Cue that theme music

Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Live from Hollywood, it's the second night of the three night premier of Dancing with the Stars!

I got off to a bit of a rough start with my reviews, and I apologize. I should have given you a demonstration of the two dances. Do forgive me.

The men danced Fox Trot and Cha Cha Cha.

Foxtrot is a smooth and elegant dance characterized by long and continuous flowing movements. International style is done mostly in close standard hold, while the American version allows for dancing apart and side by side. Think Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Or think Marcus and Karen Hilton. I return to them again, because they are simply the most elegant and best examples I can find. This is from 1998.

Cha Cha Cha is characterized by hips rolled off a straight weighted leg and a bent free leg. The hips settle naturally in the direction of the weighted leg. This is from the 100th Monkey Showcase in Seattle 2006.

On Monday our male pros opened the show. This time it's our female pros in all their sequined glory, with a little Latin flavor to She's A Lady. YEOWZA! These women are HAWT! Pass me a drool towel.

Our Lady celebrities and their partners take the stage, also dancing both a ballroom and a Latin style as the gentlemen did last on Monday. The ladies dance Viennese Waltz and Salsa.

The Viennese Waltz is one of my favorite dances, characterized by simple and elegant rotational movement around the floor. This is Karen and Marcus Hilton, who are nine time professional international standard world champions.

Salsa is characterized by weight changes on the beat, shifting weight in the lower body while the upper body holds level and unaffected by the movement. This is Juan Gonzales and Lucia Ruiz.

Let's see how our female celebrities do.

Debi Mazar, actor, and Maks Chmerkovskiy dance Salsa. I had no idea what to expect from her. I'm not that familiar with her work. She was a bit awkward, especially during spins. She didn't have control of the movement, so she wasn't able to stop herself when she turned. And then when she got lost a couple of times, she did that little bunny hop with her know what I mean? That little flex of the fingers and shake that says "Dangit!" She needs to learn to get on the balls of her feet, and to listen to the music. Maks didn't spare the choreography and she had some trouble keeping up. She was really focused on getting the steps. She needs to relax and trust Maks, and just dance it. I could see the potential in the rehearsal footage. Now she just needs to gain some confidence that she can do this. Judges say 6,5,5 for a total of 16.

Melissa Joan Hart, actor, and Mark Ballas dance Viennese Waltz. Ahhh...David Cook. This is such a perfect song for Waltz. I want to see her finish out the lines and extend her arms through her hands through her fingers. She was much too stiff and she just the "not quite" side of elegant and graceful. She didn't seem secure in turns. I was actually surprised. I had it in my head that she would be better than that. She was very heavy in her feet and unsure of her steps. As Mark said, she wore her shoulders as earrings. She has to figure out how to relax. Waltz isn't easy, but it should be made to look effortless and that looked like a struggle. Judges say 6's across for a total of 18. I don't think it was that good. But I like her and I hope she improves because I like her personality.

Mya, singer/songwriter, and Dmitry Chaplin dance Viennese Waltz. She has a tap background. I am always impressed by Dmitry's choreography. Her lines are beautiful in her arms...that's what I mean about extending. I'd like to see more toe point when she when she kicks her leg up on a spin. This was a beautiful dance. She had a few issues with posture, and some unfortunate moments with bent legs. But this is all correctible stuff. Overall I thought she was elegant and classy. She and Dmitry are very well suited to dance together. I do agree just a bit with Len about wanting more dancing in hold. But the dancing that they did together was beautifully done. I think Len put on the Cranky Pants and took the scolding a little too far. Regardless of any perceived departures from true Viennese Waltz...and there were many...that dance connected with viewers and was very well performed. Judges say 8,5,8 for a total of 21. The 5 is insulting to the artistry of the choreography and I suspect won't fuss voters that much. I agree that the pros must maintain enough competition content, but they are not constrained to a particular set of rules other than no lifts. And when a dance is artfully choreographed, it's disrespectful not to acknowledge how well it was danced. Pull a point off if you must, but that dance deserved 8's across for how well it was performed.

Kathy Ireland, model and entrepreneur, and Tony Dovolani dance Salsa. Tony has a great attitude. Kathy says she doesn't know how to dance, and Tony replies that she'll have no bad habits. Regrettably, she also doesn't appear to have any rhythm in rehearsal footage. Wait...hips are working as she starts the dance and she is stepping it. She's a little timid, but she's got the hip action. A lot of times you'll see the celebrities forget about their hips when they go from move to move. But she maintained that swivel throughout the dance. She wasn't amazing, but she was not a train wreck. What she needs to do is get some confidence and let loose. It wasn't hot or sexy. She did pretty well for the first time, and for someone who admittedly didn't know how to dance. Well done. Judges say 6,5,5 for a total of 16.

Natalie Coughlin, Olympic champion swimmer, and Alec Mazo dance Salsa. Oh yeah baby! Now we're talking hip action. She has to continue to work on relaxing her face and she got a little bit lost toward the end. It blew her concentration enough, and she kind of ran out of steam. She started off really strong though. I think she's got a lot of potential. She made me smile throughout the whole dance. She has to be confident that she can do this, because she can. But again, it was a sweet and fun performance. It didn't sizzle. Not a hot and sexy Salsa, but a fun one. Judges say 7,6,6 for a total of 19.

Macy Gray, singer/songwriter, and Jonathan Roberts dance Viennese Waltz. She's got a bit of sass. She's not as graceful as I'd like to see. and she's playing the dance with attitude. She can do this if she takes it seriously. She had a lot of fun with it and I really enjoyed wathing that performance. She was vivacious and charming. Carrie Ann had the words I wanted...Macy's dancing seemed fascinating, genuine, innocent, and pure. There was a joy about the way she moved. It's kind of attractive. She is not going to be the best technical dancer. But she's beautiful and engaging and she just threw herself into the dance. I think Jonathan is a perfect partner for her. She became more elegant the longer the dance went on. And then backstage she blew off the cute and vulnerable act by forgetting herself and speaking words that had to be silenced! HA! Judges say 6,4,5 for a total of 15.

Joanna Krupa, model, and Derek Hough dance Salsa. Here's our sexy pair. And the dance started off much hotter than some of the others. Then she stumbled a bit and lost her focus for a couple of beats. I felt like I saw too many little mistakes for this dance to sustain any kind of heat. She definitely has potential. When she didn't stumble, she was able to keep her hips working. Derek's choreography gave her moments to sizzle, but overall I didn't think that dance was as good as the judges thought it was. I couldn't get passed a couple of stumbles. Joanna is definitely hot looking, but let's not let her looks overshadow the dancing. She had more confidence than the other ladies, and that made the dance look so much better than the other Salsa's that we've seen. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. I think that's a bit high. I thought Mya's dance was of higher performance quality.

Kelly Osbourne, actor and singer, and Louis van Amstel dance Viennese Waltz. HA! Louis meets Ozzy. Bwahahahahahahaaaa! I really really want her to be good. She looks stunning. Oh my. She forgot a few steps, but it didn't matter. The look on her face was priceless. I got a chill. It's the same thing I felt watching little Louie Vito last night. Kelly Osbourne...Princess. She was just beautiful. Ozzy and Sharon were in the ballroom. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed that performance. It was just a sweet and elegant moment. I bow to Louis van Amstel. This was not the best Viennese Waltz I have ever seen, but it was among the finest fairy tales I have seen on this show. I loved that performance. Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23. Outstanding. Carrie Ann took off for Kelly's foot coming off the floor in a spin.

And now comes the dance relays.

First group is Natalie & Alec, Kathy & Tony, Joanna & Derek, and Debi & Maks dancing Fox Trot. Natalie was elegant, but sometimes she cut her arms a bit too short. Kathy was sophisticated, classy, and long, but a bit awkward. Joanna was a little too stiff in her arms and didn't seem as elegant or smooth to me. Debi was regrettably clumsy. Hmmmm. I think I liked Kathy best in that one. Judges say 4 points to Kathy & Tony, 6 points to Debi & Maks, 8 points to Natalie & Alec, and 10 points to Joanna & Derek.

Second group is Kelly & Louis, Macy & Jonathan, Melissa & Mark, and Mya & Dmirty dancing Cha Cha Cha. Macy had a careless sultry quality. Melissa was a bit timid with the sexiness, but looked like she had fun. Mya smoked it in a professional caliber performance. But Kelly has hooked me with her charm and ability. Judges say 4 points to Macy & Jonathan, 6 points to Melissa & Mark, 8 points to Kelly & Louis, and 10 points to Mya & Dmitry.

Here's our complete leader board after two nights of most enjoyable work from our celebrities and pros.

34 Joanna and Derek
32 Aaron and Karina
31 Mya and Dmitry
31 Kelly and Louis
30 Donny and Kym
29 Mark and Lacey
27 Louie and Chelsie
27 Natalie and Alec
24 Melissa and Mark
22 Debi and Maks
22 Chuck and Anna T
20 Tom and Cheryl
20 Kathy and Tony
19 Ashley and Edyta
19 Michael and Anna D
19 Macy and Jonathan

We split our votes between Kelly and Mya.

And that's it for the first two nights of performances. Have you got a favorite yet?

Tune in for results tonight. Two couples will be eliminated.


  1. barb says:

    I actually watched a little of this last night, but fell asleep after Macy. It's early, they'll all improve, no doubt.

  1. Dianne says:

    I am a big fan of Macy and Debi Mazar for their work - not so much their dancing here LOL

    Kelly is enchanting, I watched the Osbourne show, I love Oz and Sharon so I felt like I was watching my little girl blossom
    She's lovely

    I know Maya is better and Joanne is too but they have no soul to me

    Oh - almost forgot
    Debi is perfect for Max, their rehearsal footage will be fun

    thanks for starting off the season in your usual grand style Trav
    I can't believe the detail you capture

  1. Marsha says:

    There are several people on here that I'm not familiar with, but was impressed by a few of them. Kelly, wow, did a good job out of the gate...and mom and dad were very proud!!

    Mya, Mark, Joanna, Donny, they all have potential.

    Let the dancing begin!!

  1. Bond says:

    This was a very interesting night of dance.

    I did not get the same vibe from Macy that the judges and you did. Kathy disappointed me. I guess I presumed someone who had modeled would have more flow to themselves and her comment that she never wore heels shocked me.

    You nailed it with your email last week Travis. Kelly not only looks the part - last night she showed she can PLAY the part.

    I thought she was the best last evening.

    My guess is that Macy and Tom go home tonight. Though Debbie could be out...I do not see she or Macy having big fan bases.

  1. Linda says:

    Forgot to watch again last night (if I'm not at work, I'm never in front of the TV it seems) so I'm glad you have such great recaps and reviews here. Makes me wish I had seen Kelly's dance, though!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Oh I love the Salsa. We've still not learned it yet, but next year we will! :)

  1. Kelly was really good!!

  1. Jamie says:

    Almost didn't finish the blog when "As If We Never Said Goodbye" brought me to a lovely halt. It is nice to see Kelly looking sweetly glamorous after years of somewhat pudgy gothiness. Well done.

  1. Anndi says:

    *smiles at Travis' cute self when he explains the dances*

    I think, and I may have said this before, that the ladies in this competition have it harder than the men do simply because of the nature of dancesport.

    Can I just say how much I love watching the male professionals *sigh*...


    Debi, I totally agree with Dianne about the rehearsal footage. LOL! Debi has fire, now all she has to do is learn to let it out in this very unfamiliar context for her.
    I see her and I have Rizzo in my head... as you said, trust in the Maks and ALL will be good. Mmmmmmmmm Maks...

    Sorry, got distracted there for a minute.

    Melissa, I see potential there. I haven't been able to see the grown up woman very much yet, but I think she's in there somewhere. I wanted to see wedding in that waltz, instead I saw senior prom, in the 50s, when they made the kids dance with a balloon between them. (David Cook - YAY!!! He had a little wooo on his FB page about it - and no I am NOT a stalker)

    Mya, I knew I was going to enjoy her... While I totally agree with Mr Crankypants about the choreography's lack of competition elements (Dmitry, this isn't SYTYCD), he should have started with Mya's performance of what she was given, first.... then scolded Dmitry (who likes to show his chest and wears transparent shirts... THUD. May he always enjoy doing that, because I enjoy watching it. *giggle*). She has absolutely beautiful turns and flow... True performer.

    Kathy, what I really appreciated is that she focussed on her elements and her posture is excellent, now she needs to take advantage of the fact that she is so tall with oh so long limbs and make her movements grand. If she does and she can get down into the floor a bit more, she could kick serious butt. Possibly the most elegant lady in the bunch. I think the fives were too low.
    LOL! Me thinks Vinny isn't a big Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition kind of guy. Heels were never to be found on the sandy beaches and other locales of the photo shoots of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. And she was never a runway model.

    Natalie, I wasn't blown away but it was pleasant. She's learning how to be a performer. I haven't quite connected with her, yet.

    Macy, I was completely sucked into that waltz. I swear she was thinking "weeeeeeeeeeee! I'm dancing!" during that waltz! I love that she took this on in her typical "I am what you see style". I don't want to see her go just yet. The best word that describes her, for me, is "organic". And backstage? Bwahahahahahahahahaha! I swear I had to stop the tape and compose myself.

    Joanna, I feel a bit meh. I felt like sexy was poured on heavy so we wouldn't notice the hiccups (and there were many) in her technical ability. The problem is, instead of enchanting me, it turned me cold. I think smart and classy is sexy, and she doesn't come off as either. The 8s were not warranted. No way, no how.

    And this takes us to Kelly. I adored her. I loved watching her. She seems to have the most awesome attitude, not a diva bone in her body and she stunned me with her footwork. She's the most genuinely excited and happy competitor out there. I had permagrin until the end when I found myself getting misty (ok, ok, I cried and ended up needing 3 or ... tissues). Ozzy's little girl is a lady. AND she should have won the relay, too)
    And can I say WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Welcome back Louis!!!

    Kelly is my best girl (followed by Mya). I haven't decided on the men, but I do want to squish Louie's cheeks. I'm looking forward to watching Donny and Mark for a long time in the competition.

    I think I'm going to need tissues again for the Patrick Swayze tribute.

  1. Bond says:

    Never wore real life my friend Ann...had nothing to do with her modeling...

    But then again, she is 9 feet tall without heels

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I've been watching Trav, I've been watching :o)
    My faves so far? Maya from the girls and Donny from the boys...

  1. Kathy Ireland, Natalie Coughlin and Joanna Krupa ... they need to be higher in the standings.

  1. I thought Samantha looked spectacular. Just want to say.

    Debi is okay...she will be around for a while....but she didn't send me.

    Melissa...I WANT her to do better. She seemed really nervous.

    I heard that Mya did really well...I seem to only remember Dmitry's costume

    kathy: as a woman in her age group I am totally sympathetic...oh well.

    Natalie: I liked her okay...but her body strength is not that of a dancer. I think being an olympic champion she knows how to work hard and practice practice practice. She may really shine later on.

    Macy: smile. her...but she is in it for the fun.

    Joanna: H.O.T. Hot! (does derek have a comb over? is he balding under there?) Fanbase may come into play here.

    Kelly is my girl. Vinny is right your email was very insightful. Her enthusiasm made me smile. I never really thought I would ever have ANYthing in common with Sharon...but we are in the same Mommy club now!

    I am loving the relay. Totally. Anndi mentioned about the costuming and music blending allowing us to concentrate on the dance! That was the perfect explanation for the way I felt!

    Actually I am very appreciate of Anndi and her that my extensive rambling isn't alone. smile.

    I've said this before. I seriously know not a single other person who watches this...and my friends and family? They are incredulous if not disdainful that I do...laughing...

  1. TopChamp says:

    I do quite like Kelly Osborne. She did a fair bit of radio recently here and was funny & sweet. Off to watch her.

  1. Anndi says:

    My bad, Vince. I must have misunderstood since you referred to heels in the same breath as her modeling career.

    Then again, she herself stated that she was a cover girl and not a runway model in relation to the heels thing to People Magazine and said: “I grew up in Santa Barbara. I grew up on the beach,” she says. “You never saw me on the runway.”

    Katherine, it's really hard for a dancegeek not to ramble about dance *wink* LOL and this is a forum for a fun discussion with Travis about something he and I love and have in common :)

  1. Travis says:

    Barb: If you enjoyed what you watched, it's time to record!

    Dianne: I've always thought the second week is big after that first impression the celebrities get from the experience. I think when some of them discover that they really can do it, it can make them more determined and that growth is fun to watch.

    Marsha: I think our little group here is moving toward a lot of the same celebrities this time around.

    V: I used to think that the models would at least be more graceful and have often been surprised when they weren't. I think Kathy's biggest issue is that she's so tall, and that's got to be really tough to manage even if you have worn heels before.

    Linda: You should definitely look for the clip of Kelly's dance. All of your mom feelings will jump right into your heart and throat.

    Akelamalu: You'll love dancing Salsa. It's just such a free and fun dance to do.

    Starr: She was!

    Jamie: "Sweetly glamorous"...that is exactly the phrase to describe Kelly.

    Ann: I think we have a new phrase, "Trust in The Maks". And thanks for the blog within the blog. I really enjoy your perspective on the show. And your description of Macy was spot on!

    V: 9 feet tall...bwahahahahahaa!

    Ivahnoe: Well, we're certainly a Donny household here. And we also like Mya for the ladies, but right now we're leaning a bit more toward Kelly.

    Southern: I'll see what I can do. I think perhaps we might need a new show...something like Dancing with the Jocks and Super Models" maybe?

    Katherine: I'm glad to see your dancer-by-dancer recaps! And I agree about Melissa...I kept wanting her to be better. There's just something very likeable about her. And you may ramble on here as much as you like.

    TC: She's doing really well and I was nervous for her. She has that kind of look that makes me want to be protective.

    Ann: Dance Geeks rule!