“Dancing with the Stars” Judge Carrie Ann Inaba is blogging exclusively for Access Hollywood for Season 22 of her hit ABC show. Here is her second blog of the season:
Last night was an
extra special night for me in the ballroom because my mom, Patty Inaba Chu, was
there. Not only was my mom in the house, but so was her best friend Aunty Miya
and some of my dearest friends as well. One of my closest friend’s mother, Jean Kapoor, was there to celebrate her birthday. It gives me
great pleasure to be able to invite friends and family to such an entertaining
night; Two hours of incredible, feel good entertainment. I love it. Our show is
such a fun experience when you come to a live taping. For information on how to
be a part of our live studio audience, go to the ABC website (http://abc.go.com/tv-ticket-request
) and I hope to see you in the ballroom.
One of the things I love about our audience is that everyone takes great care to dress up for the occasion. It’s part of what makes the evening so special. There’s a bit of formality to it. (For those who don’t know, we actually have a dress code — it’s cocktail attire and no jeans are allowed). I love seeing people in their best suits and fanciest dresses, enjoying a night out on the town in our little ballroom at CBS Television City. (Even though we are an ABC show, we film at the CBS owned Studios — it can be a bit confusing). As I said last week, once you walk through the elephant doors to the stage, you are a part of our family and we welcome you with open arms.
Preparing for the
show is always fun. I make wellness a priority in my life now. I do yoga,
pilates, and some power plate work as my workout regimen, and I’m trying out
various treatments for my skin, which becomes a priority when you are being
filmed in HD. As we get older, beauty is something that comes through
your soul, your inner being. It mostly comes from the inside, a reflection of
how you feel about yourself. And I have to admit, I feel pretty good these
days! And I am grateful for it. As some of you know, I have struggled
with some health issues over the past few years. I wasn’t able to maintain my
wellness the way I wanted…I couldn’t work out, I gained some weight, and I
just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. But I’m in a much better place now
after figuring out what works best for me (which I highly suggest for
everyone). I’m currently really happy in my personal and professional
life. And I stay focused on my overall wellness, which includes a lot of
things that we will continue to discuss in this Access Hollywood Blog.
I was shocked that last night’s elimination went to Geraldo
Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska. I thought it might be Mischa Barton and Artem
Chigvintsev, but I am glad that after her breakthrough last night, she will
have yet another chance to find her inner dancer. And just so no one gets
upset, I don’t often guess the eliminations right. I have a knack for
always guessing wrong, so don’t take any predictions from me. The couple that
goes home is decided by our at home viewers and voters, combined with our judges scores. So for us, there is always the unknown variable —
the audience vote. We are not told anything about how the contestants are
doing in the audience vote throughout the season, so I don’t know who is
going home until Tom Bergeron actually says the names. I was shocked that it
was Geraldo, but he impressed me with his grace under fire. After learning he
was eliminated, he stated that he would have demanded a recount if there had
been any other outcome. I was so impressed with that. He is in his seventies
and still trying new things. Let’s take a moment to celebrate that. I
hope that when I’m in my seventies I’m still trying new things, pushing my
limits, and going out of my comfort zone. I wish him the best and hope to see
Edyta back in the ballroom again soon.
There were four standout dances for me last night. The
first was Paige VanZant’s fiery Samba. She lit up the night with a powerful and
high energy performance choreographed by Mark Ballas, who sadly could not dance
last night. We are all wishing him a speedy recovery. But in his
place Alan Bersten came to the rescue and helped Paige deliver her best dance
so far, as well as one of the best dances last night. I think the added
jeopardy of Mark having to sit out and Paige having to dance with someone new
added to her adrenaline and focus, which made this dance a standout. A
word of advice for Paige, watch the shoulders.
The second of my highlights was Wanya Morris and Lindsay
Arnold’s salsa. Last night he took the crown as the King of the Ballroom
without a doubt. Incredibly agile and musical, Wanya is the most exciting
male dancer at this point. He dances with joy, effervescence, and
incredible control. He and Lindsay have a nice, easy chemistry, but my advice is that Wanya could be a bit more careful with some of the
lifts and turns, making sure to give proper support to his partner.
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd are still at the top of my
list, even if he had a lift. He’s got such beautiful expression. That first port de bras took my breath away. I was thinking about how
incredible he is as I was drinking my coffee this morning, and realized that
sign language is a kind of a dance — it is a movement that expresses. So
in a way, he’s been dancing with his hands his whole life. I think this
is part of why his performances are so deeply moving. When he dances,
there is a hush that comes over the ballroom that is not just about the respect
we all feel for the fact that he is dancing without actually hearing the music,
but is also about being in awe of his powerful connection to the movement, his
heartfelt storytelling. I am so impressed with Peta. Their connection is deeper
than some of the other pairs because they have had to learn additional ways to
communicate, each one learning the other’s unique language, and I believe that
will serve them well throughout the season.
The last of the highlights for me this week was Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff’s Paso Doble. It was truly a DWTS moment. He had a rough start last week, but came back this week a whole new DOUG. He danced with passion, determination, and even threw in a bit of sex appeal. It was an impressive turn around and it brought me great joy to see him have redemption. Len was right, the Paso suited him. I’m looking forward to him continuing on this path as he moves forward.
Next week I’ll talk about all the contestants again, and give specific advice for each one of the contestants. This week, my general advice is for everyone to focus on technique. There are a lot of contestants in the middle of the pack, and I see potential in all of them to shoot out of the pack to the front, but they have to work on technique and deliver dynamic performances. That means they need to find their secret weapon. What are they great at and expand on it. They need to let go of their fears and trust their partners 100%. They need to dance beyond what they think they can, pushing each movement to its fullest potential. This season we have better dancers than usual, and that makes for stiffer competition. In order to shine, they will need to find their unique style and then master the techniques of each dance. I would advise to keep some traditional steps and choreography in each dance to keep Len happy because he’s back and he wants his ballroom.
For those who want to know more about my look last night:
Since it was the day after Easter, Jen Rade (my stylist) and I chose a peach chiffon gown by Badgley Mischka, along with a pair of Badly Mischka gold platform heels. These are one of my staples in my DWTS shoe closet because they go with almost anything I choose. Plus, they have a nice platform lift which makes them much easier to walk in. Joanne McCarthy was back to do my makeup, and Eddie Gornik (Hair) did that incredibly fun, loose fishtail braid. Our hair process is that we discuss and choose some looks that will go with the dress and then he does a mock up on a dummy head we call Sheila, and I give comments until it is the right vision. Come Monday, I just sit in the chair and we get right to work, with Sheila watching over… I’m a highly visual person and a bit of a perfectionist, so this preparation works for me because it takes all the unknown out of it. I know that we have the same vision for the hair and that we are both envisioning the same thing. This takes the stress out of the preparation process and has allowed me more space and time to do fun things like Periscope… and engage with all of you and answer your questions. I loved the questions this week and look forward to answering more of your questions next week before the show on Periscope!
Hair notes from Edward Gornik (Instagram.com/edwardgornik):
Tonight for Carrie Ann, we chose a casual, side fishtail braid. Because of the bright color and style of her dress, we didn’t want to create a hairstyle that was too structured and polished. Loosely styled braids are very current at the moment and the options are endless. I think this look was perfect. Key products included Oribe Dry Texture Spray and Osis’ Dust It.
Makeup notes from Joanne McCarthy (Instagram.com/makeupjojo):
Blush- Tipsy by Tarte
Lipstick in Fetish Matte
Lip Gloss – Makeup Forever, 301P
Eyeshadow Palette – Vintage Vamp by Charlotte Tilbury
Lashes – Hipster by Sephora.
— Carrie Ann Inaba
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