Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's the performance finale, live from Hollywood!

Our final three couples have two performances each as they dance for our votes to combine with the scores from the judges to see who will take home the Fabulous Mirror Ball Trophy.  And they'll do it all in an hour, so let's get right to it!

The first round is a dance style chosen by the judges.  The dance is chosen to take advantage of the strengths of each celebrity.

Chelsea and Mark dance Samba.  Carrie Ann visits rehearsal to provide some coaching.  She tells Chelsea to combine  the sensuality of Samba with the party feel of it.  They get some excellent Samba music this time around.  Chelsea is dancing very well.  Mark occasionally pulls my focus from her, but not this time.  She danced with tremendous control and outstanding technique.  Her footwork and placement was excellent, which allowed her to really relax into her hip action.  I can't really find anything to dislike about the dance.  They danced with great energy and made the performance hot and sexy.  I really liked it.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Harumph!  I would have said 10's across.

Kirstie and Maks dance Samba.  Bruno visits rehearsal to provide some coaching.  He gives her some tips on how to keep from turning open too far, pulling closer and tighter, and taking that slight pause to emphasize the movement and engage the audience.  She really looks fantastic when you think of the changes she's gone through this season with her weight.  She's got that Samba bounce to characterize the party dance.  She's a little bit stiff in the Samba rolls, but her walks are terrific.  The dance was very smooth.  She really connected each movement.  Her musicality was wonderful.  The dance was sensual and relaxed.  There were a couple of missed steps.  I love Maks' choreography for her.  She looked very comfortable.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27.  I think those couple of wonky steps cost her at least one 10.

Hines and Kym dance Quickstep.  Len visits rehearsal to provide some coaching.  He helps Hines get his feet pointed correctly while maintaining his solid frame.  You might have thought they would choose a Latin style for Hines because he's so good at that, or perhaps Foxtrot.  But I think that if he solves his foot issue, his natural charm and personality will make this great.  I loved his frame in hold.  He also did a terrific job in the side by side work.  And I think he got his feet mostly squared away.  That was a fun performance.  The speed of the dance never slowed, and he managed it well without losing his technique.  Perhaps it could have been sharper and a little cleaner, but it's tough to beat the pure entertainment value of the performance.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  I would have thrown a 10 for the entertainment, however I'm not sure it was quite perfect.

Now I know that commercial is coming so I can look away!!  DAMN YOU AT&T anyway!

Here's our leader board after the first round:

29 Chelsea and Mark
29 Hines and Kym
27 Kirstie and Maks

I have to agree with the placement reflected in those scores.  I think Chelsea has the edge in technique, and she's able to combine that with performance.  Hines' strength is the presentation of the overall package, and so we sometimes forgive his flat feet.  Kirstie can compete with her ability to perform, but she loses a bit of ground on the technical side.  But it's still anyone's trophy at this point.

Now it's freestyle!!

Chelsea and Mark are up first.  I expect this to be innovative and super difficult.  Of course you can make it too difficult so that the actual dancing isn't done well.  They have some synchronicity issues to begin the routine.  I think Mark danced way over her ability and actually made her look less talented than she is.  The malfunction with the shoes didn't help either.  I don't think that choreography made the best use of her strengths.  I think the tricks were so difficult that they stumbled through a couple of them.  I like that they made use of Latin rhythms, but it was essentially a hip hop dance with special effects in the shoes that broke and took away from the whole.  I'll be honest...I didn't care for it.  I thought Mark just danced without any consideration for Chelsea, and that's a shame.  I was expecting something else and this felt like a throw away opportunity to me.  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  That dance wasn't perfect.  Even taking into account my dislike of it, you can't be perfect if your side by side choreography is out of sync.

Kirstie and Maks are up next.  I have no idea what to expect.  I like the way they began with Rumba.  Maks decided to emphasize her strengths in the Latin styles.  There was a little Cha Cha Cha and a little Samba in that choreography, plus some pretty solid lifts and tricks.  Even if she doesn't make the last two, and even if she doesn't win the show, she deserved her spot in the final three.  I never expected how good she was to start the show, or how well she did in this freestyle.  This was her paean to living your life.  It wasn't a perfect dance with some of the wobbles on the lifts, but it was entertaining.  I think Kirstie can be very proud of that freestyle.  Judges say 9's across for a total of 27. 

Hines and Kym get the final spot.  I'm not sure what to expect from this dance either.  With the scare Kym had last week, I can't imagine they'll go too extreme with lifts and tricks.  Oh now I remember!  Hines said he wanted to be the halftime show, because he'd never seen one in his career as a football player.  I liked this performance.  They used a drum line on stage that kept the rhythms to some disco type music.  The lifts were more difficult that I expected.  And I really liked that they incorporated so much movement from the Latin styles that they danced throughout the season.  Then there were some funky things tossed in.  It was kind of hard to follow musically because of the drums.  It was certainly different that any of the freestyles from past seasons.  Well done!  Judges say 10's across for a total of 30.  I don't know if it was perfect.

Here's our leader board with the freestyle scores added:

59 Chelsea and Mark
59 Hines and Kym
54 Kirstie and Maks

Yeah, I can't really argue that final placement.  I think Chelsea and Hines are the two best celebrity dancers, with Kirstie running a close third behind them.  Although I don't agree with the perfect scores for either freestyle, I have to say that they all danced really well.  It was an enjoyable performance finale.

Each pair has one more dance tonight for scores.  Then the votes will be added and we'll find out who takes home the Glittering Globe of Glory!

We spread out our 20 votes (5 for each of our 4 phones) among all three...7 for Hines, 7 for Chelsea, and 6 for Kirstie.  So I guess we sort of chose, but only because 20 doesn't divide evenly by 3!

Now, if we'd gotten 6 votes for each phone we would have made it even at 8 a piece!

Tune in tonight for the final results!  And check back here tomorrow for the full recap!

Later gang!


  1. Coco says:

    Glad you posted this - I missed last night ... slept through it, I'm ashamed to admit. I'm so happy that Kirstie and Maks made it this far - they were so much fun together. The final judgement doesn't matter to me now.

    Thanks Trav.

  1. Some day I'm going to watch one episode.

  1. Thanks for posting the scoop, Trav. Had to miss it last night. Goodnight's Drama Club performance was last night.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Wow Kirstie's still in eh? :0

  1. I have to tell you, when Chelsea was done I turned t Nancy and said, they were sloppy in spots.. then they got 3 10's and I shook my head.

    I saw what you saw Travis...a very entertaining dance, but there were errors and the judges let them pass...

  1. Coco: I'm OK with any result at this point. I enjoy all three pairs.

    Charles: Someday...LOL!

    GGG: We watched it live and recorded it. ABC is also repeating the broadcast at 8pm before the live results. So I'd say we covered all of our bases.

    Akelamalu: She is indeed. She's done very well.

    V: That's often the problem when you pack in that much difficulty. The performance can be sloppy.

  1. Jamie says:

    It may be too late, but I finally settled on Chelsie. If someone else takes it, okay. This has been a great season, but she really showed how to go from amateur to professional.

  1. Cherie says:

    I agree with your analysis 100%, and I kind of divided my votes the way you did, but I only had one phone. ;) Of all the dances that night, I would say that Chelsea's samba was the BEST. Very professional looking. The rest? I thought that the judges were very loose with their 10's. With the final judges scores anyone is certainly in a position to win. Very interesting season. Thanks for keeping me up to speed when I didn't have the ability to watch the show.

  1. Jamie: You're no later than me, because I still haven't picked a favorite! There were things I liked about all three of them, and I would have been OK with any of them winning it.

    Cherie: I really enjoyed this season. For me, it was one of the best.