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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: Finals

There will be a queen to the ballroom tomorrow after the final instant dance. Who will it be: Kelly Monaco, Melissa Rycroft or Shawn Johnson? You can still vote on  ABC.com website or by Facebook.until 11 a.m. East Coast time or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard time.

I have barely recovered from no men making the finals after last week’s double elimination took out Emmett Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno. The three female celebrity finalists are fantastic, of course, but men have a harder time learning the dancing because they are supposed to be leading.

Oh, Gilles Marini is an exceptional dancer. Apolo Anton Ohno was getting a bit more bravura than he had in his original outing. Emmett Smith has such a genial personality on the dance floor and he’s so big he can really dominate that space.

The only lovely lady who calls Los Angeles home is Kelly Monaco, the winner of the first season of “Dancing with the Stars.”  Monaco was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia but now calls West Hollywood home. She’s been on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” since 2003 as the character Sam McCall. “General Hospital” is supposed to take place in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York. Her TV debut was with a Southern California based show “Baywatch.” She had been an actual life guard prior to being cast on the show.

When she competed on DWTS for the first season, she wasn’t the best dancer nor did she have the highest average score. She also almost had a wardrobe malfunction during one routine. Her partner was Alex Mazo and he came back for a special face-off with John O’Hurley and his partner Charlotte Jorgensen. The season was six weeks long and only required ten dances. This season (15) is 10 weeks long and requires 17 dances as of tonight, Tuesday. For the doubters, Monaco has really proved herself and has good chemistry with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.

Melissa Rycroft originally competed during season 8 as a last-minute replacement for the injured Nancy O’Dell. She would finish in third place in May 2009, behind Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas (winners) and Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke (runners up).  Also in 2009, Rycroft got married and just last year, in February 2011, gave birth.

Johnson won an Olympic gold medal for balance beam and all-around in 2008. She was the 2007 all-around world champion and the U.S. all-around champion in 2007 and 2008. She was on a high when she won season 8 of DWTS. She had surgery on her knee in 2010 , after injuring it skiing. But this year, despite a team gold at the Pan American Games in 2011 and a silver for uneven bars, Johnson retired due to continuing left knee problems. She was not on the Olympic team that represented the U.S. in London.

Yet this season has Maksim’s younger brother, Val Chmerkovskiy emerging from his brother’s shadow. Wouldn’t it be something if Val and his partner Kelly Monaco won the trophy that has eluded his brother for 15 seasons? Maksim, of course, hasn’t been on DWTS for all 15 seasons. He wasn’t on the first season or the sixth season. His highest finish was second with Mel B during season five and 12 with Kirstie Alley. He came in third during season 4 (Laila Ali) and 10 (Erin Andrews). He finished fourth during season 11 with Brandy and season 13 with Hope Solo.

Val just began competing on DWTS during season 13 with Elisabetta Canalis for an 11th place finish. She was beautiful, but stiff and had just broken up with George Clooney. He loosened up a bit when he had the bubbly Sherri Shepherd as a partner the next season (14) for a 10th place finish.

Tony Dovolani like Maksim did not appear during the first pilot season. He also joined during season 2 and his partner, Stacy Kiebler (now dating Clooney), finished third. Dovolani also finished third with Melissa Rycroft during season 8. He finished fourth with Broadway musical star Marissa Jaret Winokur during season 6. During season 10, he had the dubious honor of partnering with Kate Gosselin who famously made him lose his temper.  This time around Rycroft has really blossomed and they’ve remained a class act throughout.

Derek Hough is the only pro still in the competition who has actually won a mirrorball trophy. The 27-year-old was in the original London West End production of “Footloose: The Musical” as the lead, Ren. He didn’t get to star in the remake, but his sister Julianne did. Hough joined DWTS during Season 5 when he was teamed with actress Jennie Garth for a fourth place finish.  He did much better season 7 when he paired with Brooke Burke for a win. He also won with singer Nicole Scherzinger (season 10) and actress Jennifer Grey (season 11). That’s three wins. He sat out season 12 due to movie commitments. He finished third with actress/talk show host Ricki Lake during season 13. He’s finished fourth three times: Season 5 with Jennie Garth, Season 9 with Playmate Joanna Krupa and Season 14 with Maria Menounos.

This will be Hough’s last season and perhaps that’s why he’s taking so many risks with his choreography or maybe it’s just that gymnast Shawn Johnson makes him want to show off his acrobatic skills as well. Hough’s a year older than Val.

Dovolani is the oldest professional dancer in the finals at 39.

Of the celebrities, former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson is the youngest at 20. Monaco is 36. Rycroft is 29. Only Rycroft is married (to Tye Strickland with one child).   Her partner, Dovolani, is also the only professional dancer in the finals who is married. Dovolani has three children, the youngest two (twins) were born during Season 7 when Dovolani was paired with soap opera diva Susan Lucci.

At the end of Monday night the rankings were:

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 60/60
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 59/60
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 57/60

The first round of dances were do-overs. Each couple took a dance they had previously performed and brought the routine back to the ballroom for a better score. Hough and Johnson could have scored better, but refused to change their quickstep routine which featured a lift and also got deduction for not remaining in hold.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 for a samba to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan 
  2. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (9.5,10.0,10.0) for a paso doble to ” Espana Cani“by Erich Kunzel 
  3. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 27/30 (9.0,8.5,9.5) for a quickstep to “Hey Pachuco”by Royal Crown Revue 

The super-sized freestyle added other people, making this more like “America’s Got Talent.” Each group added different people, but the standings remained the same. Johnson and Hough and Rycroft and Dovolani posted perfect scores, but Monaco and Val were only a half-point behind.

  1. Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 30/30 to “I Was Here” by Beyonce with trapeze artists.
  2. Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 30/30 to “Carnival de Paris” by Dario G with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Team who had just competed this summer in London (Gabby DouglasMcKayla MaroneyAly RaismanKyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber).
  3. Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29.5/30 (10.0,9.5,10.0) to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with troupe members and a church choir. Monaco did some aerial tissu.

You can still vote on  ABC.com website or by Facebook.until 11 a.m. East Coast time or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard time.

DWTS 15 Week 9: Three perfect scores from three different couples

Last night on “Dancing  with the Stars: All-Stars,” the competition continues despite the absence of sigh-worthy Gilles Marini. How is that possible? Of the five celebrity couples left, three posted perfect scores after performing two dances each.  You can still vote on  ABC.com website or by Facebook.until 11 a.m. East Coast time or 8 a.m. Pacific Standard time.

Last week, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani were almost perfect with only 1 point off of the full 100 points. This week, there was a new leading lady, Shawn Johnson.  She was near perfect with 59/60 points.

This week’s standings are:

  1. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 30.0 + 29.0 = 59/60
  2. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.5 + 30 = 57.5/60
  3. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 27 + 30 = 57/60
  4. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 25.5 + 28.5 = 54/60
  5. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 27.0 + 27.0 = 54/60

Rycroft and Dovolani were in second, just 2.5 points behind the leaders. If logic has anything to do with it, then the two teams who were tied for the bottom spot with 54/60 should go in Tuesday’s double elimination: Emmitt Smith and his partner Cheryl Burke and Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy.

Last week Monaco and Chmerkovskiy were tied for third with Smith and Burke. Of the five remaining couples, Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff had the lowest score last week.

Last week’s standings were:

  1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 39 + 60 = 99/100
  2. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 38 + 55.5 = 93.5/100
  3. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 36 + 56.5 = 92.5/100
  4. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 34.5 + 58.0 = 92.5/100
  5. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 33.5 + 58.5 = 92.0/100
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 33 + 58.5= 91.5/100
  7. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 28 + 51.079.0/100

Of the remaining contestants, only Rycroft hasn’t won the mirrorball trophy. The first set of dances for this week were gimmicky. And that’s not just the style, but the actual dances. When did Bhangra enter the ballroom and which judge really knows anything about it? I blame jazz on that risky routine that Maksim Chmerkovsky did with Erin Andrews. Only one team got a perfect score: Johnson and Hough. But one other team caught everyone’s attention: Val Chmerkovsky. For his surfer flamenco, he stripped down to his Speedo. Try to top that Maksim!

Despite the skin show, Val and Monaco didn’t place well. How can they? Really? What is the relationship between surfing and flamenco and, as in the case of Bhangra, just what do the judges and the pros know about flamenco? At this point, what are the judges really doing to award points.

  1. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 30.0 (10.0,10.0,10.0), “Knight Rider” Bhangra to “Mundian to Bach Ke” by Panjabi MC 
  2. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.5 (9.0,9.5,9.0), “Caveman” Hustle to “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (not Was) 
  3. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 27 (8.5,9.0,9.5), “Big Top” Jazz to “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani 
  4. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0), “Espionage” Lindy Hop to “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers 
  5. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 25.5 (8.0,9.0,8.5), “Surfer” Flamenco to “Malagueña” by Brian Setzer Orchestra 

The second round of dances were themed on Michael Jackson’s album “Bad.” What could be better than dancing to the Prince of Pop? Johnson and Hough weren’t steamy enough for judge Carrie Ann Inaba who marked them down one point for their lack of emotional effort. It was Rycroft and Dovolani and Ohno and Smirnoff who reached perfection. Ohno seems to be getting used to having his shirt off, or in this case, almost off.

  1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani:  30 (10.0,10.0,10.0), Argentine Tango to “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson 
  2. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff:  30 (10.0,10.0,10.0), Rumba to “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson 
  3. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 29.0  (9.0,10.0,10.0), Argentine Tango to “Bad” by Michael Jackson 
  4. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy:  28.5 (9.5,9.5,9.5), Rumba to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” by Michael Jackson 
  5. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0), Tango to “Leave Me Alone” by  Michael Jackson.

Dovolani did an amazing set of lifts with smooth transitions despite an injury. What it comes down to is not who deserves to go forward, but who has the better fan base. Smith undoubtedly has a strong fan base and football players have always done well even when they didn’t dance well (remember, Michael Irvin?). But there are two other athletes: Ohno and Johnson. Unfortunately, football is a bigger sport than either short track speed skating or gymnastics. That could mean bad things for Ohno.

The votes should be close so if you want your favorite or favorites to survive, be sure to vote. Tuesday is another double elimination.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook. Online voting closes at 8 a.m. PST.

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 All-Stars: Foxtrot

The full leader board for Monday night:

  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

Foxtrot

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 24.0

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 22.

Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya: 21.5

Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower: 21.5

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 21

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 19

DWTS 14 Week 2 Results: A lady leaves the ballroom

With another cast, she might have shown. Consider how many really bad dancers have come through these 14 seasons. If this season had included Master P or the Woz, she might have lasted another week.

But in season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars” there was no real lost on the dance floor celebrity. All of the cast members could walk with rhythm, they were physically fit enough and they lifted the level of the show. That meant that Martina Navratilova and her partner Tony Dovolani were the first to go.

Partnered with the diplomatic Tony Dovolani, she did well enough to score a 20, but this season, with no couple getting in the teens, that score only kept her tied for the bottom spot with Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and singer Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff. The last tennis player who was on DWTS didn’t do well.
That was Monica Seles during season 6. Seles was paired with Jonathan Roberts, but for the first week only. Seles and Roberts received a 15 for their foxtrot. Their team tied with the team of Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough for the lowest score of the evening, both for the foxtrot. Seles and Roberts were eliminated (along with  magician Penn Jillette and Kym Johnson) in the first round. Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas would win that season with football player Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska in second.
Navratilova admitted she’s not used to wearing a dress and she always seemed not to care how her hair looked. She seems a bit ill at ease in her new glammed up persona. She didn’t take command of the dance floor like she does on the tennis court. Dancing the cha cha cha to “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” by Diana Krall, she didn’t get into the text of the song. No flirting with Dovolani. No on stage persona. Her dress outshined her performance. Her feet and legs didn’t reach full extension and her heels were a bit dowdy.
This week in those lovely red fringe pants, she did look more lady-like than Hope Solo from last season and she was a much better sport.  I’m sorry to see Navratilova go, but she was the logical choice.

Cumulative scores

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26+26 = 52
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 24 + 25 = 49
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 23+26=49
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 26+22=48
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 23+23 = 46
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 21+ 25 = 46
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 21 + 24 = 45
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya: 23+21 = 44
Gladys Knight andTristan McManus: 23+19 = 42
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 20 + 21 = 41
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 20+20=40
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani: 20+ 17 = 37

Jive

Quickstep

 

WEEK 1

Foxtrot

Cha cha cha

DWTS 14 Week 2: Martina Navratilova at bottom

On the first week of “Dancing with the Stars” season 14, Martina Navratilova was stiff and seemed uncomfortable in her glamorous new persona as she performed the foxtrot. This week, she  and her partner Tony Dovolani were the low score in the jive with 17 points.

What does that mean? Gladys Knight, who isn’t an athlete, but is the Empress of Soul is a better dancer despite her age and lack of physical training. Navratilova on the tennis court is in command, but she hasn’t taken command of the dance floor. That’s not skill that a force of will or personality. After all, consider the horrible dancing, but inspiring performances last year of Carson Kressley.

Navratilova and Dovolani were dancing to “Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel. There was no cute bits, but straight dancing. Okay, Navratilova started out behind the judges and kissed head judge Len Goodman.

I hated her costume. The net top didn’t give us a sense of the song’s story. The black bra also didn’t compliment her figure at all. Navratilova didn’t run with grace and also didn’t have good extension.

Carrie Ann Inaba loves Navratilova for her attitude, but noted that she missed some steps.

Head judge Len Goodman said Navratilova needed to attack the dance.

Bruno Tonioli also tried to get Navratilova to take charge of the dance floor.

I give Navratilova kudos for her courage and trying out a new look, but considering the costumes, which I think were chosen for her by her partner, I have to wonder if the chemistry was also a problem. I would have teamed her with Maksim who does well with tough ladies like Laila Ali.

This team was at the bottom and the last tennis player who was on the show was cut during the first elimination. I don’t think Navratilova will be around much longer.

Cumulative scores

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26+26 = 52
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 24 + 25 = 49
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 23+26=49
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 26+22=48
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 23+23 = 46
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 21+ 25 = 46
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 21 + 24 = 45
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya: 23+21 = 44
Gladys Knight andTristan McManus: 23+19 = 42
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 20 + 21 = 41
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 20+20=40
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani: 20+ 17 = 37

Jive

  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26
  • Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 22
  • Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 21
  • Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya: 21
  • Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani: 17

Quickstep

  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 25
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 24
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 20
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 19

Online voting 

DWTS 14: Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. Along with Margaret Court and Doris Hart, she earned a career Grand Slam in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles–a Grand Slam “boxed set.”

In her career, she had 167 singles titles, 177 doubles titles and had the longest winning streak–74 consecutive matches. She won the Czechoslovakia national tennis championship in 1972 when she was only 15. The next year, she played her first match in the U.S. and turned professional in 1975. During her tennis career, she had an ongoing rivalry with Chris Evert  (1973-1988) with Navratilova leading 47-37 and later Steffi Graf with them tied 9 to 9.

Full name: Martina Navratilova

Partner: Tony Dovolani

Official website

Birthday: 18 October 1956

  • Age: 55
  • Libra

Hometown: Prague, Czechoslovakia

Currently resides: Sarasota, Florida

Navratilova came out as lesbian in 1981. She has been active in gay rights as well as animal rights and underprivileged children issues.

Navratilova previously appeared in the reality show, “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” in 2008, series 8. In this ITV British TV series, she finished second behind actor Joe Swash (Mickey Miller in “Eastenders”). George Takei finished third.

In 2010, she was treated for breast cancer the spring and also a high altitude pulmonary edema while attempting to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in December.

Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani

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DWTS 13, Week 9 (semifinals): So long to Hope Solo?

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars,” there were some surprises and some heroics. At the end of the evening, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough were the top scoring team after three dances with 67 points. In second was Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke with 65 points.

With the final four, we only two locals: Los Angeles-born reality TV personality Rob Kardashian who attended USC and current Los Angeles resident Ricki Lake.

Lake was born in Hastings-on-Hudson in New York, but after her divorce, she had moved to Los Angeles. In September of 2010, her rented Malibu home burned down although she escaped without injury. In a way, Lake is exactly like the character who made her famous, Tracy Turnblad, a heavyset girl who could dance. She’s about 30 pounds lighter now and can she dance!

Lake and Hough scored a perfect 30 for their saucy samba. Kardashian and Burke got a 10 from judge Carrie Ann Inaba who must have been impressed by the butt shaking. Their samba performance tied them with J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff who also scored a 28.

This week in the Argentine tango, they tied for second with J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. However, Kardashian’s routine had more actual dance content. Also DWTS allows lifts in the Argentine tango, at the local Emerald Ball competition, no lifts are allowed in that dance.

Martinez and Smirnoff had little footwork and it was mostly stunts (lifts, dips and other tricks). The judges noted that for a non-dancer to perform such lifts was a real accomplishment, but that isn’t really what Argentine tango is about.

Los Angeles professional Argentine tango dancers Sandor and Parissa performed (along with DWTS pros Tony Dovolani, Kym Johnson, Kiki Nyemcheck, Sasha Faber, Oksana Dmytrenko, Anna Trebunskaya), but it was essentially stunt after stunt and didn’t give the audience any idea of the more nuanced aspects of the dance. Kardashian’s routine had more actual dance content than Martinez’s.

Hope Solo might have had difficulty with the higher Latin heel if she was using them, but her Argentine tango routine was also a series of tricks and without smooth transitions. Yet doing lifts and tricks with shoulder pain isn’t easy.

Kardashian and Burke were the top team in the cha cha cha relay and were also the last couple to perform.

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were the lowest scoring team of the night. Solo’s frame isn’t good–her shoulders are always forward and she still seems uncomfortable in heels. Both J.R. Martinez and Solo have problems with flexed feet but Solo’s is one that is more obvious.

Yet one must give credit to both Solo and Martinez. Martinez twisted his ankle badly on Saturday and yet soldiered through three routines without whining. Imagine Chaz Bono doing that. Solo has an old shoulder injury which she feels every time she’s holding a dance frame and had to take some pain management shots.

  • Ricki Lake & Derek Hough : 30+29+8=67
  • Robert Kardashian & Cheryl Burke : 28+27=10=65
  • J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff : 23+27+6=56
  • Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy : 21+24+4=49
Hope Solo should go tonight. We love her energy, her determination and her smile, but she’s had problems dancing in heels and keeping a dance frame.
We hope J.R. Martinez will be able to continue and that his ankle will improve. If he won, it would be a DWTS Cinderfella story.  Yet ankle injuries to soft tissue heal slowly and while, unlike the women, he doesn’t have to wear heels, he does have to be stable enough to do lifts, pivot and lead. He seemed to be compensating by losing his frame and sticking his bum out. JR Martinez will be the Grand Marshall for the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena for 2012.

Ricki Lake as a winner would also be a triumph for a woman of a certain age and a heavier frame. And we love that fellow USC graduate Kardashian is showing how much confidence dancing can bring.

We hope the two locals, Lake and Kardashian, make it to the finals along with J.R. Martinez.

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