Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Welcome to Premier Night, Part II!

Last Monday our 11 couples danced Foxtrot or Cha Cha Cha for our votes.  Tonight each pair will dance Quickstep or Jive for some more votes.  Then tomorrow we'll have our first elimination.

Disclaimer:  Tenses?  Pay no attention to tenses.  Tonight = last night.  Tomorrow night = tonight.  Get it?

Here's a reminder of our leader board after the first round of dances:

24 Ralph and Karina 
23 Kirstie and Maks
21 Hines and Kym
21 Chelsea and Mark
19 Romeo and Chelsie 
19 Chris and Cheryl
18 Kendra and Louis
18 Petra and Dmitry 
17 Ray and Anna
14 Wendy and Tony
13 Mike and Lacey  

All set?  Here we go!

Ray and Anna dance Jive.  This dance really suited his personality.  It allowed him to do more dancing out of hold, which seems to be his strength.  You could really tell how much he enjoyed what he was doing.  Anna's choreography was wonderful, picking out his strengths and emphasizing them.  I thought this performance was all about his connection to the audience.  He was charming and fun to watch.  The problem is technique.  His kicks were not sharp or quick enough.  He has a very relaxed lower body and that didn't actually serve him well in Jive.  And he needs to be able to connect the movements a little better so the entire dance is cohesive and smooth.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17.  I can't argue that score.  The technique was lacking.  But for performance and enjoyment, I give him an 8.

Kendra and Louis dance Quickstep.  Kendra had a little meltdown in rehearsal because she feels like a tomboy and not a sexy lady.  Well, she looks like a sexy lady.  The long gown helps to disguise some of the issues she has with her legs.  I think that gives her a more elegant look, but she still needs to work on emphasizing lines.  She seemed very stiff in hold and towards the end of the dance she looked very awkward.  I wonder if she lost track of her steps.  I think her problem is going to be confidence.  The beginning of the dance was a step forward for her.  But I think the speed of the choreography got to her as the dance progressed.  It was a solid performance, but it wasn't as polished as she'll be if she stays in the competition for a few weeks.  Judges say 7,6,6 for a total of 19.

Chelsea and Mark dance Jive.  There's a story and a theme here, which was necessary because this is not traditional Jive music.  Mark really did a tremendous job with a tough musical selection.  At least I thought it was a real handicap.  I thought Chelsea did a great job with something that just wasn't acceptable to me as typical Jive.  I agree with the judges that it was difficult to judge that as a Jive.  This is unfortunate because Mark didn't have a lot to work with in that music.  He put as much content in the dance as he could find to go with the music.  It was a creative modern take on the Jive, dictated by a rotten choice of music.  I really don't like when they do this to the pros.  To the judges' credit, they didn't come down hard on Chelsea and the criticism of Mark's choreography was relatively mild.  Judges say 6,5,7 for a total of 18.  Bah.  Did I mention that I thought the music was lousy?  They danced well.  It just wasn't typical Jive.

Chris and Cheryl dance Quickstep.  He's a funny guy in rehearsal.   He's charming, and he has thrown himself into this with everything he has.  I was a little nervous for him because the rehearsal footage they showed made it seem like he was struggling with the idea of Quickstep.  But I'm pleased to report that he was graceful and elegant under the ballroom lights.  He did a fantastic job of holding his frame.  There were a couple of times when his shoulders got up and his arms drooped.  But overall that Quickstep was smooth and classy.  He's got to be proud of that.  Outstanding job!  I'm surprised by how light he is on his feet.  And he led the dance.  It's wonderful to see a big guy understand how to be strong, but also gentle.  He treats Cheryl so delicately in hold.  He's got the fans, and if they are watching he's going to be around awhile.  And I say deservedly so.  The man can dance.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Well done Sir!  I think Cheryl has herself another contender.

Petra and Dmitry dance Jive.  I think she is just delightful.  I find myself wanting her to do well.  She's still a little timid with her footwork.  No...I don't mean timid.  She's dainty and careful with her steps...that's what I mean.  I'm certain that comes from the severe injuries she suffered.  I know I'm very careful when I take steps, and all I did was blow out a couple of knees.  She's got completely reconstructed hips.  I loved how much she enjoyed dancing.  I think she did a good job with her kicks.  She still needs a lot of work with technique and confidence.  I thought she was a bit clingy in hold, like Dmitry was a woobie.  Judges say 6's across for a total of 18.  That's a pretty good score.  I think I would have given her an 8 for those LEGSSES!!!  Can I just say that Petra has some fine LEGSSES??  Oh my!  Those LEGSSES are worth some votes all by themselves.

Kirstie and Maks dance Quickstep.  The partnership between the two of them is so supportive.  It isn't often I can say that about Maks.  Wow.  She's doing so well with this dance.  She got a little tired toward the end, and that caused her to lose some focus and bobble on some steps.  But that's forgivable stuff.  The performance was absolutely wonderful.  There was a little bit of cheek in the choreography, but it was also elegant and sophisticated.  Yes...I used the word sophisticated to describe Kirstie Alley.  She's an older gal and a bigger gal, but it doesn't matter.  She's charming on the dance floor.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  I think the 6 is a little low, but she did have some trouble with her stamina, which cost her a complete dance.  I do worry about her catching her breath after a dance like that.  Hopefully she gets a slower dance next week.

Mike and Lacey dance Jive.  I worry about those turned in feet.  He is seriously pigeon toed.  Oh...we've got props.  Len is cranky tonight and I don't think he'll appreciate the guitar gimmick if the dancing isn't any good.  He's still stomping his way through the steps, but his musicality is better than it was last week.  I can say that he actually looked like he was dancing and enjoying it.  And he made it through a neat little trick at the end without dumping Lacey on her backside.  It was definitely better than last week.  I liked his the precision of some of his kicks.  At least this week the judges were encouraging.  He seems very sincere and he's got a good attitude, so I'm glad he had a decent performance.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17.  Good job.

Romeo and Chelsie dance Quickstep.  He did a very credible job in hold.  I would have liked to see his arms stay stronger through all of the footwork.  There was a little lack of focus and he got sloppy through bits of it.  Overall I thought it was a solid performance.  I think he did a good job of connecting the movements.  I liked what Carrie Ann said about emphasizing the difference between the charming gentleman and the relaxed fun guy within the dance.  There should be more contrast between those sections of the choreography, which helps tell the story better.  His strength is in his musicality and I think he has a lot of promise if he works on the technique.  I'm surprised at how well he took to the ballroom style.  I would have thought he would be more comfortable with Latin.  Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23.  Well done.

Wendy and Tony dance Quickstep.  There's the gal!  I loved that dance!  Tony choreographed to her personality, and she brought herself to the dance.  That was such an improvement over last week.  She wasn't timid at all.  She was confident and sassy.  And she danced well.  She did struggle with stamina, but then she recovered at the end.  This dance had personality, which I expected from her, and performance, which comes from settling down and being herself.  Her musicality and interpretation of the story was spot on.  Of course she still needs to work on technique so she can really emphasize Tony's choreography and develop a complete performance.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17.  It'll be interesting to see if she can survive this week.  If she does, I think she can continue to improve.

Ralph and Karina dance Jive.  He's trying to direct himself and create the character and deliver the performance.  Hey Ralph...relax and dance it dude!  Did you hear it...Pam is over here squeeing her silly little girl head off.  Wow.  Dang that Jive was full of stuff.  And it was fun.  That single leg work they did in the middle third was terrific.  Now there were issues.  It was a little frenetic and there were moments that were just on the edge of control.  The early part of the dance was more crisp than the later parts.  I'd have to say he might have over-danced it just a little.  But we still enjoyed it.  It was full of energy and content.  I think he's got to get out of his own head, listen to Karina, and settle into it.  Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.  For me that score is a little low.  Maybe the technique was 7's, but I thought the performance deserved at least one 8.

Hines and Kym dance Quickstep.  He's so light on his feet.  Kym has made some very difficult choreography.  Some of those passes make him focus on posture, footwork, and keeping his backside tucked in.  And he managed it so well.  Not only that, but he was able to include so many small details.  That was so charming.  It was classy and elegant, and surprisingly smooth.  He managed to keep his shoulders in control.  All that technique seemed so effortless.  They have such amazing chemistry together.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  I don't get that.  Len praised his posture and technique and performance, but refused to throw the 8.  Ppppppffffftttttt! 

Here's our updated leader board:

45 Ralph and Karina
44 Hines and Kym 
43 Kirstie and Maks 
42 Romeo and Chelsie 
42 Chris and Cheryl
39 Chelsea and Mark
37 Kendra and Louis 
36 Petra and Dmitry
34 Ray and Anna 
31 Wendy and Tony 
30 Mike and Lacey

Did I say it last week?  I did.  But I can say it again.  I love this cast!  It sucks that somebody has to be eliminated.

So votes.  Pam dialed for Ralph, Chris, and Kirstie.  And so did I.

Tune in for results tonight.  And if you can't, then check back here tomorrow and I'll tell you what happened.

Later gang!


  1. Akelamalu says:

    I'm waiting for Strictly Come Dancing to come back on TV here. :)

  1. I really think that someone needs to review the music choices. There were a couple of numbers that did not seem to fit last night. It really makes for an awkward situation for the dancers when that happens.
    I think Mike is leaving tonight. He did not improve as much as Wendy and I don't think he has the fan base to keep him around.

  1. I hear there's going to be a singing show where they o voice only. That sounds kind of interesting.

  1. As you and I have talked about sometimes the musical choices make no sense at all. Last night was a perfect example.
    I did not see the last three dances, so I missed the top two guys and Wendy.

    Thanks for the awesome recap.

  1. Akelamalu: The more dancing the better.

    Driller: The music can really be a problem sometimes. I agree that Mike is probably the one who is out. But I've been surprised before.

    Charles: I think that show might be called The Sing Off. I saw some of it last summer and really enjoyed it.

    V: I definitely think Chelsea and Mark were torpedoed by the music. Mark developed that concept to fit the music. Given a proper Jive tune, I have no doubt he wouldn't have done what he did.