I saw this article a few days ago, but work has been such a nightmare that I’ve not had as much time to post random bits I find. Then I nearly forgot about it!! But then we were just discussing in the comments how every single season the producers feel this inexplicable need to tinker. Tinker, tinker, tinker. Pretty sure this comes from a press release, but The Examiner doesn’t provide a link – for that reason, take it with a tiny grain of salt…or hope it’s not true?? I dunno, some of these might be interesting. And at least by putting them out there NOW, no one can cry that their favorite is being conspired against. From The Examiner:
Other than its new cast of diverse celebrities, ABC has announced even more changes for the new season of Dancing With the Stars. “We’re trying to make the show more like a real ballroom dance competition,” says executive producer Conrad Green. So, how does ABC plan on shaking up a show that scored monster ratings last season? Here’s a look at what’s new for season eleven of Dancing With the Stars:
• Rock Night: This new themed night will feature classic rock and roll. All of the teams will dance to the tunes of classic rockers, like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Eagles, Elvis Pressley, Queen, Chicago and others.
• A Striped-down Acoustic Night: The audience will be seated on the dance floor to make it a more intimate setting.
• Instant Choreography Challenge: The couples will practice their assigned style of dance all week, but they won’t get their music until 20 minutes before they have to go out and perform.
I think we all know where the “Acoustic Night” came from – I certainly hope they are compensating Derek and Chelsie appropriately. I’m all for it – I think their Paso was very powerful for it’s stripped down feel. But can everyone pull it off??
Classic Rock?? No big deal. Now, the Choreography Challenge could either be interesting or a disaster. Some pros seem to ignore the music anyway, but others are very musical. It could negatively impact them.
ETA: Carrie Ann confirms the changes and adds an additional one (which I hate) on The Insider (Video on the site – Thanks to Jennifer):
In addition, Carrie Ann, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will be joined by a fourth judge this season when some of the favorite contestants from the past will join the judging panel. No one is confirmed yet, but the “DWTS” judge says she would like to see Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith and Jerry Springer, among others, return.
Hello! Here it is… my calculated rankings for the celebs this season. Mind you, unlike others on this site, these do not reflect my opinions, but rather a calculation that I am attempting to use to predict the placement of the celebs based on past data. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but it is fun to speculate nonetheless.
If you recall from DWTS 11 Stat Class: Who has the Edge? Part 1, I gave a breakdown of the professional dancers as they were place by attempting to normalize the average. Granted with a built in bias there is only so much that can be done.
Before I go through the individual celebs here is an idea of how each age group placed on average through all ten seasons of the show thus far from highest to lowest:
1.) Teens (ages 10 thru 19) – 2 celebs
2.) 20s (ages 20 thru 29) – 17 celebs
3.) 30s (ages 30 thru 39) – 48 celebs
4.) 60s (ages 60 thru 69) – 7 celebs
5.) 40s (ages 40 thru 49) – 27 celebs
6.) 50s (ages 50 thru 59) – 12 celebs
7.) 80s on up (ages 80 on up) – 2 celebs Note: Florence Henderson is the first person to be on the show while in their 70s, thus there is no normalized average for that age group as of yet.
Now that we know which celebs will be participating this season and who their professional partner will be, it’s time to calculate and attempt to predict how the celebs would place in the upcoming season. First I will give an analysis and a little of my opinions belief of each celeb and how each of the three factors (Age, Primary Occupation and Professional Partner) either help or hinder them as individuals.
Brandy Age: 31
Typically those in their 30s do reasonably well on the show. Trailing those in their teens, and 20s (is that really any surprise?). Primary Occupation: Singer
Singers in general stay in the middle of the pack placing just out of the semi-finals but better than most of the worst dancers. Mya being the only one to break out of that middle-of-the-pack while Macy Gray exited earlier in her season. Singers also incurred the most pre-season injuries (Lil Romeo and Jewel) Professional Partner: Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Prior to his Season 6 vacation, Maksim placed fairly well with his celeb, typically hitting the midway point (Willa Ford being an exception). However, aside from Erin, Maksim hasn’t done quite as well with his partners, then again they were both actresses. Brandy could find herself closer to the top half of the middle-of-the-pack group. She might even find herself in the semi-finals… but I’m not too sure about beyond that.
Jennifer Grey Age: 50
Oddly enough those in their 50s, on average, has done worse than those in their 60s. Sympathy vote perhaps? Granted Jennifer recently turned 50 so she might still have a little bit of that spunk from those in their 40s, but even those in their 40s didn’t do as well as those as their 60s. Primary Occupation: Actress
Actresses don’t really do well on DWTS rarely breaking the midway point. The ones that do break the midway point either were very popular or have some sort of dance experience or had picked up choreo before. Jennifer picked up choreography for the infamous last dance on Dirty Dancing, but that was over 20 years ago… they say that dancing is like riding a bike though. Professional Partner: Derek Hough
Granted all this could be balanced out by the mere fact that her partner is Derek Hough. Right now he has the highest placement average of all the pros. Just adding the Derek factor into the equation… she her chances of getting into the semi-finals or more just went up.
Margaret Cho Age: 41
Those in their 40s hit the midpoint of the competition trailing those in their 60s. Going beyond that depends on other factors as well. Primary Occupation: Comedian
To me, I’ve known her more as a comedian than as an actress. So I’m placing her in the comedians group. Comedians in general have the worst finishing trends on DWTS, placing dead last on average. Professional Partner: Louis van Amstel
However, Margaret could buck the trend like Niecy kind of did. After all they both have Louis van Amstel as their partner. Despite doing decently with other celebs in the past, Louis has stayed largely in the middle of the pack. So the question would be, would the Louis factor help Margaret like it helped Niecy? It’s up the viewer, and the GLBT community I think
Audrina Patridge Age: 25
Celebs in their 20s do rather well in the competition just behind those in their teens. Primary Occupation: Reality TV Star
On the other side of this coin, Reality Stars in general hit the lower half on average. Those Reality Stars in their 20s have actually hit the midway point in competition… so… Audrina could be a surprise and goes up on the rankings. Professional Partner: Tony Dovolani
And then there’s her partner. Tony’s been kind of up and down throughout his tenure on the show. With a ringer-type he does well (who doesn’t?) but with non-ringers, not so much. The other fact is that he has worked with two Reality Stars from opposite sides of the spectrum. So this partnership is a bit of a tossup.
Florence Henderson Age: 76
Believe it or not this is the first time that DWTS has someone in their 70s. So there isn’t much material (ok not any) to work off of. So let’s look at those in their 60s and 80s. Those in their 60s tend to do a lot better than those in their 80s (who tend to finish towards the back of the pack). Primary Occupation: Actress
And based off of some of the comments I made about actresses for Jennifer Grey, this is one that I don’t believe would get terribly far in the competition. But if everyone loves Mrs Brady, who knows? Maybe that star power would get her to the midway point. Professional Partner: Corky Ballas
Corky has only been on the show once before and he placed seventh in a cast of thirteen partners, so there is no telling how he would do this time around. If the averages of the other two factors are any indication… he might have his work cut out for him.
Bristol Palin Age: 19
Uh, this “known” person hits the prime age group. Those in their teens do rather well on average, and is it really any surprise as to why? They are young and malleable… theoretically Primary Occupation: Other
On the other hand… The “others” are known persons that don’t fit the stereotypical celebs/stars type. And those in this “others” group almost hit dead last on the ranks, just ahead of the comedians. Professional Partner: Mark Ballas
Mark Ballas tends to falter the most with non-ringer types… the closest similarity being Kim Kardashian. But Bristol is young, she could theoretically win audience members over… Who knows? But the numbers tell me otherwise.
Michael Bolton Age: 56
Please see Jennifer Grey Primary Occupation: Singer
Please see Brandy. Though Michael Bolton is well known for a lot longer than Brandy has, plus his music has a wider reaching net. Most of his demographic (I’m assuming) intersects the demographic of the show so he may have that to his advantage. Professional Partner: Chelsie Hightower
Now let’s add little Chelsie into the mix and now you have someone that could hit the midway point perhaps, and has a semi-decent chance of getting past that midway point…
Mike Sorrentino Age: 27
Please see Audrina Patridge Primary Occupation: Reality TV Star
Please see Audrina Patridge Professional Partner: Karina Smirnoff
Basically the same as Audrina, only male. One main point though is that male reality stars fare worse on average than female reality stars. Karina, by contrast, has hit middle of the road pack status with her celebs in recent seasons. So unless he’s drop dead gorgeous he may hit the midway point. Personally between Mike and Karina it may be more the Battle of the Abs rather than Dancing with the Stars.
David Hasselhoff Age: 58
Please see Jennifer Grey… Another celeb in their 50s? That makes it what? Three? Gee whiz people. It’s like they are desperately trying to create another John O’Hurley. But celebs in their 60s do better than those in their 50s. Well David is pretty close to 60, maybe he’d find himself just past the midway mark… Primary Occupation: Actor
Anyway actors tend to do better than actresses (yes I ended up separating the two). There is just something about their charm and charisma that makes the older female demographic (I’m assuming here) just want to pick up the phone for them. Professional Partner: Kym Johnson
And of course there is that beautiful blonde Aussie bombshell that has probably worked the most with male celebs in their 50s on up. She has had a decent track record and knows how to turn on the entertainment charm for the male celebs. This might be another Donny Osmond in the works… but David is no Osmond, David’s an actor that branched out while Donny was an entertainer ever since he could dance and sing. So David stands a good chance of making it past the halfway point… I don’t know about the finals though.
Kurt Warner Age: 39
Please see Brandy. Although he’s closer to his 40s so you might also want to look at Margaret Cho for the age range commentary. Primary Occupation: NFL
He’s not as known as some of the other ex-NFL players that has come through the doors. But after looking him up on Wikipedia it does seem like he has a following of sorts. Football players tend to do really well in the standings (ok, on average they hit the number one spot), and the younger they are the higher up the ladder they tend to get. So I’m expecting him to go past the midway point and quite possibly compete at least in the semis and if I really want to go out there he could go to the top two. But quarterbacks do the least amount of running which could work against him. Professional Partner: Anna Trebunskaya
In the few seasons that she has been on she has placed second with an Olympian and an NFL player. This bodes well for Kurt… but being in the position of the “non-athlete” of the NFL doesn’t really help matters any, but time will tell.
Kyle Massey Age: 19
Please see Bristol Palin. Primary Occupation: Disney
He’s a Disney Channel star which automatically brings him votes. Add to that his age and possible fan base I could see him knocking on the semi-finals door… as for walking through? That’s a whole other story. Professional Partner: Lacey Schwimmer
Lacey, Lacey, Lacey… she’s only been on the show for three seasons and she’s done all right, however Kyle isn’t the same strong Disney powerhouse that Sabrina Bryan was or even Monique Coleman. The series that most people would know (That’s So Raven) was so three years ago, and whatever he has going now isn’t as known either. But Disney related celebs have fared rather well… and we can’t discount the Disney power.
Rick Fox Age: 41
Please see Margaret Cho Primary Occupation: NBA
But there has only been one other NBA player and that was Clyde Drexler from waaaaay back when. So there isn’t much to go on (maybe I should do a breakdown by heights). If we expand from NBA players to athletes in general they typically do hit the midway point in the competition, after that it’s entirely up to them. But since Clyde never made it to the halfway point in his season could Rick do better? Who knows Professional Partner: Cheryl Burke
With Cheryl Burke as his partner his chances just got better. Cheryl has had practice working with athletes from all walks of life, and has been in the top half of the casts in almost every season she has been on (Wayne Newton being a notable exception). Perhaps Rick would be able to get his wish and surpass Kurt Warner on the show?
Now that we know my thoughts on the factors and how they could affect the celebs, lets look at how the factors add up… here is my calculated ranking by elimination sequence: Week 1.) Margaret Cho
No surprise here based on what we know, but I’m hoping she’ll do as well as Niecy did and go further. Week 2.) Florence Henderson
A little surprised, but considering her age and her profession, the only thing that could help her go further is her fan base… she’s Mrs Brady afterall. Week 3.) Rick Fox
With so little information about NBA players, this is the best that could be done, which doesn’t bode well for Cheryl Burke… could they still buck the trend? The jury’s out on that one. Week 4.) Audrina Patridge
Well considering that both Audrina and Mike have similar circumstances coming into the competition, most everything relies on who they ended up getting as their partner. Since Audrina’s partner is Tony her chances of lasting in the competition is a lot lower than that of Mike. Week 5.) Michael Bolton
Age is working against him, as well as being simply a singer versus an entertainer. This is going to depend largely on the voting audience unless he has some sweet moves that he has kept largely hidden from the audience. Week 6.) David Hasselhoff
Same as Michael Bolton, with age working against him and technically being an actor rather than entertainer I’m not expecting David to last that much longer than Michael Bolton or vice versa. Week 7.) Jennifer Grey
If Jennifer makes it past the midway point it would be primarily due to the sheer power of Derek Hough. Which is a good thing too, because he could bring out the best from her without (hopefully) resorting to iconic dances. Week 8.) Mike Sorrentino
With Karina as his partner, Mike could do rather well, granted good eye candy is always a good thing as long as he could dance. Week 9.) Brandy
As mentioned by others already, if Brandy gets far along in the competition it would be due to her age and sex appeal… but if she can’t dance then everything else is a moot point. Week 10.) Bristol Palin
Don’t kill me!!!! Youth does it everytime and since we have only had two teens on the show and one won their season while the other got fourth place in their season then it stands to reason that teens could do well this time around. Runner Up.) Kurt Warner
Really… this is no surprise considering history… and the power of Anna T. Winner.) Kyle Massey
Again don’t kill me… he’s young and there have only been two teens on the show prior to this, plus he’s Disney… all Disney people have done well in their respective seasons. The only problem with this is that Kyle’s “big show” ended three years ago while other Disney related people had a current project that kept them current. So this to me can’t work… even though the numbers tell me otherwise.
So last week, I formulated who wouldn’t last past the midpoint of the competition in part I of my season 11 preliminary power ranking. Today, I’ll reveal my top half – and who I think is going to walk away with that mirrorball trophy. Enjoy & dicuss!
6.) Florence Henderson & Corky Ballas – I think these two could be interchangeable with Michael & Chelsie, depending on how memorable Florence can be. No doubt Florence will likely be the better dancer – she’s had legit experience, plus the footage I’ve seen of her practicing so far looks reeeeaaally good. She seems like a very focused, hard worker. She’s also got the boon of being the oldest cast member, which seems to bring its own voting fanbase with it. The one problem I think Flo might have is the comparisons she’s likely gonna get to Cloris, since that’s been Corky’s only other partner – and she and Cloris are NOTHING alike, besides their older age. While part of Cloris’ appeal was her outrageous behavior, it’s something we’re not going to see out of Flo…like I’ve mentioned before, Flo is very demure and classy, and not the type to throw out off-color comments and innuendo. As for Corky and his fanbase…that’s a little harder to predict. He’s only been on the show once before, and it seemed like it was his partner’s outrageous behavior that kept them around so long. I’m not sure if Mark’s (or Derek’s, for that matter) fans are gonna throw any votes his direction, or if he has enough of a fanbase of his own to really make a difference. Regardless, I’m actually kind of excited for these two – it will be nice to see what a dynamite choreographer like Corky can really do with a partner that’s willing to work.
5.) Kurt Warner & Anna Trebunskaya – Now Kurt could be the worst dancer in the competition this season, and I still don’t think he’d get sent home any sooner than week 6 or 7, just due to being a former NFL player (the worst any of them have done is 7th place). On top of that, he’s the first quarterback we’ve ever had on the show, and the QB’s are typically the most well-known players on each team. But I think Kurt could actually be pretty good, if his work ethic during dance practice is anything like his work ethic on the football field. And really – Kurt just seems like a genuinely good guy. Comes from humble roots, evangelical Christian, family man, does a lot of charity work…I’m not sure there’s a more likeable guy in the competition. He also seems to have a goofy side (see The Great Previous Dance Experience Debate, Part II), which always seems to balance nicely with a serious work ethic. I think Anna has also beefed up her fanbase after having such a breakout season with Evan – people have warmed to her considerably, and she seems to have gotten a good deal more comfortable with her own choreography. But while these two will likely be Mr. & Mrs. Congeniality this season, I don’t think Kurt necessarily has the dance chops (or the explosive personality) to make it to the semifinals.
4.) David Hasselhoff & Kym Johnson – I’m saying this right now – I don’t think the Hoff is going to be a fantastic dancer. Decent, maybe; but not great. However, I do think he will be this season’s funny man, and that will take him farther than his dance skills will. From the bit of media that I’ve seen so far with him in it, I’m having flashbacks of Donny in season 9 – the Hoff is definitely hamming it up. Very chatty, cracking a lot of jokes, but seems enthusiastic…I do think he’ll make an honest effort, but I’m just not sure he’s got a ton of natural skill to pair it with. But that’s ok, because if there’s one thing Kym is really good at, it’s taking an okay partner and giving them choreography that really lets them shine – I think that’s exactly what she did with Donny & Warren, and I’m sure that’s what she’ll do with David. Plus Kym is quite possibly the most likeable female pro in the competition – mellow, sweet, and drop dead gorgeous. I think they’ll look good together, and will likely be one of the couples out there that is truly enjoying themselves – it probably won’t trump some of the better-dancing couples, but I could see it taking them to the semifinal.
3.) Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough – Looks like Heidi and I are in agreement on this one – Team Jenougher will probably make it to the finale, but just don’t quite have the juice to go all the way. Like Heidi, I agree that Jennifer’s age and recent health issues will likely hinder this pair a bit; however, I do think she will be a sentimental fave with the voters, and they will come out to vote for her in big ways…even if she isn’t the greatest. She does have a big advantage in having Derek; choreographically, I think he’s the strongest male pro and the one most likely to bring out the best in his partners. He’s also got an uber-strong fanbase, and they’re smart about how they vote. The only thing I can’t really predict is if there’s going to be any backlash from his win last season – I can’t decide if those that are still pissed about Nicole winning are going to refuse to vote for Derek now, even if they really do like what he’s doing with Jen. Ditto for the same people that are clinging to the (flimsy) notion that Jennifer is a “professional dancer” and that DWTS is strictly for stars with “no dance experience” (keep dreaming) – are they gonna refuse to vote too, just on principle? By the same token, are they gonna refuse to vote for Brandy, Florence, & the Hoff too? I would like to think that in a season like this, with a fairly level playing field, that people wouldn’t try to concoct conspiracy theories like that – but there’s always some renegades. That whole mess aside, I do think these two will be one of the stronger couples this season…but I’m not sure they’re going to have enough momentum to win.
2.) Brandy & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – I’m sure there will be shock, awe, and outrage over this one, but when it comes down to it I just don’t think Brandy is going to be the stereotypical “pop-star ringer” that everyone is saying she is. As we proved with the previous dance experience post, Brandy’s career has not been nearly as dance-heavy as, say, Nicole, Sabrina, or even Mel B’s. And unlike Nicole & Sabrina, who were still in the high point of their careers when they did the show, Brandy’s been out of the spotlight for a little while now…aside from an album she released last year that flopped, and the reality show she has with her family on VH1 (which I’m not sure paints her in the best light), she hasn’t really been up to anything “big” in over 10 years. I’m not sure how much of her original fanbase is still invested enough to come out and vote for her, which will likely cause her to rely heavily on pulling people in with great dancing. And from what I’ve seen from the media so far – Brandy seems like a focused, hard worker, but doesn’t seem to be a natural when it comes to ballroom. However, I do think she has an advantage in having Maks, who does have a large fanbase, and is a good choreographer – when he isn’t pissing off the judges or throwing fits (then again, like Heidi, I blame a lot of his less savory behavior last season on Erin, who seemed to bring out the worst in him, for whatever reason). However, it is encouraging to see Maks & Brandy practicing and no tantrums being thrown by either party – the energy between them seems much more synergistic than it was between him and some of his other partners. I daresay this will likely result in some really good, memorable routines. However, when it comes down to it, I think they’re no match for…
1.) Rick Fox & Cheryl Burke – Ok, pick your jaw up off the floor, and let me explain why I think these two could be the couple to beat this season. First off, athletes generally do well (duh) – and pretty male athletes tend to do REALLY well (think Jason Taylor, Apolo Ohno, Helio Castroneves). And when a pretty athlete teams up with a pretty female pro – watch out. I have already said multiple times that I think these two are going to be this season’s most handsome couple. Plus Cheryl is statistically the strongest female pro on the show – two wins, one 2nd place finish, one 3rd place finish, and 2 trips to the semi finals in her 9 seasons on the show – and she’s also one of the toughest, which Rick has said works well for him. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Rick is not completely inept in the rhythm department – ex-wifey Vanessa Williams was a fantastic dancer, and I can’t imagine that a little bit of know-how didn’t rub off on him during their 5-year marriage. Rick also has the boon of being a star not only from his basketball career, but also his acting career – he’s appeared on quite a few TV shows. Both he and Cheryl seem to have pretty good-sized fanbases on their own, too, which gives them a bit of an edge over couples where the celeb isn’t as popular as the pro, and vice-versa. Seems like this couple has a pretty good hand to play…but they do seem to be keeping their poker face up. Not a whole lot of media leakage on these two, which makes me think that they’re really trying to play up the whole surprise factor when Rick turns out to be pretty damn good. Cheryl seemed to do the same thing with Gilles, and look how he panned out. But I daresay it will be interesting to see what these two have up their sleeves
So there you have it – I’ve laid out my predictions for this season’s couples, without any of them having actually set foot on the floor. Definitely hoping for some surprises this season, since this is the most level the playing field has been in quite some time. But what do you guys think? Am I onto something? Am I full of crap? SPEAK UP!
ABC has a commercial up on YouTube that gives a little bit more of a look at the contestants. Bristol is the only one that lets Mark do all the talking.
Access Hollywood with some stuff from Maks and Brandy that we’ve seen before – but before that a special treat for the men on this site. Edyta show one of the Bachelor guys some moves while is psycho girlfriend glares. Damn, this woman’s body is astounding.
I’ve got ten bucks that the Paparazzi manufacture drama.
Audrina and Tony on Extra – I dunno, Audrina has NO hips at all.
In part I of this series, we took a look at the 4 stars this season that likely have the largest amount of “previous dance experience” – Brandy, Florence, Jennifer, & David. What did we gather? That even though they’re the most “experienced” of this season’s cast – they still don’t have much of an advantage. Oh, and we did have some laughs along the way
And laughs don’t stop there, kids. Today, we’re gonna take a look at the rest of the cast, and see if they have any “previous experience” that might give them a leg up in the competition. A fair warning: while part I was semi-serious, don’t expect too much intelligent discussion on this one – because some of this dancing is just downright laughable! I recommend using the restroom before you commence reading, lest you wet yourself from laughing too hard & too long
Our first subject today? Kyle Massey, who filmed a music video for a song he did on the Underdog movie soundtrack a few years back:
Courtney: He gets an A+ for bouncing around and flailing his arms – but thank goodness he leaves that sizzling choreography to his backup dancers. The dog is clearly the best dancer in this video.
Marianya: Boingy, boingy, boingy… I think Tigger bounces better than he does. That being said, I don’t know if bouncing in place and tossing arms this way and that would constitute as dancing… but people seem to do that a lot in clubs. So if this was Club Dancing with the Stars, he’d have a good chance to hit top spot…
Heidi: Forget the “dancing”, can we talk about his ability to lip sync? He has none. I mean, aren’t your lips supposed to go with the words to the song? I was so distracted by that that I didn’t notice the dancing or lack thereof. LOL. Underdog?? I’m too old for this, aren’t I.
The verdict: If this were “Clubbing with the Stars” or “Bouncing with the Stars”, he’d be a shoo-in. But if it were “Lip-Syncing with the Stars” – he’d be the first sent home.
Bet you thought Jennifer Grey was the only star this season that had ever been in a dance movie, huh? Well think again – Margaret Cho did a little dance flick called Can’t Stop Dancing 1999 – keep an eye out for sweet moves by Marge at the :43 & :49 marks:
Heidi: Okay, I’m just twisted enough to find that amusing. CHEESY, but amusing. I’m thinking that shoulder won’t take her far, but we’ll be laughing while she’s with us.
Courtney: HOW THE HELL DID I MISS THIS MOVIE WHEN IT CAME OUT?! I must rent this…ASAP. And Heidi, I’m going to have to disagree about Marge’s shoulder popping & back bending – they’re far more entertaining & challenging than some of the moves in Tony & Kate’s BreakfastClub-themed foxtrot.
Marianya: Interestingly enough, my friends and I are fans of Margaret Cho. What we agreed is that Margaret’s weight is directly relative to what type of work out she’s doing. So as amusing as I found the vid to be… I find this much more my taste for Margaret Cho, or even this one…. Whether Louis could integrate them into ballroom or use that to their advantage remains to be seen.
The verdict: Not much Marge can glean from her experiences in this movie…other than how to make us laugh like crazy, and have a good time while she’s doing it!
Next up: Kurt Warner, who did a little “Walk it Out” with Larry Fitzgerald at a charity basketball game in 2009:
Marianya: He’s got rhythm, he’s got music.. He is my man do I need to ask for anything more… Sorry I blame Courtney. Mildly entertaining, for a quarterback, at least he’s willing to put himself out there and have a bit of fun. *watches again* Ok… not really mildly entertaining, I can’t stop watching and rewatching and rewatching… ugh this is sad.
Heidi: LOOK OUT!! Kurt has got some rhythm!! Again, highly amusing – but the fact that the guy doesn’t take himself too seriously might cause me to re-evaluate my ranking of him in this competition. Although he might bend his knees TOO much for Len.
Courtney: Calling it right now – if Kurt & Anna make it to the finale, “Walk it Out” will be their freestyle KIDDING!!!But yah – I love that the guy isn’t too uptight to do a little impromptu grooving at an event, in front of A LOT of people. He, like the Hoff (and really Margaret too), may have an advantage in that he’s not afraid of embarassing himself.
The verdict: Kurt’s adorable – but he’s not gonna win any points with Len for “walking it out”…if anything, he may “walk it out” of the competition if he dances like this!
Now Michael Bolton isn’t typically known for doing really any dancing in his videos – but this is the closest thing I could find. Ladies, for your enjoyment, the Bolton classic “How Can We Be Lovers If We Can’t Be Friends”:
Courtney: W-O-W. I had forgotten how music videos from the ’90s were so overwrought with emotion. And is there a rule about being in Michael Bolton videos? Like you have to have long, permed hair or something? It’s a pretty loose definition of dancing, but Michael does the “I’m in emotional agony” clenched-fists-while-hitting-those-high-notes pretty damn well and he dips that mic stand like a pro.
Marianya: Is it bad that this song is in my playlist? Aren’t I a bit young to enjoy Michael Bolton effectively? Why the hell does he have long hair? Does he think that he’s a girl? Why do people throw their panties at people? How do they take their panties off to throw onto the stage? Do people strip on the spot to throw their panties and bras on the stage? Ok… yeeeaaaah…
Heidi: So, like, what was the deal with the little James Bond Homage in the middle of the video? And, like, where can I get a pink guitar. Also, like, was this before the miracle bra because these chicks need some help. I suddenly have, like, the urge to throw my panties at my computer. Like, why do I keep saying like?? Like I think I might be in the wrong decade, but who the hell knows?
Courtney: Marianya, don’t feel too bad – it’s on my iPod too, and my roommate my freshman year of college & I used to dance around to this before exams to get pumped up. And as for the removal of undergarmets at concerts – a bra is pretty easy to remove without doffing one’s top. The panties, I’m not quite sure how they pull that one off…is there such a thing as tear-away panties? On second thought – nobody answer that.
The verdict: Michael makes us want to scream, cry, and hurl our undergarmets at him – but he doesn’t really make us wanna dance. Nope, not really.
Looks like we’ve got a Situation on her hands – he and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast appeared in Enrique Iglesias’ latest video, “I Like It”…feel free to fast forward to the 2:34 mark, when the signature Jersey “fist pumping” begins:
Heidi: Shit, Enrique is HOT. How did I manage to ignore him for so long? Oh, right, I ignore pop music as a rule. Was the Situation in this video? And what the hell is a Snookie? See my earlier comment about ignoring pop music – I’m also trying very hard to ignore MTV. Indie and classic rock all the way!!
Courtney: Am I the only one that finds this song downright awful? I think I’d rather get a root canal than listen to it voluntarily. And yes, the Situation was the one in the lavender button-down (which was completely unbuttoned)leading the rest of those hoodlums in that challenging fist pump section. Oh, and a Snooki is a low-calorie whipped dessert…according to Simon Cowell
Marianya: I had to watch the video several times because I was paying more attention to Enrique than to “the Situation”… Unlike Heidi, I listen to pop music, in the car trip between the ‘burbs and the city. He’s been hitting the circuit a lot… first SYTYCD, then AGT… wasn’t he on DWTS recently too?
The verdict: No Situation here – fist pumping is not going to win you the mirrorball trophy on DWTS.
And last but not least, we come to Bristol. Ok, so maybe it’s not Bristol herself…but they say dance skills run in the family, right?
Marianya: I got not comment about the pick, but man I hope she isn’t as bratty as rumors are claiming that she is b/c I would rather prefer to be taken by surprised… ah que sera sera. I suppose they are wanting to egg on mama bear to protect her young… and that would bring in more drama. Poor Mark.
Heidi: Girl, it’s going to be hard enough to stay away from politics and the freakin’ train wreck that is Sarah Palin (she made up another new word this week – 5 point to the person who can tell me the word) without you putting up pictures of her on the site. And remember, don’t punish the daughter for the sins of the mother. Just punish her for being a sucky dancer (if she is).
Courtney: Well what the hell was I supposed to post, considering that the only videos I can find of Bristol online are of her walking or talking? While I find this mildly amusing (if this ever happened in real life, I’d check to see if pigs were soaring in the skies above and if there was a forecast of snow in hell), shame on whoever defaced poor Karina’s body. This is a pretty damn seamless photoshop job, though…I will say that.
The verdict: Bristol’s just plain screwed, whatever way you look at it. Poor Mark.
Heidi: Hold UP a minute, Courtney, you forgot one. Rick Fox.
Heidi: Personally, I’m a fan of ass dancing. Hee.
Courtney: Go Rick Fox, it’s your birthday, we gonna party like it’s your birthday…
Marianya: I don’t think it’s ass dancing as much as it’s ass bouncing. At least I prefer his bounce over Kyle’s… which on second thought isn’t a good thing either.
The verdict: Hope Rick’s got a strong caboose after doing all this bouncing…because Cheryl’s gonna whip that caboose into shape if not!
We hope you all enjoyed this journey of mediocre (and downright ridiculous) dancing as much as we did For those of you wondering about Audrina and her suspicious absence – we just couldn’t find anything remotely dance-related that she’s done in the past. So if you happen to be in possession of a video or photo of Audrina shaking her groove thing, please – do share We’ll even give you credit!
It’s that time of the year again! Time for me to do my preliminary power ranking of this season’s couples as a sort of prediction of how things will play out between now & November. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about (or just need a refresher from last season ), I do a weekly ranking of the couples after each performance show that is basically a measure of how likely they are to stick around that week. Now this is NOT a ranking of who danced the best; we all know that just because a couple is at the top of the leaderboard, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. This is a far more comprehensive ranking – it takes into account not only a couple’s performance, but also how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting demographic is, how memorable they are, etc.
I correctly predicted last season’s top 5 before the season even began – I’m hoping to best that this season by correctly predicting the top 6 But anywho, here’s my bottom half – the 6 couples I don’t think we should get too attached to, because I don’t foresee them sticking around for long…but there are always surprises!
12.) Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino & Karina Smirnoff – I really did have high hopes for these two, but unfortunately I just think they have too many odds stacked against them to last past the first week – that is, unless The Sitch turns out to be a natural, because they haven’t even started practicing yet. And they likely won’t until the week prior to the show, if what Karina’s tweeting is correct, since he’s wrapping up taping of the current season of Jersey Shore. Speaking of that show – I’m on the fence as to whether it’s going to be a boon or a burden for him. I said that I didn’t think Wildboyz & Jackass fans would tune in & vote for Steve-O, but he lasted until week 5…but I think Steve-O was also getting a bit of a sympathy vote from his recent stint in rehab. I’m not sure there’s anything for voters to feel sympathetic about as far as Mike’s concerned. And Jersey Shore is a really polarizing show – people either love it or hate it, so I hope to god that Mike is charming as can be if he wants to stick around. Karina is a pro that seems equally as polarizing – people seem to either adore her or loathe her (I’m in the former camp), and I’m afraid that her voting fanbase is just not going to be able to compensate for any lack of votes on the part of his fans. I hope to god that I’m wrong, because I really would like to see how these two do…but I’m preparing myself to see Mike join the infamous “first eliminees” club.
11.) Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer – The only reason I see these two lasting longer than Mike & Karina is Lacey’s fanbase: she seems to have a decent-sized one, and they seem to be the type that are very motivated to vote. Echoing Heidi’s sentiments, Kyle is definitely the celebrity that has people going “Who?” this season – even co-workers of mine that have kids who watch Disney religiously were drawing a blank when I mentioned his name (and yes, for those of you who are new, I do use the ladies in my office as a sort of sample demographic – most are in their 30s & 40s with school-aged kids, which seems to be the biggest viewing demographic of the show). As for his dance prowess, if Lacey’s tweets and the rehearsal pictures that have been released are any indicator, then Kyle seems to be a bit of an awkward mover – and a jokester, so Lacey may have a hard time getting him to focus. Kyle may benefit slightly from the “mom” vote, but unless he’s really pretty good…I don’t think these two will last past the first few weeks.
10.) Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas – If Kate Gosselin’s longer-than-anyone-could-have-expected tenure on the show last season was any indicator, it’s that America loves controversial celebs – and I daresay Bristol has that position covered this season. Just like Heidi, I don’t see her getting sent home any sooner than week 3 – heck, I could even see her lasting until week 4 or 5, at the expense of a better dancer. I actually see her lasting longer if she’s exceptionally bad – just like viewers latch onto the best dancers, they also seem to enjoy keeping the bad ones around…everyone loves watching a train wreck. Mark’s also got one of the bigger fanbases on the show, so even if people don’t particularly care for Bristol, they’ll vote to keep Mark in the game, especially since he was eliminated so early last season. Judging from the rehearsal photos, it looks like Mark’s got his work cut out for him – Bristol definitely looks awkward. She’s also been pretty quiet and mundane in the media, so I don’t think she’s gonna make a huge impression in anyone’s minds – unless she’s just a really bad dancer. In which case, George Lopez may dub her this season’s Kate, and take it upon himself to campaign to keep her in…that fool.
9.) Audrina Patridge & Tony Dovolani – There’s been a good amount of debate so far about whether Audrina’s gonna sink or swim…I’m leaning towards the former. Audrina’s done a little bit of modeling, and I don’t know of any dancing she’s done (besides what you do in a smoke-filled club), so I’m inclined to think that she’s gonna go more the route of Holly Madison and Kathy Ireland than Melissa Rycroft or Stacy Keibler. Don’t get me wrong, she seems like a very sweet, pretty girl – a very sweet, pretty girl that’s not gonna make a whole lot of waves, good or bad. And unless she’s got some hidden skills we don’t know about (superhuman flexibility, gymnastics, etc.), I doubt Tony’s choreography is going to really showcase her well. As for voting power…I know The Hills had a cult-like following, but at the same time, just because someone likes that show doesn’t mean they necessarily like Audrina (I’ve known plenty who watched the show who absolutely despised her, for whatever reason). And Tony’s gotten sent home fairly early before – I don’t think he has the voting fanbase to carry them both. Oh well…at least she’ll look pretty in the costumes!
8.) Margaret Cho & Louis Van Amstel – No doubt, these two will be the comic relief this season. I didn’t think anyone could top the hilarity of Niecy & Louis, but this very well may do it! Do I think that Margaret is going to be a stellar dancer? Hell no, but neither was Niecy – I’m pretty sure she & Louis realized that pretty quickly, which is why they went to town working the comedy angle, and it worked for them. Margaret is a well-known comedian, so I could see die hard fans of hers coming out to vote; Louis is a bit more of a wild card, as I don’t really know if he has the broad-spectrum appeal of Derek or Mark – he does, however, seem to have the support of the LGBT community (as does Margaret), which quite a powerful demographic. I don’t think that alone (and their schtick) is going to carry them through to the midpoint of the competition, though, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot for Louis to pull out of her in terms of real skill. Margaret is also known to get a bit bawdy in her comedy – something I think she may have to reign in if she doesn’t want to risk offending a good part of the voting audience. Overall, I think they’ll be fun to watch – but the humor will eventually wear thin and pale in comparison to better dancers and bigger fanbases.
7.) Michael Bolton & Chelsie Hightower – I know some people don’t really have high hopes for these two, but I think some people are really underestimating Michael’s appeal – I remember grown women & teenagers alike going CRAZY for this guy in the early 90s. As in screaming, crying, and bra-throwing crazy. And to be honest, the guy has aged pretty well – he’s definitely not terrible to look at (thank god he got rid of that ratty-ass hair!), and he’s still making music. I would bet those same women from 20 years ago still carry a bit of a torch for him, and they will step up to the plate & vote. As will the growing population of Chelsie fans – I think she’s all but filled in the role of the blonde, Mormon girl-next-door left vacant by Julianne. Will Michael be one of the breakout dancers of this season? Meh – probably not. But I do think he’ll make an honest effort, and I daresay he won’t be nearly as bad as some other guys. And honestly, I’m actually starting to warm to the idea of he & Chelsie together…it doesn’t seem like quite the odd couple that it first appeared, especially when you compare them to Ashly & Buzz (which, oddly enough, seemed to work as well). I honestly vacillated between putting them at 6th or 7th – and I still think they could potentially make it to the top half of the pack. But I think it’ll hinge upon how the couple I placed at #6 does…
…and with that, I give you the first half of my pre-season power rankings Curious about who I have making it to the finale, and who I have taking home the mirrorball trophy? Then stay tuned for part II…and I’ll give you a hint: my winner is different from the one Heidi predicted