Dancing With The Stars gets personal Monday in Week 4's "Best Year"

What was the best year of your life? Competitors on “Dancing With The Stars” depict theirs on Monday’s performance show. Photo: DL Hughley and Cheryl Burke: in danger this week? / Photo ABC Adam Taylor

SAN DIEGO, April 7, 2013 – One of the most popular themes returns to “Dancing With The Stars” this week, and it’s been among the most successful for competitors over the years.

“The Best Year of My Life” is a favorite that serves to separate the contenders from the also-rans. It introduces a personal aspect that can either inspire the performance or emotionally overwhelm the star. They are often about family, sometimes honoring loved ones now departed. Sure, it’s a silly reality TV show, but it can be touching or inspiring to watch the stars tell their stories and shine in their own way.

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The emotional aspect of performance becomes more important as the stars start to get a handle on the steps and choreography. It is sometimes difficult watching at home to feel the connection between the performers and the connection they establish with the audience and the judges. It makes all the difference between good and great dancing.

Many of the stars have already talked about their choices and the reason behind them in various interviews this week. Viewers will be treated to many different ballroom dance styles and themes.

Front-runner Kellie Pickler told Ellen DeGeneres she would perform a Rumba with partner Derek Hough to “Say I Do,” written by Pickler’s husband Kyle Jacobs for their wedding in 2011. Jacobs will perform the song himself on the show. Pickler needs to keep it together and it might not be easy.

Zendaya Coleman is right on Pickler’s heels. She drew the Samba, which is a high energy dance that will be a good fit for a 16-year-old depicting the best year of her young life, which she says is the year she decided she wanted to be a performer.

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Will Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones depict his Super Bowl victory with his Foxtrot? His partner Karina Smirnoff told “On The Red Carpet” the journey would be a surprise for the audience. The Foxtrot can be tough for a taller dancer, so it may not be entirely successful for Jones.

Boxer Victor Ortiz and partner Lindsay Arnold scored with their Contemporary dance last week. This week, their Paso Doble assignment has real potential to be a knockout. Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor.

The other professional male athlete on the show lucked out with the perfect assignment. Boxer Victor Ortiz drew the Paso Doble, which is all about aggression. This shouldn’t be any trouble for a boxer. If Ortiz can channel the same kind of focus it takes to do well in the boxing ring, it could be a breakout week for him. Ortiz is on the way up after a successful Contemporary dance last week.

Aly Raisman is another professional athlete who is looking for a breakout week. She is good but not great so far. She drew a Contemporary dance. No surprise here: she chose last year when she won Olympic gold as her best year.

Bachelor Sean Lowe joked that he agreed to appear on “Dancing With The Stars” to learn the waltz for his upcoming wedding, and the Viennese Waltz is his assignment this week. We can all see this one coming. Lowe is coming off his goofy week dancing to “YMCA,” so he needs to shift his focus in a big way to get out of the middle of the pack.

Stuck in the middle with him is Ingo Rademacher, and he’ll also be dancing a Viennese Waltz. It will be nearly impossible for the judges not to compare the two. The dance order will make a difference; the man going second of these two will have the chance for the better score. Rademacher’s pro partner Kym Johnson told “On The Red Carpet” she is adding a solo in this dance, which could be a make or break for him. Rademacher hasn’t talked about his personal story, only that it’s something close to his heart.

For the couples at the bottom of the leaderboard, they know they need to pull off good performances this week because there’s less margin for error.

The fans have made Andy Dick a sentimental favorite, but he can only be saved so long. He’s dancing the Viennese Waltz as well, and if pro partner Sharna Burgess can continue to channel his quirky charm he could survive. Dick is dancing for his 15-year-old daughter, and who doesn’t love a sentimental dad?

Real Housewive Lisa Vanderpump reportedly fainted in rehearsal this week. “Entertainment Tonight” is reporting that she may leave the show. If this is true, it may not be due entirely to this incident. She has a demanding schedule which took her to New York this week leaving little time for rehearsal, and she’s in no position to be slacking off. She’s about to get the boot anyway. She and partner Gleb Savchenko drew the Cha Cha Cha. Don’t get your hopes up.  

DL Hughley says he’s a fox and he just needs to learn to trot to do a Foxtrot this week. He’s done a better job generating fan votes than learning how to dance, but eventually his lack of skills will catch up with him. Let’s hope he and partner Cheryl Burke enjoy themselves while they can.

Only one couple’s placed in the dance order is known at publication, but we 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

DL Hughley and Cheryl Burke: Dancing 8th, Foxtrot
Voting # 1-800-868-3405

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Rumba
Voting # 1-800-868-3401

Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: Paso Doble
Voting # 1-800-868-3402

Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Viennese Waltz
Voting # 1-800-868-3403

Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko: Cha Cha Cha
Voting # 1-800-868-3404

Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Samba
Voting # 1-800-868-3406

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Viennese Waltz
Voting # 1-800-868-3407

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Contemporary
Voting # 1-800-868-3408

Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: Viennese Waltz
Voting # 1-800-868-3411

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Foxtrot
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


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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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