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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 Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning to Get Your Celeb on DWTS

Almost overnight, there has been a sudden surge in net “campaigns” to get certain celebs cast on season 11 of DWTS.  Fans of everyone from Johnny Weir to Martha Byrne to Antonio Sabato Jr. have taken to Facebook, Twitter, and various message boards & fan sites (including this one) in hopes of gaining support for their cause and catching the eye of the DWTS casting directors. 

Now while I definitely admire the enthusiasm & determination of some of the individuals behind these campaigns, I have to admit – some of them aren’t necessarily going about it the right way.  Now while I don’t consider myself an expert by any means on how to get your favorite celeb cast on a reality show (DWTS or otherwise), I do think there’s a certain strategy to it…a strategy I will outline below, which I call “The Do’s & Don’ts of Campaigning for DWTS”.

 But first and foremost, I feel as though I must share this:


 Why? One, it has yet to work thus far; two, with DWTS getting its highest ratings yet this past season, the casting directors can afford to be picky and choosy about who they invite to do the show…meaning that lesser-known celebs (who had a better chance of being on one of the earlier seasons – and are more likely to be the ones having to campaign to get on this season) are less likely to be on the producers’ radar as part of a casting “wish list”.  Why would the “powers that be” go after little-known or washed-up actors, singers, athletes, and models when they can command big names like Donny Osmond, Susan Lucci, and Cloris Leachman? It’s also a matter of supply & demand: the less “available” a star appears to be due to a booming career, the more viewers will tune in to watch them, and the more “in demand” they will be.  In contrast, a star who hasn’t really done anything or seems to have been forgotten after years of inactivity will not pull as many viewers, and desperate campaigning will only reinforce their “availability”…making them less in demand.

That said, if I truly believed that campaigning worked for this show (and who knows, this season it actually might!), here’s some do’s and don’ts I would follow. 

 DO: Make sure your celeb actually wants to do the show.  Kind of a no-brainer – why toil away to try and get a celeb on the show, only to have them turn it down if they’re offered the chance? This is what unfortunately happened with the campaign to get Betty White on the show – a really strong, well-organized campaign was created, but it only lasted a few weeks before Betty publicly said that she wasn’t interested in doing the show.  This is one area where I give the folks campaigning for Johnny & Antonio props – those celebs are behind them 110%.

 DO: Do your homework about your celeb.  Find out everything you can about their career, personal life, hobbies, etc.  You never know what info could help you with your promotion of them.  You also want to know any of the less “savory” details of your celeb’s past (i.e. criminal records, known drug use, sex tapes – generally anything that would be considered “bad publicity”) so that you can come up with a strategy for downplaying them should these indiscretions be brought up as grounds for not having them on the show.

 DON’T: Get caught not knowing crucial details about your celeb. You need to be able to convince people that they’re worthy of being on the show.  If you can’t be bothered to actually care enough to know the details of their life & career, why should anyone else?

 DO: Come up with specific examples of why your celeb should be on the show.  What are they known for? Have they won any awards for it?  The latter is especially important – the show announces every celeb with a “tagline” (i.e. “Emmy award-winning soap actress Susan Lucci!” “Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek!” “Oscar winner Cloris Leachman!” “NFL Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin!”), and the ones that make the biggest impression are the ones that have been recognized for their achievement in their particular area of expertise.  The producers LOVE a good, important-sounding tagline – it reinforces a particular celeb’s notability.  Not an award-winner? Mention anything notable they’ve been involved with.  Did they pose in Playboy? Are they a billionaire entrepreneur? Have they held some sort of prestigious public office? Mention that.  The producers of the show are concerned with ratings; you need to tell them how this particular celeb will bring in viewers – and awards and achievements are all concrete examples of this.

 DON’T: Be vague or weak in your arguments for why your celeb is notable. “So-and-so is a really good actor/singer/athlete/etc.” is wishy-washy and a matter of opinion.  So is “so-and-so is a really good person/has a great personality”.  Unless you can support any of these with awards won or evidence of charity work or cite specific examples of their “great personality” from interviews, none are valid arguments and are purely subjective. This is just like a high school research paper – you need to back up your statements with facts and examples, or else you really have no argument at all.   

 DO: Favorably mention previous celebs who have done the show that are similar to your celeb.  By comparing your celeb to one who has done the show in the past, you can demonstrate that there is a niche to be filled by your celeb on the show.  Are they a soap actor? Mention the popularity of contestants like Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, and Kelly Monaco.  Show people that your celeb would fit in on the show.

DON’T: Diss ANYONE involved with the show. It’s quite possibly the WORST thing you can do to garner support for your celeb. You’re sucking up to the producers – if you’re dissing any of the pros, hosts, judges, or previous contestants, it’s like telling them they’ve screwed up in creating the show…and now they’re ignoring whatever else you were going to say, even if it was insightful, because you’ve inadvertently insulted them.  Oh, and some of the viewers that may have otherwise joined your cause – they’re gone now too, because you have put down their favorite pro/judge/host/former contestant/etc.  And really, if your strongest arguments center around trash talking anyone from the show…then you really have no case to plead.  Focus on positively talking up your own celeb instead.

DO: Get creative.  Ok, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages are pretty much par for the course these days – but there are ways to set yourself apart from the masses of campaigners.  Make those pages really “pop” with good-quality videos & pix of your celeb, create some cute Twibbons or profile pix for supporters to use, or do a fun youtube video about your celeb, a la the Martha Byrne campaigners (really, the whole Martha Byrne campaign is to be lauded – IMO, they’re doing everything right).  Or, better yet, register your own domain name – get[your celeb here]  This gives you a place where you have the undivided attention of those coming to the site – and odds are, they already might be interested in your cause, if they got to the site in the first place.  It’s a lot more effective than fighting with all of the other rival campaigners duking it out on general DWTS message boards, and you reap the benefits of your site popping up for everyone searching your celeb’s name on the search engines.

 DON’T: Start rattling off conspiracy theories about the show. Again, rather than focusing on the POSITIVE aspects of your own celeb, you’ve resorted to convoluted, rambling suspicions about how the show is biased against this, or plays favorites with that, or how the show is rigged, yadda yadda yadda…you get the idea.  Now everyone is looking at you like the proverbial crazy lady with the tinfoil hat who’s warning the neighbors about the upcoming alien invasion.  You just come across as crazy & irrational, and people don’t put stock in either of those qualities.  When in doubt, Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the correct one – so complex conspiracy theories are rather pointless, anyway. Don’t get wrapped up in them 😉

 DO: Proofread your work.  This may seem silly to some of you, but be honest: are you going pay more attention to a well-written, logical, coherent piece of campaign writing, or the one littered with grammar & spelling mistakes, obscenities, and punctuation overkill? The former makes you sound intelligent and considerate enough to make your work as easy as possible for viewers to read; the latter makes you sound immature and lazy, and will quickly make anyone attempting to read it lose interest in your message.  It’s a quick fix, mmmkay?

DON’T: Spam everyone involved with the show via Twitter, Facebook, fan sites, message boards, etc. This just serves to annoy them and will likely result in you getting blocked.  Johnny Weir fans, take heed: the pros, hosts, and judges have no input in what celebs get cast each season, so there’s really no point in relentlessly spamming Chelsie, Mark, Derek, Maks, Tony, Julianne, Tom, Carrie-Ann, Randall the costume designer, Joe Schmoe in craft services, Jimmy the cameraman, Kathy in ABC’s publicity department, etc. on Twitter, begging them to put Johnny on season 11.  If anything, this may actually deter the producers from casting a particular celeb due to a perceived unfair advantage.  And really, just don’t spam PERIOD – it annoys everyone.  A few well-worded tweets or wall posts are far more effective than a thousand repetitive ones. 

 DO: Work smarter, not harder. Now I really have to give Heidi credit for coming up with this one while she was proofreading this post for me (see kids? Even I proofread my work! 😀 ).  Rather than the pointless & misguided spamming of everyone and their brother mentioned above, focus your efforts on those that actually share your interest to begin with – fans of that celeb.  See who’s mentioning [insert celeb here] in their tweets – follow them.  If they see you’re into [insert celeb here] as well, they will likely follow back…and then they’ll see all the stuff you’re tweeting about the campaign in their feed.  Better yet, see who’s following [insert celeb here], and follow them too – they’re going to be the ones who are most likely to help support the cause.  You can even set up your tweet deck (or whatever Twitter program you use) to search for any mention of that celeb’s name out in the Twitterverse, which can also lead you to potential supporters.  Really kids, it’s not all about quantity of tweets in this case…it’s about the quality.

So there you have it – the Courtney strategy for getting your celeb on DWTS.  Will it work? Probably not, but it may at least stop some of the campaigning madness that we’ve witnessed here 😉 

July 27, 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

Dancing with the Stars Curse

We’ve written a number of times in the past about Dancing with the Stars having so many injuries. Some people speculated it was some sort of curse on Dancing with the Stars or something crazy. That’s really crazy talk to me. Dancing is very physical and so injuries are just a part of the environment. Especially when we’re talking about people who don’t dance, dancing this much.

Maybe the curse isn’t injuries, but is instead legal problems after being on the show. This past week it was reported that both Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp were having legal troubles. A woman is claiming that Michael Irvin raped her 2 years ago in a Florida hotel room. Her suit against him is amazingly timed during the circus that is the Super Bowl. Michael has countersued the woman saying that he lost his job as an announcer with ESPN radio because of the false accusations. Here’s some details from Michael’s side:

In his complaint, Irvin claims Mustafa “signed not one (1) but two (2) waivers of prosecution,” on July 21, 2007, “the day after opening a file with the Police Department.”
He claims, “The Seminole Police Department found Mustafa’s claims un-credible and stopped actively investigating the file over two (2) years ago.”
Irvin claims Mustafa “decided to take another shot” at him “(a)fter seeing Irvin’s success on Dancing with the Stars and his new show Fourth and Long.”
The complaint states, “It is typical for fame-seekers to attack celebrities of Irvin’s stature to try and make a quick buck. …

Warren Sapp was charged with domestic battery in South Florida and was not part of the NFL network’s Super Bowl coverage as an analyst because of the charge. Here’s the allegations against Sapp:

The victim had a swollen knee and bruises on her neck, according to an arrest affidavit. She told detectives that she was partying with Sapp and her friends at the hotel and asked for his room key when she grew tired. Sapp reportedly woke up the victim a few hours later and they started to argue. She told investigators that Sapp started to choke her and pushed her down on a couch.

As the argument escalated, Sapp grabbed the woman by her shirt and neck and threw her down again, the affidavit states.

Sapp told investigators that he let the woman stay in his room but asked her to leave a few hours later. He told police that the woman fell on her leg when he tried to help her get off a couch.

It’s hard to make a judgement against either person since we don’t know all the facts. No doubt Michael Irvin is known as a ladies man. I’ve heard him talk a few times about parties back in his Cowboys days and the number of women they’d have there. However, that doesn’t mean he raped this girl. It’s also not hard to see a 300 lb Sapp with a little alcohol doing something and not even realizing it. It’s too bad for both individuals since they were such high class celebrities on DWTS. I’m sure this will all work itself out in the courts.

This isn’t the first time a past DWTS celebrity has had trouble with the law. You might remember that Helio Castroneves was charged with tax evasion He was later acquitted on 6 counts of tax evasion, but was hung on one count of conspiracy.

February 10, 2010 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

DWTS Season 9, Week 7 – More Media

Reality Chat with Sabrina Bryan.

Entertainment Tonight from Tuesday

This is actually from Week 6 – Louie and Melissa

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. :-)

Michael Irvin Sent Home on DWTS

All I have to say is, “IT’S ABOUT TIME!”

I know he had a lot of fans but I’ve never been into the NFL dancers and him especially since stayed instead of Louie last week.  However, I will not be bitter and will do him justice and show him some love via his best dance and best costumes!

Foxtrot: This was by far his best dance and most improved dance! And…Anna finally put in some pretty decent choreography that was on par with the other celebs still in the race 🙂

My favorite costume on Michael!!!!!!  I loved him in pink, surprisingly…I don’t usually like guys in pink!  And how could you not love Anna’s dress along side him 🙂

I Written By

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. :-)

DWTS Season 9, Week 6 Results Show

Dang, I’m putting my favorite thing first. Our pros dancing to Taylor Swift’s Romeo and Juliet song (yeah, I know that’s not the real name) – dang. DANG!! That was one of the more romantic dances I’ve seen on this show. I love Taylor and I’ve loved this song (ear worm for real) since I first heard it – but she was having an off night and I was wondering if she caught Derek’s swine flu. I can’t rave enough for Cheryl, Tony, Maks, Edyta, Jonathan and Anna. Particularly Jonathan and Anna – they look absolutely gorgeous together. It’s funny – put Jonathan out there by himself and he looks the total dork…but put Anna next to him and they are simply sublime. Lordy. This pro dance made me a bit teary eyed – I am such a sap. But the costumes, the choreography – gads. Perfect. LOVED IT!!!!

I just love these little segments – yes, I am easily entertained sometimes. 🙂 Call me crazy, but I am rooting for the sequined speedo. 🙂 But then, I’ve had a glass of wine and my filter is gone. Seriously, the words “Derek” and “half naked” are words I can get behind. For that matter, I wish Mark and Melissa weren’t eliminated, because I can so see Mark in high heels. 😉 And I fear for Louis – Kelly has an evil streak that I love.

Tiempo Libre – Never heard of them, but I enjoyed them!!

Taylor Swifts new song – not as good as that Romeo and Juliette song, but not bad. Who are these dancers? The girl reminds me of Janene from SYTYCD.

More tomorrow – must go to bed!!

October 27, 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. :-)

A Derek Fan Goes Behind the Scenes of Dancing with the Stars

Stephanie is a huge Derek Hough fan and went to the performance show last week. Her experience was made even more special thanks to Joanna Krupa who kindly invited her back to her trailer before the show. As everyone knows, Derek was sick last week but Steph had a great time regardless – she very kindly shares her story with us.

Steph and Keith’s DWTS Adventure

Keith and I had never been to L.A. before so we were really excited to go there. The whole reason for the trip was to see DWTS live, thanks to” DWTSClaire” who gave me her tickets that she couldn’t use and Donamadrina who also wasn’t able to go. Thanks again girls cause it was an AWESOME experience and I wish we could’ve all gone! We decided to go a few days early and make it a mini vacation for us so we got to L.A. on Friday evening. I won’t bore you with all the touristy stuff we did but I will tell you that Malibu is absolutely gorgeous and if you visit there you should definitely drive on the Pacific Coast Highway and go to the beach there! We went to a place called Paradise Cafe which I would recommend as well. 🙂

We stayed at the Elan Hotel which is a few blocks down from CBS Studios. Really nice hotel for a reasonable price but the rooms are not big. Great location though and seemed like a good area. So aside from seeing the usual Hollywood sites, we went to The Grove several times since it was so close and ate there and did some shopping. Very cool outside mall! We did see a few celebrities but not the all important one! LOL Yes, I mean Derek! 😉 But, as you all know he was extremely sick and I didn’t expect to see him out and about. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t HUGELY disappointed when I realized Derek would NOT be dancing on Monday… I ate an enormous chocolate peanut butter brownie to make me feel better LOL and reminded myself that I have seen him dance live twice before and sing/dance 3 times as well as meet him so I shouldn’t be so greedy! 🙂

On Monday our check-in time at the gate was 3:30. We were going to go to Rodeo Drive before but ended up sleeping later and then I got on Twitter (no surprise, right?) and sent Joanna a tweet telling her I would be in the audience that night and was excited to see her dance. To my surprise she tweeted me back and said I should come say Hi to her before the show! Holy Crap!! So we tweeted back and forth and got it all figured out and she put our names on the list so we could see her in her trailer. We just needed to figure out where the trailers were! LOL Now we were even more excited about the show! Now, you aren’t supposed to bring a cell phone or camera to the show but I was like, I’m not going to go visit Joanna and NOT bring a camera so I talked with another fan who had been there before and she said they just put your stuff aside and you pick it up later. So off we went to Gate C6. Didn’t know where we would be sitting and they didn’t tell you either. So once we got in the gate you went to where you had to go through security. We then asked about where the trailers were because once you go through security you can’t leave the area. They told us the trailers were on the other side of the building but if we weren’t in our seats by 4:30 they would give them away. I don’t think they wanted us to go there but we were like this isn’t exactly gonna happen ever again so we are going! LOL So, we went to find the trailers and after asking a few more people finally figured out where to go.

Now I realize there has been no Derek in this story until this point but here it comes! LOL It is very brief though! We walk up to the check-in table and we are telling this girl who we are and that we are supposed to visit Joanna. As we are talking to the girl who is making sure we are supposed to be there, Derek walked up and heard us say we were looking for Joanna and said “Joanna”. Now, the last thing I expected was to see Delicious Derek standing on the other side of the table in front of me so I was quite shocked and just sort of looked at him and said “Hi”. Lame, right?! We were still trying to check in as well and she was giving us wristbands so I was thinking I would talk to him after we got checked in. Unfortunately, he had walked away by the time we got the wristbands and was talking to someone and although it wasn’t real far away it was far enough that I felt like it would be stalkerish (is that a word?) and rude to go up and interrupt him so we just went to Joanna’s trailer and I didn’t see him anymore. 🙁 Of course I’ve gone over that scenario a million times and thought of a million different ways I should’ve handled that situation, but not much I can do about it now. Bummer, but still saw him and I must say he was looking gorgeous as ever even feeling sick!! 😉

Joanna was still in make-up when we got to her trailer but they told us to go on in and wait for her. I felt bad just walking in but we did and she came shortly after. While we were waiting for her, Keith saw Michael Irvin and said Hi to him. Joanna came and was soo sweet to us! She was like sit down, you want something to drink etc. The poor thing was supposed to be eating so I felt bad! Her PA had brought her some food and she said she was starving. She was still in her robe, (they all have robes with their names on them) and she had to still go to hair. I asked her if it was really different to switch from Derek to Maks and she said that it was because of their physical difference. Maks is taller and bigger build but she said Maks was great and their rehearsal went really well and she felt confident she knew the steps but she was nervous. We chatted for a little longer and we said we had to be back at the security check by 4:25 but she said she would have her PA just take us backstage to our seats. Cool! 🙂 Then she had to go into hair so we got a couple quick pics and then she said I could leave my camera and cell phone in her trailer and just come get it after the show which was sooo nice of her to do! So her PA then took us to find our seats. As we were leaving, Donny and Kym walked past us and we said Hi. That was cool cause I loved Donny and Marie when I was little! 🙂

We went backstage to get to the set which was really cool but didn’t see anyone else. We then had to find our seats so we actually got to walk on the dance floor and found out we were sitting behind the judges about 4 rows back. Those were good seats especially for being on camera which our kids found totally AWESOME!! But, they actually weren’t so great for actually seeing the dancing because the judges table is in the way. So we had to sit and wait for a bit until showtime. Really interesting and cool to see what goes on behind the scenes and how it all comes together! Shortly after we sat down, a producer was talking to the people two rows ahead of us and telling them they would have to switch seats because the guy in the middle was too tall and needed to be on the end. They were OK with moving but the little old lady who needed to move in was totally NOT OK with it! They spent a long time trying to convince her to move and she was getting really pissy so they finally ended up taking people from another section and bringing them over and it was all fixed then. It was quite entertaining and I couldn’t really hear the lady’s argument but she wasn’t about to be moved for anything! LOL It was very interesting to see how they have to make sure that everything will look good on camera and be prepared to totally switch things around if they don’t.

The actual set is a lot smaller than it seems on TV. There is a guy who talks to the audience before the show and during commercials and tells us when to clap throughout the show. He stood in the audience and would give us a cue to keep clapping and you don’t stop until he stops. During commercial breaks he talks to some of the people in the audience and it happened to be the 16th B-day of one girl and DWTS tickets was her present so he was also giving away DWTS t-shirts and gave her one and decided to have the judges sign the shirt for her. He gave them a gold marker pen to use and before Bruno signed it, he shook the pen and gold sprayed all over him! There wasn’t much time until we came back from commercial so they were scrambling to get the gold off of him as much as they could! Make-up and hair people came out and cleaned him up as best they could and then Carrie Anne went over while Tom was talking and finished getting some off of his face! Very funny! Bruno is sooo spastic! In person he is just like he is on TV and I don’t think it’s an act! They also did a couple of pre-taped segments while we were there too. One shot was for the beginning of The Hustle and another was for Maks and Joanna to walk across the dance floor. The Maks and Joanna piece they used for Tues. night’s show. We also had to move out of our seats a couple times during commercial break so they could hang some lights for Donny and Kym’s dance. They didn’t want to risk the lights falling and hitting anyone.

When the actual show started it was very surreal to see all the people you watch on TV be right there in front of you! It’s really loud and you have to clap all the time so you miss what Tom is saying a lot of the time but just being there and feeling all the excitement is totally AWESOME! It really is hard to describe! It was very cool to see them dancing up close and you can definitely see the connection (if there is one) between the dancers more than on TV. I was so nervous for Joanna and I couldn’t see her stumble just could tell she had so I felt sooo awful for her because it was such a GREAT dance!! When I watched it later on TV, it wasn’t that bad at all but again where I was sitting I couldn’t see. Then it was time for the group dance. That was so much fun and great to see live! After that it was time to leave. We did have to wait for them to bring in the set pieces for Tues. show which I realized later were for the MJ Tribute. I still needed to get my camera and phone from Joanna’s trailer though so we made our way back there. When we got to her trailer her family was there outside and we chatted with them briefly but Joanna was going to be doing press for about an hour and I didn’t want to intrude on her anymore especially since she had the stumble cause I knew she was probably upset about it so we got my stuff and left. I hope that all made sense! LOL I must say if you have a chance to go to a live show definitely do it because it is such an AWESOME opportunity!! Now, of course I wish Derek had danced because it was NOT the same without him but it was still a really great experience and meeting Joanna was definitely cool! I want to say thanks to Jo again for being so sweet and taking time to meet with us when she had such a stressful week and going out of her way for us! You ROCK Joanna!! 🙂

I guess that about wraps it up! Hopefully it made sense! LOL We had a great time and I would definitely go again in a heart beat!! ABC needs to have a better way of giving tickets to people, especially those that don’t live in CA! We were still in town on Tues. and I would’ve LOVED to have been there for the MJ Tribute but didn’t know how to get tickets so we just watched it on TV.

Now, everyone needs to VOTE like CRAZY for TEAM DJ today!!!! Joanna deserves to be there and in the finals!! She is such a hard worker and a really good dancer and I don’t think people realize what it took for her to be able to pull that Tango off w/Maks in only a day and a half!! GO TEAM DJ!!!

Stephanie (Curls)

October 25, 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. :-)

Miscellaneous Media – DWTS Season 8 AND 9

I threw that Season 8 in there because I found Gilles on E! News in a “European” swimsuit. Ahem. Yep, never voted for Gilles when he was on the show, but he is one hot hunk of man and he seems like a real sweetheart. 🙂

Donny and Kym on ET – Donny finds out that MJ’s kids are rooting for him. (Um, so what? They’re just KIDS! Geez. They’re kids I feel sorry for because of all the hype.)

Reality Chat Part 1 – DWTS Week 5 – Melissa Joan Hart talks to Sabrina and Rosie

Reality Chat Part 2 – DWTS Week 5 – Chuck Liddell

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. :-)