Brace yourself, ladies.
The SWAT and Shakes Roadtrip is back on, and this time we’re heading off to – where else – Sin City. Why you ask? Okay, it’s not the gambling because other than the $10 in quarters that Shakes blew in the Atlantic City slot machines a gazillion years ago, she knows absolutely nothing about gambling. And SWAT got married in Vegas so she sure as hell didn’t spend the time gambling – and no, we’re not going to spend time talking about her honeymoon because this is no X-rated blog. Not yet anyway. So why else would we be going to Vegas? That whole Thunder From Down Under show was an obvious draw for obvious reasons, and being the very shallow creatures that we are, we made sure we had front row seats. Then there was that good-looking Irish dancing guy at the Tropicana which held a little appeal too. So plans were made, and we were off.
Let’s begin by talking very briefly about the journey itself. Both of us live on the east coast but hundreds of miles apart, and we have very different ideas about what constitutes proper travel procedure. SWAT loves to travel by car and finds it positively uplifting; Shakes would rather be forced to sit and watch every DWTS performance involving bright yellow costumes than ride in a car more than 20 minutes. She wanted a first-class plane trip; SWAT wanted to be on the open road, but because Shakes had laryngitis and couldn't argue, SWAT got loud and pushy, and thus won this round. Shakes refused, however, to permit any neon tutus anywhere near the puddle jumper (that would be Shakes small – and cheap - car, for those of you just tuning in).
Believe it or not, this trip passed without shamrock shakes, emergency stops at Arby’s, or either S#1 or S#2 resorting to violence. Unlike our previous road trip misadventures, we made it to our destination in one piece, without getting arrested, losing our shirts, getting lost, ending up on the beach wearing miniscule swimsuits (as in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition), or getting distracted. We did find time to swing by Arizona to see our good friend and fellow Big Mouth, Azline Dancer, who as y’all know has been very ill since the week of the DWTS finale. Big shout out to you, AD!
As soon as we saw Sin City's bright lights, we knew this trip was going to be epic. We also knew that within a few hours, we were going to not only see a bunch of half-nekked Australian guys strutting their stuff in the Thunder From Down Under show at the Excalibur, but we were also going to see Tristan at the Tropicana, and we couldn't wait. We got a moderately priced room at the Bellagio, which we strategically chose because we liked the way it made us sound sophisticated when people asked us where we were staying. It just makes you want to don a posh British accent and exclaim. “Oh, us? Well we are staying at the Belllaaaaaaagiooooo”. See what we mean?
[Shakes Disclaimer] Moderately priced, my ass. I’m a hotel snob. Big time. I travel first class or I don’t travel, so while SWAT saved a little cash by going moderately priced, I pulled out the American Express card and went for it. After all, if what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, then so should my exorbitant credit card bill, right?
Now the Bellagio is known for being one of the high end hotels and casinos in Vegas, and that includes their over-the-top buffet, but that's not the only place where two weary travelers can find some ridiculously extravagant culinary delights. We had suddenly become food snobs and were prepared to do our worst at the best buffet that we could find. Since we had been roughing it on the road for the past three days, we figured we'd splurge a little and treat ourselves to an overly elaborate mega buffet. And we found one. Sure, it cost more than our DWTSLV tickets just to eat at this place, and Shakes is a weird picky eater who doesn’t even like cake, but we wanted this evening to be magical...so why not start with an amazing meal? Amazing just might be an understatement. You heard it from us that this buffet was not your local Golden Corral. This sucker was the mother of all buffets and it had anything you could ever dream of wanting on it. Lobster, Filet Mignon, Shrimp Cocktail that we swore was on steroids, along with a whole lot of stuff we couldn't even pronounce and a bunch more that we didn't recognize. In addition to that, unlimited Mimosas kept appearing throughout the meal (....dangerous). Now you probably think we got plastered and continued our adventures in an inebriated state. Not so fast, my little chickadees.
First of all, SWAT might indulge in an occasional glass of fine wine, but the only time Shakes goes crazy is when she switches up the Poland Spring for the Dasani. Yeah, she’s a live wire, all right. However, when chocolate is involved? All bets are off. So okay, maybe that line was corny considering this Las Vegas themed discussion, but it’s true. Both of us think chocolate is delicious, sexy, and dare we say it? Orgasmic? Yeah, okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but honestly, ever since studies came out that chocolate might be healthy, both of us have started taking it literally and planning our respective futures around chocolate adventures - all in the interest of good health, of course.
Anyway, back to the deliciousness and our alleged inebriation, which wasn’t via alcohol. Not for one of us anyway.
My friends, standing before us in all of its beautiful, sweet glory stood an enormous 4 tiered chocolate fountain. Cherubs fluttered above it as the Hallelujah Chorus reverberated in the background. This sucker was the most beautiful thing we had ever laid our eyes on....and it was all ours, well kind of. To make the situation even more blissfully ridiculous, we saw that you could dip anything into it (well, technically, you shouldn't really dip the stuff directly into it but we'll take creative liberties here). When we say anything, we mean ANYTHING. Strawberries (Shakes resisted this because strawberries are fruit, and she hates fruit, and she hates the idea of anything standing between her and her chocolate), cheesecake, sponge cake, kiwi (another Shakes near meltdown), biscotti, some sort of weird shaped thing that turned out to be a hoity-toity pretzel, and then pineapple (which almost sent Shakes over the edge right into the fountain. Swat had to hold her back). We thought a really good option for chocolate fountain sampling might be Tristan MacManus- but yeah, we’re not going to go there. The point here is that this was the most extraordinary thing that we had ever come across, and this was definitely going to make our night even better. Oh yeah, and did we mention you could dip anything in that chocolate?
The one thing you can’t do, however, is ask for a giant straw and then lean forward to imbibe that way. Apparently Shakes is a chocolate purist, much as Tristan is a dance purist, and she likes her chocolate straight. One note: SWAT isn’t a chocolate purist and was willing to try it mixed with something 100 proof. She tried, as we recall, assorted liquid libations that included the following: a Black Sombrero, a Death By Chocolate Martini, and something called the Fudge Slide. Come to think of it, we’re not even sure where or when SWAT consumed these beverages. Shakes was so hyper because of the slurping of the chocolate that we still aren’t positive where we ended up.
Fast forward to the next morning when we woke up in the penthouse suite - both of us passed out in different locations of the mansion sized room and both of us ended up nursing massive headaches coupled with even more massive confusion as to how we got there or whose credit card received the damage. Neither of us could remember what had happened the night before, and that left the biggest question of all. Did we ever make it to see Thunder From Down Under? More importantly did we ever see the DWTSLV show, and see our sexy Tristan MacManus dance for us? I mean, we were positive that the only reason he was dancing in this show was because he knew we were making the trip west. Yeah, that’s probably it.
The only evidence was in the contents of both of our cell phones. So as we sat and chased about a gazillion aspirin with about 10 espressos and a basket of chocolate croissants because we never learn, we took a look at the evidence. Let's fill you in on what we consider to be the horrible truth of what happened the night before.
Behold, some of the photos from our cell phones.
*Shakes and SWAT mistaking the chocolate fountain for the fountains outside the Bellagio and deciding to go for a quick wade.
*Shakes and SWAT posing as bridesmaids for Elvis and Priscilla impersonators who were getting married. How we met this interesting couple we don't know but they sure loved us enough to ask us to stand with them at their rockabilly wedding. Wonder how the reception was.
*Shakes riding a mechanical bull in some western themed bar. SWAT was quite impressed with Shakes' bull riding prowess as she held on with only one hand as the other whirled a giant cowboy hat over her head while she whooped with reckless abandon. We’re not sure what happened to her shoes, but we're thinking the chocolate fountain is a distinct possibility.
*SWAT riding the back of a Chippendale as if he was a mechanical bull with the same cowboy hat that Shakes had in the previous picture. Man, those Chippendale guys will do just about anything for a dollar.
*Shakes sporting a tiny little tank top that said, “I Love Australia” and SWAT wearing a tube top emblazoned with lots of bling that shouted, “I LOVE AUSTRALIA MORE.” I guess that answers the 'did we or didn't we' Thunder From Down Under question.
*SWAT and Shakes standing outside of the high rollers room at Caesar's Palace fanning huge wads of cash at the camera and giving it the thumbs up, as a couple of very well-dressed men with lots of bling stood sulking in the background. (SWAT's Granny didn't raise no fool, she taught her how to play one mean hand of Texas Hold 'Em.)
*Shakes next to a slot machine, jumping as she tosses part of her jackpot coins into the air. The people around her look mighty delighted too.
*Someone's ankle with the Lucky Charm's Leprechaun freshly tattooed on it. (Shakes and SWAT simultaneously stare down at their legs....oh....we're not tellin' who actually got it. Gotta keep some mystery)
*Someone in the SI swimsuit and another someone in a neon tutu that had enough blinking lights to light up all of Las Vegas. We’re not tellin’ who wore what, but neither was pretty.
*The fountain outside the Bellagio featuring a large amount of chocolate residue
*Tristan MacManus wearing the previously mentioned cowboy hat while perched on top of the puddle jumper. Uh oh….
Gina Carbone from Wetpaint was kind enough to answer some of our very nosy questions, and as always, we are treated to her delicious sense of humor! Enjoy. (This is also posted on the forum and will be posted on our Weekly Update page later this week).
Would you tell us a little bit about your background? How old were you when you started writing? Did you study journalism?
I kept diaries when I was little, like a lot of kids, but on March 14, 1991 I made a point to write in my journal every single night, no matter how boring my day. (I just happened to pick that day, but the very next month my parents split and my journal turned out to be very helpful therapy.) I was 14 back then and it was probably the best thing I could’ve done to get into the habit of writing. Over the years my posts evolved from “I woke up...” to something more akin to real stories.
I originally studied Anthropology at Hamilton College in upstate New York and that’s where I started writing film reviews. I decided to switch to Communications/Radio & TV at Northeastern University in Boston and wrote a few reviews for that school newspaper as well. I studied abroad at Curtin University in Western Australia and that was my first paid writing gig — film reviews for the school paper. Never thought they’d actually pay!
After graduating from Northeastern, I got a job as a news clerk/librarian at the Portsmouth Herald in Portsmouth, N.H. After the first month I approached the news editor with a story idea and after that I slowly moved up to features writer, film critic, special sections editor and, ultimately, features editor. I had a “year abroad” where I was a copy editor at the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle in Cheyenne, W.Y., but I eventually decided to go into freelance writing since it offers more flexibility. Doesn’t pay as well, there are no benefits and I could be canned from a project at any time, but it gives me independence and lets me often work outside by the water. To me, that’s worth it.
How does your approach differ when writing about shows other than Dancing With the Stars? When you cover The Bachelorette, for instance, it’s fairly obvious you still go for humor, but how do you get inspired to write from a particular angle?
The audiences are a little different. With Bachelorette I feel like I can poke fun at the show a bit more, since longtime fans are pretty aware of all the editing and manipulation and how so many contestants there for the “right reasons” to find love are really just trying to get their faces on TV. I love the show but I roll my eyes at it too. And since it’s supposedly about romance and chemistry, I don’t mind getting really silly about the guys’ bodies and other shallow stuff. I do that for DWTS too — obviously I’m in love with Tristan! — but I have to sometimes rein myself in because it’s not just a dating show. The people on DWTS are usually famous for more than just showing up on TV and there’s so much more to the pros, especially, than just their bodies. (Although I never complain when they want to show off their bodies!)
How long have you been covering DWTS for DWTS Wetpaint, and has your approach changed over the seasons? Where do you get your ideas?
DWTS is the first show I started covering for Wetpaint as a freelancer … I think it was around March of 2010. The site was pretty new and at the time the editors wanted a lot more content than they do now. They’ve scaled back a lot of the features, whereas it used to be recaps, quotes, OMG moments, costume hits & misses and a lot more. I think it’s good to keep it relatively simple or things just get lost out there and you end up flooding people’s Facebook pages with so much content that it’s overwhelming.
Wetpaint breaks things down into news stories and features and for news stories there’s a lot of aggregating. I go to various sites and see if, say, People.com has a story about a DWTS pro or contestant, then send intel to my editor to see if she wants something written up. She’ll either say yes or pass. During the show season I’ll come up with some top 5 or whatever ideas for features and my editors will also suggest some ideas. While the shows are literally airing Monday nights, stuff will often come up naturally and I’ll ask my editor if she wants something on, say, what Maks just said to the judges. If a story or particular topic does well, we’ll do more on it. My editor has access to the database that says what works and what doesn’t, so sometimes she’ll pass on stuff if people aren’t responding to that topic. Usually stuff on the pros does pretty well, especially Maks and Tristan. So if you see a lot of stories on a particular subject, it’s not always because I’m obsessed, it’s more often because the readers are responding with page views!
Obviously, we’re a little partial to the appeal of Tristan MacManus, but do you have a favorite pro (or pros) on DWTS that you have found particularly brilliant – either in terms of performing or choreography? Along those same lines, do you have a favorite season of Dancing With the Stars? (or perhaps a least favorite season)
I’m a huge fan of Derek Hough’s choreography. It’s a crime that he hasn’t won an Emmy. He was my favorite pro before Tristan, but Tristan definitely won me over with his humility, charm, looks, accent and dance talent. I only put talent last on the list because he always puts his partners first. He’s not a LOOK AT ME dancer, which I find very endearing. Kym Johnson is my favorite lady pro — Edyta was my favorite before she left — so I’m thrilled Tristan and Kym seem to be so … close.
Favorite season? I loved the cast on Season 10. Even hating on Kate Gosselin was pretty fun since it seemed to bond all the viewers. There was a lot of drama but also a lot of great dancing. Some people diss Nicole Scherzinger for being too good right off the bat, but that’s the producers’ fault for casting a “ringer.” She and Derek were like two pros out there. That 1950s Paso Doble? Classic. Loved Erin Andrews with Maks. Loved Buzz Aldrin, even though he couldn’t dance. Loved the immediate shock of Shannen Doherty leaving. Loved wondering what the hell Jake Pavelka was doing there. Great season, even if the winner was predictable.
What is your personal favorite of the different pieces you’ve written?
Oh wow. I don’t have one. I’d be afraid to name one, ‘cause then someone would point out there’s a huge typo in the first line.
As a writer, you probably also love to read. Do you have a particular favorite author or book?
I don’t even have HBO right now but I’m insanely obsessed with the actual “Game of Thrones” books and I’m currently I’m re-reading everything in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. I never thought I’d be a fantasy geek, but I was assigned a news story on the new “Harry Potter” book back when the fourth one was just coming out, and the little girl I interviewed convinced me to give the series a try. I got hooked on all things Harry Potter, then read “The Lord of the Rings” series and now GoT. In high school I was a big fan of Russian literature, especially Dostoevsky, but since then I’ve slowly gone mainstream. Now when a Stephen King book comes out I’m all over it.
What type of writing do you most enjoy? Do you write in other genres?
If I could come up with a good topic for a novel I’d try to write one. Anyone have a topic that might work? I’m already 50,000 words into the world’s worst novel — thanks to a National Novel Writing Month experience maybe 10 years ago — but it’s crap and I can’t make it un-crap.
What question have you always wanted to be asked? How might you answer that particular question?
Tristan: “Gina, will you let me take you on a tour of Ireland, fall in love with me and be me wife?”
Gina: “Why, yes. Yes, I will.”
Now to the fun stuff. What do you really think about Tristan MacManus, and what do you really think about MacManiacs? By the way, we gave full credit to you for the term ‘MacManiacs’, even from the inaugural days of our website back in late November, 2011.
Oh I don’t think I deserve credit for the MacManiacs term, although I don’t know the source myself. It descended from the heavens on its own! I think the MacManiacs are a blast. It’s always fun to find a group of people who share the same interest, especially when those people are nice and don’t take everything too seriously. We’re not saving lives, we’re just making each other smile. And to me, if you’re going to like someone, why not go all-in and indulge in it? It’s not like Tristan is sitting across the room as we write about him (if only!), giving us embarrassed looks. If he ever said “Listen, you guys need to chill ‘cause you’re making me uncomfortable,” I think we’d all back off and keep our lovin’ to ourselves. But he knows it’s just harmless fun. He has great fans because he’s earned the affection and respect of other kind people.
When did you realize that you wanted Tristan to be your fake boyfriend? (okay, you can leave this one out if you want).
I totally missed him as part of the pro troupe. I don’t know what my brain was doing back on Season 12, but I didn’t really feel the full power of our Lucky Charm until he was announced as a competing pro and he started his whole Bickersons relationship with Nancy Grace. I think I got hypnotized by his tattoos.
There has been tons of discussion about the DWTS All-Star Season coming up in the fall. If you could cast the show, which pros and celebrities would you bring back, and how would you pair them up?
I think I covered that one here a while back, although I could probably update it:
I partnered Tristan with Brandy because she’s someone a lot of folks feel was “robbed” of a place in the Season 11 Finals (certainly over Bristol Palin). I would prefer to see Maks dancing with either Erin Andrews or Mel B and I’d like to see Brandy with a completely different pro personality. Maks and Tristan are about as different to me as two men get, never mind two pros, and I would just be curious to see how Tris and Brandy would work together.
A very special thank you to the amazing Gina Carbone for taking time out of her schedule to answer our questions. Thanks again, Gina!
Music is in our blood. Dance is in our veins, or something like that. Perhaps we just like music, or maybe we just like watching a certain Irish dancer dance. Whatever the reason, this week we are going to give you a little musical interlude; we will fuel your imagination by giving you our version of some classic song titles with a little something extra added to each of them in order to give it our own unique twist. Each one is destined for the SWAT and Shakes Music Hall of Fame. Okay, so we don't really have a Hall of Fame, but we do have very strange senses of humor and minds that work in unusual ways. We haven’t decided yet who will record these updated versions of some classic tunes, but we’re pretty sure Tristan will want to dance (or sing) to each and every one. It would be foolish to pretend that these aren’t Tristan inspired, but that inspiration took us in some very odd directions. Therefore, each should be taken with a grain of salt and a shot of Irish Whiskey - or Kentucky bourbon – or maybe just a cup of tea with milk.
Just for a good example of what you are going to be subjected to – here is Exhibit A:
“Crazy” is kind of how we feel after tossing out so many idiotic blog ideas that we are officially brain dead
And now we begin with our Tristan-inspired song choices. Who knew that we had such creative minds?
"I Need To Know"...that you [Tristan] will continue to move those hips like that because it is just awe-inspiring. Alternate Title: “I Need to Know” that Tristan is coming back for Season 15 and NOT dancing with Kate Gosselin, and I need to know it STAT
"Livin' La Vida Loca" in Las Vegas and everything that happens there stays there, and we’re not tellin’ any of it
"You Sang to Me"...or maybe it was the earth moving after you [Tristan] did the Samba. Oh wait, maybe it was you humming the “bop bop bop" when Nancy was dancing…
“A Little Less Conversation A Little More Action Please” as we begin my private Samba lesson because my attention will be focused on hips. Hips. Hips…okay....conversation with you is pretty good too as long as you speak in that sexy brogue
“Fever”…or maybe it’s just a hot flash before, during and after the Rumba
“Breathe” … yeah, you keep saying that but I have to gasp for oxygen not because of the exertions of my dancing but because of watching you while you Samba
“Say My Name” or anything close to it please, or just call me “Beautiful” or just call me….my number is…
“Amazed” is what I am when I watch your hips move because I’m shallow like that
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun” which is why we’re on our way to the Tropicana Las Vegas
“You Shook Me All Night Long” or so I wish……
"Underneath Your Clothes" will remain a mystery because you won't indulge us and take your shirt off
"When I See You Smile" I know you're up to no good
"The Man In The Mirror" is telling you that you need to grow your hair out again. [Disclaimer: This title was created before we saw the bedhead explosion from NY. We are rethinking it at this time]
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" is what it is as we wait and wait to hear what song you'll be dancing to
"My Humps" will make you accidentally throw your back out during our dance lesson
"I Hope You Dance" and please make sure and shake your tailfeather in the process
"Santa Baby", please bring me the ILD for Christmas
"I'm a Genie in a Bottle" and I can't get out so why don’t you get in here with me, Tristan?
"Freeway Of Love" rolls straight into Vegas
"Hungry Like The Wolf" and drooling like a MacManiac
"My Boyfriend's Back" and he's wearing sexy suspenders
“Vision of Love”, or perhaps it was me, in my delusional state thinking that you were dancing that Rumba with me…
“I’ll Be” the frosting on the cake, the garlic in your spaghetti, the sweet-n-low in your coffee….
“One Week” - that’s all we’re asking. One week of you doing nonstop Samba…
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” if Tristan ever loses another Design A Dance - It's an injustice, it’s wrong, and we need to see more Samba. Or Paso. Or Tango.
“Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” by not choosing me for the dance lesson and instead choosing to dance the rumba/waltz/samba hybrid with SWAT?
“Start Me Up” if you think you have to but I doubt it will be necessary after seeing you dance anything
“I will Survive” the Samba but I am not sure I will survive seeing Tristan MacManus doing the Samba
“Should I Stay or Should I Go” or perhaps I should just move to Vegas for the summer
“Viva Las Vegas” [yeah, well, this one is self-explanatory]
"Tonight's the Night" that I get carpal tunnel syndrome from all night voting
"Time After Time" I need a Tristan fix
"Livin' On A Prayer" that I won’t barf before the Season 15 cast is announced
"Walk Like an Egyptian" dance like an Irishman
"Love is a Battlefield" and so is being frustratingly single. Or frustratingly married [which your 2 Nobel prize winning authors are. Not to each other though]
"Cruel Summer" is an understatement. The waiting…and waiting... suck
"Every Breath You Take" Every hip you shake, every leaf you rake, every cake you bake, every ice cream cone you make, I'll be watching you on you tube
"Fight For Your Right" to boycott dance duels and marathon dances
"Whip it" Flip it, Skip it. Dip it, real good
"Losing My Religion" to a sexy, humble, Irish ballroom dancer doin' the Samba
"Killing Me Softly" with that terrible haircut
"Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover", and every other woman in the world wants the same...
"Sex And Candy" or Tristan and Chocolate. We can't decide
“You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” …that was just my hip popping out during the Cha Cha lesson
“Tearin’ up my heart” or throwing out my back doing the jive with Tristan
“Come Clean” You know you've signed you're name “Mrs. (insert your name here) MacManus in really pretty calligraphy
“Pour Some Sugar On Me”…but since I don’t know what that means, give me a big fat Irish smooch
“I Love Rock ‘N Roll” as well as Irish ballroom dancers with the last name MacManus
"Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On" but what was shaking wasn’t supposed to be so I probably need to use one of the DWTS workout dvds
"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"...or maybe it was my eyes…or maybe my contact lens just got all steamed up because of all of that HEAT
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" means that my pasty white skin is more pasty white than yours.
"Sympathy for the Devil" or sympathy for Tristan for getting stuck dancing with either one of us
"For What It’s Worth" Tristan said neither of us can dance worth a damn
"Kicks"…."no no no", he said, "there are no kicks in the Rumba"
"You Can’t Always Get What You Want"….and besides we aren’t allowed to say what we want
And there you have it - the SWAT and Shakes Top 55 hits. Why 55? Well, it's fairly simple. We started throwing out songs, had to delete some because our new titles were too stupid, had to delete some because we would have gotten in big trouble and been forced to spend many years in yonder dungeon, and had to delete some because they just didn't make sense and ultimately, we ended up with about 55. Of course, the songs on this list all make perfect sense. If a title seems a little long to you? Don't worry about it because being creative geniuses, we took some creative liberties (that means we just spouted stuff off because we felt like it). So we encourage you to use your imagination and get a clear visual of Tristan dancing to any of this keepers (or maybe singing them too) and then pick a favorite. You can let us know what it is - or not - in case we have recording contracts in our respective futures.
DWTS SEASON 14 AWARDS – Our first series of Awards from Season 14 (the First Annual Ridiculously Trite Awards - or the F.A.R.T.s) are followed up with these beauties – The Totally Asinine B.S. Awards – otherwise known as the T.A.B.S. Awards. Agree with us or not on the actual awards (which have absolutely no value or meaning other than we wanted to be silly), you have to agree that we have way too much time on our hands right now, are way too bored for our own good, and Season 15 needs to start soon. Enjoy!
*Best Abs of the Season – Henry Byalikov - Remember the Bollywood Samba and all of the pictures thereof? A picture is worth a thousand really descriptive words.
*Best Backflips of the Season – Henry Byalikov - Sorry, Sasha, but you lost this one. Henry’s backflips in the finale pro dance were kind of awesome because they were unexpected. Besides he covered more ground.
*Worst Hair of the Season (or for at least one week) – Tristan MacManus - Whoever did that to Mr. Bedhead is in deep trouble. We almost had to go into therapy as a result of it.
*The” I’m So Noble That I Dance Even with A Broken Foot, Back, Head, Leg, and Fingernail" Award -Maria Menounos – Lordy, that was tiresome.
*The “You Tweet and Retweet So Much That I Unfollowed You” Award – Sasha Farber - Good grief. Enough already. We love you, Sasha, and we know you want to be a pro, and you probably deserve it because you’re really, really good, but nagging doesn’t work. When you clog up our twitter timeline, we unfollow.
*The “He Makes Me Want to Wear Fruit on My Head, Cover Myself With a Few Feathers, and Do the Party Dance” Award – You probably don’t need for us to tell you who won this one.
*The “That Choreography Makes Me Cringe” Award – Derek Hough for the Bollywood Samba and the Vampire Argentine Tango – not because it wasn’t brilliant choreography, but because the Bollywood theme failed miserably for the Samba, and the overdone vampire thing was a turnoff for the AT.
*The Yikes Award (goes to the most cringe worthy performance of the season) – Tie - It was a toss-up between Mark and Katherine’s Rumba & Derek and Maria’s Salsa (the feathers on her head were ridiculous, and combined with the Big Bird yellow and then the losing the shirt – yuck. Also anything else involving no shirts gets honorable mention. Yeah, Maks and Val, we’re talkin’ to you.
*The I Think I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt Award So I Won’t Wear One – Maks, Val, Mark, Derek. Thinking you’re too sexy for your shirt and dancing without your shirt to convince us you’re too sexy for your shirt? Epic fail. Frankly, the only one we want to see without his shirt is Tristan, and we don’t particularly want to see him dancing like that. At Chippendale’s? Sure. On DWTS? No thanks.
*The Overkill Award – Goes to ABC for overuse of the pros and troupe in the finale. We love them all, but we didn’t need to see Maks in Val and Sherri’s final dance along with Henry, Sasha, and Kiki nor did we need to see Val in Maks and Melissa’s final dance. That was just the beginning.
*The Stupid Choreography Award – to whoever choreographed the It’s Raining Men dance with Sherri and 800 men. What exactly were Maks and Tony supposed to be doing when they came from the ceiling? Their arms were doing weird crap that resembled nothing like raindrops. Besides those suckers would have killed anybody they landed on. This time the theatrical did not work. It was boring.
*The Trendsetters Award – To SWAT and Shakes (yep, that's us) – Thanks to Ripley who was at the mall and found some hideous neon colored kinda-sorta tutus and immediately thought of us. See? We aren’t too crazy.
*The Funniest Post of the Season – to Stirred Not Shaken who said: You might be a Tristan MacManus fan if you think watching his Samba is a religious experience. She summed it up for all of us. Holy moley. That was hotter than anything we’ve ever seen on DWTS – and Chelsie and Tristan didn’t have to strip down and do it on the dance floor to make it sexy. Are you listening fellow pros? Sometimes the illusion of sex is good enough.
*The You Wear It Well Award – Mark Ballas, Katherine Jenkins, and Tristan MacManus who pulled off the whole secret agent, secret service, secret whatever it was with amazing panache.
*The “Insert Eyeroll” Award- To Brooke Burke for still acting like we need for her to act as Tristan's translator
*The “Oh Sh*t” Award (goes to that one gob smacking moment when all you could do was mumble “Oh Sh*t” to yourself)- Katherine Jenkins - When Katherine's pant leg got stuck on the bottom of her shoe, and she continued to Cha Cha her fanny off while Tristan and Mark each had simultaneous inner panic attacks. BTW Katherine rocks; she was unaffected by the whole thing.
*The “You Go Girl Award”- To Gladys Knight for dancing her heart out and making us wish we had just one iota of her spark!
*The “Dance That Wasn’t An Encore Dance, But Should Have Been” Award - Hello DWTS, ever heard of The Empress of Soul and a little something we call “Motown Week”?!?! Yeah, their Rumba would have been a great send off to Motown...not her imminent departure.
*The How Rude Award – to DWTS for not giving Gladys the respect she deserved by awarding her and Tristan an encore dance during any of their weeks,while giving a couple of pairs had two each. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Encore Dance was never about the best dance - it was always about entertainment, and I hate to break the news, but some of those encore performance were just not worthy.
*The Overuse of the Pimp Spot Award – given to the producers for constantly throwing Donald and Peta & William and Cheryl at us and letting us know week after week that they were the ones you wanted to win. During 10 weeks, Donald and Peta had the favored spot in weeks 3, 5, and 10. William and Cheryl had it in weeks 2, 6, and 8. Katherine and Mark? Not once. So out of 10 weeks, 2 couples took the pimp spot a total of 6 times - for math whizzes like us that is 60%. Yeah, that’s fair.
*The Go Straight to the Dungeon Award - Tristan's Samba with Chelsie - All that hip action – all that SAMBA – it was our destiny. So was banishment to the dungeon.
*Worst Makeup/Costume Award - The KISS Troupe Dance Male Unitards with equally disturbing psychedelic mime makeup. Yuck.
*Bad Costuming Decision in the Form of Perpetual Big Birding – Derek Hough for his constant overuse of blindingly revolting yellow costumes: Season 14 Salsa with Maria, Season 13 Samba with Ricki, Season 9 with Joanna (salsa and lambada), and probably more that our memories have suppressed. See a trend here?
*The Secret Crush of the Season Award - Gavin DeGraw, who just made our hearts go pitter patter when he carried a concussed Melissa Gilbert down the celebrequarium stairs and over to the paramedics.
*The Bummer Award - Martina and Tony. We had such high hopes for this couple.
*The Secret Weapon Award - Tristan MacManus who always seems strategically placed in these DWTS situations where he makes things work better - in this case, the Trio Dance with Mark and Katherine.
*Nice Guy of Season 14 Award – Henry Byalikov – He was the nice guy of twitter, he was always kind and gracious, and he gave us an interview without hesitation. He has achieved rock star status in our book.
*Best Camera Angles of the Season – The introduction of a Tristan Samba to television audiences (“Fiebre”). Let just say that those hips don’t lie.
*Most Memorable Dance of the Season – Tristan's Samba. Either of them. Just pick one.
*Best Chemistry of the Season - Tristan and Gladys followed by Tristan and Katherine Jenkins. Who knew that 90 seconds could tell us so much?
*Single Best Performance of the Season – Forget the dancing. It was Gladys Knight bringing down the house with “The Way We Were.”
*Best Fansite Around - Duh. This one is no contest. MacManiacs.org wins in a landslide.
So there you have it. Our totally arbitrary awards which are meaningless and which nobody cares about anyway but it gives us something to do. Just imagine what we're going to have for you next time....