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.

Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.

Possible candidates this season: This category has been oddly devoid of really “solid” possibilities this season, aside from the Brett Favre debacle – doubtful, but stranger things have happened on the show! Chris Jericho was also kicked around as a possibility again this season, and it looks like WWE Diva Maria Kanellis is still gunning for a spot on the show.

The Model/Playmate/Beauty Queen

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Rachel Hunter, Tia Carrere, Shanna Moakler, Paulina Porizkova, Shandi Finnessey, Josie Maran, Albert Reed, Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Pam Anderson

Advantages: All the costumes seem to look fantastic on them (and they can get away with wearing the really skimpy ones) and so do their pro partners – easy to imagine a “showmance”, which always seems to grab votes.  Also seems to have cornered the votes of the small population of male viewers, for obvious reasons

Disadvantages: Despite making a career out of looking great posing & strutting down the runway, many of them have proven to be rather awkward movers outside of that context, and some seem to have a hard time carrying around their taller than average stature.  They also run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle among attractive male competitors, who seem to draw in more votes from the predominantly-female viewing population.

Possible candidates this season: A strong possibility seems to be Kendra Wilkinson, who would be following in the footsteps of her Girls Next Door co-star Holly Madison.  Rumored contestant Lee Meriwether is also a former Miss America.

The Legend

Previous examples: Cloris Leachman, Wayne Newton, Donny Osmond, Tatum O’Neal, Marie Osmond, Jane Seymour, Marlee Matlin, Susan Lucci, Florence Henderson

Advantages: These individuals are extremely well-known & respected in the entertainment business, with many years of experience (and fans) under their belts, as well as an award or two. Also masters of the stage & screen – perhaps the best at emulating the emotions of the dances.

Disadvantages: With many years of experience comes an older age than many of their competitors – which comes with an increased risk of injury & fatigue that could limit the difficulty of their routines.

Possible candidates this season: We’ve got two ladies with quite a sterling reputation in show business – Faye Dunaway & Lee Meriwether. One was the original “Bonnie”  of Bonnie & Clyde; the other was the original Catwoman.  Who do you think we’ll get? :-)

The Soap Star

Previous examples: Kelly Monaco, Cameron Mathison, Lisa Rinna, Susan Lucci, Aiden Turner

Advantages: The demographic of soap opera viewers overlaps heavily with the demographic of viewers of DWTS, and most soap opera viewers have been watching those shows for years (I started watching General Hospital when I was 6!), so they often have a fierce loyalty to their favorite characters (and the actors/actresses who portray them).

Disadvantages: This group likely has the most grueling schedule to contend with, as most soaps tape year-round, and some of them are taped in New York, forcing the stars (and sometimes their partners) to fly coast-to-coast several times a week to practice.  Many also have absolutely no background in any kind of sport, making them a real “project” for the pros to take on.

Possible candidates this season: The lovely Lee Meriwether could do triple duty this season, by fulfilling this category by virtue of her role of Ruth Martin on All My Children. From the online voting for this season’s cast, it looks like Colleen Zenk & Crystal Chappell are also big favorites.

The Comedian

Previous examples: Penn Jillette, Jeff Ross, Adam Carolla, David Allen Grier, Ashley Hamilton, Niecy Nash, Margaret Cho

Advantages: Let’s face it, they’re fun to watch, and they definitely inject some much- needed hilarity into the show. 

Disadvantages: They often come across like they don’t take the competition seriously, instead favoring their usual schtick over actual dancing. Some of their on-show humor (Jeff Ross’ in particular) can also be rather polarizing – hilarious to some, offensive to others. And again – often no background in any sort of sport, let alone dancing.

Possible candidates this season: None that we’ve heard of…but who would you like to see? I’m holding out for a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour to sign on – Ron White would be a hoot!

So do you guys think I’m onto something with this season’s rumors? Tune in for my next installment, where I dissect just who we might get this season from the teen idol, host, actor, reality star, singer, & wild card categories!

February 27, 2011 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 – The History of Judges Scores, Part 1

Obviously, season 11 made a lot of people crazy, what with all the good dancers that left before a much lesser dancer. I’ve said over and over that the judges scoring was at issue – too high for some, too low for others – but lets take a look at if that’s really the case or not…and if it was at all out of the ordinary. The question is – was Bristol scored in line with previous younger contestants with little dance ability?? Or was she given an easy ride?? I put it in the context of Bristol because of the uproar her continued presence on the show created – many claimed that either there was a huge voting block for her (already debunked that one, IMO) or the judges were much easier on her than they were on similar contestants in the past (me included).

This is going to be a series, because once I started I realized that it was likely going to be too large of a project to fit into one post. So, it will be broken down by season, starting with Season 5, and then there will be a summary post at the end. What I am doing is -re-watching the seasons, starting each at episode 5 in order to weed out the really pathetic people. :-) I’m watching with an eye to the judges – how they score, do they have patterns, how they behave toward the contestants. I expect to note other, related patterns – have they always had the same bits that annoy/please them? Do they have a favorite pro? And so on. What we all (me included) will have to remember is that even though this will have the appearance of a scientific study, it is still highly subjective. There is only so much a bunch of numbers can do for you – at some point, personal bias comes into play during the analysis (like it does during the judging). Not to mention that there isn’t likely to be enough data for scientific validity anyway. :-)

Let’s start with the contestants and their scores for Season 5:

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part I)

Celebrity Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Helio 23 (Rumba) 28 (Cha Cha) 25 (Tango) 27 (Paso Doble)
28 (Samba) 30 (Quickstep)
Mel B 29 (Samba) 30 (Rumba) 24 (Foxtrot) 27 (Tango)
30 (Paso Doble) 29 (Mambo)
Marie 21 (Samba) 23 (Paso) 28 (Quickstep) 24 (Rumba)
24 (Cha Cha) 25 (Jive)
Jennie 25 (Samba) 27 (Mambo) 25 (V. Waltz) 24 (Jive)
28 (Rumba) 26 (Foxtrot)
Cameron 26 (Rumba) 25 (Samba) 24 (Quickstep) 27 (V. Waltz)
27 (Jive) 24 (Cha Cha)
Jane 26 (Rumba) 22 (Jive) 24 (Quickstep)
26 (Cha Cha)
Sabrina 28 (Rumba) 25 (Foxtrot)
Mark 21 (Samba)

Season 5 Weekly Scores (Part II)

Celebrity Week 9 Week 10 Week Finale
Helio 30 (Foxtrot) 25 (Jive) 30 (Quickstep)
30 (Cha Cha) 29 (Freestyle)
Mel B 30 (V. Waltz) 28 (Cha Cha) 30 (Mambo)
30 (Paso Doble) 27 (Freestyle)
Marie 29 (Quickstep) 24 (Samba)
27 (Mambo) 22 (Freestyle)
Jennie 28 (Tango)
30 (Cha Cha)

At the time this season originally aired, many thought that Marie was a much worse dancer than Jennie. While I’m inclined to agree that she was not as good, the life and entertainment value Marie brought to her dances is no small thing either. I think the thing that sticks in people’s minds is the dreaded doll dance and the fact that Marie’s retorts to the judges made her one of the most annoying contestants in memory. I would say that, by week 6, the quality of dancing was pretty high, even including Marie. Her dances were pretty up and down in terms of score, but she gave everything she did a lot of life – something Bristol never did.

Now the judging – my recollections that I voiced during season 11 were correct. The did tend to judge harder going into the semi-finals and they did appear to have a favorite – Mel B. By week:

- Week 5: The judges pretty much shredded Helio’s rumba and Len was pretty critical of Sabrina’s as well – over the top was his comment. Agreed. Mel B was in the bottom 2 the previous week, so she got a 29 on a Rumba that wasn’t as good as the one Edyta choreographed for Cameron – in my personal opinion. ;-) I was actually pretty surprised at how good Cameron and Edyta’s rumba actually was.

The problem with comparing Cameron and Mel is, of course, they are not the same gender – what is required in the rumba is different for each of them. Mel was the best dancer of the season, but I think the judges were a tad generous in the interest of keeping her out of the bottom 2 (and yes, it was a REAL bottom 2).

– Week 6: Nothing much of note, here, except the judges all comment on Sabrina’s Foxtrot as being too hard – which coincidentally has always been my comment about her and Mark’s partnership.

- Week 7: The judges on a “the finals are coming up you have to do better” kick – they said something of that sort to both Jane and Helio. They said Marie’s Cha Cha didn’t have enough content (and I would agree) and they were pretty critical of Mel’s first dance. You’ll note that most of the couples have one high scoring dance and one much lower scoring dance. Of course, it wouldn’t be DWTS if the judges weren’t erratic; Cameron noticeably missed steps in his Quickstep, yet got the same score as those who did NOT miss steps, namely Mel and Jane. For some reason, they were much too hard on Jennie’s Viennese Waltz.

– Week 8: In week 8 I got the feeling that the judges had figured out who they wanted in the final two – Mel and Helio.  Now, Mel and Helio WERE awesome, but once they made their decision it seemed they judged accordingly, instead of judging the actual dances. That is, at least one of them played spoiler on the other couples. It is very hard to objectively look at these dances and say the judges were unfair – so remember, these are my feelings from watching the show a long time after they originally aired.  This is not commentary disparaging Mel or Helio – I loved both of them and think they, at the end, got scores they deserved. What I’m saying is that I think the judges were harder on those they didn’t see as good enough for the finale – regardless of how they actually danced.

Anyway, Marie’s scores were fair, although I think Len overscored her on her Jive. All three agreed she didn’t have enough content on her first dance and Carrie and Bruno said the same for her Jive. While I agreed with the comment Jennie got about her posture not being great, I thought a 24 was too low. Then, some of you may remember she did a lovely Foxtrot and Bruno, of all people, said he wanted to be “dazzled” and he wasn’t. Ridiculous. They said Cameron’s Cha Cha was too “hard and stiff” – maybe so, but a 24?  You can see they are indeed getting much tougher because it’s later in the competition – whether you agree with them or not.

- Week 9: Well, I guess if you actually make it to the semi-finals, they let up a little bit. :-)  Why do I say that? Well, all the judges comment on Marie messing up her footwork, yet she gets a 27 on that dance. Yet, Carrie Ann says she doesn’t see a connection between Jennie and Derek – who danced perfectly otherwise, and she gets a 28. Oookay.  I do think the judges also overscored Marie on her first dance.  Looking at the scores, it sure seems to me that they ranked the dancers. One part of me doesn’t have a problem with that – except I don’t see as much of a gap between Helio and Jennie as they do, and I see MORE of a gap between Jennie and Marie than what they actually scored.

- Week 10: And Marie’s scores plummet.  Of course, that doll dance was a nightmare and the 22 was being kind, but they also scored her Samba very low. I don’t disagree with that in the finals. If you’re in the finals you have to BRING it. I think they underscored Helio’s first dance by a point and overscored Mel’s freestyle by a point or two – that thing was BORING. But really – the writing is on the wall here in terms of the judging. I don’t think they are picking a favorite that was undeserving in the slightest. No storyboarding here. :-)

Season 5, in Summary: Well, they DID comment on the fact that they were scoring harder later in the season.  Several stars were victims of this, including the final 2.  So, when did this change – and do you agree it did change??  Other than that, I didn’t see anything seriously out of order with the judging, beyond the occasional wacky call.  I will say that the worst dancer in the final 6, Marie (IMO) was a MUCH better dancer than I remember and easily a more entertaining/better dancer than Bristol – yet she was scored tougher than Bristol.

Random Observations:

  • Up until Week 7, they did a real “bottom two” every week.  I think the reason they didn’t do a bottom two in the 7th week is because it was the week Marie’s father passed away – and she was in the bottom two but safe. After that, they realized they liked the drama of “in jeopardy” better than showing a real bottom two. And thus endeth my conspiracy theory for Season 5. :-)
  • Late weeks formula was to do the couples choice of Latin and Ballroom for the Semi-Final. Then in week 10 it was Judges Choice, Freestyle and then the final dance of the final 2’s choice.
  • I actually agreed with the judges most of the time. This will likely be significant later on.
  • I think Mel B might have been the best of all of Maks’ partners. I like how she handled him and how they were with each other.
  • The weeks where there were two dances, they still only had ONE package – this was before they got greedy and felt the need to keep the show at 2 hours no matter how many contestants there were. :-)
  • Cameron and Edyta dance a Viennese Waltz to the theme from Harry Potter in Week 8; this makes me realize that the crazy ass songs for certain dances is not a recent thing. Edyta’s doing? Or the producers? In more recent seasons – the producers.
  • In week 10, Maks wastes quite a few bars with Mel B in the audience – so when Courtney and I were commenting on it in recent seasons, it was not a recent phenomenon. :-)
February 9, 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. :-)