Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by Travis Cody in
4

It's live from Hollywood!


Welcome to the Final Four!  Our remaining pairs have two rounds of dances for scores and votes to get into the finale. 

First up, ballroom round.

William and Cheryl dance Tango.  There's a bit of that stalking quality right off the top to emphasize the drama of Tango.  I'm really impressed with how much control he has over his balance and frame.  The last two weeks have been really outstanding for William.  He has really stepped up his game.  With my untrained eye, I couldn't find anything wrong with that dance at all.  It was strong and aggressive.  It was a nice balance of power with elegance.  The judges talked specifically about technical things that the casual observer...like me...won't notice.  I thought it was a great all around performance.  Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.

Katherine and Mark dance Quickstep.  I thought she coped with the speed of the music very well.  They had energy and the character of the dance was spot on.  Mark's interpretation of the music was outstanding.  Although Katherine had a little foot bobble toward the beginning...but at the time I thought I was wrong because she covered so well.  That and that alone kept it from perfection.  The choreography was very difficult, but period appropriate.  I thought there was a sense of fun mixed with the elegance and sophistication of a standard Foxtrot.  I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Sorry, the 10s are too high because of the stumble early in the dance, but I guess I can let that pass because I thought the presentation was marvelous.

Donald and Peta dance Waltz.  I love the passion in this Waltz.  The rise and fall was wonderfully elegant.  I thought the white costumes enhanced the sophisticated feel.  There was also a sensual quality in the choreography that Donald interpreted so well.  His lines were really good.  The overall feeling in the performance was classy.  He controlled the power so that everything looked very smooth and clean.  The judges did point out that there were times when Donald's head position was incorrect.  In hold he should have extended away from Peta, and then out of hold he could look directly at her.  For me, that's a minor issue because when I Waltz with my Lady, I'm locked on her eyes the whole time and I'll take that deduction all day long.  Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.

Maria and Derek dance Argentine Tango.  Derek struggled with his choreography in rehearsal.  I've seen that before, and then he throws his best work.  It's a bit of a risk to start with just the feet below the curtain, but I found no issues with their footwork.  Thank you to the costumers this week...leggsses indeed.  I don't know if this is Derek's best work, but it's very good.  And Maria looks fabulous.  They have attitude and flare.  The footwork is wonderful.  The lifts are appropriate and sexy.  Excellent lines and extensions.  I liked that dance a lot.  I thought they both rose to the occasion in that piece.  It had drama, passion, drama.  It was enticing.  All the elements I want to see in an Argentine Tango.  I don't think they can be faulted this week for content or for difficulty...the dance had plenty of both.  Well done.  Say what you want...this woman is damn sexy.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.

Here is our leader board after ballroom round.

30 Maria and Derek
29 Katherine and Mark
28 William and Cheryl
28 Donald and Peta

Well!  Bruno only brought the 10 paddles.  It's all about the high scores.  Let's move on to Latin round.

William and Cheryl dance Samba.  You might get what I'm going to say here and you might not.  He's Latin, so you know he's going to be able to move in the Latin styles.  But in this Samba, he looks cmopletely in control and composed.  That relaxed quality he brought earlier in the competition was too casual.  Now he understands the technique behind the dance.  He's not just good because he's Latin.  He's good because Cheryl has taught him how to dance, and he has learned.  That was an outstanding Samba.  It totally captured the flavor and character of the party dance.  Just tremendous.  It had all of the little bits of flare that a Samba should have.  Perfect.  Full of content, full of basic Samba, full of rhythm and musicality, and excellent dancing.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.  I knew that was coming.

Katherine and Mark dance Salsa.  She was out of a cage in the first dance, and now she's out of a basket.  Hmmm.  The music does have a Salsa rhythm, but I'm not wild about it.  Lots of tricks and hip shaking.  It looked like she was having a good time, and she was dancing really well.  She's grown very comfortable with the things Mark has asked her to do, and I think this dance was on the way to a big score.  But something happened at the end.  I think it might have been one difficult trick too many.  I couldn't tell exactly what happened.  She may have gotten dizzy, or possibly kicked, or maybe she twisted something.  But there was something uncomfortable for her in that last trick that put her off her balance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  She said something about her back.  Damn.  I hope it's not too serious.  She looked so disappointed.

Donald and Peta dance Samba.  I'm not so sure about this music for Samba.  But as soon as they start dancing, the music doesn't really matter.  This dance has so much charm and personality.  Plus the dancing is fantastic.  So many little details.  And Donald has such confidence in what he's doing.  The two of them have developed such a partnership together.  This was a fun routine.  It was well performed.  It certainly wasn't the typically Brazilian party dance, but I enjoyed what they did.  It was fun and full of content.  So maybe it didn't evoke Brazil, but it was still a nice little party...almost like they took the standard Samba steps and put their own particular nuances to them.  Well done.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Peta held her own against three pros with 7 Fabulous Mirror Ball trophies between them (Cheryl 2, Mark 2, Derek 3).

Maria and Derek dance Jive.  Cute opening.  And I love this song.  I love her confidence and attitude in this dance.  The choreography was very hip and smooth.  They danced with control.  I did miss the flick kicks, but I thought the interpretation was spot on with the music.  It wasn't a classic Jive and if all you wanted was Jive content, you'd think it couldn't score well.  But the non-traditional choices Derek made in the piece really worked.  And this week Len gave them credit for those choices instead of putting on the cranky pants.   As for how Maria danced it...yeowsa.  She's grown on me all season and now she has become my favorite.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Len knocked the point off for content, but at least he didn't do what he did last week.  I remove the stink eye!

Here's our combined leader board after both dances:

59 Maria and Derek
58 William and Cheryl
57 Donald and Peta
56 Katherine and Mark

It took us all season, but Pam and I have finally settled on a single favorite each.  It was still hard because we like all 4 celebrities and all 4 professional dancers.  We could have voted for any of them, or all of them.  Or we could have refused to choose and not voted at all.

We decided to choose.

All my votes went to Maria and Derek.  All of Pam's went to William and Cheryl. 

But it's anybody's game at this point.  I think all 4 couples have strong fan bases.  The scores are very close. 

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for what promises to be a tense results show.  Then check back here tomorrow for my encores and recap post.

Later gang!

4 comments:

  1. I haven't had any time to watch for the past few weeks. It's winding down quickly!

  1. While I liked all of the dancing, I really loved their stories of each star. Their overcoming such hard lives to their success lives.

    I think Maria and Derick could win the mirrow ball.

  1. Cherie says:

    I read Louis' blog this morning, and pretty much agree with his assessment. I really hope that Katherine is okay. I voted for the first time this season. I think it would be a shame if she didn't make it to the finals after she's done all season, esp due to a fanbase issue. So, I did my little part. :)

  1. Travis, This week's "Take This Tune" actually has a link to the Australian version of DWTS because one of the contestants is married to Russell Crowe and sings on the featured song.