Some fans are puzzled, even outraged, that Simone Biles was eliminated just before the finals and that Normani Kordei didn’t win Dancing With the Stars . Most things are simply beyond the control of the celebs and the fans. I’ve read that the average fan who is key to votes is middle-aged, female, and at least somewhat conservative, and that voter is partial to military personnel, Olympians, country singers/stars, and football players (probably thanks in part to their husbands’ preferences).  If you’re a member of that key demographic, you know what we’re talking about.

  1. Simone Biles: The girl is clearly adorable; pro partner Sasha Farber is, too. All season long I said this and that Normani was a better dancer right out of the gate while repeating that I don’t like the advantage that gymnasts have on this show. She was too technically excellent, almost as though she were doing an impersonal gymnastic floor show; she didn’t reveal much of herself, allow herself to be vulnerable, or connect sufficiently with enough viewers (including me), all while still being too gymnastic. She did improve on those last few points during the last few weeks, though. She remained gracious and tactful when responding to judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s negative comments; for this, she deserves even more credit.
  2. Normani Kordei: She didn’t seem to have the level of fan base and appeal that David and Rashad had/have. Her scores were pretty consistent all season long, and she was never really in jeopardy of being voted out because the judges kept fawning over her (and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy); so, fans may have forgotten or not felt the need to rally for her. On the other hand, David and Rashad truly were in jeopardy at some point (surprising to me regarding Rashad), so their fans evidently pulled out all the stops to keep them in the running. Also, the producers didn’t allow viewers to get to know Normani and Simone as well as they connected us with David and Rashad; this, too, may have been a factor. At the same time, we had an unusual number of talented female dancers this season; female viewers, especially, may have tired of them and preferred to look at the guys. Although Normani will go down in DWTS history as having been one of the top celeb dancers of all seasons, we’ve learned, especially where David Ross is concerned, that the best dancer doesn’t always win.
  3. David Ross: Anyone who can see, paid attention and can think logically has to admit that David definitely was not on par with Rashad, Normani, and Simone as a dancer. He has a huge fan base, the willingness to do whatever pro partner Lindsay Arnold asks him to do, and a cute personality; these factors latched onto his pretty-good skill level in ballroom dance and carried him to the finals.
  4. Rashad Jennings: On the other hand, as I said all along, Rashad had it all, with minor improvements along the way, and I started rooting for him early on to claim the Mirrorbal-trophy. Can’t help it—he and pro partner Emma Slater won my heart through skill, commitment, and personality!

Reminder:  Contestants like Rashad Jennings, Bonner Bolton and David Ross, WITH NO DANCE EXPERIENCE, and some with physical impairments (Bonner), deserve every vote they get to applaud their fine accomplishments in dance on Dancing With the Stars.

On the morning after Rashad’s win and throughout the remainder of that week, certain finalists also took turns appearing on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” and “Good Morning; America” in NYC.


DWTS PROS & OFF-HOURS ACTIVITIES:  At least one or two DWTS pros is always commenting or predicting performances and wins during the season, or attending a high-profile red-carpet or other event in Hollywood and sometimes elsewhere, often for charitable causes. It isn’t always just in-season pros, either; sometimes it’s a pro who’s been away for a while having a baby, raising kids, teaching ballroom dance, and/or doing other things. For example, Edyta Sliwinska and Tony Dovolani, who participated in analyzing the few final weeks of Season 24. LA is definitely the place to be if you want to see the pros out and about. Although, nearby San Francisco reaps some rewards, too; that’s where Edyta and husband (from the first few DWTS seasons) have a dance studio. Tony, Maks, and Val jointly own seven (I think that’s the latest number) studios; most are in New Jersey, and they have one each in New York and LA (#7).


JUDGES:  Seems that Len Goodman is going into a semi-retirement, which reminds me of his occasional references to being old. Shirley Ballas, Mark’s mom, will take Len’s place as a judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” in the UK.


BABIES:  Two Dancing With the Stars pros have second babies coming shortly. First is Edyta Sliwinska, the fun and gracious beauty from Poland, whose first was a son in 2014 with husband of ten years, Alec Mazo, who danced as a pro in early seasons of DWTS. Also, Gleb Savchenko seems to love being a dad (to a five-year-old daughter) and to be excitedly anticipating the  second daughter with blonde wife Elena Samodanova, who is a former DWTS troupe member of a few years ago; the couple met while attending dance school as youngsters in Russia.


WEDDING BELLS:  It turns out that long-engaged couples Julianne Hough & Brooks Laich, and Peta Murgatroyd & Maks Chmerkovskiy will be getting married on the same day, July 8th, but at different undisclosed locations. Julianne chose her date first, but Peta didn’t get the word and ended up picking the same day. Oh, well—it’ll be a good one! And, actually, Peta & Maks are making theirs a big splash in a three-day event, starting on the 7th.


“JERSEY BOYS”:  DWTS’ own Mark Ballas opened in “Jersey Boys” on May 18 in LA at The Center Theatre Group. In it, Mark reprises his Broadway role as the Four Seasons’ lead singer, Frankie Valli.


NEW BOOK:  David Ross has a book out (with author Don Yaeger; May 9, 2017): “Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages.” Available on Amazon.com and probably other large mainstream sources.


NEW DANCE SHOW:  Jennifer Lopez’s “World of Dance” show, with Derek Hough as a judge, premiered on Tuesday, May 30, at 10 p.m. on NBC (at least 10 episodes), right after “America’s Got Talent” (Season 12, 8 p.m.).


DANCING WITH THE STARS SEASON 25, FALL 2017:  Considering issues that I mentioned early in this post, new producers, and more, we have to wonder what’s in store for us this fall and when they’ll kick off the junior version of the show. During the last week or so of Season 24, the producers seemed to be plugging Hayley Erbert and Britt Stewart from the troupe; this could indicate that these ladies might move up in the fall to ‘replace’ female pros who haven’t had a break in a while. All in the interest of keeping our interest.


HOT SUMMER NIGHTS!:  The Dancing With the Stars Live!—Hot Summer Nights Tour will be June 16 through Aug. 13, beginning in Atlantic City, NJ.  This new production features Simone Biles/Sasha Farber, Rashad Jennings/Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess, Lindsay Arnold, Artem Chigvintsev, Gleb Savchenko, and Keo Motsepe, along with troupe members Alan Bertsen, Hayley Erbert, and Britt Stewart. They’ll do new numbers (in pairs and groups) in all types of ballroom and modern dance that we’ve seen on the show, all under the creative genius and direction of acclaimed choreographer Mandy Moore. The cast is subject to change based on variables such as illness/injuries, family situations, and babies. Gleb could have to leave the tour temporarily when his new baby is coming; I wonder who will fill in for him. Many surprises are said to be in store for fans. If you have the chance to go, don’t miss it!

I met Emma, Val, very-tall Keo, and guest/finalist Alek Skarlatos when they came to Cincinnati on their “Dance All Night” winter tour in January of 2016; they’re all very nice and professional. I wish the producers would give more attention and better opportunities to the highly talented and gracious Keo.

Keo, Emma, Bill, Val, Me, Alek: 24Jan.2016, Cincinnati

Bill and Me with Jenna, 24Jan.2016, Cincinnati

Alan Bersten and Me, 24Jan.2016, Cincinnati

The dancers will work their way logically from the East Coast into the South, the eastern portion of the Southwest and the Midwest, and finally into the West Coast. Ticket prices are $40 to $500. More info at www.DWTStour.com.

  • June 16: Atlantic City, NJ (Caesars)
  • June 17: Atlantic City, NJ (Caesars)
  • June 18: Morristown, NJ (MAYO PAC)
  • June 19: Morristown, NJ (MAYO PAC)
  • June 21: Erie, PA (Erie Insurance Center)
  • June 22: Rochester, PA (Auditorium Theater)
  • June 23: Albany, NY (Palace Theatre)
  • June 24: Hershey, PA (Giant Center)
  • June 25: Lowell, MA (Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
  • June 27: White Plains, NY (Westchester County Center)
  • June 28: Binghamton, NY (Broome County Arena)
  • June 29: Washington DC (National Harbor)
  • June 30: Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun)
  • July 1: Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun)
  • July 2: Durham, NC (DPAC)
  • July 10: Nashville, TN (Grand Ole Opry)
  • July 11: Louisville, KY (Palace Theatre)
  • July 12: Huntsville, AL (Von Braun PAC)
  • July 13: Memphis, TN (Orpheum)
  • July 14: Shreveport, LA (Municipal Auditorium)
  • July 15: San Antonio, TX (Majestic Theatre)
  • July 16: Corpus Christi, TX (Selena Auditorium)
  • July 18: Little Rock, AR (Robinson Center Music Hall)
  • July 19: Tulsa, OK (BOK Center)
  • July 20: Enid, OK (Center National Bank Event Center)
  • July 21: Springfield, MO (Juanita K Hammons)
  • July 22: St. Louis, MO (Peabody Opera House)
  • July 23: Milwaukee, WI (Riverside Theater)
  • July 25: Peoria, IL (Peoria Civic)
  • July 26: Akron, OH (Akron Civic Center)
  • July 27: Grand Rapids, MI (Devos PAC)
  • July 28: Detroit, MI (Fox Theater)
  • July 29: Merrilville, IN (Star Plaza Theater)
  • July 30: Minneapolis, MN (State Theater)
  • 1: Omaha, NE (Ralston Arena)
  • 2: Kansas City, MO (Midland)
  • 3: Salina, KS (Bicentennial)
  • 4: Denver, CO (Bellco)
  • 5: Salt Lake City, UT (Kingsbury Hall)
  • 6: Las Vegas, NV (Orleans Arena)
  • 8: Tucson, AZ (Tucson Music Hall)
  • 9: San Diego, CA (San Diego Civic)
  • 10: Long Beach, CA (Terrace Theater)
  • 11: Oakland, CA (Paramount)
  • 12: Reno, NV (Grand Sierra)
  • 13: Fresno, CA (Saroyan)

That’s an exciting lineup!  My father played many of those theaters, especially on the Orpheum circuit, as a ballroom dancer in the 1930s/40s. You can learn about dance in his era, the differences in life for pros between then and now, and much more in the biography I wrote, “Dancing in the Stars—Carroll Webster, International Dance Luminary of Vaudeville and Hollywood.” It’s dance, romance, history, mystery, and big-time entertainment to warm your heart and further connect you to DWTS.

Vickie L. Weaver

Vickie L. Weaver

Owner at Writestyle
Writing has been an important talent and part of my life since I was a child.Professionally, after decades of employment for others, I founded Writestyle in 1996 to provide writing, editing, proofreading, training, and more to clients worldwide (www.writestyle.com).Clients often call my work “magic.”I have written and/or edited for “Coexistence Magazine” (national), for “Ohio Magazine,” and for various newspapers.In addition, I have edited or contributed to the writing of numerous books.Personally, I have written in various genres.I have always composed poetry; as such, I have won awards and publication for some of my poems, and I am compiling a book of my poetry.One of my children’s books is set for publication.With my second husband, family and friends in Ohio, I enjoy music and dance, aid charitable causes, and strive for beauty and harmony in life.
Vickie L. Weaver

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