Cue that theme music

Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 9 remaining couples dance either Jitterbug or Waltz this week. My gram taught me how to Jitterbug when I was a kid. I can't do it anymore, but we always had fun with it! And of course, a true fairy tale Waltz is one of my favorite things.

Plus, the group will take the stage for a competition Mambo. This is new.

So, Jitterbug is FUN! Lots of kicks and spins and throws and lifts. This is Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer.

And Waltz...well, every Waltz should be romantic and elegant and tell a wondrous fairy tale. This is Karen and Marcus Hilton, the pair I always turn to when I need classy.

Now let's see how our pairs do.

Mya and Dmitry dance Jitterbug. Sometimes I enjoy the introductory steps before the couples actually start dancing. It can set the stage for the story. But this time I think they took a little too long to get into the dancing, although when they finally got into it they had the full flavor despite the tempo being a bit on the slow side. I would have liked to see her bounce a little more, but perhaps her sore hip held her back. She made up for it with the smile and expression on her face through the whole routine. They had all the classic Jitterbug movements and their synchronization was spot on. That word expectations reared up again...I think the judges hold Mya to a different standard than some of the other celebrities. Judges say 8,7,9 for a total of 24. Well, I thought it was worth 8's across and they got a 24 anyway.

Melissa and Mark dance Waltz. Shirley Ballas spent some time at rehearsal this week. Melissa's opening lines were very nice. But she wasn't nearly as graceful as I would have liked. The gown couldn't hide the fact that her legs are still her weakness. Still, she got all the steps in the right places and really didn't put a foot wrong. I did agree with Len that her musicality was pretty good. She's just not your basic tall statuesque dancer. For Melissa, I think the performance is generally better than the actual dancing. Still, she's charming and I like her. Judges say 7,7,6 for a total of 20. I think the 6 is too low.

Mark and Lacey dance Jitterbug. Mark has quite a bit of momentum coming off last week's excellent Paso. Plus, you can see by the Jitterbug clip I chose that this is a strong dance for Lacey. They had energy and bounce and flair. Mark was terrific with all the tricks. There might have been too many tricks. I wanted a bit more kicks and spins and dancing, and a little bit more controlled technique. And there was that bit of missed timing right toward the end. But that's picking nits because the dance was right on the edge as a Jitterbug should be. Judges say 9,9,8 for a total of 26. Yeah, they were on their way to at least one 10 without that little stumble.

Aaron and Karina dance Waltz. I think he's more relaxed in the ballroom styles, but in this dance he was so stiff and awkward. Plus he had his Tango serious face on when he needed a much softer, more romantic expression. Karina is a beautiful woman and he danced with her like she was a rock. I'm sorry, that was one of the worst Waltzes I've every seen. No romance, no grace, no warmth, no elegance. I don't know what dance the judges were watching. Maybe they've gotten tired of being harsh with him. What they saw as dignified and gentlemanly, I saw as awkward and disconnected. I didn't like the dance at all. Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25. I don't agree with that score.

Michael and Anna dance Waltz. Last week, Michael could get away with stomping and walking through the Paso. This week, he has to be graceful and dance. I dislike Michael Irvin, but I have to give the man props. He danced that very well, and you could see how much he enjoyed it. I can tell you from experience that dancing a Waltz well is a tremendous feeling because you make your Lady's face shine up into yours. That's romance. That's the fairy tale. That's charming. Michael and Anna had it. It wasn't technically good. He had issues with posture and frame. But the dance was enjoyable, it had a reasonable amount of elegance and grace, and I'll give him props all day for that. And I have to give a nod to Anna's choreography. Judges say 6,8,6 for a total of 20. You know what? I liked this Waltz better than Aaron's.

Kelly and Louis dance Jitterbug. Kelly must dance Jitterbug on a sore ankle. Her grin is so infectious. YES! The word for that performance is delightful! Her expressions were spot on through every movement. And Louis' choreography suited her perfectly because he protected her bad ankle but still brought enough energy to it. She had a little stumble coming out of the back flip and that threw off her timing through the end of the dance. Mostly that comes from her still worrying about making a mistake. But that's forgivable. For my money, she did very well. She brought energy and excitement to the performance. This was a terrific performance for her. Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20. I don't like that score.

Louie and Chelsie dance Jitterbug. Chelsie got Ty Murray to loosen up during Jitterbug last season. I don't think she was able to work the same miracle with Louie. There were some things he did fairly well, like the tricks and a few of the kicks. But there wasn't a lot of dancing in the dancing. The performance did have energy and enthusiasm, but he isn't precise and he has no technique at all. He does try and he has fun. That's not good enough for the competition, but it makes for a nice bit of entertainment. He's charming and charm does work in a guy's favor once in awhile. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. I'm sorry, but that wasn't better than Kelly and Louis, even by one point.

Joanna and Derek dance Waltz. Derek's choreography always impresses me in Waltz. He did another wonderful job, except for a couple of spots in the middle that just looked awkward and ugly. Joanna seemed to bring her rubber legsses back this week. If you just watched Joanna and Derek from the waist up, the dance was elegant and lovely. But there were quite a few problems from the waist down. She had a few footwork bobbles, but nothing really as glaring as the trip from last week. And would someone please put a seatbelt on Bruno?!?!? Sit down man! Overall, I don't think the dance was as good as it could have been. Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26. I think that score is too high.

Donny and Kym dance Jitterbug. Now we have the FINALLY squee. LOL! Give the girl a break...she waited more than 90 minutes. Yikes. They had a little trouble with the steps in the beginning. But then they pulled it together. The dance was full of classic Jitterbug steps. It was fun and fast and full of energy. They never stopped moving and danced it right on the edge like a good Jitterbug should be danced. Pam didn't squee at the end...she gave it a WOOOOO! It wasn't a perfect dance, but the performance rolled right on through the footwork, timing, and synchronization issues. Oh...Pam knows it wasn't perfect but she liked it anyway. Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. The score gets a BOOO.

Now the competition Mambo is for judges' ranking points. The time is four minutes, and the couples must keep dancing until they get tapped on the shoulder. So it's a marathon with the ranking points awarded as the pairs are eliminated, with first out getting 2 points and so on up to 10 points for the last pair standing.

I think the female celebrities may have an edge in this competition because the male pros can lead them through movements that may not be choreographed in advance. The male celebrities need to learn enough movement to last the full 4 minutes.

Here we go. I can't really see them all so i'll just tell you the order they finish. I can tell you that they are each dancing in a spotlight rather than moving around the floor, until there are just a few couples left. First out is Michael and Anna (2), then Louie and Chelsie (3), then Melissa and Mark (4), then Kelly and Louis (5), then Mark and Lacey (6), then Donny and Kym (7, and Pam says boooo), then Aaron and Karina (8). And just as I thought, two female celebrities are left. Mya and Dmitry (9) finish second and Joanna and Derek (10) finish first.

That is a great competition! I liked that a lot.

Here's our leader board after the single dances and the marathon:

36 Joanna and Derek
33 Aaron and Karina
33 Mya and Dmitry
32 Mark and Lacey
31 Donny and Kym
28 Kelly and Louis
24 Melissa and Mark
22 Michael and Anna
21 Louie and Chelsie

You know Pam's votes went to Donny. I split this time between Donny and Kelly. I think this is the last week for me to split. I'm going to have to commit.

Oh no! It's the dreaded double elimination tonight with a dance off. Tune in for results!

There was a special last night to introduce the Top 20. I had to record it and didn't get a chance to watch yet. And for Pete's sake! The first competition show is on tonight opposite the DWTS results.


I may have to withold reviews until Top 10. We'll see how things go.

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  1. Akelamalu says:

    I can't jitterbug but I can jive - my Dad taught me. :)

  1. Dianne says:

    I really enjoyed the marathin dance number, Joanne and Derek were so hot that her hair melted ;)

    I still adore Kelly, I'm over the skateboard kid - he's sweet but I don't see him improving much

    I agree with you about aaron, I didn't think his dance was as good as the judges said it was - I always worry for him during the judging portion, he's such an intense young man - the vein in his forehead gets huge - poor kid.

  1. Bond says:

    Nope sorry - the judges now sem to be giving scores that are based upon their liking of the contestants...

    Aaron's dance was no where near as good as Kelly's or even Michael's - NOT A CHANCE

    I now call Aaron Mr. Pouty face..I am so tired of his pouting when the judges critique him or almost break down crying when they tell him he did something well...

    I did not like his dance at all last night and think he should have gone home last week.

    Louis is beginning to fade...Melissa does not have the chops...

    Not sure with the issues Donnie had that he should have gotten more than a 24...

    Joanna is another one the judges seem to give more points to - I do not think she deserved that high a score last evening.

  1. Jitterbug is so much fun to watch, but I'm certain it has to be even more fun to dance. And waltzing...sigh...I prefer mine in a film with full ballroom, women in huge skirts and gorgeous men in evening or military dress twirling their partners around and around.

    I like your peace quote for today, Travis. Exactly so.

  1. I think you are right about the judges holding some to a different standard. And it seems they have started marking down the celebs who are just so-so dancers...more than they deserve.

    The judges do not like when a better dancer goes home before one with a heavy fan base.

    The Fairy Tale....sigh....Waltz. So lovely.

    Melissa was trying...but she just isn't as graceful in comparison.

    I'm not enamored with Arron. He's a petulant child.

    Michael...not bad. He has improved far more than I predicted.

    JoAnna. I WANT to like her. But she just kinda turns me off. I thought she looked lovely dancing the waltz. Not that I want to be a tall slender just want to look like that when I dance.

    The JitterBug is great to watch. I've never learned it...but love to watch others.

    I think Mya's bounce was just fine...laughing.

    Mark was great. It was a good dance for them for sure.

    I thought Kelly's dance deserved a much higher score. The ankle is a worry....but 20 was too low.

    ya know I love Louie...but your comments were spot on. He is fun, but his technique is lacking. They did NOT deserve a better score than Kelly. sheesh was okay. I am a big train fan but the arm/wheel motions were too much. I didn't get into it so much....lo siento Pam.

    I liked the marathon competition a great deal. I was tired just watching.

    I think...Michael and Melissa might be saying farewell....

  1. Linda says:

    I actually watched the entire show last night - woohoo!

    As trivial as this may sound, I didn't really like the costume that Donny was wearing for his dance but my dispatch partner sure liked Kym's and said he'd love to play choo-choo with her ... sheesh, he's such a guy!

    The Mambo competition was pretty neat and I had a good time guessing who was going to get tapped out next. Not watching tonight's show but I'm sure I'll read the review here!

  1. SYTYCD is really strong this year. I am bummed about Billy Bell though. I loved him =(

  1. Dana says:

    I love the video of the romantic!