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DWTS cast announced

Two Olympic gold medalists, an American Idol, a Disney Channel Star, a reality TV star and a football player. All that’s missing is the Playboy factor in this field of 11. American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler was one of the first “Dancing with the Stars” cast members leaked by the press, but the full announcement of the 11 new contestants and their professional dance partners was made this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The cast of stars are: NFL player Jacoby Jones, country music singer Wynonna Judd, stand-up comedian D.L. Hughley, Real Beverly Hills Housewife Lisa Vanderpump, comedian and rehab celeb Andy Dick, pro boxer Victor Ortiz, Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman, Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, soap opera “General Hospital” star Ingo Rademacher, country singer Kellie Pickler and Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill.  Season 16 of DWTS begins on Monday, March 18 with a two-hour premiere  (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET) on ABC and will have a one-hour results show on March 26 (9 p.m. to 10:01 p.m.).

Probably the bigger surprise will be who isn’t returning among the professional dancers: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Chelsie Hightower, Louis van Amstel, Anna Trebunskaya and Peta Murgatroyd. There will still be a Chmerkovskiy–Valentin. Derek Hough is back, despite reports that season 15 (All-Stars) was his last. New professional dancers are Lindsay Arnold who was a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance” (season 9), Sharna Burgess and Gleb Savchenko.

Savchenko previously was on the DWTS Australia cast and was the Australian National Professional Latin-American Champion for 2011-2012. Burgess is also Australian and represented that country at the World Championship in both Standard and Latin when she was 15. She also performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games closing ceremony. She appeared in the UK tour of “Simply Ballroom” and in 2006 became a cast member of “Burn the Floor” which toured 30 countries and in 2009 was on Broadway where she was one of the lead female dancers.

Arnold was born in Provo, Utah and attended Timpview High School. Her specialty is Latin Ballroom.

  1. Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff
  2. Wynonna Judd & Tony Dovolani
  3. D.L. Hughley & Cheryl Burke
  4. Lisa Vanderpump & Gleb Savchenko
  5. Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess
  6. Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold
  7. Zendaya Coleman & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  8. Aly Raisman & Mark Ballas
  9. Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
  10. Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
  11. Dorothy Hamill & Tristan MacManus

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (“Dancing with the Stars” Season Seven Champion), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

“Dancing with the Stars” is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, “Strictly Come Dancing.” This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

“Dancing with the Stars” season 16 begins on Monday, March 18 with a two-hour premiere  (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET) on ABC and will have a one-hour results show on March 26 (9 p.m. to 10:01 p.m.).

DWTS 15 Week 4: DWTS breaks out the gimmicks

Usually “Dancing with the Stars” confines itself to one gimmick a week, but this is the All Stars season so why not pack one week with as many gimmicks as one can to jump the shark? That doesn’t diminish the first tens of the season that left Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson and actor Gilles Marini tied for first.

Vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

As if taking a few plays from “So You Think You Can Dance,” the week started with each team picking a dance for another team because it was Opponents’ choice week. The dances were not all new. DWTS has done Charleston, rock n’ roll, disco, bolero, mambo and jitterbug before. The Charleston and bolero were used on season 9. The mambo was performed during seasons 3 through 7. The jitterbug and hustle were seen on seasons 7 and 9. Rock n’ roll was performed season 5 and 11. Disco came back for season 3. What’s new is contemporary although that’s happened in the freestyle and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tried that with Erin Andrews (remember the bedroom dance). Hip hop has also come into a freestyle before as well as giving flavor to a few other traditional dances. Also Bollywood was performed and given to Gilles Marini who performed  it well enough to inspire many I Dream of a Male Genie dreams.

DWTS has had guest judges before, but this time they had Paula Abdul. At least we know that Paula Abdul can dance. That’s not always true for celebrity judge on other shows. What I loved was Paula Abdul playing around with Bruno Tonioli, particularly when she was giving her critique of Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough dancing or…hotter, for Gilles Marini and Petra Murgatroyd.

  1. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Mambo “Para Los Rumberos”—Santana (Hélio & Chelsie)/Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Bollywood “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)“—Pussycat Dolls feat. A. R. Rahman (Bristol & Mark)
  2. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 37.5 (9.0,9.5,9.5,9.5) Contemporary “Fix You“—Coldplay (Emmitt & Cheryl)
  3. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 37.0 (9.0,9.0,9.5,9.5) Jitterbug “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof”—Brian Setzer Orchestra (Apolo & Karina)
  4. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 36.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0,9.0) Bolero “Better in Time “—Leona Lewis (Kelly & Val)
  5. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 35.5 (9.0,9.0,8.5,9.0) Disco “You Should Be Dancing“—Bee Gees (Kirstie & Maks)
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 34.5 (8.5,9.0,8.5,8.5) Hip-Hop “Poison“—Bell Biv DeVoe (Melissa & Tony)
  7. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 32.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0,8.0) Rock n’ Roll “At the Hop”—Danny and the Juniors (last option left)
  8. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30.0 (7.5,7.5,7.5,7.5) Charleston “Forty-Second Street”—from 42nd Street (Sabrina & Louis)

This is the first time that Palin and Ballas have beaten Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy although I’m not sure that I’d put Lindy hop and jitterbug in a rock n’ roll routine or perform to that particular song “At the Hop.” Alley didn’t flick her legs sideways and her movement could have been crisper. I don’t think this was one of Maksim’s most inspired routines. I think they should have gone for something down and dirty like the original, less refined Charleston.

Although I’ve truly hated this season, I have to admit that the Bollywood routine almost makes the week worthwhile. Please Disney. Find Gilles Marini a chance to be Aladdin. Broadway, how about Marini as the next King of Siam?  Also, any time you can pair Paula Abdul with Bruno Tonioli–totally watchable TV.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Mambo “Para Los Rumberos”—Santana

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 39.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0,10.0) Bollywood “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)“—Pussycat Dolls feat. A. R. Rahman

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 37.5 (9.0,9.5,9.5,9.5) Contemporary “Fix You“—Coldplay

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 37.0 (9.0,9.0,9.5,9.5) Jitterbug “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof”—Brian Setzer Orchestra

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 36.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0,9.0) Bolero “Better in Time “—Leona Lewis

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 35.5 (9.0,9.0,8.5,9.0) Disco “You Should Be Dancing“—Bee Gees

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 34.5 (8.5,9.0,8.5,8.5) Hip-Hop “Poison“—Bell Biv DeVoe

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 32.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0,8.0) Rock n’ Roll “At the Hop”—Danny and the Juniors

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30.0 (7.5,7.5,7.5,7.5) Charleston “Forty-Second Street”—from 42nd Street

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

DWTS 15: Week 3 has Melissa Rycroft and Kelly Monaco tied for top spot

Last night (Monday, Oct. 8, 2012) on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” there was a tie for the top between  Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani and Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy. At the bottom again was Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas with 22.5. Tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 9) is a double elimination so there’s double trouble.

Palin and Ballas improved over their score from last week (18), but still were at the bottom of the leader board with 22.5 after performing the paso doble that originally was performed by Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa. That’s a controversial pairing–daughter of the family values Republican Sarah Palin and the Playboy model who has a reality TV celebrity habit and a live-in relationship still.

At least Ballas couldn’t go bonkers with this one. Still the oldest contestant, Kirstie Alley, scored better with a 24. She and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tied with Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough were in third place. Last week’s top scoring team, Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel were in a four-way tie for fourth with Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd, Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff and Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook.

  1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)
  2. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)
  3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 26.5 (9.0,8.0,9.5)
  4. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  5. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 25.5 (9.0,8.0,8.5)
  7. Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)
  8. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 25.0 (8.5,8.0,8.5)
  9. Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)
  10. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)
  11. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 22.5 (7.5,7.5,7.5)

Take iconic and be more iconic.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkAI3LSuQYI]

Cha cha cha

Trebunskaya sexed it up with the costumes and stripping Lachey’s shirt.

Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)

  • Crazy in Love“—Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z
  • Joey McIntyre & Ashly DelGrosso (Season 1)
  • Song: “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé
    Score: 20 (7,7,6)

Did you like Maksim with the long hair? Of course, we always like Maksim without the shirt. The strategy here was to improve the technique and camp it up.  This almost made iconic night worth it.

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0)

Foxtrot

Is it possible for Apolo Anton Ohno to be steamier than Gilles Marini? Marini and Burke received two tens when they performed this and here’s where being an actor really helps. Marini was suave but sexy as the devil. Ohno was sophisticated but not with the same intensity as Marini.

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 25.5 (9.0,8.0,8.5)

Paso doble

With this dance and partner, Val finally rises out of the shadow of his brother Maksim. Kelly and Val have chemistry, but Kelly doesn’t bristle with the kind of powerful physicality that Laila Ali had–few women do. With Laila Ali, you thought that she and Maksim could punch it out and Maksim would lose. With Kelly and Maksim it’s more a match of forceful personalities.

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)

Can Bristol Palin ever equal the sex appeal and technical skills of Joanna Krupa. You know the answer is no. Ballas goes kooky and they get to play white queen and black king. This is a chess metaphor and has nothing to do with race.

The judges felt it was their best dance of the season–that’s one out of three. It had the most content and attack.

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 22.5 (7.5,7.5,7.5)

Sabrina Bryan is a strong woman, even if she’s the youngest contestant. However, judge Carrie Ann Inaba thought this team brought nothing new artistically to this routine.

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

Scary Spice was definitely scarier than Sabrina Bryan. Bruno called her an “adrenaline charged dominatrix.”

With Emmitt Smith, there were some awkward moments, but he is already a commanding presence. There was a scary moment, but it all ends well.

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 25.0 (8.5,8.0,8.5)

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke had already seen this paso doble–twice. He competed against Mario Lopez and won.

Quickstep

As expected Derek Hough decided to up the acrobatics and even included an illegal lift and a lot of drama at the end.

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 26.5 (9.0,8.0,9.5)

  • “Hey Pachuco”—Royal Crown Revue
  • Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough (Season 5)
  • Score: 30

I think Johnson and Hough lacked the sophistication that Castroneves and Julianne had.  When Castroneves and Hightower performed their own quickstep it had an amazing amount of joy–even with the slight bobble when Castroneves stepped on Hightower’s dress.

Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

I can’t choose. I love both versions and both sets of costumes.

Samba

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0)

Of course, Martinez didn’t have to perform all the drops and turns that Rycroft did because he’s the guy.

Tango

Don’t you love Gilles Marini doing the tango. Menacing and erotic, Marini delivered another solid performance, but lost points for his hold and some footwork mishaps.

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 25.5 (8.5,8.5,8.5)

Week 1, it was Drew Lachey and his partner Anna Trebunskaya who were in the bottom two. Week 2, it was Hélio Castroneves and his partner Chelsie Hightower who survived the bottom two.

I’m hoping that Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas will be eliminated and most likely Drew Lachey will go as well. With Joey Fatone gone, the entertainment factor is low with this cast so I’m hoping that Kirstie Alley and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy will continue to dance.

Remember, you can vote online until 8 a.m. PST by going to the ABC DWTS official page for voting or by using Facebook.

DWTS 15: Cha cha cha

The cha cha cha was first performed during week 1. The full leader board for week 1 is:

  1. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 24.5
  2. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 24.0
  3. Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 22.5
  4. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 22.0/Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 22.0
  5. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 21.5/Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5/Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 21.5
  6. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 21
  7. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson: 20.5
  8. Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 19.5
  9. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 19
  10. Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus: 17

For the cha cha cha:

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 24.5

Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: 22.5

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 22.0

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 21.5

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: 19.5

Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus: 17

DWTS 14 finalist: Katherine Jenkins

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4: Rock Week

Week 5: Latin Week

Week 6: Motown Week

Motown Marathon: 10

Week 7: Classical Week

Team Tango

Week 8: Trio Challenge

Week 9: Semi-finals

Week 10: Finale Week

 
 
Week 10: Night 2 24-Hour Challenge

DWTS 14 Finals: Can Katherine Jenkins win?

Last night, 15 May 2012, Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins and her professional dance partner learned early on that they had survived the cut and were moving on to the finals. That’s despite posting the lowest combined score for two dances on Monday night. TV hostess Maria Menounos and her partner Derek Hough were eliminated instead, leaving two hunks in the finals: telenovela actor William Levy and NFL wide receiver Donald Driver.

Maria Menounos would have been a long shot because only one winner has been a TV hostess (Brooke Burke).

  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) + 30 (10,10,10)  = 58/60
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) +29 (10,9,10) = 57/60
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 56/60

Jenkins suffered from a back muscle spasm and that may be critical to her performance in the finals. Ballas will have to choreograph in a way that will not cause further pain or damage, but Ballas can be unpredictable. It wasn’t so long ago that Disney star Chelsea Kane had to have a heart-to-heart with Ballas about his artistic risks during season 12. Kane and Ballas finished third behind the winer Hines Ward and Kym Johnson and the runner-up Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

The belly dance-themed salsa routine on Monday night was risky, but did include salsa moves, however, it was that unsupported back bend that caused Jenkins to break out in tears, unable to complete the move. Ballas making a butterfly over Jenkins didn’t add to Jenkins’ difficulty level and at that stage in the performance was a high risk as her back was unsupported. Further, earlier Ballas and Jenkins had performed on their knees and Jenkins obviously wasn’t wearing knee pads–another risky decision.

Of course, Ballas isn’t the only professional dancer who takes risks in choreography. Burke and Levy’s rumba during week 6 (Motown Week) was deemed too steamy by head judge Len Goodman. He gave the team an 8 compared to the 9 from judge Carrie Ann Inaba and the 10 from judge Bruno Tonioli.

Derek Hough’s Bollywood-inspired samba had too little samba for Goodman and the team got marked down to a 7 compared to the nines the other judges awarded. Peta Murgatroyd was more successful with her R&B inspired samba for Donald Driver this last week. That allowed Driver to samba without being compared to the kind of hip movement we already know Levy has.

Yet Hough, Burke and Murgatroyd’s risk taking weren’t physical, but thematic.

Driver has stage presence, but he doesn’t emote or smolder as much as Levy. Driver also doesn’t have that sensuous and fluid hip action that Levy does. Both men suffer from a tendency to be flat-footed (not extending their feet and ankles) and sickle footed. Jenkins almost always has turn out, beautiful lines and extension in both her hands and feet. Driver and Levy don’t always reach full extension as consistently as Jenkins. Jenkins, however, has problems projecting anger or a commanding, dominating presence as is required for the paso doble. Both of the men are capable of that as well as the lighter mood that Jenkins is best at projecting.

Katherine Jenkins holds the high score for the cha cha cha (29), quickstep (29) and waltz (29). She’s tied with Maria Menounos and Levy for the high score in the rumba (27). Menounos has the high score for jive (29), paso doble (30), Viennese waltz (28) and Argentine tango (30). Levy has the high score for the foxtrot (30), samba (30), salsa (28) and tango (28). Driver doesn’t hold the high score for any of the dances.

The team who posts the highest score during the freestyle usually has the advantage. There’s always the possibility of complete disaster such as artistic meltdown between Anna Trebunskaya and Olympic gold medal figure skater Evan Lysacek who finished second during season 10. Can you remember Marie Osmond’s doll-themed freestyle with gentleman dancer Jonathan Roberts without cringing? That was season 5 and Marie Osmond finished third (Hélio Castroneves and Julianne Hough won).
Julianne Hough won twice–with Ohno and Castroneves in seasons 4 and 5 respectively. Her brother Derek has won three times: season 7 with TV hostess Brooke Burke, season 10 with singer Nicole Scherzinger and season 11 with actress Jennifer Grey. Ballas has won twice: during season 6 with Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and season 8 with Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson. Cheryl Burke has also won twice: with Drew Lachey during season 2 and Emmitt Smith during season 3.
Burke has finished second twice: season 3 with actor Gilles Marini and season 13 with reality star Rob Kardashian. Burke has finished third once–during season six with actor Cristián de la Fuente (who had an injured shoulder).
Ballas has finished third twice: during season 11 with political advocate Bristol Palin and season 12 with Disney star Chelsea Kane.
While both Ballas and Burke have experience planning and training a celebrity successfully into the finals, Peta Murgatroyd is only in her second season as a professional dance partner and this is her first time in the finals. Yet she has proven to make smart choices and takes fewer big risks than Burke who went too raunchy for Len Goodman. Then there’s Ballas who sometimes seems choreographing more for his own personal gain or self expression than as a strategic plan for his celebrity.
With the teams so closely matched, the votes of the viewers will really count. What do we know about the DWTS audience? Over 13 seasons, six women and seven men have won the mirror ball trophy.
Maria Menounos would have been a long shot because only one winner has been a TV hostess (Brooke Burke). Three actors have won (Monaco, Grey and Martinez) and three singers (Scherzinger, Lachey and Osmond).

Only one non-American has won (Castroneves who is Brazilian). Castroneves won over British singer Mel B. French man Gilles Marini placed second behind American Johnson. Other foreign nationals who have made the finals were: Brit Kelly Osbourne (season 9) and Chilean Cristian de la Fuentes (season 6). Both finished third. Katherine Jenkins and William Levy would be at a disadvantage here.
The largest group of winners have been sports figures: Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, Olympic old medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, racer Helio Castroneves and football players Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward. That would give Donald Driver an advantage.
Yet looking at Google Trends, the hot topic in America last night and early this morning was Katherine Jenkins with neither Donald Driver nor William Levy making the top 40 search list. This DWTS finals will be hard to call and expect incredible routines and high emotion on Monday night.

DWTS 14 Week 9: Katherine Jenkins injures back

Monday night (14 May 2012), the competition was fierce and early leader had more to worry about than just her professional partner Mark Ballas and his ego. Was his routine too ambitious? Jenkins and Ballas, the initial frontrunners, ended the night at the bottom of the leader board, the scores show how tight the competition is.

For their first dance, Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas did a flirty 1920s Chicago gangster inspired quickstep to “The Dirty Boogie” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Jenkins begins in a cage and Ballas breaks her out.

Jenkins looked fantastic in her hot pink flapper dress and long pearl necklace (which might have been more of a distraction than a pleasing accessory). The gangster with moll set up gave Ballas a chance to mug it up.

Bruno Tonioli told her she was outstanding and the routine had “all the energy and the razzle dazzle of the roaring 1920s.”

Carrie Ann Inaba did a fake out, beginning by saying “You have to bring your A game and I don’t think you did that…I think you brought your A plus game.”

Head judge Len Goodman I knew you could sing, but honestly Katherine, you can dance.” Goodman was noted that there was a footwork problem. I think it was in the first 30 seconds of the dance. Goodman has sharp eyes and Ballas admitted the slip, saying it was his fault.

For their salsa, Jenkins didn’t have the kind of heat to get a ten and had some trouble at the end with her back, so Jenkins and Ballas received straight nines for her performance to “Bananza (Belly Dancer)” by  Akon. Jenkins belly dance performance was more perky and cutesy instead of sensuous and hotly sexy.

However this belly dance-themed salsa has more salsa content than Derek Hough’s Bollywood samba had samba. Unlike anything from William Levy who comes from the land that gave us this dance, Jenkins was totally Disney G-rated.

Here is where I think Ballas can be faulted. The segment where they are on their knees and Jenkins in her costume is unable to use knee pads, would have been hard on her knees  and back. Toward the end, he meant to do a butterfly over Jenkins as Jenkins was leaning back. That kind of move tends to show more of what the man can do more than the woman and leaves the woman’s back vulnerable as it is unsupported.

Inaba said, it was like Jenkins “hung out with Beyonce over the weekend” and added,  “I love seeing you push your boundaries.” Really, Beyonce and not the real belly dancing pop star Shakira?

Len Goodman just called her “Katherine the Great, the world’s Wonder Woman.”

Bruno Tonioli claimed she “unleashed the harlot.” He added, that  “up to that point, it was absolutely wonderful.”

Actually it was more like a clean Disneyfied salsa. Jenkins later tweeted, “I’m with the Doctor, he says it was a reflectorical spasm in my lower back.” She might mean a reflectoral spasm. According to Cedars-Sinai, a back spasm is a sudden pain that occurs during twisting, pushing or pulling. A higher risk for this type of injury results when the pelvis tips forward more than usual and look at Jenkins’ position during the final dance segment. If the pain was enough to make her cry just after the dance, imagine what she’ll feel like today, Tuesday (15 May 2012) because the pain is supposed to increase.

At the end of the night, Jenkins and Ballas were at the bottom of the leader board, but the first-placed team of Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were only three points ahead of them.

  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30 (10,10,10) +29 (10,9,10) = 59/60
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) + 30 (10,10,10)  = 58/60
  3. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) +29 (10,9,10) = 57/60
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 56/60
With the teams to closely matched, the votes of the viewers will really count.
Online voting will remain open until 11 a.m. (Eastern Time)/ 8 a.m. (Pacific Time) the following day (Tuesday).

DWTS 14 Week 9: Maria Menounos and William Levy are 1, 2 in the semi-finals

Monday night (14 May 2012) on “Dancing with the Stars,” had a few surprises and 14 tens. At the top of the leader board by one point was TV hostess Maria Menounos and Derek Hough with 59 points out of 60 for two dances. William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke received 58 points.

Although one expected that head judge Len Goodman would be the deciding factor, he gave only one ten to Menounos and Hough for their Argentine tango to  “La Yumba” by Osvaldo Pugliese, but not for their jive routine to “Tightrope” by  Janelle Monae.

Goodman also gave one ten to the second-placed couple, Levy and Burke. He awarded them a nine for their tango to  “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics and a 10 for their samba to  “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes. But Carrie Ann Inaba gave Levy and Burke a nine and that scored landed them in second place.

Football player Donald Driver and his partner Peta Murgatroyd received three tens to Jenkins and Ballas’ two. It was Bruno Tonioli who was the deciding score between third and fourth. For their waltz to “Kissing You” by Des’ree, Driver received a 10 from Tonioli. For the samba to “Mr. Big Stuff”  by  Jean Knight, Carrie Ann Inaba and Tonioli both gave tens.

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas did a flirty 1930s Chicago gangster inspired quickstep to “The Dirty Boogie” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Inaba and Tonioli loved it, but Goodman noted a misstep early in the performance. For their salsa, Jenkins didn’t have the kind of heat to get a ten and had some trouble at the end with her back, so Jenkins and Ballas received straight nines for her performance to “Bananza (Belly Dancer)” by  Akon. Jenkins belly dance performance was more perky and cutesy instead of sensuous.

  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30 (10,10,10) +29 (10,9,10) = 59/60
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) + 30 (10,10,10)  = 58/60
  3. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) +29 (10,9,10) = 57/60
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 56/60
With the teams to closely matched, the votes of the viewers will really count. What do we know about the DWTS audience? Over 13 seasons, six women and seven men have won the mirror ball trophy.

Women: six

  • Kelly Monaco (1)
  • Kristi Yamaguchi (6)
  • Brooke Burke (7)
  • Shawn Johnson (8)
  • Nicole Scherzinger (10)
  • Jennifer Grey (11)

Men: seven

  • Drew Lachey (2)
  • Emmitt Smith (3)
  • Apolo Anton Ohno (4)
  • Helio Castroneves (5)
  • Donny Osmond (9)
  • Hines Ward (12)
  • J.R. Martinez (13)
That’s nearly an even split. Maria Menounos might be the long shot because only one winner has been a TV hostess (Brooke Burke). Three actors have won (Monaco, Grey and Martinez) and three singers (Scherzinger, Lachey and Osmond).
Only one non-American has won (Castroneves who is Brazilian). Castroneves won over British singer Mel B. French man Gilles Marini placed second behind American Johnson. Other foreign nationals who have made the finals were: Brit Kelly Osbourne (season 9) and Chilean Cristian de la Fuentes (both finished third). Katherine Jenkins and William Levy would be at a disadvantage here.
The largest group of winners have been sports figures: Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson, Olympic medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, racer Helio Castroneves and football players Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward. That would give Donald Driver an advantage.
Individual dances
Over this season, not all of the four semi-final teams performed all the dances seven of the dances (Argentine tango, jive, quickstep, salsa, samba, tango and waltz) as you can see below.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough are the high score for three dances: Argentine tango, jive and samba. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas are the top score for quickstep and waltz. William Levy and Cheryl Burke are the top score for tango and salsa.
Yet to be fair, Jenkins and Ballas performed their quickstep this week while the other remaining teams performed that dance during week 2.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd do not hold the top score in any of the dances performed tonight, but they have yet to perform salsa. Jenkins and Ballas have not performed the tango while Maria Menounos and Derek Hough and  William Levy and Cheryl Burke have not yet performed the waltz.
Argentine tango
  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30 (10,10,10) Week 9
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 5
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) Week 5
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9) Week 5
Jive
  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough:29 (10,9,10) Week 9
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (10, 9, 9) Week 8
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26 (9, 8, 9) Week 2
  4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 22 (7, 7, 8) Week 4
Quickstep
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 9
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25 (8, 8, 9) Week 2
  3. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 25 (9, 7, 9) Week 2
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 24 (8, 8, 8) Week 2

Samba

  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 30 (10,10,10) Week 9
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 29 (10,9,10) Week 9
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) Week 6
  4. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25 (9, 7, 9) Week 8

Salsa

  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 3
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9) Week 5
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas:  27 (9,9,9) Week 9
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: N/A
Tango
  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 9
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9) Week 8
  3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26 (9, 8, 9) Week 4
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: N/A
Waltz
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 3
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 9
  3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: N/A
  4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: N/A
 For all the dances performed during season 14, here are the top scoring teams.
Argentine tango: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (30)
Cha cha cha:
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (29);
  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
Foxtrot: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (30)
Jive: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (29)
Paso doble: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (30)
Quickstep: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
Rumba:
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke,
  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas,
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (27)
Salsa: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (28)
Samba: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (30)
Viennese waltz: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (28)
Waltz: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
As of tonight, the average score of the remaining teams for 12 30-point dances (excluding Motown Marathon scores) is as follows:
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 27.3
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26.8
  3. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 26.9
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 26.4
Although Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were in third place on the leader board at the end of Monday night (14 May 2012), they have the overall lowest average score. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas who placed at the bottom of the leader board have the highest average score of the season.
Who deserves to stay in the finals? Obviously the two top scoring teams of Maria Menounos and Derek Hough and William Levy and Cheryl Burke, but between the other two teams of Jenkins and Ballas and Driver and Murgatroyd, it’s a touch call that will be determined by the viewers.

During the live shows, the judges will give each couple a score based on several factors, including technical execution. But the judges’ scores alone do not decide a couple’s fate.

Phone lines, text votes (AT&T customers only) and online voting will open at the top of each performance show so that viewers can vote for their favorites. Phone and text lines will stay open until 60 minutes after the end of the show in your local time zone. Online voting will remain open until 11AM (Eastern Time)/ 8AM (Pacific Time) the following day.

TEAMS:

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd

  • 800-868-3403
  • 800-VOTE4-03
  • Text-in Code: 3403 

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas

  • 800-868-3410
  • 800-VOTE4-10
  • Text-in Code: 3410

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough

  • 800-868-3401
  • 800-VOTE4-01
  • Text-in Code: 3401

William Levy & Cheryl Burke

  • 800-868-3408
  • 800-VOTE4-08
  • Text-in Code: 3408

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DWTS 14 Week 6: Katherine Jenkins leads

Last night Katherine Jenkins was a vision in gold as she again reigned supreme as the queen of Motown Week, garnering three tens, but a not a perfect score. How is that possible? This week they had the infamous marathon competition and Jenkins and her partner Mark Ballas were the last couple dancing in gloriously attention-grabbing lime green.

In the individual dances, Katherine Jenkins and Ballas danced the samba to “I Can’t Get Next to You” by The Temptations and to make is more special, The Temptations were in the studio giving a live performance. She was dressed in gold with long tassels and bright and smiling. During the rehearsal footage, we saw Ballas emphasizing that the bounce requires a straight leg to a flex (as opposed to a flex to flex) and Jenkins mastered that move.

Len Goodman dubbed her  the midwife because she keeps on “delivering week after week.” Still Goodman didn’t give her a ten and has get to give one out this season.

Bruno Tonioli congratulated Jenkins, saying “You can bounce and you can funk” and that she had easily fused the samba of Brazil with the funk of Motown.

Carrie Ann Inaba just said  her performance was amazing.

Thus far, Jenkins and Ballas had the best score for the samba this season with 29  points.  The samba was introduced this season during week 3 with Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower posting a score of 25 (8, 8, 9) to the music of another Motown star: The Jackson 5 during personal story week.

Jenkins and Ballas were tied with Jaleel White and Kym Johnson who performed a sharp cha cha cha to get the identical score, 29 (10, 9, 10). White and Johnson had been first during Week 1, but after that usually in the middle of the pack. We liked White’s smooth Gregory Hines-esque style, but it need just a bit more pizazz and Johnson polished White’s performance to add a new sharpness in his moves.

Yet in the marathon, Jenkins and Ballas reigned supreme. To be fair, the marathon tends to favor couples with a male professional dancer. I don’t believe it has ever been won by a couple with a professional female dancer. The leader needs to actually lead and help dominate the floor.

The surprise here was that Derek Hough and Maria Menounos were the second couple eliminated, but looking at their performance, they seemed to have a hesitant transition from a lift.  White and Johnson were doing lifts and finished third (8 points), but were able to hold on to second with their overall score. William Levy and Cheryl Burke finished second in the marathon for 9 points and their overall score was only one point behind White and Johnson.

Levy and Burke had danced a particularly raunchy rumba and that cost them Len Goodman’s vote. So at the end of the night that determined who was in second and who was in third.

Who should go? Ironically, the Empress of Soul, Motown’s own Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus should end their time in the ballroom, but while she’s had the lowest score before, she’s never been in the bottom two. That might mean it’s goodbye to Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower depending upon who they are matched up with in dance off.

We expect Welsh singer Jenkins to continue on to next week.

SAMBA

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25 (8, 8, 9)

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya: 24 (8, 8, 8)

Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 22 (7, 7, 8)

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

LEADER BOARD
Individual dance + Motown marathon

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10) + 10 = 39
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 29 (10, 9, 10) + 8 = 37
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 27 (9, 8, 10) + 9 = 36
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9) + 7 = 34
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26 (8, 9, 9) + 4 = 31
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 (8, 8, 8) + 6 = 30
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 23 (7, 8, 8) + 5 = 28
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus: 21 (7, 7, 7) + 3 = 24

Individual Dances

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 29 (10, 9, 10)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 27 (9, 8, 10)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26 (8, 9, 9)
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 23 (7, 8, 8)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 21 (7, 7, 7)

Motown marathon

  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 10
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke:  9
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson:  8
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd:  7
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy:  6
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 5
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 4
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus:  3
]

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DWTS 14 Week 5: Katherine Jenkins’ almost perfect A. tango

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars” season 14, Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas were almost perfect during the Argentine tango routine. Only head judge Len Goodman thought the couple were less than perfect, giving them a nine for a total of 29 points. Jenkins and Ballas were tied with telenovela star William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke who also danced the Argentine tango.

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Jenkins was high class in a modest corset-style top and a dusty rose-colored slit skirt. I like the way the gathers at the top of the skirt show flowing movement, emphasizing Jenkins’ grace. Jenkins was the only celebrity woman dancing the Argentine tango and her costume was more modest than Cheryl Burke’s low plunging back fringed-skirt costume or Peta Murgatroyd’s barely there one-piece swimsuit with a skirt fire-engine red dress.

Rehearsal video shows that Mark Ballas received several painful crotch shots during her practice ganchos. Ballas portrayed a drunk man who takes up with a woman he meets in a cafe. I don’t see that happening often at your typical milonga. That would be frowned upon and you’d think some gentleman would intercede. Ballas might not have time to properly teach how to do a gancho.

In DWTS, the difference between the Argentine tango and ballroom tango is the hold (notice both are NOT leaning back in Argentine tango), the direction their heads are facing (in the direction they are heading) and lifts are allowed.

At a real milonga, lifts are rarely performed at a dance party and not allowed in most ballroom nightclub Argentine tango competitions, but allowed in show tango but not salon tango. There would be more emphasis on displacements (sacadas) and you’d see giros, voleos and colgadas.

Head judge Len Goodman commented that the thought the performance was like a rose–beautiful on top, but underneath the surface is the thorn, sharp and menacing.

Bruno Tonioli called the dancing and choreography of the finest quality and also said the performance had perfect pitch in the acting and the storytelling.

Carrie Ann Inaba complimented the positioning of Jenkins’ legs, particularly in  lunge positions. Jenkins was able to keep her upper body still and use it to give a nuanced performance while controlling the motion of her lower body. Inaba said it was “poetry in motion.”

Jenkins and Ballas will surely make it through to next week, but will have stiff competition against Levy and Burke. Both Ballas and Burke have won the mirrorball trophy before.  Burke won during season 2 with 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey and the very next season with retired NFL star Emmitt Smith. Ballas also has two mirrorball trophies: from season 6 with Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and season 8 with Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson.

LEADER BOARD

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

By Individual Dance

SALSA

  • ***William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10)*** Week 3
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)

SAMBA

  • ***Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25 (8, 8, 9)***Week 3
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • ***Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskay: 24 (8, 8, 8)***Week 3 ELIMINATED
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
  • Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

ARGENTINE TANGO

  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

 

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