Can you believe that Dancing with the Stars has been on the air for 10 years? I remember watching every week of the first season with my mom, arguing with the screen about who should get what points, and voting to keep my favorites on the show and by season two, I was completely hooked. The glamorous outfits, the amazing moves, and the ability to turn an everyday average Joe a.k.a. a celebrity into an amazing dancer in weeks … WOW! I’ve always liked to joke around about how I would look just as amazing in the little outfits that they wear. How I can make all the moves they make and stay in time. It’s all malarkey; I can’t dance to save my life. I certainly can’t get away with the outfits they wear, and I would likely fall down and go boom if I hit the dance floor in the shoes that they wear. Still, it’s good to have hopes and dreams, right?
Still, I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be a part of the show. The lights, the glitz, the dancing, the adrenaline, the judges, and much, much more! I’ve wondered how they do all of this on live television in front of a live audience and make it look so easy. Well my friends, I am excited to share that I no longer have to wonder and I am thrilled to share the details with you! Last week when I was in Los Angeles for The Good Dinosaur Red Carpet Premiere with 24 other talented blogger, we had the pleasure of taking part in a live taping of Dancing with the Stars and it was absolutely AMAZING!
First, I want to share that I can’t remember the last time that I smiled for like eight hours straight. I started smiling as I got ready for the evening and I was still smiling when I went to bed. I was positively exhausted after the evening but I was still smiling and that … that right there says something!
Upon our arrival at the studios we were placed in a holding area and then escorted to our VIP seats in the first row of the second balcony. This vantage point allowed us to see everything! The judges, the dance floor, the talent, the audience; and it doesn’t hurt that we were right behind Erin Andrews, if you looked in the distance to the audience, and we appeared on screen dozens of times! After taking a few selfies, doing a small happy dance, and then taking more photos, there was an awesome guy that came out to get the crowd warmed up. During the warm up, the audience is invited onto the dance floor to shake their groove thang and in my case, giggle like a school girl as I pretended that I know how to dance. I totally admit that one of the awesome blogger on the trip; Dina from My Un-Entitled Life taught me how to Whip/Nae Nae (I hope I said that right). I haven’t showed my daughter my new moves but I am sure she will be impressed; right?
After a little fun it was time to return to our seats just moments before the show aired. We were given cues on when it was important/necessary to clap … as though this was needed … and then the room went dark before all of the house lights went on and the room glistened and gleamed. To say that the moment was amazing would be an understatement. I can’t even begin to describe to you in words how awesome this experience was. We were able to see beautifully choreographed dances up close and personal, see the judges provide their animated feedback, and we may or may not have danced along to the music. In all seriousness, it was a lot of work. I felt like we were part of a major production … maybe because we were … and my feet may or may not have been killing me after the two hour event came to a close. Still, IT WAS SO WORTH IT! Did I mention the experience was amazing? Like, we got to see all of this in person. I could feel the adrenaline floating through the air, the excitement, the pure happiness; it was beautiful.
If you missed it or perhaps you just need a refresher, we were at last Monday’s show, November 16, 2015 for “Episode 2110”:
Four remaining couples advance to the SEMI-FINALS on “Dancing with the Stars” on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET). After Tamar Braxton’s withdrawal from the competition, the pressure is on as each couple fights to make it to the finale. For the first time in “Dancing with the Stars” history, the couples have to dance three dances in the semi-finals: a dance style not yet danced, a trio, and a dance-off challenge, which is a recent edition. For the trio dance, couples picked a dancer to enhance their performance and highlight the strengths of each star. Peta Murgatroyd returns to the Ballroom this season to dance with Nick and Sharna; Karina Smirnoff will dance with Carlos and Witney; Bindi and Derek chose Mark Ballas to be in their trio; and Emma Slater will dance with Alek and Lindsay. For the dance-off challenge, Nick and Bindi will compete against each other, dancing a samba, and Alek and Carlos will face-off, dancing a cha cha. The judges will score the dances, and each couple that wins the dance-off challenge will be awarded three additional points.
The four remaining couples will dance to the following songs:
Alek Skarlatos & Lindsay Arnold – dancing a waltz to “America the Beautiful” by Ray Chew Live
Bindi Irwin & Derek Hough – dancing a salsa to “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” by Sia
Carlos PenaVega & Witney Carson – dancing a contemporary piece to “Drag Me Down” by One Direction
Nick Carter & Sharna Burgess – dancing a tango to “Scars” by Alesso f. Ryan Tedder
Needless to say, the two hours flew by, the dancing was beautiful, and I wish I was capable of casting my vote more than once. I arrived with a favorite and walked out with three. It’s pretty cool that nobody had to go home, too. I’m not sure I would have been able to handle that news, after two hours of falling in love with the event, without some serious tears! AHHHH!!! Did I mention we got to take a picture with Tom Bergeron andthe judges? TOO COOL!! I don’t’ know about you but I will be tuning in this week for the Two-Night Season Finale and hope you will be too!
FOUR COUPLES REMAIN, BUT ONLY ONE CAN TAKE HOME THE MIRRORBALL TROPHY ON THE TWO-PART FINALE OF “DANCING WITH THE STARS”
Musical Performers Include Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Nick Carter, Andy Grammer and More
TUNE IN Monday, November 23, 2015 8pm/7c and Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 9pm/8c
The Season 21 Champion Will Be Declared on Tuesday, November 24
“Episode 2111 & 211A” – After weeks of competitive dancing, the final four couples advance to the FINALS of “Dancing with the Stars” this MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold, Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, and Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess have one last night of competitive dancing, fighting to win the judges’ and America’s votes to be crowned the “Dancing with the Stars” champion on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
On Monday, November 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), the finalists will compete in two rounds of dance. In the first round, one judge will help each couple choose the creative elements of each dance, which is a re-do to a new song. Carrie Ann Inaba will work alongside Linsday and Alek, as well as Bindi and Derek. Julianne Hough is with Nick and Sharna, and Bruno Tonioli is with Carlos and Witney. In the second round, in one of the biggest competitive dances of the season, the couples take on a freestyle dance featuring special effects, additional dancers and unexpected surprises. There will be special performances from Meghan Trainor, singing “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” and Who Is Fancy, Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor performing “Boys Like You.” At the end of the night, the couple with the lowest combined viewer and judge votes from the previous two weeks will be eliminated.
In the two-hour season finale on Tuesday, November 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), the three finalists advance to the final stage of the competition. There will be live dancing and show-stopping performances at the Grove shopping center and in the DWTS ballroom. The night kicks off with a high-energy opening number, featuring a reunion of all 13 of this season’s couples at the Grove. The finale will be filled with performances from Alexander Jean, Andy Grammer, Chaka Khan, Elle King and Nick Carter. Kim Zolciak returns to the ballroom to dance a Samba with Tony Dovolani to “I Dream of Jeannie,” which she was never able to perform, along with encore dances from the eliminated celebrities. The cast of the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars: Live! Dance All Night Tour” will perform a dance to Avicii’s “Broken Arrows” as a sneak peak of the 90-minute show traveling the country this winter. The three finalists will each dance a repeat dance from this season. In the last element of competition, the couples will perform a new routine as part of a “24-Hour Fusion Challenge.” The remaining couples will fuse two contrasting dance styles that they’ve performed this season and they’ll have less than 24 hours to prepare that dance for judges’ points. At the end of the night, the winner of the coveted Mirrorball trophy will be announced!
Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews (sports host & “Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 finalist), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and ballroom dancer and Emmy® Award-winning choreographer Julianne Hough.
Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.abc.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode Monday, November 23 on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 11:00 a.m., ET/8:00 a.m., PT the next day.
After a night of music and dancing we hit Mixology for some tasty eats and great conversation. While we were there, Alek Skarlatos came in to have dinner with his family. To say that he is a total cutie pie would be an understatement. Yes, I am married, but there is nothing wrong with acknowledging a handsome man … and he served our great country! 25+ women breaking into applause upon his arrival and the secondary giggling may have alerted him that we were interested in meeting him. I’m pleased to share that he was gracious enough to take a few minutes out from his family dinner to come down, say hello, and snap a few pictures with us. I may or may have decided on who I will be voting for this week! Okay, okay … I kid. I have to see the dancing first but seriously, he was pretty cool.
It was a magical evening and one that I feel like I could go on about forever but I won’t. The bottom line is that Dancing with the Stars is incredible. It requires a great deal of patience, teamwork, and dedication and you can see it all over the contestants faces as they perform. There is passion behind their moves; they work their butts off for the audience and every week it shows.
Please join me this evening and Tuesday evening for the Two-Night Season Finale LIVE on the ABC Television Network.
CONNECT WITH DANCING WITH THE STARS
CONNECT WITH MIXOLOGY 101 AT THE GROVE
I was sent on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, California courtesy of Disney to experience The Good Dinosaur, Dancing with the Stars, and a series of other adventures. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. Please note that some images are courtesy of Disney.