Dancing With The Stars brings Maks back on Monday in Week 5 (VIDEO)

SAN DIEGO – April 15, 2013 – After 16 seasons of competition on “Dancing With The Stars,” producers seem to be scrambling to find new ways to test the competitors. The same old “Latin Week” and “80s Night” must bore them, and they must assume the viewer would be bored by them, too.

This week, the nine remaining couples get hit with what’s being called “Len’s Side by Side Challenge.” Whether Len Goodman is actually signing off on this, it’s hard to say. This is how it is supposed to work, according to various published interviews with the competitors.

SEE RELATED: Who said farewell to the ballroom on Dancing With The Stars?

Each couple will be assigned a pro couple to dance with them. The pro couples start each routine alone for about 30 seconds. Then the celebrity competitor and pro partner dance on their own for about 30 seconds. The pros come back into the routine and both pairs perform for about 15-20 seconds side by side, providing the judges a point of comparison. Then the competitors wrap up the routine.

How is it actually going to work out? It’s hard to figure out. There are a lot of doubts, but I was a big doubter when producers came up with the “Trios” routines, in which a second pro joins each couple. It turned out to be fun, exciting and successful.

I will have a seat in the ballroom for Monday night’s show, so you will get a firsthand report and plenty of backstage gossip. No photos though – all electronics are confiscated before you enter.

The return of many favorite professional dancers not currently competing on the show will be a big draw for many fans, none bigger than the return of DWTS ballroom bad boy Maks Chmerkovskiy. Don’t think the producers aren’t aware of this. A promo has been running on ABC all week hyping the return of “The One… The Only… MAKS!” See the video featured in the window above. The elder Chmerkovskiy is playing right along with the hype. We admit it, we are too.

Tony Dovoloni and Tristan McManus are back after their partners Wynonna Judd and Dorothy Hamill left the show. Popular pros and former competitors Chelsie Hightower and Anna Trebunskaya will also dance on the show. The other pros participating are from the professional troupe: Henry Byalikov, Emma Farber, Sasha Farber, and Witney Carson.

It is helpful for the competing celebrity to receive additional coaching from a pro dancer who can demonstrate how their part of the dance is supposed to look. This could mean major improvements for some of the stars. Or, the choreography could complicate the routines too much and throw off the stars, particularly those already struggling to learn routines. This would include some of the dancers in the bottom half of the leaderboard. We are halfway through the season already, and it’s the point where the contenders start to pull away from the also-rans.

There are nine couples and nine different dance styles this week; not a single style will be repeated. So in addition to the pro/star comparison, there will be such a wide variety of dances that it’s apples and oranges… and peaches… and blueberries… and honeydew. Whew.

Some seem very happy with their choices if comments on Twitter are any indication. Andy Dick is thrilled to perform the Paso Doble. If it’s anything like his Jazz routine to Lady Gaga, it should be a blast. Ingo Rademacher is less than enthusiastic about drawing the Cha Cha Cha, saying it’s very fast and challenging for him. Zendaya Coleman is enjoying the opportunity to compete with both Chmerkovskiy brothers. Who wouldn’t?

Just three couples have revealed their places in the dance order so far at the time of publication; Communities will update as more information is revealed.

Reminders about voting: vote online, by phone, or vote via text message using the last four numbers for any couple. You can vote online at the official Dancing With The Stars page on Facebook, or the ABC Dancing With The Stars page.

Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Cha Cha Cha / Dancing 1st
Dancing with Tony Dovoloni and Emma Slater
Voting # 1-800-868-3403

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Quickstep / Dancing 5th
Dancing with Chelsie Hightower and Tristan McManus
Voting # 1-800-868-3407

DL Hughley and Cheryl Burke: Tango / Dancing 7th
Dancing with Chelsie Hightower and Sasha Farber
Voting # 1-800-868-3405

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Foxtrot
Dancing with Henry Byalikov and Anna Trebunskaya
Voting # 1-800-868-3401

Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: Viennese Waltz
Dancing with Emma Slater and Tristan McManus
Voting # 1-800-868-3402

Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango
Dancing with Maks Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya
Voting # 1-800-868-3406

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Samba
Dancing with Tony Dovoloni and Witney Carson
Voting # 1-800-868-3408

Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: Paso Doble
Dancing with Emma Slater and Sasha Farber
Voting # 1-800-868-3411

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Jive
Dancing with Maks Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya
Voting # 1-800-868-3412

“Dancing With the Stars: Season 16” airs Monday night, April 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on the ABC Television Network.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google+


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News at Washington Times” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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