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Encounter with Tom Bergeron, Conrad Green, and More at Dancing with the Stars Live Las Vegas

I’m sure that Princess Heidi, Vogue, and Courtney have been wondering and waiting for me to finally get around to posting about the Dancing with the Stars Live Las Vegas event. I apologize for the delay. Needless to say that it was a night to remember.

I think I’ll save comments on the show itself for another post and just include some of the pre and post party entertainment in this post. Although, it’s worth mentioning that Dancing with the Stars Live Las Vegas was incredibly well designed and wonderfully executed. I actually plan to go and see it again. I hope the show does really well and gets extended for a really long run. Las Vegas needs a ballroom show. So, go and buy some tickets for DWTS Live Las Vegas. Looks like it’s already been extended through July 7th.

Now, to the pre-show festivities. I showed up quite early to the Tropicana to meet my friend for dinner. We chose to eat at the delicious Bacio inside of the Tropicana. We ate at a table that was basically out in the main hallway. Turns out that it was the perfect table. As we sat their eating our dinner we saw almost every star and DWTS pro pass by. If I was in full paparazzi mode I’d have pulled out the video camera and gotten some footage. Although, I just felt creepy doing that. Sorry guys. It’s just not me. I would recommend you doing the same if you go to the show. I bet you’ll see many pass by before the show since the hotel tower is down that hall and I’m sure many of the stars and pros are staying in the tower.

After enjoying the dinner and Dancing with the Stars gazing, I headed over to the pre-party for the show. Yep, there was a pre-party cocktail hour and then a post-party at the club in the Tropicana. I wasn’t sure who would be at the pre-party, but it turns out a bunch of the DWTS pros that were attending the premiere stopped by.

Probably the most popular person at the pre-party was Tom Bergeron. When I saw him, I knew I had to get a picture with him to make Princess Heidi jealous. In fact, I think I told him as much. Tom seemed to respond fine to the idea of him being her boyfriend.

If you take a look at the photo, many of you might not recognize the man in the middle (I’m the one on the left and Tom is on the right of course). At first I wasn’t sure who he was either, but after talking for a minute with Tom and him I correctly guessed him as Conrad Green, executive producer of Dancing with the Stars. He was shocked when I asked him if he was Conrad Green saying something like I surely didn’t recognize his face. I’ll admit that I was pretty lucky since I’m usually terrible with names.

The great part of meeting Tom and Conrad was that I mentioned Pure DWTS and they both knew about the site. It sounded like Tom had seen our work on Twitter before and Conrad seemed to know the site really well. In fact, he mentioned that the thing he loved most about Pure DWTS is that we were real fans of the show as opposed to other media outlets that are just trying to file a story.

Conrad also paid Pure DWTS a great compliment when he told me that he was always amazed at how good Pure DWTS was at predicting the partners for the upcoming season of DWTS. He then kind of hypothesized out loud that it kind of made sense that we could do it so well since we go through a similar process to what they do in matching partners. Of course, we all already knew that this is basically what they were doing when they paired up the couples. If I was quicker on my feet I would have suggested that Pure DWTS could help him with the pairings if he wanted. Read more..

April 23, 2012 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Dancing With The Stars In Las Vegas Premieres (Photos)

Friday night, April 13th, the new Dancing With The Stars Las Vegas show premiered at the new Tropicana. Pictured above is Anna, Kym, and Cheryl attending the event. Also pictured are Dmitry Chaplin and Lacey Schwimmer dancing. You can view more fun pictures (including Tom Bergeron getting in on the action) at the Daily Mail. You can also view a fun album at Zimbio Pictures and Getty Images. Stay tuned, John was in attendance as well. He’s planning to give us a full “up close and personal” report.

April 15, 2012 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Dancing with the Stars Live Show in Las Vegas

Vogue posted about the Dancing with the Stars Live Las Vegas show previously, but we’re starting to get more and more details about the show. So, I thought I’d do a little update post. The show is starting with a 12 week run beginning Saturday, April 14 and you can see all the specific show dates and times on tickemaster. I love the idea of a permanent DWTS Las Vegas show even better than a Dancing with the Stars tour which they’ve done in the past.

Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas is being directed by Amy Tinkham and choreographed by Jason Gilkison (you might know him from So You Think You Can Dance). The show will run 80 minutes and will be at the Tropicana Las Vegas. I think the Tropicana Theater is a great place for the DWTS show in Las Vegas.

Dancing with the Stars alums that will be featured in the opening run, include Carson Kressley, Joey Fatone, Kyle Massey, Sabrina Bryan, Tia Carrere, Dmitry Chaplin and Lacey Schwimmer. They’ll also have a “Las Vegas Troupe” dancing with them in the show. From the pictures we’ve seen on Twitter and embedded below, we can see Iveta Lukosiute, Anya Garnis, Ryan DiLello, Jaymz Tuaileva, Armen Way, and Janette Manrera. We think Artem Chigvintsev and Pasha Kovalev might be in the troupe as well, but can’t quite tell from the picture. (Note: Props to Courtney for identifying many in the pictures) Quite a few past So You Think You Can Dance and Burn The Floor dancers in the troupe, but with Jason Gilkison involved it makes a lot of sense.

Tickets are on sale NOW and range from $40 – $89 plus tax and applicable fees. VIP packages are also available for $165 and include a top-price table seat on the floor, exclusive Dancing with the Stars: Live in Las Vegas merchandise and a post-show meet and greet and photo opportunity with the cast. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.

The best news of all. This Friday I’ll be seeing the DWTS Las Vegas show! I’ll see if I can get some pictures and video from the show and possibly before or after.

April 9, 2012 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

PureDWTS Rants & Raves: To Lift or Not to Lift?

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me “getting up on my soapbox” the past few weeks regarding something that has been debated from several different angles around PureDWTS: lifts.  We’ve casually kicked around the pros & cons of them: do they enhance the routine, or are they just filler? Should they be required? Should they be prohibited? Are they safe? What exactly constitutes a lift, anyway? Well here it is, kids – the place where we can really get down to the nitty-gritty of lifts.

My sudden fixation with the topic started about 2 weeks ago, while watching a movie with my boyfriend (who, as many of you know, is a pro ballroom dancer/teacher).  He kept squirming around, trying to get comfortable, and failing.  Finally, getting annoyed with all his wiggling, I asked what was wrong.  “Oh, I just strained my neck a little bit doing a lift with one of my students today.  It’s just a little sore.” Seemed benign enough – minor soreness from doing a new lift.  But over the course of the next week, the pain intensified, to the point where he was unable to turn his head to the right AT ALL, and had to turn his whole body to face me when I was talking (which was actually kind of cool, since it made me think  he was just really listening to me intently ;-)) and had to institute a temporary ban on lifting at the dance studio. He iced it.  He put a heating pad on it.  He stretched it. He used a special neck pillow. He took some Tylenol. He went and got 3 massages in one week – all to little avail.  Things were starting to take their toll on both of us, as my bf was in too much pain to ride his motorcycle, sit upright for very long, or do any sort of vigorous activity. Finally, at the recommendation of one of his students (and me, as I had been HOUNDING him about it), he finally went to the chiropractor last Friday, and after taking one look at my bf’s x-ray, the chiropractor exclaimed “Ooh, no wonder you’ve been in pain – your C4 & C5 vertebrae are wayyyy out of alignment!” A few minutes with the TENS unit and some adjusting with the chiropractor later, he was FINALLY experiencing some relief.  That was a week ago – he’s been to the chiro a few more times since then, and he’s probably 85% better. But the no-lift rule at the studio still stands until he’s back to 100% and gets the all-clear from the chiropractor.

So the most obvious question brought up by my bf’s dilemma is “Are lifts safe?” The answer: no.  Read my lips: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “SAFE” LIFT. Sure, there are techniques to make them safer, and some are clearly safer than others, but all lifts are inherently dangerous, as there is always going to be the risk of injury from falling or being fallen on, as well as other sprains, strains, and even breaks from trying to correct a fall that is already in motion.  In fact, the very appeal of lifts is in the danger – the awe-spiring risk of doing them in the first place, and often the romantic notion of the delicate lady being in harm’s way, but protected by the strong arms of a handsome male lead.  No wonder all of my boyfriend’s students want lifts in their showcase routines! ;-)

Which brings up the next question: should they even be doing lifts in the first place? Obviously, it’s always going to be safer for a couple already experienced in lifting to be doing lifts (check out Eric Luna & Georgia Ambarian, the current world champions in the theater arts division), and it’s a downright TERRIBLE idea for two inexperienced individuals to start attempting them without the guidance and supervision of someone with experience (this is a good example of people that should NOT being doing lifts!).  But both my boyfriend’s predicament and that of the couples on DWTS is a bit more of a grey area – the situation where only half of the couple is experienced. In this particular case, I’m a firm believer that the more experienced member of the partnership is the one more likely to get hurt, regardless of gender.  Since they’re experienced, they’re going to be more likely to be hurt by the rookie mistakes of their partner, and more likely to try & protect their partner from harm…and possibly injure themselves as a result.  My boyfriend is a good example of this, as his neck injury was the result of him compensating for a student who couldn’t quite get the right leverage to get up onto his shoulder; Kym’s neck injury this past season is also a good example, as it was Hines who lost his balance and fell onto Kym, likely due to pure inexperience.  Toni Redpath (a former Australian ballroom champion & a frequent guest judge/choreographer on SYTYCD) did a great video blog a few weeks back (thanks for pointing this out, Evaine! Quite timely ;-)) which did a good job of explaining why lifts are allowed in ballroom routines on SYTYCD but not on DWTS – and the biggest reason was *drumroll* EXPERIENCE.  All the dancers on SYTYCD have some experience with dance, which makes the transition to lifting quite a bit smoother for them than a celebrity with zero dance experience. Not only does it make life a bit easier on the celebs, but it keeps the couples safer, too. 

But let’s say experience is not an issue.  From a choreographic standpoint, should everybody be peppering lifts into their routines? I certainly don’t think so.  Heidi always brings up an interesting argument whenever someone starts comparing ballroom on SYTYCD to ballroom on DWTS and the subject of lifts comes up: when used in excess, lifts tend be a bit of a cop-out, choreographically. It can often let bad dancers get away with not really dancing, and results in a routine that is more “flash & trash” than meat-and-potatoes dance steps – and can end up looking NOTHING like the dance it’s meant to portray.  The best example of this that I can think of is Channing & Philip’s samba from season 6 of SYTYCD.  While not inherently “bad”, the routine only has a few basic samba steps in it, and the rest was a lot of shimmying and (rather clumsily-executed) lifts.  Of course the video cuts out before the judges give their commentary, but I distinctly remember Adam actually calling out the choreographers on this one for making the routine “too lifty”.  I feel like lifts can also interrupt the “flow” of a dance if not placed properly – for a lift to work choreographically, I think it has to have proper timing & musicality, and have very fluid transitions in & out of it.  Otherwise you end up with routines like Channing & Philip’s, which feels jerky & disjointed – “Look I’m doing samba, I’m doing samba, I’m doing samba…ooh now I’m stopping samba & doing a lift…aaaaaand I’m back to dancing samba…STOP! time for another lift-and more samba….” It’s just visually…displeasing. Now don’t get me wrong – a few well-placed, well-executed lifts can enhance a routine.  A great example is Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko’s samba showdance from the 2009 America’s Ballroom Challenge (does the move at 1:06 look familiar? Derek used it at the end of his samba with Nicole ;-)).  Only one lift, and they ended up winning the showdance category, over 5 other couples – most of whom had more lifts. IMHO, you don’t need lifts to make ANY routine on DWTS (including the freestyle) look good.  Derek had no choice but to come up with alternatives to lifts in season 11, when Jennifer made it clear from day 1 that her neck injury made lifting an impossibility – and they still managed to win, and create some very memorable routines while they were at it. Their lift-minimal Argentine tango still stands out to me as one of the best we’ve ever had on the show.

So the bf & I were talking about lifts at-length the other night, and he said something that stuck with me: “You know, DWTS is great for the attention it has brought to ballroom dancing & all, but it’s really left some people with an unrealistic idea of what ballroom is and isn’t.” He went on to explain that he gets new students in the studio who are frustrated upon finding out that they won’t be dancing eye-catching routines like the ones on TV right off the bat, and many of them seem more concerned with costumes & music than technique & solid choreography.  I can imagine it gets very frustrating for dance teachers like him – especially when the demand for flashy nuances like lifts necessitates them risking their own safety.  The format of DWTS has actually forced my bf’s studio to start doing more showcase routines with their students (as opposed to focusing on good technique for competition) – and as my bf puts it, “every single one of my ladies wants lifts in her routine – and if they think one of the other ladies has more/better lifts, they’ll ask for more.  It’s KILLING me!” And me as well, since he often comes home cranky & sore and barely able to move…let alone do other activities. ;-)

So I’ve said my piece with regards to lifts…what do you guys think? LAY IT ON ME :-D

August 9, 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 Search Engine Round-Up – Week of June 17, 2011

 Oh you crazy kids and the things that get you searching ;-) Seriously – I still scratch my head every week when perusing the search terms for the site…I have to wonder how exactly Google brought you here to answer some of these quirky queries…but alas, I feel obligated to answer nonetheless.  I should start calling this feature “Ask Courtney”…

Ted Volynets

This has easily become the most searched term since the show wrapped – far more hits than any of the other troupe members.  Apparently Teddy’s got some of you ladies feenin’ ;-) Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of info about Ted out on the net…but here’s the best dossier I can give you.  He’s a senior at NYU (economics major), he’s likely 21 or 22, he’s Jewish, he & his sister both trained at Maks’ studio, he’s bff with Val, and has appeared as a Latin dance coach on MTV’s Made and has also appeared on Real Housewives of New JerseyHe also likes really small sweaters.  Ok, I may have been drawing my own conclusions on that last one ;-) Anywho – for a better glimpse into the life & times of Teddy V., you might check out his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter

Bachelor Ukraine naked video

Ok, I admit it: I was only kinda half-paying attention when some of the Maksettes were Twittering away about this last week.   I like Maks & all, but I’m just not passionate enough to sit through entire episodes of Bachelor Ukraine when they’re completely in Russian, and I simply don’t have the patience for Google translate.  So thankfully, the Maksettes on my Twitter timeline were able to fill me in when I was begging for info last night so I could relay the message to you guys :-D Special thanks to Maria (@MariaNiwiwiN) and Marlene (@marleneb4) for sending me some links I was too lazy & uninformed to find myself ;-) I’m afraid the story isn’t as salacious as this search term would suggest – basically, Maks mooned the production crew a few times while filming, and it ended up on the gag reel they showed on the “After the Final Rose” post-show for Bachelor UK.  Here’s a still of it (I have to give a shoutout to Tracy – @FLLottoDreamer – for having the most comprehensive DWTS picture gallery I’ve ever seen on the net…she’s got season 12 AND Bachelor UK on lock!), as well as a YouTube video of the gag reel – a short montage of Maks’ great continental divide is visible at 3:25, but I recommend watching the whole video, as it’s got some priceless footage of Maks engaging in some tomfoolery we’re not used to seeing from him.  It’s funny in any language, trust me :-)

Will there be a DWTS tour in 2011?

No official word yet, but it seems doubtful, considering there hasn’t been one since the last one wrapped in early 2009Derek mentioned last fall that there might be one in the winter of 2010…and clearly, that didn’t happen. I think it’s likely quite a bit harder for them to do a tour now than it was 3 years ago, with so many of the popular pros busy with movies, music, and other ventures in the off-season – plus the celebs themselves seem to be of a higher caliber now than the first few seasons of the show, so the possibility of getting someone as famous as Kirstie or Nicole to go out on tour is not very good…plus the cost would likely be exorbitant.  And honestly, I’m not sure that the tour was ever super-profitable in the first place…I went to the one in Indy back in 2009, had pretty good seats, and didn’t pay much for my tickets (in comparison to, say, the ridiculous amount of money I’m gonna plunk down to see NKOTBSB :-D)…and the arena was maybe a little more than half-full.  If you’ve got fairly famous celebs and nearly-equally famous pros to pay and you aren’t selling out arenas – I don’t know how this could be a profitable venture.  You know what they say…if it don’t make dolla$, it don’t make sense.

What color necktie does Pitbull wear in the “Give me Everything” video with Ne-Yo?

It appears to be red.  More specfically, a shade of cranberry. 

Shantel Vansanten Cabo

The One Tree Hill actress was in Cabo San Lucas at the same time Louis, Jonathan, Anna, and Dmitry were there doing a wrap party and also a little vacationing.  Greg Louganis was also there, which I find interesting, considering he’s been trying to get on the show for a few seasons now…then again, maybe Cabo is just a popular spot for celebs to go & play, and his being there was pure happenstance. :-)

Best ballroom dance for “Addicted to Love”

If you’re going with the original Robert Palmer version, I’d go with a cha-cha.  But if you’re using the Florence + the Machine version, which is much slower & sexier, I’d do a rumba to it.  It’s not ballroom, but SYTYCD season 7 contestant Adechike did a contemporary routine with all-star Kathryn to the latter version – quite sexy.  And here’s your little ballroom trivia tidbit for the day, kiddies: slow down any song with a cha-cha tempo and you can do a rumba to it.  Both are in 4/4 time with a break on the 2.  </smartypants> :-)

Edyta bulge/Anna Trebunskaya cameltoe/Derek Hough topless/Zac Hanson shirtless/etc.

Ok, now I’m CONVINCED that you guys are just being cheeky and searching random, absurd stuff in order to get here :-) Not sure what type of bulge you’re referring to, since I’m fairly certain Edyta is a girl; and I’m not even going to entertain the Anna one, because I love her too much.  Once again, any requests for pix of various parts of Derek’s anatomy (pinky fingers, elbows, that hangy thing in the back of your throat, etc.) should be directed to Pure Derek Hough; and as for Zac…oh what the hell, I’ll humor you :-) After all, 13 years ago I was screeching over them along with all the other teenyboppers…glad I grew out of that phase.  Then again, ”grab Donnie Wahlberg’s ass” is still on my bucket list…  

PSSST! Have you gotten your votes in for our End-of-Season Awards yet? Time is running out…let us know what you think! :-)

June 18, 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!

Dancing with the Stars 2011 – For Your Consideration…

It’s almost that time of year, folks – Emmy Nominations. In case anyone was wondering if DWTS was serious about wanting an Emmy (any Emmy) at this point, you can rest assured they are serious enough to pay for ads in Hollywood Reporter. :-) How do I know? I’m a subscriber and check out this screen cap of an email I just got:

I think it’s WAY past time for the show and Tom Bergeron to win the damn thing already. And don’t get me started on Derek as groomsman never the groom. :-) Yes, blah blah blah, it’s wonderful to be nominated – but I want them all to WIN. :-)

Anyway, we’ve been throwing lots of questions at you guys in this hiatus thus far so here’s another one: What dances from Seasons 11 and 12 do YOU think should be nominated for choreography?? Don’t forget the pro dances, since those stand a much better chance for a nomination than a celeb partner dance. Why do I say that? Well, it’s a choreography nomination, but I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think that execution counts. Oh, and you CAN’T include the last….probably 2 weeks of Season 12. I haven’t looked at the rules for this season, but the DVD submission date last time eliminated the last 2 or 3 weeks of Season 10 from eligibility.

What do I think?? Well, if I recall, Louis and Maks did the lion’s share of the pro dances which increases their odds. UNFORTUNATELY, I think it would be very difficult to get a nomination for a dance done with a musical act, which knocks their odds right back down again. I also think it would be tough for Mark and Val to get one because more than half of their challenge thing was non-dancing. Derek? Well, he didn’t do the choreo for any pro dances and was only on Season 11 – that leaves his dances with Jennifer. Since he’s been nominated a good bit recently, I think the odds of, say, his Argentine Tango or second Paso with Jennifer might might be okay. But the odds are slimmer than usual simply because there’s only one season to choose from. Maks might have a shot with Brandy, Mark might have a shot with Chelsea (and really, wasn’t that the whole entire point of the Wizard Waltz?)…can YOU think of any other dances that are really, truly Emmy-worthy?? Be honest now. What you also have to consider is “So You Think You Can Dance” – that show, along with some of the award shows, tends to take the lion’s share of the nominations and more often than not, the win. Why? Well, all the dancers are trained and it’s ALL dancing – no musical acts with dance accompanying. Plus, there are no rules on SYTYCD – that makes a HUGE difference when it comes to choreography. For that reason, odds are that DWTS will be limited to ONE nomination for choreo. Who will it be? Or will they be shut out entirely?? What do you think??

June 15, 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. :-)

DWTS12 Week 9 Search Engine Round-Up

 

 It’s that time of the week, kids – time to see what burning questions are leading you guys here for answers :-) Let’s see what kind of light I can shed here…oh, and just in case you missed it the past 2 weeks: Hines is STILL not married ;-)

What did Bruno say to Karina?/What did Bruno call Karina?

It was bleeped out during the telecast (5:41 mark), and a friend of ours who happened to be in the studio audience that night could not hear what exactly was said over the crowd booing – so this is my best guess, given the context.  I think it was something along the lines of “You were too rough with your p*ssy!”, and it was directed more at Ralph, meaning he lead Karina (who was wearing a leopard-print bodysuit) too hard or was just out-of-control with his partnering…hence, Bruno backpedaling after the fact and saying “I mean pussycat!” (of which, I’m sure you know, there are none on the show – but how awesome would it be if there was? How bout replacing Carrie Ann with a cute little kitten and letting him judge? :-)).  Anywho…I think Karina thought it was more directed at her…and a certain part of her anatomy, which is why she (rightfully, IMO) got offended.  Bottom line: whether Bruno really did mean pussycat (psssh, riiiight) or not, it was a poor choice of words with an ambiguous context – otherwise, the Muppets up in the sound booth wouldn’t have bleeped it out.  And here’s a tidbit of probably-worthless-but-still-kinda-interesting trivia – this isn’t the first time Bruno has dropped the p-word when critiquing one of Karina’s routines.  He got bleeped for saying something about consuming it in reference to Mario & Karina’s rumba in season 6 – and I don’t think he was talking about Chinese food. :-) No wonder Karina’s touchy about that word…

Did Mark Ballas get married?

I think I can state with 99.9% certainty that the answer is no.  Why? Because I doubt he would be able to shut up about it if he had.  The .1% uncertainty is just in case he’s keeping this ace in his back pocket for publicity at a later date. Moving right along…

Did Kym Johnson have plastic surgery?

Personally, I doubt it, but short of Kym acknowledging it or denying it in an interview, I can’t confirm one way or another.  Maybe Liz can help with this one. I know there was some debate in the comments a previous post about her maybe having a brow lift, but looking at the picture in question from last season and comparing it to pictures of her now, it looks like she may have just had a very overzealous brow waxing back then, or maybe some Botox (which has now worn off) to perk things up a bit.  Not that I think she needs it, because she looks FABULOUS :-) However, if she did, no biggie – she wouldn’t have been the only DWTS pro to go under the knife.  Karina has publicly acknowledged getting a rhinoplasty and has expressed great satisfaction with the results.

Tayla

Definitely cool to see so many people interested in Tayla Kelley – the young girl that performed with Lacey & Chelsie on the results show this week. Tayla suffers from primary immunodeficiency, which is a genetic disorder that prevents her immune system from functioning properly. Simple infections that a person with a normal immune system can easily fight off can be deadly for someone with Tayla’s condition – which makes me think it’s all the more amazing & admirable that she is able to handle the rigors of being a dedicated dancer.  As much as I may hate “filler” on the results show – I definitely don’t mind hearing stories of triumph like Tayla’s :-)

Kym Johnson injury video

Ugh. *stomach churning* I’m gonna give you guys the benefit of the doubt and assume that the reason you’re searching this is because you just don’t know how Kym got injured…because seriously, this video is hard to watch – at least for me, as I’ve had a family member who became a quadriplegic after falling & hitting his neck at home.  But alas, here you go – don’t say I didn’t warn you that it was rather graphic.  If nothing else, I guess it serves as a warning to anyone on the show that they should NOT be trying this stuff at home…or anywhere else.

DWTS Season 13 casting rumors

Glad to know you guys are chomping at the bit just as much as we are to get this wretched season over with and move onto a better one :-) Generally, the casting rumors for the fall season are pretty intermittent & vague until mid-July (about a month before the cast annoucement) and then they come pouring in like crazy the week before it.  As of right now, I have only heard 2 names, and both sound like they’re pretty unlikely – Regis Philbin & Donnie Wahlberg. Last week Vogue reported that he announced on Live with Regis & Kelly that he’d been asked to be on season 13.  He seems like a big fan of the show (and is a huge Derek fanboy :-D), but he’s allegedly not leaving Regis & Kelly until November & he’s had quite a few health problems in the past few years – I just don’t see it happening.  At least not next season. As for Donnie, the campaign for him being on the show cropped up after his pretty impressive dance with Peta on the week 5 results show.  Someone started a petition (which rarely works when trying to get the attention of the casting directors – sorry kids), and both Donnie & Peta have publicly said that they’d LOVE to dance together next season.  However,  two (ok, more like 3) big hurdles to overcome:  Donnie is tied up with Blue Bloods, which just got picked up for a 2nd season, and films on-location in NY.  It’s also on CBS, and to my knowledge, they’ve never asked a someone from a current primetime show on a rival network to be on DWTS.  I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. But hey, stay tuned – there are sure to be plenty more rumors to come in the next few months…just search “DWTS13 Casting Rumors” and any that we find are bound to pop up. 

Travis Wall boyfriend

Errr…not sure why some of you are looking for this info here, considering Travis has had a much bigger presence on SYTYCD than on DWTS…but it keeps cropping up, so I’ll entertain the notion anyway.  From what I can tell, he’s never publicly said he’s gay, but I do remember there being some pictures posted on his MySpace page a few years ago (they’ve since been taken down) that caused quite a bit of speculation, so my official opinion on the matter is that he’s most likely gay.  As for the identity of his boyfriend – well, if he’s not really, officially out, I doubt he’s going to be introducing any guys as his significant other.  However, a quick sweep of some SYTYCD forums (which one should ALWAYS take with a grain of salt) seems to indicate that Travis had a boyfriend named Anthony back when he was a contestant on SYTYCD in season 2 (summer of ’06) that somehow stabbed him in back by posting pictures of the two of them online with the caption “me & my bf travis wall”.  Ouch – I think being forced out of the closet against your will is just plain cruel. But alas, Travis managed to channel the hurt into something pretty cool – it was allegedly the inspiration for his contemporary routine on SYTYCD for Kent & Neil last season, which had a “backstabbing” theme to it. Dunno if that’s a satisfactory answer, but I think it’s a pretty interesting story :-) And in the future, kids – you might wanna direct SYTYCD-related questions to PureSYTYCD or @puresytycd on Twitter ;-) </plug> 

May 20, 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 Season 12, Week 7 – Who’s Dancing What…When?

Ah, time for the Team Dancings once again. :-) I usually like the team dances…we’ll see if this season holds up for me.

Also, once again, we have a random assemblage of dances which I assume is due to the stupid-ass theme weeks they keep foisting on us. This week it’s “Ballroom Greats” or some such thing. Hey, here’s an idea!! How about we have a week (or several) where you give the couples actual songs that go with the actual dances – and then everyone dances. Preferably one of two dances on a given night. How’s that for a “theme”?? :::rolls eyes::: We should be so lucky. I think once they start down the road to stupid, it’s hard to do a U Turn.

Anyway…who’s dancing what?? Oh, and I’d like to thank Louis Van Amstel for his big mouth and sharing “Team Ham” with us. :-)

Ralph and Karina – Quickstep
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.08

Kenda and Louis – Tango
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.07

Chelsea and Mark – Paso Doble
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.01

Kirstie and Maks – Jive
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.11

Kirstie and Maks had fun up on stage at the Prince concert last night:

Romeo and Chelsie – Samba
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.05

Chelsie with her family after rehearsal yesterday:

Hines and Kym – Tango
Voting Number: 1.800.VOTE4.03

For some reason, Louis called his Cha Cha team Team HAM. Why this makes sense, since the team consists of Hines/Kym, Kendra/Louis and Kirstie/Maks, I don’t know. Someone want to clue me in? :-)

That leaves the other team consisting of Ralph/Karina, Chelsea/Mark and Romeo/Chelsie. Well. I dunno, based on choreography, I have to go with Team Ham – and I’d be okay with that, if we could switch Ralph with Kendra. :-) Based on past team performances, I just think that Maks, Kym and Louis have the edge, even if they don’t have the “best” partners, other than Hines. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the judges are feeling this week and if they’re smoking high grade stuff or not. :-)

As for the individual dances? I think Romeo and Hines are probably in good shape. Chelsea and Ralph probably are also, although more Ralph than Chelsea. I have a hard time seeing smiley Chelsea in the the passionate Paso. Kirstie and Kendra? Oh dear. For different reasons. I know it’s very hard to remember that Kirstie Alley is 60 years old, but 60 she is – and the Jive is hard. Kirstie is way older than me and I don’t know if *I* could do the Jive for 90 seconds. I’m hoping that several weeks of dancing has increased her stamina. As for Kendra – well, she’s a wild card at this point, but I think it’s safe to say that she better pull it off or she could be in trouble. But a Tango? Man…can’t see this one either.

There weren’t many (any?) pictures of the couples competing this week, so I’m doing a little update on those no longer on the show…for one reason or another. :-) Derek had fun at the UFC Fights in Toronto with some of his gang from Cobu 3D, including Allison Holker from SYTYCD and Napoleon of Napoleon and Tabitha who are two of the apparently several choreographers on the movie.

And I couldn’t resist this picture of Julianne and her babies in Miami for filming “Rock of Ages”:

Anna and Jonathan at the Race to Erase MS event the other night. Anna commented that they looked like they were at prom. :-)

WOW – she looks AMAZING.

And you all recognize this lovely lady – Edyta Slwinska with the Willmington Baseball team’s Mascot; Edyta threw out the first pitch, apparently.

Guess which dancing family this little one belongs to. It’s all in the eyes… :-)

May 1, 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. :-)

Another DWTS Pro Crosses Over to So You Think You Can Dance!!

Congratulations to Fabian Sanchez!! I assume that Marlee knows of what she Tweets. :-) Nice gig for a guy who’s been under utilized by DWTS.

June 14, 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. :-)

The Emmys – DWTS versus SYTYCD

Derek Hough and Julianne Hough

In my opinion – there’s no “there” there. :-)  But before I get into that, let me show you what got my goat, just a little bit – from the LA Times, The Envelope:

So You Think You Can Dance” once again leads the Emmy nominations for choreography, leaving “Dancing with the Stars” as an Emmy wallflower.  The Fox summer smash about everyday folk vying for a chance to dance has won the Emmy for the last two years in a row, while the ABC hit that pairs celebrities with professional dancers has been an Emmy also-ran for three years running.

This year, “So You Think You Can Dance” earned four of the six slots. While Wade Robson – who won this race last year and in 2007 – is not among the “SYTYCD” crew nominated this year, his 2007 co-winner – Mia Michaels – did land a nod. Also contending are Dmitry Chaplin, Tyce Diorio, and the team of Tabitha D’umo and Napoleon D’umo.

Derek Hough and Julianne Hough are the only nominees for teaching celebrities how to kick up their heels on “Dancing With the Stars.” Tony Award winner Rob Ashford (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) rounds out the roster, landing his first Emmy nod for choreographing the Oscars.

Ya know, I understand having your favorite of the nominees. I do – DWTS. For whatever reason, I just can’t get that excited about So You Think You an Dance. I watch it, and enjoy it – but I won’t cuss up a storm if I’m out and my TiVo fails. :-) What bugs just a little bit is when journalists make invalid comparisons to pump up their favorite and, IMO, misrepresent a situation. This shouldn’t surprise me at all, given the state of our media, but whatever.

First, the author says that on SYTYCD “everyday folk” are vying for a chance to dance. They may be unknown, but they aren’t “everyday” – saying they are “everyday folk” implies that everyone can dance like a Kapono, given half a chance. Um, NO. That’s like saying Adam Lambert is an everyday person. The people who compete on SYTYCD are great DANCERS by the time you get to the top 20 – heck, by the time you get to Vegas. On SYTYCD, choreographers are choreographing for extremely capable, albeit unknown, dancers. As a result, the choreography is more intricate, and generally more creative (because it CAN be) than what you typically see on DWTS. Granted, the dancers might be outside their area of specialty from time to time, but they have stamina, creativity, flexibility, rhythm….a whole host of qualities that are often absent in the celebrities from DWTS. Often with hilarious results. :-)

SYTYCD Top 10

The author does peg DWTS correctly – celebrities paired with professional dancers.  But the comparison between the shows is apples and oranges.  Accomplished dancers being choreographed by accomplished choreographers versus total novice celebrities (and often people with NO rhythm, coordination, stamina, you name it) being taught by professional dancers.  Granted, most of these dancers are amazing choreographers – but rarely can they choreograph as intricate and creative dance as what you might see on SYTYCD, for the simple reason that they are supposed to be in the business of making their novice partner look good. That means choreographing to their partners ability…or lack thereof.   For that reason, it’s a comparison that doesn’t work.  Just look at Derek and Julianne’s nomination – choreographed and danced by two professionals – that dance is one of the exceptions on that show, not the rule. SYTYCD has, on average ten dances per week (or more) danced by very good dancers, choreographed by first rate choreographers.  DWTS, on the other hand, has if we are very lucky one professionally choreographed AND performed dance per week. It’s a rare thing that a celebrity can dance the type of choreography seen on SYTYCD.  By the very numbers alone, SYTYCD should have more nominations.  More dances, more nominations.

The only remotely valid comparison – and it’s still a stretch – is total nominations.  Dancing with the Stars got more nominations than any other reality program, if I read it correctly.  I say this comparison is also a stretch because shows like the Amazing Race aren’t likely to have submissions in the Hair, Make-Up, Musical direction, etc categories (although Phil Keogan always looks lovely :-) ).  A show that is filmed in the middle of nowhere (Survivor) or globe trotting (TAR) isn’t going to be eligible in as many categories as sound stage shows (American Idol, SYTYCD, or DWTS). 

At the end of the day, I’m glad that they have the reality category even though the shows in the category are so varied compared to, say, the drama category.  I think DWTS, SYTYCD, Survivor, American Idol, and The Amazing Race are all first rate, entertaining shows.  I watch and enjoy all of them.  I just don’t care for the comparison of numbers within the category and the subsequent labeling of one show as “wallflower” or (as I’ve seen in other places) “the best”.  Apples and Oranges.

July 20, 2009 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. :-)