First of all and in case you missed an addition to another post, don’t miss seeing a piece on GMA today with Niecy Nash at stage rehearsals last night here. She interviews the couples and you can see the couples dancing. A great teaser and Niecy is funny!
Also, Conrad Green, the producer of Dancing With The Stars, previews the show and gives his take on the couples at TV Guide as well. Below is a take, but, be sure you read the link for the full article. Take note the tweeks for the show he mentions in the last paragraph….
“To be honest, I didn’t think we’d get that many,” executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. “It’s quite incredible, isn’t it? I was hoping we’d get a good response and it was more than any of us could’ve expected. This whole cast is really the cream of the cream of the crop.”
That’s not an overstatement: Of the 13 returning stars, only two of them — Pamela Anderson and Sabrina Bryan, who’s back via fan vote — didn’t make the finals in their original seasons. Two third-place finishers (Bristol Palin and Melissa Rycroft) and three runners-up (Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Gilles Marini) also join the ex-Mirrorball winners (Helio Castroneves, Shawn Johnson, Drew Lachey, Kelly Monaco, Apolo Anton Ohno and Emmitt Smith).
“I think it’s a testament to how much they enjoyed it the first time that so many winners and finalists are back,” Green says. “Looking at it on paper, you can argue one or two people who you wanted to see back who aren’t there, but almost everybody we approached said yes. The problem is this show requires you for three months and a lot of other people had committed to other things already. This has always been a really fun interlude in their careers, so I think a lot of them, if they were able to, made the space for it. And now we have a really crazy, competitive cast.”
Having such a formidable bunch means that there will be some tweaks to the show. Celebrities will be creative directors of a dance for a week, for which they’ll come up with the theme and wardrobe, pick the music and all but choreograph their routine. Gone is the Dance Duel, which was introduced last season to prevent a Sabrina Bryan-like shocking elimination (though Green allows that it may return in a normal season) and in is a temporary scoring system emphasizing technique. “We’re thinking about having Len [Goodman] give a couple of extra points to the celebrity who did the best technical dance of the night,” Green says. “It’s an extra boost; it’s not a punishment for everyone else. We’ll tweak scoring here and there to make sure there’s a bit more discipline and content in there, given that these people have done the show before.”
The ‘creative director’ idea sounds kind of cool, but, hmmm, not sure what to think of the extra points from Len? Thoughts?
Also, Louis Van Amstel wrote a new blog for GMA today. He writes of Sabrina, rehearsals last night, and gives us his take of tonight’s premiere.
Today is show day and we have an early 7 am call time to go through orchestra rehearsal, where all couples get about 10 minutes with the band to hear their song played live for the first time. You have to remember we all rehearse to the original track until the day of the show. Most of the time it sounds amazing live with the band, but sometimes the songs are so different or complicated that it adds so much pressure and nerves. There’s not a lot we can do that last minute, but we have an amazing band leader in Harold Wheeler, who always does everything in his power to accommodate any changes we’d like to make.
After orchestra rehearsal it’s time for dress rehearsal where the entire show is run as if it’s live — minus the commercials. This is necessary to make sure the show runs smoothly and all departments are happy. Sometimes the costumes need some tweaking or lighting need to be changed. This is where the nerves get to an all time high! Thank goodness for all of us you guys don’t get to see dress rehearsal ….things can sometimes get very dramatic.
Tonight Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson will open the show followed by Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough. Sabrina and I will dance third, which I like because we don’t have to go out first and yet we don’t have to wait so long before we perform. I don’t know the entire following order of the show, but I do know Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance 12th and Emmett Smith and Cheryl Burke perform last.
Every couple will come out strong and dance their hearts out. I also believe the judges will be extra critical on all the dances, since most celebs have gone through an entire season already and have dance experience.
On a sentimental note, I feel so blessed to part of this amazing cast, having the best celebrity partner in Sabrina Bryan. I’m still so thankful for ABC and the BBC worldwide for giving me the opportunity to do what I love doing so much on such a worldly stage in front of millions.
Thanks to all of you for watching “DWTS” faithfully over the years, I truly hope this season is going to blow your minds and inspire to take on your own desired dreams. Enjoy the show!
You can read more here.