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DWTS12 End of Season Award Winners – What Was Your Favorite PureDWTS Feature?

Over 400 of you came out & voted in our End-of-Season Awards – wow! Now it’s time to see just what you guys thought were the bests & worsts of this season.  First up, we have the results of the “Favorite PureDWTS Feature” award:

John: This question is absolutely fascinating for me since I started Pure DWTS just because I figured people would be looking for the DWTS music the way I saw people looking for the SYTYCD music. Turns out, people do look for it almost as much. With all that traffic, I figured I should provide something more than music to keep people sticking around. Thus was born the DWTS Power Rankings. Then, once Heidi started posting all the DWTS rumors (that should have been on this list too I guess, along with the DWTS polls we do), people started creating basically full blogs posts in the comments. That’s how Courtney, Vogue, Marianya, Amanda and a few other people started writing. Enough nostalgia, but it’s fun for me to think back how each of the above Pure DWTS features became a staple on the site.

Personally, I think that Who Wore It Better? is probably my favorite. Hard to argue with pictures of incredibly beautiful people (Luckily more women share outfits than men) side by side. Although, I think my favorite response actually came in the Other category where someone said, “All of them–I have become totally addicted to this site!!”

Courtney: Umm, wow.  You guys really dig the Cheesecake! Still amazes me that some silly “I’ve got stuff to bitch about and just need a place to do it” feature that I jokingly brought up to Heidi has become such a hit! For those of you going through summer withdrawl from lack of cake, we have some great news for you :-) Heidi & I have decided to do a “Cheesecake Retrospective”, where we’re going to do awards for shows of seasons past – our first “victim” is going to be season 5, week 5, and we hope to have it done within the next week or so.  If you guys would like to watch those particular episodes & play along with us, you can go to hulu.com and sign up for Hulu Plus – it’s only $7.99 per month, and it lets you watch seasons 5-11 of DWTS in their entirety in high-quality, amongst hundreds of other shows.  If that’s too steep for you, you can always try to hunt down clips from that week on YouTube – the episodes in question were the ones where Sabrina & Mark did their rumba and Mark & Kym did their famous “I Dream of Jeannie” samba, and where J. Lo did “Let’s Get Loud” on the results show.  Granted, a lot of our best material doesn’t come from the dances themselves, but the banter in between – but it still might give you some context, if you aren’t able to get Hulu Plus.  Hope you guys are as excited for this as I am! :-D Anywho, for those of you in the “other” category who voted “none!”…I’m gonna assume you mean all our features are equally as awesome, so that none of them are your favorite…otherwise, I might have to call you a “hater” ;-)

Heidi: It’s funny, I clearly remember you saying something about it on Twitter and I was like, why the hell not?? We may as well bitch in public and get rocks thrown at us. :-) I thrive on rocks, after all. :-) Yes, kids, I would guess you have about a week and a half to watch Season 5, Week 5 before we get this little summer act together. I highly recommend Hulu – if you have a TiVo or some other service (like an internet ready TV) you can even watch all those seasons on your HD TV. The quality is amazing. It’s kinda funny how many of our feature either came out of Twitter conversations, or post comments. The Dancing by the Numbers came about because some Derek fan or Maks fan…someone somewhere was in terror their favorite was going home because they only had a 1 point or so lead on the next person. I was like, “yo, the bottom person is a good __ points behind Derek/Maks/whoever, they aren’t going anywhere.” The response was obvious. “How do YOU know.” LOL. I never KNOW for sure…I just make educated guesses based on the rules of the scoring for the show.

Vogue:  Wow, this is just so cool! Everytime a new Poll goes up, I’m fascinated by the results and how quicky they come. When this Poll went up, there were over 300 votes within the first two days of it. 8O I’ve always been a “Poll” person, so this is exciting. Congradulations to the Cheesecake winning. It’s giving me many hours of laughter as well with this year’s highlights and honorable mentions going to the cracks on Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer. Mike may have went out early, but, he prevailed as being one of the most funny contestants to ever be on the show and I hope producers will give him many more leading skifs in the future. Good skifs mean good cheesecake and possibly with chocolate topping. :)

As for the other features, like John and several of you who mentioned it in the other catagory and comments, I love them all so much too. It was hard for me to vote. In the end, I picked Heidi’s “Dancing By The Numbers” posts because I enjoy her psychic abilities going down every week as she gathers up the numbers and facts. FASCINATING!!

Anyway, good job All! Thanks for your support and all of your votes. You make PureDWTS what it is every day!! I’m so thankful to be a part of it all!! Here is to the new upcoming “Cheesecake Retrospective: Season 5, Week 5″! Be there or be square! :D

July 7, 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!

DWTS11 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

It’s that time of the year again! Time for me to do my preliminary power ranking of this season’s couples as a sort of prediction of how things will play out between now & November.  For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about (or just need a refresher from last season ;-) ), I do a weekly ranking of the couples after each performance show that is basically a measure of how likely they are to stick around that week.  Now this is NOT a ranking of who danced the best; we all know that just because a couple is at the top of the leaderboard, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe.  This is a far more comprehensive ranking – it takes into account not only a couple’s performance, but also how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting demographic is, how memorable they are, etc. 

I correctly predicted last season’s top 5 before the season even began – I’m hoping to best that this season by correctly predicting the top 6 ;-) But anywho, here’s my bottom half – the 6 couples I don’t think we should get too attached to, because I don’t foresee them sticking around for long…but there are always surprises!

 12.) Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino & Karina Smirnoff – I really did have high hopes for these two, but unfortunately I just think they have too many odds stacked against them to last past the first week – that is, unless The Sitch turns out to be a natural, because they haven’t even started practicing yet.  And they likely won’t until the week prior to the show, if what Karina’s tweeting is correct, since he’s wrapping up taping of the current season of Jersey Shore.  Speaking of that show – I’m on the fence as to whether it’s going to be a boon or a burden for him.  I said that I didn’t think Wildboyz & Jackass fans would tune in & vote for Steve-O, but he lasted until week 5…but I think Steve-O was also getting a bit of a sympathy vote from his recent stint in rehab.  I’m not sure there’s anything for voters to feel sympathetic about as far as Mike’s concerned.  And Jersey Shore is a really polarizing show – people either love it or hate it, so I hope to god that Mike is charming as can be if he wants to stick around.  Karina is a pro that seems equally as polarizing – people seem to either adore her or loathe her (I’m in the former camp), and I’m afraid that her voting fanbase is just not going to be able to compensate for any lack of votes on the part of his fans.  I hope to god that I’m wrong, because I really would like to see how these two do…but I’m preparing myself to see Mike join the infamous “first eliminees” club.

11.) Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer – The only reason I see these two lasting longer than Mike & Karina is Lacey’s fanbase: she seems to have a decent-sized one, and they seem to be the type that are very motivated to vote.  Echoing Heidi’s sentiments, Kyle is definitely the celebrity that has people going “Who?” this season – even co-workers of mine that have kids who watch Disney religiously were drawing a blank when I mentioned his name (and yes, for those of you who are new, I do use the ladies in my office as a sort of sample demographic – most are in their 30s & 40s with school-aged kids, which seems to be the biggest viewing demographic of the show).  As for his dance prowess, if Lacey’s tweets and the rehearsal pictures that have been released are any indicator, then Kyle seems to be a bit of an awkward mover – and a jokester, so Lacey may have a hard time getting him to focus.  Kyle may benefit slightly from the “mom” vote, but unless he’s really pretty good…I don’t think these two will last past the first few weeks.

10.) Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas – If Kate Gosselin’s longer-than-anyone-could-have-expected tenure on the show last season was any indicator, it’s that America loves controversial celebs – and I daresay Bristol has that position covered this season.  Just like Heidi, I don’t see her getting sent home any sooner than week 3 – heck, I could even see her lasting until week 4 or 5, at the expense of a better dancer.  I actually see her lasting longer if she’s exceptionally bad – just like viewers latch onto the best dancers, they also seem to enjoy keeping the bad ones around…everyone loves watching a train wreck.  Mark’s also got one of the bigger fanbases on the show, so even if people don’t particularly care for Bristol, they’ll vote to keep Mark in the game, especially since he was eliminated so early last season.  Judging from the rehearsal photos, it looks like Mark’s got his work cut out for him – Bristol definitely looks awkward.  She’s also been pretty quiet and mundane in the media, so I don’t think she’s gonna make a huge impression in anyone’s minds – unless she’s just a really bad dancer.  In which case, George Lopez may dub her this season’s Kate, and take it upon himself to campaign to keep her in…that fool.

9.) Audrina Patridge & Tony Dovolani –  There’s been a good amount of debate so far about whether Audrina’s gonna sink or swim…I’m leaning towards the former. Audrina’s done a little bit of modeling, and I don’t know of any dancing she’s done (besides what you do in a smoke-filled club), so I’m inclined to think that she’s gonna go more the route of Holly Madison and Kathy Ireland than Melissa Rycroft or Stacy Keibler.  Don’t get me wrong, she seems like a very sweet, pretty girl – a very sweet, pretty girl that’s not gonna make a whole lot of waves, good or bad.  And unless she’s got some hidden skills we don’t know about (superhuman flexibility, gymnastics, etc.), I doubt Tony’s choreography is going to really showcase her well.  As for voting power…I know The Hills had a cult-like following, but at the same time, just because someone likes that show doesn’t mean they necessarily like Audrina (I’ve known plenty who watched the show who absolutely despised her, for whatever reason).  And Tony’s gotten sent home fairly early before – I don’t think he has the voting fanbase to carry them both.  Oh well…at least she’ll look pretty in the costumes!

8.) Margaret Cho & Louis Van Amstel – No doubt, these two will be the comic relief this season.  I didn’t think anyone could top the hilarity of Niecy & Louis, but this very well may do it!  Do I think that Margaret is going to be a stellar dancer? Hell no, but neither was Niecy – I’m pretty sure she & Louis realized that pretty quickly, which is why they went to town working the comedy angle, and it worked for them.  Margaret is a well-known comedian, so I could see die hard fans of hers coming out to vote; Louis is a bit more of a wild card, as I don’t really know if he has the broad-spectrum appeal of Derek or Mark – he does, however, seem to have the support of the LGBT community (as does Margaret), which quite a powerful demographic.  I don’t think that alone (and their schtick) is going to carry them through to the midpoint of the competition, though, and I’m not sure there’s a whole lot for Louis to pull out of her in terms of real skill.  Margaret is also known to get a bit bawdy in her comedy – something I think she may have to reign in if she doesn’t want to risk offending a good part of the voting audience.  Overall, I think they’ll be fun to watch – but the humor will eventually wear thin and pale in comparison to better dancers and bigger fanbases.

7.) Michael Bolton & Chelsie Hightower – I know some people don’t really have high hopes for these two, but I think some people are really underestimating Michael’s appeal – I remember grown women & teenagers alike going CRAZY for this guy in the early 90s.  As in screaming, crying, and bra-throwing crazy.  And to be honest, the guy has aged pretty well – he’s definitely not terrible to look at (thank god he got rid of that ratty-ass hair!), and he’s still making music.  I would bet those same women from 20 years ago still carry a bit of a torch for him, and they will step up to the plate & vote.  As will the growing population of Chelsie fans – I think she’s all but filled in the role of the blonde, Mormon girl-next-door left vacant by Julianne.  Will Michael be one of the breakout dancers of this season? Meh – probably not.  But I do think he’ll make an honest effort, and I daresay he won’t be nearly as bad as some other guys.  And honestly, I’m actually starting to warm to the idea of he & Chelsie together…it doesn’t seem like quite the odd couple that it first appeared, especially when you compare them to Ashly & Buzz (which, oddly enough, seemed to work as well).  I honestly vacillated between putting them at 6th or 7th – and I still think they could potentially make it to the top half of the pack.  But I think it’ll hinge upon how the couple I placed at #6 does…

…and with that, I give you the first half of my pre-season power rankings ;-) Curious about who I have making it to the finale, and who I have taking home the mirrorball trophy? Then stay tuned for part II…and I’ll give you a hint: my winner is different from the one Heidi predicted ;-)

September 9, 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!

DWTS10 Preliminary Power Rankings, Part II

Thank you guys so much for all the great feedback yesterday…I’m sure this is going to be a very interesting season with a lot of good discussions about who is going to win!

Now I give you the lower half of the list – those I don’t see faring quite as well this season.  I really did struggle with several of these, because we have some definite “wild cards” this season that could go either way – again, it should be intersting to see who sinks and who swims :-)

7.)    Buzz Aldrin & Ashly Delgrosso – I think it’s a safe bet to say that Buzz has cornered the “senior citizen” vote this season – much like Tom DeLay did last season & Cloris did in season 7.  This is a really good thing – I think a certain degree of respect comes when you’re the “old dog” in the competition, and people want to see you do well to prove that young age doesn’t always equate skill.  And unlike the dubious fame of Tom DeLay or the loose cannon that was Cloris Leachman – Buzz is a living legend: a NASA astronaut, the 2nd man to set foot on the moon, and a highly decorated military officer.  People LIKE him, and could very well keep him around for a little while even if he isn’t particularly good.  Ashly may also garner quite a bit of support since she has been absent since season 3, and had been a favorite for the first 3 seasons of the show – and I’m sure Utah is behind her as well, as the Delgrosso family is basically a dancing dynasty there and is extremely well-respected.  But there is one big concern, and it’s one that does seem to plague some of the “older” contestants: injury.  We can see how it sidelined Tom last season (I think he actually would have stuck around for another week or so had he not withdrawn), and hindered the Woz in season 8.  I hope that Buzz can dodge that hurdle and stay in the competition and be voted out, rather than having to drop out. 

 8.)    Shannen Doherty & Mark Ballas – I’m sure I’m going to spark another debate with this one, but as I mentioned as comment on part 1, I think Shannen is going to have some demographical voting issues – voting issues stemming from her reputation as a bit of a “witch” ;-) John brought up a good point – Shannen is well-known for her TV roles as Brenda on 90210 and Prue on Charmed (and also to some degree her role in the movie Heathers); however, what some people may not remember is that she left both shows unceremoniously, due mainly to tensions with producers & co-stars.  She also had brief, tumultuous marriages to both Ashley Hamilton (remember him? First guy voted off last season?) and Rick Salomon (who also co-starred in a sex tape with a certain blonde heiress, and ironically was also married to Pam Anderson for a few months back in ’07 – wow, I could totally play “Six Degrees of DWTS” this season!), and both ended in very messy, very public break-ups.  There was also a DUI thrown in there somewhere, all which adds up to Shannen’s infamy as a bit of a bad girl.  My point? Female viewers tend not to like pretty women of questionable virtue (sort of ties into my Pretty Girl Backlash Theory), and thus don’t vote for them.  Granted, Shannen could be the greatest dancer on the show this season; but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get votes week after week.  I also fear that Mark’s sometimes overbearing nature might clash with Shannen’s obviously “strong” personality – these two could be the second coming of Debi vs. Maks.  I don’t see them going home the first week; but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the bottom 3, due to what I’ve mentioned above…it may take some time for the female viewing audience to really “warm up” to Shannen L

 9.)    Aiden Turner & Edyta Sliwinska – I may have had the hardest time placing this couple, next to my struggles with Jake & Chelsie.  On one hand, Aiden is a hunky soap star that likely has quite a following from his role on All My Children; on the other hand, he isn’t as well-known and hasn’t been on the show as long as Susan Lucci or Cameron Mathison, and doesn’t have an additional “claim to fame” like General Hospital Playmate Kelly Monaco.   Having Edyta as his partner could also be both a blessing and a curse – she’s a fan favorite (due to her tenure on all 10 seasons of the show), but also seems prone to having some boring choreography and a history of early eliminations.  In the end, my pessimistic side wins out – I think Aiden’s name might be the least well-known of this season’s celebs at first glance (even I had to look him up, and I have been known to watch AMC on occasion!), and in the few practice sessions I’ve seen of he & Edyta, he looks like he could be a bit of an awkward mover.  Aiden, please, prove me wrong – we need another cute guy to stick around to put doofy Jake in his place!

 10.)                        Kate Gosselin & Tony Dovolani – I solemnly swear I am going to make an honest effort to try and give Kate a chance this season – however, I’m not sure America is going to be willing to do the same.  Many have (understandably) questioned Kate’s choice to undertake such a big time commitment while being the primary custodian of 8 kids, and amid the media firestorm surrounding her divorce.  And while Kate comes out as more of the “victim” in her situation with Jon – some cite her volatile temper in episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8 prior to the divorce as a possible contributing factor for it.  In other words – Kate may be dealing with the same “witch” syndrome as Shannen.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: female viewers do not like mean girls.  Granted, she’s a mean girl with kids and a smarmy ex-husband – but a mean girl nonetheless.  There are already rumors swirling about her “diva-like” behavior on-set (although I don’t know that I fully believe it, there may be some partial truth to it). I don’t know that Tony is going to be much of a help either – his support seems to run hot & cold, depending on who he is dancing with.  But Kate is allegedly in pretty good shape, and does quite a bit of running & yoga, so she might not be half-bad…I think viewers may keep her around for a week or two just to see how she fares – but will ultimately tire of her.

 11.)                        Pamela Anderson & Damian Whitehood – This is probably going to come as the biggest shocker for many of you who said that Pam may be the “big surprise” this season – but before you crucify me, hear me out ;-) I totally agree that Pam may be one of the better dancers this season – I really & truly would love to see her do well.  But I think the deck could not be stacked against her more with the female viewing audience – she’s a textbook example of my “Pretty Girl Backlash Theory”: female viewers feel jealous and/or threatened by attractive women (especially overtly sexy ones with questionable reputations) and hence, do not vote.  They find reasons to dislike their dancing in order to justify their animosity – it’s unfortunate, but true.  Women are CATTY.  And I think Pam unfortunately has enough scandal under her belt to add fuel to the fire – she’s appeared in Playboy multiple times (and I’m sure many viewers’ husbands have salivated over those pictures); she has not one, but TWO sex tapes (you can see what good it did for Kim Kardashian only having one!); a string of failed marriages to ahem, “questionable” men (Tommy Lee, Kid Rock, and Rick Salomon); and a wardrobe of rather suggestive ensembles.  While I personally couldn’t care less about all of it – I doubt it will sit well with some of the more conservative viewing audience.  Her charity work with PETA and the American Liver Foundation is somewhat redeeming, but I’m afraid it’s often overlooked in favor of her more scandalous activities.  She also has a disadvantage in having a new pro – he has no fan base yet.  Unless Pam proves to be the best dancer this season and starts knocking perfect 10s outta the park every week – I just don’t see her sticking around for long L

 

Alright, my predictions for the season are officially made…I’m excited to see how things pan out, and I really hope I’m proved wrong on some of these.  I certainly was last season! Now let’s here some more good debates from you guys: who do you think will be the first to go?

 

March 21, 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!

DWTS10 Preliminary Power Rankings – Part I

Good grief…where did season 9 go??? I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was trying my best to like Donny and was gunning hard for Kelly…but alas, season 10 is upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for my preliminary power ranking of this season’s celebs!

For those of you who are new to the site (or don’t remember from last season), I do a weekly power ranking of the couples based on their performances that week – this ranking is basically a measure of how likely a couple is to stick around to the following week, and it’s based on several factors: how well they perform, how well-liked they are, how well-known they are, how strong their voting “demographic” is, how memorable they are, etc.  It is not necessarily a measure of who is the “best” dancer – we all know that the best dancer is not always guaranteed to win the competition, or even stick around week after week. 

As I did last season, I have also done a “preliminary” power ranking – it’s a bit different, as we have yet to see any of the celebs perform – that is basically my “forecast” of how I think the season will play out, based on the celeb’s backgrounds and popularity.  As evidenced by last season, things can change quite a bit during the course of the season – but it’s still fun to make predictions :-) So here’s my top six – the ones I could see lasting at least through the middle of the competition, and the ones I think will make the final:

1.)    Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough – I think Nicole has several big advantages in this competition: she’s got a dance/performance background (from her days with the Pussycat Dolls and also her experience with the lesser-known girl group Eden’s Crush), she’s young, she’s attractive, she’s decently well-known, she isn’t really doing anything else right now (PCD is on hiatus after several members left, freeing her up to focus solely on the competition) and perhaps most important of all if you’re a sexy lady in the competition – she’s inoffensive.  Anyone catch her as a judge on The Sing Off this past December? The girl is as sweet as pie – reminded me of Paula Abdul on Idol.  And I can’t recall any tabloid scandals about her (other than maybe being considered the “Beyonce” of PCD and the other girls in the group being jealous of it). She’s also got the juggernaut that is Derek Hough to lead the way – his choreography is some of the most fun & memorable on the show, and the ladies LOVE him (and as we’ve pointed out many times before – you need to have the female viewers on your side to win this competition!).  Their closeness in age also makes them more believable as a couple, which is a big advantage in the rumba (which is often the “make or break” dance when it comes to testing a couple’s chemistry).  Unless Anna busts out some incredible choreography, or these two have a major snafu (and I’m talking a snafu of Aaron-Carter-wailing-in-the-confessional-post-rumba proportions!), I could see these two easily making it to the final, and likely winning over Evan & Anna.

2.)    Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya – Some of you are probably going to strongly question me putting these two in second place (due to the winning nature of Olympians on the show, especially skaters, and also Evan’s wild popularity), but I really think this final is not going to hinge so much on the celebs as it will on their respective pros.  Let’s face it: while I adore Anna (she’s my fave pro and a fellow redhead), some of the viewing audience has found her to be cold & abrasive – and viewers don’t pick up the phone for cold & abrasive pros.  And her choreography, while brilliant from a technical standpoint, doesn’t quite have the same artistic “zing” and energy that Derek’s does.  If Anna was a more popular pro, I could see these two having a fighting chance against Nicole & Derek (although I still think it’s going to be close, given the circumstances).  But Evan will undoubtedly thrive in the competition, due mainly to his athletic background & popularity with the viewing audience – c’mon, it’s hard to hate an Olympian, especially a medalist (unless you’re that obnoxious Russian skater that lost to Evan)!   

 3.)    Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – She’s a former Florida Gators dance team member, her sister is a professional dancer, and she’s a spunky, well-liked sportscaster – but Erin’s strongest advantage this season could very well be the sympathy vote.  After the mortifying peeping Tom incident back in July of ’09, this girl could have easily shunned the spotlight – but she managed to handle the situation extremely gracefully in the media and seems to have come back even stronger.  While female viewers have a tendency to “backlash” against pretty girls (like many of the models), they tend rally behind successful, likeable ones – especially ones that have endured some kind of public ordeal (think Melissa Rycroft).  Maks also still remains a popular pro (although probably not so much as Mark or Derek) – however, a string of early eliminations due to weak partners may have taken him off some voters’ radar in recent seasons. And let’s pray he doesn’t make poor Erin cry…he always seems to get voted off not long after that happens…anyway, Erin’s skill could take her far, but I fear that Maks choreography is going to look a bit dull up against Derek’s flashy moves and Anna’s impeccable technique.

 4.)    Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke – I’m still having a hard time trying to figure this couple out – part of me says they could do really well, part of me says they might be a complete train wreck.  But for the sake of optimism, I’m gonna go with the former – that, and Chad’s ostentatious personality and endless competitiveness.  I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that Chad is a character (anyone who admits that they are “hoping to get fined” in their next game is definitely a doozy!) and also a tremendous athlete (he’s a 6-time pro bowler).  NFL players have traditionally done well in the competition (4 have made it to the finals, and none have finished worse than 7th place) due likely to sheer determination.  Chad also has an edge with Cheryl, who is the winningest pro currently doing the show.  However, Chad’s charisma can also come across as, well, just plain obnoxious – he wasn’t voted the #1 showboater in the sports world by ESPN for nothing.  He has been known to be a little on the cocky side, and is not above trash-talking the competition…which doesn’t always sit well with the voters.  I’m predicting they make it to the semifinal based solely on their skill, but will lose out in the end to more likeable celebs like Evan, Nicole, & Erin.

 5.)    Niecy Nash & Louis Van Amstel – If last season was any indicator, Louis tends to thrive with partners that have a bit of an attitude – viewers may have yawned watching him dance with Trista & Priscilla, but who could forget his sassy interactions with Monique & Kelly? J And let’s just say Niecy has got attitude to spare – I have a feeling these two are going to be a hoot to watch! Viewers seem to overlook weak dancing if a couple is particularly entertaining (i.e. Cloris & Corky), so even if Niecy isn’t the greatest, I don’t think she will be going home quickly.  Not to say that she won’t be good – from the clips of her practicing, it’s clear the woman has rhythm, and I sincerely doubt she will struggle with “coming out of her shell” like Kelly did.  I think Louis also solidified him self as a pro favorite last season, with his unending support and camaraderie with Kelly, so he may have a bigger fanbase this year.  In the end, though, I think the stronger dancers will win out over the energetic-but-not-quite-as-technically-good ones, so these two better bring attitude & skill if they want to make it to the finale.

6.) Jake Pavelka & Chelsie Hightower – Not gonna lie – I definitely cringed when I heard Jake’s name announced as the 11th participant this season.  I almost wonder if he was a last-minute addition when they needed to fill one more slot, and the fact that they were announcing the contestants during the Bachelor finale was just a happy coincidence (for them, not us).  While Jake does have a bit of a dance background (he’s taken dance lessons, allegedly – not sure what kind), I fear that everyone that was on Team Tenley is not going to be quick to support Jake – if the tabloids covers splashed with headlines of “Villainous Vienna’s” exploits are any indicator, the voters may be hesitant to stand behind him (and his choice in women).  Petty? Maybe – but look at what happened to Jason Mesnick after he jilted Melissa.  The guy became a social pariah! Fans of The Bachelor are definitely passionate about their faves, which could be good for Jake if enough of “Team Vienna” is voting this season.  Chelsie also has a knack of taking mediocre partners (Ty Murray, Louie Vito) and improving them enough to keep them around until at least midway through the competition.  This couple is a bit of a toss-up for me – which is why they’re right in the middle.  I guess time will tell whether they sink or swim…

So there’s my predictions for the top 6 – tune in tomorrow as I detail those who *gulp* may be in a bit more peril of getting sent home :-( But what do you guys think? Who do you think will come out on top?

March 20, 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!