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DWTS Season 11 – Pre-Season Media, September 10, 2010

Maks and Brandy on Access Hollywood. All I’m going to say is: I love Brandy – so direct and funny. And I like her WAY better than her partner. 🙂

Slightly different version of the above interview:

And a third version of Access Hollywood. Derek and Jennifer taped theirs today, so expect to see them on Monday.

Speaking of Derek and Jennifer – Entertainment Tonight. I don’t think Derek is lifting her EVER – he’s afraid. With good reason.

Paparazzi Video with a little of everyone – from ET

Corky and Florence on ET – Has Corky had his eyes done?

September 10, 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 Pros and Cons of the DWTS Pros – The Chelsie and Edyta Edition

This is a part of the Pros and Cons of the DWTS pros Series. You can check out all the posts in this series here.

Chelsie Hightower

John: How can someone not like Chelsie? She’s sweet and kind and a fantastic dancer. Yes, I have a thing for blondes, but seriously she’s just a likable person. Plus, it’s been fun to see her grow into a woman. Ok, she might need a couple more years to fully make it there, but she’s certainly grown from the baby faced little girl that first started dancing on Dancing with the Stars to the woman that she is today. I think for myself (and likely many others) Chelsie really took off when she was able to transform Ty Murray into the dancer that he became. I think many other pros would have given up and Ty’s growth would have stagnated. Instead, Chelsie kept on doing her thing and Ty stole the hearts of so many people. It will be interesting to see how she does with Michael Bolton. Having a much older man will be quite a change from what Chelsie’s done in the past. Chelsie also deserves credit for her epic Paso Doble with Derek and Mark Ballas on guitar. Plus, for those of you who don’t follow So You Think You Can Dance like I do, Chelsie and Mark’s performance of Bleeding Love on SYTYCD is a must see Chelsie moment. About 1:37 into that video, Chelsie has one of my favorite dance moments ever when the dancing just takes over the moment. Dances like this make me really want Chelsie to make the final 3 so I could see what type of freestyle she would create.

Marianya: Like Dmitry, Chelsie’s from SYTYCD first… as thus they will always have a piece of my affection. But unlike Dmitry, Chelsie was able to breathe through her dancing and not just ballroom mind you, but everything. She’s able to translate that into DWTS, taking her celebs and teaching them not just how to dance but how to breathe into the dancing. She takes what she has and doesn’t disguise it, she pulls and tugs at it and watches her celebs just grow. Granted had it not been for Ty Murray as her first partner she might not have the praise she has had thus far… but then again look at her pro pieces she lives in the dance and has had amazing connection with not only the Derek/Mark acoustic guitar Paso Doble mentioned by John… but with Damian later on that same season. She might be young and a very girl next door… but she doesn’t go into overtly sexy nor is she modest. To me despite her youth she’s a strong overall package and she’s only beginning to scrape the extents of what she could do… Every season I hope that she would be matched with a celeb that have the potential to make it to the freestyle round if only so the wider America audience could see what us SYTYCD fans have known for a long time.

Heidi: While I really like Chelsie, I don’t think she’s quite the phenom you all make her out to be. 🙂 She’s very, very good though. I would not be at all surprised to see another acoustic dance with Derek and Chelsie, possibly with Mark and Cheryl thrown in this time (like I think it was originally conceived by Derek). Why? Because that dance was a killer, it was nominated for an Emmy (and you know the producers love that) and Derek and Chelsie make a pair that the producers seem to love. Two blonds. Why they seem a tad fixated on that, I don’t know. Chelsie is certainly an able replacement for Julianne – I could hardly distinguish between the two during that pro dance to “Let is Rock” and that’s really saying something. What I really loved about her LAST season was that she didn’t allow herself to be bullied by Jake, yet she didn’t turn bitch on him either. That’s quite a talent. She is also very different from all the other pro females – not overtly sexy, but not quite the tomboy. Her manner with her celebs is fairly even – have we ever seen her pull out the tears? Or is my memory correct and she’s the most laid back of the women??

Courtney: I think your memory is correct, Heidi – Chelsie is just that laid back, and is seemingly unflappable in terms of emotion.  I wish I had her sense of calm when dealing with some of my coworkers! We saw it on SYTYCD (and John, I agree about Bleeding Love, but my favorite from her is still her “Beautiful” Mia Michaels routine :-D), and we continue to see it on DWTS. I think that’s what I love most about Chelsie: her personality.  She’s comfortable being sexy and womanly, but can still hang with the boys.  While I agree she’s been able to pull some stuff out of not only Ty, but Louis & Jake as well (her A. Tango with Louis is still one of my favorite routines), I have often complained that I find her choreography (especially her jives) to be a bit generic from time to time – her jive for Louis felt like a recycled version of her jive for Ty for me, and neither was particularly different step-wise than her jive with Jake. Maybe she just needs a little longer on the show to really grow – who knows.  But I know what Heidi’s talking about when she says that Chelsie seamlessly filled the gap left by Julianne – I am constantly wowed by her lifting prowess in the pro dances.  She was STUNNING in the “She’s Like the Wind” portion of the Swayze tribute, and her pro dance with Damian this season just blew me away.  That little blonde thing gets thrown around like a ragdoll and makes it look graceful!

John: Thanks for reminding me about the Beautiful routine by Chelsie. It illustrates so well how Chelsie has a way to get into the dance and you can feel the dance and music coming through her. It’s beautiful to watch. I agree that she can be sexy and womanly, but still hang out with the boys. Although, I’ve been trying to forget the segments from SYTYCD that talk about her liking to burp all the time. Some guys like that. I’m just not one of them.

Marianya: It’s not just that Chelsie could be sexy and womanly, and be one of the guys, but she still has that girl next door look… So in reality she one heck of a chameleon. I still remember the finale dance in Season 9 that she did with Louie to Donny Osmond singing Puppy Love and thinking just how adorable those two were. So it’s going to be really interesting to see how she plays up to Michael Bolton. Could she still be sexy and womanly without people going, “but the age difference!” and gakking all over the place.

Edyta Sliwinska

John: I’m still going through a bit of denial when it comes to Edyta. I certainly respect that it’s her life and her choice to continue doing Dancing with the Stars or not, but I’m still in denial that it’s actually what she chose to do. Although, I’m not really blaming her either. I’m mostly angry with the producers for not coughing up enough money so she had no choice but to come back, but I digress. Edyta is just something special. First, she’s gotten arguably the WORST partners on Dancing with the Stars. Sure she’s had some average partners, but she’s also been on a zillion seasons of Dancing with the Stars. You’d just think that one of those times they’d give her a reasonable partner. I guess it’s hard for me to comment too much on her choreography or ability to teach her partners. She’s probably middle of the road on both of these, but it really doesn’t matter to me. Edyta could just slowly walk around the dance floor with her partner and I’d love her just the same. In case you’re missing her too, a Google Images search for Edyta Sliwinska pays a nice homage to her.

Marianya: The mere fact that Edyta was on for ten seasons straight says something about her in regards to the producers. She brings in an audience… most likely of the male persuasion and keeps them fixated on her, even for a moment of their time. She has an amazing body, no doubt and she keeps it in check. She enjoys dancing and loves dancing with her husband… but then, how is it that after ten seasons the closest that she has never won? She went so far as second place in the season that Kristi (arguably the biggest ringer of them all) won, and third place with Joey Lawrence in a season with Emmitt Smith and Mario Lopez? Granted in the first six seasons she place sixth and above… but the last four the luck pool was running a bit thin. It would seem that in seasons that she received a celeb with potential, happens to be in the same season where there are ringers up the wazoo. What a way to kill motivation producers, no wonder she would want to walk away and try something new… hell a lot of people would. But it isn’t just the celebs that she has had, she is featured on a lot of DWTS advertising and pro dances. Anyway, I’m ranting so I’ll stop. She’s an amazing dancer all around and not in any one particular field. She doesn’t fail to disappoint, she pushes her celebs, but doesn’t overly push them either. She does sometimes put on the whole, “I’m a Pro” like others, but it works and it balances out in her sessions I would think. Granted her being good eye candy would help too wouldn’t it? In her one freestyle, it wasn’t bad… but the choreography lacked spark and wow despite it being fun… Nevertheless maybe she needs this season to really take a break to recharge her batteries… and if she comes back the producers better give her the due she deserves and STAT!!!

Heidi: Are you both on crack? 🙂 I love Edyta. I have no gripes with her and I see nothing wrong with her dancing or how she is with the celebs she’s handed. But I think you’re missing a couple key factors. If they were to respond to a request for more money, they’d have to give more money to all the pros – because like it or not she’s not the most popular (not even in the Top 5), she’s just the most reliable. If she were truly popular, they WOULD give her a great partner once in a while so she would stick around. Maybe that’s the problem – she’s always been there for them and she was starting to be taken for granted. Ten seasons in a row? They probably figured they could give her anyone, have the hot chick around for a few weeks and she’d be back for more the next season. I think she’s an amazing dancer with an amazing body – but don’t put her in a group pro dance because she is never in sync with the rest of the group. I can always pick her out because she’s usually a beat behind. I think the most likely explanation is the one that Mark gave – she’s smart enough to know she’s not getting any younger and she wants to expand her horizons and/or have children with Alec. Occam’s Razor.

Courtney: Echoing everyone above’s sentiments, I too love Edyta and will miss her quite a bit.  I have to give her props for sticking around for 10 seasons – especially when she was handed some real stinkers as partners for many of those seasons.  The few good ones she had (Joey, Cameron, & Jason) she really brought the best out of; I guess I just wish she had managed to make something more out of the less talented ones.  I’m one of those that’s of the opinion that a truly great pro can make even a crappy celeb a decent dancer, given enough effort.  But I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a bit bored with Edyta’s choreography the past few seasons – then again, with as long as she was on the show, I would think you’d start to run out of truly “fresh” ideas, and the poor girl was likely suffering from a major case of burnout.  I’m hoping they at least offer to bring her back for a pro dance or two (doubtful, if the split from the show was as acrimonious as we’re being led to believe), because she & Alec were wonderful to watch together – and Edyta is the only one that seems to come close to Karina in terms of precision & range of motion in her movement.  And John – believe you me, whenever I need motivation to go to the gym or to resist eating junk food, I just google Edyta…the woman has the most beautiful body of any of the female pros on the show, current or former.  Once things calm down at work, I’m planning on getting a personal trainer, and I plan on printing off one of the pix from Edyta’s Maxim shoot and telling him “This is what I want to look like.” 😉

Marianya: How that woman keeps a body like that is beyond me. Courtney, you’re right that there’s a distinct feel of recycling lately… but she hasn’t had as many “less talented partners” as we all think, I believe she’s had all of three really bad ones, a good number that were middle of the road, and three really strong ones (I’m going to have to recheck my stats at home), so she’s had an even balance I think. I think though it’s kind of unfair that the celebs that she had done really well with were up against bigger ringers on that same season… so who knows what’s really going on?

Round Up

Chelsie Hightower:

John: Please let me see her freestyle!!

Marianya: Amazing budding talent… hope she’s around for a long time.

Heidi: I want another accoustic dance with Derek, please.

Courtney: Looking forward to seeing her continue to grow.  More pro dances, pleeeeeze 😀

Edyta Sliwinska:

John: Let me say it three times: Sexy, Sexy, Sexy!!!

Marianya: I agree that she needs a break, but she needed a good partner to keep her motivated! Way to screw with the pros producers!

Heidi: I really like her a lot – but I’m not opening a vein. 🙂

Courtney: Bon voyage, Edyta – it’s been a fun ride and you will be missed.  But onto bigger & better things for both of us…I will have a body like yours by this time next year! 😀

I Written By

Better known as Charlie.