DWTS: Martina, Urkel, Half-Pint, Gavin DeGraw???

I thought of the opening line from the Family Matters theme song when I saw the new cast for season 14 of Dancing With The Stars only I modified a bit, “What the hell ever happened to predictability?” Exactly. And I won’t debate how similar the theme songs to Family Matters and Full House were, although it might make a better debate.
I think it’s safe and it’s sad to say ABC has lowered the bar more than ever this time. And it’s so low, it will buried under last season’s fancy new dance floor. However, it will be interesting to see how not some, but all of these new “Stars” will fair. Let’s get started…
Gladys Knight-she’s 67, she’s well-known, and she’s old…her partner: last season newbie Tristan MacManus and his first partner was nipple-worthy Nancy Grace, oh boy.
Jack Wagner-aka “Frisco Jones” from General Hospital, another older guy, but I think he might be able to appeal to the GH demographic since GH may or may not be canceled soon…his partner: Anna Trebunskaya who is a seasoned vet of the show, but I don’t think Wagner will have the pizazz or fashion sense of Carson Kressley.
Roshon Fegan-I have no friggin’ clue who he is, the site calls him “Disney’s Triple Threat” He’ll help drive up the young demo…his partner: Chelsie Hightower whom I don’t think was on last season, but her previous Stars include, Ty Murray, Michael Bolton, one of those Bachelor dudes, and Romeo..eh.
William Levy-?????? his partner: Cheryl Burke who had the burden of the Kardashian contingent last cycle, but she’s a strong partner.
Maria Menounos-Now we’re getting somewhere, at least in the pretty department and her partner is the strongest in my opinion, Derek Hough. I find it interesting in his “prior celebrity partners” section, Jennifer Grey, who he won with, is not mentioned. Looks like Baby is going back to the corner.
Gavin DeGraw-Oh my God! What is going on? I’ll tell you what’s going on, he’s filling one of the “my career is going nowhere” slots…his partner: Karina Smirnoff who is the defending champ of the mirrorball trophy…J.R. Martinez won the last cycle.
Wait for it…Jaleel White-I really have no words but if he ever utters, “did I do that?” my time will be well spent. He has a good partner, Kym Johnson, who recently won with Donny Osmond, it’s a toss-up, but Welcome Back Urkel! ABC must have owed you one.
Melissa Gilbert-Ah Half-Pint! I can’t believe it took this long to get her on the show. I’m expecting some big things but hopefully no controversy as her partner is Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Expect a lot of pigtails and buck teeth picture reminders…
Katherine Jenkins-???? The site says “The Sexy Soprano”, okay when you start combing the opera circuit for stars, you lower the bar…her partner is Mark Ballas, at least he can score again off the floor.
Donald Driver-The former Green Bay Packers wide receiver fills the mandatory athelete slot, but wait, I’ll get to that shortly…his partner: Peta Murgatroyd who had the distinct pleasure in her first season of trying to harness all that is Metta World Peace (Ron Artest)…better luck this time kid!
Martina Navratilova-YES! If you thought casting Chaz Bono was risky, get ready for more butch realness; seriously, I bet Martina hasn’t worn a gown or anything involving something other than a tennis skirt in 30 years…her partner: Tony Dovolani whose former stars include, last season’s train wreck Chynna Phillips, Kate Gosselin (UGH!), Wendy Williams, and current George Clooney trophy gal Stacy Kiebler…take a seat femmes!
And last but not least, Sherri Shepherd-Another ABC tie-in, and this is what I always think of when I see her:
Her lucky partner? Maks’ brother Val Chmerkovskiy…in Val’s first season/last cycle on the show, former George Clooney trophy gal Elisabetta Canalis…See? It all comes full circle.
Season 14 of Dancing With The Stars premieres March 19th 8E/7C on ABC.
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Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 8 (We Aren’t The World)

Yes, I must apologize for my late blog. It’s not that I don’t like this season, I think it’s because I’m just tired of all the various “make me a famous designer” shows. I have my priorities people! Which I might add I’m two weeks behind on Smash, no I didn’t fall off the wagon, I just felt former President Clinton’s American Experience two-night documentary was more important. I’m weird, but I’m topical.
As with last week’s blog/recap, I’m going to caption pictures from the episode, it’s more fun and it’s a hell of a lot easier. But not as easy as this:
 I love her to death, but what the hell? (Courtesy sg.news.yahoo.com)
All right, back to All-Stars. The challenge? Take a flag from a nation that is represented at the United Nations (plug!) and make an outfit inspired by not only the flag’s colors but also take inspiration from that nation’s culture. Since Mondo won the last challenge, he got to pick first from: Papau New Guinea, Jamaica, Greece, India, Chile, and Seychelles (???), talk about “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” And Mondo picked Jamaica. 
 (Austin goes all gay-friendly train conductor on us)
(Costello proudly picks Greece, I think his mother is Greek, hence, he’s Greek, HOPA!)
(WERK those flags girls!)
(UGH! Why are you still here?)
(Blue and white, yep, that’s all I need! Tragic foreshadowing)
(Yes, Kenley picked some sort of polka dot pattern, though they’re hearts, again)
(Mondo is thinking, “do I tell him it looks like a Greek Miss Universe gown?”)
(Austin is perplexed, as was I, by the Seycelles)
(Mein Herr!)
(That is a flag bitch!)
(Erykah Badu realness)
(Austin trades in his conductor hat for Fred from Scooby-Doo, and his dress was okay)
(In case you don’t remember where the tramp stamp goes)
(Kenley had Chile, and how does this dress translate to that?, doesn’t matter, the judges loved it)
(Jamaica back!)
(Yeah, I would turn away and run too)
(Ladies and gentlemen, Papau New Guinea! or YOU’RE OUT! finally!)
Mila was sent packing, but Jerell escaped certain death by gaudiness, oh and Mondo won, which makes 2 in a row. I have no idea what’s on tap for this week since the show cut right to After the Runway (I don’t watch it) after the episode ended.

 

Dance Moms Do The View

I was so relieved when a good friend, who is just now getting into Dance Moms, informed me the girls, the Moms, and Abby Lee Miller would be on The View. By the way, I just took the “Which Co-Host Are You Most Like Quiz?” and I’m Whoopi! You’re welcome.
Okay, the ladies and guest co-host Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson first got their crack at Abby, and the first thing she talks about is how Whoopi’s one-woman show was perfect theater, how flattering. Who knew Miller would come out with a nice compliment and as you’ll see the ladies try to shut down her gushing and we also learn…Abby was NEVER a dancer, just a choreographer, shocked?
Miller totally owns up to the fact, though she doesn’t come right out and say it, that the show is somewhat produced, the fights with the Moms and the yelling sessions at the kids being the prime examples. I loved when Abby mentioned she was never dancer, she didn’t “have the body for it” NO WAY! Then it was the Dance Moms’ turn on the couch, and noticeably missing was bitch-face Jill…as well as her daughter Kendall. I’m guessing we won’t see Jill and her Spencer’s Gifts cowboy hat next season. And although Cathy and Vivi-Anne are still part of the show, in a part-time capacity, they were never mentioned in either segment. I’m sure Cathy is already reloading with new insults for the lot. I must say, the Moms were very congenial, almost fake in their responses, and those poor girls, they were smiling the entire time. I wonder if this will be covered on the show. And is it me, or did Kelly’s arms look weird in that dress?
(Okay, for some reason, I can’t copy the other video codes, so Abby is all you’re getting!) My apologies…instead, you’ll have to see the hat again.
Dance Moms airs Tuesday nights at 9E/8C on Lifetime.

Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 7 (I Only Know "Day By Day")

(Courtesy of Flickr/kevin dooley)
For the first time ever in the history of the Project Runway franchise, the designers were asked to design a costume for a character in a Broadway show. I don’t know how this challenge never came up considering 90 percent of the seasons have in NYC. The show? The Broadway revival of Godspell. Why? Because the characters in the show are never defined by what they wear, in fact, they don’t really have names. The musical, composed by Tony winner and Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz, is an urban re-telling of the Gospel of St. Matthew. I saw the movie version from 1973 a couple of years ago and I actually liked it. The designers’ character must be dressed on-stage by her fellow cast members, so separates were on the slate.
Okay, since I’ve had a busy week and weekend ahead, I’m going to try something a little different. Pictures from the episode!!!!

(Yes, Kenley had rollers in hair, did she have a premonition? I doubt it.)

(Austin is the zone, will Broadway inspire him? If not, his hat will.)

(The workroom turns into a mini-salon, why the rollers?)

(The two designers that are lucky to still be there are goofing off, oh Lord!)

(“See what I want to do is…is hold my hands in a questionable position”)

(“Who am I?)

(The most heterosexual moment Michael will ever have.)

(Kara wanted to “YMCA” but then just gave up, surprised?)

(If Kenley has backed off her annoying behavior, this lesbian prom moment isn’t helping.)

(Speaking of another designer who is lucky to still be there, nice prostitute chic Mila.)

(Mondo’s jazz hands leave a lot to be desired, but his design WON!)

(Austin’s ode to Marie Antoinette placed 2nd.)

(In the bottom, obviously…the bow? WTF?)
And yes, one of season 2’s brightest stars faded as Kara Janx was eliminated, six designers remain. Damnit, I forgot to mention, Anything Goes Broadway star Sutton Foster served as guest judge. She agreed with me on Mila’s “prostitute/pre-Pretty Woman” disaster. Unless Kenley screws up really bad next week, Mila will be on the chopping block, but who knows? Everyone is vulnerable. I would tell you about next week’s challenge, oh wait, I remember, the designers head to the United Nations….it’s been a long week.

The Change I Would Make To American Idol

(A bathrobe J-Lo? Really?)
Like the virus that contaminated numerous contestants this season, I keep coming back for more American Idol. I know, every season since at least three seasons ago, I keep saying I’ll never watch it again, who am I kidding? I think the real reason I keep foolishly tuning in is because the show has become a train wreck and who can turn away from a train wreck. The whole “patient zero” (don’t even get me started on that!) situation last week and part of this week I thought would be my last straw. The show, basically, still has some talent, but if they only focused on the sick people last week and no singing? There’s a problem.
However, as I was watching last night, I had a epiphany. I know what would make the show better: lower the audition cut off age. Looking back at the humble beginnings of the show, the ages to audition for the first three seasons was 16-24, guess what? It should have NEVER been changed. In season 4, the cut off age was raised to 28, which blessed us with Bo Bice, Constantine Maroulis, Chris Daughtry, and God have mercy on us…season 6 winner, Taylor Hicks. In short, the older contestants/finalists are not living up to their full potential in the world of Idol. Last season, the younger end of the audtion age scale was lowered to 15, and although I think that’s too young to try and break into the business, I generally don’t have a problem with it. Last season’s winner, Scotty McCreery was 17 and he has since been able to: have a debut album debut at number one and as of last month, his debut album has sold a million copies. Sure, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers may have faded, but hello? Justin Bieber is almost 18 and he’s a global superstar. Taylor Hicks, Lee DeWyze, and Kris Allen are NOT global superstars, and they really never had a chance.
In season 11, the case for lowering the higher end of the audition ages could be found in Indianapois cop and bully, 27-year-old Alisha Bernhardt. No wonder no one wanted her in their group, she made Tent Girl aka “Patient Zero” Amy Brumfield actually look good. Here are Bernhardt’s “Road to Hollywood” ramblings:
http://www.americanidol.com/swf/videoPlayer/widget/v2r1/Widget.swf
In the end, her group suffered from a sick guy, and a song, Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue” that even SHE couldn’t remember the words to. To put it another way, she sucked! And mostly because she gave up and she had a shitty attitude. I’m not bashing older contestants, hey I’m 36, but I think another singing competition may serve them better; either my personal favorite The Voice or what will be a revamped The X-Factor.
So if any American Idol fans, judges, host, or producers are reading this, see if we can make the original auditioning ages happen, well, let’s say 15-24. Thanks!

Remembering Whitney Houston

(Courtesy of gigsport.com)
I couldn’t believe what my sister said when she called me Saturday night. She told me they announced on of all places, ESPN, that Whitney Houston had died. I immediately felt sick and guilty. The night before, my knee-jerk reaction to a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter was totally innocent and I thought funny. Who knew less than 24 hours later Houston would be gone. It’s sad any talk about one of the greatest voices of my generation had become convoluted into soundbites and punchlines. “Crack is whack” wasn’t just a soundbite, it was the beginning of the end.
The girl from New Jersey had talent from the start and Arista’s Clive Davis opened up the world to Whitney Houston and he opened her voice and her world up for all of us to listen. I’ll remember seeing all of Whitney’s videos on MTV, oh don’t get me started again on the network’s identity crisis, and they were fun, she was fun!
Hit after hit, Whitney Houston reigned the charts and she was a incredible live performer.
Then she met and married Bobby Brown. Did things change? Yes. Did she change? Sadly, yes. During this time, Houston starred in The Bodyguard and she made Dolly Parton a very happy lady when her cover of “I Will Always Love You”, which was included on the soundtrack, was a number-one hit for 14 straight weeks. The soundtrack did hold the record for consecutive weeks at number one until, ironically, Adele took over. One question that will be asked time and again during this painful process will be, is Brown the reason she’s not with us anymore? It’s a question that will never be answered. However, after watching (and enjoying) Being Bobby Brown, something was going on there that wasn’t right, and when Houston refused to appear on the show after season one, a second season would not happen. Mainly because Houston was probably really embarrassed, so embarrassed she never gave her approval for the series to be released on DVD which was good move. But it didn’t stop Houston’s spiral into troubled celebrity notoriety to rage on.
Just in the last year, there were reports Houston had fleetingly succeeded at another rehab stint, and her last big project, a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle, was off and running. The film, which also stars Jordin Sparks in the title role, wrapped production in November of last year and it is still on schedule to be released this August.
I’m still in shock and I leave you with two personal favorites…

Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 6 (Wrestlin’ With Polka Dots)

Wrestling seems way too manly for the All-Stars, but this week the eight remaining designers had to pair off in a “Fashion Face-Off”. Ironically, wrestling was also the theme on this week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and it was fierce! Well, I only use the wrestling theme because Mondo says this week’s challenge is like Wrestlemania, well, Fashionmania.
The paired off designers were assigned a season and to design sportswear for said season. Kara and Austin got Spring, Mondo and Kenley got Summer, Mila and Rami got Autumn, and Michael and Jerell got Winter. Naturally, Jerell decides he wants to design a coat, however, Costello also wants to design a coat-like thing, and as he moves along in his creative process, Jerell gets suspicious. Mondo and Kenley opt for polka dots. Quote from Mondo, “if she (Kenley) is the polka dot queen, I’m the polka dot princess”, polka dots? Really? Why not embrace their competitive spirit?
(I’m not gay brother! Courtesy of Flickr/reubendn)
Costello is not a sportswear designer, and neither is Mila. I thought she was in trouble, because she decided to take on a cape and she had never made one before. That’s why there are called “challenges”! I don’t remember Mila at all, I think she was on the season when I got sick of the show and I decided not to watch. It obviously didn’t take or I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Ha Ha huh? After an awkward dinner break where Jerell and Michael argue about their coats again, both decide to forge ahead and let the judges decide.
  (Yeah, not similar at all, Courtesy of mylifetime.com)
As expected, the judges favored Jerell’s over Michael’s and for the first time in two weeks, Costello ended up on the low-scoring end (Finally!). Moving on to the Summer face-off, I was totally expecting Mondo to take it, but…
(Courtesy of mylifetime.com)
The judges were more impressed with Kenley’s design, even though she keeps repeating the same concept with the short sleeves and such. By the way, when Kenley gets a hold of a pair of scissors, watch out! Didn’t she throw a cat at an ex-boyfriend??? As boring as Kenley is, she’s been well-behaved this season. No sassing the judges, yet. 
Austin, Mondo, Michael, and Rami ended up losing their fashion face-offs and sadly…
    (Say it ain’t so, Courtesy of mylifetime.com)
Rami was sent home and Jerell won the challenge. One side note, Rami’s designs were seen during Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show, yes, draping pays off!
 (Rami’s designs on the front row Courtesy of Project Runway’s Facebook/mylifetime.com)
Next week: one word…BROADWAY!!!!

The Smash Review I Didn’t Want To Write

(Hey! Don’t hang yourself! Courtesy of seriesadictos.com)
There are only so many series that land the coveted “after the Super Bowl” slot. Okay, NBC’s Smash didn’t, but it might as well have. Smash is relying on The Voice viewers to stick around on Monday nights, since it’s all music and singing, and I fell for it. However, I did not watch the pilot until this afternoon, two days after it aired. You know when your DVR gets so full and you don’t know if you’ll ever get caught up so you start making “Sophie’s Choice” with certain shows? That’s how I felt at first about Smash. I kept thinking, “well, I’ll save it for the weekend”, and, on most weekends I’m not even in the vicinity of my TV. I read the other reviews, which were surprisingly good and I didn’t expect that. I thought the whole “GLEE for adults” tag line was a total joke. I also was under the impression when I heard about the show, I thought it was going to be a 21st century FAME. No, so I was still teetering on the brink of “should I or shouldn’t I watch” ledge. But since I’m a sucker for a good musical or musical show, thanks to all the other shows I just mentioned, I gave in.
The premise of Smash is pretty simple. Two musical writers, played by old NBC fav Debra Messing and Tony-nominated Chris Borle, decide to try and come up with a new show. However, Julia/Messing swore to her husband and son she was going to take a break. Then Tom/Borle’s assistant, played by Jamie Cepero, suggests Marilyn Monroe should be the duo’s new muse. They write a demo, a stage vet they know, Ivy Lynn, played by Broadway’s Megan Hilty, records it, the assistant posts it to YouLenz (clever NBC) and the viral madness begins. Enter producer Eileen Rand played by Anjelica Houston (smart casting, but what about oh, Bernadette Peters???) who wants to produce the show after all of her assets are on their way out the door thanks to an ensuing divorce and director/choreographer Derek Wills played by British actor Jack Davenport; who can resist throwing a Brit into the mix when it’s the theater! Tom has conflict with Derek and Julia still isn’t sure until she reads the reviews of the demo. 
Thus, onto casting “Marilyn” and here’s where the predictability kicks in. American Idol season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee plays Karen, the “typical actress/singer trying to make it in NYC-she left Iowa- but she works as a waitress” character. I can’t tell you how much I cannot stand McPhee, especially after her flaky rendition of “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” on Idol, UGH! Since then, McPhee has released music and has been acting here and there, and I suppose Smash is the perfect vehicle for her “hey remember me?” campaign. In short, Ivy and Karen are competing for the lead in the Marilyn musical and we find out in the second episode next week just who that will be…or will we?
 (Did Marilyn ever cut a bitch? Courtesy of playbill.com)
Personally, I want to see Ivy get the part, she embodies Marilyn and Karen is just too damn skinny, but the creative team love her. Tom wants Ivy because she’s a vet and she can pull it off. The big shots, including the pervy director want Karen, you can see where this is going, so I’m still on the fence with Smash, but I don’t dislike it. 
Smash airs Monday nights after The Voice at 10E/9C on NBC. 

It Was A Dark And Stormy Stage…

Yes, I know. You were probably expecting some sort of rambling about Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show and M.I.A.’s middle finger, but frankly, I’m bored with all that. In short, it was a good show, and I was glad to see marching snares get so much exposure this year as they were also there for the National Anthem which Kelly Clarkson kicked ass on. I’m glad the Giants won, let’s move on to this…
(The hell?!? Courtesy of Lady GaGa on Facebook)
This is the conceptual drawing of Lady GaGa’s new gigantic tour stage. And the by-line on the picture says “THE BORN THIS WAY BALL 2012-2013” so we should see some tour dates for later this year rolling out anytime now. On the first viewing, this son of bitch is huge! And I’m not sure it will fit inside an arena, because I think the drawing is intended for an outdoor venue. Plus, if it’s as big as the concept, floor seating will be very limited, in fact the area that is enclosed by the walkway is called “The Monster Pit“.  According to GaGa, this area will be for fans who arrive first, those who camp out all night, and those who are dressed for the ball. And that’s all the details Mother Monster has provided at this point. Oh, and the Monster Pit will be General Admission, oh boy!
I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but I’m going to say it again…I WANT TO SEE LADY GAGA!!! Especially this time and if I have to spend every penny to my name, I will do it. It will be interesting to see what the tickets will cost considering Madonna has just announced her world tour schedule and her prices? They run $45-$300 and VIP packages run from $250-$1,250. She says these prices, much like her love, are justified. Would I turn down tickets to see Madonna? Absolutely not! But, $300 bucks for a possible nosebleed seat? Because I know that halftime show wasn’t worth $300. I’m hoping GaGa can be a little more fair with her upcoming ticket prices, especially for that general admission Monster Pit area.  

Project Runway All-Stars, Episode 5 (Lemme Borrow That Top!)

(Courtesy of Flickr/ME!)
I’m sorry, but when I paused the intro for this week’s episode to go to the bathroom, the image was hilarious. That’s Michael reacting to Diane Von Furstenberg last week. I love how Mondo is like “what?” and Kara is like “I have gelato!” I know I’m weird. 
Well, the gelato hopefully all melted and the designers’ challenge this week involved acquiring half of their materials from folks in Central Park and they had to use whatever funds they had left to buy materials at MOOD. And that involved asking normal (yeah right) people for “the clothes off their backs”, what ensued was Anthony getting more men than women to say yes–he got one guy to strip his shorts off, Austin wanted the guy’s underwear, but the trade-off? Austin got the guy’s phone number. BURN! Michael obviously found the challenge a little daunting as he was struggling to find a dress, you know he’s a draper and he was coming up empty. But when he did find what he wanted he said “it’s like chickens were hatching, Jesus was coming back…” really? I mean all they had to do was take this betch’s advice:

(“Lend me the top betch! Courtesy of liamshow.com)
Anthony was fire with the one-liners this week. When he saw Jerell’s he said, “it looks someone is Coming To America” and he had a point.

 (Seriously, what is that? Courtesy of myliftime.com)
And the bottom looked worse, but he was safe. Of course Jerell thought it was hot, he was totally delusional. Anthony on Kenley, “she is loud…if a black person says that you are loud, you are too loud!” I was dying. By the way, Kenley helped Kara finish a pair of pants, huh? I still can’t believe both Kara and Kenley are still around. Ironically, all the surviving ladies in the competition will survive to see another week as all three, including Mila, were safe. 
Austin’s outfits, which I’m totally obsessed with, more than any designs on the show, was again bizarre.

 (Leather pants, circa 1980-something Courtesy of mylifetime.com)
Speaking of Miss Scarlett, he was safe this week. In the bottom? (rim shot!) were Michael (finally!), Jerell, and Anthony. On top, Rami and Mondo…and thank God Mondo finally won a challenge and he damn well better win the whole thing! 

(Courtesy of mylifetime.com)
Oh yeah, this week’s guest judge was hockey player (?!?) Sean Avery; he interned at VOGUE and he apparently has some sort of fashion sense. In other words, they were desperate. That’s all I got. Next week the designers pair off, as 8 are now left, to face-off against one another, hmmm?