DWTS Season 12 – Backstage at Dancing with the Stars

Blogher went backstage last week during the Results Show. They interview Chelsea on her journey so far. But, in the process, they find out what makes the show tick in other ways. I highlighted the parts that caught my attention. You might find some of this interesting too….especially on their “music choices” every week. I remember Mark saying in one of their first dances how we shouldn’t fault them for their edginess and far out, untraditional choreography with the music they had. Well, according to this interviewer, he chose or had a say in the music and yet, blamed the producers. *sigh* Anyway, read below and the link for much more on the show and the couples.

Having now spent just that little time backstage and in the audience, I can tell you this: These stars are not kidding when they talk about how bad they want to win. Whatever motivations drive them to start the process, once they start spending 5, 6, and ultimately ten hours a day “training,” they have the eye of the tiger, all right.

We were supposed to interview Chelsea at 3PM, but it was not a typical dress rehearsal, apparently, and they were running far behind. Chelsea wouldn’t be done until 3:30, had a costume consult and hair/make-up at 4, and we really needed to be in our seats by 5:30 for a 6PM start.

Meanwhile, the delay meant we’d be watching the filming of the taped segments from backstage, instead of from our seats. In the end I confess I was glad, because when you attend such a show you end up getting a lot of coaching on clapping and cheering and smiling and clapping and reacting and clapping. I was only doing that for the actual one hour of the show, and my arms (and cheeks) were tired from the clapping and the smiling. Can’t imagine how the folks who were doing that for three hours felt!

I’ve always wondered how much control they had over their own routines, particularly the music, and apparently they do get to pick their music. Not all of it clears, so sometimes songs end up being chosen for them, but their Paso Doble song last week, by Deadmouse, was their choice.

I am very glad to know this, because I am going to stop feeling sorry for some of them when they end up with really sucky music. Apparently, they only have themselves to blame.

I asked Chelsea if she was gonna take the whole competition, and walk away with that famed mirror ball trophy, and she said “I would like to. I really would like to.”

And that’s what I love about the show: Those stars get really competitive and intense about it, and I totally believe they want to win, and that it really matters to most of them to make it through to another week. To see people you are used to thinking of as famous and perhaps a bit impervious to life’s disappointments get that invested makes all the difference.

It’s also nice to see the camaraderie that forms between the dancers, the stars and everyone else, and according to Chelsea, they don’t need to fake that. There’s a fun, playful atmosphere, and this cast is spending time together even when they don’t have to. Going out to dinner, going dancing, hanging out even though they’re “not contractually obligated” to do so.

When we finally made it into our seats (front row, thanks Chelsea!!) for the show, you could see the how each couple responded to each other and the crowd. Kirstie works the crowd from the moment she walks in…waving, winking, making faces. Kendra really did seem so scared stiff and out of her element. Chelsie and Romeo looked extremely nervous…I think Chelsie thought they were going to go. They’re all very easy and affectionate with one another, and during breaks looking out into the crowd for familiar faces. All of which were smiling and clapping and cheering…until our hands, arms and cheeks hurt!