When we decided to continue our characters blog, we started with Quickstep, but then this whole group of characters started to stimulate our imaginations. I mean, really they REALLY stimulated our imaginations. The character lovefest was in full swing a couple of nights ago until the wee hours of the morning, and Tristan left us with way too many character possibilities to ponder. We couldn’t stop with just one, and things just escalated to a whole creation of actors and their very believable roles. We went through a slew of male character types - all of them somehow sexy and romantic - and we skipped along a plethora of characters for Tristan, including actors, authors, and singers. At some point we even went to that crazy place in our brains (as we tend to do at 2 a.m.) where we created the actor/character hybrid, the Aracter. Forgive us, but we were a little punchy when we came up with that beauty. So here you have it – three very unique and different gentlemen who somehow managed to captivate all of us during Week 2. And by captivate we mean that they make you go cross-eyed and drool excessively as you let reality blend very nicely with your own imagination.
Quickstep – “You Had Me At Hello”
His name is “All Men Should Look That Good in White Tie and Tails Even With A Bright Sapphire Blue Shirt” but we’ve shortened to the much simpler and more dignified “You Had Me At Hello.” And he certainly did. All it took was one look at this gorgeous man in white tie and tails (or, in this case, birthday cake pink tie, which we might add that no other man in the world could possibly pull off) to know that he reminded us of somebody. Yep, this one reminds us of that dude Tristan MacManus who introduced himself in Season 12 with the DWTS troupe with those famous words “My Name is Tristan MacManus and I’m hoping to bring a little bit of Irish look [or luck] to the dance troupe this season.” But this man on the dance floor was different.
The beautiful lady at his side captivated us in her dazzling dress in varying shades of blue and violet, and she repeatedly reminded us that she was a confident but surprisingly vulnerable woman that he had under his spell. She held on to him, her eyes were glued trustingly to his, and he led her easily from step to step, controlling every element of the dance. It must seem to most women who have ever had the pleasure of dancing with this handsome leading man that life is but a wonderful dream. Then you realize that your mind has daydreamed off and suddenly you're dancing with Tristan MacManus across a giant piano. No wait...that actually happened. The beautiful lady glided back and forth with the dashing hero who guided her effortlessly, and life has never been more fun or carefree.
He is a mix of attitudes, looks, and demeanor. He’s a little bit Ricky Ricardo, the sexy Cuban bandleader created by Desi Arnaz who won our hearts decades ago. He’s quirky, he’s exciting, and he’s adorable. He is dashing, which as we all know we just don't say about men anymore. And not every man can pull off the “dashing” persona. His other persona is none other than the delicious Irishman Colin Farrell (YEOW!!!) – the consummate bad boy, sex symbol to many, surprisingly suave actor, and temptation personified on so many levels. Isn’t that what every woman wants? The good guy with a touch of the bad boy. The handsome devil and the sometimes just plain adorable comedian. The lady in blue was fortunate to get a dance with this delicious hunkster. He’s gorgeous, he’s sexy, he is The Sexy Charmer.
Rumba – “Poetry in Motion”
Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s true. This dance is pure beauty, poetry in motion. If we were poets, we could probably write a stirring poem about it, and we’re not, but John Keats was. Did you see the movie Bright Star? In that film, we have the poet Keats who was nothing but pure, creative genius who needed only a few words to convey an entire range of emotions. Our brooding leading man here is a clever blend of Keats' magic and power as he conveys all the love and lust that a dance can handle, but he does it without words. He smoothly seduces the lovely lady who is as completely mesmerized by him as he is by her. Passion and intensity don’t even come close to describing it, and he doesn’t have to be overtly sexual to get the idea across. Yeah, we got it right away because we’re smart like that. And we have eyes. It took about 2 seconds to see the lust etched on his face. On the other side, he’s brooding, he is sensual, and he is tormented. That’s our Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre right there. He's romantic, yet dark and intense. And dare we say this without sighing with those goofy looks on our faces ….he has a hint of desperation. Convincing doesn't begin to describe how well he projects his emotions to the beautiful lady. He is craving her. He just has to have her. Right there....right now! (We'll wait now while you wipe the drool from your chin.)He has an edge, he has attitude, and he has so much innate sensuality that you want to, well, never mind what you want to do. Just sayin……
As Mr. Keats said:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness…
Isn’t that exactly what we have in this Rumba? He’s sensual, he’s romantic, he’s passionate, and he’s intense. He’s too nice to be Don Juan. He’s not a tragic hero like Romeo. He’s just drop dead gorgeous, sexy as sin, and as sensual as the most romantic leading man could possibly be. We’ll just call him The Lover.
Opening dance – “Let It Rock”
This character was a whole bunch of characters, and where do we find so many wonderful men that cover the whole gamut of emotions, sentiments, and feelings that are conveyed here except for on Grey’s Anatomy.? He has the sexy good looks and great hair of McDreamy. He has the bit of the bad boy but good heart of McSteamy, and he has the ability to fling his partner around, take charge, and fix everything like McBadass - characters who will be forever now known as MacDreamy, MacSteamy, and MacBadass. Cheryl herself is a strong character once she gets on the dance floor, but even she can't tame the partner who whips her around the dance floor and oozes confidence. I can only imagine the feeling of letting this bad boy have complete control. He manages to somehow bring to life the man from Kevin Rudolph's "Let It Rock" as we see in these lyrics:
Because when I arrive
I, I'll bring the fire
Make you come alive
I can take you higher
What is this, forgot?
I must now remind you
Let it rock, let it rock, let it rock.
Funny how he can command a group dance without even trying. His name? Mac³DSB (MacDreamy, MacSteamy, MacBadass)
These three legendary leading men – The Sexy Charmer, The Lover, and Mac³DSB – have worked their way into our hearts and given us a lot to think about. And think about. And probably dream about. And think about some more. Until Monday night.....
Remember Bentley Bumtapper from Season 13? Let us refresh your memory.
He was the suspender-wearing, butt tapping, handsome rascal that turned on the charm and upped the wow factor to tease Lady Nancy in the Cry Baby Cha Cha. Ah, so now you do remember him.
Since Season 13, he has undergone a slight transformation. He is no longer Bentley Bumtapper, the little-bit-shy-but-rapidly-gaining-confidence young man. Instead, meet Rascal MacPip, the very confident, little bit arrogant, but very respectful ladies’ man, and his stunningly beautiful and talented partner, the Empress of Cha Cha.
Let’s talk just a minute about preparation for the Cha Cha, which also happens to be Mr. MacPip’s preferred method of entertaining the ladies. And why not? He saunters, winks, struts, leans, presses, wiggles, lurches, seduces, and on and on and on. But before you can Cha Cha in front of an audience of millions, you have to practice, and Rascal seems to like to laugh as he teaches. He even plans a nice “default” move so the Empress won’t be embarrassed if she forgets a bit of the choreography. Such a move is not needed, however, because the Empress knows what’s what, and if she forgets, she can fake it because she’s a born entertainer, and this lovely lady knows her business better than anybody.
So on to the dance. There were so many different characters in this one that poor Rascal must have some kind of multiple personality thing going on with all kinds of diverse techniques that help him seduce the ladies. It ‘s almost as though he is dangling a carrot in front of us, teasing us with the extraordinary range of possibilities. So let’s talk about a few of those characters, qualities, and tactical maneuvers employed by HRH (His Royal Hotness), Mr. Rascal MacPip himself.
1.The gentleman – Oh mercy me. Right from the beginning when he holds the star’s hand as she descends from the spotlight to dance, our Rascal had us right in the palm of his hand. Keep in mind that we could see the new tattoos on that right arm….and have we mentioned how much we suddenly love tattoos when we were never a big fan of them before? Once again, however, we digress.
Coming down a long flight of stairs on national TV is some serious business. Just think of all the things that could go wrong here, and believe us, we have already imagined the possibilities. In fact, we spent four tortuous days imagining the possibilities, which essentially means that we were procrastinating writing this thing. But back to the possible things going wrong scenario. We know full well what would have happened to us if we started our Week 1 dances on DWTS atop a staircase the size of a wedding cake pedestal. But then again we aren't The Empress, and we don't have decades worth of awesome Motown smoothness embedded in our DNA, nor are we particularly graceful, talented, or naturally gifted. Rascal knew without a doubt that our Empress would glide down that staircase with no trouble whatsoever but he decided to hold her hand anyway – just because. Besides, it was seriously sexy, and it all happened in such slow motion that we relive it over and over again every single day, every single step, every single breath. Think about it. When has a man ever held your hand like that to help you down the stairs while you’re tottering on your stilettos (or your dancing shoes)?
As he led her down the stairs he made it abundantly clear that Miss Sassy Skirt was the real star, and he was merely an extension of that persona. Of course this tactic that was obviously intended to divert attention from himself failed miserably because the truth of the matter is that we are suckers for a real gentleman – particularly a gentleman who looks so good with tattoos, bedhead (more about that later), and a vest (also more about that later). Not only did that gesture get our attention, but it held our attention. Nice try, Rascal.
2.A traditional ballroom or Latin dancer combined with a bit of a bad boy is hot, and you know that was the exact intention in this case. The tattoos gave us just enough of a reason to believe that this Rascal was no ordinary teacher, choreographer, dancer, and gentleman. He also had an insane amount of perfectly tousled bedhead – on this night even more than usual. This rascal stayed in bed a little longer than he should have this morning, and the DWTS hair people didn't have time to style it (we assume) or perhaps it was a well-planned strategy to seduce millions of women. Guess what? It worked. He has a little bit of an edge, and we like it. Nothing boring, nothing staid, nothing expected. From Tristan and the Rascal, always expect the unexpected. Like…
3.The beginning. Our sexy dancer with bedhead has the gorgeous lady in red to do with as he will on the dance floor. But she’s having none of it. She’s his equal, and he has to do a little pursuing….. Speaking of The Lady In Red, I’m thinking somebody ought to sing a song about it. Chris DeBurgh? You listening?
Notice how from the moment The Empress made it down the stairs, the first steps of the dance were instantaneous. No dancing around, no malarkey (Len’s words, not ours), no gimmicks, no showboating on behalf of the pro (thank you marvelous pro whoever you are), no naked chest from the Rascal (just a thought for the Rascal to keep in the back of his mind for future consideration), Gladys and The Rascal, began in hold and a series of perfectly in sync cha cha steps began. Those initial steps were followed by some real rascally closeness between Gladys and Tristan which was amazing, unexpected, and enticing, and it also deliciously set the stage for a wonderful performance. I mean, they really didn't waste any time did they? Giving us the sexy right away was a bold move so early in the game but it really set the tone for the rest of the dance.
4. Precision. The I.L.D. also evidently has a PhD. In Precision. He probably has a PhD in Sex Appeal too, but that’s beside the point. He kisses her hand with the most fleeting of kisses (giggle-SWAT), but before that there is that delicious little fluttering of his right hand as he advances (hot flash-Shakes). That is attention to detail like no other has ever brought to the dance floor on DWTS, and no, we’re not making this up. Nobody else has this kind of detail. This added touch makes us think of other added touches. And believe us when we say that we can always imagine Tristan with many, many more added touches. Tristan's Added Touches....now doesn't that sound like music to your ears my friends? Somebody called it ‘stylized’ and that’s the perfect description. It’s the little things that count…
5. The Added Touches. Let’s talk about the kiss on the hand that changed the whole dynamic of the dance as it showed us he was giving the lady all of his attention. The Empress began and ended the dance above the rest (Rascal was at her feet at the end, remember?), during assorted changes in position a supporting hand went to her back to gently guide her (Who does that???), and the smooth, rhythmic movement of the hips gave us all naughty thoughts – just like they were supposed to. Naughty naughty naughty. You know that had to be intentional. He is a rascal, remember? Anybody notice how when he supports his partner’s back, he does it with the flat of his hand so his fingers aren’t curved around her? It’s unique, it’s sexy, it’s different, and it’s hot. And while we’re on the subject of hot…
6. The lady was in charge – She was on a pedestal in the beginning, and she was on a metaphorical pedestal at the end. That’s hot. Remember just before the famous “Pip” move? Rascal continued to move while pointing to the Empress – that’s where all the attention was directed. And that is how it should be, but that pointing at the lady while stiffening the shoulders and doing the alternate shrug of those broad shoulders while tucking one foot behind the other in imitation of the Pips was very very sexy. Anybody going to argue that point? Speaking of sexy…
7. What about how he very discretely flutters his hand before inching towards her and kissing her hand. I’ve only seen this one other time, and it was in the pro dance “Dancing with the Stars - Pros and Troupe Freestyle Part 1”. Go to about 2:02 mark (you tube) and watch Tristan’s right hand. We noticed it then, we notice it now. Something about that little move of the hand is just spot-on hot. Also spot-on hot…
8. Who knew that a vest could be so darn sexy? First suspenders, now the vest. The red shirt with the black vest and pants reminded us of the whole Latin thing, and the red in the Empress’s dress carried that theme along beautifully. Bold and empowering. Yep. It’s another fashion winner that will keep us talking right up until Season 15.
The bottom line is that there are different types of rascals, but Tristan turns into a rascal when dazzling us with the Cha Cha – not the least of which is the “Oh Hell Yeah That’s Right, I’m Dancing With Gladys Knight Rascal”. We get overt displays of a pure star-struck scamp showing off. And he’s not showing off for his own benefit; he’s showing off to showcase his gorgeous and sassy dance partner. He isn’t afraid to give us hints when he is about to turn on his inner rascal. It’s subtle, it’s simple, and it’s effective. For example, the tongue occasionally makes a brief appearance to let us know he is up to no good, but we have decided not to dwell on anatomical references too much here because we would be in so much trouble....as usual.
The rascal only appears during the Cha Cha. Bentley was just a little shy, a bit unassuming, but lo and behold, Mr. MacPip is an entirely different matter. Full of flirty energy and confidence, he isn’t the least bit intimidated by TE (The Empress), and it’s even better than we thought because the Empress can dance! But the burning question is….can the Rascal really sing or are we being teased and lulled into a sense of false security and anticipation? Only LL from DublinDown330 knows for sure……..
The Irish Love Doctor was first introduced through our dear friends and fellow troublemakers at Dublin Down 330. Then we got to thinking that we could encourage donations (and no, you can’t take any donations back after you read this) through a cleverly worded blog relating to the maestro himself – the man who combines dancing, singing, acting, and medicine like no other - the Irish Love Doctor himself. He counsels on affairs of the heart and affairs in general, and his Valentine’s Day advice is the stuff medical journals are made of.
After much thought and deliberation, we have come up with the Top Ten Love Songs – all songs that our own Irish Love Doctor would no doubt recommend. Forget everything you ever heard about sappy love songs because you will not find those here. The I.L.D. will school you in the ways of love, lust, and longing through song – and we aren’t talking sugary sweet songs like My Heart Will Go On. No offense Kate and Leo, but listening to that song while clinging to a broken door in the icy depths of the Atlantic just isn’t going to help your situation nor will it be good for your love life. Similarly, do you really want to induce a serious bout of hurling if forced to listen to Feelings, Endless Love, or the Theme from Love Story? We say NO to that! The following classic love songs reflect the reality of young love, old love, and the loving the one you are currently with scenario.
10. Your Body is a Wonderland (John Mayer)
Now ladies, we know what you're thinking. Most of us certainly don't think of our bodies as a wonderland. If anything my body is more McDonaldsLand than any kind of Wonderland but that's not the point here. I know that if any dude started spouting off that he was mesmerized by my “One pair of candy lips and your bubblegum tongue”, I would sneeze in his face after I had a laugh/snort fest. The Irish Love Doctor is here to tell us that we are not all a bunch of washed up and cynical old spinsters. Not only are we too insecure with ourselves, but any guy that loves us is going to think our bodies are a Wonderland indeed. Wow I.L.D. We are impressed. If you can make us believe this is a love song, then you are worth every cent you get paid.
The problem here is sincerity. As lovely as the whole premise might be, I couldn’t even read the lyrics without laughing and then hurling. Really? This is supposed to be romantic? “You tell me where to go and thought I might leave to find it, I’ll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it.” Ah, you smooth talkin’ devil you. So if our own doctor of love thinks this is a good one for serenading, go for it, but please do something about the head banging on the headboard business. Sexy? Yes. Romantic? Not so much. I’m thinking concussion, and concussions lead to nasty consequences. Like barfing. That just ain't romantic any way you look at it. And don’t forget about "swimming through a deep sea of blankets.” This is hazardous to your health and romance. The left leg potentially gets the circulation cut off while having your head beat up against the headboard. There’s nothing good about it, but if the I.L.D. can make it sexy, then he should have at it because we are always listening.
9. I Hate Myself For Loving You (Joan Jett).
Now we’re getting into hard-core romance. It’s that whole love/hate, lust/love business that is hot. You listening, I.L.D? You can belt it out, reach down deep into your gut for some, uh, guttural vocals, and nobody will give a hoot if you are on key or not. This song is rockin’, it’s hot, and it’s the 80s. What’s not to love about these delicious words that sometimes make no sense at all? After all, does love make sense? We ask because let’s suppose the I.L.D. is annoyed and wants to sing from a guy’s perspective. That’s only fair, but we need to evaluate the lyrics as written. What is this hell has this annoying creature put her through? Frankly, I am a little surprised at all of the self-loathing Joan Jett brings up because this song definitely is going to make the person you're singing about hate himself. Why? Because you’re tough, and he's sitting there with the black eye that you gave him before writing this song. But even the toughest of chicks like Joan Jett have feelings - even though they are wrapped up in a tough rocker girl exterior. So here's the question. What’s she going to do it he doesn’t treat her right? Other than the whole black eye thing, there is a whole novel in these few lines that we are just itching to write. But first we have to do something about all those dropped ‘g’s. Missin’? Dreamin’? Lovin’? Any love doctor knows that the overuse of certain words is bad form, thus the overuse of the missing g is decidedly awkward and might interfere with the romance. Mayer had it right with his head banging crap without saying head banging.
But back to our song that’s full of anger, bitterness, dropped 'g's and yes, el amor:
“Daylight spent the night without you
But I’ve been dreamin’ about the lovin’ you do
I won’t be as angry about the hell you put me through
Hey man betcha you can treat me right
You just don’t know what you was missin’ last night
I wanna see you beggin’, say forget it just for spite…..”
8. Foxy Lady – Jimi Hendrix.
Even though nobody has said “foxy” in at least 30 years, this one could potentially result in a major estrogen surge if sung properly. In fact, it could apply to both the ladies and the gentlemen in an oddball kind of way. Girls, release your inner fox. Lads, just see how quickly you score that girl when you lip sync this song like Garth did in Wayne’s World. Ah yes, Ladies, we can see it now. Just imagine your man (okay, any man) coming up to you and giving you the old “I can see right through your clothes, and you look mighty fiiine nekked, babeeee. You are one foxy lady.” Of course, his eyes never leave your chest during this little episode, but that’s kind of how it always is anyway, and I guess we don't mind that too much.
Listening to this one again, I realized there is really nothing more romantic than a hard, driving beat that’s kind of like a jackhammer working in the porn district on Broadway while some raspy voice tries to be sexy when whispering “foxy….foxy….” Yeah, this one is sexy all right. These are some profound lyrics. What do you say, I.L.D.? Want to give this one a try and watch the ladies swoon? We're sure you could make Garth's Foxy Lady dance much more lethal. Oh yeah, and please add some sexy bedroom eyes action when you're staring us down.
“Here I come…I’m comin’ to get ya
Foxy lady…you look so good
Yeah, foxy…Yeah, give us some
Foxy…Yeah, get it babe
You make me feel like sayin’ foxy...foxy...foxy lady..."
Just for the record? SWAT and I are both foxes.
7. It Wasn't Me (Shaggy)
Sound familiar? We at the blog firm of SWAT, Shakes, and Nonsense know why the I.L.D. probably holds this song in such high regard. To spare pain to all parties involved - always believe the seemingly guilty party when he put his hands in the air and feigns ignorance - It Wasn't Me! Yeah, and this isn't my foot booting your cheating backside out the door. The good doctor also knows that when you're in an awkward situation like this (meaning the dude is a lying, cheating s.o.b. with guilt written all over his lying cheating face) you should always take the high road. It always makes the cheater look even worse when his soon to be ex regally holds her head high, struts and sashays the back porch (just to let him know what he’s missing) and walks away. The I.L.D. will probably think this one should go higher on the list, but clearly there are more magnificent love songs. In fact, we were tempted to make this one round out the top 6 but other stellar performances kept this beauty at #7.
Just look at the beautiful love story inherent in these poignant lyrics along with our commentary:
“How could I forget that I had given her an extra key? [because you're a dumbass]
All this time she was standing there – she never took her eyes off me… [yeah because she wanted to make sure you never did it again and was trying to figure out how to handle that without going to prison]
How you can grant the woman access to your villa [again, you're a dumbass]
Trespasser and a witness while you cling to your pillow [you're also a lousy poet]
You better watch your back before she turn into a killer [exactly, smartest line of the song]
Best for you and the situation not to call the beaner [typical male-speak. WHAT?]
To be a true player you have to know how to play [You're not smart enough to play, you gave her a key, remember?]
If she stay a night, convince her stay a day [who are we talking about here?]
Never admit to a word when she say …makes a claim [yeah, because you're a lying, stinking s.o.b. ..oh yeah and have we mentioned that you're a dumbass?]
and you tell her baby no way.” [blah blah blah - you suck]
I’m telling you, these lyrics are so absolutely poetic, I almost cried. I'm not sure if SWAT is crying from the song, or just laughing really hard.
6. Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye)
This is what we like. Straight to the point. After all, we're always asking for honesty from him right? Right! No frills, no seduction (well maybe a little) , no flowers, and no candy. Besides, flowers make us sneeze (particularly the pretty ones, and who wants ugly flowers that look like toads or bugs?). Candy is dangerous to the backside (except when it's chocolate, and then we just don't care), so when Marvin says, “Let’s get it on,” there is something oddly appealing about ignoring the perils of Godivas (pure will-power) and pink roses. The big problem is that there is a little bit too much 'baby baby baby' stuff which reeks of insincerity, and the whole giving up the chocolate thing for a man just doesn’t work for us. Think about it. Would you really cut loose if a hot man (we’re not going to get into trouble by mentioning names) crooned these creative lyrics? I don’t think so, but maybe the famous expert on affairs of the heart thinks differently. It's true though, you just can't listen to the first line of this song and not go "Ohhhhh yeaaah"
I've been really tryin', baby [Ohhhhh yeah!]
tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby…then, c'mon, oh, c'mon
Let's get it on…ah, baby, let's get it on
Let's love, baby…let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on
We're all sensitive people…with so much to give
Understand me, sugar…since we've to be here…let’s live”
We were buying into this spiel until we noticed the name change. First, Baby? Then, Sugar? What’s that all about? And what in the blue blazes does it mean to say, “Understand me sugar…since we’ve to be here?” I’m thinking this is more a bad seduction technique – especially when he can’t remember your name and the grammar sucks, but the I.L.D. might know something we don't and really be into this one. Of course the phrase "bad seduction" would never apply to our I.L.D....that's why he's the expert on these matters and not us.
We do think that having him wail this song out might just melt our knickers off faster than Foxy Lady...but we’ll see.
5. (tie) Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car (Billy Ocean)
Deceptively romantic, Billy Ocean’s love song is good for your earthy self. In other words, it’s time to get down to the real nitty gritty. Normally I don't think of any Billy Ocean song as risqué but this song is a bit deceptive with it's upbeat rythmn and use of jazzy saxophone in the background. We kind of think Billy wasn’t thinking clearly when he recorded this beauty, but the underlying romantic thematic elements show a much deeper interpretation is possible. Pay close attention. Billy is so smooth in his delivery that you almost miss the true meaning of this song. Just read this and imaging the I.L.D. belting this baby out.
“Hey Cinderella, step in your shoe
I’ll be your non-stop lover – get it while you can……
Get outta my dreams, get into my car
Get outta my dreams get into the back seat baby…” and then there was this:
“Lady driver, let me take your wheel
Touch my bumper (bumper)
Hey let’s make a deal
Make it real – like a road runner coming after you
Just like a hero outta the blue
I'll be your non-stop lover – get it while you can
Your non-stop miracle . . .I’m your man.”
You get the picture. It kind of reminds us of…well never mind what it reminds us of. This is a naughty one, but a subtle naughty one. In fact, when listening to it, I had the urge to Cha Cha. It might work better as a love sonnet than a love song, but we’ll leave it up to the I.L.D. to decide. I do think that this is a song however, that only Doc could pull off as a love-related anything because I’m not getting the whole multi-metaphorical, excruciatingly painful use of literary devices, and fairy tale references combined with motorized objects. But men do have love affairs with their cars, so who knows? Regardless, in today's day and age, it's not really smart to get in the back of just anybody's car. One more thing. This whole “non-stop miracle” nonsense is decidedly arrogant and unromantic. We need to work on the delivery on that one.
5. (tie) Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy (Big and Rich)
Now things are getting interesting. It’s sexy, it’s clever, it’s different, and it practically shouts a marriage proposal. Just imagine the Irish Love Doctor crooning this one: “And I saddle up my horse and I ride into the city…I make a lot of noise cause the girls, they are so pretty…Riding up and down Broadway on my old stud Leroy . . .and the girls say ‘Save a horse, ride a cowboy’.” Generally speaking, country music isn't exactly the genre that gets the hormones revved up. In the past, the country set was all about being clean. Lots of songs were about losing their women and their dogs, women with big hair singing about cheating hearts, and boots being under peoples’ beds, and it's always been careful. The past few years however country has gotten a lot edgier, a lot raunchy. And this is the song that screams country raunch.
Cowboys are mysterious bad boys, and we all love our bad boys (that whole 80’s Bad Boy thing from Season 13 is still kind of fresh in our minds). I’m picturing the Irish Love Doctor playing his guitar and serenading me with this lovely tune as I look down at him from my balcony. Or maybe that was Romeo and Juliet. Oh, whatever. Leroy, Cowboy, Jim Bob with a brogue, Who cares? Sing whatever you want. I imagine most of the women in the USA and other locations are having all kinds of naughty thoughts right now so yep. It’s a love song in our book.
4. Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang
Is there anything more romantic than these words: “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals – so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Not only is the Irish Love Doctor knowledgeable in the ways of love, he's also knowledgeable in the ways of science and the strange mating rituals of the common man (and the common jungle animal). His versatility, his wealth of knowledge, and his keen sensitivity are the reasons behind his success. Like any gorgeous bloke, the Irish Love Doctor naturally gravitates to this song because of its sensitive subject matter. In essence, he is telling us that women must just accept some very peculiar masculine behavior. It’s the nature of the beast, so to speak. We are assuming that the Irish Love Doctor's favorite line from this classic love song is, “I want you smothered, want you covered, like my Waffle House hashbrowns.” ‘Nuff said.
3. Mambo #5 (Lou Bega)
This one is a bit tricky. There are multiple possible interpretations but we’re just going with the safe one that there are a whole of ladies panting after the Irish Love Doctor. What to do? You wear suspenders, the ladies love you. You open your mouth to say “poompkin”, and the ladies love you. You floss your teeth, and the ladies love you, You put on your shoes, the ladies love you. You come out of the house with crazy bedhead, and the ladies love you. See a trend here? Believe me, we could go on for hours as to why the ladies all love the I.L.D, but that would take decades, and I'm not getting any younger. But I digress. So the love machine is all confused with this adoration…and not only that, it is kinda sorta about dance in a screwy kind of way.
“And jump and down go and move it all around
shake your head to the sound - put your hand on the ground
Take one step left and one step right
One to the front and one to the side
Clap your hands once and clap your hands twice
And if it looks like this
Then you are doing it right
A little bit of Monica in my life [obviously this should have read Shakespeare]
A little bit of Erica by my side [substitute SWAT]
A little bit of Rita is all I need [substitute Shakes]
A little bit of Tina is what I see [substitute SWAT]
A little bit of Sandra in the sun [substitute Shakes]
A little bit of Mary all night long [substitute SWAT]
A little bit of Jessica here I am [substitute Shakes]
A little bit of you makes me your man"
We picked this song for the I.L.D. because we all know that sometimes it's nice to put yourselves out there and start dancing with different people, date around a little. We can totally envision the I.L.D. flirting and dancing at a salsa club with every willing woman, and that includes the older set. But we are all about keeping it real so, clearly, it was written for us. It’s fate, destiny, and everything else. Sigh.
2. She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy - Kenny Chesney
I don’t know about you, but the thought of riding around the farm on a tractor while getting some romantic notions may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but we think it’s just the thing to kindle some red-hot country lovin’. Well maybe it’s not the tractor but the tractor driver. Did you ever think of that Kenny? Just listen to the cadence, the rhythm, the musicality of this beauty. Add some bagpipes, a pipe organ, a kazoo, and a ukulele, and there might be something to this.
“She thinks my tractor’s sexy…it really turns her on
She’s always starin’ at me…while I’m chuggin’ along…
She likes the way it’s pullin’ while we’re tillin’ up the land
She’s even kind of crazy ‘bout my farmer’s tan…
She’s the only one who really understand what gets me…she thinks my tractor’s sexy.”
Frankly, we think the “she” in this little beauty is old Bessie the cow who is gazing at the previously mentioned adoringly from yonder field, but who are we to doubt the course of true love. We choose this song for Doc because there's not a thing wrong with being yourself. If he wants to get up on a giant John Deere and start cruisin’ around the cornfields looking for babes, then we'd probably think that his tractor's sexy too. It's all about having the confidence, and the doctor of love defines confidence without looking arrogant. So yep. It’s a love song and it’s number 2 on our list.
1. Back on the Chain Gang (the Pretenders)
Yes, this probably isn't what you expected as our #1 love song but since when do the SWATster and I do anything you can expect? This song is perfect because nobody knows what it means, and we think that that whole 'what is a true love song' issue is a conundrum in and of itself. Frankly, nothing screams oddball romance like a chain gang. SWAT and I argued about this one but I somehow convinced her when I pointed out the many possible scenarios of love that could be read between the lines. (Actually, we just thought it was funny).
“I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
Those were the happiest days of my life
Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh
In the wretched life of a lonely heart
Now we’re back on the train
Oh back on the chain gang…”
There are so many possible interpretations: prisoner of love, going back to prison for impersonating the Irish Love Doctor and getting caught, getting sent to prison for stalking him, being sent to work on a chain gang for writing bad blogs and even worse poetry about him, the possibilities are endless. Like any brilliant love song, you have to have the right vocals, and who better than to sing about a chain gang and a lonely heart in one sentence than the Irish Love Doctor, M.D. (Sure the M.D. part is redundant, but we can’t really call him Irish Love, M.D., so we had to take some liberties.) Just one question. How does a lonely heart have a wretched life?
Regardless it's only appropriate that we top off our Top 10 (which is actually more than 10 because that's how we roll) with a song about a chain gang. Would you expect anything less?
Every good show needs awards, and SWAT and Shakes have decided to present the First Annual DWTS ‘We Are Always Right, People' Awards. These are based (mostly) on the Season 14 cast and the results were carefully tabulated by the accounting firm of SWAT, Shakes, and Nonsense. At first we thought that the “We Are Always Right, People” Awards or the WAARPs" were going to be quite the grand affair – a true Hollywood extravaganza with paparazzi, Brad and Anglelina, the cast of Jersey Shore, and an emerald green carpet to replace the red one which is soooo last year. We had Billy Crystal lined up to host the first annual WAARPs, and Shakes was going to be writing the opening monologue with just the right amount of sarcasm and hilarity. SWAT planned to sing in all the musical numbers while wearing her tutu. Azline was hired to be the official coach to the large group of MacManiac back-up line dancers who were going to tear up the dance floor and bust a move (or hip) during the musical numbers. We had a green carpet segment planned with Phantom getting the "scoop" on the pros and their celebrity partners (our version of Nancy O’Dell and/or Ryan Seacrest), and with Ripley & CP serving respectively as Producer and Director of the whole shebang . We were really upping the glitz, the glamour, and the prestige! Then we realized how much it was all going to cost us, and so we figured we might as well just donate the money spent on the big awards to DublinDown330 instead, because that's really more important. So here we are, a more low key and intimate awards ceremony...which we prefer anyway, because SWAT swears tv cameras add 10 pounds to her weight, and Shakes thinks any photo makes her butt look big.
In some cases, the voting was so close that we have to call a tie. So here are your Season 14 DWTS WAARP Award Winners:
The Overkill Award (formerly called The Overuse of a Good Thing Award) - 3-way tie
*Mark Ballas and his spats
*Kym Johnson and her fringe
*Val‘s aversion to wearing a shirt
Most Likely to Make the Partner Cry (not to be confused with the Tearjerker Award)
Winner by a landslide:
*Sherri Shepherd – She will reduce Val to tears at least once
Most Likely To Have the First Breakdown In Rehearsals
*Val or Sherri – It’s a toss-up as to which one cracks first and stomps out of rehearsal
The Tearjerker Award- This award is given to the individual who will have the saddest story during "Personal Stories" week this season.
*The MacManiaLand MacManiacs: Their heartfelt story of perseverance and a lot of imaginary hurling (as they waited the night before the cast announcement while speculating who Tristan's celeb partner would be, only to find that Tristan was definitely returning for Season 14 and that he had bagged himself the best celeb that we could have imagined – Ms. Gladys Knight) has moved the academy to tears.
The Most Likely to Kill Each Other in Rehearsal Honorary Scholarship Donated to Future DWTS Celebrities
*Melissa Gilbert. She will take down Maks several times, he will stomp his foot at least twice, and a bloodbath may very well happen early on. Count on it.
Most Likely To Have the First Tantrum
*Maks and Melissa – It won’t be pretty when the yelling starts, but we’re pulling for Melissa to come out the victor. It will make sexy Maks even sexier when we see his human side.
Most Likely to Cause Spontaneous Combustion
*William and Cheryl. This is a no-brainer. All that hot Latin blood and those hopefully sexy and frequently-rotating Latin hips will shake up the sexy Samba until the whole ballroom is burning up. Either that, or they will bomb completely. There’s no middle ground here.
Most Likely to Have a Wardrobe Malfunction – Tie
*Karina – Check out the promo picture.
*Anna - Check out the promo picture.
The Sean Connery Award- To the man that you know is going to be a stud no matter how old he is
The Fred and Ginger Award- To the two pros you'd most like to see dance together again, or the pro couple that you think will look the best dancing together
*Tristan and Anna
*Tristan and Peta
The Oops award- To the couple that you know is going to either fall down, forget their choreography, throw their backs out, or have a malfunction of some sort. 3-way tie
*Derek and Maria- She slipped on stage right after being announced as part of the cast. He will have his seasonal pulled back muscle, dislocated shoulder, or sprained ankle. If she forgets the choreography, you know we can count on Derek to dance around her. No problem.
*Jaleel and Kym- He could inhale a lung full of deadly fringe and go down for the count
*Gavin and Karina – His hat falls over his eyes, he trips over Karina, and they go splat.
The Whoop Whoop (or Fist Pump) Award- To the couple that throws down, raises the roof and gets the audience on their feet, and waving their hands in the air....like they just don't care.
*Tristan and Gladys (Duh-cause they are gonna rock)
The Carson Kressley “Moves Like Jagger” Award for Pure Entertainment – 3 way tie
*Gladys and Tristan - Because they are going to bring the house down.
*Roshon and Chelsie - Because they will be fun.
*Jaleel and Kym - Because they will bring out Steve Urkel for the jive, and why not?
The Uber Fanbase Award- To the celeb whose fan base alone may get them to the finals - tie
*Donald and Peta- Gotta love those Cheese Heads
*Tristan and Gladys- Gotta love those MacManiacs
Most Likely To Get Carrie Ann Hot and Bothered – tie
*William Levy – This is a no-brainer. As Cheryl said, and I paraphrase, "He is the sexiest piece of you know what the show has seen” and Carrie Ann is always completely flustered by a pretty, uh, face.
*Donald Driver- How many times has Carrie Ann stood up in front of dapper male athlete season after season and shouted, "That dance wuz on Fiiiiii-Ahhhh!"
Most Likely To Get Bruno Hot and Bothered - tie
*William Levy – Bruno lacks self-control when the pretty ones appear. And I don’t mean Maria Menoulos.
*Gladys Knight - Remember how flustered Bruno got when Nancy had her boy toy during the Rumba. Imagine that, only ten times worse.
Most Likely To Get Len Hot and Bothered- tie
*Jack Wagner - Because we can already tell from the rehearsal photos that Jack has great posture, Anna will choreograph a traditional waltz along the way, and Frisco Jones will rock.
*Katherine Jenkins - Because let's face it, she's just as classically beautiful as she is classically gifted.
Most Likely To Get SWAT and Shakes Hot and Bothered
*Duh. Who else?
The Shakes and SWAT Brat Award- Goes to the celeb or pro who we know is most likely to throw a tantrum – 3-way tie
*Mark: Remember, he's King of the Pouty Face
*Maks: Season 13 anyone?
*Roshon: Just because youngsters tend to have their moments.
Most Likely To Annoy the Dickens Out of SWAT and Shakes - tie
*Sherri- Again, she seems like a pushy sort of girl, and we frankly just want to watch Val teach you how to dance sans the drama.
*Mark- Because he always does that crazy lurchy spat spin at the end of every dance and wears excessive amounts of guy liner.
The Superior Pecs Award: Given to the male pro or celeb most likely to have the most superior pec-age.- not really a tie, but we’ll humor the viewing audience
*Val: Seen it...it's pretty good
*Mals: Can't complain
*Derek: He likes to show them a lot now doesn't he?
*William Levy: What’s not to like?
*Tristan: Obviously the only true winner of this category, we just put the others on the list so it seemed fair.
Performer Most Likely To Rip His Shirt Off and Bare the Pectorals
*Val – He does it all the time
*Maks – He does it all the time
*Derek – He does it all the time
*William – We hope he does it all the time
*Tristan – Sorry, Ladies. This one ain’t happening
The Skimpiest Clothing Award
*Tristan (okay, so that was wishful thinking)
Most Likely To Try To Pull Off the Suspenders Look and Fail
*Jaleel White – He may try to bring back Steve Urkel but now that we’ve seen how suspenders are supposed to be worn, nothing else will come close.
Most Likely To Break Into Song In the Middle of the Cha Cha
*Tristan MacManus – When he and Gladys are Cha Cha-ing to “I Heard It Through the Grapevine “, Tristan is bound to forget that he’s only supposed to sing during rehearsal and challenge Gladys to a singing duel on the dance floor.
Most Likely To Cause A Nuclear Meltdown On the Dance Floor If She Dances With Tristan
Most Likely Candidate To Win DWTS While Juggling 8 Grammy Awards In the Freestyle
*Who else has 8 Grammy awards?
Forget the Toxic Duel – Most likely to belt out Nella Fantasia while doing a waltz while the partner rips his shirt off and plays the guitar?
*Katherine and Mark
Worst Use of Home Furnishings in DWTS History
*Val and the bed in Season 13.
*Maks and the couch/futon/whatever in Season 10
The Couple Most Likely To Shock the Pants Off Of Everybody With Their Dancing
*Tony and Martina
The Most Shocking Transformation In Cast Photos
*Martina – hot (yes, she looks amazing, and we are both jealous)
The Couple Most Likely To Annoy Len By Breaking the Rules Because The Pro Is “just not feeling the music”
*Derek and Maria (remember the Nicole/Derek Quickstep? See below)
The Couple Most Likely To Do A Non-Quickstep Quickstep and Still Get A Couple of 10s
*Derek and Maria
Most Likely To Get The “tsk tsk” From Carrie Ann
*Derek because he will throw a lift into the dance and then Carrie Ann will say, “Well, it’s a lift but I’m going to overlook it because I want to. But tsk tsk..”
Most Likely To Get The “tsk tsk” From Bruno
*Maks and Melisa - Bruno is going to tilt his head a little to the side and kind of smirk and then say, “You naughty boy, you know you broke hold in that quickstep…”
Most Likely To Get The “tsk tsk” From Len
*Chelsie and Roshon - Len will growl and snarl after Roshon does his Sasha impersonation and nails a backflip. “I don’t like all of that malarkey stuff up there.”
The Dancer Most Likely To Get Bruno Dancing On The Judges’ Table
*William Levy – He is likely to get all of us dancing on the judges’ table
The “We Are Not At War But It Sure Seems Like It” Award (tie)
*Maks and Mellissa
*Val and Sherri
The Season 14 Bickering Bickersons Award
*There are no winners as the voters – all 2 of us – decided that nobody can match the Bickersons of Kurt Warner and Anna & Tristan and Nancy
The “You Thought I Wasn’t A Ringer” Award
*Roshon – Because dancing is in his job description
*Katherine - Because she apparently danced on stage for something once
The Marie Osmond “I’m Gonna Faint” Award
*Sherri Shepherd – Can you say Drama Queen?
The Kirstie Alley “Uh Oh I Dropped You” Award
*Gavin DeGraw - Let’s hope this doesn’t happen, but Gavin doesn’t look like a very big guy, and if Karina choreographs something fancy, we might have a problem.
The Albert Reed “I’m Sexy and I Know It” Award
*William Levy – if the shoe fits….
The Kenny Mayne Award for Enthusiasm and Ineptitude
*SWAT and Shakes – no description necessary
The Magical Transformation Award
*Martina - because Holy Guacamole she is a stunner!
The "I'm Going to Insure My Legs For A Million Bucks" Award
The Millinery Award for Head Adornment Excellence
*Gavin DeGraw - He can wear “la montera” (bullfighter’s cap) for the Paso and rock it like no other.
Most Likely To Score The First 10
*Jack and Anna – They are going to turn up the heat and get the first 10 of the season
Most Likely To Score The First 30
*Jack and Anna – They have too many checks in the plus column for them not to have the first 30
Most Likely To Kiss Bruno First
Most Likely To Kiss Carrie Ann First
*William Levy – He’s no dummy, and I’m sure Cheryl has told him that CA is a sucker for a nice, uh, face.
Most Lkely To Kiss Len First
*Ms. Gladys Knight, because Len is going to love their traditional foxtrot, waltz, or quickstep, and she will respond by planting a big one on him.
Most Likely To behave At The Judges’ Table
*Gladys and Tristan
*Jaleel and Kym
Most Likely To Misbehave At The Judges’ Table
*Maks – the repeat winner
The “Whoa That Is a Lot of Blondeness” Award
Celebrity Most Likely To Take The Rest Of Them To School
*Gladys Knight – Nobody can match her personality, charisma, and fire
Pro Most Likely To Take Them All To School
Tristan MacManus – We aren’t arguing with Nancy Grace – ever. If she says he is the most brilliant choreographer and dancer in the world, who are we to disagree?
Celebrity or Pro Most Likely To Have A Career In Medicine
*Tristan MacManus – He has already set up his practice and is known universally as The Irish Love Doctor for his sound advice regarding romance, relationships, and matters of the heart.
[Shakes] When I heard the name Gladys Knight coming from Brooke’s mouth, I literally shouted GLADYS KNIGHT????, and it had nothing to do with the fact that she is several decades older than Tristan; it has to do with the fact that DWTS finally landed the first mega-superstar – and she is going to be dancing with Tristan! Excited doesn’t begin to cover it. I immediately tossed my deliciously hot and sweet caffeinated beverage into the air which meant substantial time doing cleanup in Aisle 7. I also began doing a little happy dance right in front of my television, fervently hoping that Tristan could see through it to me. But then I realized that Ms. Gladys is so much better a match for him on the dance floor than I am. First of all, she has talent. I don’t. Second, she’s gorgeous. My sweatpants and wild hair couldn’t begin to have the same effect or compete with her extraordinary beauty (have you taken a look at her Twitter background? WOW). Third, she is a star with star power who has the ability to lasso in millions of viewers. Surprisingly, I don’t have any of that, so from my perspective, Team Gladys and Tristan (or whatever name they come up with) is going to rock!
[SWAT] The cast has been announced, and I must say for once that I'm not at all disappointed. Let's be honest here. Am I the only one that's ecstatic about the fact that there are no reality stars in this cast? I didn't think so. On A-Day (Announcement Day), I started my day as I always do, carpooling with the kids and my hubs to work. On this particular morning I knew that once I got to work, I would have a little email present in my inbox from my partner in crime, Shakes, and this email would have the full confirmed list of this season's celebs and their pros. This list is actually a pretty solid line up. Some surprising, some not surprising, and some just downright RADICAL! Now that the list is out, almost every DWTS “expert” and entertainment website have put their two cents worth in on how these couples are stacking up against each other. Some look like they'd fare better than others but honestly, this cast to me is the most evenly ranked so far. It really is anyone's ball game.
It is in the spirit of our great constitutional right of freedom of the press that allows us, Shakes and SWAT, to embark into our first foray into serious journalism and give everyone who is listening our professional opinions on the 12 couples who are going to be battling it out on the dance floor. So let the bloodbath begin....okay that sounds too serious....let the bubble bath begin.
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
[SWAT] I was more than a little surprised by this pairing. Rumors about Melissa being on the show were front and center a couple of weeks before the actual cast announcement so it's not the fact that she is part of the cast that surprises me. Half-Pint definitely meets the DWTS criteria for being a good choice as a celebrity cast member. She was a big deal on Little House on the Prairie but then she just kind of faded like my favorite blue jeans. Even though she is still very active (even being President of the Screen Actors Guild for several years), it was time for her to get back into the limelight, so why not do it here? I am just surprised that she is paired with Maks. She has the goods to do well, but I wonder how this pairing will do once tempers flare and frustrations peak. Ladies and Gentlemen, it ain’t gonna be pretty. We have Maks who is prone to making his partners cry, and Melissa who is a seemingly fearless fiery redhead, and she just might give it back to him. Done correctly, however, they might channel these tense moments into their dancing, and then they could create some serious chemistry on the dance floor. Otherwise, we could have another Maks/Hope Solo repeat on our hands, and the viewers may get sick of the drama. I’m betting Carrie Ann goes in for the smackdown this time. My choice for a team name? Team Friction!
[Shakes] I’m thinking Half-Pint might be wearing the pants in this relationship. Little Laura Ingalls is all grown up and isn’t going to put up with any crap from Mr. Maks and instead of tears from Miss Melissa, we’re more apt to see a punch straight to the old bread basket. I’m thinking her back surgery isn’t going to keep her from performing well – did you see how easily Maks dipped her during the cast announcement? My personal opinion is that Maks was not scheduled to be on this season, Tristan was going to be Melissa's partner, and when Gladys signed on The Powers That Be decided there was no way a Gladys/Maks pairing was going to happen. Hence, in steps The Man Who Saved the Day – Tristan.
Melissa and Maks aren’t going to go through this process smoothly; she’s tough and spirited, and he is almost as cranky as Len. Whereas Tristan’s philosophy is that it’s not about being your best, it’s about doing your best, I’ve always believed Maks’s philosophy is that being the best is the only acceptable choice. That’s going to cause problems because not everyone has the same skill level. Tsk, tsk, Maks. Their team name? Team Half-Cranky.
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani
SWAT] Okay, I love Martina and I know what she contributed to tennis back in the day. For the most part, she was a total badass, although as we have seen in the past that sometimes the female athletes have had issues finding their inner swan. Monica Seles anyone? I'm going to give Martina props already because I can see that she's in great shape and has glammed herself out pretty well. If Tony can help her master some solid choreography then Martina could really surprise us. We all know that she's got the drive. We also know that Tony is always very optimistic and supportive of all of his partners. I always find myself rooting for Tony, with the exception of when he was with Kate Gosselin, and then I was rooting for them to be voted off so he could be put out of his misery. But again, I love Tony! For this reason I think this team deserves the name Team Match Point.
[Shakes] I think Tony and Martina are going to rock, rock, rock! Between his blinding white teeth and her display of pure guts for even taking on this challenge, I think they are going to be the surprise of the season. I’m not saying they will win – but they are going to bring some sexiness, some power like nobody else, and inner strength that I so love. Then there’s that whole determination thing that will propel them forward week after week. Martina is a rock star; Tony deserves this. I’m named this team Team Kick Ass. Next to the Tristan and Gladys match-up, this might be the most inspired pairing for Season 14.
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
[SWAT] Ironically enough, Katherine was the one to belt out a beautiful version of O Mio Babbino Caro when Tristan and Peta did their amazing waltz during Season 12's Classical Music Week. The irony alone seemed almost too perfect and suggested a Katherine/Tristan pairing, but she was assigned to Mark. This is not that surprising really. Mark, like his counterpart Derek, pretty much always has a pretty young thing on his arm every season; someone who already knows how to dance a little bit, who has 0% body fat, or who has performing credentials which translate into a bit of an advantage. Katherine is most definitely one of the most talented celebs to compete on DWTS, and I hope that Mark sees how classy and musically gifted she is and really lets her shine without adding all of the modern crazy macabre choreography that he tends to throw out there. I'm not quite sure about her fan base, but if she dances well I can see these two being contenders for the finals. For that reason I call them, Team No Emo Guy Liner Please.
[Shakes] I may be way off base here, but I think that this is the strangest match-up of all. I can see the gorgeous and very talented Katherine Jenkins with Dmitry, Damian, or Jonathan (yes, I know he won’t be back, but I can still see it). I think Mark will bring out the spats every week which will make me want to jump off the roof. Then he will probably way over dance as he has a tendency to do – particularly in the early stages of the competition. I think Katherine is the sophisticated graceful lady who will approach this whole thing cautiously, and I’m not sure that Mark will be able to bring out the beautiful dancer in her. At first I wanted to call them Team Burrito because of mental confusion the other night when I called SWAT’s little poppets (kids) burritos by mistake. That’s kind of how I feel about this team. Confusion, for a lot of reasons. Mark pouts as much as Maks – any score below an 8 results in the pouty sad-sack face, and that’s annoying. Believe it or not, sometimes the dance just sucks and the scores are deserved. Sorry guys, I love you both, but you’re not entitled just because you think you are. So knock off the whining. If I had wanted 2 more kids, I would have had them.
So anyway, I hope I’m wrong about this pairing because I think that Katherine is a terrific addition to the cast, but I do not think that they will last very long this season. I might give them bonus points if she wore the spats instead of him, but nah, spats within ten feet of him is just overkill because there can be too much of a good thing. For lack of any idea whatsoever of a team name for this team (because I’m not feeling it at all), I am calling them Team No Spats or Pouts.
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya
[SWAT] I'm not quite familiar with Jack Wagner mainly because I've never been a soap opera fan. Shakes and Phantom did go on for ages about how awesome he was when he graced the covers of teen magazines back in the early 80's when he sang the hit All I Need. This nostalgic teenybopper-ness from them was bouncing off the walls of MacManiaLand for days when Jack was still rumored to be doing the show, so I figure I should definitely pay attention. I don't think they could have given him a better partner either. Anna is one of my favorite pros and she's got the beauty, the smarts, and the toughness to get Jack far. I believe I'm the most intrigued about this couple, mostly because I know the least about him, but I want to know more. And let's face it, both Jack and Anna are both smokin' hot individuals. My name for them....Team Slow Burn.
[Shakes] Okay so I like Jack Wagner, but I didn’t go on for days and neither did Phantom. I just gushed a little for a few hours. I’m not a soap fan either, but I confess to watching Frisco Jones on General Hospital during my baby-making days (not while actually making them, of course, while raising them). He was hot. He still is actually, and I imagine that at some point he and the stunning Anna will dance to All I Need. That’s fine with me. Anna is my female favorite pro with none of the others even coming close, so in my mind, she can do no wrong. I would like nothing better than for Anna and Jack to get that number 2 spot right behind Tristan and Gladys. I also think that Jack and Anna will have the most chemistry of all the couples and based on what I’ve seen from the early photos, his posture, his intensity, and his everything else are spot on. This is Team Red Hot (besides the red hair, both of them sizzle).
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
[SWAT] Once again they gave Peta an athlete. Last season I was very sad to see her and her celebrity partner, Metta World Peace, leave the competition during week one. Peta is very talented, and I was thrilled to see that she was coming back. Normally NFL athletes do well in this competition so the fact that she has a celeb partner like Donald Driver shows me that silver lining that she didn't have last season. Not only do the football players tend to go far, but he also plays for the Green Bay Packers, and who doesn't love those Cheese Heads? Green Bay fans are also notoriously loyal so I have a good feeling about this partnership. If anything, the Cheese Heads will pull them through. For that reason I call them Team More Cheese Please.
[Shakes] Peta rocks. Heck, anybody who has Damian rocks. But she’s also my second favorite female pro. I love her cute dimples, I’m insanely jealous of those legs that go up to her neck, and I think she and Tristan have more chemistry than is probably legal. I don’t know much about Donald, but I knew I liked him when I saw how he was dressed for the cast announcement. The man is taking this thing seriously, and I like him already. I think this pair will be around awhile, but there is no question that Peta is the boss. Meet Team Peta’s Driving.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke
[SWAT] When I took a look at the celebrity roster and saw William Levy’s name on it I couldn't help but laugh. He is a serious hottie and is known for the long, sensuous smoldering looks that he gives his female costars. He is so sexy that Joel McHale fromThe Soup put a big ol' Bulls Eye on his forehead, and therefore he's been the subject of much poking on The Soup for seasons now. Most of the time you see Joel critiquing Mr. Levy during a segment called “Clippos Magníficos”. This is where I'm sure William Levy will make Joel McHale and The Soup eat their words. Partnering him with Cheryl, however, is, dare I say it, predictable? How many sexy and hot male celebs has she been partnered with so far? It's not exactly a stretch of the imagination, and at this point, I don't find their partnership interesting. William will most likely own the Latin dances, he will make all the ladies swoon (the men too), and he and Cheryl will Cha Cha forward week after week. I hate to give away the end of the season that hasn't already started yet, but this is Cristián and Giles all over again. For that reason I'm calling them Team Season 6/8 Rerun.
[Shakes] I have to admit that I’ve voted with my hormones a few times. Okay, more like a few thousand times, and Mr. Levy is one tall and sexy drink of water. I personally think he would have been better suited for Anna, but I think everybody is better with Anna. Here’s my concern. Remember Albert Reed? Sex-on-a-stick, he could dance, he had the best pro (Anna), and he was barely there long enough to give my hormones a jumpstart. That may happen here. William is gorgeous, but if he can’t master the hip movement and the fast footwork, he may be out the door before you can say, “Hasta luego.” Meet Team Chevy (that needs an oil change). This one was just too easy
Sherri Shepherd – Val Chmerkovskiy
[SWAT] Here's the thing with me. If I don't like the celebrity, chances are I'm not going to like the pairing. I don't dislike Sherri per se, but I kind of feel like The View was running out of stuff to talk about so somebody pulled some strings and got Sherri put on the show so they'd have something to talk about every morning. Yes ya'll....boo hiss...you can hate me if you want, but every year there are a few celebs that I just don't care about, and Sherri is one of them. Am I knocking her character? Heck no. She's high energy, funny, and charismatic, but I just don't feel the love with this pairing. Poor Val, he's really grown on me, mainly because I loved how he gushed all over Nancy back when she had him at her studio last season to help her practice. So for Val's sake I hope this one works out just a little bit, but it is an odd odd odd pairing and I don't see them going all that far. Who knows though? Sherri does have a large audience of the DWTS demographic tuning into her every morning, so she may be around longer than we'd think or like. For that reason I'm calling them, Team Val With A View.
[Shakes] Talk about an oddball pairing. I’m not feeling this one at all. That doesn’t mean it won’t work, but Sherri is going to need a pushy type pro to make this work, and Val isn’t that. Maks would be better. Louis would be the best choice. I bet we see lots and lots of drama here, and not of the good variety. She'll probably make Val cry instead of the other way around. I love Val,and I love Sherri, but oil and water don’t mix. I don’t think we’re going to be seeing a single spark, must less a flame. For lack of something better, this is going to be Team Uh Oh Spaghetti-O.
Gavin DeGraw – Karina Smirnoff
[SWAT] Okay, so maybe I've been living under a rock, but I just now figured out who Gavin DeGraw is. I know I know...where have I been? But I do recognize Gavin's Not Over You, which I've been belting out in my car every time it comes on the radio. So I actually am a little interested in seeing how Gavin will do at ballroom dance. Karina is a solid teacher but I don't know how their chemistry is going to be. I almost feel like they should have switched Karina and Cheryl's celeb partners, and they would have each fared better. Oddly enough, ABC still won't answer my offer to be their official pairing consultant so I guess the Gavin/Karina match-up is all I have to work with. I do however like Gavin's hat collection. It's kind of like Tristan's rock t-shirt collection, and the Gavin Hattage has kind of become a trade mark. We'll see if the costume department at DWTS is going to oblige Gavin and give him and Karina some interesting matching hats to wear. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that score and give Gavin and Karina the name Team Hat Hair.
[Shakes] I love Gavin DeGraw, and I love Karina. I do not love this pairing. In fact, it strikes me as kind of lukewarm. I don’t know that there’s a better pro, however, to bring out Gavin’s potential inner dancer. I give the guy kudos, though, for doing this. He’s a major artist, he’s a big name, and he has guts for even attempting this while touring at the same time. I hope I’m wrong and they stick around a while, and I think they might be loads of fun. Besides, it will be funny to see Gavin waltz in that hat. I’m just calling them Team Dance With Your Hat On.
Roshon Fegan – Chelsie Hightower
[SWAT] Just because you are a Disney star doesn't mean that anyone knows who the H. E. double hockey sticks you are. The Disney Channel has really nothing to do with the Disney I know, and therefore all of these Disney Channel stars are still complete mysteries to me. I never pull for them because I'm still pissed that Disney fills their TV lineup with cheesy tween shows that have nothing to do with the Disney that I love. Therefore, sorry Roshon, but I don't care. I know it sounds harsh but give me someone who doesn't know how to dance and does the voiceovers for The Little Mermaid, and then I'll be excited. Chelsie is a great dancer but her partners are always hit or miss. Ty Murray was her greatest partner to date and a prime example of how DWTS should be. He didn't know how to dance, but he was a leading man and gave it his all. I'm sure Roshon is a great dancer, but I don’t want to see someone who's already a great dancer; I want to see someone who I can root for. I hate to say this, but my Team name for these two is Team Ehhhh.
[Shakes] Here is our ringer, and I don’t even care. I know he can dance, and he’s a heck of a dancer. The problem is I have no idea who he is, and that didn’t change after the cast announcement. I still can’t remember his name. My favorite Chelsie partner was Ty Murray – that worked, she performed miracles, and they did their best. Since then, it’s been unmemorable for me. Louie Vito was cute, but I can’t remember a single dance that he and Chelsie did. I’m still miffed that people blamed Michael Bolton for the dog house fiasco; uh people, he didn’t choreograph it. I’ll give them a few weeks. The team name is a problem for me. Every time I put Ro with Tower, all I can think of is Team Roto-Rooter so that’s going to have to be it.
Maria Menounos – Derek Hough
[SWAT] Here's one that I think ABC missed the mark on. As always ABC refuses to teach this old dog (Derek) new tricks and picks out (as in most seasons) a gorgeous, model-esque partner, someone who Derek can once again mold into a passable dancer, gain momentum with her progress, and make it to the finals by default. I'm not knocking Derek at all, even though that's how this might sound. I just never felt like Derek stretched himself as a teacher, because he's always paired with celebs that aren't as much of a challenge to teach. The problem here is that Maria and Derek seem like a big bowl full of boring leftovers - the kind of leftovers that you like eating at first, but then you realize that you've been eating them over and over, and now you want something different. ABC dished out another season of said leftovers and now we are stuck watching the same limp noodle team dance that I have become bored with. We then are supposed to believe that Derek miraculously turns the beautiful Maria into a dancing queen. It's just typical, and not something that I want to watch season after season. Therefore I find it only fitting that they be called Team Ramen Noodles.
[Shakes] I’m not sure about this one at all. She’s gorgeous, he’s cute, and I don’t think there is going to be a single speck of chemistry here. Derek is extraordinarily talented, yet I’ve always felt that he was dancing alongside his partner but never with his partner. In other words, he does the steps, and she does the steps, but they don’t connect. It’s not that he over dances; he is actually an amazing performer - it is just that I have never felt any chemistry between him and his partner since the Jennie Garth days. Not that he’s boring because I thought during the Michael Jackson tribute, he was some kind of wonderful, but when he dances with a partner, I just don’t feel it. Make sense? Probably not. The following description of how I came up with the team name will make even less sense.
For those of you familiar with our road trip adventure/disaster (SWAT and I), Arby’s has a place close to my heart. A few days ago, I drove past Arby’s and the place was boarded up, closed down, and moved out of town. Weird. So I got to thinking – an always dangerous prospect. I still hold a bit of a grudge about DAD and how that turned out. I also feel like Maria has already faded into the background, and they haven’t even danced yet. So my name for this team is Team Arbys. That’s because it’s been shut down and run out of town. Oh yeah. DAD will be ours this season!
Jaleel White – Kym Johnson
[SWAT] Want to bet that Jaleel White has completely regretted playing his wildly popular Urkel character more than once in his lifetime? Well here he gets a chance to show the rest of the world that he is someone totally different than Urkel! Not only has he grown into a very handsome man, but Kym Johnson just can't help but exclaim to the masses that Urkel is ripped. I'm not at all that surprised. Remember how Urkel began as a gangly, scrawny nerd boy in highwaters and suspenders - not to be at all compared to the hotter than hell, glorious, knee slapping suspenders that Tristan wore last season - and then by the show's end Urkel was really 25 with biceps roughly the size of a muffler on a Big Rig. The point here is that Jaleel might just be the Ringer this season. He's this season's Ralph Macchio - or the once hugely famous pop culture star that really brings out everyone's inner nostalgia. Kym is his partner, and I think she's a good choice, although Jaleel is one of those celebs that you could partner with anyone really. Both Kym and Jaleel are widely liked, and it's because of that that I call them Team Jello because everyone loves them some Jello.
[Shakes] – I think this is one of the best pairings overall; everybody loves Kym, and everybody loves Jaleel. He’s lovable and funny, and I think Kym knows just how to bring that side out . She’s also a good sport and can take the criticism better than almost anybody. Jaleel doesn’t seem like the type to take himself overly seriously, so I’m thinking they will end up at least in the final 5 and maybe higher. My only concern with this fun couple is the overuse of fringe on Kym’s costumes which might result in strangulation or tripping hazards. Remember how it almost took out Tristan in the Mr. Know It All Dance? Just as a reminder of this problematic issue that could plague them all season and keep them from winning the MBT, I’m calling them Team Frightening Fringe.
Gladys Knight – Tristan MacManus
[SWAT] Oh Tristan, Tristan, Tristan, how I adore thee and thy enthusiasm. I will say this. When I received Shake's email the morning of the cast announcement that merely exclaimed, “GLADYS KNIGHT???” (that's really all the email said), my simple reply back to her was “LMAO F-whaattt?!?!?!”. It wasn't a bad “f-what” but more of a really surprised, even pleasantly surprised “f-what”. All night long we had speculated that Tristan was going to become Team MacButter, or Team MacSpencer, so you can imagine my confusion when they threw out the Gladys Knight bomb on us. My surprise soon turned into the next email that I sent to Shakes...”NO FREAKIN' WAY, THAT'S AWESOME!” I mean what's not to love about this pairing? Forget the age difference which is soooo 4 seasons ago. Tristan proved with Nancy that you don't have to be a spring chicken to kick arse on DWTS, and I have a feeling that Gladys Knight is going to pull out her sultry Motown moves on the rest of the competition. Both GK and Tristan are extremely positive people and I know their high energy and bright personalities on the dance floor are going to leave us all with smiles on our faces week after week. Friends, Romans, MacManiacs, let me introduce you to Team Afterglow!
[Shakes] This is the best match-up of the season. Who really cares how old she is and how young Tristan is? She is arguably the biggest star ever on DWTS, and her appeal is universal. Tristan is arguably the hottest and most talented new star ever on DWTS and they are going dancing. It doesn’t get much better than this. Think about it. Can you really see the Empress of Soul with Derek, Mark, Val, Maks, or Tony? Tristan is the only fit for Ms. Gladys, and I’m thrilled with the pairing. A simple team name will never do. We need titles, subtitles, and constant updates. For now I’m calling them Team Watch and Learn From the Master.
Our final 5. For once, we agree on something. We would suck as writers for the Tristan MacManus fansite if we didn’t pick him to win. Always. So here you have it:
Winner of the MBT – Tristan and Gladys
2nd – Anna and Jack
3rd – Kym and Jaleel
4th – Melissa and Maks
5th - Everybody else – they are all about the same.