Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

We're down to five couples and tonight they'll take on two individual dances, one of which they will have to prepare without music.  The music for the dance will be given to each pair about 20 minutes before they have to perform the dance.

I am assured by my blog pal Cherie that it is actually a real competition challenge to withhold music in this way.  That does seem to be the case, with lots of couples on the floor at once dancing their own routines to a single song.  I had forgotten about that, because most of the professional competitions I've seen on TV have started at the finals stage. 

I don't know that I like the idea for our celebrity dancers, but we shall see how they do.

First up, we have the ballroom round.

Kyle and Lacey dance Viennese Waltz.  If the dance was only judged from the knees up, he'd be golden.  I liked his carriage this week.  He had some nice rise and fall.  He made some fine lines with his arms.  And there were moments where he was smooth.  This was really quite a lovely dance.  He always has the performance, but there was something more between him and Lacey this week.  The connection between them was sweetly romantic and charming.  I saw the fairy tale that I always expect from any Waltz.  The hard work and focus really paid off for Kyle this week.  His footwork was even better.  There were a couple of awkward moments, but his progress over the last few weeks is really impressive.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.  Well done young man!  For instant dance, they select the song Good Golly Miss Molly.

Jennifer and Derek dance Quickstep.  She's got pretty serious inflammation this week, but she's dancing after a visit from Daddy Joel.  This Quickstep is at Foxtrot tempo.  I can't imagine how she's doing this.  I have enough trouble just taking a normal step when my knees are inflamed.  It's like fire in your joints.  But she got through an elegant and classy performance.  There were some things she clearly couldn't do at the end of the routine, so Derek did them for her and it worked for me.  There's a reality to being 50 years old with physical ailments.  So you just do what you can and make up for what you can't do with performance.  And that performance really was wonderful.  I'm glad that she's just decided to dance until she can't dance anymore.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.  You know what?  Peggy Fleming skated long after she could no longer do any of the jumps, and you never noticed because she was so elegant.  I'd like to see the same for Jennifer through the rest of this competition, and I'd like to see the judges reward it if it is excellent.  For instant dance, they select the song Waiting for a Girl Like You.

Kurt and Anna dance Waltz.  In a dance like this, his arms and hands could be the biggest detriment.  I think he has manages to be graceful and elegant when he needs to be.  But he won't be able to step up technically with the other pairs unless he can resolve the issue with his hands.  For the most part he overcame it in this performance, but the overall dance didn't feel relaxed to me.  On the positive side, his gentleness and charm are so engaging.  I thought he captured the character and joy in a Waltz, and that was reflected in the performance.  I think if there were two scores, he would definitely get a high mark for performance.  He just doesn't have the same level of technical improvement as some of the other pairs.  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  For instant dance, they select the song Hella Good.

Bristol and Mark dance Argentine Tango.  I like her attitude to begin the dance with that walk.  But then she let it go, which caused her movement to lose the snap and pop it needed.  She didn't extend through her legs enough and that made her look completely disinterested.  It was a good dance, but at this point I'd like to see her stop pulling back.  Tango needs intensity and focus, which drives the passion.  This dance lacked that for me.  I think she's doing about as well as she can do.  Her footwork is clean and precise, but she still hasn't really been able to pull together the performance energy.  There are times when she just looks flat emotionally.  That's fine in a dance that relies more on technique and footwork, but not so much with the more passionate dances.  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  I don't agree with that score.  For instant dance, they select the song Mas Que Nada.

Brandy and Maks dance Waltz.  There's always the potential for perfection in a Chmerkovskiy Waltz.  All Brandy has to do is relax, listen, and follow.  That was so light and fluffy.  Seriously.  It was exactly like they were dancing on feathers...breezy and effortless.  She had one or two moments when I would have liked to see her really accentuate the lines in her free leg, and then in her arms.  But I'm just picking nits.  That dance was just beautiful.  It was a complete story.  It was so lyrical and expressive.  She has come so far in her performance.  She was delicate.  The whole of the performance overshadowed any technical issues.  Judges say 9,10,10 for a total of 29.  Like I said, we could pick nits and I guess Carrie Ann decided to do that.  But that could easily have been a perfect 30.  For instant dance, they select the song Teenage Dream.

Here's our leader board after the ballroom round:

29 Brandy and Maks
27 Jennifer and Derek
27 Kyle and Lacey
24 Kurt and Anna
24 Bristol and Mark

Next up, it's the instant dance round, otherwise known as Latin.  I don't know about instant dancing...they've prepared their dances already.  It's the music that is the surprise and each pair has to adapt the choreography to the music in less than 30 minutes.

Kyle and Lacey dance Jive.  He's got this dance under control.  I didn't hold my breath waiting for him to lose his balance or timing.  This dance was a little wild, but he managed to hold his musicality and find his timing.  He's able to cut loose his personality, but he didn't lose track of his technique too much.  There were a few issues where he walked the edge, but he managed to pull it back together.  The dance was fun and fast, full of energy and excitement.  It really got the crowd rolling.  For pure performance and entertainment, it was outstanding.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Let's not get carried away.  Performance-wise it was great, but it wasn't perfect technically although it was pretty good.

Jennifer and Derek dance Rumba.  For a gal with a bum knee, this is a great style because they can slow down and focus on dancing rather than pain.  She's right on with technique and she can still do that sexy split clear down to the floor.  The choreography is so sexy, but romantic rather than raunchy.  I really liked that performance.  It was sophisticated and it looked like they rehearsed it for weeks.  The technique was absolutely amazing.  All the little details...the pauses, and the tempo adjustments.  Kudos to Derek for making a dance that was so flexible that it could be performed to any kind of music.  Where are the 11 paddles??  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  YES!

Kurt and Anna dance Cha Cha Cha.  It was cute to watch Kurt's kids during rehearsal.  I'm actually impressed by this performance.  Wow!  He's actually got Cha Cha Cha hips.  He also nailed the cheeky character of the dance.  I don't believe what I just saw.  That was outstanding.  He was right on with musicality.  That was his best dance.  Looks like he forgot about the steps and just danced the $h*t out of it.  Well done Sir!  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  No way!  That should have been 9's across.  It was better than anything he's done this season, so why not throw a better score?  I say pppppffffffftttttttt!  They got robbed.

Bristol and Mark dance Samba.  She shook her bazoombas and rolled her hips around when she was standing still, but then she lost that hip action when she started to move.  She did not look comfortable with the dancing part of Samba.  When she could stay in one place and shake things around she did fine.  I appreciated what she did, because Samba is a difficult dance to find your rhythm, timing, and musicality.  It wasn't horrible, but the performance wasn't really complete, with each movement connected to the next.  She might have been able to get it with the normal rehearsal time, but I think this dance was a miss.  Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23.  Sorry, I think that was only worth 7's across.

Brandy and Maks dance Cha Cha Cha.  She has to make sure that rehearsal exuberance doesn't get out of control.  And she did.  I liked this performance.  It was cheeky and fun, but also relaxed and sophisticated.  The dancing and performance was complete.  As with their Waltz, they made this Cha Cha Cha look effortless.  I think this dance sealed their partnership.  The chemistry between the two of them was so wonderful.  I don't know what Carrie Ann was fussing about.  Maks built a dance around standard Cha Cha Cha steps, and then they both went out and performed it well.  I was impressed by this dance.  Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.  I was put off by the arguing between Maks and Carrie Ann, although in this instance I side with Maks.

Here's our combined leader board:

57 Brandy and Maks
57 Jennifer and Derek
56 Kyle and Lacey
48 Kurt and Anna
47 Bristol and Mark

Instant dance is an instant hit.  I like it.  And our celebrities did fantastic with it.  Let's put Instant Dance Week right on the list for Season 12 theme weeks.

We had 4 phones with 5 votes each...20 to Jennifer from the pacific northwest.  Did you vote?  Because tonight we get to the Final Four.

You know the drill...tune in tonight for results, and check back here tomorrow for some encores.

Later gang! 


  1. Akelamalu says:

    You don't have any celebrities on that programme purely for the cringe factor thank goodness, whereas we do on Strictly Come Dancing. It's a farce it really is. If you don't know what I'm talking about it's Ann Widdicombe on this year's show, you can see her on You Tube here

  1. Derek proved just how incredible a choreographer that he is last night. In rehearsal, he suggested that they practice to several songs in order to get a feel or different tempos of the music. Genius!
    I cannot believe I never put 2 and 2 together to realize that Jennifer Grey is Joel Grey's daughter.

  1. Cherie says:

    You see. It looks like the dancers did better when they didn't have the music in advance. It can be easier because all you have to do is stay on time (or get back on time) with the music. I knew it would be alright. (And thanks for the shout out!)

  1. Kate says:

    I couldn't continue watching this's all the same thing. I only know of 2 people who are still left. I mean should maybe be called dancing with the d-list stars.