I was never someone who watched Dancing With The Stars. I followed it on websites or magazines, but was never curious or interested enough to commit the time to it. Back in Season 13, however, when I saw that Chaz Bono was going to be on, my curiosity got the best of me, and I tuned in on the first night with my then 10-year-old son in order to have a “teachable moment”.
My intent was to teach him about different people and tolerance. However, as we watched throughout the season, he learned about other things. He learned about patience, respect, perseverance and how to let difficult comments and situations roll off your back. He learned those things from Tristan MacManus.
Since we weren’t regular DWTS watchers we didn’t initially realize that this was his first season as a pro. We thought that he had been on for a while and that’s how he developed that set of interpersonal skills.
The work Tristan did with Nancy, the way he dealt with a person, how he handled being judged and the grace (no pun intended) he showed when they were ultimately voted off were what stuck with my son. He still, to this day references what he learned that season, and we’ve been huge Tristan and DWTS stars ever since.
Special thanks to our guest writer, Amy, for this touching post.
Yes, we are going there. We’re grading just about everybody in Season 17 except for the celebrities. That will come later and besides, it made this post so ridiculously long that we had to stop somewhere. Here are our random thoughts and musings about the whole shebang – minus the celebrities.
Tom, Brooke, and the Judges
Tom Bergeron – You can’t improve upon perfection, but he seems to do it. Every season, his humor gets better and better, he smacks down the judges with sarcasm and caustic wit. He also gets more laughs than Bill Engvall, and that’s not easy. We call it unscripted craziness. We’re not supposed to play favorites, but we can’t help it. He is one. Grade: A+
Brooke Burke –We have to admit it - she’s a little better this season. Maybe it’s because she now has less time to make inane conversation or offer to help translate for Tristan, but it’s a slight improvement. We still think Tom needs a sidekick who is really a sidekick instead of somebody we want to kick, but she’s better. That’s good. Grade: C-
Len – Cranky Len is pretty funny, and he cracks us up. He has been a little more inconsistent than usual, but honestly he is the one who is most consistent overall around the ballroom. Did Derek deserve to get his scores knocked for the Foxtrot? Absolutely. There was great dancing, but it was not a proper Foxtrot, and like his dances in the past, you can’t get away with murder just because the music just isn't speaking to you or some such nonsense. Conversely, for Len to say that the Samba was repetitive and deduct for that was craziness – probably ABC inspired craziness. Scripted craziness, if you will. Do we think that Amber and Derek deserved 10s? Not a chance, but it was still the best dance in Week 6 and should have received 9s. That said, the 10 he gave Brant was stupid and the 10 for Val and Elizabeth was more stupid. When you have mistakes, you don’t reward that and call it perfect. Again, scripted craziness. He would have had a B- but when he took Derek to school for the Foxtrot and then decided to issue a little warning to everybody else in Week 6, well, we think he might need medication for that. Grade: C
Carrie Ann – We’re not sure that there has been much change since Season 16 and she is still wildly inconsistent with her lift/no lift policy but for some strange reason, she seems to make sense these days. Oddly enough, she just might have had the best criticisms of the dances so far this season. We are surprised too. Grade: B
Julianne Hough – It was nice seeing Julianne speak up, but unfortunately, there was so much more to criticize besides Mark Ballas. Yes, her criticisms were justified but there were more couples that deserved a similar kick in the backside She also needs to develop a mind of her own and quit scoring like everybody else. We are used to Bruno and Carrie Ann being the bookends but we don’t need another one because you only need two. Grade: C
Bruno – His hormones have been mostly under control, and even though he has left his chair a few times, he has been mostly properly behaved. Now if we could just get his crazy and inflated scoring under control. Perhaps he should write the following 100 times: “I will not give undeserved tens, and I will not give a ten when the rules are broken and I will not give low scores especially when I offer no constructive comments to go along with my scoring.” Grade: C+
Witney - Witney is very pretty, talented, and energetic. Her strengths lie in her stamina and a strong dance floor presence even while dancing among more seasoned pros. She needs improvement in not being such an airhead and needs to realize that the camera doesn't want to see "her"....they want to see "her" canoodling with Tristan at the end of a dance that the MacManiacs have been dying to see. She kind of ruined the experience for everybody and that was a major offense. You don’t look into the camera when Tristan has you on the floor. That’s just not normal. Grade: C
Lindsay – Lindsay is a great dancer with loads of talent and unfortunately, with the bevy of blondes infiltrating the DWTS ranks, she is getting lost. She was lost as a pro, and now she is just another troupe member. Sadly, with the reduced role of the troupe, she’s dang near invisible. Grade: Who knows? We forgot about her. Okay, maybe a lukewarm "C".
Gleb and Henry – The diminished role of the troupe means less air time which means less of the glorious chests and swiveling hips. Alas, our troupe is almost invisible these days, as we mention frequently. Gleb’s prettiness has been lost in the flurry of commercial bumpers, and while Henry has clearly been spending too much time at the School of Hashtaggery, we miss getting to see him shine. The troupe has become expendable. Grade: B-
Sharna - The pro’s pro. She is what pros should be, and she is grossly underused. We can overlook her tendency to use props and excessive costuming because she is the best of the bunch. This season, her time was too short (she should have been partnered with Brant instead of Peta getting the free ride again), and what’s with the not having her dance with Tristan every week? There is some powerful chemistry going on there, and the fans want to see it. Grade: A
Tyne – Needs work, needs troupe time, and needs to stand out. She’s a lovely dancer but not particularly interactive when it comes to the fans. We don’t know who she is, and even with Bill Nye as her partner, we barely remember her. We never had a chance to get to know her before she was thrust into the limelight. They don’t do it often in school these days, but we think she should be held back another year so she can work stuff out. Grade: C
Mark – Needs to “lose the ‘tude.” There was a little too much whining about Julianne’s comments, and the sad sack face whenever things don’t go exactly as he thinks they should has worn thin. A season or two off would work wonders. Grade: C-
Derek – He gets bonus points for not bringing out yellow feathers (yet). Some great choreography, however, he needs to tailor it to what Amber can do. At time she struggles to keep up – just our opinion. Still she’s a great dancer and likely was before ever starting on DWTS so she can handle some challenges, but maybe easing up a little will bring on some 10s that we think are deserved. He would have gotten higher but we aren’t feeling the chemistry with Amber. That’s the only missing ingredient. Grade: B
Emma – Not too shabby for a beginner. Early predictions had Bill and Emma out first, and they are still hanging on. She’s a good choreographer, but she might improve on the storytelling. Also, she should have put up a big old fight to get “Cheeseburger In Paradise” changed to another song. That whole Cheeseburger/Salad storyline seemed a little, uh, weak. Still. She has more than proven she belongs. Grade: A-
Sasha – He stepped right in just like he was born for the job. He makes us like Snooki just a little bit. While we appreciate that he’s taking advantage of her ability to do side by side steps, we would love to see more in hold and more traditional ballroom. Sasha is a teacher; now he needs to get Snooki to connect to him and to us. So far, that’s the missing link. Grade: A-
Peta – Peta has done a great job with Brant, and he is learning to dance and progressing a little every week, but unfortunately, we don’t see the giant leap that might get him a mirror ball trophy, and we still wish she would soften things up a little. She is too hard, too edgy, too over the top. and too pouty when she and Brant aren't called safe immediately. We are seeing a little improvement over her previous seasons, but she needs a challenge. A big one. That’s the only way she will see what she’s made of. Grade: B
Cheryl – Cheryl is a superstar pro this season. Not having to rely on the sexy or the unwilling pupil, she has made Jack a dancer and she has made us love this team. We likey. Grade: A
Karina – Sometimes we think Karina does her best work when she has a less than apt pupil. This season she has the biggest ringer of the group (other than Elizabeth) but she’s overchoreographing. We want to see progress week to week and not a great dancer who gets a little better. In other words, fix the little things and make those perfect before making him walk the tightrope. Just think of what Corbin and Sharna might have brought us. Grade: B
Tony – He needs work in the costume department, needs more work in the costume department, and then needs to go to costume school for about 20 years. He also needs to realize that when you say one thing one season and another thing another season some might scream “double standard.” This has been the season of ups and downs, and we’re not quite sure what to expect from week to week. Perhaps a season or two off would be beneficial. Grade: C
Val – He needs to go to the fabric store and learn that yes, it is okay to cover up the shiny chest. He also needs to get a celebrity for once who will challenge him to do better and frustrate him because of her inability to dance from day 1. This boy has had it way too easy. Come back and talk to us after getting a few challenges that average about 60 years in age. We’re also concerned about the incomprehensibility of his tweets. Some might say he’s trying to be philosophical or thoughtful or maybe he’s just babbling incoherently. We’ll go for the grade of “C” on his tweets but we’ll go a little higher than that for his pro grade. Grade: B
Tristan – Okay, we admit it. He’s the Teacher’s Pet. He gets along well with others, follows directions, is always respectful of everyone, and we could listen to him talk all day. His strengths lie in the fact that he's incredibly sexy, smooth, seductive, and smoldering, but what is even more astonishing is his ability to work with anybody - and be brilliant every step of the way. He has a way of connecting with his partners no matter who they are, and men and women alike can't get enough of watching him dance. He's like Mary Poppins - Practically Perfect. Grade: A+ and then some.
I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Tristan MacManus this past January at an event in New Jersey. I got to speak with him for maybe five minutes, all of which I spent regressing into a twelve-year-old girl who suddenly didn’t know how to speak to (or look at, for that matter) a guy. We spent the minutes talking about Maksim Chmerkovskiy's hair choices and me blurting out that I'm awful at making conversation (obviously). I left that day completely disappointed in myself. I knew that was my one opportunity to talk to Tristan, whom I've been a fan of since he first stepped foot on the Dancing With the Stars dance floor. I knew he probably walked away from that conversation thinking I was a completely dull and boring geek. I walked out of the 'meet-and-greet room,' grabbed my friend who was waiting for me, and dragged her to the nearby restaurant for a drink at the bar, where I could make fun of myself to feel just a little bit better.
Fast forward. This August I decided to drive two hours into Long Island to go see Ballroom With A Twist for my birthday. Seven months pregnant and disgustingly hot weather made for the perfect road trip. I dragged my best friend along (again) and figured we'd have a blast, whether or not I got to meet any of the DWTS pros (even though I was really hoping to get to meet Tristan again so I could possibly redeem myself?) I figured there was no way he would remember me so I was in the clear of any past embarrassment.
The show was awesome. Tristan was fantastic as our "host" for the afternoon and we decided to do the meet and greet (how I got to do the meet and greet is another story within itself). Anyway, we were led through a narrow hallway backstage and, of course, Tristan is the only pro waiting there at the moment to greet people. Being the kind of guy he is, he immediately starts talking to every person who heads his way. Of course, I once again become twelve and just stand in the distance as if I'm at a middle school dance. After all, I didn't want to bombard him... He had enough people trying to speak with him... Um, Yeah. Then I realized as I was busy doing all this convincing in my head, he had actually looked over at me and made eye contact. So, naturally I did what any mature adult would do, I quickly went into 'I feel awkward' mode and looked at my phone.
Next thing I know he walks over to me, says "hey Toni" (he knew my name?!) and gives me a kiss on the cheek. Then as he's walking past me he puts his hand on my preggo belly, says "beautiful," with a big smile and tells me he'll be right back to take a picture with me. Ok, so as you can imagine, right now I'm pretty sure I must be hallucinating due to lack of oxygen from the baby sitting on my lungs or something. But my friend assures me that all really did in fact just happen.
This is just a perfect example of what kind of guy he truly is. Even if he did think I was a huge dork after meeting me back in January, he never let on. In fact, he want above and beyond to make me feel comfortable with just being me, however that may be at that moment...gigantically pregnant, extremely self-conscious, whatever. I hope that every Tristan MacManus fan (MacManiac, if you will) gets a chance to meet the man himself. You can't fully appreciate how kind, funny and genuine he is with his fans until you experience it first hand. So, if you get the chance to meet him, do it.
And if you're wondering if he ever came back for that picture? Of course he did! He just wouldn't be Tristan if he didn't. And he also was the mastermind behind the infamous group picture of himself holding my baby bump. (And by 'infamous,' I mean, as shown on my Twitter...lol.) Yep, that was all his idea. Come on, how could you not be a fan of this guy?
Thanks to ToniAnn for her guest post!
Enjoy this guest blog by site member Luv2Danc!
A Sad Tale of Tristan Drought
Once upon a time there was a drought in the land of MacManiacs.
This was no ordinary drought of merely water – which nourishes the body.
Alas, this was a drought much deeper - of the heart, of the spirit.
A moment here, a glance there, a “there he is” hoping to see the beloved Tristan of the clan MacManus grace us with his beauty, his smile, his joyful heart, his lilting turn of a phrase, or a twirl or a dip, as he magically transports us into the Land of Joy and Delight.
And let’s face it, if we are sad of heart and spirit, life is blah and dreary.
What to do, dear Macmaniacs, what to do?
Perhaps we could call on the ancestor clan of MacManus for strength and courage. After all we have had fleeting glimpses of the clan shield as Sir Tristan whirled and twirled with the delighted Nancy of Grace.
Sound the horns. Gather the resources. Marshall the troops. (Or are we a troupe?)
We are sound of mind (perhaps) and devoted of heart and spirit, and we will overcome, we shall overcome, we must overcome - to search another day, to see Sir Tristan dance another day, and another and another and another . . . AND SOON!
So May It Be!
Tristan made his debut as a special correspondent for Extra TV immediately following Week 5 of Dancing With the Stars. He did a great job, asked great questions, handled an awkward question with tact, and left us wanting more. We decided that we would offer our valuable assistance and give him a list of questions that he could ask various pros, celebrities, and troupe members. We're fairly sure he will take our suggestions and run with them (run away most likely, but we will risk it).
We hope you enjoy our list of thoughtful and insightful questions, all of which show the signs of what great investigative reporters we would both be.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Snooki, since I do a better job at asking the questions than you do, let's start with this one. What stories has Sasha told you about our Burn the Floor days, and should I be worried that the National Enquirer will run the story?
Sasha and Snooki, how does it feel to be able to fit inside a snow globe?
Farbs, you may be the master of Jazz Dance but I challenge you to a Rumba/Waltz Duel. I’m dancing with my celebrity of choice, and you get to dance with Mama June. I dunno who she is, but the MacManiacs keep throwing her name out there.
Bill Engvall, Dude, did you know that you have now replaced me as the heartthrob of Dancing With the Stars? More women are panting after you than me. I want to be you when I’m 56, okay?
Emma, so what’s it like living in the same house with me? Nah, just kidding. What’s it like dancing with the heartthrob of Dancing With the Stars?
Leah, you crack me up all the time, and I could listen to you all day, but how is it that I’ve never before heard that you have no actual dance training? You might want to share that with the judges and viewing audience.
Leah, wouldn’t you rather have a sexy Irishman as your partner than Tony? I wouldn’t have made you do those lifts in the Contemporary…but then I probably also wouldn’t have been your puppeteer, just sayin’….
Tony, you’ve made it clear that when a pro has a partner with no dance training, then it isn’t really fair. Did you feel the same way with Ringer Ringer Melissa Rycroft?
Henry, why were you in The Great Gatsby instead of me?
Lindsay, Witney, and Tyne,This is for any of you. Did you know that if one of you changed the hair color (or went back to the natural color, if that is appropriate), we could tell who is who?
Witney, lots of MacManiacs are curious about something. When we did the big finish to our commercial bumper in Week 5, why were you looking at the camera and smiling? There were other more appropriate endings to that dance, and you know the MacManiacs. Nothing ever pleases ‘em.
Cheryl, why is it that you didn’t say much in our ExtraTV interview? You were probably figuring out how to ask me to dance with you, right?
Jack, since we’re the only dudes who have cried this season, what do you think about us being this season’s bromance. I never understood why the show kept pushing me and Sean last season, but think about it. Everybody thinks we both talk funny, we’re both handsome devils, and we both probably drive Cheryl crazy.
Brant, Peta, I’m having a tough time coming up with a question for you, but it occurred to me that your initials P and B equal PB which means peanut butter. Was that fate? Okay, forget that one. So what dances will be doing for the Side By Side Challenge and the Trio dance?
Sharna, what do you say we turn up the heat and dance a Lambada that gets everybody talking? I’ve been hearing that people want to see us dance together, and I’m game. How ‘bout it? You do the choreography, I’ll bring the hips, and the MacManiacs will bring the fire extinguishers.
Gleb, a lot of the ladies (and probably the guys too) think you are mighty pretty? Should I be worried?
Bill Nye, You’re the Science Guy which means you’re probably pretty good in math too. Would you explain to the producers that the average age of my celebrities is approximately 60 years old which when compared to the rest of the pros, is approximately 30 years more than the average age of their celebrities, which means that if you explain it to them in mathematical terms 60 minus 30 = 30. 30. Years. Older. Would you do that for me? Maybe then they will get it.
Christina, Did anybody ever tell you what a great team we would have been on Dancing With the Stars? A bunch of MacManiacs have been talking about it for several seasons and here you are, I mean were….but with Mark Ballas. What’s up with that?
Mark, I guess me being in your Trio Dance is out of the question now, huh?
Mark, you and your partner didn’t make it past the halfway point in the competition. Now you know how I feel. I mean, how does it make you feel?
Corbin, Dude, you have so much dance training that I could be your DWTS pro and we would probably win. How ‘bout it?
Karina, Want to be my partner next season? You can be the celebrity. I’ll be the pro. We’ll win this sucker, and I won’t be gone in the first 12 minutes of the show for a change.
Amber, let’s compare knee injury stories. Betcha I win. Oh, and do you think you would win this thing with me as your partner?
Derek, I’ve never been fortunate enough to choreograph a freestyle on Dancing With the Stars, yet you seem to do one every couple of weeks. How do you manage that?
Derek, what does the EWC stand for on your license plates. Oh wait, I get it now… Emmy Winning Choreographer.
Val, since you and I were doing such a great workout at rehearsals this week – with me stretching and you twerking, whadaya say we do our own DWTS Workout Video? We’ll be the new Kym and Karina and call it “Twerking and Scratching/Stretching While Pretending To Work Out With the Pros.”
Hey, Liz, I’m not quite sure how to say this so I’ll just hold up a sign, and you can answer.
Elizabeth, I can do staring contests too. So how does it feel to be eyeballed by an #Irishman?
Val, how do you think I would look as a model for your Valentin collection of urban wear? Yeah, that’s what I thought…
That's it for now, but if Tristan needs more questions, we will be happy to oblige.
In our usual tradition, we never do anything the right way. For example, we couldn’t wait one more week to give out mid-season awards (which are likely high in demand, by the way). We give them out when the inspiration hits us, and oh boy has the inspiration hit us. So for the next couple of minutes, enjoy our unique perspective on the first 40% of Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars.
By the way, most of these have absolutely nothing to do with dancing. You will also notice that there isn't a single mention of Derek and Amber. We didn't mention Emma and Bill or Tony and Leah either. We have to save something for next time.
Best Use of Incomprehensible Tweets – Val Chmerkovskiy and Elizabeth Berkley – Not only do we usually have no clue what Val is talking about on Twitter, it appears that Elizabeth is afflicted with the same, er, affliction. No freaking clue.
The Justin Timberlake/Jimmy Fallon Hashtag Parody Award – Val Chmerkovskiy and Elizabeth Berkley – Someday I’ll share my aversion to hashtags with you (a few of you know why), but these two are beyond ridiculous. Somebody needs to disable Val and Elizabeth's iPhones, iPads, laptops, and other devices so they can’t use hashtags or at least some technologically savvy person needs to create some sort of fancy blocking device/program/gimmick so that hashtags aren’t available. Not only are they becoming ridiculously overused, these are annoying and even cringe worthy. I could give examples, but they are too numerous to mention. To clarify, we like hashtags. One hashtag. Even two. But not 437 in every tweet. In case we weren’t clear enough, think about this: #hashtags#are#annoying#redundant#and#drive#uscrazy#and#if#I#see#imsoexcited#one#more#time
The Ridiculous Overuse of Selfies – Now first of all, we hate the term “selfies”. It’s kind of like “googling”. Taking liberties with the English language bugs the hell out of one of us (the writer one), however, since these terms (like hashtag) are now in the dictionary. Sigh. I guess we’ll have to move on to 2013 instead of living in, oh, 1976. Anyway, back to selfies. Generally, I don’t like them. Taking a photo for some real purpose? Sure. But Snooki takes endless mundane photos of herself to the extent that Instagram has become our enemy instead of our “promote Tristan as a superstar” friend. I don’t really care that she’s wearing jazz shoes, and I certainly don’t need to see a photo of her taking endless photos of herself with her iPhone while Sasha stands around looking lost in the background. Must we? It’s annoying. Please. Stop.
Biggest Whiner/Sour Grapes Award – It has to be Mark Ballas who overused the term “hypocrite” way too much when talking about Julianne as a judge. That quote put him in our yearbook of sour grapes. Come on, Mark. Really? It was meaningless anyway because all the scores were the same across the panel. There was no need to throw a tantrum.
Biggest Waste of Judges’ Scores – Week 4’s scores were a joke. There was nothing fun, interesting, or surprising. Julianne made valid comments, but her scores didn’t reflect those comments in many cases.
Most Forgettable Good Dancing Team – Mark and Christina - Every time I list the couples, I am one short, and it is always Mark and Christina that I forget. I have to admit that she was on my DWTS future celebrities wish list more than once. Had she been with Tristan or maybe Sasha, possibly Gleb, she would be a legitimate contender instead of maybe a contender or most likely, a forgettable contestant who is likely to be saying bye bye soon. She’s a great dancer, but I forget her (and him) not because I have Alzheimer’s but because they are as dull as dirt. Period.
The Turn the Beat Around Award – Tristan MacManus - The name of this award has nothing to do with turning anything around nor does it really have anything to do with the Vickie Sue Robinson 70s hit that went something like this “….got to hear percussion love to hear it…blow horns sure sound pretty, your violins keep movin’ to the nitty gritty… Anyway, this award goes to Tristan because, well, we are dying to see him dance to this with a celebrity partner who can keep up with him ever since we saw bits of it from Floor Play. We want to see Tristan get a chance – finally – to tell his stories, rehearse full out, and perform with someone who can come close to his talent. We’ve loved every celebrity who has danced with Tristan, but it’s time to turn the beat around and give the man a fighting chance….and give his fans a fightin’ chance too.
The NoSireeBob Award – to the idea of Maks returning as a judge. Nuh uh. No thanks. Julianne was okay but a non-event, and having a sibling, spouse, friend, mama, daddy, or former training partner as a judge for the remaining cast is a bad idea. It screams favoritism, and besides, it was booooring in Week 4. Bring Len back because at least he will call a spade a spade – and piss off Carrie Ann and Bruno in the process.
The SimmaDownNow Award – Karina and her choreography – Now we love Karina and we love Karina’s choreography but we see the “Apolo Factor” happening. Corbin is a great, great dancer but the choreography has been so difficult that something else is missing – a natural flow from one step to another and a correction of the hip hop elements that are still evident even after four weeks. Unfortunately that could spell disaster down the road. Slow it down, Karina. We will still love the dances but we would love it more if Corbin could make it flow naturally.
The Bug’s Life Award – Elizabeth Berkley, in a tv movie I saw recently, had completely normal eyes, but now when we see her all sexied up trying to be sexy all we see is the deer in the headlights look that reminds of us of the critter in A Bug’s Life. And that’s all we think about.
The Ewww This Is Icky Award – Brant and Peta – Peta is a repeat recipient of this award. Season 13 was okay because we only had to see the icky costume one week. In Season 14, we endured it a lot, but Season 15 was the beginning of the end. She and Gilles made us nauseous, and she and Sean were just as bad. Brant seems like a good guy – cute, fun, and probably could win the mirror ball with a pro like Sharna. Unfortunately, we just want to see Peta dance like the amazing pro she is, instead of making it all about “how few clothes can I get by with wearing this week”. It just seems like she’s using the skin factor to keep us from viewing her partner’s mistakes. It’s icky.
The Yep, He’s Brought Her Back – This cryptic award goes to Jack Osbourne who brought back the Cheryl Burke we used to be crazy about. Other than one episode of rehearsal crap last week (which might or might not be real or out of context), we love Jack and what he is bringing us with Cheryl.
The Pros Who Frown the Most At the Judges’ Table and When Facing Elimination – It’s a tossup between Peta and Mark. All I have to say is the look isn’t pretty and the frowns and whiny faces are a reminder of kindergarten when the kid with the frizzy hair stole the animal crackers out of your backpack.
Most Memorable Team – Ever – Forget the perfect 10s, the perfect 30s, the standing on the judges’ table exhilaration and the falling off the chair hormonal overload that has plagued past seasons. In this season, we won’t remember who took their clothes off, who tried and failed miserably to perfect that “I wanna get you into bed look”, who went for outrageous on the costumes, and who went for “I can use more smoke/fog on the floor than you can.” We’re talking memorable, iconic even. That goes to only one. Tristan and Valerie. We’ve laughed, cried, and fist pumped with them. Nobody laughed more. Nobody smiles more. These two will never, ever be forgotten on DWTS. Team Valerie was – and is – special.
More awards are coming when you least expect them.
Let’s just say that this week, DWTS is seemingly going to need its own surgical wing or at the very least, an emergency treatment center in the glitter pit. We are a bit skeptical about all of the attention-getting devices that are going on this week – some probably real, some likely fiction, and some manufactured for pure dramatic effect. It’s making us (meaning me - Shakes) a little crazy. That also means that SWAT probably won’t let me publish this because she’ll say I’m being mean. She, on the other hand, was mostly nice this week – mostly being a relative term because regardless of how nice we are being, we can't ignore all that sarcasm and snarkness just waiting to escape. I won’t share who said what, but I will say that there is so much nonsense going on for Week 4 that we can’t tell what’s real, what is grandstanding, and what is absolute bull dinky.
Here are our unpredictable Week 4 predictions.
*Mark Ballas will pull out the makeup case again for his Foxtrot with Christina, perhaps going with something understated this time around. Maybe just a little eyeliner and blush to get the proper look. We wouldn’t want him to overdo nor would we want him to have to scrape off the makeup with a trowel two weeks in a row.
*Peta and Brant will make the censors at ABC pause briefly before allowing them to dance shirtless. At least Brant will dance shirtless and Peta wll dance mostly shirtless, and the waistline of the lower half of her costume will stray into dangerous territory south of the border. One false move and things could get ugly. We might be talking Basic Instinct stuff here.
*Elizabeth will have to bend her knees to do the Argentine Tango with Val, and Val will jerk his head sideways and squint in order to revisit the “I’m too sexy for my shirt” look. This also means that he will probably lose his shirt or appear at least mostly bare pectoraled because that’s how he rolls (yes,we made that word up). We might see a surprise costume – such as Elizabeth wearing her “I’m about ready to enter the convent” getup and then strip off to reveal slicked back hair, few clothes, and the personality of a gnat. Oops. That was mean. Sorry, but this couple is about as exciting as having a hamburger without the fixin’s, and that’s just wrong.
*Tony will make sure Leah is covered in a rather substantial quantity of feathers, fabric, or sequins so as to distract the judges from the footwork and bad legs. Their Samba? Yawn. Cha Cha? Same song, different verse. I’ve already started yawning. Oh yeah. Tony will also make bad costume choices for himself. We will see his freshly waxed chest which has been oiled to a sheen, a costume in a color like neon pink or lime green, and the glare from his teeth will cause our eyeballs to twitch. Actually, we love the teeth. The costumes we don’t.
*Julianne and Derek will make us roll our eyes with their “ripping the head off my Barbie” stories and while she will threaten him with disaster, she will score him exactly the same as Carrie Ann and Bruno because that’s how this season is going. We think she will do the same for every couple.
*Carrie Ann will cry twice and will hyperventilate repeatedly after Brant strips down and wiggles his ass for the Samba.
*Bruno will be the one falling off of his chair this time, mostly likely after Brant’s Samba, but he will also give that ridiculous tilt-the-head sideways, wide-eyed look when Christina dances and he will say, “Oh you naughty little vixen” or something equally annoying.
*Amber and Derek will provide us with rehearsal drama because of the knee/ankle stories and have us wondering how they will ever dance a passable Tango after only 13 minutes of rehearsal all week! Okay, so we lied. We’re not really wondering that at all because this scenario happens every season. So we predict they will be dumped in the bottom three, regardless of scores, just for fun (like they did Kellie and Derek after the be dance they did all season – the Paso Trio with Tristan). They will create all kinds of drama that nobody will fall for: Derek’s sister is the judge and poor Derek can’t do anything right (but he and Amber will still get 9s) and poor Derek has another injured partner – just like Jennifer! And Maria! And Shawn! And etc.! “How could this possibly happen?” “They didn’t get to rehearse either at all until Thursday!” “There’s no way it will be any good!” Yeah, and we didn’t just fall off the turnip truck either…
*Sasha and Snooki’s Jive will be very good with all kinds of tricks to go along with the flicks and kicks. This is one time that the possible combination of travel time, illness (Snooki’s fever) and fatigue might make a difference. Under normal circumstances, we would say this is the dance that might bring the first 10s of the season, but now we’re not so sure. Our predictions on this one will be bland and uninteresting because we have no idea what to expect other than Sasha and Snooki will probably be better than we expect. We also predict that you have no idea what we are talking about in that last sentence.
*Bill and Emma will do a Redneck Inspired Samba because nothing would be more amusing, and we need some good laughs – something we didn’t get with the over-propped Bill Nye/Tyne dances. Emma gets it. We get it. Bill gets it. It’s about learning to dance, doing your best, and trying to win if you can but having loads of fun along the way. Here is another couple we would love to see in the finals, and we would love to watch them soccer kick a couple of the ringers out of the way on their journey to the mirror ball. Our prediction is whatever they do, it will be by far the most entertaining dance of the night.
*Karina and Corbin will score a 10 (not three of them, just one) and we will still be annoyed because he’s a super-ringer, but at least he’s fun and likable and interesting as opposed to some who are…not. We also predict that Karina will throw in much more technical difficulty than is necessary in Week 4 (much as she has done Weeks 1-3) because she thinks Corbin can do it. The problem with that is this: Where do you go from there? We say Karina should pull back a little on the choreography and save it for the next couple of weeks. Corbin isn’t doing anywhere – unless things get boring.
*At least 3 pros (probably male) will appear in see-through silk shirts, and not one of them will be Tristan MacManus.
*Cheryl and Jack will do the Quickstep but it will be a forgettable Quickstep. Week 1, they were fun and memorable, but since then they have become kind of bland. We love this pairing, but we’re not sure how the appeal is going to increase in a season with big personalities like Valerie, Snooki, Bill, Corbin, Amber, etc. We do like them though, and we wouldn’t complain for one single second if they made it into the finals with a bunch of non-ringers. Not likely, but we wouldn’t complain. Bet you never thought you would hear us say that, did you?
*With Valerie and Tristan there are two possible scenarios: Valerie is the cougar and they dance a Mrs. Robinson inspired Waltz with Tristan as the young stud. Unlikely. Why? The Mrs. Robinson inspired thing is unlikely because she thinks of him as her grandson. Option 2: They pull out all the stops and do a smackdown, Tristan-style, which is necessary because of all of the people out there who think it’s Valerie’s time to leave the show. No offense, people, but it will never be Valerie’s time to leave the show. Tristan’s either. How else will you overcome the massive fan base that is Tristan MacManus? And the even bigger fan base that is Valerie Harper? Pshaw. We say they are going to be around a while. That’s our prediction. Another prediction. Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman will be in the audience – if not this week, then next week. It’s time to up the stakes, ABC. Show them the legends instead of the Osbournes.