Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Dancing" with the ... Stars

Sharna Burgess, Charlie White, Meryl Davis, Maksim Chmerkovsky

I used to be an avid viewer of Dancing with the Stars, although in recent seasons, not so much. I don't think I've ever seen Sharna Burgess in action.

I've certainly seen Maksim Chmerkovskiy before, and no doubt he thinks he has a ringer.

Normally I'd say, boy is he in for a surprise, but the tricks available to Davis White that helped them pull off the gold medal heist at Sochi are available a hundred fold to Maksim C. Meryl has stamina, she's more than accustomed to performing under pressure live, and she's used to fake dancing, which is something they do a great deal on DWTs. I'm thinking Maksim C might be surprised at just how much faking will be required to pull this off. He doesn't really have a dancer here. He's also kind of bad at what he does. His taste in costumes and make-up for his partner trends toward the drag queen and his choreography can lean to the literal and labored. He's not often been successful in drilling rhythm and musicality into his partner. He's best with partners who have natural rhythm. But this is DWTS; if the pros have a partner who know how to train and perform by rote, that's can be as good as doing it, and Meryl Davies certainly has experience there.

For Charlie, clearly some of this is right up his alley - he can skip all over the stage in quickstep with his hair and tails flying. I'm interested in is the rumba and other romantic dances, to see if the problem in the past was Charlie couldn't relate, while moving, to Meryl - or couldn't relate, period.

I'm kind of surprised at the repeat of the "direct from the rink to DWTS" move here, as it didn't seem to work especially well boosting Evan Lysacek's celebrity profile even though he did well.

Over on another message board somebody objected to the idea that Charlie and Tanith hid or downplayed their relationship during the past season, seeing as how Tanith was right there in the stands talking to Charlie's folks. Yes, because being in the stands at the arena so fans can see you is the exact same thing as being on twitter or talking it up in your nationally syndicated interviews. Charlie and Tanith weren't hiding. They were keeping it out of the spotlight while amping up the spotlight on Davis White.

P.S. - I want to add this about Dancing with the Stars.  DW spent almost two years spinning a new narrative that they shared chemistry "you could cut with a knife". Charlie's own girlfriend hyped up their "soul-to-soul" connection. What that shit had to do with ice dance nobody said, but they wanted to cover every base.

My speculation is that Meryl and Charlie fans are fans of the duo, and what they see as the dynamic between the duo.  But after all this bullshit the past two years, Meryl and Charlie exit Sochi and immediately sign up with DWTs where they're each paired with sexy, glamorous other partners and are going to compete against each other instead of dancing with each other.

I love Virtue and Moir. They actually dance. Because of that, I confess I might be curious to see how Tessa danced with a DWTs pro, because she's exactly on their level, she's as much a professional dancer as they are - she really is. I'd kind of like to see Maks try to teach her and learn she's better at everything than he is, including choreography.

And I'd be interested to see if Scott were able to adapt to a partner who wasn't Tessa - looking into their eyes, for example, seems as if it would be a challenge. Also, Tessa is the one who disciplines his frame, at least in pattern dances.

So I'd be curious, but maybe not eight weeks worth of curious. Maybe one dance worth of curious. I want to see them dance together, not dance with other people. I'm a fan of the team.

I wonder how excited DW fans actually are that their first project subverts the entire narrative of the Olympics and hooks them up with other people, pitting them against each other. We're talking contemporary dance with other people (which is lyrical, romantic, emotive, story driven - Charlie drew the DW assignment), the rumba (which ain't the ice dance rumba pattern but a slowed down cha cha rhythm that's colloquially considered the bedroom dance) and all kinds of romantic stuff done vis a vis someone besides each other. How much does this venture really thrill their fans?

If DWTs plays to form, Meryl and Charlie will finish the premiere with identical scores.

99 comments:

  1. I was one of the people who objected to Tanith hiding the nature of her relationship on TV. She tried to play it off like they were just friends while she was doing commentary for ice dance. She had no business acting as a commentator, but if she was going to do it at least she could have been honest about her relationship with Charlie. I used to really like Tanith but she has made a fool of herself trying to prop up DW with comments like 'good ice dance should look hard'...

    I am a fan of DW, but they are not good dancers at all. They are very wooden and have no sense of rhythm.

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    1. Tanith is actually a not-bad commentator when it comes to commentating about other teams, but her not disclosing the true status of her relationship with Charlie while commentating about him is totally unprofessional. Even on the CBC, Carol Lane, who coaches G/P, fully disclosed off the top of the broadcast that she was their coach, and she was quite objective and even-handed in her commentary during their skating at NHK. It will be interesting to hear her commentary for Worlds, when P/I and G/P will both be competing.

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    2. Tanith totally did. My point is it's simply disingenuous to compare Tanith being in the stands with his parents, to the way she and Charlie took their relationship dark in the MEDIA so he could promote his connection with Meryl. One (her being with his parents in a very limited context) has nothing to do with the other (the fact that she disconnected from him both in her job as a commentator and in her social media output where previously she'd made frequent reference to him).

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    3. Did she really say good ice dance should look hard? Seriously?

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    4. I can't remember the exact competition or even the exact season, although I want to say it was in the latter half of the 11-12 season or early half of the 12-13 season, but, yes, she once said that good ice dance should look hard.

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  2. What are DW doing on DWTS anyway, isn't the show usually filled with washed up starlets of yesterday who try to make some money to pay the bills ? One would think DW had better opportunities than that.
    I wonder how far they are going to make it. Neither has the looks or engaging personalities that wins over people's hearts. And they are basically unknown and don't have thr nostalgia bonus of somebody like Ralph Maggio.

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    1. It's certainly not uncommon for stars that are one of the better "dancers" to get booted because they don't connect with the public.

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    2. DWTs usually has a mix. The sports stars have usually been bigger "stars" or at least more accomplished than the show business stars, even if it has been years since their heyday. You'll get an Olympian or a Hall of Famer in sports, but not a recent Best Actress winner in show business.

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    3. Meryl and Charlie aren't great dancers but I'm sure they've taken ballroom lessons before. Why should they be allowed to compete against people with zero experience?

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    4. In reality, I don't think they have any more going for them than other ringers of the past. Even random actresses have had a lot of dance training growing up etc. But if D/W being the best ice dancers ever is to believed, it would be ridiculous for them to be able to compete here. Real dancing takes place on ice all the time, but I suspect that many - public, producers, whatever - believe that the "dance" is just for show and not a real thing in ice dance. They won't be held to the ridiculously high standard that their resume claims, that's for sure. Yeah, moving on the floor should be an adjustment, but can you imagine if V/M were on the show? Their dance technique is so impeccable, it would absolutely be unfair.

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  3. has anyone noticed Cassandra has a new profile pic with new guy? but some pics of scot still up? was she really in sochi?

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    1. She really was in Sochi ( there are even some pics online ) but she didn't attend any of the competitions ( at least she is no where to be found anywhere near the Moirs ) and so far there haven't been any pictures leaked that would indicate that she spent some actual time with Scott in Sochi.
      Scott was very busy attenting competitions with Tessa and Patrick and seemed to have a great time without her.

      It could be just another attempt to fool the fans before we're bombarded with new beach pics but for now it looks like the sham has been put on hold.
      Maybe Tessa and Scott just want to promote themselves a little more before the Olympic craze is over before bringing Cassandra back.

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    2. Really? I haven't seen a single online photo of Cassandra in Sochi - there was lots of fans claims that they'd seen photos of her there but I have yet to see one, and I've looked. Could you indicate where these are to be found?

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    3. There was one posted on Facebook by Scott's cousin Janet that definitely had Cassandra in it and another that I think originally came from Aunt Marg that looks like it was taken after the free dance of the entire group of Virtues/Moirs but there's some question as to whether or not Cassandra is in that picture.

      Who knows what's going on there. Compared to Jessica's behaviour after Vancouver, with her rampant "Scott's my BOYFRIEND!", Cassandra is really tame.

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    4. The group photo (very big group - Moirs, and I can't remember if Virtues) did have Cassandra in it (the one where Scott was crouched down). I'm pretty sure. Then there was her with a group that included Cara (but not Scott). And the one from Janet Carey. And that's all I remember

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  4. if v/m were on DWTS according to someone on goldenshit: 'Tessa would stumble every dance and we would see her be insecure and glare at the other dancers saying they're all civil with one another. Scott will say his dance partner was never there for him the whole season and blame the loss on everyone but himself.'

    uh

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    1. I love the poster Matt K:

      "You don't need to be good dancers, heck you don't even need to have any natural ability at all. It does take stamina every week though. All these things mirrors D/W's own ice dancing career."

      Truth!

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    2. LOL was it a response to that comment? because i didnt read the whole thread

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  5. This is a most curious FSU post from one of the admins: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?91593-Virtue-and-Moir-38-Simply-Timeless&p=4198453&viewfull=1#post4198453

    "You can indeed say that you think Meryl is snobby or whatever.

    I'm not a lawyer. I cannot advise you on such issues with any authority. But an obvious opinion is one thing; spreading damaging untruths, however, is another. If it isn't untrue, well, you're golden--truth is generally an absolute defense. But don't really have good reasons to think something is true AND what you are saying can damage a person's professional reputation--well, you can judge for yourself how much of a risk you are willing to take.

    A lot of people involved in skating read this board. The things you post can get back to the people you are posting about. You are in charge of whether what you post will make the person who hears them happy or angry. "

    Think about all of the crap that's been said over the years on FSU. Skaters and federations have been accused of cheating, doping, faking injuries, etc. more times than I can count in the name of snark. This is a place that time and time again posters were told to suck it up when someone mocked, snarked, or hated on their favorite skaters. Now, all of a sudden, when it surrounds DW it's important to not hurt anyone's feelings or say something that might damage anyone's reputation?

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    1. Maybe someone in the DW camp threatened to sue?

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    2. I've written this before, but I love to tick off the admin. at FSU, so here goes: There was a V/M thread on FSU during the Olympics that mentioned D/W unfavorably, and the administrator threatened to provide people's personal info to the POLICE if they didn't stop saying mean things about D/W. (I don't have a link to it at this moment, sorry, but I can get find it if necessary) It was made to seem as if they police were going to come pounding on one's door, and the offending, non D/W loving person would be dragged off to be arrested, because of what was written on an internet board!!! And I pointed out in the comments section during that time, that this is not a criminal matter, but a civil matter, that the person being libeled would have to bring the matter up in civil court, and the burden of proof would be on them to show that they had been damaged. (So if I want to say, in my opinion, that Meryl Davis is a Stick Insect, she has to prove how my opinion ruined and damaged her in court) The US criminal justice system (i.e., police and prosecutors) do not get involved, because it's not a criminal matter in the US (in other countries, it is) I guarantee that the admins. at FSU somehow read my previous comments, because they're no longer threatening the cops on anyone....they just ban people from posting on the board who question their "Don't say mean things about D/W that you can't PROVE" (which isn't how it works, people!) logic. And the latest brouhaha was because someone said they remember hearing from others at the Canton rink that Meryl was a snob. Heaven forbid!!!!

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    3. P.S. From Anon at 3:44---I forgot to add this----The FSU admin. threatened to provide the police with the non D/W offender's email address, personal info (that was given at the time of signing up) and, I assume, their IP address. As if the police had nothing better to do, than to run around the country, arresting people for not loving D/W. Gee, how much money does Charlie's father have, anyway?

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    4. How does one get a Youtube poster banned? There is one poster in particular, Senseandspite, that posts the most vile, sexually explicit comments about V/M and harrasses any other posters. They are truly despicable...several times I've reported their posts as spam, but they need to be removed entirely.

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    5. ^^this is just a mere sample of the garbage they post:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK9gY1okh5w

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    6. SenseandSpite has been posting nasty V/M comments over on The Skating Lesson, as well. In the words of Jane Austen (whom she's obviously ripping off, with her screen name) I do not give her the compliment of rational opposition, so I never respond back. And I've reported some of her youtube comments as well....

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    7. 6:02 that person is truly vile. like their name says, there is no sense in their spite. that jodi person is just as bad:

      "If both couples retire (which is likely), D/W will be remembered as being the 2013/2014 World and Olympic champions.

      V/M will be remembered for winning silver, whining about their coach, and having fans who believe in a non-existent scandal.

      Congratulations."

      in what world? LOL. i wonder if we all team up and start reporting senseandspit's comment's youtube would ban them.

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    8. i dont get either of those poster's putrid comments. their favs won why are they so angry?? perhaps the fact that d/w were handed their victory over v/m instead of actually earning it is slowly eating them up inside...

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    9. Anon 2:11pm: their posts are indicative of all the lame-ass posts on FSU and Goldenshit...any criticism of D/W has to be shut-down. SenseandSpite are taking a step further and just posting nasty shit, period.

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    10. hopefully, sense and spite will get doxed and banned one day

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    11. I seriously don't see any difference between SenseandSpite and Cyn/other DW ubers, 2:58.

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    12. cyn is a nasty piece of work but i dont see everything she says because i dont have a paid subscription

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    13. SenseandSpite, Jodi J, Cyn, Mia Joy, all those D/W ubers are FUCKING CRAZY. Completely incapable of any having any sensible dialogue. Has ever a fan base been so over the top?

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    14. man i dont get senseandspite's obession with tessa's vagina. we get it her vagina is awesome.

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    15. lol at jodi--keep telling yourself that. Those of us who have been following ice dance for years will remember DW as a team whose PR allowed them to pass several teams who were better than them and outskated them. If we are being real, DW had no business being anywhere near that podium. They should not have even made the top 5. WP, CL, BS, the Shibs are all clearly better. This result is the biggest travesty in the sport's history

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    16. This is why I hate screen name. And in my experiences moderators tend to cater to the complainers. One group is running the board, someone speaks up in a way the others don't like, that person is ganged up on and becomes the trouble maker, instead of the bullies being called out. Reputation points only reinforce it.

      Obviously a discussion site needs some type of moderation if it's not going to be hijacked or manipulated or spammed, but use common freaking sense.

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    17. I'm also not sure how somehow moderation is an issue heaving itself to the forefront when it's DW being criticized. Suddenly that's such a hot topic we have to mention the FBI and lawsuits. Everything else though, nobody's too worried.

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  6. I do not understand why VM fans bother posting on FSU, much less why they would pay to post in Secret Sources or Kiss and Cry. Prancer, the queen admin, loves to parade her authority. She bans VM fans (who pretty much only post in one thread) and lets people like Blueridge -- who actually did threaten a poster, in another thread -- fire away. If anyone could sue, its the VM fans who are continually called "crazy" and worse in the Secret Sources thread. That type of accusation is dangerous to people's livelihoods.

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    1. I'm with you, Anon. at 7:26 am. I don't post over at FSU, and I certainly don't pay for it. I'm glad there is a space here for fans of V/M's skating, and for others who do real skating, as well.

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    2. with the hypocrisy happening at FSU lately, @goddesspharo's dystopian novel analogy is becoming ever more relevant.

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    3. Multiple people on FSU have declared the Shibutani's skating is "juniorish."

      That should tell you everything you need to know about the dumbassery that defines that place.

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    4. @7:26
      I missed that--what did BlueRidge say?

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    5. In One Of the Johnny Weir threads they are openly speculating and claiming that his husband Victor is probably a thug who physically abuses Johnny and who is trying to destroy Johnny's career.
      All that Prancer had to say to this is that some posters might get carried away a little with their comments.
      Saying Meryl is a snob means the police will come after you but accusing somebody of a real criminal offense without proof is perfectly fine.

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    6. Yeah, and Prancer specifically said the Weir thread hadn't crossed the line into libel yet. LOL.

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    7. Prior to 2009 a lot of fsu-ers and goldenskaters thought Vm were juniorish. I don't think they know what it means. I think if you don't o face and emote dramatically enough, you're juniorish. It has nothing to do with the maturity of your skating - meaning, the depth, length, power and flow of your blades and your control of your blades. Not to fans on message boards. It's personality and performance persona period.

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  7. Gold medal heist LOL!

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  8. Hi oycanada :) Did you seen this? http://i.imgur.com/PmTB8A0.gif

    What do you think?

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    1. I'm not good at any but the most obvious lip reading, but what the gif maker says Scott says is only normal and natural. He's told her he loves her before they skate many times and he always boosts her up and always says leave it on the ice.

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    2. Thanks :) Yes, he said also this http://i.imgur.com/xNivADZ.gif
      These are the real Tessa and Scott... not those of their reality show...

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    3. You know, maybe it's not relevant to the blog in particular, but Tessa seems like a challenge and Scott appears to be an absolute genius when it comes to getting through to her. He's always so INTERESTED. He's been with her forever and he's so interested. Even in a gif of the big group watching the hockey game, when everybody's cheering he turns his body and head to check in with her.

      Tessa, for her part, appears to be an outlier when it comes to her perspective on Scott. So much of the vibe with him and everybody else seems to be busting chops. The best moment of the reality show (which had very few genuine best moments) was when Scott said "I was trying to be funny." and Tessa said "Trying? - Succeeding!"

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    4. I think Tessa is fascinating in a perverse way. It's like there's no "real" Tessa. She's so busy trying on all these different personas, like she's searching for the ideal one, but hasn't found it yet. For someone as ADD as Scott, I wonder if this constant shifting is the thing that holds his attention.

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    5. My guess is that Scott is probably the only human being on Earth who really knows who the real Tessa is. I don't think Tessa even knows who the real Tessa is. Instead of the constant shifting holding his attention, I think Scott sees through all of it and it's the real Tessa who keeps his attention.

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    6. " For someone as ADD as Scott, I wonder if this constant shifting is the thing that holds his attention. "

      For his own sake I hope this is not the case because that would mean their relationship is rather shallow and probably nit very stable.

      I believe Tessa knows very well who she is, she just doesn't want anybody else to know her. She's a perfectionist and is willing to put in a lot of work to reach said perfection. Perfect programs, perfect dresses, she even got herself the perfect nose. So why not the perfect personality as well ? She's by far not the only one who tries to pull this off.
      According to the show her ideal of a woman is devoted, demure and stands in the shadow of a man so that he won't have to feel insecure. Like Scott said, Tessa likes the 50ies !
      Alas Scott didn't get the memo that Tessa is his doormat because whenever he speaks of Tessa it's about how strong, determined and blunt she is. He once said she has a crazy side that not many people know and I don't doubt this for a second.
      I don't think Scott is fooled by Tessa, he knows who she is. I can't imagine he would have stayed for so long, went through all the drama ( some of it self created ) if that wasn't the case.

      And maybe that's what draws Tessa to Scott. Even a perfectionist and pathological liar needs somebody who loves the imperfect, regular person behind the mask.

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    7. "My guess is that Scott is probably the only human being on Earth who really knows who the real Tessa is."

      I don't think he really does. He pays super close attention to her so he probably does know her better than anyone else, but I don't think he knows who the real Tessa is because there is no "real Tessa." You can see it in interviews often -- Tessa will respond to a question about herself, and Scott will make a comment along the lines of "Really? I thought it was [different answer Tessa had given previously to the same question]." Often it appears that Tessa has no recollection of the previous response, and even if she did, that was then, and now is now.

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    8. I, personally, don't think that means - at all - that Scott doesn't know Tessa. I think he's teasing her and playing with her. She presents one thing to us and is another in private, and sometimes they sync up and sometimes they don't. Scott teases her. He's playing. He's playing the Tessa he knows off the Tessa she's putting out there in that instant. It lightens her up.

      There was one time when Tessa started rattling on about how she and Scott don't spend time together off the ice - or much time, and Scott put his arm around her shoulder, looked into her face and said "we don't? We don't?" and she looked back at him, smiling and turning red, and at a loss for words. She couldn't even articulate anything after that.

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    9. IOW, at times he may be amused at what she's saying - because what she's saying ISN'T the real her. He's not going to track it any better than she does, although scratch that, I think he tracks it SOMEWHAT better than she does, because it's her, and he's interested in all things her. However, him being amused at her changing her answer from one interview to the next isn't about him not knowing her, because that person, that persona, isn't "her" at all.

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  9. Nene: I saw those Olympic people... they do have an unfair advantage. They ran around on skates, and won the Olympics and all that, and they're young, and skinny.
    Interviewer: Choreographed by Derek Hough!
    Nene: But that's ok. We're in it.
    Interviewer: Running around on skates! (laughs)
    Nene: Doing flips and stuff. But you need to do this in high heels. And you need RHYTHM. And you need soul, you need personality, and fun. People want fun in the ballroom.
    http://www.neneleakesofficial.com/story/on-access-hollywood-this-morning/

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    1. we all need to collectively vote for her so she beats both davis and white a la 'vote for the worst'

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    2. But if we were voting for the worst, wouldn't we be voting for Davis and White? ;)

      I get what you mean though. VOTE NENE!

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    3. "And you need RHYTHM. And you need soul, you need personality, and fun."

      Wow, she gets it. If she were a skater, the ISU and USFSA would be shutting her down pronto, since no one's allowed to point our DW's shortcomings. :)

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    4. what i meant by "vote for the worst" is that we need to vote for her no matter the performance

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    5. 5:29, FSU should arrest her for libel. :)

      I read that Meryl's first dance will be cha-cha and Charlie's will be contemporary... TRAINWRECK. The article said Charlie taught Sharna a new lift. It was so confusing reading "new" and "lift" in an article about DW but I guess new for Sharna.

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    6. is he going to make sharna do a split lift

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    7. No matter what dances Meryl and Charlie will get, they will all look the same. Just watch and see.

      My guess is Charlie will come up with a fab lift for every dance, to focus the judges and audience away from his poor dancing.

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    8. Charlie's never going to be able to use any of the lifts from his skating repertoire because if he tries to hoist or hurl Sharna in the way he did Meryl, he will be completely thrown off balance as she must be at least double Meryl's weight, let me clarify, this is not an insult to Sharna. Any
      credit for the "new" lifts will be totally Sharna's as she is going to have to do all of the work.

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    9. Listen, these dancers can fake it very easily - the girl will take care of herself. That will be easier on Charlie. They've taught people who've never lifted anyone, not even with dumb mechanics. She'll spoon feed it to Charlie, carry herself in space, and it will be fine. There's no blades on his feet to rock. The blade part was what dumbed everything down.

      The cha cha could be a train wreck but it can also be taught rote. Maks tends to expose his partners and I think I've hated every cha cha he's ever done, AND it's a rhythmic dance, but I have seen DWTS pros build a cha cha routine where every beat is choreographed so the celeb doesn't have to actually have rhythm, and in the early going, it works (thinking Ian Zierring).

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    10. Why is it that Nene seems to know more about ice dance than the actual judges? Tell it like it is, Nene.

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    11. Oohhh - you need RHYTHM. I like that. Don't know her, but I may warm myself up to vote for her. That's good. Don't walk it back, Nene!

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    12. Hah - I know some of you saw it right away but that just hit me. "Ran around on skates."

      Yep, that's the size of it. She saw no dancing and neither did anybody else. Anybody who believed they saw dancing doesn't know anything about dancing.

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  10. I wonder if part of the contract between USFSA and NBC states that DWTS judges can't criticize Meryl or Charlie.

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    1. are they going to get arrested too?

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    2. Or maybe they will be banished from the panel

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    3. I have been thinking about this and I wonder how much of this is due to the actions of their parents (I know Charlie's mom is very active on the internet). I have never seen a skater protected from criticism the way DW are. People on message boards, commentators on TV--none of them can say anything negative about DW without being attacked.

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    4. thats oil $$$ for you

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    5. It's almost as if they're in this program to get validation as dancers. Look - they're great dancers!

      Everything's backwards world with Meryl and Charlie. But Kristi Yamaguchi was no dancer either, and her skill set easily won DWTs, because at the end of the day, DWTs dances are simple for an Olympic-level athlete accustomed to executing choreography. Yamaguchi was even out of the habit of skating shows when she won, I think (at least she no longer skated in them frequently), but she easily put the dances across (except for the rhythm-centric ones like the jive and the samba).

      I think DW and Yamaguchi are about the same type of dancer - none of the three were dancers. And only one out of the three was really a skater. But executing choreo is all you need on this show.

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    6. 11:01, but how different is that than how nobody could talk about VM? Nobody could address their obvious contradictions. If the blog didn't exist, I think nobody would have been able to point out that there was evidence all over the web that the rift they described never happened.

      When something is TRUE but uncomfortable, it becomes suppressed. I don't exactly know what the deal is there. Maybe people on the web feel limited by the truth so they don't want it around. They prefer their theories and their speculation. VM's obvious manipulations (let alone their actual romantic status) was subject non grata for how long? One wasn't supposed to notice it. Even if you didn't know their real status, you couldn't help but notice their button pushing and games - but you couldn't SAY it. I just think the truth is a buzz kill on message boards that thrive on one-upmanship and my theory is better than yours. Not only that, for the first year or so the blog would be visited by wannabe buzz saws hoping to shut the topic down. But then the blog stayed and, although not common, it's possible to allude to what VM do on certain message boards; it's possible to raise certain issues without it creating a freakout and a "shut it down, shut it down!"

      Davis White were given the gold. They didn't win the gold. It was a heist. The ISU gave it to them. Half the people writing about figure skating may be telling us to shut up and make nice, but what happened was HUGE. It was so enormous, people don't want to deal. The internet isn't a muckraking place. It's very conformist and very political. Also, figure skating - particularly ice dance, has counted on the fact that neither the media or most of the fandom can critique ice dance for themselves, not on a technical level, and that enables the heist. Look at how averse commentators were about talking skating this past year, and when forced to, they lied, without ever being able to point out how DW were fastest, why their programs were more difficult, and all that.

      The blog has to do some workarounds with waltzflower's videos, but they're still being used, because the way to combat this is to talk about and break down the skating, and to prove it's not an impenetrable discipline, that it's observable, and assertions that VM are light years better than DW can be proved.

      Everything about DW being a hot topic rests on ignorance, the fact that so many fans begin with the caveat "I don't know technik". Well LEARN technique, why don't you. Otherwise, what are you doing having an opinion about a sport that evaluates one teams' technique over another?

      That's really the answer to what happened with DW. Talk skating. The way the figure skating analysts blog talks skating.

      Anyway, the bottom line is the web is conformist. It's not a free for all.

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    7. "t's almost as if they're in this program to get validation as dancers. Look - they're great dancers!"

      That might not be their real motivation, but that is EXACTLY what will happen, especially on US figure skating boards. DWTS is the perfect show for non dancers like D/W, because it is pure smoke and mirrors. The public will believe they are great dancers, reinforcing the myth that they deserve to be OGMs. What a travesty.

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    8. Ugh, I can see it now: "Did you hear when Carrie Ann complimented Meryl on her great lines last night? We always knew Meryl had it in her! She's a great dancer no matter what the surface! Ice or floor, Meryl can bring it!!!!"

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    9. As I mentioned above, I think it could be very unsettling for DW fans if Charlie had any kind of chemistry with his partner that non-DW fans liked or noticed, or if Charlie appeared more convincing than he did with Meryl when he danced.

      Based on how fan discussion often goes on the skating message boards, fans are protective of Meryl because her skating gets the most shit (Charlie's is just as bad but bad differently) and because she has unconventional looks. Charlie is conventionally cute. The fans on the board, for all of their protection of Meryl and touting of her appeal, somehow fall into the basically looks-based notion themselves that Meryl possibly likes Charlie but Charlie doesn't see her in that light. That view could also be enabled by Charlie's inability to look at Meryl's face when they skate. He has to be yards away in order to do that. The closer he gets the more he averts his eyes. (That could also be a skating/equilibrium issue, even though it also appeared in the posing section of Schez.)

      If Charlie looks at Sharna, it's going to make DW fans uncomfortable, IMO.

      I know I'm speaking in generalities here, but for the once every four years fans of the Olympics, VM and not DW, made the impact, as always happens. Now DW are going to be exposed to a public that hasn't been singing from the DW playbook. They're going to see Meryl's unconventional appearance and hear her voice and they're going to react. Will they react the way DW fans want them to react? They won't be too familiar with Charlie dancing with Meryl - their introduction to Charlie will be his dancing with Sharna. What if it's a big hit? What if any of these people go back and look at DW and say he really has better chemistry with Sharna?

      DW are leaving the protective bubble and I think it's going to be a sensitive time for their fans.

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    10. "DW are leaving the protective bubble and I think it's going to be a sensitive time for their fans."

      As has been stated on here at some point in the past, the DW fans act like spoiled children who have been handed everything they ever wanted, no questions asked. It's a pretty accurate description of what went on this last quad. The DW fans always got their way because DW always got their way.

      Now, DW are, as you said, leaving the protective bubble. I think the DW fans are very afraid that the bigger world is not going to see Meryl and Charlie as very special snowflakes the same way that they [the fans] do. The DW fandom is a fandom that absolutely cannot cope if someone doesn't just like this team, but doesn't like them the best.

      Along these lines, one of the DW fandom's big talking points is that DW are the audience-friendly team, the team that's more accessible. Just as VM destroyed DW on the ice in the individual event in Sochi, VM also seemed, as always, to end up the team that made the big impact on the four-year-fans. They're the team that won the bigger viewing audience over. No DW uber will ever admit that one, but you know it has to be bugging them on some level.

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    11. The DW fans are an especially sensitive bunch. IMO, they're attracted to the team because they are not the beautiful ones, the naturally talented ones. They're the scrappy ones that "work hard for every morsel that they get." The DW fans somehow mention Meryl's beauty more often than VM fans mention Tessa's, and, um, I don't think you would get very many people in the outside world to agree. The DW fans seem like theater geek types and I think they just love all of those Beseeching Literary Characters FDs and the fantasy that a rather bookish, homely girl like Meryl can be seen as the object of lust by conventionally attractive guys like Fedor and the boy next door Charlie. It's all a facade, and I think deep down they know that, and that's why they twist themselves so hard into pretending that the "erotic" part of their FD shows actual chemistry and that this didn't happen and doesn't always happen: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gEUYlQV-sEs/UvDKFS-NB0I/AAAAAAAAAN4/jClDNhFIw0M/s1600/0EyJy8p.gif

      It's rather like the VM fans who work so hard at convincing themselves everything VM say is true. DW fans have fake protocols, titles, and icenetwork articles to rely on when they want to argue DW's superiority, while VM fans hang their hats on the facebook photos of Cassandra and the reality show. But it's all delusion, all of it.

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  11. "Normally I'd say, boy is he in for a surprise, but the tricks available to Davis White that helped them pull off the gold medal heist at Sochi are available a hundred fold to Maksim C. Meryl has stamina, she's more than accustomed to performing under pressure live, and she's used to fake dancing, which is something they do a great deal on DWTs. I'm thinking Maksim C might be surprised at just how much faking will be required to pull this off. He doesn't really have a dancer here. He's also kind of bad at what he does. His taste in costumes and make-up for his partner trends toward the drag queen and his choreography can lean to the literal and labored. He's not often been successful in drilling rhythm and musicality into his partner. He's best with partners who have natural rhythm. But this is DWTS; if the pros have a partner who know how to train and perform by rote, that's can be as good as doing it, and Meryl Davies certainly has experience there."

    Maks will be fine, because Meryl will do whatever it takes to win. She's no dummy.

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  12. i find it amusing that in some photos of the medal ceremony DW's medal actually looks silver. maybe they shouldn't have worn those ralph lauren jackets ;) otoh there are photos where VM's medal actually looks gold thanks to lighting and flash photography.

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  13. I want to see if Charlie can eventually pull off Latin hip action.

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  14. OC, will you be doing re-caps of DWTS?

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    1. omg i want this

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    2. I was thinking it might be fun. :)

      I watch almost nothing live - I watch most things on line, so there will be a bit of a delay.

      I've still got more to do with waltzflower's videos so I hope to have a skating focused post up in the next few days and definitely launch a DWTs recap.]


      Because it's DWTs it seems to me DW's dance deficiencies will be even better camoflaged than on the ice (all DWTs needs is flexibility and stamina for most pros to be able to fake it with their partner), but I'm very curious to see what it looks like. Charlie should pull of contemporary with posing and hair, but the jive I have NO idea how that's going to look., Fast, quick, energetic yes - but rhythm and proper leg action I'll be really curious.

      oc

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    3. I think it might be harder to fake on the floor, actually. On ice, you have your built in excuses. Hip action is notoriously difficult on ice. Footwork sequences have to comport first and foremost to the rules of IJS, rather than to proper ballroom holds. You take time out of dancing to do twizzles and dance spins. You take time to set things up by stroking or in their case hopping around. You can glide around on two feet or your knees for a while, beseeching. The dragging looks less awkward since you're gliding (well, not so much for them).

      Dancing is just... dancing. No required element. No set up - you can't spend time just walking across the floor setting up a trick. DWTS definitely revolves around stamina and hustle and trickery, but you have to be "dancing" every second of it and the routines are short. Each move has to flow into the next, you can't reset on two feet every single time you take a step. So it's going to be interesting.

      FWIW,, in the ice network article, Maks says he's teaching Meryl Latin from scratch, from rhumba walk on up. He says he never does this. He usually just teaches choreography. He wants to teach her to really dance. After about 3 days I'm sure he gave up on that though.

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    4. You know, my first reaction was exactly the same as yours - it's harder to fake on the floor. But Yamaguchi did. She wasn't an ice dancer. She wasn't a particularly musical figure skater. She was technical. She had the world's smallest but technically spot on lutz. But the very fact that she was a still in shape Olympic figure skater who, as part of her job both as eligible and a show skater had to execute and sell choreography was what helped her deliver plausible dances. Or sell them. All of that counts for a lot on DWTs.

      DWTs in its own way has learned how to fake as much as anything can be faked on the ice. The king of all of that, though, is Derek Hough. And several of the women. Maksim C hasn't been among that number, so this will be interesting.

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    5. That's true - after I posted my comment at 3:31, I realized in my mind I was probably comparing DW to the professional ballroom dancers or even a set of contemporary dancers doing ballroom on SYTYCD. The majority of their follow contestants will be as awkward as they are, but without that sort of stamina and experience with performing under pressure.

      I don't think you're giving Yamaguchi quite enough credit. I found her robotic and boring, not innately musical, but pleasant and quite elegant. At least when she extended a leg or an arm, it had meaning. Her movements were deliberate, derived from her core. She didn't have that flaily, completely uncoordinated vibe that DW have on the ice. Ditto Lysacek. No brilliant artist by any means, but he moved with conviction, with a nice line, deliberately, and could at least keep time, which DW don't all the time.

      Sad to say, most singles skaters have more translatable skills for DWTS than DW. I'd kill to see Lambiel do that show.

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    6. "Sad to say, most singles skaters have more translatable skills for DWTS than DW. I'd kill to see Lambiel do that show."

      Even if he was an American figure skater, I'm not sure that would ever happen. Putting Lambiel on DWTS would be as unfair to the other contestants as putting Tessa Virtue on the show. It would be like watching Michael Jordan or LeBron James compete against semi-talented high school basketball players.

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    7. 5:30pm: I didn't intend to undersell Yamaguchi - I grant every point you make about her. That still doesn't make her a dancer (as you know). No inherent musicality, no real hip action, no natural rhythm.

      What she did well (the pleasant and quite elegant stuff) was TEACHABLE. I guess it remains to be seen if Maks can teach that to Meryl Davis. If he catches onto her and is like - okay, no dancer here, and just makes every move deliberate and focused, that's the way to go.. It's all rote. Meryl is rote.

      That's why I pulled back on thinking - okay, you're more exposed on the floor. DWTS is dumbed down ballroom and dumbed down Latin, and even some of the pros are not competitive in real world terms in the styles they teach on DWTs.

      There are Latin specialists on DWTs, who, in the eyes of true smooth, American Standard or ballroom specialists look ridiculous trying to do that, and who hoot at the fakery, and vice versa.

      It's a matter of how well can Maks edit? And can Meryl pull off a Kirsti on the floor?

      IMO, how could any skater not do it? But Maks can really snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And Meryl has no rhythm and is more rote than most.

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    8. Even fake dancing and flashy movements need practice though, will DW be able to do that once SOI begins ? If they are on tour Friday-Sunday they'll only have three days a week to actually work with their partners ( not counting Mondays ). Add to that dress fittings, interviews and other show related engagements and there really isn't much time to practice. And DW always look like fish out of water whenever they have to do something new that they haven't practiced for four years minimum.

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    9. OC - I agree that if anyone could mess this up, it's Maks. As for any figure skating being able to hack it, I'm not sure. I don't know if Goebel could, for example. And Davis/White are truly one of the least elegant, least musical skaters ever, although you're right, they can do things by rote. Check out Svetlana Khorkina on Russian DWTS on youtube. If you had asked me based on their gymnastics who would be a better dancer, her or Shawn Johnson, I would've said Khorkina in a heartbeat, but she was terrible and Johnson won. Course, Johnson is shorter and more maneuverable, which will help Meryl (but hurt Charlie).

      12:54, Lysacek also did SOI during DWTS, I think the bigger problem as you pointed out would be that they struggle to do new stuff. DWTS will have to add some new dance categories: Beseeching Literary Figures, Exotic Sexy Touching, Not!Waltzing, and, well, that's their entire repertoire.

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    10. Beseeching Literary Figures is sort of their hallmark though, not because they do it especially well, but the others are even less convincing. That's how it often goes - the thing you suck at less than the others gets re-spun into your area of expertise.

      I've been thinking how unlikely it would be for Virtue and Moir to be on DWTS - at least not DWTs U.S. That would really strain the sham. The U.S. tabloids may not love DWTS as much as they did in the past, but they still cover it, and friendly paparazzi still hang out in the rehearsal space parking lot. And more than that, the show leaks like a sieve.

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  15. OC, your fans are begging you.....Please...it would be epic.

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    1. No need to beg - I think it's a natural fit. :)

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