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Derek Hough TV Guide Interview – Choreographing for the Entertainment Value

I’ve always admired how Derek plays this show like the game it is – create memorable dances you love and don’t whine and complain if the scores aren’t what you had hoped.  Derek talks about creating memorable dances, neck surgery and whether or not he’s leaving the show after this season. From TV Guide:

How are the dances going?
 Good. I’m very excited about both dances. They’re two very different dances. [The Viennese waltz] — we’re dedicating to veterans who are going to be in the audience and all vets for Veteran’s Day. The trio is going to be something that hasn’t been seen necessarily on this show.

Are you breaking the rules again?
 I don’t know if it’s breaking the rules, but it’s one of those things where it’s Season 15, and I feel like the audience has kind of seen everything, so it’s like, what can we do differently and how can we reinvent something they’ve seen before? That’s sort of what it is. … Last season, for our trio, I did a Bollywood-themed samba, which had never been on the show before. And this season, they included Bollywood, so next season, maybe this will be another style they add. [Laughs]

You’re just pioneering so many things for the show.
 [Laughs] I guess, if you want to call it that!


There are lots of rumors that this is your last season. Can you confirm anything?
 I can’t confirm anything. But no matter what, I’ll always be part of the show. I’ll always be on hand if they need me or want me. But I’m also interested in having time to pursue other things. I’ve taken a season off before, but to do something significant, I think you need more time than three months. But like I said, nothing is definite right now and I’ll always be part of the show. I’m a strong ambassador for it and I’ll always be here for it.

Almost everyone picked you guys to win when the cast was announced. Do you feel pressure to win?
 I don’t feel pressure to win, but I feel pressure to do good dances. Winning — that’s out of your hands, especially when the public vote and judges’ scores are involved. All I can control is doing good work. We’ve done some memorable performances. Whatever happens, I’ll always be proud of our dances this season.

I like that you guys take the risk to break rules knowing that it’s going to be worth it for the entertainment value and not complaining about getting docked afterward.
 I feel like because it’s Season 15, we have to push the rules. Quite honestly, I could’ve done routines that were less interesting, easier and ones the judges probably would’ve liked more in terms of [following] the rules, and we could’ve maybe gotten better scores. But I realized after doing the show for so long that the scores only last as long as the season. You can get a perfect score and get eliminated. After the season is finished, what lasts forever are the dances. I always tell my partners, “Let’s not dance for scores. Let’s dance for YouTube videos.” Two years down the line, when you’re sitting at home having a glass of wine and you stumble upon a video of your cha-cha, you’re like, “Oh, my God! I loved that dance!” That’s what I want.

Some fans think you’re putting too many gymnastics tricks into your routines, but there’s no rule saying you can’t use your partner’s strengths to your advantage.
 Right. As a choreographer, I think our job is to hide weaknesses and show strengths. Everyone has different strengths. I know when Shawn first did the show, she maybe did two things that were acrobatic and I just wanted to see what else I could do to showcase her and her athletic ability. I’ve been trying to take advantage of that as much as I possibly can just because she can do them. It would be a crime to not do more with that. Having said that, we don’t do them just to do them. They still have to fit in with the routine. I don’t choreograph the routines around flips and tricks.

November 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. :-)

DWTS Season 15 Las Vegas Odds Going Into Week 8: Are they wrong or right?

The odds makers at Sports Bovada are convinced Kristie Alley is going home from Dancing With The Stars …and more than ever this upcoming week. Don’t worry though! They’ve been wrong in the past with 100/1 odds, but, unfortunately, they’ve also been right. They also have more faith in Gilles Marini and Emmitt Smith than many fans do.

Shawn Johnson 5/7
Emmitt Smith 7/2
Gilles Marini 11/2
Apolo Anton Ohno 9/1
Kelly Monaco 9/1
Melissa Rycroft 40/1
Kirstie Alley 100/1

Last week’s Las Vegas Odds going into Week 7 to compare:

Shawn Johnson 10/11
Emmitt Smith 13/4
Gilles Marini 7/2
Apolo Anton Ohno 9/1
Kelly Monaco 10/1
Melissa Rycroft 40/1
Kirstie Alley 66/1

I don’t know what to think, but, I’m pretty sold on the idea that “fan base” is going to determine who wins this competition this time especially after Sabrina was eliminated. If that’s the case, I think Kelly and Melissa (even though I like them) are history this upcoming week….or possibly, and hopefully, my dream elimination GILLES!!! I think Shawn should be first, Apolo should be second, Emmitt should be third, and Kirstie should be fourth.

Let’s see what my collaborators think and be sure you let us know in comments too….

Courtney: At this point, I’m just shrugging & shaking my head when it comes to these odds, because it just seems to me like these oddsmakers are chucking darts at a dartboard to determine their odds.  😛 It still baffles me that they’re so convinced that Emmitt & Gilles have chances that good – Emmitt may have the fanbase, but the judges have shown that they’re not afraid to drop the hammer if his dancing’s not up to snuff; and Gilles may be getting the scores, but now I’m not convinced that he’s getting the votes…we’ve seen very few Gilles trolls leaping to his defense here this season, and I’ve had several fans (some from Gilles’ native France, even) reach out to me on Twitter to tell me just how much they can’t stand his behavior this season.  Literally, I’m baffled as to who is actually voting for Gilles…and who knows, maybe he was the other half of the bottom 2 with Sabrina a few weeks back.  I’m just getting the gut feeling that his number could be up this week, from what I’ve been hearing from fans and from behind the scenes. Or it could be wishful thinking 😛 Unfortunately for Kirstie, I’m also getting the feeling she could be leaving us this week – she’s got some tough dances and some not-so-stellar scores from last week to contend with, and she’s still the only one left that we know for sure has been in the bottom 2 before.  As for Apolo – I’m just not sure what to think.  I go back and forth between thinking he’s barely hanging on by a thread, to thinking he’s so safe that the judges feel the need to handicap him a bit.  Kelly & Melissa? Huge question marks for me.  I’m inclined to think that Kelly is getting more votes than Melissa, but I’m also hearing that the fauxmance is wearing thin on some fans and that Melissa may have a bigger fanbase than we think, due to her show on CMT.  Guess we’ll have a better picture after the axe drops twice on Tuesday…

Heidi: I think if they switch Gilles and Apolo they might have it about right – in terms of “top 3”, not necessarily the actual order.  I think Emmitt is going to blow people’s minds this week and get back in the game. At least for his Trio – he has Kym Johnson working with him who I’m giving a lot of credit to – she can choreograph some great stuff for the big guys. Will it be enough to get him to the final three? Well, we are awfully close.  Once you switch Gilles and Apolo – well, I think that’s a rough approximation of who’s ranked where. If they continue to treat Apolo like a second class citizen, he could be in trouble. I’m like Courtney on Apolo at this point – one minute I think he’s going to win it all and the next I think the judges are going to nitpick him right out of the game.  I WISH we could see the backside of Gilles this week, but I kinda doubt it. I do wish Kirstie could stay over him, but I fear her time is running out. But Kirstie and Melissa? I think the odds dudes might have that one wrong. I LOVE Melissa and would love to see her in the final three – but it seems a bit clear that she’s getting some pimpage from the judges, and she’s apparently last in the running order this week which, while not a huge deal any more, is a sign of them giving her some love. I think she’ll survive this week, thanks to the scores, but I’m afraid she won’t make it to the end. Unless the judges get REALLY serious.  Of course, the odds makers aren’t really saying who is going to leave next, they are giving odds to win it all – so I guess in that respect they’re more right than wrong. Although I don’t really know which of the people who I think are going to be top three is actually going to win. Which is kind of a nice change of pace. 🙂

I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.