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Janel Parrish’s DWTS Blog: ‘Val And I Are Very Proud of the Chemistry That We Show’

Janel Parrishs DWTS Blog: Val And I Are Very Proud of the Chemistry That We Show

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy

Adam Taylor/ABC/Getty

10/27/2014 AT 08:50 AM EDT

Janel Parrish is best known for playing Mona Vanderwaal on the TV drama Pretty Little Liars. She’s been paired with pro Val Chmerkovskiy for season 19 of Dancing with the Stars, and she’ll be blogging for PEOPLE about her experience on the hit ABC show.

Our video package last week showed a moment of tension between Val and I, and honestly, that’s real life. We’re showing ourselves to America and showing what we go through each day in rehearsals. It’s not always going to be happy and sunny. We’re working really, really hard, and sometimes, it’s very stressful and very frustrating. I’m actually glad that America got to see the real side of what happens with us in rehearsals.

Sometimes we don’t agree, but the thing that I love about Val and I is that we have really good communication, so when things like that happen, we’re able to talk through it and find a solution. We were really able to kind of cool off and talk about the things that bothered us in a calm way and compromise, and it’s been amazing since then.

As far as the rumors of romance between Val and me, I just want people to focus on the dancing that we do and the hard work that we do. I appreciate that people see that we have chemistry, and we absolutely do, but whatever feelings we have, those are our feelings and those are personal.

Cool cats @iamvalc #teamjanelskiy #halloween @samaltamura make up

A photo posted by Janel Parrish (@janelparrish) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:18pm PDT

I really enjoyed having Leah Remini as a guest co-host last week. I think she is hysterical, and I love her dry sense of humor. I think she definitely knows how to lighten the mood and when to kind of crack the whip a little bit and be a little more serious. I thought she was a wonderful addition to the show.

Pitbull’s comment last week about the lack of passion in our dance really did bum me out a little bit and surprised me. I think Val and I are very proud of the chemistry that we show on the dance floor. It’s natural. We don’t work hard at it but we do have it, and it’s wonderful. I’m glad that people enjoy watching that.

So, when Pitbull said he didn’t think that we have any passion, I think that we were both a little bit like, “What?” We think that we do, and I have been receiving Tweets from people saying that they think that we do have a lot of passion – so that’s what matters. As long as we feel it, which we do, and as long as America feels like they see it, then we’re doing our job. And we’re also having a great time doing it.

Julianne Hough’s praise of our dance was amazing. It was a really, really tough routine, and I had a really hard time with it this week. It was definitely the hardest routine I had to work on, so I was very nervous going into it, especially finding out I was in jeopardy moments before. I didn’t feel like I was in the right mind space when the music started, so I’m glad that I got through it and I’m glad that it went well. I was really happy that Bruno Tonioli said that my turns had improved because that’s something that I’ve been working on. I still have a lot of work to do, so I’m hoping that I can stick around and keep improving.

This week we’re working on a Viennese Waltz, and we’re actually going to do a Pretty Little Liars theme for Halloween. We are dancing to the show’s theme song, “Secret” by The Pierces, so that’s going to be amazing. I don’t want to give too much of it away, but it will be very much my character but more of a twist. It’s going to be fun.

We just love you #pllarmy. #teamjanelskiy #dwts #prettylittleliars @iamvalc @abcfamily @prettylittleliars

A photo posted by Janel Parrish (@janelparrish) on Oct 10, 2014 at 7:46pm PDT

I’m looking forward to showing my fans how much we love them. I know that the PLL army is very supportive of our team. They’ve been voting for us and watching the show, and I love that. I want to give back to them and show them how much I love Pretty Little Liars and how much I love their support. I’m looking forward to making my two worlds right now – Dancing with the Stars and Pretty Little Liars – collide. I’m really, really excited to show the fans what we’ve come up with. I think they’re going to love it!

Janel Parrishs DWTS Blog: Val And I Are Very Proud of the Chemistry That We Show
Source: Janel Parrish’s DWTS Blog: ‘Val And I Are Very Proud of the Chemistry That We Show’

Lesbihonest, Female Couples on TV Teach Us a Lot About Romance

Lesbihonest, Female Couples on TV Teach Us a Lot About Romance

After countless headlines, we’ve recently seen Shonda Rhimes take the heat for the seriously sexual gay scenes in her show How To Get Away With Murder. In return, she tells everyone to stick it where the sun don’t shine. As she rightfully should. Because of shows like Orange Is the New Black and entertainment pioneers like Rhimes, LGBT couples on television have finally moved further away from taboo and closer to the norm. At the end of the day, love is love and we’re focusing on the lady loves who prove just that.

On TV, there has been a lesbian marriage on Grey’s Anatomy (again, thanks to Rhimes), short flings such as on The O.C. and supernatural love back in the day of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During Buffy’s run, Alyson Hannigan said her character’s relationship was “[n]ot about being controversial or making a statement. It’s about two people who care about each other,” which is ultimately all that matters, right? Whether shows were purposefully trying to create change or not, including these female relationships helped teach lessons about love that can be applied to anyone regardless of sexual orientation. Read on for the best of lesbian relationships in TV and the lessons we learned from them.

Sex and the City: It’s ok if you can’t commit.

Although Samantha (Kim Cattrall) was eventually over the “talk, talk, talk” that replaced the sex in her relationship with Maria (Sonia Braga), you can’t deny that seeing her actually open her heart and let someone in was precious. At the end of the day, girl just couldn’t commit, regardless of if it was to a man or woman. Can’t blame her for trying. Not to mention, when she was out, she was proud: “Yes ladies, I’m a lesbian.” But she wouldn’t give up who she truly was for anyone, something that anyone in a relationship should take note of.

Source: Lesbihonest, Female Couples on TV Teach Us a Lot About Romance

Could Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June Lose Her Kids Amid Scandal?

10/27/2014 AT 08:00 AM EDT

Are the kids all right?

Following reports last week that June Shannon, matriarch of TLC’s once-hit show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is dating Mark Anthony McDaniel, a man who allegedly served time for molesting her eldest daughter Anna Cardwell, TLC swiftly pulled the plug on the family’s show.

Now, a spokesperson for child services in the family’s home state of Georgia says that in a case like Shannon’s, TV fame may not be the only thing she stands to lose.

“Generally speaking, when we receive a report that children are living around a sex offender … it would certainly rise to the level of concern of us looking into it,” Susan Boatwright of Georgia’s Division of Family and Child Services tells PEOPLE.

Shannon is mother and primary caregiver to the show’s star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson as well as Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon and Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, all minors. Her eldest, Anna, now 20, is married with a child of her own.

Because of privacy laws, Boatwright is unable to confirm any ongoing investigations into the allegations against Shannon, but says, “From our point of view, when there are young children who are not able to protect themselves that are in daily contact or living with a sex offender, someone would go out and assess the situation and decide whether the children can stay there or not. If we thought a child was in harm’s way in any way, shape or form, we would develop a safety plan and make sure the children are not around an offender.”

On Sunday, TMZ posted photos allegedly taken last month showing Shannon and McDaniel with Alana on a staircase together.

Shannon continues to claim that she and McDaniel are not romantically involved.

“It isn’t true, I promise,” she wrote on her Facebook page following the initial reports.

But her daughter Anna says she doesn’t know what to believe.

“I’m confused,” she told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview Saturday. “I’m hearing one story from Mama and another from somebody else.”

But as for the safety of her own child, 2-year-old Kaitlyn, she’s not taking any chances.

“I would not let [Mama] see Kaitlyn unless Mark is out of the picture … I don’t want him nowhere near my child.”

With reporting by EMILY STROHM

Could Honey Boo Boos Mama June Lose Her Kids Amid Scandal?
Source: Could Honey Boo Boo’s Mama June Lose Her Kids Amid Scandal?

14-Year-Old Girl Wounded in Washington School Shooting Dies

10/27/2014 AT 07:55 AM EDT

A 14-year-old girl who was wounded when a student opened fire inside a Washington state high school has died, raising the death toll in the shooting to three.

Gia Soriano died Sunday night, more than two days after she was shot, officials at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett said.

“We are devastated by this senseless tragedy,” her family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Dr. Joanne Roberts. “Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her.”

Roberts said Gia’s family was donating her organs for transplant.

Another girl was killed Friday when a popular freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle opened fire.

The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, died at the scene of a self-inflicted wound.

Three other students remain hospitalized, two in critical condition and one in serious condition.

Earlier Sunday, parents and students gathered in a gymnasium at the school for a community meeting, with speakers urging support and prayers and tribal members playing drums and singing songs. Fryberg was from a prominent Tulalip Indian tribes family.

Young people hugged each other and cried, and speakers urged people to come together during the gathering Sunday.

“We just have to reach for that human spirit right now,” said Deborah Parker, a member of the Tulalip Indian tribes.

“Our legs are still wobbly,” said Tony Hatch, a cousin of one of the injured students. “We’re really damaged right now.”

Of the wounded students, only 14-year-old Nate Hatch showed improvement, though he remained in serious condition in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Fifteen-year-old Andrew Fryberg also remained in critical condition in intensive care. Both are cousins of Jaylen Fryberg.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit remained in critical condition in intensive care at Providence Regional Medical Center.

The girl killed Friday hasn’t been officially identified.

Fryberg died in the attack, after a first-year teacher intervened. It’s unclear if he intentionally killed himself or if the gun went off in a struggle with a teacher.

Trying to ‘Make Sense of the Senselessness’

The makeshift memorial on a chain link fence by the school, which will be closed this week, kept growing Sunday. Balloons honoring the victims and the shooter adorn the fence along with flowers, stuffed toys and signs.

Meanwhile, the close-knit community on the nearby Tulalip Indian reservation struggled with the news that the shooter was a popular teenager from one of their more well-known families.

A tribal guidance counsellor said no one knows what motivated Fryberg.

“We can’t answer that question,” said Matt Remle, who has an office at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, which is 30 miles north of Seattle. “But we try to make sense of the senselessness.”

In the nearby community of Oso, where a mudslide this spring killed dozens, people planned to gather to write condolence letters and cards.

Remle said he knew Fryberg and the other students well.

“My office has been a comfort space for Native students,” he said. “Many will come by and have lunch there, including the kids involved in the shooting.”

They all were “really happy, smiling kids,” Remle said. “They were a polite group. A lot of the kids from the freshman class were close-knit. Loving.”

He added: “These were not kids who were isolated. They had some amazing families, and have amazing families.”

These factors make the shooting that much more difficult to deal with, “Maybe it would be easier if we knew the answer,” Remle said. “But we may never know.”

14 Year Old Girl Wounded in Washington School Shooting Dies
Source: 14-Year-Old Girl Wounded in Washington School Shooting Dies