Thursday, February 27, 2014

DWTS Season 18: 3 Things You Need to Know

Well, yesterday was pretty epic…I am currently on set in San Francisco when the news started to trickle in to me. I would work, run off set and post a tweet. My Twitter feed exploded and there is no way I can respond to everyone the way I normally do. Here are 3 things to know.

1. Why didn't you confirm everyone?: I want to deliver good, truthful scoop to you. If I can't confirm a name from the sources I speak with, I won't mention it. It's my reputation on the line as an entertainment reporter, so giving you the truth is more important to me than giving you the whole list with errors on it.

UPDATE: I confirmed Derek IN, Sasha and Tristan OUT, Henry and Witney as PRO, Lindsay and Jenna in TROUPE. New confirmation…Tyne is OUT. 

2. What about Chelsie or…?: I know many of you adore Chelsie Hightower, but the writing has been on the wall for a few seasons regarding her future on the show. ABC signaled a change and I think they have moved on from her at this point. Sadly, I think Louis van Amstel is in that category, too. Read my post on DWTS contracts. The UPDATE in the article gives more information on ABC's policy.

3. Why is Maks back?: Like him or loathe him, Maks is newsworthy. With Derek apparently opting out this season, ABC needs a star. I love Val, but he's not as charismatic as his controversial brother. They needed Maks back and I imagine that situation also brought a very generous contract with it. UPDATE: Derek is IN…this will be a great season. A rivalry on the dance floor is back!

This season is bringing about some big changes with Erin Andrews replacing Brooke Burke-Charvet and Harold Wheeler out and Ray Chew in. Let's roll with the changes before watching the first episode. After the season begins, then everything is fair game! See you all on AfterBuzz TV on March 18.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Erin Andrews on DWTS: My Thoughts

When The Big Lead report leaked out yesterday that Erin Andrews was going to replace Brooke Burke-Charvet as Tom Bergeron's co-host on DWTS, Twitter went nuts. Based on the responses I received, it was about 75% against Erin and only about 25% for Erin. That's not a good place to start. However, I am going to give her a chance, here's why:

1. Behind the Scenes: Even though Tom is more than capable of running the show himself, ABC clearly wants to showcase the behind-the-scenes interviews and he can't be everywhere. That's where Erin will come into play.

2. Interviews: I know that I made a remark more than once last season on AfterBuzz TV about Brooke's interviewing skills. Sometimes, I cringed. Erin is an excellent sports journalist who will bring her reporter skills to the table. I'm looking forward to some solid questions this season instead of "How do you feel?"

3. Personality: Look, I get it. Erin is a guy's girl. She works in a tough industry for females and she has a harder edge to her. However, she will bring some sass and snap to the table. Erin doesn't have a soft and fuzzy warmth, but I think she will have us all talking on Tuesdays about what happened the night before.

So, let's give her a chance. We haven't seen what she is capable of yet, but I welcome the change and the season debut of DWTS.

What do you think about Erin Andrews new gig? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DWTS: An Update On Pro/Troupe Notifications

                                                           Photo courtesy of PureDWTS

Oh, how one tweet sends everyone into a frenzy. Lindsey Teller learned today how passionate DWTS fans are and how everyone is looking for clues and information about Season 18. I tried to get more info from Lindsey after I sent her a DM via Twitter, but I haven't received a response yet.

So I decided to go to a few other sources and I received some interesting news. Two sources have said that no one has been confirmed nor notified as of yet. I was met with "nothing yet"quotes and "no one is confirmed or decided yet, no one."

I'm thinking Lindsey might be a part of a promo for DWTS or a big opening number for the season premiere, but as of right now…she's not in the troupe. One source had no idea who she was, so that doesn't bode well for a new troupe member. Remember last season with the Tyne Stecklein news, she was familiar to the DWTS cast and she has incredible credits in the industry. I didn't find much on Lindsey.

UPDATE: Post and they will come…just heard from two other sources and the cast is hearing next week for both pros and troupe.

I'm working on a few other leads regarding DWTS news, so stay tuned.

If you have any DWTS info, feel free to contact me here. Anonymity guaranteed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hints of Oscars Red Carpet Fashions: Shoes

I've been hinting about what I might wear on the Oscars red carpet on Sunday, March 2. I teased two dresses on my Instagram account already. I won't decide until the week of the Oscars which dress I will wear, but the good news is that I can eat this year. No crazy diets, both dresses are going to allow me to eat a few cheeseburgers leading up to the big day. Hooray!

While I am going to wait until Oscars morning to reveal my outfit, I thought I would give you a sneak peek of my shoes. I haven't seen them in person yet, but designer Zul Mohd of EMMETT sent me a photo. I think they are gorgeous and I cannot wait to wear them! He even accessorized me with a clutch to go with the outfit. I cannot thank him enough. I've worked with Zul before when he designed  incredible shoes and a clutch for the Thirst Gala last June. To see more of his work, visit his website.

How are you gearing up for Oscars Sunday? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kris Jenner is Kim Kardashian's Inspiration on "Woman Crush Wednesday"

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The Kardashians just can't seem to stay out of the news lately. If it isn't Bruce Jenner's constantly changing looks or Kim's latest plans for her upcoming wedding, it might just be one of the other members of the Kardashian clan.

It's been a busy year for the family who has dealt with breakups, babies, alleged affairs and drug use. There seems to be no stopping the constant Kardashian media frenzy since publications cover their every waking move.

The latest family member in the news is mom-ager Kris Jenner. However, it's not for anything too outrageous. She's just a gal who cares about her health.

According to The Gossip Blog, the newly single 58-year-old is doing her best to stay in shape. She looks incredible for someone who has given birth to six kids, so perhaps it's her latest fitness regimen that is helping her stay so sleek and sexy.

On Wednesday, Kim posted a photo of her mom hanging upside down while at her latest pole dancing class. She tagged her mom with #WCW or "Woman Crush Wednesday" on Instagram. Kris looks amazing while wearing a black spandex catsuit and high heels. It proves that the business woman takes time not only for her marketing ventures, but also her health.

We do wonder if Kris is trying to stay in shape for a new paramour? After she split with longtime husband Bruce last October, the grandmother-to-three has been linked with former Bachelor star Ben Flajnik. Even though the two reality stars have worked together in the past, there have been whispers that they possibly hooked up once or twice.

When the rumors surfaced, Flajnik tweeted, "Here we go again. Hey @usweekly maybe put a call into me once and a while for some fact checking. Sincerely, #TheTruth."

The stories persisted, but it seems things have cooled down since there haven't been any sightings in the new year. However, Kris probably won't be off the market for long. With the moves she's learning in her pole dancing class, there are sure to be a few men lining up to date this powerful lady.

To keep up with the latest news on The Gossip Blog, be sure to follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who Are You Wearing?: 2014 WGA Awards Edition

My dress for the Writers Guild Awards was so incredibly comfortable. Yes, I do wear this silhouette a lot, but it works for my body type. If you were paying attention, you might know that it was the runner-up dress in the Oscar Nominations Dress Challenge. This was the one picked from Donette! What I love about the dress is that it has embroidery near the chest. It's hard to see in the top photo, but in the photo below, it's a little more visible.

Here are the details on the dress:

Dress: ModCloth: Grape Kelly Dress in Black: $79.99
Shoes: Sole Society (No longer available, but from the Julianne Hough Collection)
Bracelet: Marshalls
Earrings: New York City Jewelry District (Meaning super cheap! Look around 6th Avenue and 38th Street.)

 With my AfterBuzz TV SYTYCD co-host AJ Gibson

Monday, February 3, 2014

3 Things to Know about the Firing of the DWTS Orchestra

I've received a lot of emails over the last few days asking if the news about the firing of the Dancing With the Stars orchestra is true. The answer is yes. I think it's a big mistake by ABC since it's one of the elements that makes the show so special, but the network is looking at the bottom line: money. I know the reason given for the elimination is to "attract a younger demographic,' but that is not the case.

Here are the three things you should know about the situation:

1. Rick Baptist: He's the person who original put the Facebook post on his page to call attention to the issue. Baptist has worked on DWTS for years and he's well-respected in the industry. Check out his IMDB credits to see his impressive résumé.

2. American Federation of Musicians International:  This is the official musicians' union representing professional performers in the entertainment industry. They issued a statement on Monday regarding their dismissal:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         
February 3, 2014
CONTACT: Antoinette Follett
(315) 422-4488 ext. 104
AFM President Blasts ABC for firing Dancing with the Stars Orchestra

New York, NY— After 17 hit seasons performing on one of the world’s most popular TV programs, Dancing with the Stars (DWTS), the 28 men and women of the show’s live backing band—the Harold Wheeler Orchestra and Singers—have been fired. Producers say the group will be replaced with pre-existing sound recordings and a “small electric band” to “attract a younger demographic.”
American Federation of Musicians International President Ray Hair blasted ABC-TV for its decision, asking supporters to e-mail to demand the orchestra’s return or risk viewer retaliation. “People who love Dancing with the Stars also love the superb performances of the orchestra because it is such an integral part of the show,” says Hair. “The tight, elaborate musical productions that catapulted the show into the top 10 in 17 countries can’t be duplicated by recordings and a small combo. Viewers, whether they are young or old, will reject that as artistic fraud.”
Network sources say that a recent shift in ABC/Disney’s executive staff in charge of primetime reality series programming led to pressure on DWTS producer BBC America to cut corners and pander to a younger viewing audience. “It’s not like ABC and Disney don’t have any money and can’t afford an orchestra. It’s about the insatiable thirst for profits at the expense of music, art, and those who create it,” says Hair. “Firing the band, using recordings, and hiring fewer musicians won’t boost ratings. It will kill the show.”
Founded in 1896, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO, is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. With more than 90,000 members, the AFM represents all types of professional musicians, including those who record music for sound recordings, film scores, videogames, radio, television and commercial announcements, as well as perform music of every genre in every sort of venue from small jazz clubs to symphony orchestra halls to major stadiums. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. For more information, contact the main number at (212) 869-1330 or visit the Web site at
Follow the AFM on Twitter and Facebook

3. The Excuse: ABC can say it's about bringing in "a younger demographic," but having a live orchestra is a luxury. It's expensive to pay for song rights and to pay talent for rehearsals and the show. It's cheaper just to pay for a skeleton crew and song rights. However, it's a huge part of what made DWTS exciting to watch. It brought energy to the show each season and the audience will notice its absence in Season 18.

However, there is still time. The show doesn't launch until March 17, so support the Harold Wheeler Orchestra and Singers by emailing ABC: (NOTE THE CORRECT SPELLING "I" VERSUS "A" in CANDICE'S NAME)

Let's make a difference!

UPDATE: Here's the official press release from BBC Worldwide and ABC regarding Harold Wheeler:

Our talented Music Director, Harold Wheeler, will not be joining us for season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. Since season one, Harold and his band have performed brilliant music in our ballroom for our dancers and the American viewers at home. We are grateful to him and his band for their amazing work and years of collaboration. We wish him the best of luck.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

VIDEO: 2014 Writers Guild Awards Red Carpet

Last night was the final big awards show from the guilds as the Writers Guild handed out their honors. I honestly wasn't expecting to be on that red carpet until I got a last minute email on Friday night. I'm never one to say "no" to a red carpet, so I grabbed my new dress and hit downtown LA on Saturday afternoon.

I had a blast talking with Joe Manganiello and if you saw my Facebook photo, you know how I feel about him. Legendary writer and director Garry Marshall was honored and he greeted me with a big old hug and kiss. I will post the photos of that moment below.

Otherwise, enjoy my interviews with Joe, Garry, Alex Trebek, Oscar nominee June Squibb, Jennifer Tilly, Jane Espenson and Brad Bell.

SYTYCD Season 11 Spoilers: Audition Rounds

While many of you may now know that SYTYCD is looking for dance crews from Season 11. That's not only the big news. Thanks to an inside source here are a few things to look forward to this season during the audition rounds.

Spoilers Ahead:

1. Audition Round Guest Judges:
    -Jenna Dewan-Tatum
    -Lil Buck
    -Misty Copeland (!!!!)-For those of you who are also DWTS fans, Misty is currently working on a project with Derek Hough.

2. Possible New Segment: According to my source, there may be a new segment "for the people [contestants] the judges felt they shouldn't have let go." We will see if this element comes into play in Season 11.

3. You're going to….Los Angeles!: Yep, contestants aren't getting a ticket to Vegas this year. They are headed to California. Let's see if this changes the final audition week any. It shouldn't, but you never know…

If you missed my interview with Jenna Elfman and her hopes to return to Season 11 of SYTYCD, click here.

Have any SYTYCD scoop for me? Contact me here.

What do you think of the SYTYCD changes? Let me know in the comments below.

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