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Why Do DWTS?

Season after season, celeb after celeb, it’s always interesting to see what kind of mixed bag each cast turns out to be.  Athletes, actors, comedians, models…it’s the variety of stars the show pulls in that makes things really interesting!

 But, as amazing an opportunity as the show might be for the celebs, with certain individuals, we have to kinda wonder what exactly their motivations were to do the show…are they really there for the opportunity, or is it something else entirely?

 So it got me thinking…what might be some other reasons certain stars do the show, besides “just for fun”? Read on…

 Reason #1: They’re broke.

I’m sure they’d never say it publicly, but over time it’s become a bit obvious that certain celebs probably do the show to offset some cashflow problems they’ve encountered as of late.  I can’t fault them – the $200K base pay for doing the show is nothing to sneeze at, and the possibility of getting another $100K on top of that if they win is just icing on the cake – especially if you’re like season 9’s Aaron Carter, who owed over a million bucks in backed taxes.  No wonder the kid was crying after a mediocre rumba – he couldn’t afford to get sent home! Or maybe you’re season 10’s Kate Gosselin, who claimed that she was “just trying to support her family” by doing the show (although I don’t think she was motivated entirely by the money – there was some definitely attention whoring going on there).  It’s also likely the primary reason that Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Terese Giudice is trying so hard to get on the show – she & her husband filed for bankruptcy last year after racking up over $11 million worth of debt.  Granted, the pay from doing the show probably is probably a small fraction of what these stars are used to pulling in, but it’s still more than enough for we common folk to live quite comfortably off of for a year or two…beggars can’t be choosers 😉

 Reason #2: They’re doing reputation damage control.

Another less-than-savory motivation for doing the show, it’s a good idea nonetheless – what better way to distract from a recent brush with the law or sex tape scandal than to show America how charming and talented you can be on DWTS? Take Lil Kim – she was fresh out of a year-long stint in prison for perjury.  And she became one of the most popular contestants on season 8! She even took it a step further and managed to speak freely about her incarceration and even poke fun at it.  Season 4’s Heather Mills was likely trying to undo some the damage done during her long, messy divorce from Paul McCartney, which seemed to give her a rather nasty reputation as a vindictive gold digger. Or there was Mel B., who had just had a baby out of wedlock with Eddie Murphy.  And of course, Kim Kardashian was still trying to live down her famous sex tape with Ray-J.  Did the show help erase these indiscretions? Eh, some better than others.  But if nothing else, it gave America something else to remember them by.

 Reason #3: They’re trying to breathe life into a dead career/jump start a new career.

You know those celebs whose names you have to google at first because you have absolutely no clue who they are? They likely fall into this category: they’ve either been inactive for so long that you can’t remember them (or maybe they weren’t that famous in the first place), or they’re so new on the scene that you’ve never heard of them.  Be honest: how many of you actually remembered who John O’Hurley was, without having to google him? Aside from his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld, he really hadn’t done anything else prior to DWTS – but after the show? His career blew up.  Suddenly he was being offered hosting positions, roles in musicals, voice acting opportunities – all because he did some dancing show that ended up being a hit.  Ted McGinley, another actor with a waning career, tried to do the same on season 7 – albeit unsuccessfully.  On the other hand, those with new careers might be inclined to do the show just to get some exposure…take Gilles Marini.  Most people didn’t know his name, but they sure knew his face-er, body: he was just the “hot naked guy” in the Sex in the City movie.  After a wildly successful run on DWTS, though, he was suddenly popping up everywhere – Brothers & Sisters, Nip/Tuck, Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, you name it! Proof that if you play your cards right while on the show, the payoff will be far greater than just the money you make for doing it 😉

 Reason #4: They’re generating publicity for their next big project.

Ok, so maybe they’re still famous, but they’ve been in the background for a bit and are getting ready for a “comeback” of sorts – maybe a new album, movie, TV show, etc.  Getting their name out there by doing DWTS is almost a sort of “primer” – it gets their names on the lips of the American public again, so that when their latest labor of love drops, it’s just that much more well-received.  Ever wonder why Macy Gray was on season 9? Well, judging from her completely apathetic attitude, I think we can all agree it wasn’t because she really wanted to learn to dance (hehe).  However, she did have a new album due to come out not long after season 9 wrapped.  Coincidence? Doubt it – sounds like some smart legwork by a savvy publicist.  Louie Vito was only months away from competing in the winter Olympics (his first appearance there) when he did DWTS…probably didn’t hurt getting his name out there early, to help separate him from the hoards of other famous snowboarders.  Even Nicole probably did DWTS to generate some hype for the upcoming PCD album (and new lineup).  Again, it’s a savvy move – with DWTS’ ratings reigning supreme, the contestants become household names, which helps generate interest when they do other projects after the show.

 Reason #5: They’ve got a score to settle.

Sometimes, it’s just all about sticking it to a former rival/family member/group member/etc…a sort of “bet I can make it farther than you can!” challenge.  Almost all of the NFL stars that have done the show have had a sort of friendly rivalry with other former players that had done the show previously…the most well-known of these probably being the Jerry Rice vs. Michael Irvin challenge, which culminated in a face-off during the season 9 finale.  Warren Sapp also sparred with ESPN commentator (and early season 2 castoff) Kenny Mayne on Sports Center.  Joey Fatone also issued a challenge to fellow NSYNC group member Lance Bass to do better than he did – considering his reputation as the “worst dancer in NSYNC”, I think Lance finishing 3rd (to Joey’s 2nd) was pretty admirable! And then there’s the family rivalries – Marie Osmond vs. Donny Osmond, George Hamilton vs. Ashley Hamilton, and Lisa Rinna vs. Harry Hamlin.  Nothing like a little sibling/father-son/husband-wife competition to strengthen familial bonds 😉 Aside from the friendly challenge of sticking it to a family member, there’s also the added security of getting advice from someone close who’s done the show before. 

 So what do you guys think? Know of any other motivations some of the celebs might have to do the show, besides “just for fun”?

August 1, 2010 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

The Last of the Media for DWTS Seaon 9, Week 8

This should be the last of it for Week 8. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems we aren’t getting as much media coverage this season as we have in seasons past. What we do get is overwhelmingly slanted towards Donny Osmond (although I imagine it evens out if you don’t count Entertainment Tonight).

Reality Chat!! I want Joanna’s outfit too. A little bit of “damning with faint praise” of Mya, if tone is anything to go by.

Aaron and Karina on The View. Aaron, there’s no crying in Ballroom!! 😉

DWTS on E! with Special Correspondent Mark “cheesey” Ballas. 🙂

E! News – the final four, and more crying in the Ballroom. 🙂

Entertainment Tonight continues the relentless pimping of Donny Osmond. I like Donny WAY better than I like his sister, and she keeps reminding me how much I disliked her when she was on the show. At least on this particular episode they give Kelly a tiny moment of screen time.

ET again – how much stock do YOU think the Osmonds own?? I’m thinking a lot. They again give Kelly a bit of screen time.

November 15, 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. :-)

Aaron Carter Sent Home on DWTS

I was slightly disappointed that Aaron was sent home last night.  I think out of all the contestants he had the most up and down experience going from amazing in the first 2 weeks and then getting overly cocky and hard to watch and then back to brilliant and passionate dancing.  I had a feeling Aaron was going to be sent home over Kelly but let’s take a look at his best dances and hottest outfits 🙂

Week 1: Cha-Cha
Little Aaron Carter can dance! This was an amazing premier dance for Aaron and Karina! I loved that you could tell he was working so hard to be a good dancer but also an amazing partner for Karina. Every time he touched her I could tell he was into it!

Week 2: Viennese Waltz
I loved the Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy story line here!

Week 5: Argentine Tango
He feel of the wagon during weeks 3 and 4 but came back with his Robert Patterson vibe in the Argentine Tango! This dance was so sexy and confident on his end and he had amazing partnering for Karina!

Week 6: Waltz
This was Aaron’s most mature dance of the season! Absolutely loved it 🙂

Week 7: Jive
BEST DANCE!!!! This dance was so him…fast, energetic, and so much fun! His foot work was off the charts phenomenal!


I loved his Argentine Tango costume…Very Patterson inspired and he looked like man 🙂

I thought his Kermit the Frog outfit was adorable!  He really doesn’t have a color that doesn’t look amazing on him!  But that could be the spray tan!

Normally I would not like an outfit like this one but something about it is very suiting for him.  And how could you not love Karina in this dress 🙂

Not the picture I was looking for…but who doesn’t love a guy in all white 🙂

November 11, 2009 I Written By

DWTS Season 9, Week 8 – Media from the Home Stretch (Part 1)

Wow. I can’t believe we’re down to the final five. That’s amazing. Good luck to everyone – at this point it’s anyone’s game and anyone could go home. Frankly, at this point, if you go home you can go with your head held high. Fifth place out of 16 is nothing to sneeze at, fer sure. Anyway, getting on with it…remember if you’re a Derek/Joanna fan, I post their media at PureDerekHough.

People OnLine – Monday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See Excerpts:

Dream Come True: As Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle, whose first CD will be released Nov. 23, slowly made her entrance onto the Dancing with the Stars stage late Monday afternoon to pre-tape a performance, which will air on Tuesday’s results show, the crowd burst into applause. Boyle looked elegant in a black sequined gown, her hair coiffed to perfection. Despite battling a case of pre-show nerves, Boyle was completely in her element once the orchestra began playing the opening notes of her signature song, “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables. Dancers Tony Dovolani and Chelsie Hightower performed an elegant routine to Boyle’s spot-on vocals. But because of a wardrobe malfunction — Dovolani’s bowtie came unfastened from his tuxedo shirt — they had to do a second take. Unbelievably, it was even better than the first.

Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa had by far the most inventive costumes, with battery-fueled LED lights accenting their silver futuristic attire. “When we heard future I was like, ‘LED lights in the costume. I don’t care how you guys do it and how you guys have to make it happen. It has to be good,’ and they did it,” he explained. After the show, Hough played with the switch on his jacket and joked, “You turn me on.” A new pickup line? “I don’t think so,” Krupa said with laugh.

George’s full segment on KABC in LA

You can find George’s exclusive interviews at KABC – I’ve posted Mya’s below.

Radar Online – of course they don’t allow and embed so click this link —-> Radar Online

A different one from Radar Online —-> Radar Online – Peeves

ET Online – with the ever annoying Osmond, Marie. Gee, whenever random celebs show up in the audience of DWTS – especially those who could use some PR – I always take bets on if they will be appearing on the show. Tonights random celeb appearances include Taylor Dayne and Jodie Whatley. 😉

A TV Guide Recap article about last night – an excerpt (It’s not just us, Courtney):

Two dances, people, two! And since this is the season of change, the Latin round dances will all be based on a decade: the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and the, uh, future. Thanks, guys. Before we get down to business in the ballroom round, we are treated to a package from the judges to kill time. Oh, and so they can objectively tell us what they’re looking for from each star. Did they read Maks’ complaints? Hmm. So what say them? Donny has too many sweeping movents, Joanna needs to find balance, Kelly needs to improve in ballroom, Mya does too many showy moves and Aaron can’t be overly exuberant in the foxtrot.

Ballroom Round
Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: Quickstep

Mya wants to prove herself, but she and Dmitry agree they shouldn’t change their strategy to please the judges. Uh, maybe you should so you don’t get another 5. So instead of strategizing, they go horseback-riding. As always, Mya’s steps are on point. She’s not very crisp, but the fast pace isn’t tripping her up at all. The routine is also infused with a lot more intricate choreography and there’s a nice easy flow to it. But yet there’s still no charisma or personality exuding from her. Len says he can’t find anything to criticize. Bruno calls it quality and vintage champagne — “After you taste it, nothing else will do.” No, thanks. Carrie Ann loves the gracefulness, but doesn’t feel like Mya is in it to win it.
Score: 29

November 10, 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. :-)

DWTS9 Week 8 Power Rankings

Oy! Ok, for the first time since I started doing these rankings, I have very few notes written in my handy dandy notebook – because I was actually transfixed for most of tonight’s show! This may have been the most entertained I’ve been all season – tonight was delightfully wacky, yet also refined (anyone catch the Hooters reference? 😉 ) – I found myself enjoying both the ballroom & Latin rounds.  Although I must point out that there was some definite music ditto-ing tonight – “You Spin Me Right Round” & “Valerie” have both definitely been used in past seasons for a paso & a quickstep, respectively.  Could the “fabulous” Harold Wheeler be running out of stuff to play? Hmmmm…

1.) Donny & Kym – I can’t believe I am about to say what I’m about to say: I actually enjoyed both of Donny’s routines tonight (though definitely not for the same reasons lol!).  I must have a soft spot for well-executed, sincere waltzes/Viennese waltzes – because just as Michael Irvin won me over with his charming waltz 2 weeks ago, Donny won me over with his this week.  Very understated, calm, clean, and pretty.  Actually quite lovely to watch, especially since Donny wasn’t trying to yuk it up like he has in the past – if the Donny skeptics are anything like me, they may warm up to him after that number.  His paso had me rolling – it was really a hot mess, with the ridiculous costuming (anyone else think Donny’s pants a little more Napoleon Dynamite than Adam Ant?) and the tacky smoke machine/wind machine/cape interlude in the middle…I LOVED EVERY GAUDY SECOND OF IT.  This will not be a routine that is easily forgotten (even if some might want to…), and Donny & Kym had the definite boon of performing in the Money Spot (TM).  Who cares if they are tied for the lowest score??? They’ve got the fanbase and shock factor working in their favor…

2.) Derek & Joanna – These two would have likely overtaken Donny & Kym for the top spot on my rankings this week, if it weren’t for that chaotic, messy quickstep in the ballroom round.  Ai ai ai…it actually pained me to watch it, because I know that they can (and have) done much better.  The two of them were bobbing around out of sync like a whack-a-mole game at Chuck E Cheese.  Anymore, the quickstep seems to be becoming the “kiss of death” on DWTS, just like it has on SYTYCD…very hard to really “nail”.  But man – Joanna & Derek more than made up for it with the artistry, creativity, and execution of their futuristic paso.  Honestly, I think any other couple that drew “futuristic” as their decade would have crashed & burned – Derek is honestly on the cutting edge with his choreography & I would not be surprised if this robot paso garnered him an Emmy nomination for best choreography next year.  And Joanna was flawless on this one (dunno why Carrie Ann was yammering on about a “misstep”) – I was surprised she was able to nail the robotic, emotionless feel of the dance after being so emotionally invested in previous weeks.  That paso (and Heidi & her posse & their tireless campaign for votes for team DJ!) probably saved them this week, although I think they’re really starting to show they’re contenders for the trophy this season…

3.) Mya & Dmitry – What does it say when a couple gets the first perfect score of the season and I still have a hard time seeing them win the whole competition? Accusations of Derek favoritism aside (ahem), I still am feeling very little connection between these two, although I still stand by my claim that it is more Dmitry’s fault than Mya’s.  Empirical evidence: those who DVRed tonight’s show, I challenge you to rewatch their quickstep & count how many times they make eye contact with one another, and for how long, and with how much intensity.  They barely looked at each other – each step, while flawlessly executed, was aimed at connecting with the audience rather than each other.  Ditto to their samba (which I actually really enjoyed!) – it was as if they could have danced the entire routine alone and we wouldn’t have noticed that they were missing a partner (although the samba rolls were pure butter to watch 😉 ) Add to that the trouble of performing in the Crap Spot (TM), and all I’m left really remembering well is that Dmitry kinda reminds me of Paul Rudd’s character in Anchorman with his ’70s ‘stache.  The perfect score likely saved them from the danger zone, but I’m not sure they will be so lucky next week…

4.) Kelly & Louis – Kelly is the weakest dancer left in the competition, I will admit that – but she’s definitely improving, and she and Louis are still totally adorable.  Great to see sassy, confident Kelly in her foxtrot – she may not have had the greatest feet or arms or frame, but she was fun to watch and seemed to really nail the slinkiness of the foxtrot & looked fantastic doing it.  The jive was a little odd for me – loved seeing her in her element (the ’60s really seem to be her era), but the two of them seemed a bit more wrapped up in doing more ’60s moves than actual jive (and the jive they did was pretty mediocre), and they held onto the prop for a bit too long – and I HATE PROPS.  But oddly enough, they weren’t at the bottom of the scoreboard this week, and I cannot bring myself to hate them (just like I actually kinda missed walking Hallmark card Michael this week *sniff*).  They will likely be in the bottom 2, but I don’t see them getting sent home over Aaron…

5.) Aaron & Karina – Talk about TMI.  I didn’t really need to know that Aaron almost tossed his cookies on national television, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed if he hadn’t mentioned it.  But honestly – that was probably just extra dirt on the coffin for Aaron.  These two have been skating on thin ice for weeks now, and I think they only slipped by last week based on Aaron’s jive prowess (if the knockout dance were a popularity contest, Mark would still be around instead of him).  His foxtrot felt a little too bouncy to me – as much as it pains me to say it, I agree with Carrie Ann that he does get a bit too “exuberant” and it throws off his technique.  Their samba was actually kinda cute (loved the song – I remember groovin’ to Spin Doctors in 4th grade!), but was a bit sloppy at times and isn’t nearly as memorable as any of the other Latin routines for me tonight.  They’re the only couple left that’s ever been in danger (and they’ve been in danger MULTIPLE times) and they’re also at the bottom of the scoreboard – oh, and if Twitter is any indicator, the only man in America that may be more hated than Aaron right now is Jon Gosselin.  If I were the gambling type, I’d put a decent bet down on Aaron going home tomorrow night, and then take my honey out to Outback with my winnings.

So this has probably been the easiest ranking I’ve done so far – probably because I’m darn near certain that Aaron’s number is up this week.  And if it isn’t – well, pigs must be flying on a snowy day in hell.  But feel free to argue with me…I will try and be more present in the comments section this week, since I have Wednesday off work.  Yay for floating holidays!!! Sound off, everyone…

November 9, 2009 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

The Dance Off of Aaron and Mark

For some reason, I forgot to post this the other night. And, since it was really GOOD, I thought I should fix my oversight. 🙂

I think I also forgot the Team Tango encore…

November 5, 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. :-)

DWTS Season 9 Week 7 Results Show and Media

ET Online!Radar Online – The Celebs design the Costumes

From RadarOnline – Too Many Chefs in the Kitchen (Click to see the video – Derek’s being bad again)

Rod Stewart from the Results Show

Miscellaneous Results Show Clips, including confessionals.

The Pros Paso/Tango Combo

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 9 Week 7 Media

People Online -Tuesday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See. Everyone give me an “awwww”. 🙂

Pass the Luck: Before Aaron Carter performed the jive on Tuesday night’s dance-off, Kelly Osbourne ran onto the dance floor, gave him a hug and a good luck charm. “I said, ‘Wear my lucky bracelet.’ I wear my lucky bracelet every week,” she said, pointing to her beaded bracelet. “[My fiancé] Luke [Worrall] made it for me.”

Flip Flop: Mark Dacascos, host of Iron Chef America, says it was a great experience working with his dance partner Lacey Schwimmer on her show. He hopes she will return the favor. “It’s in the works,” says Dacascos about the possibility of Schwimmer being a guest judge. “I just don’t want anything disgusting,” Schwimmer joked, “like animal organs that shouldn’t be taken out of an animal. I would love chocolate or the secret ingredient is sugar!”

ET on Mark and Michael leaving:Michael/Anna and Mark/Lacey on GMA!

Awwww…I love Michael Irvin. Mark and Michael on Radar Online.

Access Hollywood – Mark and Lacey, Michael and Anna, et al.

George Pennachio at the LA ABC Affiliate on the Results Show:

George Pennachio from the LA Affiliate with all the couples after the Performance Show. Kelly and Louis are below, follow the link for the others.

November 4, 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. :-)


I found this week very mundane….nothing really got me going except for looking into Derek’s dream scene 🙂  I enjoyed some of the costumes that the celebs got to design…Karina looked HOT, Anna D. looked STUNNING, and Kelly as always, so ADORABLE 🙂  I thought Kym’s dress was all over the place, mya’s dress didn’t have enough sparkle to it, and Joanna’s had to much fabric….did I really just say that!  I thought her nude fabric was to much and wasn’t needed to the extent that it was used.  Now to the good, the bad, and the incredibly hot!

I chose Aaron this week for the good routine because he’s really starting to control himself and when it does he’s just amazing to watch! I could without all the ‘bad ass’ stuff at the end and the tongue sticking out at times but it’s the performance factor for him!

It is getting harder every week to put someone in this position but I’m going to have to go with Mark this week. I’m putting Mark here because I felt like his dance was ALL OVER THE PLACE! You could tell that he so badly wanted to do good for Lacey and to keep up his scores from the week before. However, with everything that happened…it just wasn’t his week 🙁

JOANNA!!!!!!! Is it any surprise 🙂 This dance was so amazing and she did it beautifully! I can’t wait until she get’s the first 30 of the season…if she gets all the stumbles worked out!

I Written By

DWTS9 Week 7 Power Rankings

At long last…a week where I actually get excited about a routine (or maybe even two! 🙂 ) After the doldrums of the past few weeks, I was beginning to think I had come down with H1N1 and was just grumpy about the whole show…but I have to say, I was actually blown outta the water by one couple in particular this week…and it may not be who you think it is 🙂

As much as I’ve hated some of the new “twists” of the past few seasons (the “dance off”, the addition of a bunch of new dances every season, the relay dances, etc.), I actually do really enjoy the team dances – although I am getting a bit tired of the team paso (but thank goodness they didn’t try to revive the team mambo…I don’t want to re-live the ones from the past two seasons, yikes!).  While team tango was clearly superior to team paso (Joanna & Derek in particular stood out for me), both this season’s routines didn’t seem as hard-hitting and memorable of those in past seasons…and team paso in particular just seemed to be going through the motions.  Blah. But onto the rankings! Gotta say, it’s getting more and more fun to write them as the season wears on and the power players shuffle around 😉

1.) Joanna & Derek – Now I realize that I may have been accused in the past of being overly “partial” to Derek.  However, I think Heidi can vouch for the fact that I haven’t always been a fan of these tw0 (I’m still scratching my head over the whole Tarzan entrance, haha) and have had almost the same amount of criticism for them as I’ve had praise for them.  But I feel as though I have to point out that these two manage to remain memorable week after week, even if their dancing wasn’t necessarily the highest-scored.  Their rumba was steamy, and I expected it to be, given Derek’s track record; and Derek made a wise move in playing up his goofy side during the little “fantasy” lead-in – it’s endearing to viewers and I think they’ll definitely remember it when voting.  Joanna continues to impress me with her technique, but I did see a few wonky arms and also the little stutter from getting her heel caught in her dress.  And I will again reference the special powers of the Money Spot (TM). These two were the stand-out couple for me in the team tango (those high-speed pivots towards the end of their solo portion were fantastic!) and are at the top of the leaderboard points-wise.  No danger here…

2.) Aaron & Karina – Oh, what a difference a week makes! These two were my favorite couple of the night…that jive was FLAWLESS (I dunno what Carrie Ann was smoking, giving them a 9!).  I would even go so far as to say it was one of the best-executed jives I’ve ever seen on the show…Aaron’s flicks were razor sharp & perfectly synched to Karina’s, and perhaps most importantly of all, HE DIDN’T TIRE.  The energy level stayed up from beginning to end, which is more than I can say about a lot of the jives we’ve seen. I think Aaron is beginning to give Mya a run for her money for the title of Best Technician on the show – and he also seems to tackle the hardest choreography of any of the celebs.  And I have to say, he does seem to be reigning in his over-the-top behavior quite a bit – he’s beginning to become a lot more likeable to me again.  While I was underwhelmed by the team paso, Aaron & Karina were most memorable to me, and seemed to best embody the sharp, aggressive feel of the dance.  I daresay Aaron might have redeemed himself tonight with that jive – and he did manage to avoid the danger zone last week, so I don’t see him suddenly dropping into it this week.  Kudos to him for the vast improvement!

3.) Donny & Kym – Ok, their quickstep this week was a bit of an improvement from last week’s jitterbug, and it did seem like Kym upped the ante with some more difficult choreography – but I still can’t seem to shake the feeling that Donny just looks EXHAUSTED.  And I would be too, if his schedule is as crazy as everyone says it is! But the trick is to hide it well, and I’m not sure he is – he seemed to drop his posture quite a bit, and did lose the rhythm at a few points (although I did agree with Bruno that he seemed to hide it well – whenever he flubbed, I did find myself questioning what I saw, like “Did he just mess up, or am I just seeing things?”).  I also go back to my “Donny likes characters” theory, and thought he may have struggled this week without a real theme or character to play in the dance – he was just left with the steps and his stage presence.  His solo bit in the team tango felt a bit recycled to me (from his Argentine a few weeks back), but then again, Kelly’s did too, and at least he danced it well.  But he has the fanbase, so he will be fine…but I’m sorry, Kym’s dress???! Ghastly.  Please Donny, stick to singing and dancing – because ladies’ fashion is not your calling. 😀

4.) Mya & Dmitry – I really feel like a broken record saying this week after week, but here it is again for good measure: brilliant technique, zero heat.  I almost feel like both of them are more focused on playing to the audience than they are each other – Dmitry in particular.  Cloris, you are such a wise old (crazy) soul, pointing out this obvious lack of heat! This was some great choreography, with such a fluid execution, and it would have been light years better if I didn’t feel like they were still so disconnected after dancing together for all these weeks – the silhouetted kiss at the end just felt contrived.  But I will say that I loved the costuming – probably the best of the night: they both looked like they foxtrotted right out of a ballroom in pre-Castro Cuba.  For anyone that saw Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights – Mya’s dress tonight felt like a throwback to her cameo in it as Lola Martinez (check it out – it’s the big mambo competition scene towards the end).  While I was once again underwhelmed by their frigid chemistry, they did dance their foxtrot well, and they were scored decently well for it.  No comment on the team paso; honestly, most of it was a non-event for me…

5.) Kelly & Louis – This week could easily be titled “How Kelly Got Her Groove Back” – her salsa this week was the most relaxed and free I’ve seen her since week 1.  It was almost as if she had to have a complete meltdown (see lead-in) before she could shake her jitters and just have fun out on the floor…and fun she did have! She shimmied, she smiled…she conquered.  And I gotta give her props for putting Louis in the famous fringe pants that we’ve only seen the girls wear up until this point – the man looked like Cookie Monster out there, and I loved every minute of it! I guess it’s just a testament to she & Louis’ great chemistry that they can get in a “fight” and still look like they love each other to bits while they’re yelling at one another.  Kelly shined in the group tango – so her choregraphy wasn’t really complicated and felt a bit redundant, but she didn’t flub (a lot) and she actually had some really dramatic head snaps.  She definitely reclaimed the America’s Sweetheart title tonight, but let’s be honest: her dancing is nowhere near that of Mya, Donny, or Joanna, and we’re getting down to the wire now – she may live through this week based on her winning personality, but I’m afraid the clock is ticking…

6.) Michael & Anna D. – I’m finally beginning to understand why this guy has managed to stretch far beyond what should have been his lifespan on the show – he has a heart of gold.  Seriously – I cannot hate the guy, no matter how much he may butcher a bolero or flub his way through a cha-cha.  The pep talk during team paso rehearsal? The sweet explanation of he & Anna’s purple costumes? Heck, the guy was even big-hearted enough to hug it out with Aaron during his post-rumba meltdown!  The man is like a walking Hallmark card.  And add to that the fact that he actually is improving – he could surprise us all and be this season’s Ty Murray and live through another week! Like last week’s waltz (which I bit sheepishly admit that I haven’t had the heart to delete off my DVR 🙂 ), his foxtrot wasn’t necessarily the hardest choreography, but he moved through it gracefully, without any missteps and without getting off-time – the man is light years better at the smooth dances than the Latin ones. And he’s charming when he dances.  But we have to take into account that he was in the danger zone last week, and I don’t know that his fanbase will be able to contend with that of Donny’s or even Mya’s…and then there’s the curse of the dreaded Crap Spot (TM). The play clock may have run down for our lovable wide receiver…

7.) Mark & Anna T. – Poor Mark just couldn’t seem to catch a break this week – his regular partner gets sick, he gets a short tutorial from Tony in New York before jetting back to the west coast, and then is thrown headlong into rehearsals with Anna (<3 her!) with only 2 days to learn both his own samba and the group paso.  The deck was stacked against him from the get-go, I’m afraid.  But I am going to disagree with Bruno & Carrie Ann – I actually got a kick out of his samba.  His samba rolls were actually pretty darn good, and he did have great energy throughout the whole thing.  He wasn’t THAT bad.  But I don’t even remember him in the group paso, and I think America may forget about him amidst very striking routines and high scores from Joanna & Derek and Aaron & Karina, and the fanbases of Donny, Mya, and even Michael.  Sorry Lacey…I don’t think you’ll be able to make that triumphant return next week like you were hoping to 🙁

Alright, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty ADD, so I can’t remember if they said tomorrow was another double elimnation or not – so if it is, I’m gonna say it’s Mark & Anna T. and Michael & Anna D. headed home; if it’s only a single, it’s gonna be Mark. What do you guys think?

November 2, 2009 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, 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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog