Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

As I wrote last week, this show isn't always about the "best" dancer.  In fact, it's rarely about the "best" dancer.  "Best" is subjective.  This show is about fan base...which celebrity has a fan base that is going to watch and pick up the phone and vote, or vote online.  Sometimes, a pro dancer has a fan base and earns votes too, and that can mean the difference between advancing another week and being eliminated.  Scores from the judges can impact the result, but that comes later in the season.

Nobody is "voted off" the show.  You don't get to vote for who you want to go home.  Votes are cast for favorites.  And that is purely subjective too.  "Best" isn't the goal here.  The goal here is to entertain.  It's about creating a few hours of frivolous entertainment every week.

The whole concept appeals to me.  I like it.

Now off the soap box and onto the show!  Our 9 remaining pairs return this week to dance to memorable movie scores.   First, Val, Louis, and Peta join our Dance Troupe to get things started.  Louis van Amstel choreographed that piece.

Chynna and Tony dance Tango to the theme from Mission Impossible.  Tony drops from the rafters to begin the dance, which is pretty cool.  Unfortunately that was the best thing about the dance.  Chynna looked confused and lost her place.  Then the mistakes got in her head, and she was out of sorts for the rest of the performance.  I feel badly for her.  Her disappointment was all over her face and evident in her body language.  I think she wanted to do so well and just put too much pressure on herself, and then she got completely confused and panicked.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  They were very generous with that score.  I'm sad, because she's a favorite of mine and I think she could have been amazing in this style.  Rats.

David and Kym dance Paso Doble to the theme from Indiana Jones.  I like this music for Paso.  It's strong, powerful, and dramatic, which is what this dance represents.  I like that David got to show off some athleticism as he swung onto the floor from the stairs.  I thought his leaps were impressive.  There were moments when his balance was off, which upset the timing of some of his turns.  But overall I thought it was a fine performance.  There were some issues with extensions in some of the lines and forms, and I would have preferred more leading with the chest, but David was in character throughout the dance and that helped to overcome some of the technical flaws.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Good score.  He definitely had the excitement in the performance.

Our Dance Troupe returns with Val for some more exhibition dancing.  Louis and Val choreographed the piece.

Carson and Anna dance Viennese Waltz to the theme from Curse of the Black Pearl.  The costumes are great.  The sword fighting to begin the dance was cute, but the transition to the dancing was a little rough.  They didn't discard the swords very well, and that threw off their timing.  I like that they put some creative and fun elements into the choreography, but I think those movements took Carson out of his focus on technique.  The routine was cute, but there was so much potential for Carson to do well in this style.  I would have preferred for Anna to keep working on technique.  I thought Len's comment was much too harsh, although he was right that the technique was poor but the routine itself was enjoyable.  I think that you can go for fun without sacrificing the elements that make a good dance.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  For me, the choreography had potential but the execution was much too haphazard.

Nancy and Tristan dance Paso Doble to the theme from Flash Gordon...that would be Queen's Flash Gordon.  She's got the attitude and she looks great in hold.  Some of her footwork was very smooth.  She's dancing with a bit more confidence this week, although she still seems to be having trouble extending her lines and connecting one move to the next.  I think she gets through the dancing OK, but she struggles with the performance aspects.  But she is learning and I think this dance was a step in the right direction.  I think she did alright and I agreed with Carrie Ann that Nancy deserves credit for how far she has come in her dancing.  She is credible.  I liked Tristan's choreography in this piece, and I thought Nancy danced well.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  I give Nancy credit because she wasn't overwhelmed in the moment and she remembered all of her choreography.  That's worth something.

Hope and Maks dance Foxtrot to You've Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story.  I enjoy when Maks does playful choreography.  Seeing the tough time Hope had in rehearsals, I wasn't sure if she could capture the whimsy in this piece.  But she did manage it.  She looked like she was enjoying the dance.  I thought she dialed back some of the power and found a much lighter step.  I think she was more musical this week.  The combination of dance style and music was perfect, and I think that helped her relax and be playful with it.  We saw how hard she worked in rehearsal, and she was able to translate that into the performance and keep it relaxed.  She's learning how to perform.  This is my favorite dance from her.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  Well done my dear.

Rob and Cheryl dance Paso Doble to the theme from Superman.  He is really doing a tremendous job with his technique.  He began the season looking clunky and plodding.  There is still an element of that in the way he moves, but now his posture is more defined and his foot placement is accurate.  That means there are moments in his dancing that are smooth.  I think he still needs to work on musicality, but he presents a strong base and frame for Cheryl.  I think he managed the drama and aggression of Paso, although I'd like him to work on accentuating his lines and connecting through each movement to make the dance flow a little better.  His confidence is steadily growing.  He has a charm about him that is very appealing.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  Well done young man.

Ricki and Derek dance Tango to the theme from Psycho.  If this works, it can be great.  If it doesn't, yikes.  I would never expect to dance to music from Psycho.  Wow.  Derek managed that extremely well.  I am very impressed by this.  That would have been difficult for pros to pull off.  The whole package was really terrific.  They had to rely on counts because there was no definitive sustained beat to the music.  Derek managed to weave in all the suspense and drama of Tango to go with the suspense and drama of the movie.  And then they brought all of that intensity to the performance.  That was really something to watch.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Whoa...I didn't expect the 10s because of a few technical flaws in Ricki's posture.  But overall it was outstanding work.

Chaz and Lacey dance Paso Doble to the theme from Rocky.  Mama Cher is in the ballroom.  Chaz is dancing with a lot more energy this week.  That lightness he showed during the first week is back.  For better or worse, he's throwing himself completely into the dance and just going for it.  Plus, he gets bonus points for running up those stairs at the end of the routine without breathing hard.  The work he has done on his stamina and endurance is beginning to pay off.  The dance still wasn't very good.  But he worked hard and showed some improvement.  He looks like he's feeling stronger and more confident, so points for that too.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  That's his highest score.  He got the steps in the right places and he's got a smile on his face.  He got positive feedback from the judges.  And he's not in last place on the leader board.  Well done Sir.

JR and Karina dance Foxtrot to the theme from Pink Panther.  The opening notes of that theme always make me smile.  I really enjoy the way JR glides.  And he wore the pink tuxedo with absolute confidence.  He's also starting to emphasize little details that make a complete performance, like coy smiles and head tilts.  He's got technique, attitude, charisma, personality, and charm.  This dance was refined and precise.  I enjoyed Karina's choreography because it focused on all the Foxtrot elements it needed, while adding little tweaks of humor to round out the character of the performance.  There was a playful elegance enhanced by sophisticated musicality.  Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26.  Excellent. 

Here is our leader board:

29 Ricki and Derek
26 JR and Karina
24 Hope and Maks
24 Rob and Cheryl
23 David and Kym
21 Nancy and Tristan
21 Chynna and Tony
21 Chaz and Lacey
20 Carson and Anna

I enjoyed the show tonight.  I wish Chynna had done better.  She gets a few extra votes, and we'll split the rest between Ricki and JR. 

Tune in tonight for results.  Julianne Hough performs!!  We love Julianne!  And don't forget to check back here tomorrow for my encores and results recap.

Later gang!

I'm counting down to 4 November with 30 days of Peace quotes and 100 reasons to blog for Peace.

"The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men."  John F Kennedy

Reason 24:  Because I like to see the marvelously diverse ways Peace bloggers use to express their wishes for Peace in their lives.  Check out some of those ways in the Peace Globe Gallery.


  1. Saw most of the show last night as you know...thought Rob really stepped it up last evening.

    Not sure who will not get the votes for tonight's show, but it is really pretty even right now IMHO