Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

So it's something called Guilty Pleasures Night.  Oh good grief.  It's a grown up Hanson singing Mmbop, accompanied by Tony and Lacey along with our Dance Troupe.  I still can't understand a word of that song.

But I get the Guilty Pleasures's songs you won't ever tell anyone you like, and that you probably sing in the shower, and that you probably car dance to when they randomly play on your Ipod.  Yeah, randomly...because you'd never purposely scroll through for them, right? 


And our 7 remaining pairs are going to dance to some of these songs.  And Hanson is even going to stick around and play some of them between commercial breaks.

Aren't you excited now??  Let's see what all this looks like.

Kirstie and Maks dance Samba to Hit Me Baby One More Time.  I'm still concerned about her stamina.  After 6 weeks of performances and at least a month of rehearsals before the show began, she still loses her breath.  But she can do these dances.  She gets her hips shaking.  She turns her feet out.  She performs the character.  I thought at first that the tempo seemed a little sedate for Samba, but I think that was more because they controlled the movement so well.  Kirstie's movement was mostly smooth and fluid.  She relaxed and didn't over-think the choreography, which was on the difficult side, particularly with the Samba roll.  She just danced it and danced it well.  Outstanding.  Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26.  Yes!  That score is well deserved.  You know, the only way she's showing her age is because she can't get her breath at the end of the dance.

Chris and Cheryl dance Tango to Don't Stop Believing.  I didn't know Chris was in a rock band, and I've never considered DSB to be a guilty pleasure.  Oh Sherie, maybe.  LOL!  I'm not buying this song for Tango.  The rhythm didn't feel right to me and the song doesn't lend itself to the drama and passion of Tango.  Chris gets all his usual props...he controlled the dance and provided a strong frame for Cheryl.  From a technical standard, Chris was sharp as usual.  And I thought he did a better job of turning out his feet.  I thought his musicality started better this week.  But the dance felt flat for me because that song just was wrong for Tango.  I don't know how to judge when I don't enjoy the music.  Bruno called it cold, and I think that is directly attributable to the music.  I don't think the pressure got to Chris.  I just think that the poor combination of music and dance style got to him.  Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22.  That's unfortunate.

Romeo and Chelsie dance Waltz to My Heart Will Go On.  I think this can be a real moment for him if he can combine his charm and personality with the technique.  Now this is how you pair music with a dance style.  I say this each season...this is how a man should dance with his Lady at least once.  That was really beautiful.  There were some moments when his frame collapsed and he rushed through a couple of poses without extending through his hands.  He was missing some of the subtle pauses that would have brought that dance to the 10 he is looking for.  But as a performance, it was wonderful.  They told a very sweet and romantic story.  I really enjoyed watching it.  Well done to Chelsie for the excellent choreography.  Judges say 10,9,9 for a total of 28.  I don't think that 10 was justified.  With Romeo's frame collapsing like it did, I think 9's across was the correct score to reward the excellence of the overall performance.

Chelsea and Mark dance Quickstep to Walking on Sunshine.  Mark injured his ankle during dress rehearsal, but he decided to tough it out and dance anyway.  I think this is another great combination of dance style and music.  There were so many clever little details in the choreography.  Mark made it youthful, but also filled it with Quickstep content.  He put an original spin on some standard moves.  That was really outstanding.  I'm glad Mark's injury allowed him to dance that with Chelsea.  In my opinion, this routine is worthy of an Emmy nomination.  It's got to be among the best dances throughout the seasons...and I don't like to go for that hyperbole very often.  It was fun and perky, and any technical flaws were so minor that I never saw them.  That's a 10 paddle from me!  Judges say 10,9,9 for a total of 28.  Yup!  Although I think she deserved a second 10.

Kendra and Louis dance Samba to La Vida Loca.  She's doing great.  She's relaxed and going for it.  This can't be the same gal from two weeks ago.  She's shaking everything she's got and maintaining her musicality and timing, which is often lacking for her.  And her technique was there too, right along with the confidence she needs.  This was definitely her dance.  Louis' choreography was difficult, but still made to emphasize her strengths.  And she does have some, despite the struggles she's had in previous dances.  Good for her!  Judges say 8,8,9 for a total of 25.  Well done Girl!

Hines and Kym dance Viennese Waltz to End of the Road.  That opening sequence when he held her by the waist was so smooth.  His rise and fall was fantastic.  All the things I love about this style were in the choreography, and they were all performed magnificently.  I found the dance elegant, classy, and sophisticated.  Len pointed out Hines' flat feet, but I never noticed that.  I have no idea what Carrie Ann was talking about, other than needing to find something to criticize about a celebrity who has these dances completely figured out.  It happens with the front runners every season.   Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.  Evidently Carrie Ann's objections weren't all that strong.  Hines is solid every week.  It might be that he's been so consistent and so good every week with any style, that the other improvement of the other celebrities makes it seem like he's just maintaining the same level.  So Hines has to be even more precise to get that 10 paddle.

Ralph and Karina dance Paso Doble to Everybody Dance Now.  Here's what I think has been the problem with Ralph the last several trying to be precise and clean with his technique and character, he has lost the fluidity and musicality that makes a full performance.  He looks much more confident in Paso.  Oh no...Karina tripped over Ralph's feet and fell, which of course threw them completely off for several beats.  Ralph totally lost his place, and so did Karina.  That could have been a complete disaster, but then Ralph started to work it out and Karina found the place to re-enter the choreography.  That was a really tough mistake because as the lead, Ralph had to power through and help Karina, and that's difficult for the celebrity to pull off.  The mistake caused some problems transitioning between movements, particular between the side by side work and then the work in hold.  To their credit, they finally recovered from the mistake and the rest of the dance was really good.  That choreography was so complex, with a lot of dancing out of hold and away from each other.  That's tough by itself to hold your technique and timing, even despite the fall.  Judges say 8's across for a total of 24.  That's very generous after that fall, but it does reward how they recovered and finished strong.

Here's our Guilty Pleasures leader board:

28 Chelsea and Mark
28 Romeo and Chelsie
27 Hines and Kym
26 Kirstie and Maks
25 Kendra and Louis
24 Ralph and Karina
22 Chris and Cheryl

Pam and I think this is going to come down to fanbases.  It usually does, but I think it's even more important this time around.  There will be those who are voting based on "best", but I suspect there are more voting on "who".

But I'll tell you something.  Pam and I are splitting our votes between Ralph, Hines, and Kirstie right now.  But we could just as easily be voting for Chris or Chelsea or Romeo.  And tonight we could have thrown a few votes Kendra's way.

We've got an action-packed-two-hour-extravaganza-step-over-lip-lock results show, so tune in if you get a chance.  And check back here tomorrow for the usual encores and a recap.

Later gang!


  1. If it comes down to fanbases tonight for elimination, then I think Kendra is still at risk of leaving the competition. Chris will be in the bottom three and Ralph may join them.
    Chelsea/Mark along with Romeo/Chelsie will be the last couples standing with Hines/Cheryl rounding out the top three.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't have one fav, yet, but Hines is doing nicely, isn't he?

  1. Akelamalu says:

    So what are your 'guilty pleasures' songs Trav?

  1. Marsha says:

    I agree with Driller on the final 3...Kendra should be the one to go tonight cuz I think Kirstie's fanbase is bigger...but really, the next four weeks will see the end of Kendra, Chris, Kirstie and Ralph.

  1. We have had plenty of rain in our area, but we live on higer ground, so all is good at the Driller abode. Thank you for your concern.

  1. Jamie says:

    Chris and Cheryl tried to dance a Tango to Don't Stop Believing. It just didn't work for me at all. Just a bad match of music and dance form.

  1. BeckEye says:

    That guilty pleasures stuff is for the birds. I love "Mmmbop" and I'll shout it from the rooftops! :)

    I also love Hines Ward.