Video of the Day 9/30/10 - Bringing Sexy Back Edition

I'm sure most of you have already seen this, but anything involving Justin Timberlake automatically makes the blog.


Video of the Day 9/28/10 - Seacrest's Worst Nightmare Edition

For as much as I can't stand Ryan Seacrest, he would never do this.

It's a Spears-tacular

If you hadn't heard, mainly from me (and honestly I don't know how that's possible), tonight was the Britney episode of Glee.  Hence the title of this post.

All Britney songs, redone by the amazing members of the cast of Glee.  Not just any Britney songs though.  Songs from Britney in her prime.  The songs I straight blasted on the radio of the '89 Mitsubishi Montero and danced to at all the high school dances.

But the best part of it all was that Ms. Spears herself would be making cameo appearances on the show.

And you know what? It wasn't half bad.

I honestly didn't know what to expect but of course the gossip columns set the bar pretty high with rumors and even Twitter photos of Britney on set.  I read everything about it and couldn't figure out what the heck kind of role she would play.  Well tonight I got my answer.  She didn't really play any kind of specific role.  She became part of each character's fantasy and made brief appearances just as a way for the kids in the glee club to get that extra push towards whatever they were trying to change in themselves.  At first I was like "That's it?" but after processing a little bit I realized that's kind of all that was needed.  She simply played herself and it worked.

It was an interesting dynamic within the show of the older crowd (mainly the glee club teacher) not seeing her as a role model or icon.  And it's not hard to see how they could think that way.  I mean she did go a little crazy for a good couple years.  Okay a lot crazy.  But the fact of the matter stands that she is a musical icon.  She's the best-selling female artist of the 2000s and in June of this year Forbes Magazine named her as the No. 6 most influential and powerful celebrities in the world.  Britney's legit whether you want to believe it or not.

She's definitely had her struggles but let me tell you, she's turned herself around.  La Lohan could take a  few lessons from Britney in how to take control of your life back. I think this appearance on Glee tonight showed that she's continuing to work on her image and is still a rock star.  People will be talking about this episode for a while, you can guarantee it.

So props to Glee as usual and props to Britney for making a really good career move.  She's on her way back I think.

Oh and p.s. next week's episode is going to be a sobfest.    

KINDLE Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Author: Stieg Larrson

This is officially the first book I have finished on my Kindle, which I got earlier this summer as a super early birthday present from my parents.  It could also have doubled as a "Here's a new toy because we think you're kind of depressed" present.  Either way, they are the best.

I love this thing.  It is so handy and convenient, especially since I've been doing a lot of traveling this summer and fall.  I've used it at the pool and fitness center in my complex and, most recently, have taken it to go eat solo lunches by myself to clear my mind during the work day.  My parents got me a little carrying case to go with it and it all fits right in my purse.

Next, the screen isn't like a computer screen at all which was my main hesitance in getting one anyway.  I stare at a computer screen a lot during the day and I didn't want that same feeling when I tried to read a book.  The Kindle isn't a computer screen, but rather it uses e-Ink and it's fantastic.  It literally looks like you're reading a page in a book which I love.  Plus when you're out in the sun, there's no glare so you can keep on reading.  That commercial where the guy's trying to read his iPad by the pool and can't see anything but his own reflection while the girl is reading her Kindle perfectly fine is 100% true.

This is the Kindle I have.
It has wireless built in which means you can access the Kindle store directly from the device itself to buy a new book.  I think the wireless can also do some other fancier things but I haven't learned how to do those yet.

A few drawbacks.  For me personally, buying a new book is so easy that I tend to forget that this is actual money I'm spending and not just a free download.  You link it up to an account you set up on Amazon and with one click, you have a new book in literally 3 seconds and it bills your credit card on file.  Books can range from free (usually super classics) to as high as 15.99 for longer and newer books.  I still think this is a great discount as compared to what you'd pay in stores.  A great idea would be for them to somehow come up with Kindle coupons...

Next drawback is that it doesn't have a light but they have external ones that you can hook up to the device.  Also for some reason you have to hold the on/off switch for a really long time for it to shut completely off otherwise it just goes into this sleep mode and then you don't realize it's in sleep mode so then you go to the gym or pool to use it and the battery is completely dead.  The sleep mode is hysterical though because up comes a picture of some famous dead author or some other random literary image and it's always a new one every time.

But overall, I love the Kindle.  Really love it.  So now here's my review on the book I read.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book in Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy and is just as fast-paced and action-packed like the first.  This time the story focuses more on Lisbeth Salander, a bad ass 4-foot-10 expert computer hacker with a photographic memory.  I really liked the book a lot and even found myself gasping in surprise at a few twists and turns.  The story gets a little graphic at times as it deals with illegal prostitution and the abused victims so heads up on that.  Also there are a looooot of characters and all of their Swedish names tend to be really confusing.  For example, there's a Neidermann and a Neierman. Thanks Mr. Larsson. Overall though it was a great read and I definitely recommend it.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (for too many confusing characters)

Coming Up Next: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
Considering I finished The Girl Who Played with Fire while on my flight to Colorado this weekend, I very conveniently turned on the wireless and downloaded the third and final book and dove right back in.  Is this illegal on a plane? Possibly.  Was it awesome? Definitely.  I'm not putting a synopsis because all the ones that I usually jack from online give too much away.

Book Review: The Given Day

The Given Day
Author: Dennis Lehane
Number of Pages: 720
Where I Got It: Library

First line: On a wet summer night, Danny Coughlin, a Boston police officer, fought a four-round bout against another cop, Johnny Green, at Mechanics Hall just outside Copley Square.

This epic historical novel is set in Boston at the end of World War I and follows several characters throughout some of the most pivotal moments in American history.  From the police strike to the Boston Molasses Disaster, Lehane expertly intertwines the political and social unrest going on in one of the nation's biggest cities at the time with that of the lives of two families - the Coughlins and the Luthers.  We also meet some of the most famous personalities of the time - Babe Ruth, Calvin Coolidge, Mitchell Palmer and more - as the two families fight to make it through the increasingly turbulent times.

By the way, wrote that myself.  Pretty good synopsis.

This book was AMAZING.  I really love Dennis Lehane's mysteries (namely Gone Baby Gone but he also wrote Shutter Island which I haven't read yet) and this book was so different, yet still so so good.

The characters were extraordinary.  At times I will say that there were a few too many people to keep track of, but the main players in the book were so well-developed, I couldn't help but become completely engrossed in each of their stories. I wanted them to succeed, I was sad when they failed, I got angry when wrong was done to them. I nearly cried at some parts because of the emotional connection I made with these characters.

For someone who doesn't really know a lot of history, and a lot of American history at that, this book enlightened me to some otherwise unknown moments that happened during the early days of our country.  I had no idea that gallons and gallons of molasses had once covered the entire city of Boston, creating absolute mayhem and chaos, nor did I know much about the police strike in 1919.  Not only does Lehane do an incredible job of describing these events, but the suspense he creates leading up to the events (especially with the will they/won't they of the police strike) plus the description of the aftermath of these events is tense and action-packed.  I felt my heart racing at times as I read about the rioting in Boston after the announcement of the police strike.

Seriously, do yourself a favor with this one.  Although a daunting 720 pages, the book will fly by.  Very highly recommended and a new favorite.

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coming Up Next: Gilead by Marianne Robinson
The narrator, John Ames, is 76, a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an apologia, a consideration of his life. Robinson takes the story away from being simply the reminiscences of one man and moves it into the realm of a meditation on fathers and children, particularly sons, on faith, and on the imperfectability of man.

Audio Review
Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson - I didn't even make it through disc two of this audiobook.  Oh my goodness this was seriously terrible.  The premise is that this woman Jennifer's grandmother who she calls Sam writes her a bunch of letters about her life and when Sam goes into a coma, Jennifer finds them and starts reading them.  Cheesy background music, terrible narrators (Anne Heche's voice sounds even more like a 16-year old's than mine does) and a horrible plotline just made this too hard for me to get through.  No bueno.

Hey! You Had Your Turn!

So last night on Dancing with the Stars, Tom Bergeron of course plugged the new upcoming season of The Bachelor and the camera showed the new bachelor and the host, Chris Harrison, whose job is hysterical to me.

The new bachelor is a guy named Brad Womack. Now usually whoever got dumped on The Bachelorette usually becomes the next bachelor so I figured he was from last season of The Bachelorette which I didn't watch because that girl annoyed me to no end. However, after further research - and Tom Bergeron making a joke about him "actually picking someone this time" - I realized who he is.

This guy Brad already was The Bachelor! In 2007 he got down to the last two women and then didn't pick anybody. And now he's back for round two?

I understand that sometimes you want a second chance at things. Trust me, I understand. But buddy, you had your shot. What makes you think that things are going to be so different this next time around?

Apparently he was up against a guy who was on the show last season but I'm not sure if the other guy turned it down or ABC just decided that going with Brad was a better option because clearly it makes for better television. Shoot I'm about to watch just to see if the guy actually goes through with it at the end. But if I was the other guy and Brad was picked over me, I'd be pretty ticked off right now. Poor guy gets dumped on national TV then doesn't even get the chance to try things out for himself on the show.

This stands as yet another reason why I get annoyed with this show and it falls under the general umbrella of the fact that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have lost a lot of touch with reality. From the exotic locations to the over the top dates themselves, this show is not how normal people meet each other and fall in love. Is the low success rate really a surprise? I feel like the couple gets back to their normal lives and things like going out for pizza isn't enough after they've been flown to Tuscany to make pizza themselves from a real Italian before riding a gondola into the sunset. How can normal life compare to the six weeks they've just experienced?

So this latest stunt falls under the same category for me. Again, this guy had 25-30 women there to win him over and he just walks away. Now he gets the chance to have another 25-30 women - beautiful, successful, pretty perfect women might I add - throwing themselves at him while he's traveling the world? This does not happen in real life. Sometimes you blow your chance and that's that and there's no ABC to ride in on their white horse and rescue it for you.

In a few articles, he's talked about how he's changed so much and how he knows now what he needs to do to really make it work with someone. Well congratulations but why can't you just make that work in your normal life in Texas? Why do you get hooked up like that? I just don't think it's fair.

Like I said before though, this is obviously going to make for great TV so I guess some credit has to be given to ABC for making this decision. But if it falls through again, they're going to have a lot of unhappy customers on their hands.


Video of the Day 9/21/10 - Why I Need a Cat Edition

Submitted by Ashley who is laughing uncontrollably at her desk in Austin, Texas right now. Can you blame her though?


Live-ish Blog: Dancing with the Stars Season 11 Premiere

The wait is over! Not only do we have the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars Season 11, but we also have the return of the live-ish blog here on Livin' the Dream. Dinner has been eaten, a glass of wine has been poured (which could make this even more entertaining) so now it's time to get down to business. As is customary, I DVR the first 30 minutes or so of the show so I can fast forward through commercials so my time stamps will be different.

Let's go!

8:25 - Tom Bergeron says we ain't seen nothing yet and that this is the wildest cast ever. Mrs. Brady and Michael Bolton scream wild and crazy to me, don't they?

8:26 - I am dying to meet the British guy who starts off the show.

8:26 - Music legend Michael Bolton? Wow that's laying it on a little thick, don't you think ABC?

8:27 - This is the absolute best set of introductions ever. Apparently Bristol Palin is a teen activist and yes, he is in fact going to be known as nothing but The Situation. Wow. I'm serious. His name is literally written as "The Situation and Karina" on the graphic.

8:28 - Brooke Burke is still a terrible announcer.

8:29 - Tony and Audrina are starting us off with the cha cha. But Tony just told Audrina that they are going to be the first couple up and she is freaking out. This is either because she's that dumb or because she's a total ringer and she's really good at dancing so they have to come up with something to make her "nervous". I guess we'll find out.

8:31 - Not bad for the very first couple up. She totally just went through the motions of the steps but it's to be expected for the first show I think. It's not going to get her through to the finals but she looked decently confident, just needs to be a little feistier.

8:32 - Bruno just called her a beautiful show pony that needs to be whipped into shape. Nice to see some things never change on this show.

8:33 - Aaaand not only did Carrie Ann just say that Len's butt is very tightly clenched, she just told Audrina that her solo at the start of the dance took "conyos". If you speak Spanish like I do, the word "conyo" is the equivalent of sh*t. So what I think she meant to say was "cojones" which means guts. Check yourself Carrie Ann.

8:34 - Wow a 7 from Len. 19 out of 30 for their total score. Heck yes you will take this Audrina. Last year on the first night, people got 4s. Take your sixes and be on your way.

8:37 - Next up is Kurt Warner and Anna. He has seven kids. Also he dances like the biggest whitest guy ever. This isn't going to be pretty.

8:41 - That wasn't as big of a train wreck as I thought it would be. Bruno thinks he's a natural. I wouldn't go that far. Carrie Ann just called him a legend on the football field. Again laying it on a little thick aren't we?

8:42 - Aaaaand time. Who had 8:42 as the time when all the judges would start screaming over each other?

8:45 - We're back with the scores. Wow 7s from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a 5 from Len. Kurt says "he'll take it". Again, that's a 19 out of 30 so yes Kurt you will take it.

8:46 - Honestly Brooke Burke is just the worst. I will comment on this frequently.

8:47 - Next up is this kid Kyle and Lacey who is blonde now. Not a good look for her. I have no idea who this Kyle kid is but literally he's like 15 and annoying me already. They are doing the cha cha too.

8:49 - Well what the kid lacks in technique, he certainly makes up for in showmanship. We might have an early favorite here. The crowd was going nuts, Carrie Ann is losing it and just said "fantastical".

8:51 - I think Bruno just called him a puffin. Isn't that an Arctic bird? Let's rewind.

8:51 - Still sounds like puffin but the fact that the entire phrase was "You are like an adorable naughty little puffin", I think he's really saying puppy. It is Bruno though so I wouldn't be surprised if he was actually saying puffin.

8:52 - Kyle loses a vote because of the ridiculous secret handshake he and Lacey just did. But they got a 23 out of 30.

8:54 - Next up is former LOS ANGELES LAKER Rick Fox and Cheryl. She's like 5-2 or something and he is a giant so this should be entertaining. It will also get old if they go on and on about how he's soooooo tall. Anyway, let's check out this Viennese waltz.

8:57 - Former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox and his very white teeth are surprisingly graceful considering he's a giant. Len is all about it. Bruno is yelling again and thinks it's going to be a quarterback-power forward showdown. Carrie Ann is throwing herself all over him. Gross. But they all really like him. I will say he was a pretty decent surprise.

9:00 - They really know how to drag these shows out. One couple and then commercials. Thank goodness for DVR. Meanwhile absolutely none of the new shows on ABC's fall lineup look good.

9:02 - Rick Fox gets a 22 out of 30. This is a very high scoring first night.

9:03 - Next up is Margaret Cho and Louis. She has a LOT of tattoos and says she thought she'd be better than she actually is at ballroom dancing. No offense but I pretty much though you're as bad as you actually are.

9:04 - Apparently she was called the fat ballerina when she was five. Has this really haunted her her whole life? I'm going to say no.

9:06 - So she started out strong, then she turned into a payasa (as my dad would say) which means clown in Spanish. This was so weird. They were dancing the Viennese waltz and then they turned it into a comedy routine. The judges hated it and they get three 5s. I agree though. I get that she's a comic, that's her thing, whatever, but that's going to get old really fast.

9:10 - Time for Brandy and my lover Maks.

9:11 - Apparently Brandy did DWTS because she's been afraid to. Afraid of what? Being on TV? You were Moesha. Dancing in front of large crowds? You sold out concerts all over the country. I don't buy it Brandy. Ringer.

9:13 - Blah blah blah the judges love her and Bruno makes a play on words with her name and drinking. Sounds about right for Bruno. She gets a 23 out of 30 and she is crying. Oh wow, no she is seriously tearing up right now. Check yourself Brandy.

9:15 - And now the moment we've been waiting for: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas. Mark is so cute but the shaved head is not a good look. Bristol Palin is already having issues doing shimmys and poppin that booty which I knew was going to be a problem for her.

9:16 - Aaaaaand the first dig at her ex Levi. Classy Bristol.

9:18 - Okay so here's the thing. I actually have to hand it to her for being on this show because honestly, she really is just a normal teenager. She isn't a celebrity (not like most of these people really are) but she hasn't grown up on TV or played a professional sport or sung in front of millions of people. She is like 17 and yes she's been on the tabloids and stuff but coming out and ballroom dancing on live TV when you literally have NO experience being any kind of an entertainer takes guts.

9:23 - And she's also not a good interview. Wow the combination of Bristol Palin and Brooke Burke is going to be really painful for me to watch. She gets an 18 out of 23. Sidenote, they cannot stand that Sarah Palin isn't in the audience.

9:24 - Oh good and now it's Florence Henderson's turn. Um when did she become a singer?

9:25 - Did you know Corky and Mark are father and son? Fun fact.

9:26 - Mrs. Brady just dropped an F bomb. That is awesome.

9:27 - I will say that was more tolerable to watch than when Chloris Leachman was on the show because there was SOME semblance of dance steps included. Bruno tells her that sometimes she seemed confused about the sequence of steps. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's because she couldn't remember. I mean come on people, she's 76.

9:32 - Florence gets an 18 out of 30.

9:33 - Man they sure do love to throw that word "legend" around on this show don't they. Next up is music "legend" Michael Bolton and Chelsie. I'm not surprised that he's not good at that. He isn't a dancer; he sits and sings terrible ballads.

9:37 - Yeah he was not good. Which is a bummer bc Chelsea is a really good dancer and I don't want her to get voted off soon. Sometimes I care more about the pros than the celebs. Sidenote, Michael Bolton still tours??? They get a 16 out of 30.

9:39 - Oh it is the man, the myth, the legend indeed - The Situation - whose dance background includes "many nights at the club with your girlfriend". He is so terribly awesome. They only have five days to train him while everyone else had three weeks because he was sequestered away by MTV filming Jersey Shore.

9:44 - Wow that was awful. Plus Len just made a pun involving the word "situation". Tally 1 for the season. I hope he gets voted off just so we don't have to hear that 4 times every week.

9:46 - So blah blah he had no time to rehearse blah blah. Also he has a shooting star shaved in the side of his head.

9:49 - 15 out of 30. Not a good situation. Bahaha I had to go there. I will say that he's a good interview in that he takes that part pretty seriously. And I think he is taking the dancing part seriously too but sadly the fist pump is not a part of many ballroom dances.

9:53 - Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough are up. She got emotional because her friend Patrick Swayze died so I hope she does well.

9:55 - OMG Carrie Ann is crying. That was a good dance though. They got a 24 out of 30 which is the highest score of the night. We might have our new early fave folks...

10:00 - And now. The Hoff.

10:02 - Oooooh. No bueno. Which is sad, again, because his partner Kym is awesome so I don't want her to get voted off right away either.

10:05 - Five across the board for the Hoff. Brooke Burke is SO BAD. Seriously she's the worst. Seriously this exchange just happened:
Brooke: Okay guys that's a 15 out of 30. How do you feel about that?
Hoff: Well 15 less than we wanted. Hahahaha.
Kym: (nervously laughs)
silence. literally nobody speaks.
Brooke: Oh. Okay. So if you want to vote...

And that's all folks! A surprisingly legit premiere show. On paper a lot of these celebs made it look like it would be a rough season to get through, but we have some early dark horses starting to emerge. Rick Fox, Kyle, Brandy and Jennifer Grey so far look like they could get really far in the competition. Audrina looked surprisingly good as well. I'll be anxious to see what the rest of the season brings!


Video of the Day 9/16/10 - Sports! Edition

I don't normally post sports news on Livin' the Dream but this video is too cool to pass up. Shoutout to Ashley for the link. Ever wonder how when teams share a stadium or arena they can so quickly switch from one team to the other? Here's a look at Meadowlands Stadium going from a NY Giants home football game to a NY Jets home football game:

New Meadowlands Stadium Change Over Time-Lapse from Ken Friberg and Daniel Life on Vimeo.


Video of the Day 9/15/10 - Who Doesn't Love Pacman? Edition

Shoutout to Phil's Google Reader thingy for this video...


Let the Countdown Begin

There is officially one more week until the premiere of the second season of Glee.

So it's only fitting that as we count down the seven days until the greatest night of television ever, we look back at the top seven moments from the first season of Glee. These are in no particular order, but just the songs and performances that I think made season one so exceptional.

Trust me, this was not an easy task. Luckily Wikipedia has a list of every single song that was featured on the show so I could look back at what's been done but this made it even harder to choose. So hopefully this list serves as the best of the best for all of you Glee fans who read the blog.

Our first choice is the song that started at all. In the very first episode, Mr. Schuester nearly walks out on his new task as glee club director until the star quarterback takes hold of the group and injects some fresh new ideas into them. And when Mr. Schuester hears what they're capable of, he knows that some legit things can happen.

Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" became the iconic song of the first season of Glee:


Hey! The Blog Changed!

That it did my friends.

It's September and last night we had some nice cool, rainy weather. It was wonderful. So I've decided it's fall and so the blog gets a new look for the fall. I think it's lovely and I hope you do too.

The Trifecta is Complete...

So about a week ago, Kara Dioguardi announced that she is leaving American Idol. First Simon, then Ellen out of nowhere, and now Kara. Which means we're left with Randy. Word, dawg.

I'm not really sad to see Kara leave to tell you the truth. She was always kind of a diva and didn't bring a whole lot to the table. She's written some pretty famous songs and seems to be doing pretty well with that (she discovered that guy Jason Derulo) so I never quite understood why she suddenly was joining American Idol... unless the producers were grooming her to be the new Paula... because they knew Paula was going to be fired the very next season? American Idol urban legends.

So now, the trifecta is complete and American Idol gets to effectively start all over again with choosing the new judges. Jackpot. This can either be a recipe for success or a complete disaster. But it needs to happen soon because auditions begin this month.

So who are the rumored potentials? According to Variety magazine, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith are expected to officially be added to the show in the next few days.

And how does this make me feel? Terrible.

First, Jennifer Lopez. Jenny from the block will be way too nice and cutesy and won't ever say anything constructive. She's just kind of annoying. You can tell she is trying to get in the mix because her own career is more or less over. Her movies are bombing and when's the last time she put out a song? She's desperate and American Idol would put her back on the map so no wonder she wants to be considered.

And Steven Tyler? I will say that obviously the guy knows how to entertain. But he's old, weird and not current at all. This is a very strange career move for him as well. Clearly it might be time for him to think about calling it quits from performing. But is American Idol the next step for him? I also think he has just too much star power. The five judges were still at the end of the day not really these huge celebrities that seemed unapproachable. Steven Tyler feels like he would be like this and I don't think that's the vibe that American Idol should go with.

But apparently that's it. That's who they're going with. And I think they're blowing it. People are losing interest in the show big time. I barely watch. Part of that has to do with Seacrest who's just the worst. But here the producers have the chance to bring this show back to life and I feel like they just rushed into the most major decision that this show has ever had to make.

A while ago, when I learned of Simon's pending departure, I took a stab at who I thought would be great replacements for Simon. Not gonna lie, I still think my options are better.

There are so many artists and music moguls out there who would be on this show in five seconds if they were asked and would do a really good job. Diddy would be awesome (is that even his name anymore?), Pharrell, Timbaland, there are so many other options out there besides these two.

So I guess we'll see American Idol. I hope you're very confident in your decision because I don't think too many of your fans are going to be. Good luck because this... is a really bad decision.


Video of the Day 9/7/10 - TWO. MORE. WEEKS. Edition

The season premiere of the second season of Glee is officially two. weeks. away. Which means get ready for an abundance of Glee posts, especially in the weeks leading up to the premiere.

To refresh your memory on how I really feel about Glee, click here.

The previews and promos are starting to creep up. I just saw my first one on TV and it gave me chills. So get excited LTD readers! Glee is back!


Liiiiiiive! This is Dancing... With the Stars!

Season 11 of Dancing with the Stars will premiere in just a few short weeks and to help get us all through to Sept. 20, the newest cast of the show was released Monday with the announcement of which celeb would be paired with which pro dancer.

Brace yourselves people. This season isn't going to be pretty.

Nevertheless, in true Livin' the Dream style, we... or I guess it's more just I... present to you an inside look at Season 11.


Audrina Patridge
Where you know her from: "The Hills" and that one Carl's Jr. commercial.
Pro partner: Tony Dovolani

I can't picture Audrina getting very far on the show at all for two reasons.  First, we're going to have an emotion factor on our hands seeing as she pretty much has no emotions.  Being on "The Hills" will do this to you.  Unless Justin Bobby is somehow approved to sit in the audience, she won't get fired up at all on the dance floor.  Secondly, and this is totally me judging/assuming/stereotyping her, she doesn't seem very smart so learning challenging choreography won't be easy for her.  She's very lucky she has Tony as a partner because he has always been able to get something out of his celebs.  She'll also look good in the costumes.  But she won't get a lot of votes namely because nobody who actually votes on this show (i.e. my dad, grandparents, boss - except I don't think my boss votes) knows who she is and the people who do (me, Julie, Kathleen) don't vote and don't like her.  Sorry Audrina but thanks for playing.

Where you know her from: decent R&B singer in the 90s, Moesha or a remake of the Rogers and Hammerstein's version of Cinderella (Oh wait that's only me? Awkward.)
Pro partner: Maks

Brandy might be the only competitor on this show that won't irritate me all season.  Plus she's with Maks.  So I will be voting for her just to keep him on the show longer.  I think she could do well on this... dare I say she could win? I guess if you're going to crown someone the "ringer" of the competition (think Mya, Evan Lysacek, Shawn Johnson) it would be Brandy.  Maks is a great teacher and choreographer. I can imagine Brandy being really scared/shy/nervous on the dance floor, though. But if she gets over that and trusts Maks' instruction, they could lift that trophy.

Bristol Palin
Where you know her from:  Sarah Palin's kid.
Pro Partner: Mark Ballas

This will be a cutesy pairing because her and Mark are both... well... cutesy... but they won't go very far either.  Her whole "I'm a super modest good girl" message that she's already putting out there won't help her when she has to get down with the Latin dances or has to be lovey and romantic with slower dances.  It also won't help her when she wears turtlenecks to dance in.  I said the same thing last year but when Mark's celeb isn't very talented, he's not that great of a teacher.  Last year when he was paired with Shannon Doherty, he was the first or second to be eliminated.  So needless to say, I can't see the two of them lasting past the halfway mark.

David Hasselhoff
Where you know him from: How do you not know him?
Pro Partner: Kym Johnson

The Hoff is kind of a wild card to me in this competition.  His pro partner, Kym, is awesome... I mean anyone who can take Warren Sapp to the finals is a good instructor.  Hasselhoff could have the Donny Osmond factor going for him, but I don't think he's as popular as Donny is/was. He'll have good energy and will be up for trying anything in routines, so he could surprise a lot of people.  I'm just not really sure how people honestly feel about him and if they'll be that enthused with him to actually pick up the phone.  I'm neutral on how he'll do until I can actually see him in action.

Sidenote: He has not looked like THIS in about 15 years... nice Photoshop work ABC.

Florence Henderson
Where you know her from:  She's Mrs. Brady for Pete's sake.
Pro Partner: Corky Ballas

So did Cloris Leachman start this whole "token old person" trend on DWTS? First her, Belinda Carlisle was terrible, Tom DeLay, then Buzz Aldrin last year, now Florence Henderson.  And they've brought Corky back to deal with, I mean partner with her.  She'll at least be easy to instruct and will take directions and won't be as big of a joke to watch as Cloris Leachman was.  But otherwise, there's not much to report on here.  Everyone loves Mrs. Brady so she'll be welcomed and embraced.  Fans will enjoy watching her for a week or two, and then that will be it.  She won't be last to go, but she won't last past the halfway mark.

Jennifer Grey
Where you know her from: Starred in the film Dirty Dancing and played Ferris Bueller's older sister
Pro partner: Derek Hough

There is a lot of hype surrounding Jennifer Grey's selection to the cast because of what a great dancer she was in Dirty Dancing.  She did study dance, but let's not forget how long ago that was.  Which is exactly what she's been telling other people.  With Derek, she could make a run for the trophy but she's a wild card for me too.  I honestly have no idea what kind of dancing talent she may or may not have and I have no idea what kind of personality she'll bring to the dance floor.  This will be an interesting test for Derek as he has been lucky enough to draw some ringers: Nicole Sherzinger, Brooke Burke, Joanna Krupa, Lil' Kim.  The worst he's ever done is a week seven elimination.  So much like Mark, he might finally have his first real challenge on his hand if Jennifer Grey isn't a stud right out of the gate.

Kurt Warner
Where you know him from: QB for the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals (and I didn't even have to Wikipedia that)
Pro Partner: Anna Trebunskaya

Football players have had a decent showing on DWTS, including champion Emmit Smith and runners-up Jason Taylor, Warren Sapp and Jerry Rice.  But I'm not gonna lie: Kurt Warner is a white guy with bad knees.  Is he going to really be able to get as far as his NFL counterparts?  His partner Anna has been to the finals with Jerry Rice and last season with Evan Lysacek, but I feel this is going to be a Chuck Liddell situation all over again.  She'll show him the steps, he'll do a mediocre job with them, but he'll probably last to week five or so before we say goodbye.  I don't even think he'll generate many votes from dudes who might be watching the show with their wives/girlfriends.

Kyle Massey
Where you know him from: The show That's So Raven... which basically means nobody reading this blog knows who he is.  Also US Magazine said he was a rapper. That is false.
Pro Partner: Lacey Schwimmer

Apparently this kid Kyle has "hip-hop style" but I don't know anything about him.  I'm glad to see Lacey back and the two of them have the chance to be the Julianne and Cody from Season 7 - they're both young and will bring great energy to the dance floor.  But this could also work against them.  Lacey and Lance didn't do so well with the judges because of how modern they made all of their routines.  At the the end of the day though, it's about the fans and what they think.  And I honestly don't know a single person who knows who he is.  So he's a wild card.

Margaret Cho
How you know her: Do you know her?  I don't really.  She's a comedian.
Pro Partner: Louis Van Amstel

So this is Margaret Cho.  Um she's a comedian, and a pretty irreverent one at that I think.  And that's all I've got.  Oh she has a bunch of tattoos including what appears to be a gun in a holster around her thigh.  So that will go over well with families.  Her partner is Louis Van Amstel and he is a great instructor, but honestly I think we've found this year's Adam Corolla/Jeffery Ross.  I mean what Louis did with Kelly Osbourne was pretty incredible to watch and it was a great transformation, but I don't think he'll have the same luck this time around.  Their promo picture isn't even dance related.  No bueno.

Michael Bolton
How you know him: According to Wikipedia he is best known for his "soft rock ballads and tenor vocals".  "When a Man Loves a Woman" anyone?
Pro partner: Chelsie Hightower

Chelsie's done decently well with not-so-talented partners like Louie Vito and Ty Murray so she could do a decent job with Michael Bolton as well.  Plus she's becoming the new Julianne Hough of the show so that always works well in her favor.  With his music background, he'll be able to understand things like rhythm and tempo which is always helpful.  He won't win, but I can see him getting pretty far in the competition.  I'm sure he has a pretty large fanbase amongst 40-something year old women which is the prime demographic of this show, isn't it?  So I don't think Michael Bolton will do that badly.  I guess we'll find out.

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
How you know him:  Unfortunately we all do know him.  He's from the Jersey Shore.
Pro Partner: Karina Smirnoff

OF COURSE his partner is Karina.  Rumors will be out about them dating or at least having some private rehearsals if you know what I mean within weeks, guaranteed.

I thought that The Situation could actually be the dark horse of the competition but now I'm not so sure.  An article on MTV.com  says that he and Karina haven't even met and instead of having three weeks to rehearse for the opening routine like all of the other couples, they will get five days due to his obligations with filming Jersey Shore.  It would definitely be nice to see a different, less trashy side of him though and if he takes it seriously, he could do okay.  Not sure he has much dance experience past fist pumping in the clubs, but you never know.

A few definites though:
1. Tom Bergeron will make so many jokes involving the word "situation" that Sorrentino could think about a new nickname.
2. Hope Brooke Burke, Chelsie, Lacey, Cheryl, shoot every female under the age of 35 (or even those over 35 for that matter) involved with this show has their getting hit on deflector shield up because it's about to be on.
3.  Between him and Maks, I fully expect at least one shirtless routine per week.

Rick Fox
Where you know him from: Near-10 year career with the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers
Pro Partner: Cheryl Burke

Unlike the NFL, the NBA is barely represented on DWTS (that's a lot of acronyms) and Rick Fox is only the second basketball player to appear on the show - and no Mark Cuban doesn't count.  Cheryl is basically a drill sergeant (that is a really hard word to spell) so he could turn out to be better than a lot of people are thinking.  I'm not seeing him going very far, however.

The Pros
The show is featuring some great pros this year with a combination of regulars including Derek, Mark, Chelsie, and Maks plus some returning pros that we missed last season like Kym, Corky, Lacey and (I guess) Karina.  I still miss Dmitry though.

But the biggest story is the absence of Edyta.  After 10 straight seasons and never lifting the trophy, Edyta decided to leave the show, saying she's ready to pursue other projects and finish school and that she can't be limited to just the show.  Fair.  But then of course are the rumors and apparently part of the reason she chose to leave was because she was unhappy that the producers wouldn't make her husband, Season 1 champ Alec Mazo, a regular on the show.  She'll be missed.  My dad might not even watch the show.  That's how distraught he is over her departure.

Winner:  I have to go with Brandy.  There isn't anyone else that really stands out as having the combination of talent and discipline to go the distance.
First to go: I'd have to go with either Audrina or Margaret Cho.  Neither one is well-known enough to generate enough votes.
Biggest Surprise: Jennifer Grey for not so good reasons, meaning everyone is expecting her to sail through and she'll fail.  Or The Situation for good reasons, meaning he'll do better than expected.

Oh and Brooke Burke will still be a terrible co-host.

Overall Thoughts
The announcement of this season's cast was pretty blah, not gonna lie.  Nobody made me sit up and say "Oh I can't WAIT to see that couple together" like in years past.  I'll still tune in, and obviously still be commissioner of the greatest Dancing with the Stars fantasy league ever, but DWTS is going to really need to start rethinking who they invite for the show.  I read constantly about how people are dying to get on and then this is what they come up with?  You're going to have to do better than that DWTS to keep people's interest going.  Pretty sure my dad asked "who?" for 8 of the 11 contestants and that could simply be because my cell reception was atrocious that day, but something tells me I shouldn't blame terrible AT&T.


We've Got a Situation

I just have one question really. When did the cast of Jersey Shore reach the point where they can afford to buy $100,000 automobiles?

Because yes my friends. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino just recently purchased a 2008 Bentley coup with an estimated price tag of 100K.

Who would have thought that fist pumping and flashing your abs on national television would mean a Bentley in your near future?

It's not so much ridiculous that he owns a 100,000 dollar car... it's more of just the fact that he calls himself "The Situation" and somehow makes enough money to buy a 100,000 dollar car.