If you’ve ever wanted to watch “Dancing With the Stars” live, with no distracting camera movements, no grandstanding judges and none of those pesky commercials to slow down the momentum, you’ll want to be at Ovens Auditorium on Sunday night.
The ABC hit series’ “Perfect Ten Tour” waltzes into town with a lineup that includes pro dancers Witney Carson, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Emma Slater; and troupe dancers Alan Bersten, Brittany Cherry, Sasha Farber and Jenna Johnson.
We’re told the running time will be roughly 90 minutes and that there’ll be a Q&A session, allowing audience members to toss burning questions at the dancers. Other than that? Here are a few things worth mentioning about the show.
1. Don’t expect to see reigning “DWTS” celebrity champion Rumer Willis. The rumors are true: Rumer – daughter of Hollywood stars Bruce Willis and Demi Moore – is joining the tour this summer in select cities... not including Charlotte. (The 26-year-old will sing at 18 upcoming shows, but revealed Thursday that she can’t dance right now because of stress fractures in her right foot.)
2. So, yes, the lineup is heavy on professionals and light on celebrities. But this means that, overall, the dancing you see on the tour will be sharper and more advanced than the dancing you see on TV. “With the celebrities, we have to do simpler choreography. But for this show, you’re with other professionals, so you can really go for it,” said fall 2014 “DWTS” champ Carson, who is expected to do a rumba and a foxtrot with Chigvintsev and a freestyle performance with Chmerkovskiy. She said she’ll also participate in seven group numbers.
3. It’ll be hard not to watch this show without thinking of “The Bachelor.” For two reasons:
▪ The tour’s host/emcee is former celebrity champ Rycroft (she won “DWTS: All-Stars” in fall 2012), and fans of ABC’s dating show will recall that she received a proposal from then-“Bachelor” Jason Mesnick in 2009. Mesnick later confessed feelings for runner-up Molly Malaney, whom he married the next year. (Rycroft is now married to insurance salesman Tye Strickland, and the couple has two children.)
▪ For the most recent season of “Dancing,” Carson was paired with Chris Soules, an Iowa farmer whose claim to fame was starring on “The Bachelor” from January to March. Together, the duo finished in fifth place – and also lit up the tabloids with (unconfirmed) rumors that Soules was cheating on fiancee Whitney Bischoff with Carson. (Soules and Bischoff called off their made-on-TV engagement last month.)
Rycroft still gets recognized as much for “The Bachelor” as she does for “DWTS.” “People will come up to me and say, ‘Where do I know you from?’ Then two seconds later, they say, ‘You’re that ‘Bachelor’ chick!’ So to a lot of people I will always just be ‘that ‘Bachelor’ chick,’” she said, laughing.
Carson, meanwhile, said she loves giving TV audiences a look at her dancing, but doubts she wants to be dating in primetime. “It’s way too much drama for me,” said the 21-year-old former “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist, with a laugh. “I think I would probably die from that much drama.”
4. By the way, Rycroft will be dancing, in case you were wondering. That was the plan from the start: She would do double duty for this tour both as host – “Every time dancers come on the stage, I (introduce) them, I tell funny stories ... I’m the one that is the link between the audience and the dancers,” she said – and as a performer. But at a tour stop in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., earlier this month, she injured her knee mid-show and reportedly refrained from dancing (while hanging onto emcee chores) at multiple shows. Anyhow, it apparently wasn’t too serious: Rycroft’s publicist confirmed that she is a “go” for performing here.
5. And this 32-year-old mother of two looks amazing in her dancewear. (Exhibit A: See the fringe- and sparkle-covered bikini she wore while performing with Tony Dovolani on the anniversary special in April.) How has she kept her figure? “With the second pregnancy in particular, I kept active, and I felt really fit even at the end of the pregnancy,” said Rycroft, whose second child was born in April 2014. “After I took a break, I started taking cycling classes. It got my legs back in shape, it got my core back in shape – every woman knows it’s that blasted core that goes completely south with a kid. My body is never gonna be the way it was when I was 22, but I’m happy.”
‘Dancing With the Stars Live!’
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Ave.
DETAILS: 800-745-3000; www.ovensauditorium.com.