Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 8 remaining pairs are back and this week they'll make dances to patriotic music.  I honestly don't know about this one, gang.

But I can say that we're half way through Season 11, and there are still many couples who can win based not only on dance ability, but active and vocal fanbases.  And as we know from past seasons, there's no telling how the fans are ultimately going to go.

So let's have American Week and see what happens!

Ralph and Karina dance Samba to Sweet Home Alabama.  The Brazilian party dance to Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Unfortunately the mix of down home southern rock and Latin movements just didn't work for me.  And it didn't seem to work for Ralph all that well either.  He had the energy for it and he got most of the steps squared away.  But the hip action wasn't smooth and loose.  It wasn't an awful dance.  But I agree with Len that Ralph isn't consistent.  He's certainly better in the ballroom styles than in the Latin.  I thought Karina did a good job of trying to fold classic Samba choreography into the tempo and rhythm of the song.  Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.  That's still a pretty good score for this particular dance.  I'll say that his performance and energy were fine.  But still, how about a Texas Two-Step instead of Samba here?

Chris and Cheryl dance Viennese Waltz to America the Beautiful.  Seriously?  A gravity chamber at the I've never heard Viennese Waltz described that way, but it makes sense because of all the spins you can put in the choreography.  Chris continues to show a very strong frame, which makes them look fantastic as they move across the floor.  There were moments when he kind of clanked when I wanted him to glide.  But it was a very credible performance.  He showed an elegance that still surprises me, and it shouldn't anymore.  Chris has established his bona fides, and he works hard on technique and on creating classic lines.  He handles Cheryl with such delicacy.  I was more able to appreciate this pairing of song and dance style.  I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I don't think it was that good.  I thought 8's across.  But still, they did deserve a good score for that performance.

Petra and Dmitry dance Quickstep to Viva Las Vegas.  I really like her.  She has a sweet charm about her that I find very attractive.  The way she has learned to stretch her very long neck adds even more elegance to her posture.  Dmitry has done a fabulous job helping her improve her technique, and this choreography was wonderful.  I thought that was a terrific performance.  The tempo was just right for her to keep up.  I disagree with the judges that it was too fast.  Perhaps there were a couple of moments where she lost her musicality, but I would say that musicality is not her strength.  For me, Petra is the kind of celebrity from whom I forgive some technical gaps.  I like her lines.  I think she danced this week with more confidence, despite a few foot mis-placements.  I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  I would have said one more 8.

Romeo and Chelsie dance Foxtrot to New York New York.  Now that song makes some sense with Foxtrot.  He had perfect character throughout that dance.  I like to see a kid really embrace a style like this and have fun with it.  He managed to mix his own personal style and "swagger" with the class and sophistication of a Foxtrot.  There were some choppy moments when he lost the thread and didn't make smooth connections from step to step.  But what he did was use the choreography as an expression, and that's a credit to Chelsie.  She understands her celebrity and is teaching him in a way that lets him be himself while staying within the proper framework of each dance.  He understood what the style was meant to convey, and added a personal charm and flair to it.  Well done young man.  I really enjoyed that.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I'll agree with that score.

Hines and Kym dance Rumba to Proud To Be An American.  Oh for Pete's sake.  I muted the sound so I could just focus on the dancing, which I thought was outstanding.  I like that Kym designed an actual dancing Rumba, rather than a posing one.  I like to see a gentleman actually dance in this style rather than just provide a base for the lady to swivel around.  Without the music, I could see the sweetness of the romance between the two of them.  I thought he had the right amount of hip action.  Hines continues to be so relaxed and in control on the floor.  His partnership with Kym looks so comfortable.  Their connection makes everything look so effortless.  I don't think there's going to be a style he can't do extremely well.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.  Yup.

Kirstie and Maks dance Foxtrot to American Woman.  Oh for crying out loud!  But look who's talking to them in's Travolta as the Dance Doctor.  So despite the completely wrong music and the outrageous costumes, there was actually some proper Foxtrot content in the dance.  You know what Maks did?  He just went as far out as he could with the music.  It was ridiculously wrong for Foxtrot, but it worked because it was just on the edge and out of control.  Naturally it didn't appeal to Len, and I understand why.  It really was way over the top.  But, nobody fell down and nobody had any wardrobe malfunctions.  So call it a success because both of their personalities were woven throughout.  It won't appeal to classic Foxtrot fans, but the performance was exciting and fun.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  

Kendra and Louis dance Foxtrot to Yankee Doodle.  And this is the 1000th competitive dance of the show.  Now that I can see as Foxtrot music.  This week I just want to see Kendra have some fun, relax, and not worry what anyone is going to think or say about her.  The choreography was fun and full of energy, and I could tell she enjoyed doing the stomps and marches in the steps.  She still looked a little tense in places, but this was a much better performance than she's delivered so far.  I think she's learning how much the show grabs you and doesn't want to let you go.  I'm glad it's finally starting to sink in for her.  Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.  Good job.

Chelsea and Mark dance Samba to Party in the USA.  The girl is talented, and she's got a good piece of music for Samba.  I think she did a great job with this dance.  It was youthful, fun, and full of energy.  The musicality was fantastic.  Mark's choreography was basically traditionally, with a few steps outside the box.  But the work they did on her technique this week was really evident.  She kept her feet turned out, and that helped with her hip action.  There was just that little bit of footwork flub right at the end.  Otherwise there wasn't all that much to pick at.  Well done young lady!  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  The mistake in her footwork at the end of the dance was the only thing that keeps her 1 point down in second on the leader board.

Speaking of our leader board, here it is for American Week:

27 Hines and Kym
26 Chelsea and Mark
26 Chris and Cheryl
26 Romeo and Chelsie
23 Kirstie and Maks
22 Petra and Dmitry
22 Ralph and Karina
22 Kendra and Louis

Note to producers...don't do this again.  Or if you do, please make better pairings of music and dance style.  Some of the couples got jobbed on the music and the style of dance.  But, that's what you deal with and sometimes your fanbase just needs to carry you through a tough week.

And so, one of my phones was for Ralph and the other was for Kirstie.  Pam went exclusively for Ralph with both of her phones, on a no-squee night.  She's nervous about his prospects for making it through this week.

We'll be honest though.  We think the best dancers are Hines and Chelsea.  And we're a little bit embarrassed that we're going counter to "best" and voting mainly for "favorite". 

Not so embarrassed that we'll apologize for it.  You understand, right?  Right?

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results, and check back tomorrow for some encores and my results recap.

Later gang!


  1. BeckEye says:

    Yep, I watched it. I tried to vote for Travolta but they wouldn't give me his number. I've been trying to get his number for over 30 years.

    Actually, just like with American Idol, I don't ever vote. Even though my boy Hines is in there, I just can't be bothered.

  1. I hadn't been watching this season - you know why, Travis - too freakin' busy!! - but I was so tired last night and sat with my mom for a bit after my very late supper, and saw the wrestler guy.

    He was made of awesome!

  1. Some horrible music choices indeed. I am really displeased the producers seem to be able to manipulate by giving dumb musical choices to some and good ones to others.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Well it's giving you plenty to talk about isn't it Trav?

  1. jennifer says:

    ARG! I've tried to comment twice today but the wifi here at our vacation abode is giving me grief. I hope this one goes through. Anyway... hi! I'm reading your Travis and struggling to leave comments.

    (this sounds so goofy - just watch it be the ONE comment that publishes. Here goes...)

  1. jennifer says:

    Reading YOU... I'm reading you, Travis. Yep, the goofy comment made it through. sheesh.

  1. I actually watched it this week, and thought was a loud colourful entertaining mess.

    Thought Travolta appearance was forced and clunky, but then the Kirstie and Max were great.

    Didnt like this American Week thing at all... nice to try new stuff, now let's flush this one.

    And tonight a performance saluting the American Dream? Isnt that buying a house? We are dancing about that? Huh?

  1. Debra says:

    You have so got me into watching this show! I did miss it this week so I enjoyed reading your notes about it! I liked Wendy Williams...I know...she didn't dance well, but I always pull for the underdogs. Conditioning I recieved from being a Saints fan for so many years LOL!