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S25: Mark Ballas

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Mark is a handsome guy...when he actually keeps his hair cut short, I think he looks striking.

Since the man bun requires his hair to be pulled back, I think it looks nice from the front (and the facial hair complements it). It's when he turns to the side, that I don't appreciate it as much, lol.

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Would love to see Mark and Alexa make the finals. I enjoy their dancing, and don't think Mark gets enough credit for the great partnering and choreographing he does each season and has been doing for a long time now!

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Would love to see Mark and Alexa make the finals. I enjoy their dancing, and don't think Mark gets enough credit for the great partnering and choreographing he does each season and has been doing for a long time now!

 

While I haven't loved every crazy, outrageous idea/dance that Mark has come up with....I think he is so creative. It's kind of fascinating to imagine how his mind works when coming up with concepts and themes. I don't know if he's ever been nominated for an Emmy, but I think he deserves a nomination. He really does bring something fresh and new to DWTS that no other pro brings.

 

I also loved when he would choreo pro numbers.  His "Oh So Quiet" is one of my favs. 

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He's also done a couple of Pepsi commercials. I look forward to his costuming and choreo ideas each week (when he has a decent, non-Bristol partner, that is)!

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Another thing about Mark that makes him my favorite pro is, IMO he is a very versatile and talented actor. To me, he is equally believable whether his character is dorky, creepy, boyish, evil, old-era, modern-era, yet he can also be the dashing gentleman or the sexy guy bringing the heat.

The other male pros may be more typical "leading man" material, but I don't always buy them in other roles.

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I don't think any one of the pros is "owed" finals, wins etc. So I don't want to go in that direction. But I became a fan of Mark in the Candace season. I came for Meryl and Charlie and was just very, very impressed with his teaching and her improvement, with how he knew how to handle her nerves and her high-strung personality, and how he managed to choreograph entertaining pieces that suited her, even though she was rather limited. You also saw him work around Sadie's limitations and interfering family and handling it well when the pressure and mindgames of the show started getting to her. He was great with Willow as well. He's said his piece on Alexa having to focus on her own dancing once, but since then has also IMO tried to give her dances she can perform well with him where there won't be massive scrutiny on "OMG! She has to romance a man who's not her husband on the dancefloor!!!" since all that would probably accomplish is make her self-conscious. A good judgement call for the beginning of the season. I think all these qualities sometimes get lost because there's so much attention paid to his various spleens. And yes, it can go overboard and become annoying, but it's just one aspect of him as a dancer and choreographer. And often the crazy works well for him. He also does a lot of quiet, nuanced work (sometimes even in the crazy concept dances!).

 

As for the "leading man" thing: In the context of a reality show like DWTS he's just not fitting that particular persona like Derek and Val do. I think Mark knows this and has accepted this. And to be fair, they do give him a platform for his kind of creativity and they don't usually give him home-run partners, but most of the time they're not hopeless (apart from Bristol and Kim) either. And yeah, I love that the question "Will I look foolish?" just doesn't enter into it for him. He's ready to go wherever he thinks the dance demands it, It's entertainment and anything goes. The trainwrecks when it goes wrong are spectacular, sure, but isn't that also part of the fun?

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While I haven't loved every crazy, outrageous idea/dance that Mark has come up with....I think he is so creative. It's kind of fascinating to imagine how his mind works when coming up with concepts and themes. I don't know if he's ever been nominated for an Emmy, but I think he deserves a nomination. He really does bring something fresh and new to DWTS that no other pro brings.

 

I also loved when he would choreo pro numbers.  His "Oh So Quiet" is one of my favs. 

I have to agree with this; while Derek usually gets the focus and praise for being creative with choreography, I find his dances repetitive and you can see he goes back to the same well often.  Whereas Mark I think is an actual true creative talent; I remember he choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance a few times, and I'd love to see him do it again.  Imagine his creative dances with two people who can actually execute it.

 

I remember a long time ago, he and Karina did a jive that was just phenomenal.  I would love to see him in more pro dances like that; they were really wonderful together because she could actually keep up with him (I believe jive is his specialty).  

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While I haven't loved every crazy, outrageous idea/dance that Mark has come up with....I think he is so creative. It's kind of fascinating to imagine how his mind works when coming up with concepts and themes. I don't know if he's ever been nominated for an Emmy, but I think he deserves a nomination. He really does bring something fresh and new to DWTS that no other pro brings.

 

I also loved when he would choreo pro numbers.  His "Oh So Quiet" is one of my favs. 

 

What I think is also fascinating is that while most of Mark's partners, especially in recent seasons, haven't had much (or any) dance experience, none of them seemed to have been intimidated by his very involved themes and concepts.  They all seem to love doing them.  While the dancing might not be spot-on technique-wise, they don't seem to hold back or be tentative in playing out the performances.  Maybe it's his way of teaching or building real trust with his partners or just making it fun, but he does something that makes his partners want to dive right into the crazy themes.

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Mark also choreographed several group numbers for the Utah Vibe kids when they've been on the show. I find a lot of his group choreo has more of a traditional formation feel than a lot of the other pros and especially Mandy Moore, which I personally enjoy. He's also proved with those Vibe dances that you can combine traditional Latin formation with contemporary moves and production value. The one that he and Chelsie did to Sia's "She Wolf" is a case in point.

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Mark also choreographed several group numbers for the Utah Vibe kids when they've been on the show. I find a lot of his group choreo has more of a traditional formation feel than a lot of the other pros and especially Mandy Moore, which I personally enjoy. He's also proved with those Vibe dances that you can combine traditional Latin formation with contemporary moves and production value. The one that he and Chelsie did to Sia's "She Wolf" is a case in point.

 

And since it is now October... a fun one "This is Halloween" 

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Mark could have pulled a few more wins over the years if he wasn't so busy trying to be edgy and different. He really screwed Sadie with that Mario Brothers Acid Trip freestyle dance.

I also do not agree with this. I loved the Mario Bros freestyle! And so did the judges and a lot of other people.

The two times that Mark came close to winning again (Katherine Jenkins in S14 and Sadie in S19) they were up against 2 charismatic male celebs with huge fanbases. Sometimes, there is only so much you can so since there are so many factors that go into winning DWTS. And unfortunately, the stars just haven't aligned for Mark in a long time.

Edited by calipiano81
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And in the case of Sadie she only made it to second place in my opinion because of her decent sized fanbase due to her family's reality show and people thinking she was adorable and Mark's very fun choreography for her. Because the actual dancing ability - yeah. 

 

eta: I will also add that Mark has had people with the ability to do well but a series of circumstances like not having a fanbase (Christina Milian is a perfect example of this) or the celebrity being too in their head, like Alexa this season, made them not do as well as they could have. And even Willow last season. She was a more than decent dancer, hard worker, etc. but the voters just weren't there. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I also do not agree with this. I loved the Mario Bros freestyle! And so did the judges and a lot of other people.

The two times that Mark came close to winning again (Katherine Jenkins in S14 and Sadie in S19) they were up against 2 charismatic male celebs with huge fanbases. Sometimes, there is only so much you can so since there are so many factors that go into winning DWTS. And unfortunately, the stars just haven't aligned for Mark in a long time.

I agree with you.  The Mario freestyle was perfect for Sadie.  It was a fun routine and fit her personality.  She improved a lot during the season but her technique just wasn't there.  I think she had a growth spurt before the show.  She appeared gawky in her dances which happens when a teen is still growing into their body.  

 

I also agree with what you wrote about Katherine and Sadie going up against Donald and Alfonso.  Katherine didn't have a big fanbase in the U.S.  Donald had a big fanbase and he was charismatic.  He also knew how to play the game.  He was the one that suggested what to do for his freestyle and called out what Katherine and William would do.  I also remembered that Katherine and Mark's freestyle was a little sloppy for her.  I think it was a combination of putting too much and her shoes.

 

Alfonso had the nostalgia factor and he also had good technique based on his dance experience.  He didn't have ballroom experience but his dance experience still helps.  He had a great partnership with Witney.  In this case, Witney's cross training, which included tap, also helped create dances that took advantage of his dance training.

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BW Manilowe said:

"Mark & BC Jean are engaged--they got engaged in November, according to this TV Guide article announcing it.

http://www.tvguide.c...with-the-stars/ "

This is all very odd. From what I gather from the US Magazine's original story, someone saw BC at a Viper Room gig wearing one of many rings on her fingers that looked like a real engagement ring and reported it to either US Magazine or Pop Sugar (not sure which was first). Fans have been congratulating them but I haven't seen any tweets from anyone who actually knows Mark and/or BC - none of the DWTS pros, no one from their known social circles and no confirmation from Mark or BC or whoever is running the Alexander Jean sites or any of their managers/publicists. There's a few pics of Mark and Allison at the Pilot Pens gifting event last night and Mark looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I don't know if this is true or not, but if this is true, this has got to be the saddest engagement non-announcement ever.

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While I realize Mark can be slightly obnoxious, tacky, and quite the showboat in his dances, I think he deserves significantly more praise for his choreography and teaching skills. From the very beginning, I've always admired his creativity (sometimes it can go awry, but he definitely has some interesting ideas).

Granted Paige seems innately talented, but I'm particularly impressed with his body of work this season (I've already watched the jive an embarrassing number of times this week and thought the paso doble was stunning). I'm definitely rooting for them this season!

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I realize it's not part of the "story arc" and Paige is not a favourite for the win, so that's why it's all going so low-key, but so far he's got none of the issues that often crop up when pros have ringers (I also don think that, as far as ringers go, Paige is that high on the "greatest ever" list, she wouldn't make top ten, perhaps not even top twenty...and any potential advantage is blunted by her lack of fanbase and by the fact that this season there were barely any clunkers and plenty of people with talent and/or prior experience). He's capitalizing on her full potential, he's making her stand out as much as possible, he's giving her interesting things with lots of content. And it doesn't seem that he's particularly stressed about it all either. We've seen plenty of pros fell pressure and have borderline meltdowns when they had ringers. To be fair, that Paige is not a front-runner for the win reduces expectations and makes it probably easier (compared to say, Rumer or Meryl or Charlie or Fons or Nick), but Mark just seems in a good place. He's firing on all cylinders when it comes to choreography, he seems relaxed and like he's enjoying himself tremendously. Good for him.

Edited by katha
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ITA, katha. And for me, this season with Paige has joined the ranks of Mark's top creative seasons (along with Season 12 with Chelsea K. and Season 19 with Sadie R.).

Edited by calipiano81
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Mark got married on Friday 11/25/2016 to BC Jean. 

http://www.tmz.com/2016/11/26/mark-ballas-bc-jean-wedding-married/

Not many details in the brief story but there are lots of paparazzi pics in the photo gallery.  The men look pretty traditional but the ladies went with a gypsy/carnival theme.  I saw on twitter/instagram many of the pros attended (Sharna, Jenna, Val, Keo, Julz, Derek, Hayley, Britney, etc.) plus Sadie, Alfonso, Nastia, Darvina (former AfterBuzz host who's a long-time close friend of Mark) who uniquely was a "groomswoman", and more I can't remember.  But it appears BC kept to what she said in an interview - phones/cameras were not allowed so I haven't seen any instagram photos or snapchats during the wedding or reception.  People magazine covered it so they'll have a spread in next Friday's issue and some kind of video online next Wednesday.

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It looked like a pretty wedding that was also suitable for the two people getting married. They're both hipsters tbh, so having it be a bit carnivalesque made sense. Cool that so many of the pros attended. I also saw that Sadie, Willow, Chelsea Kane, Candace and Kristi Yamaguchi were there, perhaps there were even more of Mark's former partners, who knows since instagram etc. wasn't allowed. That's very neat, too.

Edited by katha
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15 hours ago, katha said:

who knows since instagram etc. wasn't allowed. That's very neat, too.

Well, it's half sweet (we want everyone to be in the moment and not on their phones) and half entrepreneurial (it's harder to sell an exclusive to People magazine if all your guests give away the photos for free.) Probably a little of column A and column B, both are nice side benefits of each other. (No judgment, if I could get People to pay for my wedding I probably would too.)

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Quote

BOYZNKATZ in the Season 25, Week 8, Trios Night Thread said...

By the same token, we could say Maks deserved to win with Heather or Tony deserved to win with Stacy or Karina deserved to win with Corbin. What makes Mark and his partners so special? Ringers don't always win for various reasons. Let's not forget Chelsea was propelled into the finals over Ralph Macchio with that ridiculous "winner takes all" cushion that she had.

There are certainly other pros who also should have/could have won with their ringers, but they either failed to make it to the finale (Maks w/Heather) or had unsuccessful freestyles (Tony w/Stacy) which cost them the win. Karina probably could have won with Corbin (I thought their MJ freestyle was great) and I'm sure there are some people who think she should have.

Mark is just often brought up because he is a high-profile pro who has noticeably had several partners now who were considered by many to be the best dancers of their seasons, who made it to the finale, and did a good job/perfect score on their freestyles (and the winners' freestyles were debatably better), but were ultimately beaten out each time for non-dance-related reasons. Yes, Chelsea Kane's boost into the finale was egregious manipulation, but that's part of the point...Chelsea should have been able to make it on her own merit, but fanbases made that impossible.

It is then often inferred that Mark is a lesser pro than Derek because he only has two wins vs Derek's six. But Mark could have possibly won a few more times if not for circumstances outside of his control -- circumstances that Derek might not have even been able to overcome.

Edited by calipiano81

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2 hours ago, calipiano81 said:

It is then often inferred that Mark is a lesser pro than Derek because he only has two wins vs Derek's six. But Mark could have possibly won a few more times if not for circumstances outside of his control -- circumstances that Derek might not have even been able to overcome.

If by "lesser pro" you mean lesser dwts pro, I think he is.  But if it means lesser ballroom professional dancer, then I don't.  Mark is my favorite pro but Derek has this dwts-thing down. 

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1 hour ago, crossover said:

If by "lesser pro" you mean lesser dwts pro, I think he is.  But if it means lesser ballroom professional dancer, then I don't.  Mark is my favorite pro but Derek has this dwts-thing down. 

Derek is obviously stellar at what he does, but as I mentioned elsewhere, winning DWTS requires a lot of different elements to fall into place; it's not entirely up to the pro because a lot of the elements have nothing to do with the dancing. IMO, whenever a couple wins DWTS, it is not without also a little bit of good fortune.

And Derek himself is not completely immune to the fickle world of DWTS; IMO, he should have won All-Stars with Shawn.

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Shirley Ballas was really cute on her Graham Norton appearance. She held her own with the sofa of movie stars. She talked about how Mark told her there was an opening for Len's spot so she went for it. Then she told Mark Wahlberg they raised her son calling him "Marky Mark." She also tried to teach Will Ferrell a bit of rumba. Can view the episode here (hope it doesn't get removed): 

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6 hours ago, anonymiss said:

Shirley Ballas was really cute on her Graham Norton appearance. She held her own with the sofa of movie stars. She talked about how Mark told her there was an opening for Len's spot so she went for it. Then she told Mark Wahlberg they raised her son calling him "Marky Mark." She also tried to teach Will Ferrell a bit of rumba. Can view the episode here (hope it doesn't get removed): 

Darn! I was hoping to see this-Shirley has been tweeting and instagraming about it.  It says "the uploader has not made this video available in your country".  Thanks though for trying to share it.

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Watch his leg in the second part (after Lindsey speaks) - how can he drum so fast with his foot?!!  Notice his upper body is completely still.  No wonder he's a Jive King!  I've seen people drum that fast with their hands in which they are basically flipping the drumsticks, but here his foot (or leg) is doing it all.  Pretty amazing!

 

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Bringing this back because of the HP talk on the General Gabbery thread. I DID find Mark Ballas in that film. I had to search Mark Ballas Harry Potter, but I found an actual image of him in the Sorting Hat scene from the first film (the kid with the red hair):

12-Mark-Ballas-Bower-Stars-Harry-Potter-

I definitely would have never figured it out because I don't think the kid looks like Mark.

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Like... the kid on the top left? No way should I believe that kid is Mark, but since I have no other reason to doubt ... okay. 

I'm glad you put in the work because no way would I ever have found that.

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9 minutes ago, McManda said:

Like... the kid on the top left? No way should I believe that kid is Mark, but since I have no other reason to doubt ... okay. 

I'm glad you put in the work because no way would I ever have found that.

It's hard to believe but here's a direct quote from Mark himself:

Quote

So where can we see him in the film? "The scene at the sorting hat,” Mark says, adding that we have to be really quick to spot him. “I had, like, grungy red hair and braces, and I'm in the Hufflepuff outfit.”

It also might be possible that the picture above is completely wrong as well. He does make it clear that his cameo is basically a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and I'd have to go through the movie and watch the Hufflepuff table to see where he could be.

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2 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

It's hard to believe but here's a direct quote from Mark himself:

It also might be possible that the picture above is completely wrong as well. He does make it clear that his cameo is basically a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and I'd have to go through the movie and watch the Hufflepuff table to see where he could be.

I’ve saved you the work & watched the scene WAY too many times that I can count, simply for the sole purpose of trying to spot him.

i always thought he said he was seated at the Hufflepuff table, but I still haven’t seen him, even in super slow motion or pausing my own copy. I don’t think the red haired kid is Mark, but we’ve got nothing else to go on, so I guess we have to believe him.  

 

Derek is in the scene when Hermione is saying goodbye as she leaves for the Christmas break. He’s in a Ravenclaw scarf, on the right side of the screen. He’s also walking with an owl cage. He looks the same as he always has, including rocking his “floppy” blonde hair.

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On 10/5/2018 at 10:08 PM, Lady Calypso said:

Bringing this back because of the HP talk on the General Gabbery thread. I DID find Mark Ballas in that film. I had to search Mark Ballas Harry Potter, but I found an actual image of him in the Sorting Hat scene from the first film (the kid with the red hair):

12-Mark-Ballas-Bower-Stars-Harry-Potter-

I definitely would have never figured it out because I don't think the kid looks like Mark.

This red haired kid has been shown to Mark on twitter and he's said it's not him.  It also IMO doesn't really look like him in known photos as a kid.  Also, he was around 13-14 when the film was made and that boy looks much too young.

 

ETA:  I tried looking for some 2001 pics of him - closest I could find is 3 yrs later, 2004 to get an idea:  http://bewitchingballas.blogspot.com/2010/08/mark-in-jesus-christ-superstar.html  Also remember, he started DWTS in 2005.

Keep looking! LOL! As far as I know, he hasn't been spotted yet.

Edited by Uke

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