Cue that theme music

Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

This week our 7 remaining couples dance to music from Broadway.  I love me a good musical!

And...every couple has two dances.  First an individual dance to a Broadway hit, then the group dance.

First up, it's a performance from the company of Sister Act.  Excellent!

Rob and Cheryl dance Cha Cha Cha to Walk Like a Man from Jersey Boys.  I like the song, but I had some trouble getting into the Cha Cha Cha rhythm at the top of the beginning.  I think it was a credible dance, but there were some issues with musicality and I think that comes down to the song.  It was hard for me to follow the beat, so I had a tough time following the movement.  I can say that his foot placement was very clean and precise.  But I didn't think Rob was relaxed with the style.  I didn't feel any of the cheekiness I like in a Cha Cha Cha.  There were some nice moments, but as a whole I thought the dance was just average.  Judges say 8,7,7 for a total of 22.  I agree with that score.

Nancy and Tristan dance Foxtrot to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python Spamalot.  Now this could be good, if she lets go and performs with confidence.  She has it in her face.  The problem is that her legs seem nailed to the floor.  She get any knee bend when it was called for, and she also continues to have issues with her posture.  She did start getting into it toward the end and seemed a bit lighter on her feet.  I think she enjoyed that dance more than any she's done so far.  And I did like the performance.  It had a proper Foxtrot flavor and they also added some nice Python character to it.  Judges say 9,7,8 for a total of 24.  I don't know about the 9.  Nancy had way too many technical and posture issues for a 9.  But as I said, I enjoyed the performance.

David and Kym dance Quickstep to We Go Together from Grease.  Now that's a great musical selection for Quickstep.  Kym is rockin' the Sandra Dee yellow dress too.  Love that!  There was a real 50s flare to the choreography, particularly to start the dance with hand jive and a few steps in tribute to the show.  Unfortunately, the dance got out of control right out of the gate and looked sloppy.  It seemed like David was trying so hard to control his exuberance that he let the steps get away from him and lost his timing.  His musicality was off, and that impacted his ability to hold synchronization with Kym.  It was the first time in several weeks that he didn't provide a strong lead for Kym.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Kym was ambitious with the choreography, but I think this dance was a miss.

Ricki and Derek dance Quickstep to Luck be a Lacy Tonight from Guys and Dolls.  That was wonderful choreography.  I thought it captured the flavor of the musical, which is right in the wheelhouse for Quickstep.  And they danced it beautifully.  That's how you come back from an off week.  It was fast and high energy, with a tempo change or two for balance.  Ricki kept up.  Sometimes the female celebrities get dragged around the floor during Quickstep, but not this time.  Her musicality was outstanding.  And the performance was clean, crisp, and precise.  Classy, sophisticated, and elegant.  Well done!  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  You gotta work to get that 10 paddle from Len.

Chaz and Lacey dance Tango to Phantom of the Opera.  He's really getting the steps.  His posture is very good.  He kept his shoulders back, which helped with his balance.  That was really quite good.  He was in control and seemed to be leading Lacey through it.  I think he captured the drama of the dance and the attitude.  I disagree with the judges about how Chaz handled this dance.  I thought he took a huge step forward in his control of the movement and his musicality.  We're getting down to case now, and I do agree that he needs to step up his performance.  Lacey tried to increase the difficulty, but she also has to make a dance that Chaz can do.  I thought his performance was pretty good.  The problem is that even when he improves, he's still quite a bit behind the rest of the celebrities.  Judges say 7,6,6 for a total of 19.  That's harsh.  I don't think the dance was that bad, but maybe it just wasn't difficult as some of the other performances.  It's just tough when you have such a likable person hitting that moment in the show when the judges try to counterbalance the fan vote.

Hope and Maks dance Rumba to Seasons of Love from Rent.  Too much drama in their rehearsal.  If she can't get this out of her head, she's going to dance herself right off the show.  That was a good effort, but she still looks so awkward to me.  I found her a lot sexier in goal on the soccer pitch than I do on the dance floor.  This Rumba wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either.  I didn't find it sexy or sensuous.  She doesn't look comfortable with the movement.  I think everyone got it in their head that she had potential as a dancer.  But I think the reality is that she's like any of the male athletes that didn't have the rhythm, musicality, or softness for dance, and I think that because she's a woman, no one has wanted to say it.  So I'll say it...she's awkward and doesn't have the coordination for dance.  And that's OK.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.

JR and Karina dance Quickstep to music from Chicago.  Wow.  That was some tough choreography.  Karina said in rehearsal that she was going to make an ambitious dance because she had faith that JR could handle it.  This had lots of runs and spins.  And it seemed to keep getting faster as it progressed.  One thing I really liked was that JR didn't bounce during those runs.  He managed to glide across the floor.  I thought the dance had a great flavor to it.  It definitely captured the period in which the musical Chicago was set.  I enjoyed the whole performance.  JR's personality and charm were the stars, and his ability carried the rest.  It would have been so easy for JR to get ahead of the dance because of the way the tempo kept building, but he stayed in complete control.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Len is still hanging onto that 10 paddle. 

Here's our leader board after that round of dancing:

29 Ricki and Derek
29 JR and Karina
24 Nancy and Tristan
23 David and Kym
22 Rob and Cheryl
20 Hope and Maks
19 Chas and Lacey

Warning!!  Mid-show rant ahead!

Let's address the tiff between the judges and Maks after his and Hope's dance.  It makes me very uncomfortable when a pro mouths off to the judges.  It also irritates me when the judges criticize the celebrities too harshly.  They do it both ways.  They'll set expectations much too high for certain celebrities, picking nits to find something wrong with an outstanding performance while rewarding an inferior celebrity dancer for effort over content.

Or they'll expect more than a celebrity is capable of, like they do with Hope, and express unreasonable disappointment when she doesn't measure up.

Then they'll try to hide behind "It's my job to judge and criticize" when a pro steps up to defend his or her partner and call the judges out for a bit of unfairness.  When this kind of thing happens, you'll find me snarling back at the TV and warning everyone to cool it off and settle down.

And Pam will say, "Travis it's only TV".

This is a puffy fluffy fun show.  I don't want this drama and I don't need it.  Now everybody kiss and make up so I can go back to enjoying my program.

End of mid-show rant.

Oh...that's right!  We've got a performance from the lovely, charming, and supremely talented Kristin Chenoweth.  She is joined by our pros for a stellar performance of Maybe This Time and I Could Have Danced All Night.

Now we have our group dance, choreographed by Kevin Maher with some assistance from Carson Kressley.  By assistance, you know that I mean moral support and sparkly silliness, right?  No scores for this round.  It's just for fun.

And it was fun!  I thought they all did a great job.  It was cohesive and I thought they all blended well together.

Good show.  We narrowed our focus and split votes evenly between Ricki and JR.  We think those two should be in the finale, with perhaps Rob or David rounding out the top 3 for freestyle.

Tune in tonight for what promises to be a great results show...well, great if you like Broadway.  And check back here tomorrow for my encores and results recap.

Later gang!

I continue counting down to 4 November with 30 Peace quotes and 100 reasons to blog for Peace.

"Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world."  Annie Lennox

Reason 10:  Because sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted.



  1. Jamie says:

    Just adore Kristin. Her range is almost unbelievable. She has a new TV series about to debut. Trying to break out of Broadway and gain recognition on screen and recordings. Hard to do though her turns on Glee have been good.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Awesome review as always :) Tell you what, I never liked Maks as he is too cocky for my taste ;) I guess they have to "spice it up" for the audience...
    So nice to be back!

  1. I have had enough of Maks and his drama. He always seems to have drama with his partner and I think this week it will send Hope home and that is not bad for she has gotten on my nerves and she is not graceful.

    Did Maks really start the show? His comment about This being his show, threw me off

    I do hope Hope is eliminated over Chaz, but we will see