One of the highlights last week on our whirlwind Disney Press trip for The Good Dinosaur Premiere was attending the LIVE taping of the semi-finals of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles. It was amazing to not only see these very talented dancers in person, but to see the way they pull off a live 2-hour television show. Read on to hear more about my experience and make sure you tune in TONIGHT and TOMORROW NIGHT for their 2 day season finale. It’s going to be AMAZING!!
Dancing With the Stars LIVE Show
When I was invited on the #GoodDinoEvent press trip, I was thrilled to see that we would be attending a live taping of Dancing with the Stars. I have been drawn to this season because of one dynamic dancer – Bindi Irwin – and I was so excited to get to see her dance in person. Not to mention, how thrilling it was going to be to watch a show of this magnitude come together for LIVE TV??
First we got all glammed up for the show! Of course we had to sparkle!
We had the best seats for the show – second floor, just to the left of the stage with the band and directly across from the judges table. We weren’t in our seats for very long before they called us all down to the dance floor for a big warm-up dance party. So there you have it, I have officially “danced on Dancing with the Stars!” Can you find me in this pic?
It was also fun to meet Bindi Irwin’s mom and brother, Terri & Robert, in the dance floor too – she was very appreciative of all the support of Bindi and this season.
The dancing was spectacular. When you get this close to the finals, you expect it to be. And I am certainly no expert in ballroom dancing – I just want to be entertained and GOSH was this show entertaining. I mean did you watch the trio dances? It was hard to pick a favorite as they were all very good. The Argentine Tango to “Ex’s and Oh’s” with Alek Skarlatos, Lindsay Arnold & Emma Slater was sexy & fun. The Charleston with Carlos PenaVega, Witney Carson and Karina Smirnoff was so fun – Carlos was AWESOME!
But my favorite?? I LOVED the contemporary dance with Bindi, Derek Hough, and Mark Ballas. I honestly have watched it atleast a dozen times (of course I DVRed the show!). It was certainly worthy of the three 10’s the judges gave them:
What was equally as fascinating to me was watching the timing of the set changes and camera positioning while on a commercial break. Everything ran so perfectly smooth and you could never imagine how much work goes into the live element. At the beginning of the show, they had less than 3 minutes to set up a small circular stage on the dance floor, gather the audience around it and position the dancers all before coming back from the commercial break. There was a clock counting down the time and I was nervous for them. Of course, they had it all done with 17 seconds to spare. Of course.
After the show we headed down to the dance floor for a brief hello with host Tom Bergeron – who is so very nice in person – and a fun photo opp with the judges:
Dancing with the Stars Taped Show
After the excitement of the LIVE show, we headed to The Grove (where part of the Season Finale will be taped tomorrow night) for dinner and to watch the taped show on the West Coast. It was really cool to be able to watch the show taped AND know everything that happened behind the scenes to get the shot. It was just as much fun watching the taped show as we could see all the dances from a different angle. And of course, it was fun to try to catch a glimpse of us on National TV:
See the crossed arms over Tom Bergeron’s left shoulder? That’s ME!
And then there was that shot of us at the end of the show. Yep, it’s blurry and was on like 3 seconds tops, but it’s MY 3 seconds of fame!
While we were there, Alek Skarlatos and his family showed up for dinner. If you don’t know Alek’s story, he is an Army National Guard Specialist who made headlines around the world on August 2015 when he & his 2 childhood friends heroically overpowered a man that opened fire on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. His parents and grandfather were in attendance that night and they were extremely proud of Alek. It was sweet meeting him and his family. And of course, he graciously took a picture with us:
And we had a chance to chat with Carlos PenaVega who told us he thought his rope was not going to stop spinning – did you catch his rope dance?? So good!
Dancing With the Stars Two-Night Season Finale
TONIGHT & TOMORROW Night make sure you tune into the 2 night season finale to see who goes home with the mirror ball. Four couples remain – Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold, Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson, and Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess – and will compete in some of the toughest dances from all season!
Tonight, Monday, November 23 at 8:00 ET/7:00 CST on ABC, the finalists will compete in two rounds of dance. In the first round, one judge will help each couple choose the creative elements of each dance – Carrie Ann Inaba will work alongside Linsday and Alek, as well as Bindi and Derek. Julianne Hough is with Nick and Sharna, and Bruno Tonioli is with Carlos and Witney. In the second round, in one of the biggest competitive dances of the season, the couples take on a freestyle dance featuring special effects, additional dancers and unexpected surprises.
There will also be special performances from Meghan Trainor, Who Is Fancy, & Ariana Grande. At the end of the night, the couple with the lowest combined viewer and judge votes from the previous two weeks will be eliminated.
On Tuesday, November 24 9:00 ET/8:00 CST on ABC, the three finalists advance to the final stage of the competition. There will be live dancing and show-stopping performances at the Grove shopping center and in the DWTS ballroom. The night kicks off with a high-energy opening number, featuring a reunion of all 13 of this season’s couples at the Grove. The night will be filled with special performances with past dancers and those going on the winter tour of Dancing with the Stars. At the end of the night, the winner of the coveted Mirrorball trophy will be announced!
I am so excited to watch the show AND vote! Don’t forget that our votes count! I was a little worried to see Bindi in the bottom last week, so I will for sure be voting this week. You can cast your vote for your favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the Dancing with the Stars broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at www.abc.com and on Facebook . Who will you be voting for??
Check out more of the fun we had on the #GoodDinoEvent press trip:
Making of Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
LIVE Taping of Dancing with the Stars
Creation of The Good Dinosaur with Director Peter Sohn
The Good Dinosaur Red Carpet Movie Premiere
The Good Dinosaur Toys & Disney Infinity 3.0
4 Things You Will Learn from Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur
Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of the live taping of Dancing with the Stars. All opinions are my own.