I was really hoping TMZ got it wrong – but now that some of the major news outlets are picking up the story, I guess I have to confront the fact that one of my idols is gone. One of only two artists in this world whose music has brought me to tears – several years ago, I remember standing at a stadium in Louisville, watching in awe as the “Purple One” himself belted out a heart-rending live version of “Purple Rain”…and I bawled my eyes out.
Prince was infamous for being very protective of his music copyrights, which meant that we were seldom treated to one of his songs being used on DWTS. But the 3 occasions that we were, boy – did it thrill me. To this day, Nicole’s season 10 cha-cha to “Kiss” is still my favorite cha-cha we’ve ever seen, and probably one of my top 10 favorite dances of all-time on DWTS. Let us relive it…
Prince had given special permission for Nicole (and only Nicole!) to use that song, and in the same week, he also gave approval for Erin to dance a paso to “You’ve Got the Look”:
And we were treated to a cha-cha to “Trust” from the Batman soundtrack in season 19:
Rest in peace, Prince. Enjoy driving that Little Red Corvette in the sky… 🙁
What a night for Dancing With The Stars Derek and Julianne Hough at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California last night! It was a packed house for their Move Live On Tour! What’s more, friends and fellow celebrities came out to support them….Nappytabs, Kenny Ortega, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Elizabeth Berkley, Nina Dobrev, Maria Menounos, Tommy Chong, Shirley Ballas, Brooks Laich and more! Elizabeth Berkley tweeted that it was “the most amazing night of incredible dance” and “what a gift to witness such extraordinary talent.” To read more on the night, see Pure Derek Hough here and here. Below are some high quality photos from the night as well. To see more photos, see Getty Images.
So I was eating my lunch outside today (since it was the first day in quite some time that wasn’t rainy) with some coworkers, when the topic of my favorite DWTS contestant of all-time, Alfonso Ribeiro, came up. We had been talking about the celebrity golf tournament he was in this past weekend (Vogue reported on it here, if you haven’t seen it yet), and the fact that he did the Carlton, and I think I said “He’s probably the best male dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” To which another coworker replied “Nah, Corbin Bleu was the best dancer they’ve ever had on the show!” And of course, a debate commenced over who was the better technician, who was the better entertainer, who was more athletic, etc. etc. etc. We ended up agreeing to disagree, but it got me thinking: really & truly, out of the 20 seasons we’ve had – who is the best guy we’ve seen, and who’s the best girl?
I did a bit of a snap poll on Twitter, but I figured “Why not make it a bit more official?” and do an actual poll here? So below, I picked the most likely candidates for who would likely qualify for “best dancer” on DWTS – most would probably fall under the “ringer” category, but that’s kind of expected when we’re voting on dance skills alone. Keep in mind that it’s not about popularity, or how well-known they were when they did the show – just dance skills & presentation, period; and independent of any previous training they might have had – so no “Well so-and-so was better because they had no previous experience and were great and that’s what DWTS is all about!!!” Strictly voting on dance skills/showmanship alone, kids.
Obviously, I voted for Alfonso for the men – I think he was the most consistent of all the male ringers we’ve had, and also the best showman; I also think part of his appeal was that he was a really organic, natural mover that seemed to really get into the pocket of whatever dance was thrown his way, even if he had no previous experience with it. While I agreed with my coworker that Corbin was more athletic and likely had more refined technique than Alfonso, I think he wasn’t as much of a natural as Alfonso and had to work harder to appear at ease with the movement of some of the dances – which didn’t always work, and made him a lot less consistent throughout his season.
For the ladies, it wasn’t as cut-and-dry for me – my knee-jerk answer was Nicole, but then I remembered she had some ups-and-downs and some dances that she wasn’t naturally good at (her first rumba and her samba come to mind); then I thought of Meryl, but while her technique was usually flawless, I remember thinking she sometimes lacked in the showmanship department, and could be a timid mover at times. Then I thought of Kristi Yamaguchi, who was a strong dancer AND entertainer, but I remember thinking that she seemed to always have that skater’s “perma-smile” that made her look a tad cheesy at times. As surprising as this may be for some of you, I actually ended up picking Zendaya as the best female dancer we’ve seen on the show – for a lot of the same reasons I picked Alfonso: she was consistent, she was a showman, and she was a very NATURAL mover. Granted, I thought Val failed her in the choreography department on multiple occasions (which may have eventually prevented her from winning, I think), and I didn’t love every single dance; but I do think she probably had the best skill set to work with, and seemed the most comfortable out on the floor.
So what do YOU guys think? Vote in the polls below, and then tell us how you voted & why 🙂
Once again, Dancing With The Stars Tom Bergeron will host “A Capital Fourth” on PBS Saturday, July 4, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET. You can read more on this televised event at PBS. Note how Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, KC & The Sunshine Band, and more will perform.
Part 2 could be called the “Hough-Ballas-Johnson” Section. 🙂 What I notice about Derek and Mark’s early Freestyles is that they craft something exciting but they still get a lot of actual dancing in there. I remember critics saying it was all lifts and no dancing….crack is wack, ya’ll. Looking forward to seeing both freestyles from them this Monday as they’ve both matured so much in both style and choreography.
Season 7 – Brooke and Derek. I loved this freestyle. It’s funny to watch now as Derek is a good bit smaller – you’ll also note that this is the beginning of his recurring back problems. What I loved about this freestyle is that, from Brooke, it was unexpected, I think. She was the best dancer this season and I remember thinking that there was no way she was beating Warren the showman – I think this dance might have done it for her. Read more..
In his Access Hollywood interview from after Monday night’s show, Mark explained his reasons for “breaking hold” in he in Bristol’s quickstep – and he also insinuated that a few other couples also broke hold in their quicksteps this week, yet didn’t get called out by the judges. So it got me thinking: did the judges, indeed, turn a blind eye to some couples’ rule-breaking, while calling out others?
First, a little bit of background as to why breaking hold in quickstep is such a big deal. Earlier this year, I went into detail about it in one of my “Ask Courtney” posts – the basic gist is that quickstep is the only ballroom dance on DWTS that is only danced in the International Standard style, in which you cannot break hold at all, and they’ve carried that rule over to DWTS. I personally think it’s kind of a dumb rule, considering that DWTS is not a real ballroom competition (and never will be), and considering that you can break hold in the waltz, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, and sometimes tango (the last one is whole different debate). Read more..
You guys know the drill by now – check out the Melissa Rycroft edition and you can backtrack back to all the rest of the previous editions 😉 Today we finish up with this season’s guys by taking a look at Gilles…
I picked Gilles’ Argentine tango as his best dance:
And as his worst dance, I picked his jive:
No doubt, Gilles has got the full package (no pun intended…): he’s got the stage presence, he’s got great technique, and he’s got an amazing personality to boot. I still think his Argentine tango is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen on the show – and that’s a big credit, considering season 8 was the first season that Argentine tango was performed on the show (and consequently, some of the pros were left a bit clueless as to what to do), and Gilles & Cheryl’s routine wasn’t particularly flashy or chock full of lifts, like so many we’ve seen in recent seasons. What made it great was it was a good, simple, well-executed routine in which they really focused on the character of the dance, rather than going for every flashy, impressive step they could find. I think almost all of Gilles’ routines are the perfect example of how you don’t need a bunch of flash & trash to get good scores – if you’re focused enough on the dance itself that you can make every step speak volumes. Gilles is a technician – and he’s a HUNGRY technician, who is highly motivated to do well this season. While I think every contestant is going to need some degree of “hunger” to do well this season, I fear that Gilles’ hunger could end up hurting him in the end – such is the case with his jive. I think it’s apparent from the rehearsal footage that Gilles was just not having an easy time with the jive, and it was really getting to him. I don’t think it helped much that Cheryl seemed to throw everything but the kitchen sink into this routine, and wasn’t exactly a nuturing partner when Gilles was really struggling – but what became apparent in the dance itself was that Gilles was just pushing himself too hard, and I really think it ended up causing him to falter. The guy that was always in rhythm and in the pocket was suddenly off-time missing steps, and worst of all? He didn’t look like he was enjoying himself anymore. The dance just became a Herculean task to complete. And I think that’s one possible hurdle Peta’s going to have to contend with this season – Gilles’ tendency to push himself so hard that he stops enjoying himself. Gilles seems more determined than ever to win this time around – and it’s bordering on Brandy Syndrome (being so desperate to win that it actually becomes off-putting). Being so intensely focused on the end goal can often result in couples losing sight of what’s important – having fun. A couple can dance a routine flawlessly, but if they look like they’re getting a root canal while they’re doing it? Fuggeddaboudit.
In some ways, I think Gilles getting Peta instead of Cheryl may actually be beneficial – I know I’ve expressed some skepticism about the whole Gilles/Peta partnership, but after watching Cheryl’s demeanor in she in Gilles’ rehearsal videos (and watching footage of Peta with Donald last season), I think Peta may actually be more effective in keeping Gilles’ feet on the ground and reminding him to enjoy himself. I almost think a repeat Gilles/Cheryl partnership would be so determined to win that the end result would be kind of scary-focused on the dance floor – and they’d lose a lot of the appeal they had the first time around. I just hope Peta doesn’t get excited puppy syndrome because she’s got such a skilled partner, and proverbially pee all over the dance floor by trying to cram as many impressive & difficult steps into their routines as possible. Not everyone can handle a Nicole Scherzinger-level of choreographic difficulty. 🙂
Court’s verdict: Unlike many of the other contestants this season, I think Gilles’ biggest struggle is just going to be letting loose and not taking himself too seriously. It’s going to be up to Peta to keep him on the right track and enjoying myself, while forging a good chemistry and not trying too hard to choreograph a bunch of crazy stuff to get the judges’ and viewers’ attention. QUALITY, not quantity.
Now let’s hear your thoughts on Gilles. Do you think he can finally nab the MBT with Peta…or will he flame out in the process?
With all of the coverage of the upcoming all-star season we’ve been doing, we realize it can get a little hard to keep up and remember who’s said yes, who’s said no, who’s just a maybe, etc. So for the sake of maintaining everyone’s sanity and trying to keep at least some degree of organization, here’s a handy list of what celebs we’ve been covering as it pertains to the all-star season, broken down by their original season, along with a brief summary of where they stand. We’ll keep this post stuck to the main page until the cast announcement, and we’ll post updates in redas they come in.
ETA #1: Updated with coverage of Joey Fatone & Trista Sutter, and an update of Ralph Macchio.
ETA #2: Added info on Kelly Monaco.
ETA #3: Update on Maria Menounos.
ETA #4: A little over 24 hours until the cast announcement and updates & rumors coming fast & furious! Thanks Vogue & Heidi :-)Updates on Gilles Marini, Joey Fatone, Melissa Rycroft, Stacy Keibler, Kendra Wilkinson, & Carson Kressley; added info on Melissa Joan-Hart & Pamela Anderson.
Trista Sutter – a few interesting tweets that seemed to imply she was heading somewhere to do something secret, but now says she is definitely not taking part in the all-star season 🙁 Kelly Monaco – hinted at a GH fan event that she was “going to need fans’ help with something that’s getting announced next Friday!”
Jerry Springer – said he may do SOMETHING for the show and would love to be in the audience, but wouldn’t dance again Mario Lopez – spilled the beans about being asked to do the all-star season on Live with Kelly way back in May, and was thinking about it; however, he now says he’s “too busy” and “doesn’t think he’ll be able to do it” – mentioned as a rumored candidate to host X-factor Joey Lawrence – asked fans on Twitter to vote for him to get on the all-star season
Right where he belongs…he’s single, and certainly VERY Sexy. 🙂 Very. CozyCot.com had my most favorite pictures out of many bunches of pictures, although the longer hair and the fact that he seems to have shaved makes him look a good bit younger (click the link to see several more). Also, there were many pictures of Derek and Nicole (!) leaving a club with several other people. Of course, the rumors start up again.