Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's the semifinals and it's live from Hollywood!

My internet connection was wonky all last evening, so I didn't get a chance to make rounds. But at least I was able to get this posted!

Our Final Four dance both a ballroom and a Latin.

But first, how about a pro demonstration? We have Dmitry, Louis, Alec, Karina, Chelsie, and dangit...another blonde I didn't recognize. The choreography was a sample of Latin styles by Louis van Amstel.

And now we have a retrospective of the dance that each pair feels was a break through dance in each style.

Melissa and Tony felt that Foxtrot was the dance where she finally understood how to hold her frame, and Samba was the dance where she started to feel the Latin hips.

Gilles and Cheryl agreed that their Foxtrot was missing the proper rise and fall. They thought that they performed through a few technical stumbles in Paso Doble.

Shawn and Mark thought the Quickstep was where her personality really came across. In the Paso Doble, she combined character with technique into a controlled and polished performance.

Ty and Chelsie thought the Quickstep was the dance that best showed Ty's ability to hold frame and keep his feet under him. And the Lindyhop was the Latin dance that shocked the entire ballroom because of how he embraced the looseness of the dance.

Now here comes the ballroom round.

Melissa and Tony dance Quickstep. Her biggest issue this season has been her feet. We loved the smooth sway they had from move to move. This was a light and frivolous kind of dance. And I mean frivolous in a good way. It had tons of footwork and from what we could see, she had her feet in order throughout. That was outstanding! Big time props to Tony for his choreography, which was brilliant. We disagree with Bruno and Carrie Ann...they said it lacked pizzazz, but we thought that dance was fun and frisky and playful and extraordinarily well danced. Judges say 9,10,9 for a total of 28. Ppppppppfffffffffftttttttttt to Carrie Ann and Bruno.

Gilles and Cheryl dance Waltz. Gilles has often had trouble taking the smolder out of his ballroom styles and replacing it with sophistication. But he had the right character in this dance. Cheryl put together some beautiful choreography and they made some wonderful lines. He held his frame throughout and they told the romantic fairy tale, just as we like it. It was elegant and classy. The steps were smooth, and he was a passionate lead within the integrity of the style. Judges say 10's across for a total of 30. Well earned.

Shawn and Mark dance Argentine Tango. She built on the passion and aggression she showed last week in the Paso. This dance was precise. The movements were sharp and crisp. She nailed the character and those lifts were incredible. They hit some fantastic lines. Her technical proficiency is almost always excellent, and that served her very well with this dance. We thought both last week and this week that they had some difficult music, but Mark overcame that with inspired choreography. Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.

Ty and Chelsie dance Viennese Waltz. Gimme smooth. Gimme rise and fall. Gimme fairy tale. Well, there were a few good moments. The rise and fall was good. But the dance looked rushed and because it was rushed it just wasn't smooth. It was ok, but it wasn't up to a semifinal standard. Chelsie deserves props for getting him this far and he deserves so much credit for how far he's come. He's charming. We agree with was sort of like chasing flies. Len kept trying to lobby for the performance, but we just can't overlook the mistakes. Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25. The dance was good for the two of them, but not good enough for that kind of score in the semifinal. Not when you recall what the other 3 pairs did.

Here's our leader board after ballroom:

30 Shawn and Mark
30 Gilles and Cheryl
28 Melissa and Tony
25 Ty and Chelsie

Latin round time!

Melissa and Tony dance Cha Cha Cha. She danced that like a pro. That was brilliant. She had every step, every move, and every attitude in a perfect Cha Cha Cha. The judges are picking it apart though and we're not understanding what they didn't like. They said it didn't have sustained energy throughout and that she seemed unsure of her footwork. We didn't see any of that. We saw a confident and cheeky performance, which was right in line with a proper Cha Cha Cha. We didn't see anything wrong at all with that dance. Judges say 9's across for a total of 27. OK. But we still don't understand what the judges saw that we didn't. I guess we'll chalk that up to our amateur eyes.

Gilles and Cheryl dance Salsa. There is no doubt that the Latin styles are his strength. The proof is a goo puddle next to me. That was definitely sizzling hawt. They have thrown down the gauntlet. They are after that trophy. And Bruno has the quip of the season with Lil Kim is alive and well and hiding in Gilles pants. And Len said he wished he had an 11 paddle. Gilles definitely had the hips going, but it was more than that. It was a complete dance with character and moves and performance. Outstanding! Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.

Shawn and Mark dance Jive. Personality in spades! I love to watch her let loose. That was too much fun. I've found in some of these upbeat dances that Mark tends to dance too big for her, but in this dance she matched him move for move. Everything came together in this dance. The song was terrific and I thought the choreography was right on, although the judges picked on it a bit and Mark did not appear to care for the criticism. To be fair, the dance did seem like a mix of Lindyhop, Jitterbug, and Jive movements and that may have been an issue for the judges. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26. I don't get the 8.

Ty and Chelsie dance Samba. He was actually light on his feet when he needed to be in that dance. He didn't have the hip action, but he wasn't nearly as wooden as we expected. The Samba roll was actually pretty well done. He did all the moves and connected them pretty well. But as with the first dance, this was not up to the standard that the other dancers set. It was a good effort for him, but let's be realistic now. Can I get a hearty huzzah for Chelsie? The rookie did a terrific job with a partner that probably should have gone out in the first couple of weeks based on ability. Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.

And here is our semifinal leader board:

60 Gilles and Cheryl
56 Shawn and Mark
55 Melissa and Tony
48 Ty and Chelsie

Well kids, we didn't understand a few of the scores. Guess we need to watch the dances back and see if we see things the same way. All my votes went to Melissa and Pam pulled herself together long enough to vote for Gilles.

Results tonight!

Hopefully my wonky internet will be corrected and I can make some rounds. Sorry to miss y'all!


  1. Anonymous says:

    What I think Travis they are doing, is making sure that we still remember that Gilles was the leader for so many weeks and they wanted to make sure that they got him back up there so we have a final next week that means something. You know what I mean? He hasn't been in the lead for several weeks if I remember correctly and they need to have him back on top to make it that there is going to be a good final. Ty has to go this week. Unless his fan base really steps it up. If he doesn't I think it will be Shawn. I think it's going to be Melissa, Gilles, Shawn and Ty in that order. Aloha my friend :)

  1. DrillerAA says:

    In all honesty I think Ty has already been here one week too long. He is now in way over his head and I don't think that the public can save him at this point.
    Gilles points were well earned. The waltz was about as elegant as it can get.
    Like you, I didn't understand some of the picking on Melissa. I thought she matched Gilles step for step last night. It should be a really good final next week.

  1. Gilles can definitely make me melty, too!

  1. Dianne says:

    As I mentioned to you before I had switched from Gilles to Melissa becasue I think Tony deserves a win and Melissa had overcome starting late and an injury.

    But last night changed that for me. I did see what the judges were talking about, at least in performance quality. I found her dances flat and unemotional. I know I don't know enough proper steps to judge as a pro but I know what feels good and watching Gilles come back like a lion felt good.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Awesome review as always :o) I hope that Ty is the one leaving tonight. He's just not in the same league as the other three...

  1. I really enjoyed last night show....I think we all assume Ty is leaving next...the real question is who will leave after that...

  1. Thanks for the review. I missed it.

  1. I always intend to watch this show from start to finish every season and I don't. I need to get with the program!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I hope your favourites make the final :)

  1. Julie says:

    Very good Travis! I was hoping you caught the Bruno silly statement for the season. Too funny! I figure Ty will be leaving also...but he is just adorable!

  1. I still say it was the song choice that brought the energy level down on Melissa's dance. It just didn't work for me and it felt like it was a beat or two off the choreography. And it was totally NOT the dancers. That song was just odd.

  1. Dancing? Count me out, Trav - I have two left feet!