Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 by Travis Cody in
11

It's live from Hollywood!



This week, our 10 remaining pairs must tell a story through their dancing without props or gimmicks...in either Paso Doble, Waltz, or Quickstep.

It's nice to see some of the pros who aren't part of the cast this season come out to demonstrate the styles and the type of story telling we should see.

Evan and Anna bring us a Quickstep based on the music of Chicago, telling us the story of a husband waiting for a wife who is late. His height is well suited to this style. He is long and elegant. His steps are very clean. I was specifically watching his feet in places and he had a few good moments of pointed toes, but still needs to work on it. Even so, his foot placement is spot on. The dance was light and fun, full of energy and well designed. They maintained the character of the story without making it seem frantic or forced. Yikes! Evan revealed that he has a couple of broken toes. Couldn't tell in his dancing. Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26. I think Len is marking him down for his feet, but that's still a great score.

Buzz and Ashly bring us a Waltz, with a story of a man coming home from the war to his daughter, to What A Wonderful World. I think Ashly does so well with him, reminding him what the next step is and guiding him through the movement. This was really a sweet dance. Although he's still awkward and looking at his feet, and clearly unsure about the steps, I just can't criticize him. They did tell a wonderful story and it was the perfect story for Ashly to choreograph for the Colonel. It was very charming. I understand what the judges said, but it just doesn't matter to me. He has come onto the show and done what he's done. Judges say 5,4,4 for a total of 13.

Jake and Chelsie bring us a Quickstep to Walk Like An Egyptian, telling the story of an explorer discovering Cleopatra's tomb with Cleopatra still alive inside. The thing that has impressed me each week with Jake is that he actually leads Chelsie through the dance, and that's one of the most difficult things for the male celebrities to learn how to do. His technique and posture is solid except for a little trouble with his footwork and frame in this style. This was kind of a weird Quickstep for me, but it was also danced and performed very well. Chelsie's choreography was terrific and told the story. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. Hmmmm...maybe that's a little low, although the production surrounding the performance probably hid some of the deficiencies in his technique.

Niecy and Louis bring us a Waltz to Born Again, telling the story of a couple being denied the right to be together with the person they love. She still needs to work on being a bit lighter on her feet. And she had some trouble with her footwork to start. As to the story, it was about loving who you love and facing whatever you need to face to be with that person. I would have liked to see a bit more rise and fall and coverage around the ballroom. But the task was to tell a story about the right to be together. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21. Carrie Ann suggested that the way they ended the dance was confusing and so maybe the point didn't come across. But I thought that confusion was a perfect way to portray the issue of a group of people being denied the equal right to marry the person they love.

Chad and Cheryl bring us a Paso Doble about seduction, fortunately to traditional Spanish music. He has the passion and attitude, basically because he is cocky and arrogant. He did manage a few good stomping steps. He stood a little taller, and his posture was decent. He needs to pull his shoulders back and lead with his chest. He stayed in character and the story suited the flirt he has decided to play with Cheryl. I appreciated what he said in rehearsal about being humbled last week because this was something he wasn't immediately good at, but then he put his name on the back of his costume. Oh well. I guess the more comfortable he gets on the show, the more that personality will come out. Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.

Pamela and Damian bring us a Paso Doble about a Flamenco dancer attracted to the matador but despising his profession. Charo visits rehearsal footage and talks about not being able to see your feet beneath big maracas. LOL! Now Pamela can actually do this. She had some trouble with steps during the side by side work, but in hold she was just fine. She had attitude and drama, and definitely portrayed the story quite well. I wasn't a fan of Damian's choreography, and I think he needs to work with her on channeling her sensual energy into technique and footwork. He needs to step up his game as a teacher. Whatever you think about Pamela Anderson, she's taking it seriously and working hard. Her pro partner needs to make sure she has the dancing fundamentals and isn't just relying on sex appeal for cheap votes. Give her some respect and teach her some technique and control. Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.

Aiden and Edyta bring us a Quickstep about a man who is painting the woman of his dreams when she suddenly comes alive. The song just didn't do it for me. His musicality was off and I can understand why because that song didn't have any kind of consistent beat for him to understand. The producers didn't do him any favors with that music. The dance felt disjointed and awkward. I liked the idea of the story, but the dancing was plodding and heavy. The whole thing felt like an unfortunate mess. Quickstep is hard enough without having a song that you can't relax through. Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20. I think they deserved something for that nutty music selection.

Erin and Maks bring us a Waltz, telling us a story of trust. Maks has decided to blind fold Erin during rehearsal. Now that's giving up control! She's not dancing the performance with the blind fold, just in rehearsal. Oh wait...he did! He put the blind fold on her after the first few bars. They definitely told a story of trust, and I thought that the dancing they did was terrific even with the gimmick of the blind fold. She's still learning how to connect movements and to extend through and complete her lines. Mr Cranky Pants felt there wasn't enough Waltz, and I have to say that I agree to a point. It did take some time to tie the blind fold, and that disconnected the beginning and end of the dance. But I did enjoy the Waltz elements they performed, and I thought the story was effectively told. Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23. So Len didn't completely hate it.

Kate and Tony bring us a Paso Doble to the song Papparazi, telling a love-hate story of celebrities dealing with the media. I really do feel badly for her, because she's so fearful but doesn't understand how to channel it. She's not an actor, so that's not surprising. It's just so painful to watch. This was probably the best dance style for her to get. She did much better this week in terms of the dancing. It was less awkward, and she did remember the steps. She had some of the attitude. The criticisms were harsh. I thought she improved from last week. She's still not dancing too well, but at least she seems to be loosening up some. I thought Tony's choice was a good one for her. Judges say 5's across for a total of 15.

Nicole and Derek bring us a Quickstep telling us the story of a couple of sailors slacking off, dancing to Anything Goes. She got the music this week that she wanted last week. That was just way too much fun. Derek's choreography could have come from a Broadway show. It had lots of big performance moments. That really was well done. Unfortunately, they broke a ton of rules...lifts, broken holds, too much side by side, not enough actual Quickstep. The dancing and performance were fantastic, and I really enjoyed it. But this was more like a show dance we could expect to see during the finale, not a Quickstep we need to see in week 3. Judges say 8,6,9 for a total of 23. Now Len's mark is way low because he knew Carrie Ann and Bruno were going to award based on performance. But if you compare what Derek did here with what Anna did with Evan, you can see that Anna used whimsy within the framework of Quickstep, while Derek went completely outside Quickstep.

Here's our leader board:

26 Evan and Anna
23 Nicole and Derek
23 Erin and Maks
21 Jake and Chelsie
21 Niecy and Louis
21 Pamela and Damian
20 Chad and Cheryl
20 Aiden and Edyta
15 Kate and Tony
13 Buzz and Ashly




My heart was in my throat on both of those shots in the last few seconds. What an amazing championship game!

Congratulations to both teams. But Duke is the 2010 National Champion, earning a tough 61-59 victory over Butler.

I want to wish the seniors from both teams much success in the future.

GO DUKE!

11 comments:

  1. Linda says:

    We watched the show at work last night as neither myself nor my partner have been bitten by the basketball bug (though congrats to your Blue Devils). It was really, really painful to watch Kate Gosselin as she just seems to walk through the dance rather than actually do any dancing. She's very, very stiff and just needs to relax and try to enjoy things a little more.

    It was kind of funny when my dispatch partner asked what Len's problem was and I said that's just Len being Len - he's a stickler for the rules and if you break them, he isn't going to be lenient about it. Truthfully I'm glad he sticks to his guns and doesn't just vote based on the performance. Good for Mr. Cranky Pants!

  1. Dianne says:

    Kate was really painful to watch and I felt awful for her - the judges are right, she walks around, she doesn't dance

    I loved Nicole's dance although I totally agree about the rule breaking

    I usually have a favorite by week 2 or 3 but this season I don't

    I voted for Niecy and Nicole

  1. Once again I watched the beginning part of the show, but had to scurry over to ancient Rome for Spartacus. I was thrilled when Evan went first. I've fortunately been spared seeing any of Kate Gosselin's dancing, and hopefully will never have to see it.

    I agree that The Batchelor is a wonderful surprise for me - I never watch The Batchelor, so I had no preconceived notion about him. But on the very first night I could see he is a natural dancer and has been blessed with a great sense of line, something a person just has or hasn't.

  1. Marsha says:

    It's time for Pam, Kate or Buzz to go....each of these are actually painful to watch dance...or rather try to dance. Both Kate and Buzz are too stiff and I just tired of watching Pam 'pose'.

  1. Bond says:

    Thanks Travis...I did not get to really watch last evening..and you gave us the perfect recap.

    I hope Buzz continues to stay around...

    Congrats to your Blue Devils...they put together an incredible run through the NCAA

  1. Akelamalu says:

    As long as you're enjoying it! :)

  1. Coco says:

    I'm learning a lot about ballroom dancing from reading your blog Trav - don't need to watch the show and that's perfect for me, so a big thank you.

    Who's the little blue cartoon character?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi piplavodart this Wiki

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    I missed the vote. I hope Kate is out :o)

  1. Travis says:

    Linda: I'm glad he does as well, but I do think he can go to a bit of an extreme.

    Charles: Indeed!

    Dianne: I think you can probably be nudged into taking Niecy as your favorite.

    Julia: I think Jake is the surprise of the show so far, at least for me.

    Marsha: I suspect it might be Kate tonight.

    V: I hope Buzz gets at least one more week. By then the point will be proven that it's a good thing to try something that isn't in your comfort zone.

    Akelamalu: I am!

    Coco: Always pleased to be of service. And the logo is for Duke University, which won the men's basketball national championship on Monday. GO DUKE!

    Anon: Ppppppfffffffttttttt

    Ivanhoe: We actually missed it as well. We intended to go ahead and cast our votes the same as last week, but we were so caught up in the basketball game that we forgot.