Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

This week our 7 remaining pairs face two dances, one individual piece set to rock music and then a group dance marathon.  The dance marathon has become a fun feature over the last few seasons.

Our dance styles are Paso Doble and Tango, which makes sense because those Latin dances fit the back beat of most rock songs.

But first, it's a count down of the Top 10 favorite dances across all seasons, as voted by fans.

10. Freestyle from Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas, Season 8 champions
9.   Argentine Tango from Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson, Season 9 champions
8.   Quickstep from Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Season 5 champions
7.   Freestyle from Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough, Season 4 champions
6.   Paso Doble from Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough, Season 9 4th place
5.   Paso Doble from Mel B and Maks Chmerkovskiy, Season 5 runners up
4.   Paso Doble from Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, Season 10 champions
3.   Samba from Apolo and Julianne
2.   Argentine Tango from Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke, Season 8 runners up
1.   Freestyle from Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Season 2 champions

Yes, that sound you heard was Pam's squee for Donny's Argentine Tango.

Let's see how our stars handle Latin dances to rock tunes.

Audrina and Tony dance Paso Doble.  I thought she was going to be a real contender, but I think she's going backwards.  She looks very unsure of her steps.  She did fine when Tony was placing her, but when she had to dance, I thought it was just completely flat.  I didn't feel any of the aggression and passion that I expect from Paso.  I think she really does have the ability and talent to get better, but she's just not improving in her performances.  Maybe she's just not able to be comfortable with the Latin styles.  Her posture and control are pretty good.  I'd like to see her extend and emphasize each movement.  Carrie Ann said it well...Audrina needs to understand the intention behind each movement, and that will help her with her performance.  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  I don't understand the score.  The judges were lukewarm about the dance, but the score suggests that they liked it better than they described.

Kyle and Lacey dance Tango.  I like the way he attacked this dance.  He had the right demeanor.  He did fumble a few steps, but I thought his posture and his frame was pretty solid.  He stayed in character also.  There didn't seem to be any of the little charm breaks that he's had in most of his dances.  I think that was his best dance to date and I loved Lacey's choreography.  He demonstrated control throughout the entire dance.  He concentrated on his footwork and straightened out his pidgeon toes.  His performance and connection to the audience still carries him, but I can see that he's beginning to bring performance and technique more into balance.  This dance made me smile and was definitely an improvement over last week.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Now I thought this dance was better than Audrina and Tony.

Jennifer and Derek dance Paso Doble.  I have very high expectations for this dance.  This dance might make my list of Top 10 dances.  I loved the intensity and the passion.  It was dramatic, but also sophisticated.  It was also very fast paced, and that caught up to them right at the end.  Jennifer lost her balance right on the last spin, and then Derek lost his timing.  They really pushed it, and as the dance got to the end the speed of the footwork and spins got away from them.  I thought the dance was excellent right up until that last few moments when it got away from them.  Judges say 6,7,7 for a total of 20.  I don't understand that score.  The dance had everything a proper Paso needs.  They just missed on about 15 seconds at the end.  Have I gone completely blind to what they are doing because Jennifer is my favorite?  Sure they weren't perfect with that miss at the end, but I don't see how that is a 20 dance. 

Do you notice a theme?  I'm not on the same page as the judges.

Rick and Cheryl dance Tango.  Well, it looks like he's gone back to Optimus Prime.  I thought he was very stiff and mechanical in his movement.  And his face was completely expressionless.  He's an actor, so I would have expected he could portray the passion and drama of this dance.  I was not impressed by the performance.  On the positive side, I did think his posture, frame, and hold were very good.  This Tango was more like a Paso with the aggression and intensity.  I prefer a more romantic and passionate Tango.  I think maybe his need to analyze every step is coming across in trying to be too precise with technique and footwork, which is impacting his performance.  At least it is for me.  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  I don't get that score either.

Bristol and Mark dance Tango.  Now I can actually recognize proper Tango steps in this choreography, and see them performed well.  She was precise and clean with her footwork.  And that break for the bit of air guitar didn't put her off her game.  She got silly, then she got right back into character.  Unfortunately, that break in hold is a penalty in a competition Tango because once you take up hold you must maintain it until the end.  I think this was her best performance to date...because it was a complete performance, combining the technique with the character.  That was really enjoyable.  It was a proper Tango and it was danced very well.  Even with the penalty due from the air guitar break, this was a terrific dance.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Oh for Pete's sake!  I thought that was as good as or better than Audrina or Rick! 

Kurt and Anna dance Paso Doble.  He had the Paso attitude, but I had some problems with what he was doing with his free arm a couple of times.  In hold I thought he was terrific.  But when he separated from Anna, something got lost.  The crowd went nuts, but I can't really figure out why.  I thought the dance was actually a bit sloppy and quite awkward.  I think the best thing I can say about the dance was the intensity, but it ended up being a bit too rough and tumble.  He had plenty of attitude, but lacked the technical proficiency.  Judges say 6's across for a total of 18.  This would be the first time I kind of agreed with the scoring.  And I think from the reaction of the crowd that we can expect plenty of folks to get the phones out for Kurt.

Brandy and Maks dance Tango.  I expect her to be very good in this dance, but she has to do what she did last week, which is forget about everything and just dance it.  I hated the costumes, but everything else about this dance was outstanding.  When she settles down and trusts Maks, she is excellent.  She put everything into that dance.  Maks' choreography was perfect.  It worked with the music and it worked for her ability.  She took all of the emotion from the last few weeks and channeled it into an excellent performance.  It wasn't perfect...there were a few balance slips.  But not being perfect didn't keep it from being very enjoyable.  Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26.  That's well deserved.

Here's our leader board after the individual dances:

26 Brandy and Maks
24 Rick and Cheryl
24 Audrina and Tony
23 Bristol and Mark
23 Kyle and Lacey
20 Jennifer and Derek
18 Kurt and Anna 

Now we have the dance marathon.  It's 4 minutes with everyone dancing on the floor at the same time, in their own spotlight.  They can do legal lifts and moves from Jive and Lindy Hop.  They dance to be last couple standing, and points are awarded based on the way they finish.  I can never judge so many couples on the floor at once, so I'll just report the order of finish.

Kurt and Anna are out for 4 points.  Bristol and Mark are out for 5 points.  Rick and Cheryl are out for 6 points.  Kyle and Lacey are out for 7 points.  Audrina and Tony are out for 8 points.  Jennifer and Derek are out for 9 points.  Brandy and Maks win the dance marathon for 10 points.

Here's our combined leader board:

36 Brandy and Maks
32 Audrina and Tony
30 Kyle and Lacey 
30 Rick and Cheryl
29 Jennifer and Derek
28 Bristol and Mark
22 Kurt and Anna

We were extremely irritated with the scoring.  We're willing to admit that maybe we're purposely not seeing the issues the judges have with Jennifer's performances over the last two weeks.  But we also understand what this show is about.  So we will not apologize for taking both of our personal cell phones and both of our work cell phones, and using all our possible votes for Jennifer and Derek.

Put Baby at the bottom of the leader board?  Nobody puts Baby at the bottom of the leader board!  Not if I have anything to say about it.

Tune in tonight for results, and check back tomorrow for encores.

Later gang!

We're counting down to Blog Blast for Peace on 4 November 2010 with 30 days of peace quotes.

"A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion."  (Chinese proverb)

Check the top of my side bar to your left and click on any of the Peace Globe links for all the information you need to participate in this year's Blog Blast for Peace.  Or go directly to Mimi Writes and click any of the links just beneath the blog header.

If you need help with your Globe, let me know in comments.

You know you want to join us.  Come on.  Do it.

I believe that words have power, so this matters.

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What will you say?
November 4, 2010


  1. I do agree that last night was Bristol's best night. The tango suits her personality, for some reason. It was well done.
    I also agree that Derek and Jennifer were much better than the scores indicated. Maybe the judges were just trying to rein them back into the competition. Derek is such an amazing choreographer that he could take Jennifer to the next level and leave the competition in the dust this season. Only Brandi and Max have a shot at catching them.

  1. LOL @ your comment about Baby at the bottom of the leader board.. LOL!

  1. Barb says:

    Nobody puts Baby at the bottom of the leader board! LOL!

    I don't watch this show, but I do like watching a few of the videos you put up in the posts.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Oh I do love the Argentine Tango and Donny is just gorgeous! ((DROOL))

  1. I have read every one of your recaps of DWTS and I can not remember when you have disagreed with so many of the scores in one week. You have disagreed strongly on one or two, but never this many.
    As I said earlier today, I missed the entire show and probably will never have time to watch, so I really appreciate your doing this each week.
    If the judges begin to judge based upon keeping the competition close, the show is doomed