Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

The NCAA Tournament is wrapping up over on CBS.  Although I love college basketball, I don't have a rooting interest in either Michigan or Louisville.  But I do love college basketball, so I am recording the end of the game for One Shining Moment after dancing.

So dancing!

Our 10 remaining pairs must tell a story through dance of a memorable time in the celebrity's life.  These performances are almost always emotional, and almost always seem to be among the best nights of dancing.

A little drama to begin the show...Lisa Vanderpump was ill all day and sat out dress rehearsal.  She may or may not dance.  We shall see.

Sean and Peta dance Viennese Waltz to tell the story of 2012, when he found his fiance during The Bachelor.  There is something endearing and graceful in his awkwardness, if that makes sense.  He has very little musicality and his feet are often clunky.  Some of the movement was smooth, while other parts were jerky.  But he comes across as genuine and I like that.  And his solo to end this performance, dancing to his finance, was romantic rather than self serving.  I thought his frame was decent.  He lost balance just a bit and leaned forward, but for the most part this was a credible dance.  I found it romantic and honest and I think his timing was the best it has been so far.  Judges say 6,7,7 for a total of 20.  Carrie Ann graded down for lifts.

Victor and Lindsay dance Paso Doble to tell the story of him winning the WBC championship in 2011.  Sometimes the choreography and theme can get too close to the original moment for the celebrity.  I think that's the case with this.  Victor completely lost his place to start the dance and never really looked like he remembered the choreography at all.  He kept looking at Lindsay, and she kept trying to get him organized and back to the right spot.  I appreciate what he wanted to convey, but he never danced at all.  He stomped through what footwork he managed to remember.  He had no Latin lines at all.  He had no posture or frame.  He did nothing with his arms to emphasize the character and shape of the dance.  I don't see anything really positive in that performance.  Too bad because there was certainly potential in the choreography.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.  I think that's too high.

Jacoby and Karina dance Foxtrot to tell the story of the birth of his son in 2012 and his chance to be a real father, something he never had in his life.  This song has an odd beat for Foxtrot.  I understand why he chose it...because of the lyrics.  I'm not sure about trying to dance such a technical style like Foxtrot to a song with a difficult rhythm, particularly when struggling just to understand the steps and timing.  I have to say that this was really a terrific performance.  I loved the choreography.  It was challenging and Jacoby handled it really well.  The performance was so charming.  And the solo was joyful.  I think he needs to work on his posture in the ballroom styles.  He hunched a little bit and lost his frame for parts of the dance.  But then he pulled in his core and got his shoulders back.  This was nicely done.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Aly and Mark dance Contemporary to tell the story of training for years to triumph at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  The marriage of dance style to story is perfect.  I like the detail of her arms being floppy in spots because it emphasizes the frustration she must have felt so many times doing so many repetitions of routines to get the muscle memory.  And that tumbling pass was icing on CAKE.  I think the choreography had a wonderful mix of fluidity, drama, and emotion.  Not only did she understand the movement, but she pulled all of the emotion together from those years of training and wove it into a story that connected.  Excellent work.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  Well done!

Andy and Sharna dance Viennese Waltz to tell the story of his relationship with his 15 year old daughter in 2013 as a sober parent.  He works really hard to overcome his lack of rhythm and his general awkwardness, not always successfully.  I think he got it right in this performance.  There was a wonderful rise and fall.  He had a smoothness in his footwork.  I thought his quality of movement was very good.  He had a connection to the song and it clearly showed.  Sharna's choreography was simple and beautiful.  The dance was emotional and really lovely.  Well done.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21. 

Zendaya and Val dance Samba to tell the story of the beginning of her career with a Disney audition in 2009.  There was a lot to like in this dance.  I liked her confidence and control.  I liked that it had a bit of a hip hop soul feel to it.  There were some very nice classic Samba elements performed very well.  I really liked Val's choreography because he emphasized detail.  I would have liked a little more Samba bounce and color.  What the dance lacked in flamboyance it more than made up for in cool and smooth.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  I don't mind the 8 from Len because he's right...the dance was missing Samba bounce.  But the 9s are also deserved because the performance was really good.

Ingo and Kym dance Viennese Waltz to tell the story of his marriage in 2009 and starting a family.  The song is lovely and Waltzes are my favorite style.  I think they captured the emotion and joy of the story he wanted to tell.  I think for the most part there was good rise and fall.  I think his footwork was well done.  I think his posture was confident.  There was elegance and sophistication in the choreography.  I think he managed to slow himself down and control the movement, particularly with the simple circular pattern of his solo.  I thought this was a very sweet performance.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  That 7 from Len seems a bit low.

DL and Cheryl dance Foxtrot to tell the story of his junior high school days when he could still call himself innocent and carefree.  This performance was fun.  He managed to look like he was dancing without actually dancing that much.  I thought he walked through most of the steps, but I don't mind because he was relaxed and engaged with the choreography and the music.  Cheryl designed a dance that fit the story that he wanted to tell, with steps that he could do.  And DL went out and did them.  I want to take the performance as a whole, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed it.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.

Kellie and Derek dance Rumba to tell the story of her marriage in 2011.  Her husband Kyle sings live.  Wow.  That was so beautiful.  How do I describe it?  I thought her lines and shapes were tremendous.  Yes, I would have liked a little more smooth and fluid movement, because Rumba movement typically should flow seamlessly like water.  But I also appreciated the crispness in some of the turns.  I think those quick-slow-quick transitions could be said to emphasize the emotional connection to Kellie's story.  It was almost an illustration of going from not knowing that kind of love could exist, to finding it, to understanding that it's yours.  I can definitely identify with that.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Lisa and Gleb dance Cha Cha Cha to tell the story of her daughter's wedding.  Lisa's schedule has been such that she's not getting enough sleep or eating well, and it caught up with her.  She passed out during rehearsal from exhaustion and a touch of flu.  She's not doing too bad here in this routine.  They couldn't have rehearsed much, and this is actually the most relaxed I've seen her.  She's got decent hip action.  She did a credible Cha Cha Cha solo in the middle of the routine.  Everything else was classic Cha Cha Cha movement.  That's pretty good considering she's been ill all week.  There were some mistakes due to lack of rehearsal, but she got through it.  Good for her.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.

Here's our leader board:

27 Aly and Mark
26 Kellie and Derek
26 Zendaya and Val
24 Jacoby and Karina
23 Ingo and Kym
21 Andy and Sharna
21 DL and Cheryl
20 Sean and Peta
18 Lisa and Gleb
18 Victor and Lindsay

I enjoyed the show.  As I've come to expect from this particular theme, most of the celebrities elevated their performance level because the music and stories were so personal.  Our votes split between Kellie, Aly, and Zendaya.  We think those three ladies are a step ahead of the rest of the field, with Jacoby and Ingo carrying the banner for the fellas.

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

Congratulations to Louisville, which beat Michigan 82-76 to win the NCAA Tournament last night.  Although I had my favorites and my hopes, when I looked realistically at the field I thought that Louisville was the best team playing the best at the right moment.  They proved that and are national champions.


  1. I watched the last half of the game. Even though rooting for The Wolverines, it was still a great game. Then voted your recommendations this morning plus a couple of encouragement votes to others.

  1. Some purty folks, except for Andy Dick

  1. Cherie says:

    Jacoby has some beautiful lines and smoothness of movement that I appreciate. And I think that Zendaya was hurt more by dark costuming and dark lighting. It made it harder to see the movement she had, but man, that girl can dance.

  1. Missed both of course...but now I know what happened in the Dancing...

  1. I truly believe that Kellie can win this thing. She is a natural and Derek is probably the best choreographer on the show. This couple will still be dancing in the final week of competition.