Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

DWTS 14, Week 7 – Who’s Got the Edge in the Team Dances?

So we now know for sure what the team dances are (paso doble & tango) and who’s on what team (Katherine, Maria, Jaleel, & Roshon vs. William, Donald, & Melissa).  So who’s gonna win? Let’s see how they stack up.  I looked at several factors that could come into play in helping to determine who has the advantage – experience level of the pros on each team, experience level of the couples on each team, number of couples on each team, what dance each team has, and other miscellaneous factors that may affect the outcome.  So let’s get to it!

Pro Team Dance Experience

Derek: 6 wins (seasons 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13), 0 losses, 0 ties; average team dance score: 27.5
Cheryl: 4 wins (seasons 7, 8, 10, 13), 1 loss (season 11), 0 ties; average team dance score: 26.8
Kym: 2 wins (seasons 7 & 9), 1 loss (season 13), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25.75*
Maks: 2 wins (seasons 11 & 13), 1 loss (season 10), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25*
Chelsie: 1 win (season 8), 0 losses, 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 25*
Mark: 0 wins, 2 losses (seasons 8 & 11), 1 tie (season 12); average team dance score: 23.67*
Peta: 0 wins, 0 losses, 0 ties (never been in a team dance); average team dance score: 0

*Since there were 4 judges’ scores given for the team dances in season 12, I subtracted Donnie Burns’ score from the two team dances in that season in order to normalize with all of the other seasons, which only had 3 judges’ scores. 

Team Tango: I’d say their biggest advantage is having Derek – the guy’s undefeated, so he’s clearly figured out the formula for what works and what doesn’t work in the team dances.  Say what you will about team dances being a product of all the pros working together (I agree to some extent), but the only common denominator in every single team dance win has been Derek, regardless of what other pros have been on each team with him, what the dance style has been, etc.  Many of the pros have also gone on record as saying that they tend to let Derek take the lead when choreographing the group portions of the team dance, so I’d say he probably has a lot to do with the success of each of the teams he’s on, as the judges do tend to really harp on synchonization, interesting formation patterns, and overall performance quality in the group portion of team dances.  I’d say Kym is an asset as well – she’s been on a team with Derek twice before (one of those times was another team tango), and when she hasn’t been on a team with him, she’s managed to tie once, and the 1 team dance she lost was not really all that bad, IMO.  I don’t really know if Chelsie is battle-tested enough to say whether she’s good in the team dance or not – but I don’t get the impression that she is one to make waves, so she will probably be very cooperative and easy to get along with.  My only concern is Mark – he seemed rather volatile in the team dance rehearsals in season 12, and seems to have a penchant for very flashy, high-energy, in-your-face choreo…which doesn’ t always translate well in the team dances.  I’m hoping that he lets Derek take the lead on the group choreography, and really focuses on giving Katherine some good, solid solo choreography this week.

Team Paso: While I think they don’t have quite the same edge that Team Katherine does, I don’t think they’re super weak, either.  Both Cheryl & Maks have been on teams with Derek before, so they’ve probably at least picked up a few tricks and strategies – I would say Maks is probably the stronger choreographer, judging from what I’ve seen him do in other team dances and pro dances.  The big question mark here is Peta – we just don’t know how she’s going to fare, since this will be her first team dance.  I doubt she’s going to suck at it (I don’t think anyone has really sucked at it – except maybe the unfortunate souls in the team mambo in season 8…), but it may take her a little longer to really get a feel for how the team dances work and what to do for Donald’s solo.  I think she’s probably going to rely on Cheryl & Maks for the group choreo, and isn’t likely to make any sort of big fuss, since she’s the new kid on the block.

Who has the edge in pro experience? I’ve got to give this one to Team Tango - they’ve got the only undefeated pro, and each of the other pros has been in at least 2 team dances. Read more..

April 26, 2012 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!

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part I

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just ready for the cast announcement so we can get all of this speculating over & done with! But to help us get a handle on who might be in and out, let’s take a look at what combination of “casting types” we might get this season.

The Olympian

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

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: The only semi-legitmate Olympian prospect I think we’ve heard is Bruce Jenner – and I would like to think that TPTB would have mercy and not subject us to back-to-back seasons of Kardashians in the audience :-D

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, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Jericho, Hines Ward, Ron Artest

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: Vince Young tweeted that he had been asked to the do the show, then suspiciously deleted the tweet.  Guilty much? ;-) We’ve also heard Annika Sorenstam’s name in the mix.

Read more..

February 26, 2012 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!

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!

DWTS Season 11 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 11, Part I

Prior to the cast announcement last season, some of you may remember me analyzing the typecasting of DWTS – basically, the patterns in celeb casting over the seasons which can help us to predict who we might see each season.  Interesting to note – last season’s cast fulfilled all 12 of my types (counting Nicole as both a “Teen Idol” and a “Singer”).  So why not examine those types again and see what we might get for this season? ;-)

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.

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: Johnny Weir fans (including Karina Smirnoff) have been tweeting like crazy trying to get him cast this season, but I don’t see them succeeding.  I see more possibilities with swimmer Greg Louganis, who has been trying to get on the show for several seasons now, or gymnast Nastia Liukin – a teammate of Shawn Johnson’s & an alleged former flame of Lysacek.

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

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: At this point, the numerous (reputable) news outlets reporting that Kurt Warner is going to be on season 11, along with Kurt’s own coy dodging of questions regarding his participation, make him almost a lock for this season in my eyes.   Don’t see a whole lot of hope for wrestler Shelley Martinez. Landon Donovan is a toss-up for me – maybe, maybe not. We here at Pure DWTS would love to see a representative from a more unique sport – such as jockey Chantal SutherlandTroy Aikmen – nice try, but we’re pretty sure you’re just joshin’ us ;-)

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 “pretty girl backlash” – the female viewers may turn on them due to jealousy or perceived arrogance, or just never vote for them in the first place, instead giving their votes to the attractive male participants.

Possible candidates this season: Rumors have been flying about UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste, and True Beauty contestant Amy Schmoldt has been hinting that she’d like to do the show.

The Legend

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

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: The Betty White rumor seems to be kaput, so that only leaves Ryan O’Neal, whose name we’ve heard only a few times as a possible contestant.

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 most likely is probably Nancy Lee Grahn, since she’s on an ABC soap.  Although I’d love to see Martha Byrne’s campaigners succeed in getting her on the show! As for the men – seems like the only name we’ve heard is Antonio Sabato Jr., and that really just seems more like wishful thinking on the part of his fans.

The Comedian

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

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: The only name we’ve heard is Heather McDonald, and we can’t even telling if she’s serious or kidding :-P

Tune in for part II, when I make my predictions for who we might see in the way of reality TV stars, teen idols, and much more!

August 25, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Why Do DWTS?

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

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

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

 Reason #1: They’re broke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 1, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

The Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning to Get Your Celeb on DWTS

Almost overnight, there has been a sudden surge in net “campaigns” to get certain celebs cast on season 11 of DWTS.  Fans of everyone from Johnny Weir to Martha Byrne to Antonio Sabato Jr. have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and various message boards & fan sites (including this one) in hopes of gaining support for their cause and catching the eye of the DWTS casting directors. 

Now while I definitely admire the enthusiasm & determination of some of the individuals behind these campaigns, I have to admit – some of them aren’t necessarily going about it the right way.  Now while I don’t consider myself an expert by any means on how to get your favorite celeb cast on a reality show (DWTS or otherwise), I do think there’s a certain strategy to it…a strategy I will outline below, which I call “The Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning for DWTS”.

 But first and foremost, I feel as though I must share this:

 I DON’T THINK CAMPAIGNING REALLY WORKS FOR DWTS.

 Why? One, it has yet to work thus far; two, with DWTS getting its highest ratings yet this past season, the casting directors can afford to be picky and choosy about who they invite to do the show…meaning that lesser-known celebs (who had a better chance of being on one of the earlier seasons – and are more likely to be the ones having to campaign to get on this season) are less likely to be on the producers’ radar as part of a casting “wish list”.  Why would the “powers that be” go after little-known or washed-up actors, singers, athletes, and models when they can command big names like Donny Osmond, Susan Lucci, and Cloris Leachman? It’s also a matter of supply & demand: the less “available” a star appears to be due to a booming career, the more viewers will tune in to watch them, and the more “in demand” they will be.  In contrast, a star who hasn’t really done anything or seems to have been forgotten after years of inactivity will not pull as many viewers, and desperate campaigning will only reinforce their “availability”…making them less in demand.

That said, if I truly believed that campaigning worked for this show (and who knows, this season it actually might!), here’s some do’s and don’ts I would follow. 

 DO: Make sure your celeb actually wants to do the show.  Kind of a no-brainer – why toil away to try and get a celeb on the show, only to have them turn it down if they’re offered the chance? This is what unfortunately happened with the campaign to get Betty White on the show – a really strong, well-organized campaign was created, but it only lasted a few weeks before Betty publicly said that she wasn’t interested in doing the show.  This is one area where I give the folks campaigning for Johnny & Antonio props – those celebs are behind them 110%.

 DO: Do your homework about your celeb.  Find out everything you can about their career, personal life, hobbies, etc.  You never know what info could help you with your promotion of them.  You also want to know any of the less “savory” details of your celeb’s past (i.e. criminal records, known drug use, sex tapes – generally anything that would be considered “bad publicity”) so that you can come up with a strategy for downplaying them should these indiscretions be brought up as grounds for not having them on the show.

 DON’T: Get caught not knowing crucial details about your celeb. You need to be able to convince people that they’re worthy of being on the show.  If you can’t be bothered to actually care enough to know the details of their life & career, why should anyone else?

 DO: Come up with specific examples of why your celeb should be on the show.  What are they known for? Have they won any awards for it?  The latter is especially important – the show announces every celeb with a “tagline” (i.e. “Emmy award-winning soap actress Susan Lucci!” “Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek!” “Oscar winner Cloris Leachman!” “NFL Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin!”), and the ones that make the biggest impression are the ones that have been recognized for their achievement in their particular area of expertise.  The producers LOVE a good, important-sounding tagline – it reinforces a particular celeb’s notability.  Not an award-winner? Mention anything notable they’ve been involved with.  Did they pose in Playboy? Are they a billionaire entrepreneur? Have they held some sort of prestigious public office? Mention that.  The producers of the show are concerned with ratings; you need to tell them how this particular celeb will bring in viewers – and awards and achievements are all concrete examples of this.

 DON’T: Be vague or weak in your arguments for why your celeb is notable. “So-and-so is a really good actor/singer/athlete/etc.” is wishy-washy and a matter of opinion.  So is “so-and-so is a really good person/has a great personality”.  Unless you can support any of these with awards won or evidence of charity work or cite specific examples of their “great personality” from interviews, none are valid arguments and are purely subjective. This is just like a high school research paper – you need to back up your statements with facts and examples, or else you really have no argument at all.   

 DO: Favorably mention previous celebs who have done the show that are similar to your celeb.  By comparing your celeb to one who has done the show in the past, you can demonstrate that there is a niche to be filled by your celeb on the show.  Are they a soap actor? Mention the popularity of contestants like Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, and Kelly Monaco.  Show people that your celeb would fit in on the show.

DON’T: Diss ANYONE involved with the show. It’s quite possibly the WORST thing you can do to garner support for your celeb. You’re sucking up to the producers – if you’re dissing any of the pros, hosts, judges, or previous contestants, it’s like telling them they’ve screwed up in creating the show…and now they’re ignoring whatever else you were going to say, even if it was insightful, because you’ve inadvertently insulted them.  Oh, and some of the viewers that may have otherwise joined your cause – they’re gone now too, because you have put down their favorite pro/judge/host/former contestant/etc.  And really, if your strongest arguments center around trash talking anyone from the show…then you really have no case to plead.  Focus on positively talking up your own celeb instead.

DO: Get creative.  Ok, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are pretty much par for the course these days – but there are ways to set yourself apart from the masses of campaigners.  Make those pages really “pop” with good-quality videos & pix of your celeb, create some cute Twibbons or profile pix for supporters to use, or do a fun youtube video about your celeb, a la the Martha Byrne campaigners (really, the whole Martha Byrne campaign is to be lauded – IMO, they’re doing everything right).  Or, better yet, register your own domain name – get[your celeb here]ondwts.com.  This gives you a place where you have the undivided attention of those coming to the site – and odds are, they already might be interested in your cause, if they got to the site in the first place.  It’s a lot more effective than fighting with all of the other rival campaigners duking it out on general DWTS message boards, and you reap the benefits of your site popping up for everyone searching your celeb’s name on the search engines.

 DON’T: Start rattling off conspiracy theories about the show. Again, rather than focusing on the POSITIVE aspects of your own celeb, you’ve resorted to convoluted, rambling suspicions about how the show is biased against this, or plays favorites with that, or how the show is rigged, yadda yadda yadda…you get the idea.  Now everyone is looking at you like the proverbial crazy lady with the tinfoil hat who’s warning the neighbors about the upcoming alien invasion.  You just come across as crazy & irrational, and people don’t put stock in either of those qualities.  When in doubt, Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one – so complex conspiracy theories are rather pointless, anyway. Don’t get wrapped up in them ;-)

 DO: Proofread your work.  This may seem silly to some of you, but be honest: are you going pay more attention to a well-written, logical, coherent piece of campaign writing, or the one littered with grammar & spelling mistakes, obscenities, and punctuation overkill? The former makes you sound intelligent and considerate enough to make your work as easy as possible for viewers to read; the latter makes you sound immature and lazy, and will quickly make anyone attempting to read it lose interest in your message.  It’s a quick fix, mmmkay?

DON’T: Spam everyone involved with the show via Twitter, Facebook, fan sites, message boards, etc. This just serves to annoy them and will likely result in you getting blocked.  Johnny Weir fans, take heed: the pros, hosts, and judges have no input in what celebs get cast each season, so there’s really no point in relentlessly spamming Chelsie, Mark, Derek, Maks, Tony, Julianne, Tom, Carrie-Ann, Randall the costume designer, Joe Schmoe in craft services, Jimmy the cameraman, Kathy in ABC’s publicity department, etc. on Twitter, begging them to put Johnny on season 11.  If anything, this may actually deter the producers from casting a particular celeb due to a perceived unfair advantage.  And really, just don’t spam PERIOD – it annoys everyone.  A few well-worded tweets or wall posts are far more effective than a thousand repetitive ones. 

 DO: Work smarter, not harder. Now I really have to give Heidi credit for coming up with this one while she was proofreading this post for me (see kids? Even I proofread my work! :-D ).  Rather than the pointless & misguided spamming of everyone and their brother mentioned above, focus your efforts on those that actually share your interest to begin with – fans of that celeb.  See who’s mentioning [insert celeb here] in their tweets – follow them.  If they see you’re into [insert celeb here] as well, they will likely follow back…and then they’ll see all the stuff you’re tweeting about the campaign in their feed.  Better yet, see who’s following [insert celeb here], and follow them too – they’re going to be the ones who are most likely to help support the cause.  You can even set up your tweet deck (or whatever Twitter program you use) to search for any mention of that celeb’s name out in the Twitterverse, which can also lead you to potential supporters.  Really kids, it’s not all about quantity of tweets in this case…it’s about the quality.

So there you have it – the Courtney strategy for getting your celeb on DWTS.  Will it work? Probably not, but it may at least stop some of the campaigning madness that we’ve witnessed here ;-)  

July 27, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

Dancing with the Stars Curse

We’ve written a number of times in the past about Dancing with the Stars having so many injuries. Some people speculated it was some sort of curse on Dancing with the Stars or something crazy. That’s really crazy talk to me. Dancing is very physical and so injuries are just a part of the environment. Especially when we’re talking about people who don’t dance, dancing this much.

Maybe the curse isn’t injuries, but is instead legal problems after being on the show. This past week it was reported that both Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp were having legal troubles. A woman is claiming that Michael Irvin raped her 2 years ago in a Florida hotel room. Her suit against him is amazingly timed during the circus that is the Super Bowl. Michael has countersued the woman saying that he lost his job as an announcer with ESPN radio because of the false accusations. Here’s some details from Michael’s side:

In his complaint, Irvin claims Mustafa “signed not one (1) but two (2) waivers of prosecution,” on July 21, 2007, “the day after opening a file with the Police Department.”
He claims, “The Seminole Police Department found Mustafa’s claims un-credible and stopped actively investigating the file over two (2) years ago.”
Irvin claims Mustafa “decided to take another shot” at him “(a)fter seeing Irvin’s success on Dancing with the Stars and his new show Fourth and Long.”
The complaint states, “It is typical for fame-seekers to attack celebrities of Irvin’s stature to try and make a quick buck. …

Warren Sapp was charged with domestic battery in South Florida and was not part of the NFL network’s Super Bowl coverage as an analyst because of the charge. Here’s the allegations against Sapp:

The victim had a swollen knee and bruises on her neck, according to an arrest affidavit. She told detectives that she was partying with Sapp and her friends at the hotel and asked for his room key when she grew tired. Sapp reportedly woke up the victim a few hours later and they started to argue. She told investigators that Sapp started to choke her and pushed her down on a couch.

As the argument escalated, Sapp grabbed the woman by her shirt and neck and threw her down again, the affidavit states.

Sapp told investigators that he let the woman stay in his room but asked her to leave a few hours later. He told police that the woman fell on her leg when he tried to help her get off a couch.

It’s hard to make a judgement against either person since we don’t know all the facts. No doubt Michael Irvin is known as a ladies man. I’ve heard him talk a few times about parties back in his Cowboys days and the number of women they’d have there. However, that doesn’t mean he raped this girl. It’s also not hard to see a 300 lb Sapp with a little alcohol doing something and not even realizing it. It’s too bad for both individuals since they were such high class celebrities on DWTS. I’m sure this will all work itself out in the courts.

This isn’t the first time a past DWTS celebrity has had trouble with the law. You might remember that Helio Castroneves was charged with tax evasion He was later acquitted on 6 counts of tax evasion, but was hung on one count of conspiracy.

February 10, 2010 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

DWTS Season 9, Week 7 – More Media

Reality Chat with Sabrina Bryan.

Entertainment Tonight from Tuesday

This is actually from Week 6 – Louie and Melissa

November 5, 2009 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. :-)