Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 by Travis Cody in

We're live from Hollywood!

This week all of our 11 couples return for a second dance, looking for viewer votes to avoid being the first eliminated. Tom hinted at an upset in last week's voting results. Hmmmmm. Could an early favorite be in danger?

Our pairs dance either Jive or Foxtrot.

Jive is characterized by quick flick kicks, chassez, and ball/change movement, with rock steps and high energy. Let's re-visit the jive from Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas for our demonstration.

Foxtrot is characterized by smooth movements and timing...slow, quick, quick, slow. Steps should weave, feather, and zig zag across the floor. Yes, the demonstration clip is Marcus and Karen Hilton.

Oh! I need to remind you of our leader board from last week.

25 Nicole and Derek
23 Evan and Anna
21 Erin and Maks
21 Pamela and Damian
20 Jake and Chelsie
18 Niecy and Louis
18 Chad and Cheryl
18 Shannen and Mark
16 Kate and Tony
15 Aiden and Edyta
14 Buzz and Ashly

Now here we go!

Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas dance Jive. The question for Shannen comes down to she gonna go for it or is she gonna go home? If you do easy steps then you have to be perfect. She's just not musical enough to pull off perfection, so she might as well listen to Mark and go as tough as she can stand. Her legs are awkward and she had some rough footwork. But she did have energy and performance. About halfway through it she looked like she started to enjoy what she was doing. The choreography had classic Jive elements, and I always appreciate that because Jive is one of my favorites. It looks like she's going to struggle with musicality and coordination. Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20. A good score, but I'm still concerned with her technique. If she continues to trust where Mark is taking her, she might be able to improve. But I don't know that she can challenge for the win solely on dance ability. I suspect fanbase is going to be important for her.

Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska dance Foxtrot. There's tension in rehearsal footage. That bit of drama can sometimes bring the celebrity and pro a bit closer together. Now once we're past that, I can tell you that Aiden looks much more comfortable in ballroom than he did in Latin. Last week he was awkward and clearly out of his element. This week he shows a charm and grace that I didn't anticipate after watching him stomp through Cha Cha Cha. And he took an elbow in the eye from Edyta like a champ...twice! LOL! He had some solid lines and there were some excellent moments of elegance. He was able to relax and glide through it. He put his feet in the right places and that allowed him to be a reasonably strong lead in the dance. He still needs some work, but I certainly can't complain about his improvement over last week. Solid job. Judges say 7,6,6 for a total of 19. I think maybe that could have been 7's across.

Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya dance Jive. That was terrific! It was high energy and fast. He really performed throughout the entire piece. He's really tall, but he has so much control over his frame. He's still having trouble pointing his toes, but I suspect with his work ethic that he'll ultimately be able to overcome that. What I like about him is his ability to make what he's doing look effortless. He is able to connect one step to the next to the next without short changing the prior move. That probably comes from his training as a skater. He understands that it's not about going from trick to trick. One thing I appreciate about Evan's skating is that he pays attention to the choreography between his jumps. And that has translated to his dancing. Well done! Judges say 8's across for a total of 24. Yup yup! Maybe there could have been a 9 in there.

Niecy and Louis dance Foxtrot. This is a vibrant and funny lady. She's also charming. And she did a pretty good representation of classy and sophisticated too. That dance had me smiling from step one. She and Louis have a terrific connection between them. I don't think she put a foot wrong in that dance. She made it look effortless. I like her a lot. Louis is a fantastic teacher. He made a dance for her that played on her strengths and helped her improve her weaknesses. She was so light on her feet. Last week she played up her "jiggly" bits, and this week she contained those "jiggly" bits in an elegant package that emphasized her grace and style. I'm thinking she's going to win some fans because of her personality. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. I think somebody could have thrown an 8 in there.

Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower dance Jive. So last week he had elegance and charm. This week he needs energy and coordination. If he can believe in himself from week to week, he can get this done. The thing I didn't expect was for him to get out there and perform like he did. He led Chelsie in the Waltz last week, and he was out there leading her this week in a difficult Jive. That was really good. I'm impressed. There were some early moments when I thought he was a little stiff in some of his positions. Chelsie held him to the difficult choreography. He caved, nailed it, and now trust shouldn't be an issue between them from here forward. They have great chemistry. Judges say 6,7,7 for a total of 20. Ppppppfffffffttttttttt. Carrie Ann called them on a lift I didn't see. But even if there was a lift, I'm not sure I like that overall score. I'd like to see him relax in the movement next week and be a little less stiff.

Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa dance Foxtrot. Call me sentimental and corny, but I think Buzz Aldrin doing a Foxtrot to Fly Me to the Moon is perfect. Ashly drew the Colonel a map of the steps to help him remember. He's struggling again with the dancing and musicality, but that's ok. Sorry...I just can't be critical of an American hero. The dance was sweet and charming. I think Ashly is doing a wonderful job with him. I think it's great that he's out there trying. Judges say 4's across for a total of 12. Ouch. That's the part I don't like. It's like telling my own grandfather he sucks at something...just can't do that. So I'll say this...thank you, Sir, for trying and for being an inspiration. And for not fussing at Ashly while she's trying to teach you to do the best your ability will allow.

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough dance Jive. This is the first time I've heard a celebrity fuss about the music. She wanted a classic Jive, but the music the producers assigned is from Rhianon. Now I know what she was worried about. I'm not real pleased with it either. Derek had a real challenge to work with that music and I think he rose to the occasion. There was lots of traditional Jive mixed with the cross-over stuff from Lindyhop. What it did have was high energy, and Nicole was solid. When I ignored the music, I did enjoy the dancing. I think she could have extended on the flick kicks and been a bit sharper. But I'm probably picking nits. Judges say 10,8,10 for a total of 28. Now I don't know that I would have thrown 10's on that...but I would have gone a couple of 9's. They are definitely setting the bar so far this season.

Erin Andrews and Maks Chmerkovskiy dance Foxtrot. Maks is demanding...if you've watched this show for any length of time, you know that. But Erin has a strong personality as well. Maks wants her to be a princess for this Foxtrot. She is really impressing me. She's classically beautiful. She may not think she's graceful, but she is. She glows when she dances. Hey can love sports and be a princess too. I can see her stealing some of the sports vote from Chad. If she listens to and works with Maks, he is going to teach her how to extend her lines, connect movements, and finish them off. I like her chances. Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23. I thought she did channel her inner Princess and I think she's only going to get better from here. Nice sense of humor too...looking for Maks' biceps. HA!

Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood dance Foxtrot. Last week they played up the sex kitten. This week, she needs to bring glamor. She looked fantastic. The dance was smooth and sweetly sexy. But...I wanted her to be Pamela Anderson dancing a Foxtrot, not Pamela Anderson playing Marilyn Monroe dancing a Foxtrot. I did like the choreography and I thought she danced it well. She's a voluptuous woman and she has a natural sensuality. That can be overpowering at times, but she channeled it into the Marilyn persona. I think that was the problem I had with it...I thought the acting in the performance was better than the dancing. I'm probably just being picky. Bottom line...I did like it. I just would have preferred less of a character-oriented piece, I guess. Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22. And Brooke throws the set up question...will we see all the sides of Pamela? HA! And the response...American may have seen all the sides of Pamela. Bwahahahahahahaaa!

Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke dance Foxtrot. In rehearsal footage, Chad kept making himself smaller which caused problems with his posture. If he can manage to stand up straight and lead with his chest instead of his shoulders, he can bring off the elegance of a Foxtrot. I don't think Len needed to be so harsh, but the posture was a problem. It wasn't smooth and it didn't flow. Chad has to commit himself to the ballroom styles. I could see him trying to do things rather than just relaxing into the movement. Cheryl made a lovely dance, but it just fell short. Judges say 6,5,5 for a total of 16. Ouch. If he begins to understand that technique and posture are as important as charm, then maybe he'll be able to improve.

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani dance Jive. Oy. I can do without the whining. In rehearsal footage, she spoke to Tony like he was a child and out the door he walked. I tried not to read a lot of the stuff that leaked before the premier last week, but it seems like she's living up (or down) to everything that has been written. That's a shame. As to the dancing, she really struggled. I feel badly for both of them. I feel bad for Tony because he drew a really difficult personality. And I feel badly for her because she's not an entertainer and she clearly didn't know what she was getting into. She looked really afraid of the whole experience. I just don't like to see anyone feel embarrassed or look foolish. It makes me embarrassed to watch. I don't laugh when somebody falls down. Judges say 5's across for a total of 15. I think that score is generous. She needs to catch herself and stop giving Tony such a hard time. Just listen and try to do what he's trying to teach.

Here's our leader board after two dances.

53 Nicole and Derek
47 Evan and Anna
44 Erin and Maks
43 Pamela and Damian
40 Jake and Chelsie
39 Niecy and Louis
38 Shannen and Mark
34 Chad and Cheryl
34 Aiden and Edyta
31 Kate and Tony
28 Buzz and Ashly

Did we vote? Of course we did! And we used all four phones...our own cell phones and each of our work phones. We split our votes three ways between Evan, Erin, and Nicole.

Hey! The Beach Boys are on the results show tonight, with John Stamos. Now I'm old school and it's not really The Beach Boys to me unless the line up includes Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson with Mike Love and Al Jardine. Of course, Dennis (drowned in 1983) and Carl (cancer in 1998) have passed and Brian doesn't perform with the group anymore. So I'm curious about the line up tonight.

Yes yes...picking nits again!


  1. I must say that I agree with you about the Beach Boys. Hope it's a good show. I might have time to catch some of it. What was with Kate's drama? I think I'm old-school quiet girl . . .

  1. 'But...I wanted her to be Pamela Anderson dancing a Foxtrot, not Pamela Anderson playing Marilyn Monroe dancing a Foxtrot.'

    LOL! Really, Travis, aren't you asking a bit much...?

    Of course I'll be in the same dilemma every Monday night until Spartacus is over, but I can only watch DWTS until Evan finishes and then it's on to ancient Rome. I really noticed an improvement in Evan's and Anna's chemistry this week, so I'm sure he'll be able to get the foot thing sorted out. I too enjoy his ability to join steps and make everything dance, not just the specific steps. Believe it or not, there are some ballet dancers who don't join steps. I know - shameful.

  1. Len's telling the stars to listen to their professionals was perfect!

    I wonder how much of the rehearsal footage the judges see? We all know there is miles of footage that never airs on television.

    I am sure part of the reason the stars are selected is because of their perceived personality. Backstage drama helps the ratings...and personally I sorta enjoy the back and forth.

    Mr. Adrin is amazing for his age...and kate is not a performer...she is a Mom. An amazing one by all accounts. Just not a dancer...even if she had a better attitude.

    My money is on Nicole and Evan.

    Nice to see Rice.
    I think Jerry is amazing.

  1. Bond says:

    I got thought the first 5 dances before heading up to ready myself for the show. Will catch the rest at some point, but maybe not before the results show.

    I loved what Niecy did...she is amazing for a bigger woman...

    Shannon seemed to be acting the diva she is known to be.

    Each season they bring on an older competitor and then they do not judge them with their age in mind and that kind of bothers me. I hope someone else goes before Mr. Aldrin, I would hate for him to be the first to go.

    John Stamos has been appearing with the Beach Boys for quite a few years now beginning in 1990. It is an on again off again relationship, but he will, most likely be on drums this evening

  1. Dianne says:

    I can't believe I'm about to say this - I felt bad for Kate Gosselin.
    She's not a performer. She has no experience beyond the drama of her reality show.
    I think the judges were rude in their comments, as they were to Chad.
    Overall it seems the judges comments are off, and they take turns being harsh and rude. I wonder if they run out of things to say LOL

    I loved Buzz's dance! and I still don't have a favorite, I have a few I'm not that into.

    The skater and the pussycat doll do nothing for me but then again I never like the front runners, the ones I feel have a huge advantage over the others.

    I voted for Niecy and believe it or not (I can't even believe it) I voted for Kate because it just seemed unfair.

  1. I'm with you, it's NOT the Beach Boys unless it's the original group.
    I'm a little underwhelmed with most of the stars.
    Again, I agree, I feel sorry for Buzz. He's just in over his head and it's hard to be ugly to a hero and a grandfather all rolled up into one.

  1. Travis says:

    GGG: I think Kate is so nervous that her personality is that much more dramatic. Hopefully she settles down. The producers like to use that kind of footage, and it's definitely not attractive.

    Julia: I dunno...I did pick a lot of nits last night. And I've always thought that dancing was more than just steps.

    Katherine: We were thinking the same thing about the rehearsal footage. It's almost like the producers look for themes. I think they definitely make some celebrities look a little better than others with the way they edit.

    V: I certainly don't advocate discriminating in either direction. And if the older celebrity can get the dancing done, then they should be judged equally with the younger competitors. It's still awkward when an older person can't do it well and has to be criticized accordingly.

    Dianne: I was embarrassed for her, and as I said in my recap, I really did feel badly for both she and Tony. Tony doesn't normally lose his cool like that, and that obviously made Kate look even worse. It's a shame.