Saturday, August 5, 2017

Gearing up for 'DWTS' season 25

The 25th season of "Dancing with the Stars" will begin next month on ABC. Let that sink in for a sec: twenty-five seasons. During that spate of time, fans have had a front row seat to plenty of hijinks from Tom Bergeron and a veritable parade of talented (and sometimes testy) pro hoofers and celebrity Mirrorball Trophy hopefuls. We've seen should-be winners lose, watched as romances bloomed and faded, cried over tales of loss and sorrow, and cheered over unexpected --and sometimes even miraculous-- comebacks.

I'm definitely a critic of the show; I don't like seeing ringers cast, and I definitely don't like it when production tries to manipulate the vote by shedding negative --or unduly positive-- light on a single competitor. But I'm still a fan. I love a good story of redemption, so season 25, I'm ready for you, no matter who shows up to strut their stuff for my votes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

'DWTS' season 18 week 1: Who's Dancing What?

"Dancing with the Stars" season 18 begins March 17 on ABC with an all new, dangerously ringer-licious cast of celebrity characters.

The newly formed pairs have about two weeks to perfect their debut dances, with each hitting the ballroom with either a foxtrot, a cha cha cha, or a contemporary routine. Here's a look at who's dancing what to open the season.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess - Contemporary

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd - Foxtrot

Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater - Cha Cha

Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas

NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani

Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov

Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy

Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff

Cody Simpson and Witney Carson

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DWTS Season 17 Cast Twitter Mentions

This morning's episode of 'Good Morning America' ushered in the 'Dancing with the Stars' season 17 cast reveal.

Twitter mentions can help gauge a given celeb's popularity with likely voters, so here's how the 12 new cast members stacked up in that department as of the end of the day:

Snooki 9,223
Elizabeth 1,302
Valerie 3,520
Christina 1,397
Amber 3,820
Leah 1,648
Keyshawn 984
Bill N. 120,168
Bill E. 906
Brant 998
Jack 1,209
Corbin 4,740

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance July 18 -- From 20 to 16

Woo, a second week of top 20 action! Sweet! (It'd be way more fun had I not spoiled myself earlier, but eh... we'll deal.)

Okay. The opening NappyTabs routine was... well, it was. I didn't love it. I didn't love how they made the weakest dancer of the bunch (ahem, Cyrus) the central figure. He got scads of attention during Vegas week, after all. And personally I'm still trying to figure out how in peaches he made the top 20. Don't get me wrong, he's an incredible animator. But that's about it. Last week was... lackluster. (Poor, poor Eliana.) But anyway, I digress. No one really cares about those opening numbers anyway.

So Adam Shankman is the guest judge this week. He told Cat Deeley she looked like a big ol' tomato in her red dress. Meh heh. Amusing. Chicanery, but amusing.

Onto the show.

Lindsay and Cole opened the show with hip hop. I. Love. Cole. I loved him during his initial audition and was bummed that he didn't get much air time in Vegas. But he rocks. He may've gone a little too far with the whole nerd character, but he played it well. He's a darn good dancer. He rocked the Paso last week and rocked the Christopher Scott hip hop tonight. We'll see how he fares with contemporary. Or jazz. Those softer styles may be harder for him. Lindsay wasn't as bad as the judges made her sound. She's a good girl, I can tell. I respect her for being 'cute' rather than 'slutty'. If America doesn't like her for being who she is, then screw America. And for sure screw the judges. Pttthp!

Amelia and Will were up next with a Sonya Tayeh number. So yeah, they rocked it. Of course they did. Contemporary dancers doing contemporary and all. There's something about Amelia that just grates on me. I don't know what it is. She just annoys me. Not that she's not good. Just between the two of them, I find Will's personality the more palatable one. By a lot. He's just so cute and... fluffy.

Amber and Nick. How friggin' lucky was Nick? Two weeks, two ballroom dances. Too bad they have zippo, zero chemistry. Not terribly impressed by Amber putting that lack of chemistry right out there like she did; bubble gum and oil, really? You're not even going to pretend you like your partner? Please, child. I now like Amelia more than Amber. Bam.

Audrey and Matt. I didn't like them at first, but loved them last week. They rocked my socks again. SO good. Audrey's legs and flexibility are insane. She's like a pretzel. And Matt, well, I spend most of my time marveling over Audrey's moves, but Matt is pretty darn solid. Woot!

Janelle and Dareian. Oh dear. I think it was a cute number. Very cute, really. But cute isn't something that gets lots of judges' happy-dancing. It wasn't terribly memorable. I have trouble remembering who they are. That's not a great combo. Blah.

Janaya and Brandon. Janaya really, really had her game face on. She was cute and perky and totally in character during their Broadway number. Sean Cheesman redeemed himself from last week's atrocity with this one. And Brandon played his role well, too. Bravo to them both. BIG improvement. Big, big, big. Like Snuffalufagus-sized.

Eliana and Cyrus. Love Eliana. Love her. She's been out of her element twice now and she's rocked out both times. That's versatility. Cyrus... well, not so much. I like him in his element. But I think my 4-year old could probably do about as well with some of the other styles. I think America will keep voting for him (and will hopefully see Eliana's talent and vote for her too) but we'll see how long the love affair lasts. Absotively VFTW fodder.

Alexa and Daniel. I like them as dancers. Really. But this was another awkward performance. I may've totally imagined it, but it looked like they actually fumbled a little in the bathtub. (Which was, by and by, a pretty cool prop. Nice one, Dee Caspary.) Fumbled! It has to look easy, effortless, flowing. This was a little clunky.

Tiffany and George. They're so adorable that it's almost disgusting. I love them together. Love 'em. They were a-may-zing, given that they'd never ever done ballroom before. Great expression, great lifts, very light.

Witney and Chehon. Hmm. The judges fawned all over this one. I've never done Bollywood myself so I don't feel particularly qualified to say much, but it didn't do much for me. It was fine. It was fast. But it was also... lacking somehow. I can't put my finger on it. But despite the drool from Nigel and the gang, it left me wanting something more.

So yeah, then the unpleasantness of eliminations. It never ceases to surprise me how toolish voters can be. We very often seem to take what the judges say as gospel truth and vote accordingly. So it wasn't surprising at all (AT ALL) when Janaya and Alexa wound up in the bottom three. Witney was a bit more of a surprise, but they saved her so it's sort of a moot point. On the guys' side, I wasn't surprised to see any of them --Daniel, who partnered Alexa through that Sean Cheesman disaster last week, Nick or Chehon-- as the bottom three. I was a bit more surprised to see Chehon get the save, though. He's a gorgeous ballet dancer and his Bollywood tonight was good, but last week... iish. I would've liked to see if Nick could do anything but ballroom. And Daniel... well, I liked Daniel okay. Better than Glitch. But there's a love affair between America and the Animator so it was no shock that he avoided facing Nigel and co. tonight.

So that's about it. I'm totally out of gas and ready to catch some serious Zs.

So You Think You Can Dance, baby. You *think* so, anyway. Meh.

Okay, so I have a confession to make: I write about SYTYCD for a few different outlets. I try to be as professional as possible when I review and recap the program, so I keep the snark to myself and write strictly about what I see technically and what the judges say. But I ain't-a-gonna do that here. Nope. Here, I'm gonna take off the sequined gloves and get down 'n dirty with my critiques. WWF-style, baby. Okay, so maybe that's a wee bit of a stretch. But I won't keep my true opinions to myself. Nope, they'll all be laid out here in keyboarded glory. So... get ready for some fun! Because the 'oh, that was awful' train is on the track and ready to steamroll some competitors! Maybe.

Monday, April 16, 2012

DWTS Week 5 -- The Scores

Latin Week's in the books. Here's a quick look at how the couples scored juxtaposed with my predicted scores.

1st - Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (Samba)
Projected: 23
Actual: 24
2nd - Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Salsa)
Projected: 21
Actual: 21
3rd - Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (Salsa)
Projected: 25
Actual: 27
4th - Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (Argentine Tango)
Projected: 27
Actual: 29
5th - Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff (Samba)
Projected: 20
Actual: 19
6th - William Levy and Cheryl Burke (Argentine Tango)
Projected: 24
Actual: 29
7th - Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus (Samba)
Projected: 19
Actual: 22
8th - Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower (Salsa)
Projected: 24
Actual: 26
9th - Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd (Argentine Tango)
Projected: 25
Actual: 27

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trouble for William and Cheryl?

Uh oh, looks like another injury. William Levy tweeted --first in Spanish and then in English for anyone without translator capability-- that he'd hurt his ankle pretty badly during rehearsals. He's going for an MRI tomorrow. Wishing him and Cheryl the best!

Trouble for William in store?