Cue that theme music

Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 6 remaining pairs have a full night of dancing individual routine in a ballroom style and then a trio dance for Latin.  More on that later.

Plus it's double elimination this week as we get down to our Final Four.

First up, it's ballroom round.

Donald and Peta dance Tango.  One thing I've admired about Donald in his frame and posture is his ability to keep his shoulders down.  Most of the football players who have danced on the show haven't been able to do that consistently.  I thought this choreography was really difficult, but for the first time in awhile I felt like Donald was a bit out of control.  The dance felt rushed to me.  I didn't see the pauses and the sharpness in the movement.  But it appears that I'm completely wrong because the judges thought it was great.  I did think the dance had tremendous power and aggression.  I do agree with Carrie Ann though, that the subtleties were missing.  That's my was a very fast Tango to up tempo music, and so I missed the stalking quality.  Those pauses really increase the drama.  I thought this dance was more one of anger than passion.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Maria and Derek dance Viennese Waltz.  I don't get why there is this consistent focus on Maria supposedly not presenting as feminine or sensual.  I think she is wicked sexy and elegant.  This choreography was so physically romantic.  You've heard me describe sweet romance, and tender romance, and age appropriate romance.  This dance was about two people with a strong attraction to each other, and that underlying physical romance was stunning.  Her technique was outstanding.  It was poetic.  The connection between the two of them really emphasizes the passion and love that can be communicated through dance.  I enjoyed that performance very much.  I do agree with Len that I wanted more of them in hold, but I also agree with Carrie Ann and Bruno that this dance was more about Maria and Derek than it was about traditional Viennese Waltz.  Judges say 10,8,10 for a total of 28.  The 8 from Len is unfortunate.  You don't have to go perfect, but you don't have to deduct 2 points just because you didn't like the style Derek chose.

Melissa and Maks dance Foxtrot.  Too much drama this week.  The producers might think that stuff is compelling, but I find it embarrassing.  I intend to write to the producers and ask them to stop doing that, particularly with Maks and his partners.  We get that he is intense.  But he is also an outstanding teacher, and that should be shown in the rehearsal footage.  That gown is not flattering for Melissa at all.  Why choose brown?  It seemed to emphasize her lack of grace in her lower body.  That's something that has bugged me all season because it caught me by surprise.  I expected her to be graceful.  However, I do think she did a credible job with this choreography.  I think her posture was very good.  She got off to a bit of a stumbling start, but she pulled it together and finished very well.  It was a nice dance, but I suspect her fans are going to have to get out the vote.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Mark and Katherine dance Viennese Waltz.  She makes me smile when she dances.  I love the spins in this choreography.  And all that wonderful rise and fall.  This was a very pretty dance.  I'd put that in the sweetly romantic column, and not a thing wrong with it.  It was certainly more classical choreography.  There's never anything to pick at with her.  I love her shapes and her extensions, her lines and her footwork.  Right up to the end of the dance.  Unfortunately, I felt that the trick at the end was too much and not really in character with the story they told.  Plus, Mark made the ending very rough and I fell out of the story they were telling.  So I enjoyed the performance, but it lost just a little at the end.  Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26.

Roshon and Chelsie dance Foxtrot.  I almost got a cavity, that dance was so sweet.  I'm kidding.  I loved the choreography and the theme.  It was light and fluffy.  They told a great story together.  It put me in mind of an old Andy Hardy movie with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.  (Just so you know, I wrote that before Len made the comment about Mickey Rooney)  I wanted Roshon to dance a little bigger...more shoulder and stronger lines.  But other than that I thought he controlled the balance issues he has been having.  They brought joy to the ballroom floor.  I really saw the effort he has put in to let the hip hop movement go and embrace the ballroom movement.  Well done young man!  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  I don't know that it was perfect, but good for Roshon.

William and Cheryl dance Foxtrot.  I'm not sure about William and this style.  There is so much technique and it is important.  With Latin, he can relax and get by.  But not with Foxtrot.  Well, he has managed to bring some tightness to his frame.  His step is so light.  And as I have said before, I love the gentleness he displays in hold with Cheryl.  This dance is really good, gang.  He looks dashing.  Great lines.  Outstanding posture.  Wonderful frame.  Smooth and sophisticated.  That was amazing.  I can't even describe how good that was.  Where in the world did that come from?  Wow.  The costuming was terrific.  Well done.  Elegant, classy, sophisticated, and charming.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.  Yup.  That was perfect for me too.  And happy birthday Cheryl!

Here's our leader board after ballroom round:

30 William and Cheryl
29 Roshon and Chelsie
28 Maria and Derek
27 Donald and Peta
26 Katherine and Mark
24 Melissa and Maks

Next up is this trio dance thingy.  Each pair picks one eliminated pro or a member of the dance troupe.  Then they put together a routine.

Cool eh?  Here's our Latin round.

Donald and Peta dance Jive with Karina.  I love the song.  I thought Donald did some things really well, but I also saw some real sloppiness in his legs.  I didn't think his kicks were as sharp and clean as they should have been.  The crowd went nutty because the performance was so high energy.  I enjoyed it too.  But I was not impressed by the technique at all.  I can't quite understand what the judges were raving over, because some of those kicks were just sloppy.  And I thought some of it was rushed.  I did like the way he managed partnering both gals.  That's not easy to do.  But I don't think this dance was as great as the ballroom evidently thought it was.  Judges say 10,9,9 for a total of 28.  I'm sorry Carrie Ann, but you're going to watch that back and be embarrassed to throw a 10 on it.

Maria and Derek dance Samba with Henry from our Dance Troupe.  Derek is taking a chance by incorporating Bollywood themes in this Samba.  It could work.  I see it a little.  The Bollywood movement comes between the Samba content.  I'm not sure the whole thing worked seamlessly, but I thought Maria was terrific.  She had her Samba hips rolling.  I thought the piece was innovative and I did like that Maria was the centerpiece of it.  And of course Len didn't like it because he thought it didn't have enough Samba content.  That's fine.  But here's what I say...judge it for how it was danced and don't deduct points because you didn't like it.  That's penalizing Maria for a choice Derek made.  Rather, simply don't add points for the creativity.  Judges say 9,7,9 for a total of 25.  The 7 is wrong.  I'm going to be very annoyed with Len if that score puts her out of the competition.

Melissa and Maks dance Samba with Val.  I like her in this choreography.  I think Samba suits her personality more than any dance style she's tried so far.  And the song is rock, so she's into it.  She's still got moments of real ungraceful movement and ugly shapes.  But overall I thought she did a great job with what she was given.  I thought the three of them really gelled together.  The choreography was full of Samba content.  It was flirtatious and fun.  There won't come a moment when I think of Melissa Gilbert as sexy, but I did believe her in the dance.  So good on ya, my dear.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27. 

Katherine and Mark dance Cha Cha Cha with Tristan.  I'm sorry.  Why would you put this beautiful woman in a black suit for Cha Cha Cha...oh, nevermind.  The little black and red frilly dress is a much better costume.  I was going to hate the staging right up until the suit came off.  And even better that she was able to dance through the wardrobe malfunction with that stoopid pant leg.  I thought that choosing Tristan was tactically very smart because he adds a contrast to Mark's style.  He seems a bit more playful than Mark, and I thought Katherine really responded to that in this dance.  Playful is good for Cha Cha Cha.  I thought the performance was mostly sharp and clean.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  You can't be perfect with the wardrobe malfunction.  Not her fault, but also not perfect.

Roshon and Chelsie dance Paso Doble with Sasha from our Dance Troupe.  It's a great choice to select a man to participate in this dance, because of the technique he can bring out of Roshon.  Roshon needs to take advantage of having that example, and he's done it.  He looks strong and powerful.  Very confident.  But here's the difference between this group and the other trios...they didn't have nearly as much work as a trio.  Roshon and Chelsie dominated the dance.  Since they didn't tell us anything about how long the trio had to dance together, I guess that's OK.  It was part of the story in this choreography, with two matadors vying for one lady.  When they did dance together, there were problems with the synchronization between Roshon and Sasha.  But if I'm judging this, I'm paying attention to how well Roshon danced with Chelsie through the middle part of that dance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

William and Cheryl dance Paso Doble with Tony.  Another good choice.  Tony can really bring out the best in William.  I like the challenge in the story between the two men.  William looks tremendously strong in this routine.  He is matching Tony very well.  That was so good.  I couldn't pick anything wrong with the technique.  Great lines.  Great extensions.  William led with his chest and kept his shoulders back and squared.  He had control of the dance with Cheryl.  The routine was well put together, and extremely well danced.  William and Tony did lose a bit of synchronization in the knee slides, but it didn't pull my focus out of the story.  As with Roshon, I'm judging William on how well he danced in hold with Cheryl.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  That was going to be perfect, except for that loss of synch. 

I like this trio dance thingy.  I thought the pairs made good choices for the dancer they chose to add.  And having a couple of pros helped each of the celebrities this week.  Let's bring this feature back next season.

Here's our updated leader board after both rounds:

57 William and Cheryl
56 Roshon and Chelsie
55 Donald and Peta
55 Katherine and Mark

53 Maria and Derek
51 Melissa and Maks

I'm very disappointed in Len.  I thought he was terribly unfair to Maria for choices Derek made.  He used his style bias as justification for his scores.  And I didn't think her dancing was 2 points worse than Carrie Ann or Bruno scored it. 

I try not to call out perceived unfairness for this show.  It's just fluffy entertainment and shouldn't be taken that seriously.  But right is right and if Maria goes home tonight, I say it's on Len and his bias.

I lost one of my favorites when Jaleel was eliminated last week.  So what to do this week?  Should I throw all votes to one favorite?  Should I continue to split?  I must say that Maria has really captured my focus the last two weeks, and I thought she got such a raw deal from Len.  So I'm splitting votes between Katherine and Maria.

Pam wavered.  She really enjoyed Roshon.  But in the end, she held fast with her favorites, William and Maria.  I can't argue with her on William.  And Maria deserves the votes.

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

Later gang.


  1. I'm a bit surprised Melissa is still in it. But as you said, it's just fluffy entertainment. With a LOT of blood, sweat and tears going into it! :)

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I'm glad you like our Katherine. x

  1. Still splitting a bit with Maria, William, and Katherine. Get down to the final four and I have to settle on just one. Great description as always

  1. Marsha says:

    Mr. Cranky-pants was in rare form last night and it wasn's fair with those 7 and 8 scores.

    I have noticed that it seems they have tried to provoke Maks several times this season and Maks just stands there with his mouth shut. He won't be baited, and good for him. I believe that's the first 'praise' that Carrie Ann has given Maks all season on that final dance.

  1. Missed every single step of last night's show. Interesting to come and read your post. Helps me catch up.

  1. Cherie says:

    It's anybody's guess for tomorrow. The only one that I think is totally safe between scores and fan base would be Donald, but is being from the Green Bay Packers (albeit a Superbowl winner) enough? Double elimination? We're all going to be crying tonight. Why can't they all just dance for us through the summer? ;)

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    Sounds like good split of votes to me. I like them both. Can not wait to see who is out tonight :)