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Dancing With The Stars

You Ask, We Answer: Who are the Dancing with the Stars Singers?

We're back! It's time for another round of You Ask, We Answer. We launched this little Q&A last season and Dancing with the Stars fans responded with tons of cool queries. We don't always have the answers to every Q, but we try to track down whatever you wanna know. Do you have a DWTS question? Ask it on our Facebook page and hopefully we can answer it soon. For now, let's tackle these topics:

Q: Kim Daigle asks: I'd love to know a little bit more about the singers. Music is a big part of the show, why not let the audience know about the singers? Also, who really makes the song choices?

A: Let's get to the second part of the question first. Musical director Harold Wheeler gave a detailed interview to the Seattle Times about how the music works on the show. The show's producers pick the songs for the pros and celebs to dance to each week. The dancers approve the selected songs a week in advance. Wheeler gets the track list on Tuesdays and arranges the tunes for his orchestra, giving each what he calls "the Dancing With the Stars sound." "We don't rehearse until [show day]," Wheeler says. "That's why it's a great orchestra." The 18 orchestra members and singers are all musicians for hire, when not performing on DWTS.

DWTS fan Viola da Voce did a great job of spotlighting some of the singers on her website, The Contrapuntist. For example, did you know singer Darryl Phinnessee also wrote the "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs" theme lyrics for Frasier and Antonio Sol was an American Idol finalist? Here's more about the singers straight from The Contrapuntist:

Carmen Carter:
Carmen is known for her unique headpieces that she wears on Dancing with the Stars. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Inglewood, California, singer/songwriter Carmen has sung in more than 50 movies including Dreamgirls, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The 40-year-old Virgin, Speed and Disney's The Frog and the Princess. She's sung television theme songs for Sister Sister, Strong Medicine, Chocolate News and Touched by an Angel; she's also sung in Mad TV, Family Guy, Married with Children, and The King of Queens, just to name a few. Commercial work includes Toyota, Mountain Dew, and State Farm. She has done live performances with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, John Legend; she has done background vocals for Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and John Tesh. Carmen released her solo album, Snapshot in 2009. Here's a video of her singing "Night in Tunisia" with the Big Phat Band.

Darryl Phinnessee: Originally from East St. Louis, Darryl is a singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. He's toured with artists including Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart, and Lionel Richie. He's been a vocalist and songwriter on albums with artists such as Little Richard, Whitney Houston, Don Henley, Ray Charles, and Evanescence. Darryl received a Grammy award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance with Clare Fischer’s "2+2+" for their album, Free Fall. He has sung in and/or written songs for numerous movies. He also wrote the lyrics for the theme song to the television show, Frasier, called "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs," which was nominated for an Emmy award. Darryl sang at Michael Jackson's funeral in a performance of "We Are the World." Here is Darryl singing several Michael Jackson songs in a tribute on Dancing with the Stars.

Antonio Sol: Antonio is a classically trained singer and songwriter. The son of a missionary, Antonio began singing at the age of 2 in church. He's written songs, and toured with artists including Michael Buble, Enrique Iglesias, Rick James, and Ernie Smith. He was a finalist on American Idol in 2006, and has appeared on television shows including Arrested Development, the Latin Grammy Awards ceremonies in 2003, and the Wayne Brady Hour. Antonio released his debut pop music CD "Push the Play" in 2003 and a Latin soul album, "Love's Biggest Fan" in 2007. He also has taken on an apprenticeship with Grammy nominee Jonathan Butler. Here's his MySpace page. He's actually pretty hot.

Beverley Staunton: Originally from Montreal, Canada, Beverley began performing at an early age. As a young adult, she had become one of Canada's top live and session singers. She has sung vocals on recordings with artists including Bette Midler, Michael Crawford, and Barry Manilow. She has appeared on television shows including The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Grease: You're the One That I Want; and on animated shows including The Emperor’s New School and Robot Chicken. She has also done commercials for Chevy, McDonald's, and Subway. Beverly released a jazz solo album, "Here's to You," in 2001. Here’s a song off of her solo album, "Never Give Up."

Q: Cathy Loomis asks: How tall is Lacey Schwimmer?

A: According to Pop Tower, DWTS pro dancer Lacey is 5'3". Her Season 11 partner Kyle Massey is said to be 5'6".

Q: Tina Mckeen asks: When is Julianne coming back?

A: No one loves two-time mirrorball champ Julianne Hough more than we do (except maybe Derek and her other family members), but we're not holding our breath for her to return anytime soon. Not only is she all high-profile now, dating Ryan Seacrest (anyone else think this is a bad idea?), she's busy with her film and music career. She's in the Cher/Christina Aguilera film Burlesque, which is coming out next month, and she has the female lead in Footloose, which finally started shooting in September and is scheduled for release next April. Julianne gave Access Hollywood a tour of the Footloose set and you can watch and read more about it here. We're still holding out hope for a Julianne DWTS comeback at some point. Maybe Season 13?


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