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DWTS 15 All-Stars: The Great “Previous Dance Experience” Debate – Apolo Ohno Edition

Today we continue our series with season 4 winner Apolo Ohno – and if you’re still playing catch-up, be sure to check out our previous editions featuring Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, Drew Lachey, & Joey Fatone 8-)

For Apolo’s best dance, I picked his samba – which I still think is the best samba from a contestant that we’ve ever seen on DWTS:

For his worst dance, I picked the ill-advised Pulp Fiction jive he & Julianne did:

I think the most obvious advantage that jumps out at me when I watch these videos is chemistry – Apolo & Julianne had FANTASTIC chemistry, and I think that helped carry them through week after week.  The question is: can he forge that same chemistry with Karina? If he can, then I think these two could be frontrunners this season.  Apolo’s obviously got some natural rhythm and is comfortable moving his body, so Karina’s definitely got something to work with.  However, Apolo’s Achilles’ heel (hehe) does seem to be really refined footwork – I saw instances in both his samba & his jive (ESPECIALLY his jive) where he just seems to put his feet wherever they feel comfortable, and the end result looks a bit confused and purposeless.  POINT YOUR TOES, APOLO! I also think his showmanship could use a little work – Apolo mentions in samba rehearsals that he’s used to keeping a “poker face” in speed skating, so it’s hard for him to really use his face to emote.  He did pretty well in season 4, but I still saw a few instances of “poker face” – especially if he wasn’t quite sure of what he was doing and was trying to regain his bearings…I noticed it in his jive, whenever he seemed to foul up.  With such big personalities like Joey & Kirstie around this season, I think Apolo is going to have to really work on projecting a BIG personality on the floor – he’s got the range of motion, now he just needs the range of personality :-) I also hope that Karina is able to strike a nice balance between dancing well and not outdancing Apolo – as much as I loved Julianne with Apolo, I do think there were times that she really outshined him, and I noticed it big time in their samba.  I do think Karina is a pro that is able to find that right balance, though, so I think that’s an advantage.

Court’s verdict: Definitely one to watch, especially if he can forge a good chemistry with Karina & clean up his footwork – and if he can bring enough personality to the table to compete with big personalities like Joey & Kirstie :-)

So what are your thoughts on Apolo? Does he have the juice to go all the way?

August 23, 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!

DWTS Season 10 – Who’s Dancing What…and Other Stuff

This is shaping up to be an interesting week on Dancing with the Stars! First off, we get an all male pro dance during the results show – Derek, Damian, Dmitry and Tony. I feel warm already. :-) The guys are dancing to Debi Nova. From a reprinting of the ABC Press Release by J! Ent:

Also this week, Platinum-selling soul star Maxwell will perform his chart-topping single “Fistful of Tears” on Tuesday. The singer/songwriter recently scored a three-peat with “Fistful of Tears,” his third consecutive No. 1 on Billboard’s Urban Adult airplay charts, making him the first male artist to achieve this feat. Grammy Award winner superstars Maxwell and Jill Scott will kick off their U.S. arena tour on May 21 in Cleveland. Maxwell is catapulting off his two recent Grammy Awards and his No. 1, platinum “BLACKsummers’night” (Columbia), which dominated year-end critics lists. Last fall, Maxwell entered the history books at Billboard when “Pretty Wings” and “Bad Habits,” the first two singles from “BLACKsummers’night,” monopolized the top two slots on the Adult R&B radio airplay chart.

Costa Rican singing sensation, Debi Nova, will perform her newest single “Drummer Boy,” while pros Derek Hough, Damian Whitewood, Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin accompany her on the dance floor. Her first single was co-written by Nova and produced by Marius de Vries and Dreamlab. Nova is set to release her Spanish/English, hybrid debut album, “Luna Nueva,” on Decca/Surco Records this May. Nova has amassed an impressive body of work including six Grammy-nominated projects, a No. 1 single, collaborations with the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Ricky Martin, and touring the world. She has been writing and performing professionally since the age of 14 and signed her first songwriter deal at the age of 17, subsequently penning songs for Latin recording artists Belinda and RBD, Sean Paul, Mark Ronson and her own single, “One Rhythm,” which reached No. 1 in Latin America and on the U.S. dance charts. The forthcoming “Luna Nueva,” co-produced by Surco Records founder Gustavo Santaoalla (two-time Oscar winner, multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winner, Juanes, CafŽ Tacvba) and Marius de Vries (five-time Grammy Award nominee, two-time BAFTA winner, Madonna, Josh Groban), is an irresistible hybrid of Latin rhythms and straight-ahead pop.

The Macy’s Stars of Dance is featuring an appearance by Debbie Allen, but none of our Pros are listed, so it’s either all or none. :-)

Now, in terms of the performance show, below is what I have for each couple, including the movie if I know it. I’ve been watching (and participating in) a lot of debate on Twitter – is it any song from a given movie? Is the movie given to them, but not necessarily the title song – if there is a title song?? For example, Derek and Nicole’s movie is Pretty Woman. I made the assumption based on what Tom said that it’s a movie song, not a theme night, so therefore, Derek and Nicole are dancing to “Pretty Woman”, not another song from the movie, such as Wild Women Do (which would, apparently, make a much better tango). So, I will list what I know, below, and you guys tell me if it’s the title song or some other song.

Pam/Damian – Quickstep – This doesn’t bode well for Pam, I don’t think. I will be very happy to be wrong. But a quickstep doesn’t have the passion of a Tango or a Rumba, and doesn’t have the jiggle factor of a Cha Cha. I guess we’ll see. I’ll be happy to be surprised once again.

Kate/Tony – Fox Trot – Again, possible disaster, but it probably won’t matter. Kate says they are dancing to a song from an 80′s movie, a movie she is familiar with. Since the Press Release mentions Breakfast Club, that’s what I’m betting on for Kate. Which song from this movie is the “iconic song”? Don’t You Forget About Me, by Simple Minds? If they are doing a Fox Trot, it’s can’t be We Are Not Alone, can it?

Evan/Anna – Rumba – I think Evan will dance it very well, for sure. But will he have a connection problem with Anna? This dance really requires it, and the best dancer on the show (Nicole) can’t call this her very best dance. Entertainment Tonight (or similar show) said that they are dancing to a romantic song from an action movie. Any ideas out there? :-) Something from Independence Day? I have a song right on the tip of my brain but I can’t come up with it. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith – from the movie Armageddon??

Jake/Chelsie – Cha Cha – A Cha Cha to Risky Business, no less. At least, that’s what I got from one of the entertainment shows from which I will be posting video later. Please, god, no tighty whities. Please? At this point, I wouldn’t count Jake out, although I think he’s on the bubble. Will he be able to handle the cha cha? No idea. If he does do the Tom Cruise iconic look from this movie, I can guarantee a low score from Len.

Chad/Cheryl – Quickstep – I don’t believe I’ve heard what song they are dancing to, but I smell trouble for Chad. Cheryl tweets that he’s doing well, but really? A quickstep? Again, I would be happy to be wrong.

Niecy/Louis – Jive – Dancing to La Bamba. A Jive to La Bamba? Geez, I dunno. That song doesn’t seem quite right, seems a little slow. So, title song, or another song from the movie. Watching Niecy and Louis on the entertainment shows, I’m saying title song.

Erin/Maks – Jive – to Pulp Fiction?  I’m worried about this one. That scene from Pulp Fiction was “iconic” for sure, but for a Jive? It sounds awkward. I hope I’m wrong.  Okay, after watching the scene from the movie which is, IMO, “iconic” – maybe Maks and Erin don’t have it so bad. I can see a Jive to this song.

Nicole/Derek – Tango – to Pretty Woman. I’m on the title song bandwagon, but hoping like hell I’m wrong. Wild Women Do would be much better, I think. Plus, a little bird tells me that is the song played when Julia is shopping on Rodeo Drive. And where are Derek and Nicole doing an out of studio package bit?? Rodeo Drive. I guess we’ll see.

Of what we know so far, I think Derek and Louis are going to have to work choreographic magic to get appropriate dances from that music. Either that or play with the music, which Maks indicated that he was doing. Anyway, my pre-dance prediction is that Kate is safe yet again and either Niecy or Jake are in deep doo doo. I reserve the right to change my mind once we see the dances.

A note to the Kate Haters: You have to VOTE for another couple (or all the other couples) if you really want Kate to go home. I don’t hate Kate, actually, but what I do hate is better dancers leaving before her. Up to now it hasn’t pissed me off. But if she stays again on Tuesday, it WILL piss me off. Because for her to stay, it means a MUCH better dancer will have to leave, instead of only a slightly better dancer. It means that Jake, or Niecy, or Chad, or Erin, or Nicole, or Pam will go home instead of her. Not Evan, of course, because he’s the ringer to beat. :-) But all the rest of them are in danger, some more than others.

April 17, 2010 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. :-)