Last week, Annie Barrett decided to rate the team promotional photos from hot to not, good to icky, and interesting to insipid. Hollywood.com did their own evaluation/rating and conveniently left out1/3 of the cast. Sorry, but we won’t take that lying down, and actually, this was too good to resist. We don’t really agree with Annie much at all on this one so we decided to write our own little critique and evaluation. We began by ranking the photos overall 1 to 12 with the best at the top as #1, and you probably won't be surprised when you see which one we ranked #1 - especially when you consider that this is a Tristan MacManus website. We’re even cutting Kirstie and Maks a little slack because she was in Europe and couldn’t be around for the photo shoot. We also have no clue what will happen with Louis and Sabrina so we made stuff up. So here you go – our own “What's your damage?" blog in a pathetic rebuttal to Annie's article. By the way, we’re also giving each photo a score on hotness factor (chemistry as obvious in the photo) just because we want to, and we felt like doing a little ogle-factor evaluating as well in the "What's the grade" portion: 100 is the equivalent of a white hot flame. 60 means they should go back to kindergarten. We’re also still trying to figure out what hollywood.com decided to do in their misguided attempt to rank 2/3 of the cast. That was a WTF moment, and we then agreed to become serious journalists and investigative reporters to uncover the real truth. Yeah, this is all a big joke and not to be taken seriously, in case you had any doubt.
1.Tristan and Pamela
Chemistry grade: A++++ or in this case, O₂, just because these two together are going to make us lose some brain cells from oxygen deprivation.
What’s the damage? -1.0 because Tristan’s shirt was tucked in instead of hanging loose like in his individual photo, and then there was the tragic loss of that gorgeous bedhead. ABC also put a white background behind a beautiful blonde in a white dress, so the photo wasn’t as striking as it might have been. Duh. Pamela is not the kind of woman that you let blend into the background – not that she could anyway. These are minor point deductions, however, because they both glow with lots and lots of naughty hotness. (We don’t know if there is such a thing as “naughty hotness” but we think there is, so deal with it.)
What’s the grade? 96% Gilles and Cheryl made it to the finals on hotness and skill. Tristan and Pamela can do that too. Nothing is a sure thing, but if there isn’t chemistry there that tops all the charts, then our names aren’t SWAT and Shakes, and we don’t wear neon tutus. Come on, people, in this photo Pamela became the seduced and Tristan was the confident male taking charge of the reformed sex kitten. Annie Barrett referenced “Like a Virgin” when describing Pamela in this photo, but we are thinking that it is more likely that Pamela had been listening to “Holding Out For A Hero” on the way to the photo shoot, and that is why she is now nestled in his slightly rugged, Irish tattooed arms. Puleeeeze – anybody with even a partial pulse has to see that this duo is hot, sexy, and um, stimulating. We will stop with that.
2.Drew and Anna
Chemistry grade: B+ The photo doesn’t tell the entire story, but we’re basing our rankings on the photos and nothing more (at least most of the time). These two are going to be fun, sexy, and invigorating.
What’s the damage? -2.0 The color of the costume is brilliant and an amazing color for both of them, but in all fairness it looks like a feathered boa over a leotard, which I believe Anna said it actually was.
What’s the grade? 93%. Drew looks adorable, and this team is going to be around for a while. The chemistry is believable. Just look at the smile on Anna's face! She's happy, Drew always seems happy, and thus we have confidence that the chemistry grade will rise as the season progresses. I bet we see lots and lots of smiles from Anna and Drew, and that’s what we love about them both.
3. Mark and Bristol
Chemistry grade: B Why? Because whatever it is that Bristol and Mark were doing, it was believable, and more so than many of the awkward poses of the other. They might not be our favorites, but we are at least occasionally objective. We love funny, and they were funny and didn’t take themselves too seriously. No,they aren’t the sex kitten and the stud, but they might prove to be entertaining.
What’s the damage? -2. 2 just because of the nerd boy glasses. Bristol looks great this time around. Leggy, lovely, and lively. We like this photo.
What’s their grade? 88%. There isn’t going to be any bashing here; we looked at the photo, and we don’t care who is in the photo. Out of all of them– with the exception of the King and Queen of Sexy, of course - these two had something almost endearing going on in their team photo. They looked like they were ready to be a real team and have some fun, and that is something to take notice of. Bristol looks fabulous, and Mark...well...he looks like Mark...spats and all...however that didn't bother us very much this time around. They just might be a surprise this season (assuming her dancing has kicked it up a notch) but regardless, we loved the photo.
4. Apolo and Karina
Chemistry grade: B- There is a flicker of something, but Apolo looks so uncomfortable posing like that that we knocked them down a grade.
What’s the damage? -3.5 Apolo looks like he's getting ready to race us to Krispy Kreme or head back to the ice. We were confused as to what they were trying to do. And what was with Karina's bangs? Not that it has anything to do with anything at all, but we just didn't like them, and since it's our blog, we just wanted to make an observation.
What’s their grade? Overall at around 83%. Not the best start but they seem that they will look great in future photos. We aren't going to discredit them completely. Remember last season when we thought that Karina and Gavin weren't going to work and they quickly made us eat our words? Karina is a very strong and slightly intimidating presence because she's got the confidence and the dancing chops to trounce everyone in the competition. Apolo knows this and that's why he's looking uncomfortable, or so we assume. But again, there's potential, and tons of cuteness in this photo.
5. Derek and Shawn
Chemistry grade: C Shawn has kinda sorta grown up and looks more like she should be on DWTS than she did 3 years ago. She’s in great shape and looking beautiful. Derek, however, looks too old, too dark, too everything. Something’s kind of off here. Their team photo is just “meh”. Derek is looking down at Shawn and she's giving us a million dollar “I want to dance” pose. The solo pics are the same. Derek is hunched over and looks like he just came from a bad dance rehearsal. Does anyone else find it slightly disturbing that it looks like Derek looks 100% disconnected? We thought he was looking at a bug on the floor instead of at Shawn. Not a great start.
What’s the damage? -4.2 because there was just a lot wrong with the photo (see above).
What’s their grade? 77% (not bad, but not great)
6. Val and Kelly
Chemistry grade: C because Val has all the chemistry. He gets an A+ for looking like he’s hot for Kelly. In fact, in their team photo Val looks downright dashing. Kelly however looks like she just auditioned as a vamipress on “True Blood” and can't get out of character. She gets an F for looking bored and prepared to go into attack mode if she doesn’t get that corset off. Their individual photos were a big letdown. Nothing fun there at all. Nothing sexy (other than Val). Nothing magical.
What’s the damage? -4.5 That seems fair. Val is at his best here; Kelly is not.
What’s their grade? 73% We can take ‘em or leave ‘em.
7. Peta and Gilles
Chemistry grade: C The chemistry just isn't there like it was with Cheryl and Gilles. Frankly, Peta looks bored.
What’s the damage? -4.5 The t-shirt and pants don’t work for Gilles. He needs to be sleek, suave and debonair, not looking like he’s going to Walmart with the family for the day. Peta, Peta, Peta…..clothes please? Their team photo was pretty easy to read. If we could do the speech bubbles over their heads then it would read something like this. Peta: “I think I left my iron plugged in" and Gilles: “Did I leave my car lights on?” Yeah, just check out Gilles' solo photo where you see him as he truly is...one sexy man. Without Peta he's simply smokin'. With her he seems off kilter. Still not a fan of the Walmart wardrobe for Gilles though. It just doesn’t work.
What’s their grade: 70% It may work; it may not.
8. Chelsie and Helio
Chemistry grade: C Not great, not horrible, but a little bland. No, a lot bland, but we think there is fire beneath the surface, and we think this couple is going to crank it up a notch in a very short time. This "C" is just the beginning. Expect a quick jump to a "B" soon.
What’s the damage? - 4.5 just because instead of a team photo, it looks like 2 people just posing side by side so the chemistry wasn’t obvious. They both look really good, however, so there is potential.
What’s their grade? 70%. They need some work on making their relationship as a team believable – right now they look like 2 people posing for a picture, but that could change in a hurry. We do think that they definitely hit high on the cuteness scale. Maybe that's why we can't see the burning hot chemistry that we want to. Cute is all good but at the end of the day people want to see the passion. The good news here is that Chelsie is way more feisty than Julianne ever was so this is another one with potential. We predict a fairly quick rise in their grade.
9, Tony and Melissa
Chemistry grade: C- This could easily be a D. We're trying to find the chemistry. It has to be there somewhere, right?
What’s the damage? -6 There is so much wrong with this photo that we don’t know where to start. It was just so dang bland that we could barely manage to prop open our eyelids long enough to look at it.
What’s their grade? 66% Physically, they look great, but Tony has the same damn pose every damn time and his arms look like they are shellacked into place. I think they will dance like a dream technically but I think they will have an early exit because there is a negative chemistry factor. Melissa as always is gorgeous, but she also screams “Pageant Queen” in her solo photo and well, to us that won’t earn her any brownie points. There has to be something more there than a pretty face and blinding white teeth. We've seen this all before....next.
10. Joey and Kym
Chemistry grade: D+ We just weren't feeling it. We still aren't.
What’s the damage? -7 There were lots of deductions here – he’s a handsome guy but does anybody else think that shirt was an attempt to hide a beer gut? Maybe not, but the photo didn’t work. And what’s with the extraordinary cleavage exploitation of Kym? That didn’t work either. We actually thought the girls were going to make a surprise appearance. And to think they were one of our favorites a week ago.
What’s their grade? 60% just because it’s better than Emmitt and Cheryl. Personally Joey looks more like he's about to co-host a cooking show alongside Emeril Lagasse rather than dance. Maybe it’s the color of the shirt, or the way that he's seems to be hiding behind Kym. In any case none of these photos showcase the exuberance that we fell in love with seasons ago when they danced together. We do say that in spite of the cleavage issue, Kym has gorgeous legs and that means we are jealous.
11. Emmitt and Cheryl
Chemistry grade: D Lordy, that photo is a mess. He looks like a handsome football player ready to have a few beers and hit on chicks in the pub; she looks like she might be preparing for her debut as a Vegas showgirl…or something maybe just a wee bit sleazier. Just put some feathers on her head and she’ll take off.
What’s the damage? -8 Our response to this photo was, "Aaaargh."
What’s their grade? F It is a mess. She needs to tone it down and tame the attempted sex kitten. Emmitt is a good ole boy and that's why we like him. Emmitt looks like he is being Emmitt in both the team and his solo photo. Cheryl on the other hand looks like she is using these promo photos to promote her playmate portfolio. Besides there is only room for one playmate (or former playmate) this season. Sorry Cheryl, but you've got to be a team player here, and if you can't showcase your partner then you are going to have problems. By the way, Emmitt stands out here more than Cheryl does and that's says a lot for just being yourself.
Kirstie and Maks
Chemistry grade: We’re guessing in the B- to C+ range. Not over the top sexy but because they are such good friends, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
What’s their damage? No clue on this – we’re thinking their photo will probably be a bit over the top but maybe not excessive. As long as her costume isn’t anything like that awful thing she wore during Season 12 for the jive (remember the leotard/purple tutu/leggings mess), they should be fine. That and the foxtrot costume still give us nightmares. We’ll say a -4 on this one.
What’s their grade? Ummm, 75%. It’ll be okay – not great but not the worst of the bunch.
Sabrina and Louis
Chemistry grade: about a C+ makes sense. Cute and quirky but no crazy chemistry.
What’s their damage? -5 We have no idea. We think it’ll be about average – a bit boring but okay.
What’s their grade? About 72%. Nothing horrible – nothing outstanding. Just cute.
And there you have it. This is how we see things based on the photos. It has nothing to do really with dancing or anything else, but instead what is projected in the photos which were frankly, a huge disappointment overall. This is what happens when you try to mess with history. They should’ve just let the past stay in the past and gone with all new celebrities. Perhaps ABC will ask for our recommendation for future partners for Tristan, although we have to say that the Tristan/Pamela match is one of their more inspired choices. There is something….delicious about this pairing. Enjoy the season!