As many of you know from our past reporting, past seasons of Dancing With The Stars will start airing in January on the Game Show Network. Yesterday several of our pros and past celebrities showed up in Los Angeles for a photo op in light of the event. Gilles Marini posted a picture at his twitter account (seen above) of himself, Mel B, Maks, Lacey, Derek, Rick Fox, Chaz Bono, Ralph Macchio, and Audrina Partridge. Also on tap for the shoot was J.R. Martinez (not pictured). They look great, don’t they? Be sure to check their twitter accounts when you can as almost all of them tweeted on their excitement about it.
According to People.com, Karina met up with her former Season 12 partner, Ralph Macchio, and his family to have dinner in New York. You can read more on their dinner at the link as well as seeing a new picture. According to Karina’s tweets, they saw the Jets play as well. The picture above is from Karina’s twitter. So cute. I love Ralph. Speaking of,..recently Ralph has said he’d never do another “Karate Kid” sequel. Instead he is writing a memoir which he will reveal stories about filming The Karate Kid, The Outsiders and My Cousin Vinny. Ralph has also been making State Farm commercials on teenage driving as well as producing a new reality show about Gypsies for the National Geographic Channel to premiere in the Spring. We’ll have to keep a close eye on this one as Ralph touched on a lot of us last season. I still think it was unfair how he was treated by the judges….something I’ll never understand.
….and it’s a good one! Getting excited much yet?
I have a feeling we’re in for some surprises too? For one, Ralph Macchio and Dmitry Chaplin have been seen going into the rehearsal studios this week as well. Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s not?
ADDING: I’m loving this news as well….
This is Part 2 in what will likely be a 3-part series. If you want to read Part 1, you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer??
Well, let me tell you, researching these former contestants was not particularly enjoyable. But, I felt like some research had to go into this in order to try to be somewhat informed and to remove some of the subjectivity. Not all of it can be removed, but I tried.
How did I get my results?
For each celebrity who was *possibly* experienced or popular, I focused research on their web sites (if available), their Wiki pages, and YouTube videos. Then there were google searches. Yikes. If a celebrity was clearly not a ringer in any way shape or form (ie Football players, rodeo riders, race car drivers) I did not look into their background any further. I did spend some time on this, but since I have another job that takes my time, it’s possible I missed something. BUT, just because you don’t agree with my rankings, it doesn’t mean I DID miss something. Just sayin’.
Determining if someone is actually a fanbase ringer is rather difficult as well. My metric for that determination is: Is this person well known and well loved by the biggest DWTS demographic – that is women aged about 30 to 65. These are the people most likely to watch the show and vote. Where it gets tricky is guys like Joey Lawrence and Ian Zeiring – it’s guys like this that caused me the most pain. Why? Well, because my brain is saying, “Nah” but my gut is saying “Just because you’re not a fan doesn’t mean they don’t have sizable fanbases. So, at the end of the day, I decided for my purposes that for them to be a fanbase ringer, it had to be OBVIOUS. That is – if I know they’re super popular, then they probably really are. If I don’t really know much about them….then they probably aren’t. I fit the demographic, after all. Read more..
So with each hour closer to the cast announcement that we get, we seem to be getting more and more leaks of who’s in – the next 24 hours will definitely be the time to stay tuned to PureDWTS, as we’ll be posting any potential last minute leaks as soon as we hear them! I dunno about you guys, but I’m getting excited…so let’s take a look at who else we might expect to see, based on casting patterns
The Teen Idol
Previous examples: Joey McIntyre, Aaron Carter, Donny Osmond, Lance Bass, Mel B., Joey Fatone, Drew Lachey, Joey Lawrence, Ian Ziering, Cody Linley, Sabrina Bryan, Mario Lopez, Kyle Massey, Chelsea Kane, Romeo
Advantages: If sales of Tiger Beat are any indicator, the teenyboppers will come out in full force to support their favorite heartthrobs/idols. Being young & good-lookin’ sure doesn’t hurt! Many also have the added advantage of having a decent dance background, especially if they were part of a musical act.
Disadvantages: Youth can also have its disadvantages – as in immaturity. What some might call “youthful exuberance”, others might call “immaturity” or “attention deficit disorder” – poor Cody Linley had a hard time sitting still! Emotional immaturity (a la Aaron Carter’s post-rumba meltdown in the confessional) can be especially off-putting. They’ve also got to contend with the large middle-aged female contingent of viewers/voters – they far outnumber the young viewers likely to vote for them.
Possible candidates this season: Now that the Candace Cameron-Bure rumor seems to have died down, it looks like we’re going to be seeing former child starKim Richards, also of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame…maybe she’s doing double-duty as the reality star this season, too!
Previous examples: Jerry Springer, Brooke Burke, Leeza Gibbons, Mario Lopez, Kenny Mayne, Lisa Rinna, Tucker Carlson, Mark Dacascos, Rocco DiSpirito, Erin Andrews, Wendy Williams, Mike Catherwood
Advantages: Being that they’ve been at the helm of their own shows, these guys usually have the media savvy & charisma to appeal to the masses, as well as the previous exposure & recognizability. Most (not all!) are also decently attractive, which never seems to hurt (unless, of course, you’re a model – see previous post for explanation).
Disadvantages: Many hosts are only used to hosting – as in just sitting down & talking (or dodging the occasional punch, if you’re Springer), so the lack of movement experience problem seems to come into play.
Possible candidates this season: I’ve started preparing myself to watch Nancy Grace try to hoof it this season, though I can’t say I’m even the tiniest bit excited about it. Someone hosts I’d rather see? Craig Ferguson or Ricki Lake – the former is just hilarious, and the latter might actually be pretty good due to her Broadway background.
Previous examples: John O’Hurley, Melissa Joan Hart, Steve Guttenburg, John Ratzenberger, Debi Mazar, Denise Richards, Ted McGinley, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennie Garth, Vivica Fox, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Shannen Doherty, Jennifer Grey, David Hasselhoff, Ralph Macchio, Kirstie Alley
Advantages: Being that their bread & butter is acting, most can usually nail the emotions of the dances. Bonus points if they’ve done any Broadway (like Winokur) because they have likely had dance experience.
Disadvantages: For lack of a better term, many of them seem to be “has-beens” – actors that haven’t been particularly active in the mainstream in the past several years – or were never that big to begin with (can anyone else think of anything John O’Hurley has been in BESIDES Seinfeld?), making it harder for them to garner votes from a public who may not remember them.
Possible candidates this season: I think it’s safe to say David Arquette is a lock. There’s been a couple of murmurs about Henry Winkler as well, and I’m still wondering if Lorenzo Lamas is gonna crop up, after all the talking he did last season.
The Reality Star
Previous examples: Kim Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne, Melissa Rycroft, Steve-O, Holly Madison, Trista Sutter, Shanna Moakler, Kate Gosselin, Jake Pavelka, Audrina Patridge, The Situation
Advantages: Many have achieved pop culture icon status on their respective reality outlets, making them fairly recognizable.
Disadvantages: They may be memorable for the wrong reasons – people tended to remember things like Kim Kardashian’s sex tape more than her reality show when she was on DWTS, and people seemed more focused on Holly Madison’s split from Hef than her antics on The Girls Next Door. Many can also come across as attention-hungry & talentless(*cough*JakePavelka*cough*) – reality TV is often looked down upon as a way to get famous without having any talent whatsoever.
Previous examples: Mya, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mario, Belinda Carlisle, Master P, Chuck Wicks, Sara Evans, Willa Ford, Monique Coleman, Toni Braxton, Macy Gray, Nicole Scherzinger
Advantages: As with the teen idols, many have had dance experience concurrent with their music careers.
Disadvantages: Most seem to be committed solely to one genre of music (often R&B or country), making it hard to appeal to a wide fanbase.
The Wild Card
Previous examples: Heather Mills, Tom DeLay, Mark Cuban, Steve Wozniak, Priscilla Presley, Buzz Aldrin, Bristol Palin
Advantages: The sheer novelty of having someone with such an off-the-beaten-path claim to fame (famous divorcee/widow, entrepreneur, disgraced politician, etc.) may be enough to have the public voting them – just to see what happens. Being the “underdog” is a powerful thing…as we saw with Bristol last season!
Disadvantages: Due to their often dubious fame, people just may not have any clue who they are – I personally had to Google Mark Cuban’s name. There’s also the risk of backlash from some viewers who don’t think they’re “stars” per se, and shouldn’t even be on the show in the first place.
Possible candidates this season: I’d say our best bet is Chaz Bono.
So we’re mere hours away from the official announcement, gang – who do you think is in and who do you think is just wishful thinking? Be sure to check back here for Heidi’s Casting Announcement Live Blog starting at 8 PM EST tomorrow night …she (and the rest of us) suffer through Bachelor Pad so you don’t have to! And make sure you’re following @puredwts & @tvblog on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates on who’s in!
Wow, what a coup this would be! Today, TMZ (which has been a good source for information for the the show in the past which ends up coming true) is reporting producers are on the hunt for more “high profile” celebrities for next season instead of “gimmicky” d-list stars they’ve booked in the past. Here is a take from the link for how they plan on doing it.
In order to lock down the BIG names, we’re told producers are offering A-listers complete control over their rehearsal schedule — telling them there’s NO minimum rehearsal requirements … and they can practice as little or as much as they want.
Celebs will also have final say on music selections and costume design … including colors, cuts and styles.
So far, no word if producers have signed any of the “high profile” people in their crosshairs.
So, what do you think? Will giving celebrities final say on certain things help in getting them signed? I think it might somewhat, but, in the end “money” talks the most I would think? I hope they can get some A-listers, but, I’ve liked some of the d-listers in the past and how the show has revived some of their careers or popularity. Even if it didn’t, it was great seeing them again. (IE: Jennifer Grey, Kirstie Alley, and Ralph Macchio to list a few).
John: To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy any of Wendy’s or Kirstie’s dances really. I enjoyed their humor and their one liners. I just wasn’t a fan of their dancing at all. Even Kendra was a disappointment (we should have had an award for that). However, Wendy definitely takes the cake for worst dancer this season. Can you say awkward?
Vogue: Yeah, I picked Wendy too. She was not very good. Plus, her attitude was poor and egotistical. Poor Tony. I really felt sorry for him. Wendy wasn’t as bad as Kate Gosselin, but, at times I had to kind of wonder?
Courtney: The fact that Wendy thought she was hot sh*t, coupled with some very (IMO) kindergarten choreography is what made this dance so bad. She was barely moving, yet with all the bravado she was throwing around both before & after the dance, you would have thought she danced like Nicole Scherzinger. The hair, the makeup, the dress, the choreo, the attitude – blech. No wonder Wendy ran away with more than half the vote! Mike & Lacey’s foxtrot – ok, pretty bad, but it had a bit of a trainwreck appeal to it…and Mike was pretty damn lovable. Kirstie & Maks’ jive wasn’t the strongest technically, but it did have a pretty strong entertainment quality. I’m honestly surprised Kendra & Louis’ Viennese waltz didn’t get more votes – that was the dance that Kendra managed to somehow contort into some bizarre Mafia tribute, and she looked like a lost puppy the whole time. Oh – and it’s also the week she said she didn’t care about elegance I can’t really fault Ralph & Karina for their samba being tacky – what the hell are you supposed to do when you get “Sweet Home Alabama” as your music? But of course, the judges raked them across the coals for it – just like they did everything else this season. *sigh* I actually kinda liked Chelsea & Mark’s jive, but I agree that it was maybe a bit too “out there” to please the judges, and wasn’t proper jive technique; Romeo & Chelsie’s rumba was just a non-event. Perhaps the most interesting response in the write-in category: Chelsea & Mark’s freestyle. It’s interesting because the freestyles are almost universally popular with fans - but I have to agree that this one was a dud, and will probably go down in DWTS history as one of the worst…it just felt like such a cop-out to me. Just some routine that was thrown together, without any sort of connection to Chelsea. Some other responses: Ralph & Karina’s salsa (ok, not their best, but I don’t think it was worse than a lot of the dances above!), “Hinds” freestyle (I’m gonna assume you mean “Hines” ), Wendy & Tony’s quickstep (I actually thought this one was the most tolerable of their 3 bad dances…), and “anything by Chelsea (OVERRATED)” lol. While I think Chelsea was blatantly overscored more often than not, I did enjoy a few of her dances – namely her foxtrot & jive. Overall, I think the right dance won this category – it was the combination of bad costuming, bad choreo, bad execution, and bad attitude that made this one a champion. But are there REALLY any winners in this category?
Marianya: Do we REALLY have to pick? I mean, I would have thought it be pretty obvious. Wendy! Since the other bloggers have already said everything that needed to be said in regards to this celeb… all I’m going to say to TPTB is this: please be nicer next time, someone like her is an easy way to turn off the TV.
Heidi: Wendy…worst dancer, biggest diva. And that’s just cray-cray. I quickly got to the point where I never wanted to see her face or hear her voice EVER again. That bit on the finale – I almost had turn the channel. I would have, if it weren’t for the cheesecake awards. All for you people.
John: Impossible to decide between Kym, the blonde bombshell with the awesome accent, or the super model with the amazing accent. Does it really matter what they wear or who their partner is? Correct Answer: No.
Vogue: This was a toss up between Hines and Kim or Petra and Dimitry. Both couples always took my breath away. In the end, Kym and Hines got my vote. Not only does Kym have a knack for dancing and teaching, she knows just the right costumes to pull out and when for the most part. They aren’t too gawdy or in your face. They are never ugly or tasteless. They always match the dance which is really important in my opinion. Totally classy all the way.
Courtney: I’d like to say a little prayer of thanks & praise to Our Lady of the Awesome Boobage, because she easily ran away with this title, IMO Seriously – Kym’s hair, makeup, and costumes were picture-perfect this season, and I think she did a great job of styling Hines well, too. My favorites had to be her quickstep dress (quite possibly my favorite ballgown in the history of the show) and Argentine tango dress (who would have thought thousands of pearls could make a bigger statement than the cliched rhinestones?). I think Kym’s biggest strength in styling both her & her partners is that she knows when to keep it simple – most of her popular costumes are very uncomplicated silhouttes, in flattering colors and textures that compliment the moves of the dances. Wish some more of the female pros would take a page out of her book…you listening, Lacey & Karina? Petra was a vision in all of her costumes this season – but how couldn’t she be, when she’s such a vision on her own? And a sweetheart to boot…I have to admit, I really liked she & Dmitry together this season, despite thinking I would find them boring. While I don’t think all of Kirstie’s costumes were terribly flattering (still trying to figure out her jive & waltz costumes…), I do think they were memorable and fit the dances well. Thought some of Romeo & Chelsie’s costumes were just lovely – god I loved both their Fred & Ginger-inspired foxtrot costumes, and their Titanic-inspired waltz costumes! Rounding out the write-in category: Ralph & Karina (12), Chelsea & Mark (7), Chris & Cheryl (1), and “No one” (1). Ralph & Karina were kinda hit-or-miss for me – loved their foxtrot costumes, hated their salsa costumes, loved their rumba & waltz costumes, hated their paso doble & quickstep costumes. Karina’s kinda all over the place for me, costume-wise. Looks like Chelsea & Mark are a polarizing couple – people seemed to either really love or hate both their dancing & their costumes! She had a few good ones (foxtrot, cha-cha), but I’m afraid she was overshadowed by the ridiculous ones (paso doble, samba, freestyle). As for Chris & Cheryl – I didn’t really LOVE any of their costumes this season, but I didn’t really hate them, either. They were just…there.
Marianya: Instead of saying “best dressed” I’ll instead say who I think didn’t annoy me with their costumes. In this case it would have to be Petra and Dmitry. However, if we’re measuring the entire course of the show, then of course Hines and Kym.
Heidi: In re-watching the various seasons, I’m continually in awe of the hot blond with the awesome boobage – and I ain’t talkin’ Derek. What I can’t figure is why Kym is so under the radar – I guess she’s second only to Derek in the lack of self promotion. It’s like she goes into hiding between seasons…but this girl is just gorgeous!! Inside and out. It’s safe to say I have a straight gurl crush. Seriously – two trophies, great record with her partners, gorgeous…and the best dance-face around. Best example is her Team Paso with Warren – fierce. Speaking of Paso Doble’s with Warren – that pleather ensemble and the Matrix tribute dance?? Awesome. This season, I have to go with the quickstep dress -fantastic. She’s my new favorite girl, easily.
John: I had an odd season with no real emotional favorite (although, I did like Chelsea). However, Ralph was just a class act. Plus, I’m afraid Mr. Miyagi might come and kick my trash if I said otherwise.
Vogue: LOL JOHN!! Seriously, Ralph for me too!!! The judges finally had their way. I’ll never understand why they picked on him so? A total shame. He belonged in the Finals! I really enjoyed him and I was the happiest when he and Karina brought in an Oriental influence to some of their dances. Beautiful!!
Courtney: With the exception of maybe Kendra & Louis (who I still must applaud for a very classy exit), I was disappointed to see all of the above couples eliminated – but the sting was definitely the greatest with Ralph Echoing Vogue’s sentiments, it was the last straw – the judges had finally gotten away with manipulating the outcome of the show. And Ralph looked so heartbroken, even though I think he knew it was coming. I think Ralph’s unceremonious ousting (and season-long abuse by the judges) will go down in DWTS history as the most unfair cut…even moreseo than Brandy, because this time around – only the judges are to blame. I also got a little sad when Romeo was cut, just because he had grown so much in the duration of the season & seemed so humbled and thankful for the experience. Chris was just so funny & charming (and he got dealt a crappy dance the week he was sent packing) that it hurt to see him go too; and Petra was just an absolute angel and seemed truly humbled by the experience. Really and truly, with the exception of Wendy – I think all of this season’s eliminated contestants were very classy & gracious when they were eliminated. Very impressive Some write-ins: Kirstie & Maks (7), Mark & Chelsea (2), None (2), Mike & Lacey (1). I never really count those who make it to the finale but don’t win as “eliminations”, but I could see how those could sting just as bad. I liked Kirstie & I was glad to see her beat Chelsea, but I think deep down I know that there was no way she could bridge the points gap between her & Hines, thanks to the judges. I felt bad for Chelsea (who I think was a bit of a pawn this season), but I can’t say I was disappointed to see her go – her very presence in the finale seemed unfair, and had she won – it would have been a very hollow win. I didn’t hate the player – I hated the game.
Heidi: I don’t think the judges realize that manipulating someone into the finals doesn’t mean people are suddenly going to start voting for her. By that stage of the game, the voting is pretty set (for those doing the serious voting especially). And if you’re not getting votes, it might be for a good reason, not an accident. Most have learned from Sabrina by now. For that reason alone, it was a shame that Ralph got the boot. But I agree with Courtney in that I was sad to see a lot of them go for a variety of reasons. But Ralph’s ouster just pissed me off. I have to think that the judges get in their heads the “good dancer” and “bad dancer” labels for each contestant and they can’t seem to bridge that when someone starts to improve and do well.
Marianya: Really? Really?! REALLY?!?! How do you choose? There were so many (ok, really only two in my book) disappointing eliminations, but one that I was definitely screaming and pouting about was Ralph and Karina the judges proverbial punching bag. I mean COME ON! The moment that TPTB allow people to call in and pick which dances they liked you have to expect the popularity vote, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. **Sighs**
John: I think I’m with the other 49 people that voted for other on this one. I just have a really hard time choosing a favorite dance. Too hard for me to compare a Cha Cha to a Quickstep to a Waltz to a Rumba. They’re all so different. I just love dance.
Courtney: It’s really interesting to me that what you guys voted as the best dance this season wasn’t one with particularly stunning choreography or flawless execution – granted, Kirstie was great in it, but I think the appeal was more in the entertainment value than anything else. Compared to very technically impressive dances like Derek & Jennifer’s Argentine tango or Kyle & Lacey’s jive, Kirstie’s just sticks out as a fun, carefree, easygoing little ditty – which is totally fine with me Kind of a nice change of pace. Obviously it was well-received, since Kirstie & Maks have performed it at least a dozen times both on DWTS and on other shows! Haha. I think Hines’ samba was probably stronger technically, but didn’t have quite as much sass as Kirstie’s cha-cha; I think Ralph’s quickstep & Romeo’s waltz were likely the strongest of the smooth dances, but still can’t trump the memorability of Kirstie’s dance. Chelsea & Mark’s rumba – meh, it was dramatic, but I didn’t see anything that was insanely well-executed, and I think they were overscored; Kendra & Louis’ samba was just pure fun – little to no technique, but a lot of jiggle Onto the other category – again, many of you answered with one name, like “Kendra”, “Chelsea”, or “Hines”, which tells me NOTHING about which dance was best, so your votes get thrown out; looks like Hines & Kym’s Argentine tango (3), Ralph & Karina’s foxtrot (2), Chelsea & Mark’s Viennese waltz (2), Ralph & Karina’s waltz (1), Chelsea & Mark’s slow waltz (1), Kirstie & Maks’ Argentine tango (1), Romeo & Chelsie’s paso doble (1), and Hines & Kym’s paso doble (1). I agree that some of these are good, but compared to other dances, they seemed to get lost in the shuffle a bit. Someone else just voted “MEEEEEE!!!!”, so I’m assuming either Mark or Lacey found their way here and are trying to pad their vote percentages ; and for whoever voted “there were no really good dances” – I agree with you to some degree. The caliber of dancing this season was just not up to par with what we’ve seen in seasons past. There’s something to be said for having ringers, kids…
Marianya: Can I plead the fifth? I’m afraid I can’t answer this one truthfully. I mean I understand why Kirstie & Maks’ first ChaCha is voted towards the top, but it wasn’t the best dance, it’s definitely one of the more memorable ones. Courtney does a great job explaining it. But the best? I don’t think there really was one, I mean I liked Chelsea & Mark Viennese Waltz to Harry Potter’s Hedwig Theme, but I’m a Harry Potter fan so meh. Yeah… memorable I could choose, but I don’t think there is anything that I could define as “the best”.
Vogue: Kirstie and Mak’s Cha Cha!! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first night she danced and how she lit us all up. As much as many of us liked her, we weren’t expecting her to come out and dance the way she did. She was light on her feet. She was cheeky, flirtatious, and fun. Maks was clearly having a blast and we saw a change in him right from the get go. We knew we were in for something really special all Season with this dance and they didn’t fail us. It made the perfect statement in more ways than one. I loved almost all of Karina and Ralph’s dances as well. Romeo and Petra grew on me. As much as I could appreciate the creativity in Mark’s choreography, I was equally or more annoyed with his antics and ego.
Heidi: My initial response was “Meh”. Just “meh”. I think this past season overall was not one that had any dancing that made me sit up and go “Wow, that was awesome” – but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it because I did. I enjoyed watching Hines, Kirstie, Ralph, Romeo – even Kendra provided limited entertainment value. And Petra always made me go “Oh, she’s so pretty and nice.” But I don’t think the dancing was up to par of, say, Season 10, where we had Nicole, Evan and Erin – the last two would have won this season handily, absent Nicole. There certainly is something to be said for ringers – better to have 3 like Season 10 than none at all.