Be sure to read about some “backstage” details of the Dancing With The Stars finale at JC Rubio’s official site here. Below is some video too. This is too fun. THANKS JC!!
PureDWTS Guest Blog: “Reflections On Season 17, A Commentary And Other Dancing With The Stars Musings”
As promised, PureDWTS Guest blogger and poet Lois is back with a commentary in wrapping up the season!!
REFLECTIONS ON SEASON 17 – A COMMENTARY AND OTHER DANCING WITH THE STARS MUSINGS
BY: Lois A Troutman, November 30, 2013
Anticipation was building to a fever pitch! Rumors were swirling! The announcement of the cast for Season 17 was fodder for Internet and water cooler chat! The nation was hungry to know the names of the brave celebrities who would be lacing up new dancing shoes! The smell of leather permeated the studios of DANCING WITH THE STARS! Shoes were waiting for twelve pairs of feet to fill them!
Re-wind to September 4, GOOD MORNING AMERICA! Finally the new cast and their pro partners were announced! Each brave soul entering the studio to begin their dancing journey!
The dance party had begun! The pairings would be:
EMMA SLATER and BILL ENGVALL
SHARNA BURGESS and KEYSHAWN JOHNSON
PETA MURGATROYD and BRANT DAUGHERTY.
CHERYL BURKE and JACK OSBOURNE
TYNE STECKLEIN and BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY
KARINA SMIRNOFF and CORBIN BLEU
TONY DOVOLONI and LEAH REMINI
DEREK HOUGH and AMBER RILEY
MARK BALLAS and CHRISTINA MILLIAN
TRISTAN MCMANUS and VALERIE HARPER
SASHA FARBER and NICOLE POLIZZI
VAL CHMERKOVSKIY and ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN
I was familiar with many of the cast but not with a few. This is why I love this show every season. I am always pleasantly surprised by those I am not familiar with. I am pleasantly surprised by the growth of the celebrities on their dancing journey. I find each season fascinating! There are many learning opportunities by watching the show. From learning more about the celebrities to the dances we see.
I would be fascinated to go behind the scenes! I would love to see how the juggernaut, the brains behind the show, puts it on every week. We did see some behind the scenes commentary. But, they should put on a comprehensive special allowing us to follow from the beginning to end of a show. What goes on behind what we see on the air?
I would love to see a special with all of the dancing pros dancing together. And a special with exhibition dances by the dancing couples, no judges, no scoring. Just dances galore! Those specials would be music to my dancing lover’s heart!
For Season 17, changes were made to the format of the show. The most notable was the elimination of the Tuesday night results show. I wondered how they could pack everything into a two-hour show that had been done in three hours in previous seasons. My feeling still is that the show seemed rushed. Am I correct in my feeling that the dances, at least in the beginning, were shorter in order to make them fit into less time? Tom Bergeron needed to keep the pace of the show by limiting comments from the judges, for example. He limited the teams from doing longer celebrations. I still think a Results Show is needed. Yes, towards the end of the season musical guests appeared again. But, I still love the musical guests that were on the Results Show every week. I loved the extras that had to be eliminated due to time restraints, such as more rehearsal footage, etc. I preferred the Skybox for the couples as opposed to the glitter benches. They seemed more restrained there. It seems more appropriate for them to be located away from the judges.
Another thing that was limited by the two-hour time restraint were many more pro dances. I believe the show made up for that somewhat by the super-sized opening numbers. But I will take all the dancing I can get. I would love to see more pro dance numbers again. And, there were very few encore numbers. I loved seeing the encore numbers each Results Show. I hope the Results Show is reinstated for Season 18. I hope they keep the show on twice a year. I hope the show goes to Season 20 and beyond. I believe this show can be kept fresh by introducing things such as different type dances, like trio and fusion to name two of the ones introduced. The powers that be have done marvelous work so far. I expect they will continue to refresh the show.
Questions brewed, most importantly, the voting. I was a bit confused at first how the show could only be one night. And how our votes could be factored in. There was a voting snafu which saved all of the couples into the next week. I had read of voters thinking their votes were cast for the wrong couples when they voted on Facebook. Or having phone issues, etc. Of course, each season there are those who feel the show is rigged. I will never, ever believe the show is rigged. People must keep voting. The modern technology used in voting is not foolproof.
This season many talented dancers were eliminated, Elizabeth, Nicole, Christina, Brant. Some complained, which happens every season, that less talented dancers were saved. The debate will always be there, voting on popularity v. voting on who has improved the most, the best dancer. My opinion is just vote with your heart. There is no scientific formula, no right or wrong answer. There is actually fun in debates, but use common courtesy. We will never all agree on who has won the MIrror Ball Trophy.
This season brought three guest judges, JULIANNE HOUGH, CHER, and the one, the only MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY! I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspectives they brought to the table. The judges are the brunt of much controversy. Are the scores too high, too low? I feel I am not in a position to judge them. It will be what it is. Is there a need to replace the judges, add a judge? Again, that is not for me decide. I will just say if the judges’ system isn’t really broken, why fix it? AMERICAN IDOL has tried judge after judge. Few of them have measured up to the originals.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the astounding talents of every pro, teaching and the troupe! They are the backbone of the show. They make the dancers into what they become on their dancing journey! I am in awe of their talents!
One central thing to remember. DANCING WITH THE STARS is first and foremost a sparkling entertainment extravaganza! I love the entire show! From the sequins to the costumes to HAROLD WHEELER’s orchestra to the commentaries from everyone. Thank you for everything you give to me!
Season 17 is in the DANCING WITH THE STARS History Books! It was another season filled with the brilliance of the art of dancing! What more could we want?
Season 18 is around the dancing bend! See you in the middle of March, 2014!
Well, we’re off!! The opening dance wasn’t nearly as exciting or as well executed as it was the first time around, but still good.
I confess I didn’t watch Enrique as he doesn’t really interest me.
I dig the pro segments, specially when Derek looks so gorg!!
And Amber and Derek win the Encore. Hmmmm…I hope her fans didn’t spend all their time tweeting.
SPOILERS….in case you couldnt’ tell from the comment…
After getting 9′s in the fusion, there was pretty much no way, mathematically, that Jack was going to win. That left it between Corbin and Amber, Corbin with a bigger deficit than has ever been overcome in a finale.
Season 17 Champs: AMBER RILEY AND DEREK HOUGH.
I think this is the first African American woman to win the MBT, correct? Also the first plus sized woman?? Awesome.
“We are all terminal and it’s great to face that — and then discard it,” she insists. “Don’t live in fear of dying.”
Great news for Dancing With The Stars Season 17 contestant Valerie Harper. She tells Closer Weekly that her cancer has regressed again.
“[My doctor] said, ‘At the rate we are going, you don’t have to worry,’” she tells Closer in an exclusive sit-down interview. “‘You will see Christmas!’”
After two promising prior scans, Valerie knew the odds were against her: “I thought, could I be so lucky to have that happen again?”
It was just seven days after being eliminated from Dancing with the Stars that Valerie had to face “D-Day,” her term for the Oct. 14 brain scan that would reveal whether her cancer had progressed.
After so many months of saying her goodbyes, Valerie arrived for her interview with Closer exulting that she is “signing up for life!”
Sharing the unexpected good news that the test showed her cancer has continued to regress, Valerie tells Closer, “I do believe in miracles.” Still, she candidly admits that, yes, she knows her health situation remains precarious. “It can turn on a dime.”
More at Closer Weekly. Today is featuring an article on her too. In the article it mentions how she is considering doing Broadway and a new film next year. What an amazing woman and here’s to seeing her and Tristan again during the Finale!!
Okay, so once again about half right/very close on the scoring. But the interesting thing is, I got the low scorer correct and one of the high scorers correct. Where I went wrong was once again underestimating Derek and his partner and assuming they would continue to give Brant more protection. They also didn’t seem to feel the need to protect Christina like I thought they would. I find these things interesting. It either means that they’ve realized that Brant and Christina aren’t all that OR Valerie just wasn’t getting the votes like we thought. Or both. It also appears that they’ve separated dancers into three distinct tiers, with Valerie out of the equation. Look at the scores: without Valerie, you have 21s, 24s and 27s. Only three scores, with three points between each one. Veeerry interesting. Coincidence?
Anyway, with a four point difference between Valerie and the next lowest person, how much protection did anyone really need? That’s quite a cushion for most everyone, in reality, possibly such that they could give everyone else a 21 or more and know that that was enough for Val to go home. Let’s take a look. The table below represents the actual scores versus those I predicted. Under that are the votes that were required as a result of the scores for various people to be safe.
The MacManiacs have posted a new interview with dance pro Tristan MacManus. Tristan answers questions all about Valerie Harper and Dancing With The Stars this season. Though humble as ever, he shared some words of wisdom too for what he learned this season. Read on to see what they are….
*If you were a judge critiquing any of your performances with Valerie from Week 1, 2, 3, or 4 what things would you say were particularly strong? What would you say could have been improved?
Valerie used her arms very well and was good showing pictures, but we for sure needed to improve the transitions between those pictures. Letting yourself be right can be harder than it sounds; trying to find a balance between always improving but also being confident in what you have improved upon play a big part in performing a dance. Again though unfortunately we can only be judged on what we do on Monday, I was happy to know that although Monday didn’t go right, I have seen Valerie improve each week and perform better in rehearsals to justify all the hard work. Live shows are live shows. They don’t always go your way. The live show is sometimes the only time things go wrong!
*We understand that you are assigned the dances to do with you celebrity partner, but even though you and Valerie are no longer competing, if you could pick one particular dance style that you think most suits her and then dance that dance on DWTS, which one would it be?
The first dance is always picked for you, and usually Week 2 as well. From then on you can sometimes get more influence depending on whether there is a theme week or what not. We had Foxtrot and Paso and then Cha Cha picked for us, and then I chose Viennese Waltz – first off because I wanted to do it. I knew the ballroom dances and the slower dances were the ones that suited Valerie better even more so when her knees became too painful. I tried to make something more about our dances and I put my own themes to the weeks and sold that to Valerie. I tried to make each dance a reaction to terrible news: Week 1 Foxtrot was accepting the news and appreciating what you have been through. Week 2 Paso was anger and frustration towards it which I think is a stage that a lot of people go through. Week 3 Cha Cha was more about people who use humour to face their problems not so much to say you should laugh about it, but I know family and friends who have reacted in this way. Then I guess Week 4 Viennese Waltz was for those who don’t give up and whether they accept it or not carry on. It was always my intention to use this song for Valerie, and I thought it was great to finish up with that one.
*This has been a very emotional but very inspiring season on DWTS. As a teacher, artist, choreographer, and performer, do you have any words of wisdom for us?
No words of wisdom from me, no. Just live your life and make your own decisions. There are too many instances where people don’t take responsibility for their own actions and try to shift the blame to others. Make your own path and follow your own head and live and die by your own sword.
More at MacManiacs.Org including a message for fans.
Lois is back with another one of her fun tribute poems. This time… for Dancing With The Stars Season 17 Week 4! THANKS LOIS!
A VIVACIOUS, VIBRANT, VARIETY REVUE
Variety spiced up the ballroom, the dances were not done twice
Each couple had a different dance mixed up with dancing spice
A VIVACIOUS, VIBRANT, VARIETY REVUE was an awesome sight
A lively, spirited, swinging show captivated us under the spotlight
A guest judge appeared as a magician’s trick pulled out of a hat
Opening number climaxed with Julianne Hough, how about that
A Viennese Waltz showcased Valerie and Tristan with much grace
A Samba was peppy, Emma and Bill ended with tears on his face
A Paso Doble by Corbin and Karina was a powerhouse of a dance
An Argentine Tango by Elizabeth and Val and a violin of romance
A Jive full of cheer by Sasha and Nicole livened up the ballroom
A Quickstep by Jack and Cheryl with happy feet, va-va-va-voom
A Foxtrot by Mark and Chrjstina, they danced to a jailhouse rock
A Cha Cha Cha by Tony and Leah, precise as a wound up clock
A Salsa by Peta and Brant shaken up with vigor, vim, and vitality
A Tango by Derek and Amber full of seductive, sultry personality
A VIVACIOUS, VIBRANT, VARIETY REVUE came to a sad end
The dancing duos had to say goodbye to an inspirational friend
Valerie and Tristan were chosen to depart from the ballroom floor
She bowed out with dignity, she gave us beauty, and much more
Next week the theme of the stars is a song of a memorable year
We hurry back to the ballroom, we wouldn’t miss it, we’ll be here!
Written By Lois A Troutman, October 9, 2013
A VIVACIOUS, VIBRANT, VARIETY REVIEW WAS AN AWESOME SIGHT!
EACH DANCE BY THE COUPLES WAS A VIVALICIOUS DELIGHT!
I haven’t watched this new Afterbuzz show in it’s entirety yet, but, dance pros Anna Trebunskaya and Henry Byalikov help them break down Dancing With The Stars Season 17 Week 4!! They start out talking about Julianne Hough and her being a guest judge. See if you agree with them on everything….
Overall, I think I enjoyed last night – liked that there wasn’t a particular theme, and everyone got a different dance, so as to avoid being compared against another couple. Wasn’t particularly wild about the Ray Leeper-choreographed opening number – to quote Mama Spence, “That was a whole lot of nothing!” and goes to show that choreography created for ballroom dancers by non-ballroom dancers doesn’t always work well.
I think Julianne actually ended up being a pretty fair judge – granted, I think it was decided before the show started that she was simply going to echo the same score that Carrie Ann & Bruno called out, but I still feel like she gave constructive criticism and didn’t put anyone down…which Len has a tendency to do on the regular. Not gonna lie – I’m kinda glad it was Julianne judging instead of Len during the week that Bill & Emma did their samba
As lovely and inspirational as Valerie was, I do feel like it was her time to go – she seemed to be really struggling these past few weeks, and the poor woman is probably getting really tired. But I’m SO glad we got to see her this season, and her foxtrot from week one is probably going to remain one of my favorites And god love Tristan – there’s a pro that gives a whole new meaning to “being there” for your partner. I don’t think there are too many male pros on this show that could handle both the physical and emotional strain that having a partner with terminal cancer can bring – and he handled it with such poise.
1.) Corbin & Karina – For all the ado about him dancing shirtless before last night’s show, he really wasn’t shirtless for long – and it actually did fit the routine, IMO. After he and Karina stalked around each other and let the tension build, the shirt coming off was kind of a gesutre of “Ok, now I’m throwing my hat in the ring. It’s ON!” and it worked with mood. Anti-shirtless brigade, take note: this is an example of the correct way to go shirtless. Really and truly, I thought this paso was fantastic – Corbin never missed a beat, he was invested in it, and contrary to what the judges said, I didn’t think “his hip-hop moves were creeping in”; I actually thought he was creatively styling some of his arm & hand gestures, which I’ll take any day over limp, apathetic, purposeless moves. Anyone else think the judges were intentionally being REEEEEALLLLY nitpicky about this one? I’d say this worthy of at least one “10″ – it was that good, kids. And I know there’s been some talk from some here about “Ehhh, I kinda don’t like Corbin & Karina, they’re desperate, they’re trying too hard, etc. etc. etc.” I’ll just say this: if this routine was the result of their “desperation” and “trying too hard” – then more power to them. Read more..