As I mentioned earlier on Twitter – I find it funny how all of the armchair dance critics just seemed to come out of the woodwork and point out everything that was wrong with “the lift” in the past 48 hours or so 😛 Every one of them was quick to point out Derek’s “shaking arms”, Bindi’s “bad posture”, or offered up examples of others who did “a much better job”. Just one question for, critics: you have attempted this lift yourself, haven’t you? I mean, for you guys to be so critical of it yourself, I assume you’ve researched it extensively and have honed the technique enough in order to offer up intelligent arguments about everything Derek & Bindi did that was just “sooooo wrong”? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Fortunately, I’m actually uniquely qualified to talk about it, as I HAVE done this lift, and my senior kinesiology thesis in college was a 25-page analysis on how to do the lift from Dirty Dancing. After one very long semester of hours logged in the lab with a crashmat and my partner (and a few injuries), we got it down to a science, and wrote a very arcane paper full of physics & kinesiology jargon that explained how to do it – and we got an A Now, as it has been quite a few years since I graduated, and the computer I had from college has since crashed, I was unable to dig up a copy of my original paper (I even went so far as to email my professor to see if she had a copy – turns out, she’s on sabbatical this semester). However, I still remember a lot of what I said in the paper, and I doubt many of you care about things such as concentric/eccentric muscle contractions – so I tried to condense it as much as possible here, and make it relevant to DWTS. So I decided to tackle the top 5 complaints I’ve been hearing about the lift, and explain why I think Bindi & Derek actually did a damn good job, given the circumstances. Read more..
Kirstie Alley tells Jimmy Kimmell that “”it’s rough” on Dancing With The Stars this season being it’s the “all stars”. She’s also put out with Jimmy because he didn’t choose her to win in his predictions. Then they talk about her new book “The Art Of Men”. She also clarifies that she never had an affair with John Travolta and Patrick Swayze and how an interviewer twisted her words (figures and I’m not surprised!). She tells Jimmy that “they” (John, Lisa?) new about the book and gave her permission to tell her story and they are not upset with her.
Just a reminder, you’ll be able to see Kirstie on 20/20 tonight as well.
For those dancing fans hoping for another “Dirty Dancing” remake to happen soon, don’t count on it as plans have been delayed for another year due to casting issues. Below is more from Deadline.com. Note the mention on Dancing With The Stars pro Derek Hough and how he screen tested for the movie as did Lea Michele, Liana Liberato, and Nikki Yanofsky.
The remake of the 1987 Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey film was scheduled to be released in July 2013, but now the movie is off the studio’s release dance card at least until 2014. Kenny Ortega, who was a choreographer on the original, is attached to direct the film. No cast had been announced. However Deadline has learned that Glee’s Lea Michele, Trespass’ Liana Liberato and Canadian singer Nikki Yanofsky were screen tested as were Brothers & Sisters’ Luke Grime, Nashville Star’s Justin Gaston and Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough.
So, if they are seriously considering Derek Hough as the male lead (which I and many of you would love. He’d be perfect!), could they be waiting for him to be available until after the Dancing With The Stars All-star season happens? It makes a person wonder? I hope so as he just has to do the All-star season. It wouldn’t be right to do it without him. Let’s get Heidi’s thoughts…
Heidi: No, they aren’t going to wait for Derek. As big a fan as I am, that’s not the hold up. They would make him choose if that were the issue, or they would pick someone else. For one thing, I don’t really believe that Derek is still contractually tied to DWTS beyond a season to season basis – it’s been NINE seasons. Pretty sure he can go do something else if he wants to – Julianne did after what? Five? Anyway, another article I read from Variety said that Lionsgate bought another company (or was bought, can’t remember) and it said that they now have a very full slate of movies in the pipeline. It implied that was the reason for the delay. I think other articles assumed it was casting issues.
And I say NO to Lea Michele, although she has the right look for it.
This weekend, Jennifer Grey is appearing on the UK version of the show as a stand-in judge for Len Goodman. She’s hopes to “bring honesty” to the panel. In a new promo interview with the BBC, Jennifer talks of what it was like to do Dirty Dancing and how Patrick Swayze got her the role. She also speaks about doing Dancing With The Stars in the US and a little of what she went through with her partner, Derek Hough. Great article. You can read more in a take from Film News below.
Jennifer says despite her starring role in Dirty Dancing, she is not a natural performer.
“Derek was frustrated because I’m not a dancer. I was only a weekend one. I put on Michael Jackson on my boom box,” she smiled. “I was a lover of dance.”
Jennifer confessed the show was hard work. The Golden Globe-nominated star says rehearsals were gruelling and often left her feeling vulnerable.
“It’s about embracing the opportunity and facing your fears. You have to dig so deep,” she recalled.
“Each week I didn’t feel ready. I could not get through a dress rehearsal without crying or some sort of drama. It’s very intense.”
Jennifer is appearing on the UK version of the show this weekend as a stand-in judge. The 51-year-old hopes to bring honesty to the panel of Strictly Come Dancing.
“I’m a really judgemental person!” she laughed.
“I have so much compassion, and I’m going to be really honest.”
Picture above is of Jennifer and Kenny Ortega at the 2011 Rising Stars Gala on Oct. 29th. You can view more pictures of her at this event at Zimbio.com.
Adding: Thanks to @ElmariL, here is the BBC interview;
Hey All! I’m curious about what you think of the news on a new “Dirty Dancing” remake? If you haven’t heard yet, one of the most loved, iconic dancing movies and classics of all time is in the works. Kenny Ortega is set to choreograph the second as he did the first. His producing, directing, and choreographing credentials are a mile long including the recent Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concert tour and movie. Kenny had this to say about it…
“Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him,” Ortega said in a statement. “I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.”
Jennifer Grey, the female lead in the first “Dirty Dancing” and Season 11 Dancing With The Stars Champion is excited about the project. When she heard the news, this is how she reacted….
“I’m so excited about this news, and I think there’s nobody better to do this than my beloved Kenny Ortega, who is as responsible as anyone for the success of the first one,” Grey said. “I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do with it.”
So, what do you think? Do you support the idea of this remake? Will the Dirty Dancing remake be as good and as successful as the first? Do you think a remake is disrespectful to Partick Swayze’s memory? Did any of you see “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” seven years ago? It was good. I love dancing movies of any kind, but, it was lame compared to the first. Lastly, who should play the leads in the movie? I have not a clue who the female lead should be. But, last night at twitter, several of us were commenting how perfect Derek Hough would be in the Johnny Castle part. I couldn’t agree more!! I say bring the remake on!!
EDIT TO ADD:ABC is reporting on the “outrage” over the news of this remake. Also, read below for who the front runners might be for the lead predicted by an Irish Bookmaker. Carrie Ann’s tweets are also being reported by the link as well. It appears the promotion for Derek Hough to star in this remake has officially began. ;
According to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, Justin Timberlake is the front-runner to fill Swayze’s iconic role, followed closely by “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth and Derek Hough from “Dancing With The Stars.”
Hough’s close pal from the show, Carrie Ann Inaba, is already leading the campaign for him to win the role.
“If they do a dirty dancing remake – THEY BETTER USE DEREK HOUGH,” she tweeted Tuesday.
Since the cast announcement, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not some of this season’s cast members have an unfair advantage on the show due to having “previous dance experience”. So I took it upon myself to do a little digging around to see just who out of our 12 celebs is no stranger to the dance floor…and guess what? All of them have done a little dancing before…well, at least a very loose definition of dancing 😉 So why don’t we see how they all measure up, shall we? Let’s begin with the stars with the more obvious experience: Brandy, Florence, Jennifer, & the Hoff. Watch and discuss…
First up, we have Brandy, who starred in a revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella back in 1997. Here’s her big “dance number” – the song “Ten Minutes Ago”, where she croons with Paolo Montalban while doing some Viennese waltzing:
As for any experience she may have garnered in her music video days, here’s the most “dance-heavy” video of hers I could find – “Afrodisiac”:
Courtney: Ok, the first video is some pretty basic Viennese waltzing – natural turn, reverse turn, underarm turn, repeat. And Brandy & Paolo suspiciously disappear when the extras begin the heavy duty spinning & lifting. I mean, as far as an advantage – it may save Maks 15 mintues of practice time explaining what the Viennese waltz is and what the basic movement is. But other than that…nah. As for her video (and I think this goes for all of her videos in general) – Brandy does a lot of grooving and a little bit of basic choreo, but she leaves the hard stuff to her backup dancers. She may be able to inject the “sexy factor” into her dances, but I don’t think she’s going to have an edge in terms of technical skill.
Marianya: I remember when I first saw Brandy and Paolo dance in Cinderella I promised myself that I would learn how to do that. And then when I went to do it, it was the most basic steps in the repertoire… talk about disappointment. Also in regards to music videos or shows, Brandy was big in the 90s, but the 90s weren’t all that dance heavy for the female soloists… at least not until Britney Spears and Co. from the Mickey Mouse club took over the music world for a spell (turn of the millennium). So really in regards to prior dance experience, none… can she pick up choreo? Definitely, but that’s something that most anyone could do… the mere fact that she’s done choreo before just edges here out slightly…
Heidi: Who choreographed that Cinderella thing? Will they own up to it? Yeah, not a ringer, but I do think she has more of an advantage due to her relative youth and physical conditioning.
The verdict: Her basic knowledge of choreo may give her a SLIGHT advantage, but we think she’s going to have more of an edge from her young age & great body.
Now we’re onto Florence Henderson, who did some serious disco grooving back when she was on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (unless you want to sit through some serious cheese, I recommend starting at the 2:24 mark to see Flo shake her groove thing 😉 ):
Marianya: I was watching this at work and was shaking my head a few times… man everyone was all over the place, it’s amazing. The steps are very basic that most anyone could pick up the choreo, I don’t think this could transcend into ballroom dancing. Plus it’s been a few decades for her… and she’s not getting any younger.
Courtney: The hustle portion is hysterical – at some point, every single one of them messes up. Again, some pretty elementary “jazz hands” type dancing…which even Flo fouls up a few times. And this was quite a few years ago – I don’t know that Flo is gonna be as lithe & nimble now as she was then.
Heidi: Didn’t I also read that Florence was also a Broadway baby? Yup, I did. I think, like Jennifer, that her age kind of equalizes any perceived benefit to having been in Oklahoma and South Pacific – but the advantage that doesn’t go away is the comfort in front of a live audience and doing a live performance. See, I think everyone has an advantage of some sort – it’s going to come down to who has the most.
The verdict: Her age will likely negate any edge she may have had from Broadway, but she may be more comfortable in front of a live audience than some of the other celebs…just don’t ask her to do the Hustle. 😉
Here we have the celeb who has been accused of having the greatest amount of dance experience this season – Jennifer Grey. Now, due to the fine folks at Lionsgate Entertainment and their vigilant policing of any uploaded clips from Dirty Dancing, an embeddable copy of the famous “final dance” from the movie does not exist on the interwebs – so you can go watch it here.
Courtney: Ok, now while this iconic scene may be forever embedded in some folks’ minds as “fantastic dancing”, I think Marianya (and anyone else that has seen REAL mambo) will agree that this is pretty mediocre by most ballroom standards. Very stiff, very obviously choreographed. And again – quite a few years ago, and Jennifer has had some health problems since then, so even if she could remember these moves, there’s no guarantee that she’d be able to execute them.
Heidi: Interesting note about this dance: I read or saw a show on Patrick Swayze and they said this was the first dance filmed and they could only do ONE take because Patrick was having…was it back issues?? There was not a lot of takes on this dance, if the thing I saw was correct. It’s possible they were talking about “the lift” too. It’s been a while. That said – I think that most people are blinded by the romance of the moment, and miss the amateurish dancing. It’s a sweet movie – but it’s not truly about dancing.
Marianya: It’s funny when you see iconic dances in movies or television and you think “I wanna be able to do that” and when you actually start learning, it’s a whole different ball of wax. Now, Jennifer has studied dance growing up, but that was how many decades ago? Sure, she could pick up choreography… decades ago, but again, so can most anyone else. I think Jennifer would be slightly ahead of the game in the ballroom dances due to her dance studies growing up, but in regards to the latin dances the most is probably the basics in mambo, but that’s it… An edge? Not enough to win, but enough to score above average I’d say.
Courtney: Heidi, I’m glad you notice the amateurish dancing as well. I think it becomes especially obvious when you compare Patrick & Jennifer’s version to Cheryl & Tony’s version that they performed during season 2 – notice how much more fluid it looks when people who know how to actually dance mambo do it:
The verdict: She may have a slight advantage from her Dirty Dancing days, but that alone not going to be enough to take her all the way.
Last but not least, we’ve got David Hasselhoff. Now as one of the videos that Heidi posted earlier mentioned, David has a little bit of musical theater under his belt – he’s been in the Las Vegas production of The Producers, was the lead in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway back in 2000, and played Billy Flynn in the London production of Chicago for 3 months back in 2004. Now while I’d love to showcase him dancing in one of these productions, I cannot find any videos of him in The Producers or Chicago, and Jekyll & Hyde is not a very dance-heavy musical. However, I do have something even better – the Hoff getting funky in the 1976 film Revenge of the Cheerleaders:
Courtney: *hysterically laughing* Wow, those cheerleaders were loving them some Hoff! Ok, that aside, I’m sure the Hoff has some rhythm, and I think the musical theater background has helped – but then again, if my knowledge of musicals serves me, Billy Flynn & Roger DeBris (his role in The Producers) aren’t known for being particularly difficult roles, dance-wise. Mainly a lot of jazz hands 😛 What I’m more concerned about – and I’ve said this before – is that the Hoff’s mind may be a bit rusty. Seriously- sometimes I think he’s got more than a few screws loose. So in spite of all this experience, I think he might have trouble remembering choreography (or even being able to pay attention when Kym is teaching it). What good is previous experience if you can’t remember it to draw from?
Marianya: Oh heaven help me. If that is what the Hoff is capable of then I foresee another Jerry Springer in the works. I saw the Hoff in the Jekyll & Hyde musical and there was no dancing in there. In fact the other parts that he has done in musical theatre were minimal if any dancing. So I don’t know if he could pick up choreo, ok he could pick up choreo but I don’t believe that he could do anything with it like Donny Osmond. He’ll ham it up, that’s for sure… but I think the buck will stop there.
Heidi: Oh my lord. What more can I say about that? I think The Hoff is going to do well on the show, but I don’t think it will be because of any perceived advantage.
The verdict:If he does well on the show, it sure as hell won’t be due to his Broadway experience – or the sizzling moves we see here!
So there you go – some food for thought for those of you who think that some of these celebs have an unfair advantage. But what about the other celebs this season, you ask? Oh boy – just you wait for part II…because you guys are gonna be blown away by some of the hoofing the other celebs have done in the past 😉 Did you sense the sarcasm there?
Current Picture – I didn’t realize that she is 49 years old. I guess in my brain she’ll always be Baby.
Okay – this brings up an interesting question: ringer or no?? I can’t even decide, but I would be very interested in what you all have to say. She has far less experience (AFAIK) than a Mya or a Donny, and while probably a sentimental favorite, I doubt she has a fanbase any bigger than a Jenny Garth. As far as I know (and I’ll research it if this becomes more solid), she danced in Dirty Dancing and that was learning choreography for a one-time performance.
I rather suspected they might do this tribute and I hoped for it! Now it appears to be reality. According to People:
Swayze, who died of pancreatic cancer on Monday at the age of 57, made a guest appearance on Dancing’s inaugural U.S. season in 2005, teaching friend and fellow actor John O’Hurley a few dance moves in rehearsal. He also came to the show and supported O’Hurley by attending the season 1 finale.
“He was one of the few people to integrate dance with being an A-list actor,” Green says. “He inspired many people and many of our pros to dance. We want to honor the great moments he’s brought to film by getting our dancers to do their interpretation to some music from his films.”
It also crossed my mind, when seeing all the male Pros coming out of rehearsal together, that perhaps they were also doing a Michael Jackson Tribute. I would LOVE to see both tributes. Who will play Johnny Castle? You KNOW my pic, what’s yours?