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Dancing with the Stars Season 19 – “What do you mean I’m a ringer??” Update

Introduction

A couple of seasons ago, I created a set of criteria with which to measure the benefits some dancers on DWTS have compared to the other dancers. That is, ringers versus non-ringers. I attempted to be as logical and scientific as possible, although it’s impossible to remove all subjectivity from the issue. But it’s far better than simply saying “so and so isn’t a ringer, IMO”. In your opinion? If your opinion is purely subjective with no effort at logical or rational thought, then what good is it??

No good at all, actually. The original series sprung from an effort to debunk the old, tired and stupid claim that the only reason Derek does well is because he gets all the good partners and no one else gets them. Utter BS, of course. It would be a good idea to read that series before starting this one as I can’t guarantee that I’ll include all the same rationale this second time around and I don’t take well to discussing a subject with someone who is so rude as to not read the blogs. Read more..

September 14, 2014 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. :-)

Private Members Area – What Are Shippers and Why Are They A Problem?

We have discussed “shippers” many times on this site and Courtney had talked about doing a post about them. I responded that I would take the “anti-shipper” view.  Considering the two people who are at the top of the leaderboard this season, I figured it was a good time to post it.

What is a shipper? Well, a shipper is someone who is invested in the romantic relationship of two people who are on TV.  More carefully defined, it is a person who wants two characters to get together and/or shows support for two characters already together. This started in the X-Files fandom and was originally limited to fictional programs. Of course, back then there wasn’t “reality” TV like there is now. I was heavily involved in the X-Files fandom and that, I must say, was back when shippers were fun. At first. But I digress.

I have no real problem with the casual observation that two people look hot together. Or the observation that it seems OBVIOUS that they’re knocking boots outside the dance studio. Or even the observation that the babies would be so pretty. Especially when there seems to be some evidence that it is true. I think this is relatively normal behavior. But I also don’t think this is really “shipping” as it is defined nowadays. I think it’s speculation, and usually harmless. I would even go so far as saying, when limited to FICTIONAL characters, it can be fun, in its light hearted, romance novel, fan fiction form.  We’ll talk about slash another time.  I don’t want to make John’s delicate sensibilities catch on fire or anything. :-D But as long as it stays just for fun and an OCCASIONAL past time, no harm no foul.  Read more..

May 15, 2014 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. :-)

DWTS Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 3

This is the 3rd and final part of the series where I take a look at the partners the pros have had and their “ringer” status. Part 1 discusses how I define a ringer – you can find it here —> I’m a Ringer?? Part 2 discusses the female pros and their partners and how I labeled them – I think it’s pretty clear that they’ve not been quite as blessed as the men. Reasons for that should be self evident – female celebrities are more likely to have some sort of dance experience, even if it is taking ballet or tap as a child.  NOTE: This was mostly written before the pairings were announced for Season 14 – those pairings certainly change the game for lots of pros. Lots of potential ringers on this season.

I strongly recommend you read the first two parts before you comment – I don’t want to have to reiterate everything I wrote MONTHS ago. :-)  Also, be wise and don’t complain about the length, admit that you didn’t read it all, and then argue with me – that will just earn you scorn and an eye roll.  I know this is long – I considered breaking it into two parts, but then I figured it’s still long in two parts. People will either be interested or they won’t.  :::shrug:::  Also take note that I, personally, don’t care about ringers themselves. I think a season without them is deadly.  What I DO care about is hypocrisy, revisionist history and the fairy tales that some like to spread about who has had ringers and who hasn’t.

From where I sit, there are two types of ringers – and then there’s just being blessed. Fanbase ringer (ie. Donny Osmond, etc.) or Experience Ringer (Mel B, Nicole, Sabrina, etc.), and lucky get (Lalia, Brooke, Gilles, JR). Just because someone happens to be a great dancer doesn’t mean they are a ringer. When someone is blessed with a partner who can dance, it doesn’t mean they were handed a ringer. That particular argument is so illogical that it’s hard for me to take seriously. If they actually seriously auditioned people to be on this show by making them dance with a pro for an hour or two, it would be understandable. But they don’t stand people in a room with a pro dancer and then say, “wow, she’s got some moves, let’s give her to Maks” or “she sucks, lets give her to Tony.” It doesn’t work that way. If it did, they wouldn’t be able to get people on the show. And can you imagine a pro like Tony sticking around if that was the approach they took?

As it happens, and as many people connected to the show have reiterated, the process of how a pro gets a celebrity often has to do with height, personality, looks, chemistry and the cast as a whole…and this becomes obvious as the show progresses. They are actually quite good at matching people up. I would imagine they give this a lot of consideration as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, ratings.  You’re going to try to avoid having a bunch of pairings that make people go “eeewww” or get seriously pissed off. I think you need to limit that to one couple per season. Can you imagine what it would be like for every pro on a season to have a partnership similar to that of Hope and Maks??  I would want to stab my eyes out with a fork if they were ALL like that and there was no Carson/Anna or David/Kym. Seriously – think about it.  So, it may be good to have ONE Maks/Hope – gives people (me and Courtney) something to talk about, rant about, get passionate about, etc. (This is separate from a discussion of whether Maks finally went too far or not – I don’t think that’s what the producers intended.) Read more..

March 11, 2012 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. :-)

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part II

So we’re less than 24 hours away from finding out who is and isn’t part of this season’s cast.  Who’s pumped??? I know I am…but we’ve still got a few hours left to speculate, so let’s see what other cast types we’ve to fill this season, shall we? ;-) For those of you that may have missed it, check out part I as well.

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: There’s that random Nicole Anderson chick that’s a friend of Chelsea Kane’s, and Heidi found some compelling evidence that rapper Darnell Robinson may be participating this season.

The Host

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, Carson Kressley, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake

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: This category seems to have EXPLODED with possibilities this season – the most solid of which being Sherri Shepherd, who was caught leaving the DWTS studio the other day.  I’m still wondering if someone fr0m GMA is part of the cast this season, since they all seemed to act so coy when announcing they’d be revealing the cast. And then we have the Maria Menounos rumor as well.

The Actor

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, David Arquette

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: We’ve got Melissa Gilbert & Ryan O’Neal, of course, but nothing really beyond that.

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, Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari

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.

Possible candidates this season: Lots of talk about Ali Fedotowsky, who suspiciously moved to LA last week.

The Singer:

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, Chynna Phillips

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.

Possible candidates this season: Lots of loose lips at the Grammys about Gavin DeGraw, but it seems like less of a possibility now, considering that he is about to go on tour.

The Wild Card

Previous examples: Heather Mills, Tom DeLay, Mark Cuban, Steve Wozniak, Priscilla Presley, Buzz Aldrin, Bristol Palin, Chaz Bono

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 in season 11!

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: Surprisingly, not too many outlandish rumors…especially since Herman Cain & Michelle Bachman have denied they’re doing the show. Phew!

So we’re getting down to the wire, kids…any last-minute predictions before the big reveal? ;-)

February 27, 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!

DWTS14 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 14, Part I

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just ready for the cast announcement so we can get all of this speculating over & done with! But to help us get a handle on who might be in and out, let’s take a look at what combination of “casting types” we might get this season.

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek, Hope Solo

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility.

Possible candidates this season: The only semi-legitmate Olympian prospect I think we’ve heard is Bruce Jenner – and I would like to think that TPTB would have mercy and not subject us to back-to-back seasons of Kardashians in the audience :-D

The Athlete

Previous examples: Chuck Liddell, Warren Sapp, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Helio Castroneves, Laila Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Ty Murray, Evander Holyfield, Jerry Rice, Clyde Drexler, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Lawrence Taylor, Chad Ochocinco, Kurt Warner, Rick Fox, Sugar Ray Leonard, Chris Jericho, Hines Ward, Ron Artest

Advantages: As with the Olympians, their athleticism & work ethic make them well-suited to the competition.  An edge they might have over their Olympic counterparts: sports like football, auto racing, & mixed martial arts tend to have a larger, more mainstream following than some of the Olympic sports.

Disadvantages: Again, a lack of “artistic” experience & previous injury (especially with the football players, who have really taken a beating over the years). Some of the more muscular athletes in hard-hitting sports may also have difficulty with the refined, precise moves of some of the dances.

Possible candidates this season: Vince Young tweeted that he had been asked to the do the show, then suspiciously deleted the tweet.  Guilty much? ;-) We’ve also heard Annika Sorenstam’s name in the mix.

Read more..

February 26, 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 Rants & Raves – Why the Pros Should Count Their Blessings

This post started off far more “rant” than “rave”, but I opted to change the tone a bit, perhaps in hopes that the message would then be more easily swallowed :-) As many of you know, Edyta has recently been writing a series of blogs about her time on the show that have been rather…bitter. Vengeful.  Even malicious.  And it’s unfortunately colored many of our opinions of her for the worse – she even went so far as to block a reader who dared to make a comment expressing “disappointment” in Edyta’s choice to be so critical of the show that made her a household name.  That’s when it dawned on me: some of the pros seem to have forgotten what life was like BEFORE they were on Dancing with the Stars.

For those of you unfamiliar with the “real” world of ballroom, first things first: prior to 2005, when DWTS & SYTYCD hit the air, most ballroom dancers (even the world champions) led lives of relative obscurity.  They may have been well-known within the ballroom community (which is still relatively small), and may have even been what I like to call “ballroom famous” – a title that me & my teammates from my college ballroom dance team bestowed upon dancers that were particularly respected & admired in ballroom circles – but they most certainly weren’t household names, and they weren’t mobbed by fans in public.  In short – they were just like you and I.  Just average people with a not-so-average occupation.

How bout a short poll: how many of you had heard the name “Tony Dovolani” prior to 2005? Now of those who had, how many of you HAVE NOT somehow been involved in the world of ballroom dance at some point in your life? If you fit both of the criteria above, then I applaud you – because prior to 2005, the only mainstream thing Tony had really done was a bit part in the American version of Shall We Dance?, and he was also credited as a choreographer in that film.  The fact that he actually got a few lines to say was pretty impressive, considering that, at that time, the biggest movie/tv role (besides choreographer) that most ballroom dancers could ever hope for was either dancing around in the background as an extra in a big dance scene, or maybe being a “dance double” for a particularly ungraceful actor (true story: the owner of my bf’s dance studio was Ben Affleck’s “foot double” in the movie Going All the Way – apparently Ben has 2 left feet!).  Dancers were lucky to even get credited as extras, let alone hope for a speaking part.  The widely held opinion with most casting directors was that “if you’re doing a dance movie, you’d better find actors that can dance…because you aren’t going to find dancers that can act!” It was a far, far cry from the starring movie roles that Julianne & Derek have been given in recent years, and the tv gigs that Maks (Bachelor Ukraine, Celebrity Ghost Stories), Cheryl & Louis (Suite Life of Zack & Cody), Edyta & Alec (CSI: NY), and Mark (Samantha Who?) were able to get due to their DWTS fame.

You know all those spiffy endorsement deals that so many of the pros on the show have gotten over the years, with their faces plastered over everything from shoes to hair extensions to diet pills to makeup to exercise tapes to dancewear? Yeah, pretty non-existent back in the pre-DWTS days – most competitive ballroom dancers were lucky if they could get a dance shoe or costume sponsor to help mitigate the exorbitant cost of competing.  And speaking of money – let’s just say they weren’t raking it in back then like they are now :-) Don’t get me wrong, some ballroom dancers make quite a good living for themselves just on coaching, choreographing, and doing exhibition performances, but it’s peanuts compared to what they’re rumored to make on the show (which I’ve heard reported as roughly $6k+ per week).  And can you really put a price on the exposure the show gives them??? Since the beginning of the show, how many of the pros have opened successful dance studios with their name plastered on it? So far, I count Cheryl, Karina, Chelsie, and Maks & Tony (with the new Dance with Me in CA).  For those who already had dance studios (like Jonathan & Anna), I can only imagine they started booking up faster after their appearance on the show – I know for a fact that Jonathan is now one of the most in-demand pro-am teachers in the country. 

How many pros have graced the covers of magazines since joining the cast of the show? Back in the day, the biggest magazine a ballroom dancer could hope to appear in was American Dancer, the bimonthly publication put out to its members by USA Dance – which, of course, was only sent to members.  All those invites to parties/award shows/premieres/charity benefits/etc? Probably wouldn’t happen to your average ballroom dancer. And how many pros can now count some pretty big celebrities amongst their friends…and sometimes exes? Without the platform of DWTS, Maks may never have met Kirstie, Derek may never have met Shannon, and Julianne may never have even been in the same room as Ryan Seacrest.  In the entertainment business, it really isn’t what you know, it’s who you know – and DWTS has supplied some primo connections for its pros. 

I don’t want ths post to be a neverending soapbox of why DWTS is so great, so I’ll get to my point: as much as the pros may bitch & moan in the media about the show and how “unfair” or “fake” it is, at the end of the day I daresay their participation in it has done them far more good than harm – it has plucked many of them out of obscurity and opened doors to opportunities far beyond their imagination as young ballroom competitors.  Some (namely Julianne, Derek, Mark, Cheryl & Maks) have parlayed those opportunities into success better than others (namely Alec & Edyta), but even the latter has undoubtedly benefitted from having the show on their resume – Dance Temptation may not have taken off with someone less notable at the helm.  And fans, you can take something away from this too – you may complain about how the show has been so “unfair” or “biased against” [insert pro here] (which, of course, is pretty subjective), but I challenge you to imagine a life without that pro in it.  Would you rather watch Maks occasionally “take a beating” from the judges, or have never known him at all? Would you rather see Tony tough it out with such duds as Wendy Williams & Kate Gosselin, or have no idea who he is? I know many of you will probably argue “you can’t miss what you never knew to begin with”, but I’ve seen how this show brightens some of your lives, and what an important role some of the pros play in it.  They inspire you, entertain you, and can even motivate you to better your own life. Yes, sometimes this show is indeed “unfair”, “fake”, “scripted”, & “storyboarded”, and I’m not saying the viewers or the pros should accept every aspect of the show without complaint. But when it comes down to it, it still fulfills one crucial purpose in the lives of its pros: to share their love of dance with the world…and reap some sweet benefits while they’re at it ;-)

February 10, 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 Ask Courtney – What’s a “Heel Lead”?

Judging from the comments of my inaugural Ask Courtney post, it looks like many of you are baffled about this one. But fear not, I am about to shed some light on the mysterious “heel lead” Len seems to prattle on about ;-)

Before I start, though, I want everyone to stand up and take 5 steps in whatever direction you have a clear path. Did you do it? Well congratulations! You just did a heel lead. :-) Literally, all a heel lead really entails is taking a step where the first part of your foot that hits the ground is your heel, and then the ball of your foot, and then your toes. Unless you’re injured or just prefer to walk on your tiptoes all the time, this is how people normally walk. It’s a very natural motion.

Where it gets dicey is on the dance floor. In the ballroom dances (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz), you’re (almost) always supposed to step forward on your heel; in the Latin dances, you’re always supposed to step forward on the toe. You step backward on the toe in both dances (it’s nary impossible to step backward with a heel lead…I dare you to try. You will feel silly ;-)). When Len starts bitching about heel leads, it seems like it’s usually a male celeb stepping forward on the toe in one of the ballroom dances – it leads to a very stilted, awkward gait, and seems to throw both the male celeb and the female pro off balance. It also negates the possibility of them getting the proper “rise & fall” characteristic of the ballroom dances (with the exception of tango, which has no rise & fall). This is probably most noticeable in the regular waltz, which has the most exaggerated rise & fall.

As for doing a heel lead when you’re not supposed to – the only thing that springs to mind is Derek’s infamous rant after Shannon’s rumba in season 6, where he accused the judges of overlooking some other couples “doing heel leads out there!”. I haven’t the time or patience at the moment to pore through all of the other rumbas from that particular night and look for heel leads, but I imagine that they probably looked kinda bland. Part of what makes rumba (and all Latin dances, for that matter) look cool is the hip action – hip action that can really only be done well if you’re leading with your toe. So if you’re doing heel leads in Latin dances, it probably looks like you’re just walking like a normal person – hardly the exciting movement we’ve come to expect from dancing on this show. ;-)

Hope that clears things up a bit ;-) Keep the questions coming, guys!

December 16, 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!

DWTS Celebrities: “What do you mean, I’m a Ringer?” Part 2

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..

September 17, 2011 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. :-)

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part II

 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!

The Host

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.

The Actor

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. 

Possible candidates this season: We had the great Snooki scare of 2011 (which I doubt is going to amount to anything), but Rob Kardashian & Kristen Cavallari’s names are still being tossed around. 

The Singer:

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.

Possible candidates this season: Christina Milian’s name has been said quite a bit, but we haven’t had any confirmation. But rumor has it Chynna Philips is definitely in. 

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!

August 28, 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!

DWTS13 Casting Rumors – The Typecasting of Season 13, Part I

It’s that time of year, again – time to take all the wacky rumors and all the wacky casting patterns we see from season to season and hypothesize who we might actually get to see :-) This year is interesting, in that we already definitely know one of the celebs, are fairly certain about two others, and have got definite suspicions about another two – almost takes a bit of fun out of the guessing, no? :-) But I’m sure there will be at least one celeb who’s name we haven’t heard – and at least one we’ve never heard of, too…thankfully, even unpredictability becomes predictable after awhile! But let’s get it on with it, shall we? Oh, and if you’re feeling nostalgic (and want to see how effective using these cast types as a template can be), check out the typecasting of season 10, season 11, and season 12 :-)

The Olympian

Previous examples: Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno, Natalie Coughlin, Misty May-Treanor, Maurice Greene, Louie Vito, Evan Lysacek

Advantages: The winningest of the 12 types, their obvious advantage is their athleticism – you won’t see these guys struggling with strength or endurance moves.  In addition, the same tireless work ethic that helped them medal in the Olympics will likely carry them through the toils of the competition. They also seem to be adored by the masses, as many are seen as “hero” figures – which translates into a formidable voting fanbase.

Disadvantages: For those specializing in sports that are less “artistic” (i.e. swimming, running, volleyball), it might be a bit hard to really get into the character of the dance and truly perform to the crowd.  Previously incurred injuries (or the fear of incurring an injury that might hinder their participation in subsequent competitions in their sport, a la Misty May-Treanor) may also slow them down & limit their mobility. Read more..

August 26, 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!