Dancing With the Stars 21, week 3: TV Night

Hey dancers,

Let’s be concise. Let’s talk about it. I may just be cranky due to the fact that I’m taking a break from lessons, so apologies in advance.

First of all, TV week? Overdone. Second, not that I don’t absolutely love Alfonso, but why would they bring him in to judge? Do they need viewers that badly?

Second, what is Mandy Moore’s deal with these female boob grab, bump-and-grind numbers? I feel like I’ve already seen the same number five other times. That being said, I did like the way they used the striped TV screen as the background and matched the girls’ costumes to it, and they all did look gorgeous.

On another note…MUPPETS!!! Now, this is stunt casting I find acceptable.

Onto the dancing, after the jump! Also, I find this picture that was posted on the official DWTS Instagram account to be very cute and clever.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 3

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 3

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Dancing With the Stars 21, week 2: Hometown Glory

Hello, ballroom dancers! Happy Wednesday!

I’m kind of sad; due to extenuating circumstances, I’ve had to take a break from my lessons. I miss Matt, my teacher, kind of crazily and am not sure what I’m doing with my life without our lessons. But today when I found out that Yankees legend Yogi Berra passed away, I texted Matt because I knew he would be the one that understood that I legitimately felt like crying.

On the up side, I’ve gotten a new job that I’m really excited about! I’ll tell you about it down the line.

So now that we’re all caught up, let’s talk about week 2 of Dancing With the Stars. I find it very strange that they keep on saying different things about the show format – I remember a few seasons back, it was said that they would only do one show a week, and, unless I’m mistaken,  they were only going to do the show once a year. And obviously, that hasn’t been the case. Throughout the seasons, they may have started with one show a week, and then ended up doing two shows for the last three or four weeks. They did get a new producer a few seasons back, so at this point, the team may still be unsure of what works best.

I also can’t believe they’ve already made the contestants learn two dances.

So, after the jump, onto the dances! (I’ll try to keep it short.)

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 2

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 2

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Dancing With the Stars 21 Premiere!

Hello dancers,

This will just be a quick entry to talk about the Dancing With the Stars premiere this past Monday. I probably should have live blogged, but two things: 1, I hate commercials, and 2, as I no longer watch the judges’ critiques, I put it off. But now I’m rushing to write this because I have a really long day tomorrow – I’m working an event from 6:30 AM to 5PM and then catching a bus to spend a few days in Boston. Probably not my best idea, buuuuut it’s done so what are ya gonna do.

I did catch the opening number the other night (my mom told me how great it was), but I’m going in this season pretty blind – obviously, I know the pairs, but I don’t know what’s the situation with eliminations and etc. I heard they’re not eliminating this week, but they’re doing a double next week? Or a triple? I could be making it up.

I’m also having a really hard time changing the channel from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, which just happens to be on television.

OK, commercials. Onto DWTS 21!

Dancing With the Stars season 21 premiere

Dancing With the Stars season 21 premiere

That opening number really is awesome and I can already tell Allison is doing a LOT of ballroom training in the offseason. But what’s the deal with flash mobs? I wonder how many of those people were electronically added. But that’s just the computer nerd in me being inquisitive.

Week 1 opinions after the jump!

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2015 Embassy Ball & USDC and…MY TEACHER!!!

HI, DANCERS!!!!!!!

This is just a quick post to talk about basically the two biggest competitions in the U.S. before Dancing With the Stars premieres tonight!

Embassy Ball was the week before last. Here are the results! All photos came from the DanceBeat articles covering the two events!

Pro Smooth

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Smooth Results

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Smooth Results

(1) Peter & Alexandra Perzhu (1,1,1,1)
(2) Mazen Hamza & Izabella Jundill (2,2,3,2)
(3) Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova (4,3,2,3)
(4) Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija (3,4,5,4)
(5) Travis & Jaimee Tuft (5,5,4,5)
(6) Kyle & Allie Spinder (6,6,6,6)

The placings here were interesting, huh? And another thing, as a fashion lover, I found out – Allie Spinder is wearing pants! Apparently, the audience was polled about their opinions and 80% of the audience didn’t like her outfit. But then again, that’s just something we’re not used to seeing. I like women who do things differently!

Pro Rhythm

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Rhythm Results

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Rhythm Results

(1) Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova (2,2,2,2,2)
(3) Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova (3,3,3,3,3)
(4) Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi (4,4,4,4,4)
(5) Dmytro Gurkov & Betty Attia (Canada – 5,5,5,6,6)
(6) Donovan Dominguez & Rose Dimov (6,6,6,5,5)

I know this is not relevant, but I had no idea any couples from out of this country danced Rhythm. Or Smooth. I mean, it is AMERICAN…

Pro Ballroom

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Standard Results

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Standard Results

(1) Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Victor Fung & Anastasiya Muravyeva (2,2,2,2,2)
(3) Andrea & Sarah Ghigiarelli (England – 3,3,3,3,3)
(4) Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro (Italy – 4,4,4,5,4)
(5) Domen Krapez & Natasha Karabey (Germany – 5,5,5,4,5)
(6) Alexander Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhilova (Russia – 7,6,6,7,6)
(7) Marat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk (6,7,7,6,7)

Pro Latin

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Latin Results

2015 Embassy Ball Pro Latin Results

(1) Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Maurizio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite (Canada – 2,2,2,2,2)
(3) Stefano Di Filippo & Daria Chesnokova (3,3,3,3,3)
(4) Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova (Denmark – 4,4,4,4,4)
(5) Manuel Favilla & Natalia Maidiuk (Ukraine – 5,5,6,6,5)
(6) Kamil Studenny & Anna Pelypenko (6,6,5,5,6)

This is all well and good, but where are Roman Kutskyy & Anna Kovalova?! (I would say Nikolai and Maria too, but they showed up at USDC.) I’ve seen from their social media that Roman and Anna have been going on vacations and I was wondering if they’ve stopped dancing. However, she posted a picture on her Instagram last week announcing she is back to her original dress sponsor, Dore Designs. Aside from the fact that Dore is one of my favorite design houses, I REALLY hope this means we’ll see her and Roman competing again because she is absolutely one of my top 5 favorite lady dancers!

Oh, one more thing about Embassy.

2015 Embassy Ball RS Rhythm Results

2015 Embassy Ball RS Rhythm Results

I want to give a little shoutout to Brianna Santiago, who, with Igor Ustymovich, won the Pro Rising Star Rhythm! This is just a little bit of Latina solidarity. There aren’t a lot of hispanics in the ballroom world, so I’ve been following her dancesport career for a while, dancing Rhythm with Ryan Lockhart, then Latin with Hunter Stephens and Stefan Golubovic, and now back to Rhythm. And again, you don’t see very many Latinos in dancesport, let alone women, let alone in the finals, so it’s just so amazing to see one of my own doing so well!

Let’s go on to USDC. I WISH I WAS THERE!!!

I don’t understand the difference between the different Professional competitions, especially because most of the couples do compete in both of them, but as I’m in a hurry to get this published before 8PM, this is not the time for me to figure it out.

Pro Ballroom

2015 USDC Pro Ballroom Results

2015 USDC Pro Ballroom Results

(1) Arunas Bizokas & Katusha Demidova (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Victor Fung & Anastasiya Muravyeva (as usual, THAT GOWN!!! Beautiful! 2,2,2,2,2)
(3) Murat Gimaev & Alina Basyuk (3,3,3,3,4)
(4) Artem Plakhotnyi & Inna Berlizyeva (4,4,5,4,3)
(5) Alexander Voskalchuk & Veronica Egorova (5,5,4,5,6)
(6) Mikhail Avdeev & Olga Blinova (6,6,6,6,5)

Pro Latin

2015 USDC Pro Latin Results

2015 USDC Pro Latin Results

(1) Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Nikolai Voronovich & Maria Nikolishina (2,3,2,2,3)
(3) Andrei Kazlouski & Asta Sigvaldadottir (3,2,3,3,2)
(4) Andrey Tarasov & Yulia Kuznetsova (4,4,4,4,4)
(5) Mykha Bilopukhov & Anastasiya Shchipilina (5,5,5,5,5)
(6) Roman Italyankin & Alexandra Bokova (6,6,6,6,6)

Okay, I’ve always been a great speller, but even after all this time, spelling these Slavik names is really exhausting. Especially because half the time, I see the same people’s names spelled differently!
But I digress. Pro Smooth

2015 USDC Pro Smooth Results

2015 USDC Pro Smooth Results

(1) Peter & Alexandra Perzhu (1,1,1,1)
(2) Mazen Hamza & Izabella (3,2,3,3)
(3) Mikhail & Galina Zharinov (that dress is BEAUTIFUL – in motion, especially – 2,4,4,2)
(4) Yegor Novikov & Aleksandra Smirnova (4,3,2,4)
(5) Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija (5,5,6,5)
(6) Travis & Jaimee Tuft (6,6,5,6)

Aleksandra’s name was spelled differently in both the articles I got these results from. I think I’m tired.

2015 USDC Pro Rhythm Results

2015 USDC Pro Rhythm Results

(1) Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova (1,1,1,1,1)
(2) Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova (2,2,2,2,2)
(3) Andre & Natalie Paramonov (3,3,3,3,3)
(4) Mikhail Vlasov & Vanda Polakova (4,4,4,4,4)
(5) Danus Jaksevicious & Yuki Haraguchi (5,5,6,5,6)
(6) Vard Margaryan & Mandy Carlisle (6,6,5,6,5)

TIRED.

BUT!

I think it’s time I reveal my teacher. Because this was a big deal.

Dancers…ladies and gentlemen…my dance teacher is…

MATT HAUER!!!

Matt Hauer & Lauren Schelfhaudt, 2015 National Mambo Champions

Matt Hauer & Lauren Schelfhaudt, 2015 National Mambo Champions

I was going to wait to tell you who he was until I introduced myself completely, but I couldn’t – I’m too proud of him. He and his absolutely gorgeous pro rhythm partner, Lauren Schelfhaudt, won the national mambo championship for the second year in a row. I am beyond thrilled for him. Matt is a fantastic dancer, incredible teacher, and even more than all that, he really is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. He’s one of those people who if I ever met anyone who had a bad word to say against him, I likely would immediately distrust them – everyone I have ever met adores him! I know what a hard worker he is and so they absolutely deserve this win! YAY MATTY!

Okay, okay. I hope he doesn’t ever find out about this, because he’ll blush. HAH! Just picturing what he would do is making me laugh.

All righty, dancers. For more dance, we will tune in to tonight’s premiere of Dancing With the Stars! Can you believe it’s season 21? I also found out some interesting, but not necessarily surprising, news. Not only is there now a three-judge panel, but Julianne Hough, my future sister-in-law, is now the head judge! I think I like it! As long as she doesn’t do what Len did and always push the agenda of “the people upstairs”, that is…

But it shouldn’t really matter to me because I stopped watching the judges’ critiques in season 18.

I have a good feeling about season 21! I hope it ends up being good, clean fun and that we can just sit back and enjoy all the dancing. Good vibes, good vibes! I’ll report back!

Dancing With the Stars 21 Cast Revealed!

Happy Wednesday, ballroom dancers!

I probably should have written about the day-by-day cast reveal, but it was entirely too exhausting. Not only the reveal of one person a day, but also the reveals have been all over the place, on different shows and etc. It’s already been a lot to keep up with and the season doesn’t even start for another week and a half.

DWTS season 21 cast reveal

DWTS season 21 cast reveal

There has, apparently, been a LOT of shuffling of cast! More on that later. Here are the pairings (I get most of my info from Pure DWTS):

Tamar Braxton & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Gary Busey & Anna Trebunskaya
Nick Carter & Sharna Burgess
Paula Deen & Louis van Amstel
Victor Espinoza & Karina Smirnoff
Andy Grammer & Allison Holker
Hayes Grier & Emma Slater
Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough
Chaka Khan & Keo Motsepe
Alexa PenaVega & Witney Carson
Carlos PenaVega & Mark Ballas
Alek Skarlatos & Lindsay Arnold
Kim Zolciak & Tony Dovolani

So, the streets have been rumbling (I watch too much Wendy Williams, but I can’t stop. She’s my church). What I’ve heard so far is:

· Artem Chigvintsev is out for the season, possibly due to an elbow injury, but may be in the troupe.
· Henry Byalikov and Brittany Cherry are gone. Permanently.
· Peta Murgatroyd has been sidelined with a severe ankle injury that will need surgery.
· Peta was originally partnered with Andy Grammer (he requested her specifically). When she got hurt, the rumors were that Lindsay would be replacing Peta. Also, Peta’s plan was for her to choreograph and spend as much time with them as possible in rehearsals, and if she healed in time for the last weeks of the show, she’d step back in.
· Allison right after s20 was very sure about being back for this season, but had been super quiet when everyone else was posting those sort-of cryptic “Best day ever!” tweets.
· Paula asked for Louis.
· Artem was confirmed as a pro for this season.

My thoughts:
· I’m thrilled there are so many Latinos in the cast this season! I feel like we’re really underrepresented in the media. And this seems like a good bunch, too.
· Really looking forward to Nick & Sharna. I am and always have been Team *NSYNC, but I had nothing against BSB.
· I am SO happy Karina is back! She and Derek are the ones whose dancing I study!!!
· Actually, most of what I think is “I wonder why”. Okay, I’ve got so many questions that “I wonder why” deserves its own section.

I wonder:
· Why Louis van Amstel and Anna Trebunskaya are back. Of course, they’re two of the good ones (Louis was dance partners with Karina for a while and Anna is a tough cookie of a teacher), but the last time either one of them was on the show was years ago. Even though Louis was supposed to be on s20 until Derek decided to come back at the last minute. And apparently, they’ve both said some things about the show that were not very nice. I can see their personalities being more compatible with their respective celebs, but that can’t be all…
· Why Allison got Peta’s partner, because this definitely forced casting to re-rack ’em up. Did maybe Allison have a different partner in the works that fell through in the 11th hour? Because otherwise, why would she be so radio silent until, what, two days ago?
· Why not just bump Sasha up to pro? I really like him – he’s really a team player, never complains, and super fun. Then again, for all we know, he prefers being in the troupe.
· How come Tamar’s in the cast. Look, I used to watch The Real religiously and I think Tamar is so funny. But for some reason, this one seems more like a last-second get.
· What led the casting department to get Alek? I do love having a national hero, but it seems kind of random…especially since the incident that made him a hero happened not two weeks ago.

Am I alone in this?