How much strategy went into this, do you think? The final six couples of Dancing With the Stars Season 14 all had to find an extra DWTS professional — an eliminated competing pro or one from the troupe — to perform with this week as a “Trio” for the Latin dance.
According to ABC, “In addition to their regular criteria for judging dance routines, the judges will pay extra attention to how well each celebrity is showcased in the performance with an extra dancer in the mix.” Sounds like chemistry and creativity will be key — you’re not just having the two pros dance together while the celeb watches and you can’t have the new pro just dance around the competing couple. So did the pairs go with the pro they felt was the best overall dancer, the good friend they know they can work well with, a pro with a big fan base to tap into or … some other criteria?
It looks like two of the six went with pro troupe members and four went with eliminated competing pros. Here’s the scoop on who picked whom:
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Trio pro: Karina Smirnoff
Peta told Entertainment Tonight, "We have the Tango and the Jive. And the Jive is going to be the one with the extra person. We have Karina as our pro. She's going to be great."
Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Trio pro: Val Chmerkovskiy
“Our Latin is Samba and she picked Val,” Maks told On the Red Carpet. “I had nothing to do with this choice." Melissa added, "He had nothing to do with it at all. It wasn't because he told me his parents would disown him otherwise or anything like that. Not even a little bit."
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Trio pro: Tristan MacManus
Mark wrote in his USA Today blog, “I'm thrilled that we got the pro I wanted. I can't tell you who it is, but let's just say this: I hope this pro helps us find a lucky pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! And maybe this experience will motivate the mystery dancer to finally sign up on Twitter.” Gee, who could that be?
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Trio pro: Sasha Farber
Sasha retweeted this note from a viewer, “YEAH cant wait for the trio dance tonight Chelsie,Roshon and they picked the BEST with @SashaFarber its going to be phenominal !!” Chelsie told On the Red Carpet they have the Paso Doble for their Latin dance, so expect pro troupe member Sasha to bring lots of intensity and passion. At one point it sounded like Sasha’s girlfriend off the dance floor, fellow troupe pro Emma Slater, was also going to be in the “Trio” mix, but maybe not?
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
Trio pro: Tony Dovolani
According to @DWTSGossip, William & Cheryl will be dancing with Tony. In her OK! Magazine blog, Cheryl said they have the Paso Doble for their Latin dance. “I think the paso is going to be one of William’s favorite dances so I think that will be really exciting.”
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
Trio pro: Henry Byalikov
Team Menough has been uncharacteristically quiet on the information homefront this week, but @DWTSGossip tweeted that Maria & Derek would be dancing the Waltz and Samba and further shared that their trio pro is new troupe member Henry.
Watch the next new episode of DWTS tonight, May 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.
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