Pia Toscano is an American Idol contestant who was shockingly eliminated in the Top 9 of American Idol 10 . For the first time, a contestant of the current Idol season ( 2011 ) will perform on rival show “Dancing With the Stars.” Rumor has it that Pia is dating Mark Ballas, a pro dancer who competes on “Stars.”
Ballas seems to be continually linked to some celebrity or semi-celebrity. He was reportedly with one of his dance partners (Sabrina Bryan) a while back, only to suddenly be in a relationship with Joanna Pacitti, a contestant who was competing for a spot on American Idol. Pacitti was found to have been too closely involved with certain producers of the show (professionally, not romantically) and was eliminated. With no public announcement of a split, Ballas allegedly hooked up with Joanna while Sabrina was on a trip out of the country.
Some may be surprised that both shows are allowing such a performance. In fact, I am surprised that these kinds of cross-promotions do not happen more often. I have always considered it silly for shows to avoid mentioning each other’s names. If anything, it would probably help each show instead of hurt it. The only time a show or product should fear the competition is if they are competing for a customer who will only buy one of a product. In this case, however, many fans of these shows either love both or love one and hate the other. It is unlikely that these kinds of cross-promotions would hurt either brand or break an allegiance to either show. So I don’t see this as a surprise at all from a marketing perspective.
There is no word yet on what Pia Toscano will sing on “Dancing With the Stars,” but smart-money odds are it will definitely be a ballad, as that is what Pia loved to remind us every week on Idol that she loves to do. Mark Ballas will be doing one of the special professional dances with Karina Smirnoff while Pia sings. Karina recently made her own headlines with the announcement that she is in the current issue of Playboy Magazine.
Note, however, that headlines proclaiming Mark as Pia’s “boyfriend” don’t seem to be confirmed. He did show up tonight at American Idol and was briefly interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, pretty much only saying that Casey Abrams was his favorite contestant this season. Ballas didn’t even mention Pia.
Pia ended up singing “I’ll Stand By You” on Dancing With the Stars. This was a repeat of the first song that Toscano sang during the voting rounds of American Idol 10.
TMZ Story of Date Between Mark Ballas and Pia Toscano
People: Mark Ballas and Joanna Pacitti Get Together
DailyMail.co.uk Story on Pia Performing on Dancing with the Stars
RealityTVWorld: Story About the Breakup Between Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan