DWTS Finale: From The Audience Seat

May 20, 2009 at 6:08 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

We have an amazing intern, Erin, that was lucky enough to attend Monday’s performance night finale of Dancing with the Stars, and lucky for us, she graciously agreed to recap her experience. Enjoy!

Hello BDC Socialites!

I recently won a trip a trip of a lifetime. Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my local ABC station telling me that I was the winner of their Dancing With The Stars Sweepstakes and have won a trip for 2 to the finale (performance) taping! Over the next 20 minutes, a mix of emotions ran through my body. At first I was caught off guard and was somewhat confused by the phone call. Having entered the contest months ago and thinking “nobody really wins these contests,” I never gave my entry a second thought. However, as I learned more details and all the information started to sink in, those feelings changed. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! Though I live only a short 6 hour drive north of the LA area, I have never attended a DWTS taping, despite always desperately wanting to go. Never in my wildest dreams was I expecting anything like this to happen!

After we got the legal formalities out of the way, I received more specific details from the promotions rep in LA. I found out that ABC was going to wine & dine us! Our hotel accommodations were at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (http://www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire) in the heart of Beverly Hills adjacent to the infamous Rodeo Drive. We checked into our gorgeous hotel room around 3pm Sunday afternoon where we were given a welcome packet with more specific details such as dress code, what to bring to the studio, what not to bring, and Monday’s schedule including the possibility of a meet and greet with some of the dancers! Emotions started building up as reality was starting to set in. I honestly don’t know how I slept Sunday night!

Before getting ready for the show, my boyfriend (my guest) and I shopped around and explored Beverly Hills – but I know none of you care to hear about that! At 2:45pm the winners from all over the country met in the lobby in our best cocktail attire. There was a representative from ABC with us every step of the way taking pictures and videos as none of us would be allowed to bring our own cameras. After the “photo shoot,” we boarded a bus to the studio. We played trivia games along the way and were given DWTS memorabilia, including a copy of the new Ballas Hough Band CD autographed by Mark and Derek! We were a pretty enthused bunch and definitely didn’t need the help of the opening MC to get us pumped for the show!

We took our seats at the set about an hour before show time. We were seated on the floor level facing the stage. We took in the whole set, noting how much smaller it looked in person, and gawked at all the celebrities in attendance. Six chairs down from me was Genya Mazo, Alec Mazo’s brother. A few rows in front, sat Corky and Shirley Ballas, and just feet away were DWTS alumni such as Jane Seymour, Marissa Jaret-Winokur, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Vivica Fox, Emmett Smith, Warren Sapp, the Woz, and many more! Tom & Samantha opened the show just to the right of us, and from that moment forward, it was a non-stop thrill! As I’m sure you all saw on TV, the group Paso was amazing and the freestyles were full of energy and entertainment. But what came after the show made our trip even more memorable.

Our ABC rep met us at our seats once the taping concluded and informed us of a little surprise. Mark and Derek were going to come over and take a group picture with us to finalize our night. While we were waiting for Derek, Corky and Shirley Ballas came over to greet each of us and thank us for coming out to the show. They were both very cordial and chatted with us for a bit. Then Derek made his way over to say hi and take the group picture, but was then was kind enough to offer to take individual pictures with all of us winners. He was very nice and patient while we all took our turns to pose with him and the stage. Then it was time to play the waiting game while Mark and Shawn finished up in the Press line, but we didn’t let that bring down the mood!

While we patiently waited on Mark, we took in the chaotic Press line and watched the couples move from interview to interview (where Maks and Karina were conducting interviews for their respected shows as well). A few of us eventually built up our courage and inched our way closer and closer to the end of the press line where, after some time, we were able to meet and get autographs from Gilles & Cheryl and Tony & Melissa. I even snagged a kiss on the cheek from Tony! (Thanks again Tony! 😉 )

Forty not-so-long minutes later, Mark made his way over to take the group picture. Corky was taking pictures for Mark as well, then started to record a video. He then said, “On the count of 3, everyone yell ‘VOTE FOR MARK AND SHAWN!’” We of course chanted back, but apparently it wasn’t loud enough for Corky! He had us do it even louder, which made Gilles stop what he was doing in the Press line and turn to us exclaiming “WHAT?!!!” Gilles threw his hands up in the air in protest then ran over to jump in our group picture. He then summoned Cheryl, then Shawn followed thereafter. Tony then looked up from what he was doing and, of course, had to jump into the fun as well. Melissa was the last to join us, leaving the reporters behind to give us one complete group picture with all of the Season 8 finalists! This crazy, hilarious moment gave us a climactic ending to one of the most perfect nights for all of us.

At the beginning of this trip, I was expecting nothing more than to witness a lively dancing spectacle, but the outcome of the trip far exceed those expectations. Our experience is one I will never forget thanks to all of the people at ABC, both the cast and staff behind the scenes. I will never wash my cheek again Tony, (just kidding!) nor do I hope to come down from this cloud for a LONG while!

(Pictures from the meet & greet are still to come!)

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ABC’s Press Release for 3/24 results show

March 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

Just got a google alert about this press release, and I thought you might want to see what is in store. Looks like our dances this week are the samba or the foxtrot. If tradition holds, the couples that danced the salsa will have the foxtrot, and those that danced the quickstep will dance the samba. Remember to keep checking with Ballroom Dance Channel for your dance fix!

Friday, March 20, 2009
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE – ENTERTAINMENT –
ON NEXT WEEK’S “DANCING” RESULTS SHOW (3/24)
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SECOND COUPLE ELIMINATED ON
“DANCING WITH THE STARS THE RESULTS SHOW,”
TUESDAY, MARCH 24 ON ABC

Darryl Hall & John Oates Perform

Grammy Award Winner Adele Performs

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas Return

Bottom Two Couples Compete in the Live “Dance Off”

“Episode 803A” – After a night of samba and foxtrot, the second couple to be eliminated from the competition will be announced on “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,” TUESDAY,
MARCH 24 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Famed duo Daryl Hall & John Oates take the “Dancing with the Stars” stage by storm with their Billboard No. 1 single, “Maneater,” from their 1982 album, “H2O,” accompanied by professional dancers Karina Smirnoff, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin. According to the R.I.A.A, Daryl Hall & John Oates are the No. 1 selling duo in music history with their seven R.I.A.A. platinum albums and six R.I.A.A. gold albums, along with 29 No. 1 hits.

British singer-songwriter Adele takes to the “Dancing with the Stars” stage with her single, “Chasing Pavements,” from her first album, “19,” which debuted at No. 1 on the UK album chart and has since been certified platinum with sales of more than 500,000 copies in the UK and over 1,200,000 worldwide. Adele took home two Grammys, including “Best New Artist,” at this year’s 51st Grammy Awards. She will be accompanied on the stage by professional dancers Edyta Sliwinska and Alec Mazo.

Former “Dancing with the Stars” favorite Cloris Leachman returns with her professional dance partner, Corky Ballas, to offer a sneak peek at how to perform next week’s dances — the argentine tango and the lindyhop.

This week the bottom two couples facing elimination, determined by the lowest combined viewer votes and judges’ scores from Monday’s performance, will “Dance Off” to determine who is dismissed. The couples will have a chance to perform Monday’s dance for new scores from the judges. The judges’ scores from the “Dance Off” performance will replace their Monday night scores. A combination of the new judges’ scores from the “Dance Off” dance, along with viewers votes from Monday’s show, will be calculated following the “Dance Off” to determine the eliminated couple.

By evening’s end one couple will be eliminated, as determined by a combination of the judges’ scores and viewers’ votes. Who among the following 12 teams will leave the ballroom floor?

David Alan Grier (comedian and actor) and partner Kym Johnson
Shawn Johnson (Olympic gymnastics medalist) and partner Mark Ballas
Lil’ Kim (Grammy Award winning rapper) and partner, reigning champion Derek Hough
Holly Madison (reality television star) and partner, newcomer Dmitry Chaplin
Gilles Marini (model and actor) and partner Cheryl Burke
Ty Murray (“King of Cowboys”) and partner, newcomer Chelsie Hightower
Steve-O (star of “Jackass” and “Wildboyz”) and partner Lacey Schwimmer
Denise Richards (actress) and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Melissa Rycroft (from “The Bachelor”) and partner Tony Dovolani
Lawrence Taylor (National Football League Hall of Famer, a.k.a. “LT”) and partner Edyta Sliwinska
Chuck Wicks (country music star) and partner Julianne Hough
Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple, a.k.a. “The Woz) and partner Karina Smirnoff

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 30 minutes after the “Dancing with the Stars” performance shows. AT&T subscribers may also text message their votes by texting the word “VOTE” and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (standard text message rates apply). Viewers may also vote online at http://www.abc.com starting from the opening of each episode on the East Coast and until 12:00 Noon, ET the following day.

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Samantha Harris (“The Insider”), the celebrities will perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

“Dancing with the Stars” is the U.S. version of the international smash hit series, “Strictly Come Dancing.” This version is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Conrad Green serves as executive producer and Rob Wade and Matilda Zoltowski are co-executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound and Spanish audio via SAP. This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.

About BBC Worldwide Productions:
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide Productions, with headquarters in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Miami, brings together all of BBC Worldwide’s businesses in the North and South America region. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer and invests in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Sales and Distribution, Content and Production, Home Entertainment, Digital Media and Magazines. Under these businesses fall two key brands in the U.S. – digital cable channel BBC America and a bi-coastal production arm responsible for the smash hit “Dancing with the Stars” for ABC.

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