Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas did a spot for Newswatch 12. Below he talks of his fortunate and most memorable moments on Dancing With The Stars. He’s asked about the controversial moments with Bristol Palin. He also gives some dance tips for anyone wanting to do the show, how he quit smoking, and more.
DWTS Mark Ballas Discusses His Guiltiest Pleasure, What He Dreams Of, And More With The Huffington Post
First, the chat with Extra and Stuart Brazell, and now Mark Ballas answers a few questions from the Huffington Post in a new “#nofilter quick-fire question-and-answer series”. Below are a few questions on the last the time Mark cried, his guiltiest pleasure, and the silliest thing he’s lied about. Lots more at the link and thanks to Lori for the heads up!
When’s the last time you cried?
Two times actually. Once during “Les Mis” the movie. Like, sobbing! Sobbing, during “Les Mis.” And then when I went to see Celine Dion. [Laughs] I went to see Celine Dion in Vegas and it was ah-mazing. She started singing the “Beauty and the Beast” song and it was a wrap. Yeah, it was really incredible.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I’m a horrible TV junkie. I finished “Breaking Bad,” I’m caught up on “Walking Dead,” I finished “Game of Thrones” and I started “Homeland” like two weeks ago and I just finished Season 1. I’m behind, I’m catching up.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever lied about?
When we were living in London, Derek [Hough] and I stole my mom’s car when he was 15 and I was 14. And in England you have to be 17 to drive, and we stole the car. And my mom wasn’t in town so we thought, “We are not getting busted.” But when she got back, she went to the local dance store to buy shoes and the guy who sells the shoes — they’re friends — and he was like, “I didn’t know your boys passed their driving test?” So that night she came home and she was like, “Did you steal the car?” And we were like, “No.” And then Julianne [Hough] did us in, she totally told her what we did. [Laughs]
Awwww, it’s so fun to see Stuart Brazell again. In the spreecast for Extra below, she interviews Mark Ballas. Fans asked some cool questions too. They ask him about his career, Dancing With The Stars Season 17, the new format, who he wished he could have danced with besides Christina and more. Check it out if interested. Also, if the chat doesn’t work below, see this link.
Be sure to read about some “backstage” details of the Dancing With The Stars finale at JC Rubio’s official site here. Below is some video too. This is too fun. THANKS JC!!
Give it up for Mark Ballas! He’s now been an “ex-smoker” now for 6 months. Below is more from CNBC for how he accomplished it.
Emmy-nominated choreographer, Dancing with the Stars® professional dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas, can now add “former smoker” to his credits thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The multi-faceted star has been smoke-free for more than 6 months thanks to the comprehensive, two-part quit-smoking resource, Blueprint to Quit, available exclusively at Walmart. Now, Ballas is telling his story and sharing his personal “Quit Steps” in hopes of helping others find a way to quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.
Ballas, who began smoking as a teenager, can relate to the everyday struggle millions of Americans encounter when trying to quit smoking. Triggers like stress and being around other smokers always pushed him to light-up another cigarette, but when smoking began impacting his stamina and endurance – traits at the cornerstone of his career – Ballas turned to Blueprint to Quit, which combines two resources for quitting smoking: online behavioral support through QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to address the physical dependence on cigarettes.
“Practicing the utmost discipline in so many parts of my life, I didn’t expect quitting smoking to be a struggle,” said Ballas. “Day in and day out, I juggled dance rehearsals, tapings, long nights at the studio writing and recording music, and yet quitting smoking was an ongoing fight until now, thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The program allowed me to tackle tough cravings, stick to a plan that worked for me and seek support when I need it. Now, I’m proud to say I’m smoke free – my days are easier and more enjoyable as a result. I hope I can help inspire other smokers who face the same obstacles start their quit journey.”
To read more and catch some video links, visit CNBC.
ETA: And below is Mark talking to GMA about kicking smoking. He also dances with Lara….
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!
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!
Hey All! How was your Thannksgiving? I hope you had a fun day!! So, are you ready to shop now on Black Friday? Yikes…I won’t be shopping, but, I’ll be working it this morning instead. Wish me luck!
So, just a few media starters today!! First, yesterday some “kitchen dance wars” were started at twitter between the Derek Hough and Maria Menounos families. While this was all going down, Mark Ballas and his family joined in on the action. After that, Amber Riley and her family dared them too. It’s hilarious and they are all so good…even dancing in their kitchens and living rooms. lol Be sure to see THIS POST at Pure Derek Hough to see them all!!
And speaking of Mark Ballas, he will be talking on the Dancing With The Stars Season 17 finale in a LIVE chat at Extra on Tuesday, December 3rd. If you’d like to ask him questions and listen in, bookmark this link.
Also, I’m not sure when this little Pop Candies interview with Tom Bergeron and Mark Ballas happened, but, they were asked about this past season of Dancing With The Stars and who they’d like to see dance in the future. Tom mentions William Shatner again, but, says he knows he’ll never do it. Poor Tom….he’s also asked some silly questions too. I don’t know how they keep their patience with the paparazzi sometimes.
Ok, more later!!xx
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.
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.
Two individual dances…but both to the same song. Could be interesting. Derek is the only one I have real confidence in, with his music background. Karina should be fine too, with Corbin’s background. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.
Is this the second week in a row that Cheryl is just bad at math?? I think that should be 3rd and 8th, correct??
Leah and Tony
Voting # 1-800-868-3411
Corbin and Karina
Voting # 1-800-868-3406
Jack and Cheryl
Jazz – Dancing 3rd
Argentine Tango – Dancing 6th (??)
Voting # 1-800-868-3402
Derek and Amber
Voting # 1-800-868-3407
Bill and Emma
Cha Cha Cha
Voting # 1-800-868-3409
Who Derek dances with in his down time…Kate!
Bill and Emma
Scary Corbin and Karina
Derek and Amber
Jack and Cheryl
Just a quick side note before I break down last night’s show: after perusing Facebook & Instagram last night and witnessing some of the irrational and illogical outrage from some viewers following Liz’s elimination (and Bill’s continued presence), I have to say – I’m so grateful for our intelligent, logical, and rational readers here at Pure Consider this an early addition to my “things that I am thankful for” list that my family usually recites when we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner – I am thankful for the fact that our readers understand how this show works, and their level of intellectual maturity prevents them from shooting their mouths off and making utter and complete fools of themselves on social media because they have no control over their knee-jerk emotional impulses. So from me to you guys – thank you for not making me bang my head against a wall in frustration The level of stupid on Facebook & Instagram…it hurts…
…moving right along, there was some definite iffy scoring last night, and the judges seemed to be trying like hell to shield both Liz and Leah…although the former seemed to be beyond help, as she got sent home. Can’t say that any of us were terribly surprised by it – we’ve been saying since before the show started that Liz seems to have a problem connecting to the viewing audience, and her lack of relevance in recent years might have contributed to her struggle for votes. I also wonder if her bizarre (and kinda self-indulgent…) jazz routine last week contributed to her downfall – I saw a few remarks about how her demand to change the song at the last minute seemed a little “diva-ish”. Plus that dance was just really a stinker. She had an ok-to-decent night last night – her Viennese waltz, while a bit overwrought with emotion, was actually pretty nice to watch; thought the choreography for her salsa trio was a bit odd (what was with that “cradling the baby” move they all three were doing for what seemed like a long ass time???) and there were a few timing issues (which, of course, the judges conveniently missed), but was overall a relatively decent effort for the trio round. But in the end – she just didn’t get the votes, just like Christina, Snooki, & Brant. Sh*t happens, kids.
1.) Corbin & Karina – Corbin finally seemed to regain his stride this week with two good dances. I thought he may have gotten nitpicked to death on his waltz (then again, just about everyone did the first round, except the golden girl, Leah), as I found it to be near-flawless – even Mama Spence remarked that he seems to really “get” the concept of rise and fall, and does it without even thinking. Thought they got a bit shafted with their song choice – “Apologize”? Which has been used as a rumba several times on this show? So what are they doing now – just picking random non-dance-appropriate songs and saying “Hey Harold, can you tweak the arrangement of this one so it’s a waltz?” Reminds me of a CD I had back when I first started doing ballroom that had “My Heart Will Go On” rearranged as all the different dances – there was even a paso doble version! But anyway. I think they owned the trio round, by far – I thought their jazz trio was the most interesting and engaging to watch, and was the only trio where the celeb really seemed to dominate. I had to chuckle to myself as I was watching, as I had heard a lot of complaints about them picking Witney – apparently some think she “steals the show” – but I barely even noticed Witney this time, because Corbin was just owning the whole damn thing. I barely noticed Karina, either – but since the whole point of the trio is to showcase the celeb, I think they succeeded. Barring any nitpicking-to-death by the judges next week (and who knows what those knuckleheads are going to do), I think he ought to be headed to the finale.
2.) Amber & Derek – I kinda feel bad for Amber, because I feel like her knee injury is really starting to limit her movement – she’s doing the best she can, no doubt, but I’m really starting to notice how she has to baby her knees while dancing. Thought her quickstep was cute and she sold it well (as she does with every dance, every week), but she seemed to move really, really tiny and cautious during the stationary sections, and because she was moving so gingerly, she seemed to get a little off-time and off-kilter. And in a routine that was that short – I think she probably needed to really make a splash. Still thought the judges nitpicked her to death, though – and the fact that she 3 points less than Leah, who has moved itty-bitty each & every week? Ridiculous. I enjoyed her trio – it was cute, and I think the choreography was clever in that it was fun to watch while still keeping Amber relatively stationary. Could it have used a little more hip action? Sure. But I also think Liz’s salsa trio was totally off-time (which is an even bigger offense in my mind) and she still managed to get a 30…so why saddle Amber with a 27? I’m guessing the judges are trying to make things look like a tight race headed towards the semifinals and finals, so they’re really nitpicking to death the couples that stand the best chance of advancing…and they’re babying the ones that aren’t so likely to do so.
3.) Leah & Tony – *gritting teeth* I can’t believe these two knuckleheads are still here, let alone that I have them this high on the list – but with each week that passes and Leah gets coddled by the judges for non-event dances, the more I’m convinced that they’ve decided that they need her in the finale. Seriously, no other couple last night got as babied as these two – everyone else either got nitpicked to death (Corbin, Amber, Jack) or totally hosed (Bill), and Leah got a tongue bath a cushy scores once more. That tango had so little impact, at one point Mama Spence looked over at me and said “Wait…what dance are they doing again?” It was that “small” and soft that she could not even figure out what dance it was supposed to be. And then that trio – I’m sure Tony just thought he was the most clever & innovative choregrapher ever for coming up with that nonsense. But herein lies the fishy part: do you think any of the couples would be ballsy enough to poke fun at the judges…unless they knew they were safe? Just food for thought. If it were me, just knowing how petty the judges can be (Carrie Ann in particular), I wouldn’t have chanced it. But anyway – once again, Leah barely moves, and her kicks & flicks looked more like what I do to nudge the cat away from food that has dropped on the floor than it did proper jive technique. Tony & Henry did all the heavy lifting, and Leah just stood there, barely moving, and looking smug…likely because she knew she wasn’t gonna get called out for anything. I’ve been saying it for weeks, but I’ll say it again: Leah needs to get gone…like yesterday. But now I’m legitimately worried that they’ve decided to coddle her all the way into the finale, and that she stands a decent chance of ousting one of the two frontrunners (Corbin & Amber) for 2nd place. Blech.
4/5.) TIE: Jack & Cheryl and Bill & Emma – Both couples gave a valiant effort last night, but I worry that they simply don’t fit into the judges’ “dream finale” and thus will probably get hosed next week. Which sucks, because I’d rather see either of these two over Leah, ANY DAY. Jack seemed to own the ballroom round, and has really hit a nice stride heading into these last few weeks – really extends his arms, has a great sense of timing, and nails the rise and fall. Just lovely to watch. Thought he & Cheryl’s samba trio with Sharna was cute & funny – and the best they could have done given that they got one of the hardest dances to do a trio with. Going the comedy route was probably a wise choice – sure, there could have been more hip action, and maybe he got a little bit off-time, but I was still smiling as I watched it God bless Bill & Emma – they know they’re going to get hosed pretty much every week, but they still go out there and give it their all, and make it fun to watch nonetheless. Thought the Charleston had a cute theme and Bill did the best he could with it – but really, Charleston is one of those dances I really can’t judge anyone too harshly on, because it’s not exactly easy to pick up and there’s not a whole lot to it. I’d just assume get rid of it completely on the show, but you know that won’t happen. Loved the trio with Peta for it’s ridiculous train-wreck appeal – that song was absolute crap, and the dance they had to do to it was absolute crap…so they gave the judges absolute, trippy, hiliarous crap It was self-acknowledgingly bad – all three of them knew it, and were in on the joke. I think that was part of the appeal – the Katy Perry-esque costumes for the girls, and Bill in all his Willy Wonka’d glory. It was AWESOMELY bad I think it’s quite obvious which of these two the judges want gone (Bill) and who they want to stay (Jack) – but next week, who’s gonna have the votes to pull them through to the finale? I think Bill has proven he’s got some decent voting leverage (enough to negate the hosing from the judges), but will it be enough to get back the points Jack will likely get from the judges? Will either of them have the juice to oust Leah? Time will tell, I guess…
So what did you guys think of last night’s show? Where do you think the couples stand headed into the semifinals?