Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by Travis Cody in
8

It's live from Hollywood!


Our 12 pairs return for more votes and scores, dancing Jive or Quickstep.  I'm anxious to see if they can measure up to last week's terrific premier. 

Here's a reminder of our leader board from last week.

26 Katherine and Mark
26 Jaleel and Kym
24 William and Cheryl
23 Roshon and Chelsie
23 Gladys and Tristan
23 Sherri and Val
23 Jack and Anna
21 Donald and Peta
21 Maria and Derek
20 Gavin and Karina
20 Melissa and Maks
20 Martina and Tony

Now let's dance!

Roshon and Chelsie dance Quickstep.  Rehearsal footage teaches us that Chelsie evidently has no swag.  That's OK with me.  My main concern with this dance is that excess of personality Roshon has.  Let's just say he's young.  But, Chelsie managed to reign him into a classic Quickstep while giving him just enough room to show off a little of that personality.  I thought it was a terrific mix of sophisticated elegance and youthful energy.  There were a couple of spots where he lost timing and got out of control, but overall I thought it was a good performance.  Roshon is a talented young man.  I thought he handled the choreography very well.  Nice job.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I don't know about those 9s.  He stumbled a few times with his footwork and lost some continuity.  I would have thrown 8s across.

Sherri and Val dance Jive.  I dig the gold dress.  And I dig her sass.  She's got the Tina Turner shake and shimmy going on too.  Wooops...she missed a trick there.  They were supposed to do the between the legs slide and they didn't get the hold.  That's a shame because this is a nice routine.  She was so into the performance that she lost her place.  I think she started to run out of steam in the last third or so.  But even with that little mistake, her dancing was just fine.  In the beginning of the routine, she had great timing and I thought she had her footwork organized.  It was all in her attitude.  She attacked it.  She's a confident plus size gal and I enjoyed watching her shake what her mama gave her.  Well done, my dear.  The only thing she's really missing is stamina.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  That's a good score, considering the mistake.   If they hit that trick, she gets a 9 or two.

Melissa and Maks dance Quickstep.  I nearly always enjoy Maks' Quickstep choreography.  Melissa seems to have it more together this week.  There's a fluidity to her steps that I couldn't see last week.  Of course just as I type that, she flubs a step and loses her balance.  But she made a nice recovery.  I thought she did fine, even with that misstep.  I like the way Maks used the whole floor for the routine, including the steps and upper stage.  I had in my mind that Melissa would be a little more graceful and elegant.  Her shoulders tend to bunch up and she doesn't get a good stretch through her neck.  I think maybe she starts to think too much about it, and that's probably because Maks is throwing some really tough choreography at her.  I think she can be really good at this, and if she starts believing it then that difficult choreography is going to serve her well.  Judges say 7,6,7 for a total of 20.  Ouch. 

Jack and Anna dance Jive.  Last week his hands looked like frying pans.  This week they were much softer and more relaxed.  Unfortunately the rest of the performance looked very stilted to me.  I thought he was trying to place his feet into the steps instead of dancing through the movement.  I didn't see much musicality or control of the movement.  The kicks were loose where they needed to be precise.  The whole dance felt rushed and hectic.  He has decent rhythm and timing.  The thing that throws him seems to be how much pressure he puts on himself to do well, and that keeps him from relaxing into the movement and letting the steps flow.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  Not as bad as it could have been.

Gladys and Tristan dance Quickstep.  I just love her attitude.  She is Gladys and she is here to dance.  I like the funkiness in this routine.  That was really cool.  Smooth and easy tempo in the first third.  And the funky rhythms and choreography.  Then they hit it quick and fast at the end.  Her musicality and performance were wonderful.  However, that did disguise the fact that her frame and posture weren't proper for Quickstep.  She didn't have elegance and sophistication.  That may have been calculated...Tristan may have traded classic technique for something Gladys could feel comfortable dancing.  As a performance, it really worked for me.  But I can see the point the judges made, which is that the dance wasn't a proper Quickstep.  It had the content, but the design of the piece lacked the flavor of Quickstep.  Judges say 7,5,7 for a total of 19.  Len really didn't like the missing elements of proper Quickstep.

Katherine and Mark dance Jive.  It's funny how Mark's accent is more pronounced with Katherine.  I've hard it slip out in the past, but he has relaxed his control over it while he's been around her.  He was born in the US but went to school and trained as a dancer in London.  I like the theme for this Jive.  Katherine may have seemed shy during rehearsal, but there's no evidence of it in this dance.  That was a very cool routine.  Katherine really impresses me.  She looks like a dancer.  I think she's got the whole package.  Last week she did elegance, this week she did sexy.  She had the kicks, the twists, the turns. and the hip shakin'.  And she has such an engaging personality.  Jive is one of my all time favorite styles.  I want to be able to dance Jive like Derek does.  Pam just said she wants to be able to dance Jive like Katherine.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Jaleel and Kym dance Jive.  My expectations for this dance may be too high based on how well he did last week.  I think he's got the steps and the energy.  But the kicks are not clean and crisp.  I think it's the tempo of the music.  It's too slow.  The choreography was cute and clever, and made sense for Jive, but the dancing felt a little awkward to me.  Jaleel didn't really attack it and I think that kept it from being sharp.  The precision comes from getting up on the the ball of your foot, and there was way too much heel in his footwork.  I'm surprised that this wasn't better, and a little disappointed.  It wasn't a bad performance, but it wasn't what I was expecting.  Maybe next time.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  I'll have to watch that again, but I think the 8 was probably too generous.

Maria and Derek dance Quickstep.  Early injury alert...Maria tweaked a rib in rehearsal.  She didn't dance like she had a rib problem though.  I liked the theme.  Sometimes a theme gets a celebrity's mind off the steps and just lets them relax into the performance.  I think she looks great in this style.  She's got her frame squared away and her lines are really nice.  I think this style suits her.  That was fun!  She did miss a step in the middle of the routine, but she recovered well.  Her posture overall was really good.  I thought the choreography had the classic Quickstep elements, plus it had high energy.  Her frame was so good.  She managed classy and sophisticated without sacrificing speed, control, and balance.  Then she threw in playful for good measure.  Well done, my dear!  Judges say 8,8,9 for a total of 25. Excellent!  But next week, I need more legsses.  I'm just saying.

Martina and Tony dance Jive.  Martina injured her toe in rehearsal.  Toes never really heal.  I think I said it last week...I'm really rooting for Martina to do well.  Oh, but she messed up her footwork.  She's just not confident.  That dance wasn't very good.  Damn.  She let her nerves and insecurity get to her, and it got in her head.  I really liked the routine Tony made for her.  It was light and fluffy, but the tempo was so slow...Tony called it Jive on a diet, which is funny, but really not how you want your danced to be described.  There were some moments when she was in hold where she seemed to get it.  She had some good twists in the middle.  Unfortunately, when it went bad it went really bad.  Rats.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17.  I think that's kind.

Donald and Peta dance Quickstep.  I think he has to control some of his enthusiasm so he can focus.  Oh I like this dance.  He took control of the movement right from the beginning.  His hold was strong but also delicate.  I really like the way the two of them connect on the floor.  I think this week Donald found the balance between going for it in the performance and staying in control with his technique and posture.  The word is refined...you see that in the lines he made.  Last week, his legs and feet were very loose.  This week he found precision.  Combine that with the joy and charm he brought to the routine, and  you have an outstanding performance.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  Nice. 

Gavin and Karina dance Jive.  Something happens to him when he gets on stage.  You think he's going to be shy and reserved when you see the rehearsal footage.  But then he comes out and just performs.  The dancing wasn't great, but the performance was fun.  It looked like he had a good time.  And he did get a few things right.  He had extension on his side kicks.  He found the character in the Jive, and really emphasized that flavor.  I don't think he's awkward or clumsy.  He certainly has an endearing quality.  It's just that most of his dancing lacks precision and crispness.  But I enjoyed it anyway.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  That's a good score.  He didn't have enough technique to do better than that, but he did get rewarded for performance. 

William and Cheryl dance Quickstep.  Drool towel...check.  That was an enjoyable performance, although it did feel a little rushed to me.  I thought his footwork wasn't as clean as it could have been.  He started well with his posture and frame.  But then the body contact between them started to get a little sloppy, and he leaned his shoulders down instead of keeping them back.  He needs to tuck in his backside and stand up to his full height.  I think that will also take care of some of the sluggish footwork.  Judges say 9,7,9 for a total of 25.  Where did the 9s come from?  Let's not go overboard here.  Even Pam said it wasn't that good.  Yes, he's charismatic.  But I don't think that was one of the best dances of the night.  There was too much wrong with his posture.  I think 8s to bookend the 7 was plenty good enough.

Here's our leader board, combining scores for the two routines.

52 Katherine and Mark
49 Roshon and Chelsie
49 William and Cheryl
48 Jaleel and Kym
46 Maria and Derek
46 Sherri and Val
45 Donald and Peta
44 Jack and Anna
42 Gladys and Tristan
41 Gavin and Karina
40 Melissa and Maks
37 Martina and Tony


It was going to be tough for our celebrities to top last week.  They had about 3 weeks to train and get the routines down.  Now they have to learn a new dance in a week, and it showed for some of them.

Still, I'm really enjoying this group.  I think there is so much potential. 

I'm having fun here!

I split my votes between Gladys, Katherine, Donald and Jaleel.  I could have thrown votes to Roshon and Maria too.  Pam went for Katherine, Donald, Maria, and William.  Pam swears her votes for William are because of his dancing.  I'll take her word for it.

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results.  And check back here tomorrow for encores and my results recap.

Later gang!

8 comments:

  1. I almost didn't read this because I haven't watched it yet but I have DVR'd it for later.

    I'm still rooting for Gladys. Love he spunk and attitude! Always have!

    Well, why else would Pam vote for William? hahahaha!

  1. Jean says:

    I wouldn't make the tryouts. Yep, left feets. I gots two of them!

  1. Jamie says:

    so many great couples in this year's contestants are making it hard to narrow to favorites. It's going to be a truly fun season.

  1. Cherie says:

    Something Bruno said keyed me into what Melissa's issue is. She's thinking too much. (I've been known to have that problem.)

    And it must be that I have a soft spot for Jack because I've thought that he was quite good. However, your comments match up with the judges. Oh well. :)

  1. Thanks

    Had it on but was doing so many things I did not concentrate...

  1. You know your dancing, man. Makes me want to watch an episode.

  1. I missed the show last night. GN had softball pratice and I went out for coffee. Knew I could come you your place for a play by play.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Haha! Pam is too funny! I really liked Katherine & Donald :) ... while catching some Voice on the other channel, too.