Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Live from Hollywood (with commentary from New York)...

OK. So it sucks a bit not to be able to watch at home with my Lady. But the good news is that she'll get to watch with my mom. They are spending the week together doing girl stuff.

If you'll recall when we last left our intrepid dancers, Misty May Treanor was forced to withdraw with a gruesome Achilles tendon injury. She is resting at home after successful surgery.

Now Misty's withdrawal meant that nobody was eliminated after last week's performances. It also means that last week's scores and vote totals carry forward to this week. Here is how our leader board looks:

28 Brooke and Derek
25 Warren and Kym
24 Maurice and Cheryl
22 Toni and Alec
22 Lance and Lacey
21 Susan and Tony
21 Cody and Julianne
20 Rocco and Karina
16 Cloris and Corky

If you'll recall, it was Rocco and Karina who would have been eliminated last week.

Tonight's dances are Samba and Tango.

Samba is the party dance from Brazil's Rio Carnival characterized by effortless and carefree knee action, body sway, pendulum motion with light bouncing steps. One of my favorite movements is the Samba roll, which pulls the woman's body right against the man's in a rolling movement from the waste up. The step circles the dance floor. This is Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagorouitchenko.

Tango is a passionate, dramatic dance characterized by flat, level, and clipped movements with sharp head turns. In this dance, the knees should be slightly bent and the woman's head and shoulders should be pulled away from the man in an exaggerated lean. These are the pros from Strictly Come Dancing, demonstrating Argentine Tango from 2006.

Now let's see how our couples do.

Maurice and Cheryl dance Samba. We've got a little disco Samba with some funky hair. I'm not sure I like that. He's definitely loose and having a ball with the dance this week. Samba is the party dance and they captured the flavor and spirit. He had some good moments with his steps and hip action, but it was still a bit too loose and not polished enough. They had great energy, but the performance wasn't strong enough with technique. This was a case where I didn't care much for the gimmick with the hair, and the dance wasn't good enough to keep the gimmick from distracting me. And what's with covering up Cheryl's LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS?????? Judges say 6,7,7 for a total of 20.

Cody and Julianne dance Tango. Tango requires passion and drama and you must pay attention to the technique. They missed on a couple of those steps. I've never seen Julianne stumble like that. I didn't care for the music. They did a proper Tango from a content perspective, but I didn't like the dance. I think it was the music that bothered me. And the stumbles in those turns just threw it completely off for me. The costumes were a bit annoying as well, especially when they caused the missed steps and stumbles. Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23. I don't understand how Len and Bruno can throw 8's on that with the stumbles. It doesn't matter that it was the costume that caused the problem...they missed steps and staggered through a couple of turns.

Toni and Alec dance Samba. Alec has gone with strict Samba choreography, including the very difficult Samba rolls. There was a rough transition from the stage platform down the stairs to the ballroom floor, and I'm surprised to see her musicality seemed to be off. She looked a little lost with the choreography. That was not good. It wasn't sexy, it wasn't hot, it didn't have good energy. They have great chemistry together and Alec did everything he could to get her through it. But she had a bad night. I think the choreography was a bit too difficult for her and when she missed, it upset the whole dance. Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.

Cloris and Corky dance Tango. Ms Leachman is playing it traditional this week, with a touch of 1920's. Classy and dramatic. And may I say she's doing a fantastic job. Corky did an outstanding job with that choreography, and she put on her best Gloria Swanson/Nora Desmond face throughout. Ms Leachman was definitely ready for her close up in that Tango. She acted beautifully and danced wonderfully. Her flexibility was amazing too. And you know what? She deserves a good score because her technique was also very good. And there's no need to append "for an 82 year old woman" to that statement this week. Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22. Woooooooooooooooooo!

Rocco and Karina dance Samba. I hate that shirt. But he does get to peel off Karina's long poofy skirt and you know how I like that! He did not dance very well, but at least we get to see Karina's LEGS LEGS LEGS LEGS! He had some better moments toward the end of the dance, but I don't think that was good enough to keep him around another week. He did have fun, which I think is the best I can say about the dance. Judges say 6's across for a total of 18.

Susan and Tony dance Tango. This is a chance for her to channel Erika Kane and really make a dramatic statement. Her technique is solid with some very difficult footwork. The steps were so precise and she attacked it very well. There were a couple of times when her expression bothered me a bit...she almost looked bored rather than fierce. But there's no doubt that this was her finest dance. The dance didn't wow me, but she did a very good performance. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.

Brooke and Derek dance Samba. Oh my. Outstanding! Sexy! Hawt! Fun! Energetic! Powerful! Technically brilliant. That is how you Samba! That was amazing and one of the best Sambas I've seen on the show. And of course Len put on the cranky pants. He didn't like it because of the gimmick with Derek and the nerdy glasses at the beginning, and then he said it was too raunchy. Pppppppppppffffffffffttttttttt! That was a fantastic sexy Samba. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Lance and Lacey dance Tango. Despite the wardrobe and music, this dance has all the steps of a standard Tango. Lance's frame is the best I've seen it. His steps were precise and he nailed the character of the dance. They were agressive and dramatic. Lance was a strong lead and this was the first time I saw the confident performance skills that I have expected from him. And Mr Cranky Pants liked it! Woooooooooooooooo!!! This dance brought the balance of classic technique with a quirky modern twist. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Warren and Kym dance Samba. He didn't have the technique working for him this time, but he did have the charm. That was a fun dance and so enjoyable to watch. I just smile every time I watch the two of them dance. Now the choreography was a bit simple. The performance was fun, but it was a step down from prior routines and not quite up to the standard set by earlier dancers. The performance was terrific, but this was not one of his better dances. Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.

Here's our new leader board, with last week's and this week's scores combined.

54 Brooke and Derek
48 Lance and Lacey
47 Warren and Kym
45 Susan and Tony
44 Maurice and Cheryl
44 Cody and Julianne
44 Toni and Alec
38 Cloris and Corky
38 Rocco and Karina

Here's a funky twist. I went to do my voting and I got a message that said my time zone was closed! I have to wait and try at 11pm. So it's 5 votes for Lance and Lacey, with 4 votes for Warren and Kym. I suspect Pam will throw votes to Brooke and Derek, but I'm not sure if she'll split.

We shall see!

I hope I get back to the hotel in time for results. It's ballroom kids tonight!

Later babies!


  1. Anndi says:

    Thanksgiving screwed up my viewing habits... that plus turkey made me sleepy. All I saw was Lance and Lacey and WOOOOOOOOOOO! He done good!

    Too bad you couldn't watch with your lady. I know how much that sucks...

    I'm going to have to find some vids on the tube.

  1. Have a great time in NYC!

  1. go cloris!

    smiles, bee

  1. I am with Bruno I needed a smoke after that dance. I love Lance and Lacey and Warren and Kym but Brooke owns this year in my humble opinion. She looked like a professional last night. I split mine 3 ways with those three couples.

    And the band SUCKS for what they did to my beloved Dandy Warhols.

  1. Strictly Come Dancing started recently again in the UK, one of the few of this type of shows I enjoy. And for once, an older star - Cherie Lunghi - seems to be wiping the floor with the youngsters.
    Len Goodman is in ecstasy!

  1. Have fun honey. I hope Pam and your mom have a great girl week. Big hug. :)

  1. Jamie says:

    I'm still in mourning for last night's Dodger playoff game. Maybe both the dancers and the Dodgers will cheer me up tonight.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I love the Latin dances. Thanks for the review Trav. :)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I'm split between Lance and Brooke :o) Hope you are enjoying NYC, one of my favorite cities in the whole world.

  1. Mags says:

    Hi Trav-that's all. You always say such nice things on my blog and I feel bad because I don't watch the show so I don't ever contribute. But I want to let ya know I still read. :)

  1. Travis says:

    Ann: So SYTYCDC airs on Thursday with results on Friday? That's an odd schedule.

    Lois: Thanks! It's going well so far.

    Bee: She's doing great, but she may be reaching the limit now.

    Starr: I have to agree that Brooke has stepped to the front.

    Anthony: I'll bet he is! Len just doesn't like the young'uns much, does he?

    Sandee: So far so good!

    Jamie: It's one game at a time now.

    Akelamalu: We agree on the Latin dances.

    Ivanhoe: Brooke is terrific! I think she'll be there at the end.

    Mags: I always enjoy when you drop by, and I understand that not everyone has a comment for the dancing posts. No worries!

  1. Anndi says:

    Um.. Nope, it airs on Wednesday. With the results show on Thursday.

    That was an odd response though...

  1. Julie says:

    Great review Trav...and all I can say is GO BROOKE! Wooo!

  1. Travis says:

    Ann: I see. I got confused. And I was in an odd mood.

    Julie: That's what Pam said!