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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: Pamela Anderson is gone

Is this really a shocker?  Pamela Anderson may be sexy, but on Monday night (Sept. 24, 2012) she shambled through her routine with Tristan MacManus and received the lowest score of the night, 17 on the premiere week of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.” Boobs and an I-just-got-out-of-bed look doesn’t get you good marks on the dance floor as it would in the Playboy Mansion.

Anderson performed her cha cha cha to “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse. Was she attempting to portray the tragedy that was Winehouse? If so, it didn’t work as well as her Dolly Parton during her original run on DWTS with Damian Whitewood.

If you look at the billboard for the show, she’s dressed in white and at the center of the celebrity V-shaped formation.

Her 2010 (spring) outing on DWTS wasn’t her only appearance in the franchise. She also appeared in the Argentinian version “Bailando por un sueño” the next year and that was a bit more intensive, going on for 24 weeks as compared to 10. She wasn’t the only American in the mix. Mike Tyson also competing.

Both Americans withdrew. Tyson was replaced by television producer Jorge “Negrito” Luengo. When Anderson left, model Paula Chaves replaced her and made the semi-finals.

Anderson’s week 1 cha cha cha for her American “Dancing with the Stars” season 10 was her first dance and she received a 21 (7, 6, 8).  Compare that to her moves and performance this week with Tristan MacManus.

MacManus is a good dancer and has a following as is apparent from the searches online, but as a celebrity choreographer he has a lot to learn. I found his choreography for the wonderful Gladys Knight last season had some unflattering poses for that lovely lady. Knight has natural rhythm and is a seasoned performer, but she thick in the waist and not very flexible.

Compare his choreography to Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s for Kirstie Alley who has the same general problem. Alley is back and she knows how to work her assets. (Her smooch to congratulate host Tom Bergeron for his Emmy made news).

Then whatever the producers may think of Anderson, she and Whitewood were in the bottom two week 2 when they didn’t turn in the lowest score. With 22 points, they were higher than:

  • Niecy Nash and Louis van Amstel: 21
  • Shannon Doherty and Mark Ballas: 20
  • Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower: 20
  • Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinka: 19
  • Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke: 16
  • Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani: 15
  • Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa: 12

Doherty and Ballas were eliminated.

Who was in the bottom two wasn’t revealed during weeks 3 and 4. We were given who was the last to be called safe. Week 5, Anderson and Whitewood didn’t post the lowest score, but they were again in the bottom two. This time, it was Gosselin and Dovolani who were eliminated, but they had a 15/30. Anderson and Whitewood had a 21/30 (7, 6, 8).

Week 6, her team wasn’t in the bottom-two (Jake who was eliminated and Niecy Nash). She and Whitewood were back in the bottom two week 7 (with Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy) and were eliminated. Anderson and Whitewood had received a 24 (8, 8, 8) and an additional 27 for a team score. That placed them in a tie with Andrews and Chmerkovskiy who received a 27 for their individual dance performance but a 24 for the team score.

This might not be the last DWTS appearance of the 45-year-old Anderson, but as the judges commented, she needs to put more work into the dance floor instead of trying to coast on her looks.

Also featured on the show was the YouTube discovery rags-to-riches Justin Bieber.  Talking about looks, I don’t like the look of the low-hanging “slouch” pants, but it is the fashion and Bieber was rocking it. Pitbull also appeared.

What was the shocker last night: Drew Lachey and his new partner Anna Trebunskaya were in the bottom two. Lachey and Trebunkaya scored 21.5 and were in a three-way tie for sixth place with Hélio Castroneves (and Chelsie Hightower) and Kelly Monaco (and Val Chmerkovskiy). Maybe her studio can help with the votes. Lachey isn’t one of my favorites, but he’s a lot of fun to watch on the dance floor. Of course, if one has a choice between Lachey and Gilles Marini, we’d both go for the latter.

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 15: Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus

With the inclusion of Pamela Anderson on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” you know ABC is back to the formula of include Playboy bunny for sex appeal. Have they forgotten the lessons of season 10 and season 9?

Vote: 1-800-868-3405

Age: 45

Born: 1 July 1967


Season: 10

  • Winners: Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough
  • Second: Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya
  • Third: Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
  • Sixth: Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood

Best dance:

  • Waltz (24)
  • Rumba (24)

Worst dance:

  • Cha cha cha (21)
  • Paso doble (21)
  • Foxtrot (22)
  • Argentine tango (22)

Season 9 had Joanna Krupa who was paired with Derek Hough. She finished fourth. If she had finished first, that might have been uneasy times for the ABC/Disney connection. After the season ended, she was the model of a PETA add that left little to the imagination and managed to anger the Catholic church. Krupa will be one of the housewives in “The Real Housewives of Miami.”

Pamela Anderson is more infamous than Krupa, but that didn’t help her dancing. During week 1, she received a 21 for her cha cha cha to “Gimme All Your Lovin/” by ZZ Top (7, 6, 8). Week 2, she tried to channel Marilyn Monroe for her foxtrot to “I Wanna Be Loved B You” and received a 22 (7, 7, 8). She wasn’t the low score of the night, but she ended up in the bottom two. She outscored Chad Ochocinco (16), Aiden Turner (19), Shannen Doherty (20), Buzz Aldrin (12), Jake Pavelka (20)  and Kate Gosselin (15). Doherty was eliminated.

Week 3, the team did better with a 21 for their paso doble (7, 7, 7) to “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by The Animals. Week 4, saw the team perform a very sexy rumba for a double score 23 (7, 8, 8) for technique and 24 (8, 7, 9) for performance. They danced to “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.

Week 5 was Movie Week and Anderson performed to the Dolly Parton tune “9 to 5” for a scored that divided the judges, 21 (7, 6, 8). She wasn’t winning over head judge Len Goodman and she didn’t win over the fans. She was in the bottom two. Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani were eliminated; they had the lowest score, 15 (5, 5, 5). Goodman was only a little bit more impressed the following week when Anderson and Whitewood performed the Argentine tango to “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode. The team received a 22 (7, 7, 8).  Pavelka was eliminated.

In their final week of competition, Anderson and Whitewood performed the waltz for a 24 (8, 8, 8). Goodman was finally impressed, but the fans were not. Anderson and Whitewood were in the bottom two (with Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy who had scored a 27 for their quickstep) and had the lowest score for their individual dance.

Anderson and Disney star Sabrina Bryan are the only two out of the 12 who did not make the finals. Bryan competed with Mark Ballas during season 5 and had higher scores for the six weeks she danced, including one perfect score for her paso doble (to “You Spin Me Round Like a Record”).

I wouldn’t fault her chemistry with Whitewood either. MacManus is a problem. He doesn’t actively promote himself like Maksim Chmerkovskiy. His previous celebrity dance partners were Nancy Grace during season 13 and Gladys Knight during season 14.  Despite her last name, Grace was less than graceful. The teams average score was 21.3. With Knight his team had only a slightly better average, 21.5, but I often felt he didn’t know how to show Knight off to her best advantage, particularly in the dips.

Grace and MacManus were out in the eight week. Knight and MacManus were eliminated during the fifth week.

We don’t expect Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus to last long, particularly if the emphasis is on technique.

DWTS 14 Week 6 Results: Good night Gladys Knight

Motown Week on “Dancing with the Stars” was full of sentimental hits, and a sentimental favorite left the ballroom. We knew it was only a matter of time, but Gladys Knight made her journey with such class and a little sass that we regret seeing her go.

What we’d love is to see her back singing with her Pips or even faux and funny Pips. Too bad Motown didn’t think of having Gladys Knight in her prime dancing with those guys. It could have been hot. It could have inspired a musical.

Knight and MacManus were pitted against Disney star Roshon Fegan and his partner Chelsie Hightower. The song was “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. The dance was the quick-moving jive. Knight will be 68 at the end of May (28) while Fegan is 20. Pitting the oldest contestant against the youngest in one of the dances that requires stamina is sort of a no-brainer.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3: Personal Story

Week 4: Rock Week

Week 5: Latin Week

Week 6: Motown Week

Dance Duel

On “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

DWTS 14 Week 6: Will the Empress of Soul survive?

Everyone loves Gladys Knight, but she’s definitely the weakest dancer currently on  “Dancing with the Stars” season 14. Should Motown Week be her last?

I loved her flowing purple dress although I wasn’t sure what to make of her partner Tristan MacManus’ nerd in purple costume. I wish he worked Knight better and pushed her to at least create a persona because as a singer/performer, you know she can do it. And some of the moves MacManus uses look awkward for a woman of Knight’s figure and flexibility (that dip looks disastrous).

Knight’s performance of the rumba had style and grace, but was lacking in content just as I suspect MacManus seems to lack imagination.

Knight and MacManus were the first couple on for Motown Week, dancing a rumba to “My Girl” with the The Temptations singing live.  Can I say I hated MacManus’ white shoes? Knight, however, looked gorgeous.

Len Goodman said if he was judging purely from his heart, she’d be on top of his leader board. He called her the most charismatic dancer.

Bruno Tonioli said he liked his rumba steamier and while he didn’t expect Lady Gaga, at least a little Beyonce.

Carrie Ann Inaba said the hip action was fantastic but then there was that ending she forgot.

Of the eight couples who have danced the rumba thus far in season 14, Knight and MacManus have the lowest score with 21.

At the top are Maria Menounos and Derek Hough who received a 27 (9, 9, 9) during week one. They are tied with William Levy and Cheryl Burke who performed a extremely steamy rumba for a 27 (9, 8, 10).

Who doesn’t love Gladys Knight? Still this is a dance competition and she needs to be pushed more to channel all that natural grace and rhythm. Despite her low scores, Knight has never been in the bottom two so tonight could be interesting. Will her fans keep her in the ballroom or will she be dueling jive with some other couple? Tune in tonight and find about.

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

Vote online

DWTS 14 Week 5: Gladys Knight in danger? (VIDEO)

Could Latin night on “Dancing with the Stars” season 14, be Gladys Knight’s last? She was second to the last on the leader board after her samba routine with her partner Tristan MacManus only earned 20 points.

Knight danced the samba to “Fiebre” by La Lupe which was Peggy Lee’s “Fever” in Spanish. While she looked stunning in green, I don’t think those ruffles that seems to be the current trend on DWTS does her any favors. She  lost her timing here and there and I don’t think MacManus choreographed to her strengths. I think she needed work on when to straighten her legs to get maximum hip motion.

Len Goodman said she had great musicality and thought the routine was simple, but it was effective.

Bruno Tonioli loved her stage presence.

Carrie Ann Inaba mentioned her mistakes, but thought that she commanded the stage and her own “samba-licious” style.

I think if MacManus had more experience he would have more ideas on who to get a better performance and improve on her natural stage presence. He really doesn’t have her playing a character or put her in a scenario.Still I think Knight has more than just the Pips voting for her.


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


  • ***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)


  • ***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)


  • 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

DWTS 14: Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight is a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actress and author. She’s also known as the “Empress of Soul” and came to prominence as the lead singer for Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Full name: Gladys Maria Knight

Partner: Tristan MacManus

Official website

Birthday: 28 May 1944

  • Age: 67
  • Gemini

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

The Pips originally included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. She was originally a member of The Pips which included Merald, her sister Brenda and her cousins William and Eleanor Guest. The group took its name from a cousin, James “Pip” Woods. Eventually, Edward Patten and Langston George replaced Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest.

Gladys Knight and the Pips became part of the Motown roster in 1966 and toured as the opening act for Diana Ross.  Their hits included:

  • “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
  • “Friendship Train” (1969)
  • “If I Were Your Woman” (1970)
  • “I Don’t Want to Do Wrong” (1972)
  • “Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)” (1973)
  • Neither One of Us (Wants To Be the First to Say Goodbye)” Grammy
  • “Midnight Train to Georgia”  (1973) with Buddah Records–Grammy
  • “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”
  • “Love Overboard” (1987) Last LP before Knight went solo.
  • That’s What Friends Are For” with Dionne Warwick, Elton John–Grammy
The Pips roster was as follows:
As a solo act, Knight received the following Grammy Awards:
  • 2001 Best Traditional R&B Vocal Album – “At Last”
  • 2004 Best Gospel Performance – “Heaven Help Us All” – Ray Charles & Gladys Knight.
  • 2005 Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album – One Voice – Gladys Knight & The Saints Unified Voices.

Of course, what might be the most infamous Gladys Knight & the Pips performance included Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr.

Besides singing, Knight has appeared as a guest star on several TV programs: Benson, The Jeffersons, A Different World, Living Single, The Jamie Foxx ShowNew York UndercoverLas Vegas, and 30 RockShe starred in a sitcom opposite comedian Flip Wilson in 1985, but the CBS show, “Charlie & Co.” lasted one season.  The 18-episode show is notable because Knight played Wilson’s wife as well as the mother of three kids. Jaleel White played the youngest child, the 9-year-old Robert. Kristoff St. John, who played the oldest child, currently appears as the character Neil Winters on the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”

Knight has been married four times and has three children (Jimmy Newman III, Kenya Newman with her first husband, Jimmy Newman, who was a high school sweetheart; Shanga Hankerson with husband Barry Hankerson, producer and founder of Blackground Records). Her current husband is William McDowell whom she married in 2001. Son Shanga owns a chain called Gladys Knight & Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles that has three Atlanta, Georgia locations.

Gladys Knight & Tristan McManus


  • 800-868-3411
  • 800-VOTE4-11
  • Text-in Code: 3411

Vote online. 

DWTS 13: Compare Instant Jive

J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff – Instant Jive (Week 8)

  • Song: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard
  • Score: 30

Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Instant Jive (Week 8)

  • Song: “The Best Damn Thing” by Avril Lavigne
  • Score: 25 (8,9,8)

Ricki Lake & Derek Hough – Instant Jive (Week 8)

  • Song: “Land Of A Thousand Dances” by Wilson Pickett
  • Score: 24

Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke – Instant Jive (Week 8)

  • Song: “Maneater” by Hall & Oates
  • Score: 24

Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus – Instant Jive (Week 8)

  • Song: “Upside Down” by Paloma Faith
  • Score: 20 (7,6,7)

DWTS 13: Compare waltz

J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff – Waltz (Week 8)

  • Song: “What the World Needs Now” by Burt Bacharach
  • Score: 30

Ricki Lake & Derek Hough – Waltz (Week 8)

  • Song: “You Make Me Feel” by Aretha Franklin
  • Score: 28 (9,9,10)

Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus – Waltz  (Week 3)

  • Song: “Moon River” by Andy Williams
  • Score: 21