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Carrie Ann Inaba’s DWTS Blog: Rumer Willis Rocks Premiere

Tue, 3/17/2015 12:50 PM

Season 20 of Dancing with the Stars kicked off with a bang! Last night was an incredibly exhilarating show.

Waiting for the music cue to do our kick line

This year’s cast is energetic with lots of diversity, but they all seemed genuinely happy to be there. And every one of them was a really entertaining performer. They have charisma and charm and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they develop as the weeks go on. The attitude of positivity prevailed on the dance floor and that’s exactly the kind of energy that is intoxicating for the audience.

My mom, Patty Inaba Chu, and my, niece, Shari Mead

My mom, Patty Inaba Chu was in town because we just celebrated her 75th birthday and she agreed, that the cast was exceptional. And she’s been watching every season as well.

Before I get into the performances, I want to say that after 10 years, the judges finally got new trailers! It’s funny because American Idol tapes right next door to us, and their judges have two-story trailers. Our trailers have always been extremely modest in comparison. We don’t need much and don’t complain much about anything. But this year, the upgrade was a nice surprise (thank you, producers!). They are very nice with hardwood-type flooring and they feel like we are staying at the W Hotels chain. Every year we also get a beautiful robe. I love this gift because behind the scenes we pretty much live in our robes. This year’s robe is black and very chic, but more importantly, it’s comfy and cozy!

And with one of my best friends, Raj Kapoor and his mom Jean Kapoor who flew in from Canada to see the show.

The first day is always exciting for me. I bring in all my things to get comfortable in my trailer, and the new trailers made everything feel fresh and exciting. It was as if I was on my first day at a new job! I always use a Himalayan crystal to clear out any negative energies and light lots of candles to set the mood. I love coconut and vanilla scents. But I also keep an amber scented candle on hand if I really need to get focused. Somehow the scent really calms me. I brought my yoga mat this year so I can practice on set if I don’t get a chance beforehand. It was like moving into a new apartment.

I received beautiful flowers from my agent, the producers, my mom and my boyfriend Tony, who is in Italy at the moment. The whole day felt positive. And when we walked into the ballroom, at show time, it just got better! The audience was packed with stars from previous seasons and sitting next to me was Jeff Goldblum, which was a treat! Bruce Willis was sitting across the way, and at one point in the night, I saw him singing along to some of the songs and having a great time. He did look a bit serious when his daughter, Rumer Willis, was dancing.

The overall scores were a bit lower than in previous seasons but that is because we have high standards for this 10th anniversary season. And while there were many great performances I want to focus on my top four of the night.

1. Rumer and Val Chmerkovskiy — Their foxtrot was uniquely passionate and intense. I loved the drama and her competitive drive. She didn’t just perform the steps beautifully, she performed them with a vengeance. As the other competitors came out on stage to get ready for their final marks, you could feel that they were all suddenly, re-thinking their approach.

2.  Riker Lynch and Allison Hoker — Their jive was edgy and exciting. His musicality is incredible and he moves really well. It must be in the genes. (He is a cousin of Derek and Julianne Hough). But he’s got a cool skater style going on. It’s a different type of athleticism and way of moving. We haven’t had many on the show with his vibe. He’s precise but cool, appealing to the young girls, and his energy is contagious and effective. I’m looking forward to seeing him do a ballroom dance.

3.  Patti LaBelle and Artem Chignintsev — There was something very special about her performance. Sometimes less is indeed more, and I think this dance was a perfect-pitched approach for the queen of soul. She really dazzled me with her presence and her poise. She was graceful and danced as if she was floating on air. I worry about the faster dances that will be coming up for her but she’s got the right attitude—“70 years young.” She is naturally gifted with beautiful musicality and an inherent grace.

4.  Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess — Everyone remembers Amy Purdy, the inspirational double-leg amputee from season 18. Her amputations due to meningitis were so different than Noah, an Iraq war veteran who lost his left arm and leg serving our country. Without the ability to lead with the left hand or the ability to bend his left leg, Sharna faces big challenges in creating choreography that will excite us as judges while showcasing Noah’s strengths. Last night was an excellent example of just that. What stood out to me was his incredible balance and strength. His focus was mesmerizing. And you could feel his passion and determination. He has a special ability to be focused with power, not force. His power is quiet and grounded which draws you in. It will be fascinating to see what’s to come during his journey in the ballroom.

Everyone else showed a lot of promise but these four stood out to me. They are going to be the most-remembered dances of our season 20 opening night. There was no elimination this first week, so I’m looking forward to everyone’s second dance. I think after Rumer and Val’s incredible performance, everyone is already at the studio working on their next performance. And I’m looking forward to seeing them all in the glitter dome next Monday.

I want to thank my team for putting me together year after year, and keeping it fun.  My fashion credits are:

Dress: Haute Hippie

Shoes: Casadei

Jewelry: Le Vian, Sylvie Collection, Vanessa Leu and Jorge Adeler

Oh, and I can’t forget, Sadie Robertson stopped by to say hello last night! She’s such special spirit and it is always a joy to see her.

See you next week! Glitter and all!

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Categories: Entertainment

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? Yankees Fans Contemplate Jeter’s Absence

Tue, 3/17/2015 11:47 AM

Opening day for the New York Yankees in 1952 looked a little different without the bat of Joe DiMaggio in the line-up. Joltin’ Joe retired after the 1951 season. The New York Yankee faithful were still excited for baseball after winning another World Series Championship just months earlier. Mickey Mantle replaced DiMaggio in center field and the rest is history.

Opening Day of baseball 2015 is days away and once again, the Yankee faithful are having déjà vu. The sun has set on the 20 year Hall of Fame career for Derek Jeter. Regardless of who is in the line-up, the Yankee fandom comes back year after year to cheer on their team wearing pinstripes.

One of those faithful and rabid Yankee fans is long time season ticket holder Bonnie Bernstein of New York. Bonnie’s father in-law first purchased season tickets in 1957, according to the New York Yankees. Bonnie believes the tickets were first purchased years earlier, but there is no way to prove it because the Yankees didn’t start recording purchases until 1957. Her father-in-law was in the clothing business and would bring customers to watch Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford grace the baseball diamond.

Nearly 60 years after Bonnie’s father-in-law first purchased Yankee season tickets; she carries on the tradition of attending as many Yankee games as she can. Her twin sons are just out of college and attended Jeter’s last home game in September. “You can’t replace those experiences,” Bonnie tells me.

The 1977 World Series Game 6 against the Dodgers is a memory all baseball fans are acutely aware of. Reggie Jackson hit three consecutive home runs off three different pitchers. “Security wasn’t as tight as it is today. I remember the stadium emptying onto the field and trampling Reggie. I also remember Paul Simon singing ‘Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?’ after Joe’s death in 1999. The last game that Paul O’Neill played at Old Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit and many more special moments happened watching the Yankees play baseball.”

The New York Yankees franchise has won 27 World Series titles since 1923. Bonnie Bernstein who is the longest season ticket holder of the franchise also feels as if she has won the World Series many times over. She will always treasure her cherished memories and experiences that nobody can ever replicate.

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Categories: Entertainment

Jadium – March 17

Tue, 3/17/2015 6:00 AM

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Categories: Entertainment

Getting Around a Red Light

Tue, 3/17/2015 5:00 AM

Varancia Cox in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, writes:

I witnessed a driver circumventing a red traffic signal in the following manner. First, the driver stopped at the red light. Then he made a right turn onto the cross street, since it’s legal to make a right turn at this red light after making a full stop. Then the driver immediately made a U-turn on the cross street and then turned to his right, putting him back onto the road he had been on when he stopped at the red light–but this time he was beyond the red light. So, as he sped off down the road, he gained about a half-mile on the other drivers who were stopped and waiting for this red light to change. What is your opinion of this driver?

Marilyn responds:

He’s cunning and reckless, a very dangerous combination. 

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Categories: Entertainment

Nexus4 – March 17

Tue, 3/17/2015 12:01 AM

Click here for how to play Nexus4.

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Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – March 17

Mon, 3/16/2015 8:00 PM
Categories: Entertainment
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