Cue that theme music...

Posted: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 6 remaining pairs return for Halloween Night.  Top 6 gang.  That means we're getting ever closer to handing out the coveted Fantastic Mirror Ball trophy.

And it's Team dance night! 

The ballroom is looking particularly creepy, as is the band.

First it's the individual dances.

David and Kym dance Cha Cha Cha to Abracadabra.  I like the theme and the choreography.  But this isn't really David's style.  He's much too stiff.  Cha Cha Cha is supposed to be cheeky and fun.  It's also supposed to be very loose in the hips and I didn't think David got there in this dance.  I think his strength in this particular piece was his acting.  He played the magician quite well.  I also liked his posture and frame.  But below the waist it was just a little clunky for me.  Also, I'm concerned sometimes about his musicality.  I thought it was lacking in this dance.  I did enjoy the overall effect of the performance though, so well done there.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  OK.  I'll have to watch it again to buy that score.

JR and Karina dance Tango to Ghostbusters.  Now that seems like an unfortunate music and style combination.  Oh my...we've got drama in rehearsal as Karina steps up the pressure.  I felt the Tango rhythm, but the song just doesn't make me think Tango.  And since I'm a visual guy when it comes to understanding the dance I'm watching, I have to say that this was disappointing.  I didn't like it.  I should have turned the sound off so I could follow the actual dancing without the influence of the music.  The judges were mixed...they pointed out some issues with JR's footwork and timing.  Bruno admitted that the musical phrasing of the song contributed to some of the issues.  But Len said the performance was substandard based on the bar that JR has set for himself.  I didn't care for it because of the unfortunate pairing of music and style.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.  Even at "substandard", that's a good score.

Nancy and Tristan dance Jive to The Devil Went Down to Georgia.  The concern I have is that Nancy has not shown the ability to get her knees up, and that is important to crisp and precise flick kicks in Jive.  I like the way Tristan choreographed this piece.  But it's like I thought.  Nancy just isn't getting her feet off the floor or bending her knees.  She hasn't emphasized the kicks and that made the dance look sloppy and sluggish to me.  On the positive side, it looked like she was enjoying herself.  But unfortunately I think she missed on the major Jive elements...she was off the beat, she lost her choreography in places, her footwork wasn't crisp or precise, and she didn't have the bounce that makes Jive so much fun.  That's too bad.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  I think they were kind with that score.

Rob and Cheryl dance Tango to the theme from the Addams Family.  Now this music makes sense to me for Tango.  Even though the tempo is somewhat upbeat, I can understand a Tango danced to this much better.  Unfortunately, most of the dance looked awkward to me.  I liked the way Cheryl put the piece together, and that they played Gomez and Morticia.  Those characters were all about Tango, and it made the theme of the dance even easier to understand.  And I think they finished strong, but I thought the beginning and middle got a little out of control.  And I didn't really find anything romantic or sensual in it.  Rob and Cheryl normally have very good chemistry, but I didn't feel it this week.  Evidently I'm on a completely different page than the judges, who mostly loved the performance.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.  OK.  I can't say yea or nay to that. 

Ricki and Derek dance Paso Doble to A Beautiful Nightmare.  Ricki injured her ribs in inflamed nerve that requires rest to heal.  But she's dancing.  I like the Little Red Riding Hood theme.  That was a strong and powerful performance.  They had a great song that fed the passion inherent in the style, and Derek used that and the theme of a wolf to great effect.  Ricki's major technical issue is her shoulders, which always seem to tense and raise.  Big no no.  But somehow that never seems to impact her ability to extend through movement and create fantastic shapes and lines.  What I liked most about this was the contrast in movement...they whipped through and then held the pause, then eased into the next whip, then the pause.  I also liked the enticing way Ricki drew her skirt up.  That's good Paso because it takes your eye through the dance.  Excellent work.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  Yup.

Hope and Maks dance Samba to Werewolves of London.  Maks has an injured toe, so Teddy from our Dance Troupe helped out.  Hope looks much more relaxed this week.  She lost her steps just a little bit in the middle of the dance, but she got back on track quickly.  For the most part I thought she did OK.  I still don't find her all that sexy, but I'll call this a credible Samba.  Her legs were still a bit spindly and rubbery.  She did get her hips moving reasonably well.  I still think she has so many technical issues, but I felt that her musicality was better and she seemed like she was enjoying herself.  Well done my dear.  And well done to Maks...that was some great choreography and a terrific theme.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  I guess that'll work.

Here is our leader board after the individual dances:

27 Ricki and Derek
25 Rob and Cheryl
25 JR and Karina
24 David and Kym
24 Hope and Maks
21 Nancy and Tristan

Next up is the team dance round.  We've got Team Tango versus Team Paso.  The scores in this round can really stretch out the leader board. 

First up is Team Tango featuring JR and Karina, David and Kym, Nancy and Tristan.  Their unison is very good to begin.  Nancy led off the solo sections and did a fairly good job, although I thought I saw a balance issue.  I thought David was very strong during his solo section.  I thought JR was an excellent anchor in his solo.  I'm on the wrong page again from the judges...they thought the solo sections sucked.  I liked the way the pros used the floor and I thought the choreography was terrific.  The synchronization between the three couples was the best part.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Ppppppffffffffftttttttttt.  I think the 7 is too low.  I would have thrown 8s across.

Next is Team Paso featuring Ricki and Derek, Rob and Cheryl, Hope and Maks.  I liked the beginning of the piece...very dramatic.  I thought the tempo suited Rob's precision, and he did a terrific job leading off the solos.  Hope looked a little sloppy, although she captured the Paso attitude in her posture and attitude.  Ricki and Derek were strong anchors, throwing down some difficult elements in their solo.  The unison at the end was nearly flawless, particularly with the capes.  I really liked the theme in the choreography.  It was very powerful and dramatic, and super cool.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I'd give them the win too.

Here's our leader board with combined scores from the individual and team rounds:

53 Ricki and Derek
51 Rob and Cheryl
50 Hope and Maks
48 JR and Karina
47 David and Kym
44 Nancy and Tristan

I thought Team Tango got jobbed a bit on scores.  I did think Team Paso won the round, but I didn't think the solos in the Tango were as awful as the judges did.  I guess I'll see if I saw what I think I saw when I watch the clips tomorrow.

I'm still settled on Ricki and JR.  Pam had a hard time narrowing down to two, because she's enjoying Rob and David as well as Ricki and JR.  Harumph!  She kept her votes to herself and didn't tell me!

As always, tune in tonight for results and check back here tomorrow for my encores and results recap. 

Later gang!


  1. Jean says:

    Missing me some Travis... Hugs! (from Lois)

  1. It is clear that Riki and JR have the most musicality of the group. In fact, they may be the only ones left with any at all. David is always flat footed. Rob is always stiff. Nancy always looks nervous and intimidated while Hope often just looks awkward. Like you, I thought the music selection was questionable on occasions as well. I know, I'm beginning to sound like Mr. Grumpy pants, Len, but, by and large I was underwhelmed.

  1. Jamie says:

    I threw a vote to Rob even though Ricki and JR are favorites. This season is turning out to be a great deal better than I thought it would at the beginning.

  1. Thanks for the summary. GN still wanted to go trick-or-treating with a friend, so I took them out. I got back in time to see the last dance.

  1. Missed it last night, so thank you for another detailed wrap-up

    I have not felt a connection to anyone which is sad on my part, but as always, I enjoy watching the dance