Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our remaining 6 pairs are split into teams to perform either a group Mambo or Tango. And of course they each have their individual dance.

Ruh roh. During introductions, Tony came down the stairs by himself. Melissa's rib injury, plus complications from treatment, forced her to the sidelines. Damn.

Gilles and Cheryl dance Lindyhop. After struggling with the jive, we have no idea what to expect here. The choreography is controlled frenzy. Cheryl made a story out of the dance and we definitely enjoyed it. It was full of content...wall to wall movement and everything was smoothly connected. Plus, there were so many tricks and lifts. Gilles had a cortezone shot in his shoulder this week and he seemed to do ok with those tricks. It was a fun dance, and but for a little footwork bobble it was outstanding. Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.

Kim and Derek dance Paso Doble. I'll tell you right now...if Kim and Derek make final three and her fans are watching and voting, she could sneak in and win. She has the whole package. With Derek's excellent choregraphy and her performance skills, she has developed into a real contender. That was a fine Paso. It was passionate, aggressive, full of fire and spark. She owned that dance. She is in it to win it y'all. Her technique was amazing. She had posture, frame, footwork...and she put it all together into a brilliant dance. Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.

Chuck and Julianne dance Cha Cha Cha. They had a break out Samba last week, and Cha Cha Cha is a style that can build on that success. It's a cheeky and flirty dance with similar hip action. Somebody has completely loosened the screw that was rigidly holding Chuck's hips. That was really a good performance. I think he also finally figured out how to keep his natural pigeon toes from turning in. His frame was good and he's really dancing relaxed. I have to agree that his arms still need some work, as he still seems to be placing them rather than letting the movement flow through them. But he's getting there. Judges say 9,9,8 for a total of 26.

Shawn and Mark dance Samba. Mark's mom Shirley came in for rehearsal this week. She is a major player in dance. Shawn's personality is really starting to come through. It's almost like she's growing up right here on the show. She was terrific in the spins. Again, her body control is incredible. As good as that was though, there was a spark missing. She hit all the steps, her technique was solid, but I think the choreography was a bit heavy on spins without enough steps for her to focus on hip action. Judges say 10,8,9 for a total of 27. Now that was all over the board.

Melissa and Tony were scheduled to dance Jive. She is expected to be able to continue on the show, despite the rib injury. But since she couldn't dance during the live show, the judges had to score the final rehearsal performance. If she had been healthy, that dance would have been amazing. But since they were simply marking the dance, they didn't have the full on performance. She missed a couple of steps twoard the end, which wouldn't have been a big deal during a regular rehearsal. And it looked like she started to run out of gas. That really sucks. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. Very unfortunate. If she makes it through to the round where they can choose a previous style to repeat, I wonder if they try this one. I'd love to see them perform it when she's healthy.

Ty and Chelsie dance Salsa. That was terrific! He's not the greatest technical dancer, but he puts everything into it and has a great time. That dance was so entertaining. He was a strong lead, and he moved Chelsie through the entire dance. His hip action was average. But he worked the dance and performed. He's the best of "the rest", those who didn't have a chance to win but gave it their all and provided the fun and entertainment. Ty is also the dancer who has come the farthest with the least. Judges say 9,7,8 for a total of 24.

Here's our leader board prior to the team dances:

28 Kim and Derek
27 Gilles and Cheryl
27 Shawn and Mark
26 Chuck and Julianne
24 Ty and Chelsie
21 Melissa and Tony

Here we go with teams. These can be kind of tough to judge, depending on how they dances are choreographed. Basically what we try to watch for is synchronicity and teamwork, and then for who stands out during the solos.

Team Mambo is Chuck and Julianne, Shawn and Mark, and Tony with Lacey stepping in for Melissa. HA! The ending was hilarious! Bwahahahahahahahaaaa! But the dance itself...the team elements were electric! The synchronicity was fantastic. The solos had classic Mambo elements. We smiled through the whole routine. It was entertaining, and the pairs of Shawn & Mark and Chuck & Julianne were solid. Kudos to Lacey for stepping in for Melissa. Judges say 8,8,9 for a total of 25, which will be added to each couple's individual score.

Team Tango is Kim and Derek, Ty and Chelsie, and Gilles and Cheryl. Ty was outstanding in that solo. And this was by far the better group dance. Kim had a minor foot bobble in her solo, but other than that she was fierce. And Gilles brought back the sex on a stick...Pam's words, if you'll recall...despite surprising issues with footwork. But it was the synchronization at the end that truly made this the better of the two routines. I wouldn't have expected Ty to hold his own next to Gilles and Derek, but he did. That was powerful and aggressive, and perfectly together. Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28. The 10 is too can't ignore Kim's footwork stumble.

Here's the adjusted leader board:

56 Kim and Derek
55 Gilles and Cheryl
52 Shawn and Mark
52 Ty and Chelsie
51 Chuck and Julianne
46 Melissa and Tony

What a great show!

This is the last week for me to split votes, with 3 going to Melissa and 3 going to Shawn. I have to commit next week. Pam is settled on Gilles.

Tonight we have the second round of the new pro competition. Plus, every elimination from here forward is going to be tough.

Four games down, 12 to go. My Lakers finished off the Jazz tonight to take the best of 7 first round series 4 games to 1. Next up is the winner of the series between Houston and Portland. The Rockets currently lead that series 3 games to 1, with game 5 tonight in Portland.

My Lakers showed a disturbing tendency to lose interest for stretches against Utah. I'd like to see that corrected prior to the next series.


  1. Thom says:

    You are so right about Ty. He is one of the most improved dancers and puts everything into it that he can. His Tango at the end, he did what Len said and hit it right on. I so loved team Mambo's end. It was excellent. Even Chuck seemed to get more into it which is about time. Shawn if you ask me looks very stiff and out of her comfort zone big gime. I feel so sorry for Melissa, who I want to win outright. I think this hurt her, in more ways than one this week, but I'm afraid because of past history Ty is going to be the one to go. Sad. The rest are all really coming into their own and doing much better. It isn't going to be a runaway I thought it was in the early weeks.

  1. barb says:

    Trav - do you/did you ballroom dance? You obviously have quite a passion for it!

  1. DrillerAA says:

    Unfortunately, Melissa may be going home tonight. Not being able to compete could cost her a ton of viewer votes. Otherwise I would say that a cowboy is going home tonight, either Ty or Chuck, but I fear that Melissa cannot garner enough sympathy votes to stay.
    Besides, what if the injury doesn't heal and she's out again next week? That certainly can't continue either.

  1. Marsha says:

    What a shame for Melissa, you could see it in her face during their practice that was judges that she was in pain. I rather thought that she might win this, and what a shame for Tony, he's been so close a time or two, but no win. Hubby's had a similar injury and says it takes more than a week or so to recover.

    How about that Ty! He's lasted much longer than I ever expected him to and the past couple of weeks he's been so much better. But you are now getting down to the cream and somebody has to go this week....

    Could be interesting tonight.....

  1. Julie says:

    It's reached the point that I'm going to be sad no matter who leaves. Although Gilles is an excellent dancer I feel more connected to Ty. And although Kim is amazing I feel more connected to Melissa. Chuck and Shawn...they're great too! GAH! Like I said...I'm gonna be sad.

  1. Ah...the old cortizone in the shoulder thing. A dancer's best friend?

  1. I heard someone is out with a cracked rib.

  1. Dianne says:

    I thought I was settled on gilles but kim just gets better and better! I have a decision to make

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Do you and the Mrs go dancing Trav?

  1. Bond says:

    How does a stumble like Lil Kim's still earn a 10? Bruno you are wrong there.

    Though Team Tango definitely was better.

  1. Travis says:

    Thom: I'm glad there are so many strong couples at the end. Makes for a much better show.

    Barb: I can Waltz, and I used to be able to Jive. I can do a few Latin dances. We hope to get back to class later this year.

    Drilleraa: I'm worried that you're right. It would be a shame, but sometimes injuries happen.

    Marsha: I'll be really disappointed for Tony if Melissa can't continue. But I'm not ready to give up on them yet!

    Julie: It's really a good group of 6.

    Julia: Perhaps Gilles' best friend!

    Charles: That was Melissa. She has a fracture.

    Dianne: I could be talked into voting for Kim. She's really doing well.

    Akelamalu: We haven't in a long time. We want to get back to class.

    NNG: Last night was a good one to catch!

    V: I know. Sometimes they let themselves get caught up in it.

  1. I missed last watching now...and reading your recaps.

    thanks trav.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I'm hoping to 'drag' MWM to a class when I retire - he's resisting at present! :0