Tony Dovolani

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Tony Dovolani
TonyDovolaniApr09.jpg
Dovolani at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
Born Driton Dovolani
(1973-07-17) July 17, 1973 (age 41)
Pristina, Kosovo
Website
Official website

Driton "Tony" Dovolani (born July 17, 1973) is an Albanian professional ballroom dancer, instructor and judge based in New York City. He is known for his involvement in the American version of Dancing with the Stars on ABC. Dovolani also portrayed a Latin bad boy in the hit film Shall We Dance? and spent time coaching actress Jennifer Lopez.

Early life[edit]

Dovolani was born in Pristina, Kosovo.[1] He began folk dancing at the age of three. At the age of fifteen, his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut.[1] He got the opportunity to attend classes at a Fred Astaire Dance Academy.[2]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Dovolani was partnered with professional wrestler Stacy Keibler in Season 2, where they made it to the finals and finished in third place. In Season 3, he was partnered with country music star Sara Evans. Midway through the season, Evans withdrew from the competition for personal reasons. He returned to the show on March 19 for Season 4, this time partnered with talk show host Leeza Gibbons.[3] They were the third couple eliminated from the competition and finished in 9th place.

He competed in Season 5, partnered with actress Jane Seymour.[4] They were the seventh couple eliminated from the competition and finished in sixth place. In Season 6, his partner was Broadway actress Marissa Jaret Winokur. They were eliminated in the semi-finals and finished in fourth place. Dovolani competed in Season 7 of Dancing with the Stars with actress Susan Lucci of All My Children as his partner. They were eliminated in Week 7 and came in sixth.

In the eighth season, he was originally paired with Nancy O'Dell, the then-host of Access Hollywood. However, on March 5 she withdrew from the competition because of a torn meniscus sustained during pre-season practice. With only two days to practice, Melissa Rycroft, fresh off her The Bachelor appearance, stepped in and became his new celebrity partner. They made it to the finals and took third place in the competition.

In the ninth season, he was partnered with former model and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland. They were the third couple to be eliminated, finishing in 14th place. For Season Ten, Dovolani was partnered with former reality star Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus 8/Kate Plus 8. They were the fourth couple eliminated, finishing in 8th place. For the eleventh season, he was partnered with The Hills star Audrina Patridge. They were the sixth couple eliminated, finishing in 7th place. For Season 12, his partner was talk show host Wendy Williams. They were the second couple eliminated, finishing in tenth place. For Season 13, his partner was singer Chynna Phillips. Phillips was eliminated in week four. For Season 14, his partner was tennis champion Martina Navratilova. They were the first couple to be eliminated. Dovalani was once again partnered with Melissa Rycroft for season 15 and they became champions of the season. For season 16, he partnered with country singer Wynonna Judd and were eliminated in the third week of competition. For season 17, he was partnered with actress Leah Remini and finished in 5th place. For Season 18, he was partnered with Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes, and were eliminated on the seventh week of competition, finishing in seventh place. For season 19, he is paired with fashion designer Betsey Johnson. They were eliminated in the fourth week of competition, finishing in tenth place.

Season Partner Place
2 Stacy Kiebler 3rd
3 Sara Evans 6th
4 Leeza Gibbons 9th
5 Jane Seymour 6th
6 Marissa Jaret Winokur 4th
7 Susan Lucci 6th
8 Melissa Rycroft 3rd
9 Kathy Ireland 14th
10 Kate Gosselin 8th
11 Audrina Patridge 7th
12 Wendy Williams 10th
13 Chynna Phillips 9th
14 Martina Navratilova 12th
15 Melissa Rycroft 1st
16 Wynonna Judd 11th
17 Leah Remini 5th
18 NeNe Leakes 7th
19 Betsey Johnson 10th

Performances[edit]

Season 2 - With celebrity partner: Stacy Kiebler

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "I Wonder Why" 8 6 8 Safe
2 Rumba/ "I'm like a Bird" 9 10 10 Safe
3 Tango/ "Cell Block Tango" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Foxtrot/"Cold, Cold Heart" 8 9 9 Safe
5 Samba/"Bootylicious"
Group Salsa/"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
6 Jive/"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Group Viennese Waltz/"Fallin'"
10
No
10
Scores
10
Given
Safe
7 Quickstep/"You Can't Hurry Love"
Cha-Cha-Cha/"Since U Been Gone"
9
9
9
9
9
10
Bottom 2
8 Jive/"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
Freestyle/"Stayin' Alive"
Samba/"Livin' La Vida Loca"
10
8
10
10
9
10
10
9
10
Third Place


Season 3 - With celebrity partner: Sara Evans

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Mandy" 5 5 5 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Papa Loves Mambo" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/ "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" 8 9 8 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "The Phantom of the Opera" 6 7 7 Safe
5 Samba/ "I Wish" 8 8 8 Withdrawn


Season 4 - With celebrity partner: Leeza Gibbons

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Strangers in the Night" 5 5 5 No Elimination
2 Mambo/ "Independent Woman Part I" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/ "Jealousy" 8 8 8 Bottom 2
4 Paso Doble/ "You Give Love a Bad Name" 6 5 5 Eliminated


Season 5 - With celebrity partner: Jane Seymour

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" 8 8 8 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Cuban Pete" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Tango/ "Perfida" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Vienesse Waltz/ "Piano Man" 8 9 9 Safe
5 Rumba/ "Breathe Again" 8 9 9 Bottom Two
6 Jive/ "Modern Love"
Group Rock 'n Roll/ "Rockin Robin"
8
No
7
Scores
7
Given
Safe
7 Quickstep/ "I Walk the Line"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Venus"
8
8
8
9
8
9
Eliminated


Season 6 - With celebrity partner: Marissa Jaret Winokur

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Low" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Flip, Flop and Fly" 7 7 7 Last to be called safe
3 Jive/ "Girlfriend" 6 7 6 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "My Family is My Life" 8 8 8 Safe
5 Samba/ "Tambourine" 8 8 8 Safe
6 Vienesse Waltz/ "Delilah"
Country Western/ "Cotton-Eyed Joe"
9
No
8
Scores
9
Given
Safe
7 Tango/ "Champagne Tango"
Rumba/ "Quando, Quando, Quando"
9
9
9
8
9
8
Bottom 2
8 Foxtrot/ "New York, New York"
Mambo/ "Ritmo de Chunga"
9
8
8
8
8
9
Safe
9 Quickstep/ "Around the World"
Rumba/ "Just the Two of Us"
9
8
9
9
8
9
Eliminated


Season 7 - With celebrity partner: Susan Lucci

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Quickstep/ "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen"
5
7
5
7
5
8
Safe
2 Rumba/ "Waiting on the World to Change" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/ "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Tango/ "La Bohemia" 8 8 8 Safe
5 Hustle/ "Upside Down" 7 7 8 Bottom 2
6 Mambo/ "Si Señor!..."
Old School Hip Hop/ "It Takes Two"
8
No
8*
Scores
7
Given
Last to be called safe
7 Paso Doble/ "The Ride"
Team Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Mercy"
8
6
8
7
8
7
Eliminated

Season 8 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/ "Moon River" 8 7 8 No Elimination
2 Salsa/ "The Cup of Life" 9 8 9 Safe
3 Foxtrot/ "Recipe for Love" 9 9 9 Safe
4 Lindy Hop/ "Brown Derby Jump" 10 9 10 Safe
5 Paso Doble/ "Poker Face" 8 8 9 Safe
6 Rumba/ "If I Were a Boy" 9 9 9 Safe
7 Argentine Tango/ "Mi Confesión"
1960's Group Dance/ "The Clapping Song"
10
No
9
Scores
10
Given
Safe
8 Jive/ "We Got the Beat"
Team Mambo/ "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
7
8
7
8
7
9
Bottom Two
9 Viennese Waltz/ "Angel"
Samba/ "Jaleo"
9
10
9
10
9
10
Safe
10 Quickstep/ "I Got Rhythm"
Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Save the Last Dance for Me"
9
9
10
9
9
9
Bottom Two
11 Paso Doble/ "So What"
Freestyle/ "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"
Samba/ "Jaleo"
10
9
10
9
9
10
10
9
10
Third Place


Season 9 - With celebrity partner: Kathy Ireland

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Salsa/ "Mambo Gonzon"
Foxtrot relay/ "The Best is Yet to Come"
6
Awarded
5
4
5
Points
Last to be Called Safe
2 Quickstep/ "Shall We Dance?" 6 6* 6 Eliminated

Season 10 - With celebrity partner: Kate Gosselin

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/ "She's Always a Woman" 6 5 5 No Elimination
2 Jive/ "I'm Still Standing" 5 5 5 Safe
3 Paso Doble/ "Paparazzi" 5 5 5 Safe
4 Tango/ "For Your Entertainment" 4
6
5
6
5
6
Safe
5 Foxtrot/ "Don't You (Forget About Me)" 5 5 5 Eliminated


Season 11 - With celebrity partner: Audrina Patridge

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "California Gurls" 6 7 6 Safe
2 Quickstep/ "Love Machine" 8 8 7 Safe
3 Waltz/ "Let It Be Me" 8 9 9 Safe
4 Argentine Tango/ "Somebody to Love" 8
7
8
7
8
8
Safe
5 Rumba/"Unwritten" 7 8 8 Safe
6 Paso Doble/"Another One Bites the Dust"
Rock 'n Roll/"La Grange"
8
Awarded
8
8
8
Points
Eliminated


Season 12 - With celebrity partner: Wendy Williams

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "I'm Every Woman" 5 4 5 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Do Your Thing" 6 5 6 Safe
3 Foxtrot/ "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" 5 5 5 Eliminated


Season 13 - With Celebrity partner: Chynna Phillips

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz / "If I Ain't Got You" 8 7 7 Safe
2 Jive / "The Boy Does Nothing" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Rumba / "Hold On" 8 9 9 Safe
4 Tango / "Theme from Mission: Impossible" 7 7 7 Eliminated


Season 14 - With Celebrity partner: Martina Navratilova

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot / "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" 7 6 7 No Elimination
2 Jive / "Tell Her About It" 6 5 6 Eliminated


Season 15 - With celebrity partner: Melissa Rycroft; average: 28.0

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Big Spender" 7.0 7.0 7.0 Safe
2 Jive / "Shout" 8.0 8.0 7.5 Safe
3 Samba / "Conga" 9.0 9.0 9.0 Safe
4 Jitterbug / "This Cat's On A Hot Tin Roof" 9.0 9.0 9.5* / 9.5 Safe
5 Tango / "Toxic"
Team Freestyle (Shawn) / "Call Me Maybe"
9.0
9.5
9.0
10.0
9.0
10.0
No Elimination
6 Viennese Waltz / "Why Ya Wanna"
Group Country Western / "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)"
& "I Play Chicken with a Train"
9.5
No
10.0
Scores
10.0
Given
Safe
7 Tango & Cha-Cha-Cha / "Die Young"
Swing Marathon / "Do Your Thing"
10.0
Awarded
9.5
10
9.5
Points
No Elimination
8 Quickstep / "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"
Paso Doble (Trio Challenge) / "Rumour Has It"
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
Safe
9 Hustle / "Walk the Dinosaur"
Argentine Tango / Dirty Diana
9.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
9.0
10.0
Safe
10 Samba / "Conga"
Freestyle / I Was Here
Instant Samba / "Life Is A Highway"
10.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
10.0
9.5
10.0
10.0
9.5
Winners


^* The additional score of 9.5 was awarded by guest judge Paula Abdul.

Season 16 - With celebrity partner: Wynonna Judd; average: 17.0

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-cha-cha / "I've Got The Music In Me" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Quickstep / "Neutron Dance" 6 6 6 Safe
3 Prom Group Dance / "The Rockafeller Skank"
Samba / "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
No
5
Scores
5
Given
5
Eliminated


Season 17 - With celebrity partner: Leah Remini; average: 24.8

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot / "Tears Dry On Their Own" 7 7 7 No Elimination
2 Samba / "María" 8 8 8 Safe
3 Rumba / "Skyfall" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Cha-cha-cha / "Papi" 8 8* 8 Safe
5 Contemporary / "Roar" 7 7 8 Last to be called safe
6 Quickstep / "Man Wanted"
Switch-Up Challenge /Various
9
Awarded
9
1
9
Points
No Elimination
7 Salsa / "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"
Team Freestyle / "Bom Bom"
9
9
8
9
9
9
Safe
8 Viennese Waltz / "I Got You Babe"
Rumba Dance Off / "I Found Someone"
8
Awarded
9*
3
8
Points
Safe
9 Tango / "Love Me Again"
Jive (Trio Challenge) / "We're Not Gonna Take It"
9
9
9
9
9
9
Safe
10 Paso Doble / "Bad Romance"
Argentine Tango / "Bad Romance" (acoustic version)
8
8
8
8
8*/8
8*/9
Eliminated


Season 18 - With celebrity partner: NeNe Leakes; average: 23.5

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-cha-cha / "Give It 2 U" 7 7 7 No Elimination
2 Jive / "Do My Thing" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Rumba / "I Believe in You and Me" 8 7/81 8 Safe
42 Jazz / "Grown Woman" 8 8/83 8 No Elimination
5 Foxtrot / "Cruella de Vil" 9 9/94 9 Safe
6 Salsa / "Hot in Herre" 8 95/8 8 Safe
7 Argentine Tango / "Can't Remember to Forget You"
Team Freestyle / "The Cup of Life"
8
8
86 / 7
10 /8
8
9
Eliminated

1The additional score of Week 3 was given by Robin Roberts

2For this week only, as part of the "Partner Switch-Up" week, NeNe Leakes did not perform with Dovolani and instead performed with Derek Hough.

3Additional score of Week 4 was given by Julianne Hough

4Additional score of Week 5 was given by Donny Osmond

5Additional score of Week 6 was given by Redfoo

6Additional score of Week 7 was given by Ricky Martin

Season 19 - With celebrity partner: Betsey Johnson; average: 26.5

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Hough Goodman Tonioli Inaba
1 Cha-cha-cha / "Material Girl" 5 5 5 5 Bottom two
2 Foxtrot / "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" 7 7 7 7 Safe
3 Contemporary / "Unchained Melody" 7 91 6 7 Safe
4 Jive / "Love Will Keep Us Together" 8 72 7 7 Eliminated



1 Score given by guest judge Kevin Hart, in place of Goodman.

2The American public scored the dance in place of Goodman with the averaged score being counted alongside the three other judges.

Dancing[edit]

Ballroom dancing is all about the woman, according to Dovolani. He believes the man is meant to be the frame for the picture of beauty as presented by the woman.

Dovolani and his partner Elena Grinenko have recently retired from competing in the American rhythm division. Prior to his partnership with Elena, he danced with Inna Ivanenko[5] and Lisa Regal.

Achievements[edit]

Outside of dancing[edit]

Tony and Len Goodman appear along with Mary Murphy in an infomercial for the Core Rhythms workout system.

Dovolani and fellow dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Elena Grinenko have created a website called the Ballroom Dance Channel. It is to help bring awareness to dancing. Dovolani and best friend Chmerkovskiy can often be found interviewing each other. The website is called ballroomdancechannel.com

Dovolani is the driving force behind the Superstars of Ballroom Dance Camp, an opportunity for people to learn from celebrity Pros from hit television shows. www.superstarsofballroom.com

Dovolani along with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Valentin Chmerkovskiy opened Dance with Me Studio in Stamford, CT on April 16, 2012.[8] The Stamford location is the fourth in the chain and the first in Connecticut started by Dovolani, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and their partners. The other studios are in Ridgefield, N.J., Long Island, N.Y., and Soho, N.Y.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Tony is married to wife Lina, and the couple have 3 children, a daughter named Luana and twins born when Luana was 3 years old. The twins, son Adrian and daughter Ariana, were born on September 8, 2008. Tony was in the middle of rehearsals for the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars with partner Susan Lucci when he got the call that Lina had gone into labor.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Buzzeo, Anthony. "'Dancing With The Stars' Pro Returns Home to Fairfield County". The Stamford Daily Voice. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tony Dovolani, BDC Online Instructor". Ballroom Dance Channel. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-25. [dead link]
  3. ^ "The Stars Align for a fourth season of ABC's hit alternative series, Dancing With the Stars". abc.go.com. 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  4. ^ Rizzo, Monica (2007-08-29). "Dancing with the Stars Announces New Contestants - Dancing With the Stars". People.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  5. ^ "Reality TV Stars | Tony Dovolani". Reality-tv-online.com. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  6. ^ "DanceSport Portal » Blog Archive » 2006 Emerald Ball". Dancesportal.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  7. ^ "DanceSport Portal » Blog Archive » 2005 Ohio Star Ball". Dancesportal.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  8. ^ a b Buzzeo, Anthony. "'Dancing With the Stars' Pros Headed to Fairfield County". The Norwalk Daily Voice. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars (US) Winner
Season 15 (Autumn 2012 with Melissa Rycroft)
Succeeded by
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
Preceded by
Joey McIntyre & Ashly DelGrosso

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer

Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 2 (Spring 2006 with Stacy Keibler)

Season 8 (Spring 2009 with Melissa Rycroft)

Succeeded by
Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska

Kelly Osbourne & Louis van Amstel

Preceded by
Jennie Garth & Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 6 (Spring 2008 with Marissa Jaret Winokur)
Succeeded by
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough
Preceded by
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
Dancing with the Stars (US) quarter-finalist
Season 17 (Fall 2013 with Leah Remini)
Succeeded by
Charlie White & Sharna Burgess
Preceded by
Ron Artest & Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars (US) last place
Season 14 (Spring 2012 with Martina Navratilova)
Succeeded by
Pamela Anderson & Tristan MacManus