Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 9 remaining couples are faced with something called Classical Week.

Soprano Katherine Jenkins
It means that we have a dressed up studio, more sparkles on the costumes, a 46 piece orchestra, and special guests violinist David Garrett and soprano Katherine Jenkins for some of the performances.  The music will all be classical pieces.

Violinist David Garrett
And the choreography will have to be grand to match the extravagance of the setting and sound.  Kiki and Oksana from our Dance Troupe demonstrate what a Paso Doble should look like, accompanied by the orchestra featuring violinist David Garrett.

OK.  I see how this could be intimidating for our couples.  But I think I'm going to like it, because the music should match the dances without anything wonky.  Although, it occurs to me that there could be issues with phrasing and finding the correct beat.  Not all classical music is made for dancing.  And inexperienced dancers often rely on lyrics to keep time.

Let's see how our pairs handle it.

Romeo and Chelsie dance Paso Doble.  I'm still concerned about Romeo's posture, but he's got the fire and aggression in his demeanor.  He's attacking the movement very well.  He's not quite leading strongly from his chest and hips, but he is dancing very strongly.  He really did pull off the power and the attitude.  I like the way he attacked the steps.  He showed much more confidence and interest in what he was doing.  His technique was better, but he's still got quite a way to go.  Judges say 7,8,8 for a total of 23.  Carrie Ann said she marked down for a lift, but I don't recall seeing a lift.  Still, that's a very good score.  I think it rewards the confidence he showed in attacking the choreography.  And I have to say that Romeo didn't allow himself to be dominated by the setting, music, or the choreography.  He looked comfortable.

Kendra and Louis dance Viennese Waltz.  OK.  Kendra visualizes this as a Mafia Waltz.  Well dear, whatever you need to focus on what you have to do.  The wonderful soprano Katherine Jenkins provides the vocal.  Kendra is a little unsteady and awkward with the tricks, and because of that lack of confidence, she's not maintaining any elegance or grace.  I loved Louis' choreography, but unfortunately Kendra was much more focused on her steps.  Her entire body was so tense throughout the dance.  There were moments in that had some flow, but overall it was quite choppy.  Still, I give her credit for getting through such difficult choreography.  Judges say 6's across for a total of 18.  That's too bad.  It was such a challenge for her, and I thought she did as well as she could with it.  Her biggest problem was lack of confidence.

Ray and Anna dance Viennese Waltz.  I love this music.  But anyone who has read these reviews over the years knows how much I love any Waltz music.  Once again, Ray's personality and charm are both front and center.  He also looks much lighter on his feet this week.  Technique will never be his strength, and there were several issues with his posture and his lines.  And there were some spots where he ran instead of glided.  But overall, that was a very entertaining performance.  He was much better this week with connecting one movement to the next.  And he seemed to enjoy himself so much, that he brought me right along with it.  They told a wonderful story together.  Judges say 7's across for a total of 21.  He went through the dance with confidence, and delivered a charming performance.

Petra and Dmitry dance Paso Doble.  Dmitry took her back to her modeling roots to help her work on the character of the Paso.  This music was really hard for Paso, but Dmitry's choreography was wonderful.  Petra had the attitude throughout.  She didn't allow the music to overwhelm her, and she was focused on what she was doing.  She's still somewhat timid with the way she places her feet.  At some point, she's going to have to take charge and be confident with her steps.  Saying that, she did extend through and finish a lot of the movements, so the shapes she made became defined and I could understand the character.  I think she did a good job.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Well done!

Aside:  I'm sick of Bruno.  Sit down man!  Settle down and stop over-dramatizing.  Get your point across without making such a spectacle.  Yeesh. 

Interlude:  Katherine Jenkins sings while Peta and Tristan from the Dance Troupe demonstrate Waltz, my favorite dance. 

Ralph and Karina dance Waltz.  They had wonderful rise and fall.  I thought his hands were much softer this week.  Karina's choreography was really beautiful, with a delicate power.  They expressed the tragic end game of the Romeo and Juliet story with passion and sophistication.  The lines they made were exquisite.  This was a dance well suited to Ralph's subtle theatricality.  He was a strong lead for Karina.  There was no squee this week...Pam sighed at the end of the performance.  This was a definite improvement over last week, and a sign that Ralph's great first week wasn't a one shot deal.  Well done.  Judges say 8,8,9 for a total of 25.  I think that 9 is deserved.  Ralph definitely got back into contention with the judges this week.

Hines and Kym dance Paso Doble.  Kym is stepping up the difficulty this week.  I think he can handle it.  He attacks everything with such confidence, and that will serve him well in Paso.  Wow.  My untrained eye saw very little wrong with this dance.  He had passion, aggression, attitude.  He controlled every part of it.  He hit on every step.  Paso isn't one of my favorite styles, but Hines just made me enjoy it.  He found a way to maintain his focus and character, and yet still bring his charm and personality to the performance.  Seriously, I'd throw a 10 on that.  I honestly didn't see anything wrong with it.  Outstanding.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.  Clearly the judges saw some issues.  But I'll go with my untrained eye and say 10!

Chelsea and Mark dance Viennese Waltz.  Harry Potter music!  Mark mixed traditional with whimsy in his choreography and I thought it worked very well.  I think Chelsea maintained her focus and completed her lines.  The tempo was quick, and she managed it without rushing through the movements.  She extended through her arms to her fingers.  That was really a fantastic performance.  I didn't see anything wrong with it at all.  I thought it was absolutely charming.  Len put on his cranky pants and picked on Mark for going outside the traditional box, but he also said he enjoyed the performance.  I understand his point, but there was enough traditional content.  Mark put together an excellent technical routine, and then completed it with movements that matched the music.  But what made it more than the sum of the movement was Chelsea's grasp of the technique and complete performance.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  That's a great score, but I think it should have been 9's across.

Chris and Cheryl dance Paso Doble.  No wonder he was having some trouble finding the arrogance during rehearsal.  The music starts out quite delicate for Paso.  But Chris is pulling it off.  He has found the precision in his movement.  And he is dancing with power.  The one thing he has always been able to do his lead Cheryl and control the dance.  He did a fine job of that in this choreography.  His steps were clean and crisp.  His frame and posture were excellent.  He was confident, and he managed to emphasize so many of the details in the choreography.  I disagree with Len though.  I think Chris did a good job portraying the way the music started with a subtle menace and built throughout.  And I thought by the end he was right in line with the powerful finish.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  I thought that was 8's across.

Kirstie and Maks dance Waltz. Maks has overcome his injury, but this week Kirstie struggled with some muscle pain in her hip.  She's so determined.  The way Maks choreographs Waltz...that's the way every man should dance with his lady.  Their rise and fall was beautiful to begin the dance.  But unfortunately, she looked distracted.  There were moments when I thought the elegance was going to dominate the dance, but then there was a giggle here and an odd look there.  She lost her shoe halfway through the dance, which made for an awkward moment when I couldn't figure out what was going on.  The rest of the dance felt broken.  I'm disappointed because the choreography had so much potential.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  This is the third straight week that they have been off...there was a stamina issue for Quickstep, Maks' slip last week with Rumba, and the shoe malfunction this week.

Here's our leader board for Classical Week:

26 Chelsea and Mark
25 Hines and Kym
25 Ralph and Karina
23 Chris and Cheryl
23 Petra and Dmitry
23 Romeo and Chelsie
22 Kirstie and Maks
21 Ray and Anna
18 Kendra and Louis

I'm quite annoyed with the judges.  There was way too much over-the-top bickering and it nearly made the show run long.  That garbage needs to stop.  This cast doesn't deserve it. 

So despite all that, we enjoyed Classical Week.  There was some not so good stuff mixed in with some good stuff mixed in with some great stuff.  My votes went to Ralph and Hines.  Pam split between Ralph and Kirstie.  If there were more votes we'd share some with Chris and Chelsea.

Tune in for results tonight and check back tomorrow for encores and a recap.

Later gang!


  1. Marsha says:

    It was a good show, but I agree..Bruno SIT DOWN and chill...the judges are way too dramatic this season, they need to tone it down. I enjoyed the classical music and it was a challenge for the dance to match the music I'm sure. I did come out with some new music for my iPad - love David Garrett, WOW. My personal choice is that Kendra needs to go.....

  1. Liz Hill says:

    I agree about the judges--really annoying. I loved that they did classical but I wish they'd chosen pieces that were not so over exposed as to be recognized through their use in commercials. I'm just very tired of Kendra--hope she goes.


  1. Akelamalu says:

    I love Katherine Jenkins and David Garrett - that will be SOME show!

  1. Thought that Chris and Cheryl were at a slight disadvantage. I thought that Hines and Kym had much more appropriate Paso music and wardrobe. It really contributed to the overall excellence of the performance.

  1. And yes, Bruno...get over yourself and sit down!!!

  1. The judges are beginning to think they are the show - sort of what happened to AI...

    sit down and be quiet and give your critique without the drama

  1. Marsha: I usually have one or two times a season when the judges annoy me, but this year it's been almost every week so far.

    Liz: I think part of that was so fans weren't too distracted by music that didn't have easy to follow rhythms. I know it helped me to focus on the dancing. And thanks for the birthday wish!

    Akelamalu: I had never heard either of them before. I really enjoyed both.

    Driller: I agree. But I do think they handled it well. Chris is really surprising me.

    V: Well, they are part of the show. But last night they really stepped over the line and began to detract from the dancing. That I don't like at all.