Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Welcome to the Festival of Tiny Costumes, otherwise known as Latin night!  Oh...that is Carlos Santana y'all!  Now we can put every routine to Santana music and I'll be a happy guy.

Dance Troupe put a pre-heat on the ballroom.  Let's see how our celebrities stoke the fire.  We've got Salsa, Samba, and Argentine Tango.

Jaleel and Kym dance Samba.  Samba suits the loose and relaxed way he naturally dances.  If I can't have Santana for music, then Gloria Estefan works too, although I think the tempo of this arrangement is a bit slow for the party dance.  Still, this choreography had all the proper elements I expect from a Samba.  I thought Kym put the movements together in such a way that Jaleel could connect them smoothly.  I liked his musicality and rhythm.  He had controlled hip action and I thought his footwork was very good.  The performance made me smile.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  Good score.  I think there might have been a few technical issues with posture and that free arm, and that kept him from getting into the 9 range.

Melissa and Maks dance Salsa.  I'm so glad that the concussion injury wasn't more serious last week.  I didn't think she did very well in the side by side work in this Salsa.  But when she was in hold, I thought her confidence went up.  I thought that last throw spin took some courage...she easily could have hit her head again.  I can't take any issue with her attack of the choreography.  I think Maks gave her some very difficult steps, and she handled them fairly well.  But I felt that she was behind the music in spots and racing to catch up.  I think it was a hold she did really well with hip action and rhythm, but out of hold and side by side I thought she lost musicality and timing.  Overall I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  Hmmm...I don't know.  The things she did well, she did very well. 

Maria and Derek dance Salsa.  Bad ribs.  Bad foot.  And now she has banged her chin on the floor during rehearsal.  HA!  Then they wrapped her up in bubble wrap.  That's hilarious!  I like the yellow dress for the performance...I get to see legsses!  There were a lot of tricks in the first third of the choreography, and I thought that messed with the continuity.  I have to say, it didn't get much better for me.  This is one of those times when I think Derek overdid it and tried to be too clever.  Maria doesn't need all of that extra stuff.  Just give her dance moves and let her shine.  I liked the dancing that they did, but it was so choppy with all the tricks and other junk thrown in.  I didn't like that performance.  And Bruno was wildly inappropriate with his comments.  I'm no prude, but let's clean it up.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  I won't say the dance didn't deserve that high score, but I didn't like the performance.

Katherine and Mark dance Argentine Tango.  I have incredibly high expectations for this dance.  I think she fulfilled most of them too.  I liked the footwork steps Mark chose for this dance.  Katherine was crisp and precise.  I liked the drama that built through the piece.  They told a complete story that really emphasized the the layers of emotion.  Mark put together a dance that showed off style and artistry.  And technically, I don't know that they could have been better.  They danced with balance and harmony.  I really enjoyed that performance.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  I thought we were going to get the first perfect 30, but Len is going to hold that 10 paddle.  You'll have to make it a double wow to get him to throw it.

Gavin and Karina dance Samba.  Gavin has a terrific Samba bounce in the first part of this dance, and I think he's got some good hip action.  He looks like he's having fun.  I thought he handled the footwork and character of the dance during the beginning and middle.  Unfortunately, I thought it started to fall apart at the end.  He lost his timing and technique.  He got really sloppy with his posture and frame.  I don't think it was as bad as the judges said, particularly because of the beginning.  He was doing fine through about half of it.  It's just that the bad parts happened at the end.  Judges say 6,6,7 for a total of 19.  That's too bad.  Gavin had been improving each week.  Samba just didn't quite fit for him.'s a break for Santana to play.  Nice!  And it's Louis returning to the ballroom to dance with Anna.

William and Cheryl dance Argentine Tango.  William injured  his ankle in rehearsal.  MRI revealed ligament damage, which is painful and will ultimately need to be repaired.  He has to focus on technique, because Tango is all about crispness and precision.  This dance had some pace to it, and I thought that impacted the drama and passion.  In other words, I thought drama and passion were missing from the performance.  Anytime the music tempo is a little quicker for Argentine Tango, I always want to see those quick-slow-quick movements.  You know what I mean?  There needs to be a dramatic pause of emphasis.  I missed that in this dance.  It was all done at pace and so I didn't feel a sense of heat between them.  The crowd can scream and Carrie Ann can fan herself all she wants.  Pam has been attracted to William's sex appeal since dance one.  This time?  She frowned through it and called it flat.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  I'm not buying it.  Maybe we'll see something to justify that score when we watch it back.

Gladys and Tristan dance Samba.  I love that they got Samba because we get sassy Gladys back now.  And she's having a fabulous time dancing to Fever sung in Spanish.  All of the posture issues are still there.  But she's shaking her hips and gliding across the floor.  She's got some Samba bounce.  She struggled a little connecting each movement and making it smooth.  But she did have the party flavor and character of Samba.  Tristan made the choreography simple for her, since she played 3 different dates this week and had to learn the dance in between.  I didn't care about the mistakes and the technique problems and the posture issues.  I enjoyed watching her because she had a good time.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  I think the 8 was generous, but like I said, I don't care about what was wrong with the dance.  I enjoyed what was right with it.

Roshon and Chelsie dance Salsa.  If you work at trying to be sexy, you end up looking silly.  I don't think Roshon should worry about that.  He's got so much natural rhythm...all he needs to do is dance.  I like how confidently he places his feet.  Salsa is like club dancing, so his hip hop background really helps him.  I think he had terrific control of the dance from the first movement.  Chelsie's choreography was outstanding, and he attacked the piece.  And from that...excellent choreography and skilled movement...came an outstanding dance.  Roshon had rhythm and musicality.  I believed him in the dance.  Well done, young man.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I thought that should have been 9s across. 

Donald and Peta dance Argentine Tango.  There's a bit of over confidence in rehearsal this week.  Let's hope it doesn't slip into cockiness.  There's that quick-slow-quick I wanted.  It's cool.  It's arrogant.  It's dramatic.  The musical tempo keeps the pace, but the dancing slides behind it and then catches back up.  Then that rapid.  Donald and Peta danced with wonderful nuance and finesse.  There was definitely a reason for confidence in rehearsal.  That routine was stunning.  Peta has done a tremendous job of teaching, and Donald has done a terrific job of learning.  The strength of the routine was in the lifts and spins.  I disagree with Len.  I thought the dancing was incredible as they built the tension and drama of the routine.  I really liked the performance.  Judges say 10,8,9 for a total of 27.  I don't know about the 10 and I don't know about the 8.  I thought it was 9s across.

Here's our leader board:

29 Katherine and Mark
29 William and Cheryl
27 Donald and Peta
27 Maria and Derek
26 Roshon and Chelsie
24 Jaleel and Kym
22 Gladys and Tristan
21 Melissa and Maks
19 Gavin and Karina

I settled in this week with my top 4 pairs.  My votes were split between Katherine, Jaleel, Roshon, and Donald.  Maria and Jaleel are actually vying for the same spot, but this week I had to go for Jaleel.  I didn't care for Maria's Salsa.

Pam's top 4 includes Katherine, Roshon, and...not William.  Her 4th set of votes went to Maria.  She wasn't as down on Maria and Derek as I was this week.  She did not care for William's routine.

So there we are.  We're voting on merit now.  It was hard not to vote for Gladys because she's such a delight.  But I'm not going to be responsible for Roshon hitting the bottom 2 again.  Nope...not me!

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results...the bottom 2 will have a dance duel to see who stays in the competition.  And check back here tomorrow for encores and my results recap.

Later gang!


  1. Jean says:

    I love reading these recaps. While I don't watch the show, I enjoy the color commentary. You two have a wonderful day!

  1. Cherie says:

    The problem with Gavin and Karina is that Karina was dancing Samba and Gavin was dancing Merengue. lol He looked like he was having fun, but he wasn't dancing the Samba. And I kind of had the same problem with Katherine and Mark this week that you had with Maria and Derek. I agree that everything was done well. I just didn't care for it. But wow! Watching Louis & Anna dance took my breath away.