Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvinstev talked to Access Hollywood today about Dancing With The Stars. They talk of what it felt like to be on the chopping block this past week and lots more. You can watch it HERE and HERE.
So, before we get started on this week’s numbers, let’s have a little retrospective on Heather and what led to her demise on the show.
I keep seeing a lot of commentary on the various posts about how the show can “get rid of” whoever they want in the double elimination etc. etc. That’s not really true. They can’t change the actual votes – do you really think they would let Heather and Maks go if that were the case? Any explanation for that move would require a lot of tin foil.
What they CAN do – and do often – is manipulate the audience’s feelings about the contestants and thereby affect how people decide to vote. They are masters at that. They don’t decide to toss David off the show, or Nick. What they can do is underscore them, talk negatively about their dances, and so on. And people are SHEEP. We call them sheeple. 🙂 They believe, often, what the judges and producers put out there.
But it doesn’t always work. Enter Heather (and Audrina, Brandy and others before her). Quite a few things had to happen for Heather to leave last Monday. Courtney and I both had a gut feel she would be eliminated long before her time…but I think both of us were very surprised that it happened last week. I was thinking this week, especially in a double elimination. But nope – this past week, all of the following things happened, which caused Heather to be eliminated: …Read more
And no, it’s not solely just “sexism” from the judges/audience/viewers – stay with me.
Over the past 48 hours, I have rolled my eyes so hard over some of the complaints about the group dances that it’s a wonder they haven’t gotten stuck. The majority of the ridiculous comments seem to be coming from the disgruntled #TeamGirlGroup crowd, who seem eager to complain about “sexism” on the show. Yes, sexism is a problem on DWTS – a big one, and one that Heidi & I will attempt to tackle in a future post. But why the Team Girl Group fans are complaining, I’m not sure, because the girls got one point more than the guys did – last I checked, the “winner” of the team dance was determined by who got more points. So congrats – you won. Why are you so upset?
My guess is that they’re mad about Team Boy Band generally getting more positive feedback from both the judges and the viewers – to which I say “well, tough luck” because people disagreeing with you is kind of a fact of life. You’re never going to agree with everyone, all the time. But in the interest of turning this into a teaching moment, I’m going to indulge some of you and explain just what many of us found wrong with the girl’s dance, and what the boys team did right. Whether you choose to actually consider it is up to you – but I can tell you now that empty accusations of “sexism!!!” undermine the real instances of sexism we encounter on a daily basis; and within the context of DWTS, believe me – women in general (particularly the female pros) tend to get screwed on a regular basis.
First, let me lead with this: I do not blame the female celebs for any of the failures of their team dance, so if you’re trying to twist this into “You’re being mean to Normani!” or “You’re being really unfair to Heather!”, you’re putting up straw men, you’re gonna get called out, and you’re gonna look dumb. The onus is on the pros to create and choreograph a suitable routine to make their partners look good – and I feel like the male pros failed their partners. EPICALLY. I also don’t blame the judges, because for once, I think they were pretty on-the-money with their critiques and scores (I’ve written off the extra point as a sympathy point, given as a bit of an “oh boy, your pros really screwed you – here, have an extra point!” consolation prize) – I don’t think they were completely off-base in what they were saying. And actually, I don’t blame the powers that be, either – I actually think the girls got a much better set of songs to work with (including one sung by one of the girls on the team – ahem) that gave them a lot more creative potential than the songs that were given to the boys’ team. Really and truly, the stars were aligned for the girls to really slay the team dance – and then the male pros kinda shat all over the opportunity. …Read more
I can’t even tell you how much I dislike the whole immunity BS. This whole week is a not-so-cleverly designed way to make sure the men start leaving and the women are all safe. Actually, I doubt they are worried about anyone other than Normani – probably couldn’t care less about Nancy or Simone. But most disposable, in the eyes of the judges, are likely all the men sans Rashad. :::sigh:::
See the gallery below to get the rules of “Movie Night” – did I know it was going to be Movie night? I don’t remember. 😉 Also, according to one of our “MOVEers”, Cathy, Julianne will not be judging this coming Monday, due to the tour location.
ETA: I added a couple guesses (??) based on DWTS Instastory.
ETA2: Did someone say Double Elimination? Whoever you were, you guessed right. Press release just came out. And when I said yesterday that Julianne wouldn’t be judging Monday, it appears I (or my source) was right also. Mandy Moore is sitting in as guest judge. So, it’s Movie Night, high score gets immunity, every one else dances off, and then we send two people home. What a nice, relaxing (craptastic) night. Oooooo….Nancy has to do a Tango to Pretty Woman. Guess who did that and very, very well – Derek and Nicole. And David/Lindsay got hosed with a Sci Fi Salsa – nearly as bad as a futuristic paso. But if anyone can handle it, it’s Lindsay.
Simone and Sasha – Theme: Silent Films
Charleston (Song: “Charleston” by Bob Wilson & His Varsity Rhythm Boys)
Bonner and Sharna – Theme: Western
Paso Doble (Song: “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes” by Aaron Copland)
Nancy and Artem – Theme: Romance
Tango (Song: “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison)
Nick and Peta – Theme: Action
Argentine Tango (Song: “Dangerous” by David Guetta featuring Sam Martin)
Normani and Val – Theme: Foreign
Argentine Tango (Song: “Quizas Quizas Quizas” by Jennifer Lopez)
David and Lindsay – Theme: Sci Fi
Salsa (Song: “Universal Mind Control” by Common)
Rashad and Emma – Theme: Horror
Paso Doble (Song: “Oh Fortuna” by Carl Orff)
As always Nancy Kerrigan’s blogs are full of fun details for how she got ready for Dancing With The Stars. This past week felt out of her comfort zone. Read on to see why….
All of this made Thursday a little bit more stressful than previous Thursdays. I was a bit on edge and having some trouble with the choreography but by the end of the day on Friday (after I went with my family to Disneyland for my son Brian’s birthday) I felt like I was a lot closer to knowing the group and individual number so went into the weekend feeling much better.
One thing that is adding to the stress is that the choreography on both numbers is a little – or maybe a lot – suggestive. That is not my style and certainly not in keeping with being a mom, so I have been a little self-conscious when trying to perform the numbers. To deal with that I have to look at it as if I am just acting and playing a role, but already one friend of mine wouldn’t let their kids watch the show because it wasn’t “PG,” so I remain a little concerned that even my own kids will wonder what is going on.
That said, I feel like the costumes for this week are a little more conservative than I was expecting, so that put me at ease a bit.
As always, Monday mornings come sooner than I might like and the 8 a.m. call time meant another long day of hair, makeup, rehearsing, dress rehearsal and then the show and the press line. There were a few changes in the numbers as one of our guys got injured and I didn’t have quite enough time to work with the cage I am using, making me not quite as sturdy and safe as I might have liked. So the morning was a bit of a challenge. But by the afternoon, I felt ready…maybe not quite as ready as past weeks, but enough to feel confident.
More at Team USA including some beautiful photos.
Anyone else missing Derek & Mark (and their choreography) something fierce right about now??? Because my god – if last night wasn’t an exercise in choreographic futility for some of our pros, then I don’t know what the hell it was. On top of that, the judges seemed eerily kind to just about everyone (except Nick, which we’ll get into later), which left me with this unpleasant sense of foreboding for most of the show – like I was waiting for something bad to happen, but I wasn’t sure what. Basically, the same feeling I had while watching the first 20 minutes of last season’s Game of Thrones finale – but thankfully, when it all played out, I felt less like Margaery & more like Cersei, because something that Heidi & I had be predicting would happen eventually, happened: Heather got outsted in a “shocking” (but not really, if you actually think about it) elimination. We had been saying she was the most likely candidate for the token “shock” elim this season, but I don’t think we were anticipating it happening this early on – I myself had her making it to at least week 7, I think. But when you take into account the turd of a routine her pro foist upon her last week, and the fact that most of the general viewing audience couldn’t really get past her basically being a professional dancer herself, she followed the basic formula for getting “Sabrina’d”: the minute a skilled dancer dips below a certain score threshold, they get sent home because they Just. Aren’t. Getting. The. Votes. If you want to see a breakdown of just how few votes Heather was getting (or rather, just how much better than Heather everyone else was doing), go reread Heidi’s Dancing By the Numbers. I wish I could say I was disappointed by a good dancer getting sent home before some less-skilled ones, but I made no secret of it that I never really found myself enjoying Heather’s performances – and it was a combination of lack of connection to the audience on her part, and just plain subpar choreography from Maks on the other. Add in the fact that Maks managed to find TWO ways to proverbially spit in Alan’s face last night, and I’m left saying “Toodles, Heather & Maks – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!” Not gonna lie, though: part of me would love to see Alan as a pro next season, and have Maks left out in the cold – karma could be such a perfect bitch 😎
Which brings me to a few notes on demographics. I think I warned everyone a month ago that Chris, Erika, Heather, & Normani were the four most likely to struggle with fanbase issues this season – three of them are now gone. You Harmonizers still feeling so confident about Normani’s voting fanbase? I saw quite a few folks wringing hands after it was announced that everyone on the girls’ team was in jeopardy, and many of them seemed convinced that Nancy was the one headed home. You guys do realize that she aligns almost perfectly with the main viewing demographic of the show, right? A middle-aged Olympian with an inspiring backstory? Please help me understand why you thought a C-list-at-best, 30-something professional dancer from a 2-years-defunct teen tv show that was being given highly mediocre choreo by her partner was somehow going to outlast that Olympian, who so far has thrived and been given solid routines by her partner? It’s important to remember that sometimes, this show is about everything EXCEPT the dancing – in this case, the fact that Heather was already a great dancer didn’t matter to a lot of folks. If anything, it seemed to turn them off. They seemed to prefer Nancy’s journey to Heather’s already-professional polish. I also think Nancy has come off far more relatable and down-to-earth than Heather ever did on the show – and trust me when I say that can make a bigger difference than a few points, sometimes.
As for the rest of the show – Nick was an ok guest judge; seemed excited to be there and tried to give insightful critiques, but I think he came across a tad disingenuous at times. He also seemed like a bit of a yes-man, and had been fed a list of instructions on what to say and to whom (“Make sure you mention that Normani could win this whole thing! And don’t go easy on Nick V.!”) But I was pleased to see he gave Rashad a “10” when the other judges were whipping out 9’s – seemed to make up for Carrie Ann’s uncalled-for “7” last week. Opener seemed bland, like it was an afterthought – “Crap, what are we gonna do for the opener this week??? IDK, just…line everyone up or something…” Can’t say I missed Julianne too much – guess the Move Beyond tour didn’t leave any time for the “Ballroom is soooo different than what Heather does!” apology tour this week…and now Heather’s gone. Wuh wuh wuhhhhh. Read more..
Another great night of dancing. I was especially impressed with Rashad & Emma, Sasha & Simone, and David & Lindsay. I also liked the Team Dances, but, the Boy Band team did so much better in content and choreo. Speaking of, can I complain about the lack of Pro Dances this season? I wish they’d have a really good Pro Dance every week to add meat to this show. I also super miss photographer Adam Taylor’s stunning dance photos after the show. Not only were they always stunning, he uploaded them in the night right after the show. *cries*
So, let’s review the scores again:
Heather & Maks 40 (10, 10, 10, 10) Eliminated
Normani & Val 38 (10, 10, 8, 10)
Rashad & Emma 37 (9, 10, 9, 9)
Simone & Sasha 35 (9, 8, 9, 9)
Nancy & Artem 33 (9, 8, 8, 8)
Bonner & Sharna 30 (8, 8, 7, 7)
David & Lindsay 29 (7, 8, 7, 7)
Nick & Peta 28 (7, 7, 7, 7)
Team Boys 33 (8, 9, 8, 8)
Team Girls 34 (8, 9, 8, 9)
To relive all the dances again, see Idolxfactor (these videos work Internationally) and the official You Tube site. For media, recaps, and interviews, first see People and Entertainment Tonight (I’d embed these, but, they won’t stop and go.). People has a few interviews as well. Be sure to check back with them through out the day for possibly more.
Glamour also recapped the show. They have interviews with some of the cast as well. Below is a take with Rashad and David talking about the challenging week. Note that next week, the couples have to learn 4 dances which is going to be even more challenging. Details below.
For Emma’s partner—Rashad—he’s just appreciating every moment. “I look forward to the next chapter, but in the meantime, I’m having a blast dancing. It is helping agility, mobility, awareness of my body, balance. I’m working on core stuff that I’ve never felt before because of dancing. But the main thing is awareness. This is making me be conscious of how I control my body, so now I go train in the mornings, and I can feel a difference. If I could go back to my rookie year [in the NFL], I would have started dancing every off-season.”
Retired Chicago Cub David Ross remains a fan favorite this season of DWTS, but he admitted backstage that he had his toughest week yet. “I was in a bad mood most of the week,” he revealed. “I was traveling back and forth and I just had no energy. But I’m back!”
Lindsay Arnold wasn’t worried, telling me, “I’ve gone through it with all of my partners. You get to week 6 or 7 and you hit a wall. It’s tough and it sets in that this is a lot of work and it starts to build on each other.” OK, but as I mention in my recap below, let’s talk about Coachgate 2017. Is Lindsay the coach, the teammate, or both? “Definitely both!” she laughed. “I’ll whip out Coach Lindsay! Watching the rehearsal package, I was like, ‘Dang, Lindsay! I didn’t know you had that sassy side to you!'”
Next week is movie genre night, and according to David, each couple will have about four dances to learn. So is still being in the competition a blessing or a curse? “I wouldn’t trade this for the world!” David laughed. “I’m having so much fun, and I think last week was just me putting myself through the ringer. Hopefully I learned my lesson.”
More at Glamour with Maks, Heather, Nick Carter (I loved him as a Judge. I hope he does it again in the future), and more.
Maks added with a laugh, “This is so strange that it’s kind of okay. I feel there was a chance and opportunity for Maks and Heather to develop and to build every single week and we got that cut short…we had to scramble. Alan did an amazing job…I just feel bad that it took so long for me to get back” from injury.
Incredibly, Morris, 30, who showed off a flexible style during the show, confided her back hurt and she learned, “I’m getting a little bit older. My body doesn’t work as well and it’s hard.”
Morris has been writing a dance film that she hopes “DWTS” judge Julianne Hough might consider starring in “because I think she’d be perfect for it but we’ll see how that goes.”
Below are some video interviews before and after the show. There is a rehearsal interview too…. Read more..
If you’re timing the show for me this week, please see Manipulation Mayhem for some pointers on how to do it – we’ll get better results if everyone does it approximately the same way. Thanks in advance. 😉
Team Dances!! Ah, makes me think back to the good old days when they actually had to do Ballroom – much more difficult than freestyle. And I miss those good ole days. I think the first one might have been my favorite…
Changed my mind…I think I like the kicks at the end of this one the best… Read more..
Yes, I’m very late getting this done, but that’s what happens when you have a busy real life. 🙂
Anyway, as we discussed last week, there are many ways to manipulate this show and we’ve seen most all of them over the course of many seasons – mostly since Season 15 or so. These tactics include (but are not limited to):
- Packages (length, tone, fake shipping, fake or overblown fights, etc.)
- The Erin Interview (the questions the producers feed her to put people on the spot)
- Screen time (or lack thereof)
- Dance/music assignments
So, I understand that Val and Normani were on Access Hollywood Live for the SECOND time this past week – pretty rare. Especially considering that some couples haven’t been on at all. I recall many seasons being pissed that Derek and his partner were getting little press (Nastia, Marilu, etc) or little to no All Access time (Marilu) – Val has never had this problem, but they are on a quest to make him happen to this day. Thing is – DWTS PR is the one who sets up all those show appearances and it’s a very simple way to give one couple a leg up over the others. You all tell me, since I haven’t been paying attention, but which couples have been on Ellen, AH Live, E! and all the others. More importantly, who HASN’T been on any or many of those shows, eh? Read more..
See the link below. It has a fun sneak peek of of Team Boy Band. Let’s hope they release on for Team Girl Band too?
— Official DWTS (@DancingABC) April 24, 2017