Cue that theme music

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 by Travis Cody in

It's the Final Four and we're live from Hollywood!

We're down to our Olympic Champion, our NFL Man of the Year, our Broadway Baby, and our Chilean Airman with the clipped wing.

I was chatting with Julie just before the show, and we came up with an interesting thought about where each of the celebrities is at this stage in the competition. One of Julie's favorite pros is Edyta, but she said that she hadn't been as impressed with Jason & Edyta over the last couple of dances.

My theory about that is that both Edyta and Mark ended up with celebrities that started the competition with a solid advantage over the other competitors, but they haven't steadily shown improvement. Kristi has been excellent every week, and fairly or not, more is expected of her with each dance. When she seems not to deliver, it can be disappointing. Same with Jason.

But both Cheryl and Tony understand how to teach. They both are able to grow with their celebrity partners, bringing them along steadily until suddenly they blossom. Although Cristian and Marissa may not be the better dancers of the four remaining celebrities, we as viewers see and appreciate the improvement.

We'll see if that translates into the voting.

Dances are chosen this week by random drawing, and we're back to no away we go!

Jason and Edyta dance Foxtrot. This is the dance where he uses his height to maximum effect. His elegance and charm come across, as do his skills as a parnter. The choroegraphy emphasizes his lines. They danced very well, but we thought the choreography was quite safe. But even with the safe choreography, they were classy and smooth and they told a nice story. Judges say 9,10,9 for a total of 28. I don't know about the 10, but it was enjoyable.

Marissa and Tony dance Quick Step. The footwork was a little slower than we would have liked, although that could have been because the choreography was quite intricate and precise. Bruno suggested that they missed a step, but we didn't see that. We did see that they came out of hold a couple of times. The performance was fun to watch. Judges say 9,9,8 for a total of 26.

Cristian and Cheryl dance Viennese Waltz. The bad arm actually helps his frame a bit when they are in hold. It keeps him focused on his technique...I'm sure it's painful if he bends it the wrong way. And really, we wouldn't be able to tell that he was injured if we didn't already know. That was an intricate routine with complicated choreography. It was romantic and elegant. We really enjoyed that performance and the story they told. Judges say 9's across for a total of 27. Well, the judges said that it had the wow factor but I guess that doesn't make it perfect.

Kristi and Mark dance Tango. Sharp, precise, snapped off movement. The dance had complicated choreography, but it didn't overwhelm the dance this week. They were less focused on getting the movement correct, so they could just dance it freely. It was dramatic and passionate, and really well performed. We think this was a lucky choice for them, because Tango emphasizes how good Kristi's technique is. Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29. We're not sure what bothered Len.

For Latin round, Len goes to the couples' rehearsals for his annual master class. And he gives them each a step that they must perform.

Jason and Edyta dance Paso Doble. At least this time the music had a Latin flavor. The dance had passion and aggression. We enjoyed it much more this time. The choreography was difficult. The judges said nothing about the lift...on one of the spins toward the end, her feet came off the floor and that's supposed to be a no no. The dance was enjoyable, but not special Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.

Marissa and Tony dance Rumba. She's still struggling just a bit with her hips. Her legs are so stiff. We liked that there was movement and dancing, and not so much posing. It was romantic, and technically we thought it was pretty good, with the exception of some of the hip action. They had some tough luck with the dance choices, because neither dance best showed off how far she has come as a dancer. But we did enjoy the performance. Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26. We think the 8 is low, with Carrie Ann just being stingy.

Cristian and Cheryl dance Samba. This was the dance on which he was injured a couple weeks ago. That was a lot of fun, as Samba should be. That had lots of content and complicated choreography. He was a bit tentative to begin, but then he attacked the dance and did really well. There were a few problems with footwork, but he overcame them with energy and passion. Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29. As much as we enjoyed the dance, it wasn't perfect.

Kristi and Mark dance Jive. The first time they danced Jive, they scored 30. My goodness that was intricate and difficult. There were a couple of transitions that we thought were awkward, probably because there was so much content. They really went for it though. It had basic Jive steps, plus the really tough stuff. It wasn't perfect, but it was super technical and we enjoyed the performance. Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.

Here's the leader board:

57 Kristi & Mark
56 Cristian & Cheryl
55 Jason & Edyta
52 Marissa & Tony

This just in...after loyalty to Jason & Edyta for much of the season, Pam has been won over by Cristian & Cheryl. She cast her votes for them this week. Wow! I stayed with Kristi & Mark.

We think that the final 3 should be Kristi, Cristian, and Jason. But it's anybody's game right now because of the voters.


  1. Turnbaby says:

    Still in retirement--packing a kitchen can do that to a gal ;-)

  1. Julie says:

    So Pam and I switched couples nearly at the same time, huh?

    I saw Edyta's legs come up during that spin too.....I obviously don't know all the rules...but I wondered about that.

    Oh! Thanks for the link! *smooch*

  1. Bond says:

    I actually voted for Jason last night!

    HEY TRAVIS! I saw the missed step by Marissa it was during the long run across the stage and he 'hopped' but she didn't...(OK, it is not a hop, but whatever you call it)

    I also thought I saw Edyta's foot come off the floor, but it looked more like a bounce to me than a lift... like when her toe hit, it bounced up for a second.

    To me Kristie had the advantage to start...Sure Jason is a pro football player, but I saw very little dance ability in the beginning. And Marissa, being a Broadway star and having to sing and dance - well I think she ever had a slight edge on Jason in the beginning

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I voted for Cristian & Jason. Kristi is too good ;o). I even used hubby's phone to have more votes.

  1. Came over for some cake. Don't worry I saved a great big piece for Empress Bee.

    I hopt the best team wins. Have a great day Travis. :)

  1. Marsha says:

    Seemed like all of them had a bobble here or there, and I like some dances more than others. But the judges ranked everyone pretty close so the public vote will end up making the difference. I think it'll be Krisi, Christian and Jason. Christian seems to have shown the most marked improvement, but honestly, any of those three could win.....although I'm betting it gets down to Kristi and Christian.

  1. Travis says:

    Turn: That was probably more fun anyway!

    Julie: Yeah...her feet came off the floor twice.

    V: I figured I just missed the bad step for Marissa. But the judges have been so nit-picky in the past, and called it a lift when those feet come off the floor. So I was expecting the ding for it.

    Ivanhoe: Now that's how to maximize your voice!

    Sandee: I've always got plenty of CAKE in reserve!

    Marsha: We didn't care for the pairing of Quick Step and Rumba, and we thought that put Marissa at a disadvantage right off the top.

  1. Grandy says:

    I think they've all come a really long way. Kristi did have an advantage because she is so graceful, but she's got some good skillz. :)

  1. Leigh says:

    If Marisa is out. I am for Kristie. Although I think she has an unfair advantage with the coreography.