miliosr

Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars

89 posts in this topic

Thank you, Bonnette.

They are so lucky to have Tom Bergeron.

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My PVR decided that Monday's show was somehow not part of the series.

Bummed about Tristan, but I hope he gets lots of performance slots.

Others had the same problem you did. From what I understand, you have to program your DVR for 'Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars' specifically or DVRs won't record the show.

I had high hopes for Tristan and Pamela but, based on what we saw from her, he's better off being an early elimination.

Pamela appears to be in a tailspin, and Tom Bergeron managed her utterances and behavior with the professional aplomb and geniality he is known for. Emmy well deserved!

They are so lucky to have Tom Bergeron.

The show is nothing without Tom. It's not just that he's funny and quick-witted. He also has the enviable capacity to manage difficult moments like the ones we saw with Pamela this week.

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I've read elsewhere that after Pamela's original season, she was invited to other DWTS type shows all over the world, to dance in one shot "exhibition appearances". She made about $200k / show. So even though she was eliminated first, now she can *say* she was on the All Star show, and make a new worldwide appearance tour with Tristan (assume he gets paid slightly less).

I hadn't really thought about this money making "angle", but she is very popular worldwide, and gives international shows a ratings boost when she appears. Anyway, it seems like a more respectable gig than appearance fees for partying at Casino clubs or posing yet again for Playboy. I give credit to the costume designers, that gold dress was amazing!

Many of the performers spoke about technique, could someone critique the first week performances based on the technical side?

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I've read elsewhere that after Pamela's original season, she was invited to other DWTS type shows all over the world, to dance in one shot "exhibition appearances". She made about $200k / show. So even though she was eliminated first, now she can *say* she was on the All Star show, and make a new worldwide appearance tour with Tristan (assume he gets paid slightly less).

I hadn't really thought about this money making "angle", but she is very popular worldwide, and gives international shows a ratings boost when she appears.

Yes, the stars are all paid fees for appearing, and worlwide, Anderson is still a very recognizable star. Baywatch was one of the highest-rated shows internationally ever. I know people have questioned why Anderson was asked back to the show when (more stable) better dancers like Kristi Yamaguchi weren't asked back, and I think the answer is simple. They already had the female athlete slot filled with Shawn Johnson already, and they needed to cast a "bombshell." Hence, Pamela Anderson.

Speaking of Shawn, if they were looking to get good results, pairing her with Derek probably was a mistake in hindsight. Derek is too tall for her, and makes her look even shorter and rounder than she is. Mark's a few inches shorter and it's not nearly as much of a problem. Derek harping on her shortness is annoying, but it's probably on his mind because it's a problem that he's still trying to work around.

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Week Two - Scores:

I must say I thought I had heard everything as far as the music for this show was concerned. Boy, did the show prove me wrong last night when Joey and Kym danced their quickstep to a showtune version of Radiohead's "Creep"!

01 26.0pts Sabrina/Louis (quickstep)

02 25.5pts Gilles/Peta (jive)

03 25.0pts Shawn/Derek (jive)

04 24.0pts Apolo/Karina (quickstep)

05 23.5pts Melissa/Tony (jive)

06 23.0pts Helio/Chelsie (jive)

07 22.5pts Joey/Kym (quickstep)

07 22.5pts Drew/Anna (jive)

07 22.5pts Emmitt/Cheryl (quickstep)

10 22.0pts Kelly/Val (quickstep)

11 21.0pts Kirstie/Maks (jive)

12 18.0pts Bristol/Mark (quickstep)

On the merits, Bristol and Kirstie should be in the Bottom Two tonight. However, I suspect we will see one of the middle-of-the-packers joining either Bristol or Kirstie under the red lights of doom. In particular, tonight should be a good test for Melissa's relative strength in the contest. Tony and she finished in the middle of the pack and they also performed first on the night. All the ingredients are there for an appearance in the Bottom Two.

In honor of Dancing With the Stars' use of "Creep" as ballroom dance music, I'll leave you with another mismatch (starring none other than Radiohead's own Thom Yorke!)

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Louis, Louis, Louis!

My PVR better be working...

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Week Two - Elimination Two:

Bottom Two: Joey/Kym and Helio/Chelsie w/ Joey and Kym going home.

On the merits, Bristol and Kirstie should have been in the Bottom Two w/ Bristol leaving. BUT, I can't get too worked up about this result. Joey was just sort of there in terms of dance ability, charisma and (most obviously, given the result) fan base. If he had made it through this week, he very likely would have gone next week, which will be a double-elimination week. His wasn't a deserving boot but he was never going to see the Top Six. So, the result is acceptable in that sense.

The person who has to be dying inside is Mark Ballas. He knows full well that Bristol shouldn't be continuing in the competition. His predicament has got to be all the more depressing for him given that two of his former partners -- Sabrina and Shawn -- are doing well with other partners. Now you know how Tony felt w/ Kate, Mark!

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The person who has to be dying inside is Mark Ballas. He knows full well that Bristol shouldn't be continuing in the competition. His predicament has got to be all the more depressing for him given that two of his former partners -- Sabrina and Shawn -- are doing well with other partners.

That's certainly how it seems to me. I've even had the thought that he's trying to commit "suicide by cop" by building his choreography around elements that are antithetical to Bristol's personality, and thus beyond her reach (even if she had stronger performance skills).

I, too, was surprised that neither Bristol nor Kirstie went home before Joey; in the upcoming double elimination, surely one of them will be tapped to leave. Emmitt's performance has been disappointing thus far, so he might be in jeopardy next week, as well (though he has a solid fan base).

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Week Three - Scores

01 27.0pts Kelly/Val (paso doble)

01 27.0pts Melissa/Tony (samba)

03 26.5pts Shawn/Derek (quickstep)

04 25.5pts Sabrina/Louis (paso doble)

04 25.5pts Helio/Chelsie (quickstep)

04 25.5pts Gilles/Peta (tango)

04 25.5pts Apolo/Karina (foxtrot)

08 25.0pts Emmitt/Cheryl (paso doble)

09 24.0pts Kirstie/Maks (cha cha cha)

09 24.0pts Drew/Anna (cha cha cha)

11 22.5pts Bristol/Mark (paso doble)

Tonight is double-elimination night. In a sane universe, Bristol and Kirstie should go. But, I anticipate we will keep one of them (and possibly both of them.) The person who I think is in real trouble is Drew. He went first last night and there was nothing particularly memorable about his routine. Tonight will also be an interesting test of strength for contestants who were once atop the leaderboard but fell to the middle-of-the-pack last night. (I'm thinking of Sabrina, Gilles and Emmitt.)

The person who continues to be a pleasant surprise is Kelly. She was the highlight of Monday night for me. Who is this new, formidable competitor and what happened to that gawky person from Season 1?

Whatever else Bristol may or may not be, I thought she was exactly right in what she said to Mark last night. He does wish he had Sabrina or Shawn as a partner, and he has checked out mentally from this season. All you have to do is look for him in the celebriquarium with a glum expression on his face to know what Bristol said is true.

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Whatever else Bristol may or may not be, I thought she was exactly right in what she said to Mark last night. He does wish he had Sabrina or Shawn as a partner, and he has checked out mentally from this season. All you have to do is look for him in the celebriquarium with a glum expression on his face to know what Bristol said is true.

I suspect these emotional outbursts aren't uncommon among the celebs and pros. DWTS is a very physically and emotionally exhausting gig, and I would be surprised if there isn't plenty of weeping and wailing going on behind the scenes. (My personal read is that Mark and Bristol have a pretty good celeb-pro relationship).

I find the choices in the B-reels very interesting this season because there is quite a bit of non-flattering drama being shown which was probably edited out in earlier seasons. Before the season started, I was talking to a friend of mine at ABC who has some dealings with the show (although she does not work directly on it), and mentioned that I was interested in what the approach to this season was going to be since it couldn't be the usual arc (learning to dance as a metaphor for new challenges). She said, yes, they'd been discussing what the storylines would be since just the journey of learning dance wouldn't work this time. I think this is some of what is playing out.

On a complete aside, I saw Bristol getting coffee a few days ago. And yowza! I don't know what she's done to her face, but it now has a frozen quality that's aged her well past her years.

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The person who continues to be a pleasant surprise is Kelly. She was the highlight of Monday night for me. Who is this new, formidable competitor and what happened to that gawky person from Season 1?

Val's a much better teacher than Alec (and a better dancer, although that matters less in this context). He's actually grounded Kelly in some basic technique, which has made her much more stable on the floor. And I think having a feeling of knowing something of what she's doing has gone a long ways to relaxing her more on the floor which has helped her dancing immeasurably. Kelly seemed very tense in Season 1, almost too afraid to take a breath. She still not a natural dancer, but the basic technique and new relaxed movement have kicked her up to pretty good. thumbsup.gif

I think Kelly and Val's relationship is also much more positive than the one she had with Alec, which always seemed very dysfunctional to me. Actually, Alec rarely seemed to have very positive relationships with his celebs.

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I saw the recap show, and Tony Dovolani looks 10 years younger dancing with Melissa Rycroft.

What was the rule violation in Shawn/Derek's routine?

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What was the rule violation in Shawn/Derek's routine?

The small infraction was that they broke hold. The larger infraction was that their routine was more a great freestyle than a great quickstep.

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Week Three - Eliminations Three and Four:

Well, that was an interesting result but not an unexpected one.

First Elimination Round: Drew/Anna and Kirstie/Maks with Drew and Anna leaving.

Tom Bergeron never referred to Drew/Anna and Kirstie/Maks as 'The Bottom Two'. All he said was that, "they were in jeopardy." Later, he did say that Drew/Anna had the lowest combined score of all the contestants. (This becomes important at the second elimination.)

In any event, I'm not surprised at all that Drew and Anna got the boot. They went first on Monday night and their performance was distinctly unmemorable. More importantly, Drew and Anna never gelled as a pair. They came across as tense and nervous in all three of their dances. Drew's early flame-out with Anna proves once again just how skilled Cheryl Burke is at managing her amateurs compared to Anna.

Second Elimination Round: Helio/Chelsie and Sabrina/Louis with Helio and Chelsie leaving.

Tom Bergeron specifically referred to Helio/Chelsie and Sabrina/Louis as 'The Bottom Two'. So, what that tells us is Kirstie/Maks and Bristol/Mark finished no worse than 7th and 8th in the final scoring.

My feelings about Helio are well known so I won't offer up fake sympathy for him. It wasn't his time to go by any stretch of the imagination but, having been under the red lights of doom last week, it was incumbent on his fans to save him this week. Since that didn't happen, I can only conclude that his support was a mile wide and an inch deep.

Based on this week's results, Gilles and Emmitt proved that they have strong fan bases. Sabrina, alas, is not so lucky. Barring a miracle, she will repeat her finish from her original season.

As for Bristol, I just feel sorry for her at this point. ABC is clearly using her as the "villain" of this season. What's worse, I don't think she even realizes she's being used. And Mark Ballas didn't look any happier last night than he has all season.

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Later, he did say that Drew/Anna had the lowest combined score of all the contestants. (This becomes important at the second elimination.)

...

Tom Bergeron specifically referred to Helio/Chelsie and Sabrina/Louis as 'The Bottom Two'.

Did that mean 'The Bottom Two' of the remaining contestants or the 'Bottom Two' overall? I'm not sure how the latter could be if Drew/Anna had the lowest combined score, but is there something in the scoring that I'm not following?

The small infraction was that they broke hold. The larger infraction was that their routine was more a great freestyle than a great quickstep.

Thank you for the explanation.

I wonder why Derek chose so early in the season to do this instead of saving it up for the end, since I didn't think they needed a voting boost so early.

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What was the rule violation in Shawn/Derek's routine?

To expand on miliosr's explanation, there are two extended breaks of hold and three aerials in the routine. DWTS always plays fast and loose with what the "rules" are exactly (the show is very careful to not do anything that would jeopardize its categorization as a "reality show" and not a "game show" per the FCC, and so they actually have to have rules). But those are pretty blatant violations of what the judges have described as "rules" before.

As a total aside, the quickstep which was actually performed in the routine was pretty poor quality.

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What was the rule violation in Shawn/Derek's routine?

To expand on miliosr's explanation, there are two extended breaks of hold and three aerials in the routine. DWTS always plays fast and loose with what the "rules" are exactly (the show is very careful to not do anything that would jeopardize its categorization as a "reality show" and not a "game show" per the FCC, and so they actually have to have rules). But those are pretty blatant violations of what the judges have described as "rules" before.

The entire thing screamed, "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" to me laugh.png (but I wasn't sure). I wonder why Derek did it, and, especially so early, and since one of the judges -- Len? -- mentioned that since they took a deduction the week before, they'd have to take one now.

Bruno did a classic figure skating 6.0 judging move, which is to take the least possible deduction from a perfect 10, although, he, unlike figure skating judges, actually may have given it a 10 if he didn't have to deduct.

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Later, he did say that Drew/Anna had the lowest combined score of all the contestants. (This becomes important at the second elimination.)

Tom Bergeron specifically referred to Helio/Chelsie and Sabrina/Louis as 'The Bottom Two'.

Did that mean 'The Bottom Two' of the remaining contestants or the 'Bottom Two' overall? I'm not sure how the latter could be if Drew/Anna had the lowest combined score, but is there something in the scoring that I'm not following?

The former. Once Drew and Anna were gone, Helio/Chelsie and Sabrina/Louis were the Bottom two of the remaining contestants (which, presumably, included Kirstie/Maks.)

I wonder why Derek chose so early in the season to do this instead of saving it up for the end, since I didn't think they needed a voting boost so early.
The entire thing screamed, "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" to me laugh.png (but I wasn't sure). I wonder why Derek did it, and, especially so early, and since one of the judges -- Len? -- mentioned that since they took a deduction the week before, they'd have to take one now.

Derek was very upfront about this in his pre-dance package with Shawn. His reasoning was simple and quite logical: With everyone bunched so closely together in terms of the judges scores, Shawn and he needed to make a huge impact with the audience so that they would vote in big enough numbers to separate them from the rest of the pack. He was willing to take a hit with the judges scores in exchange for wowing the audience and taking the lead with the audience vote. As it played out, his strategy worked perfectly as only Len docked them a full 2 points.

You can argue that Derek was just being paranoid about the Bristol/Kirstie effect, and that the only person who may have been safer than Shawn in terms of the audience vote was Gilles. But, given how we've seen Joey, Drew and Helio exit one after the other, I think he made the right call. He's playing the long game, which is probably why he is a three-time winner.

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That makes sense. I usually watch the pre-dance things, even if I don't save them, but my PVR was being perverse again and skipped Monday (but not any other Mondays going forward), so I watched the recap show before the results show.

Would Len have given them a 10 for that without the broken rule? Len gave it right back to them in audience goodwill by chasing them for the encore. Another bird with the same stone: it was easier than choosing between Kelly/Val and Melissa/Tony, but I'm sure it gave them an advantage for the future that either of the other two couples would have loved and could have used.

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Week Four - Scores:

Paula Abdul was the guest judge.

01 39.5pts Shawn/Derek (Mambo)

01 39.5pts Gilles/Peta (Bollywood)

03 37.5pts Kelly/Val (Contemporary)

04 37.0pts Melissa/Tony (Jitterbug)

05 36.0pts Emmitt/Cheryl (Bolero)

06 35.5pts Sabrina/Louis (Disco)

07 34.5pts Apolo/Karina (Hip Hop)

08 32.0pts Bristol/Mark (Rock and Roll)

09 30.0pts Kirstie/Maks (Charleston)

Once again, the ideal would be to see Kirstie and Bristol in the Bottom Two tonight. However, I'm inclined to think we'll see Sabrina and someone else in the Bottom Two. Tonight will be a test of strength for Apolo and Karina as they were way out of there element last night (to the point where Karina was crying after they danced.)

I liked Kelly and Val's contemporary routine but seeing them stay in character during their pre-dance segments was somewhat weird. It reminded me of how Pam Anderson acted in her first season.

The production team must be thrilled to see Shawn and Gilles atop the leaderboard as that is the showdown they want.

The actual results show starts at 8Eastern/7Central tonight.

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Karina was crying because she fell and was disappointed with herself.

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Karina was crying because she fell and was disappointed with herself.

I was being kind with how I described what happened. wink1.gif

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Week Four - Elimination Five

Bottom Two: Bristol/Mark and Kirstie/Maks w/ Bristol and Mark leaving.

Truly, this was a mercy "killing". Bristol was way out of her league on All-Stars compared to the others (even Kirstie) and didn't seem to be getting any enjoyment out of the experience. It was long past her time to go so this was a just decision. And, I'm sure, no one is happier right now than Mark Ballas.

Even though Apolo and Karina were "in jeopardy," I didn't think they were going for one second. He has enough of a fan base to sustain him during a bad week.

The only person more surprised than me that Sabrina wasn't in the Bottom Two was Sabrina herself. Based on her reaction when Tom Bergeron declared her safe, she thought she was going.

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Watching Melissa, I realized that it's not just performance quality that's a disadvantage to the "lay" people on the show, but also the lack of physical fearlessness. Bristol would have died trying the crazy lifts that Melissa threw herself into, and she didn't channel her competitiveness into physical competitiveness in that way.

Watching Shawn and Derek -- and maybe it was the hat or the different posture and hold demands, but he didn't seem much taller than she -- Sabrina and Louis, and Melissa and Tony, was really a joy, because the dance was equally about the star as the pro, and if she were on a dance floor, I would have happily watched Sabrina for hours. I was disappointed that every time I got a sense of Gilles, Peta would become the center of attention.

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Watching Melissa, I realized that it's not just performance quality that's a disadvantage to the "lay" people on the show, but also the lack of physical fearlessness. Bristol would have died trying the crazy lifts that Melissa threw herself into, and she didn't channel her competitiveness into physical competitiveness in that way.

I think Bristol was really having issues with getting the "villain" edit this season. She threw herself much more into her first season, but her effort this season was decidedly lackluster, and it got worse as the weeks went on. Mark shouldn't have been so open about having to dumb down this last routine, but it was pretty obvious. The difficulty level was about where a beginner class would be after a few hours, hardly what someone with first-class, private coaching should be doing after intensive sessions.

Watching Shawn and Derek -- and maybe it was the hat or the different posture and hold demands, but he didn't seem much taller than she -- Sabrina and Louis, and Melissa and Tony, was really a joy, because the dance was equally about the star as the pro, and if she were on a dance floor, I would have happily watched Sabrina for hours. I was disappointed that every time I got a sense of Gilles, Peta would become the center of attention.

I don't think Derek wore Latin heels in the Mambo which probably dropped him about an inch and a half. Mambo is also really "in the knees" (vs. Latin and especially Ballroom which are very "pulled up") which may have made the height difference less obvious. Also, height difference matters a lot less in in Latin than Ballroom (where leg swing is all). It can even be an advantage once you get into some Rhythm dances like Mambo where the physics of having larger/taller mass with long arms leading a smaller/shorter mass can lead to some spectacular speed effects with partners who know what they're doing.

I did raise my eyebrows at Derek's Mambo choreography, though. Conventionally, Mambo is a "break on 2" dance with the breaks on 2 and 6 beats, but Derek and Shawn were clearly breaking on 1 and 5 throughout the entire dance. (This is very simplified. There are lots of variations such as split counts and directions of beginning the 8). The break on 1 is usually referred to as "Salsa" among ballroom dancers, and it's generally considered much easier for beginners to learn at first than Mambo because it's easier for some beginners to hear the 1 vs. the 2.

On a social dance level, there's nothing wrong with breaking on 1 vs. 2, although it was a very different effect on musical phrasing. From a competitive perspective, though, it really surprised me to hear it referred to as a "Mambo." (I'd say it surprised me that none of the judges commented on it, but at this point, I'm used to the judging panel...)

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