Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Here we are for our very first ever DWTS performance plus results show.  I hope the producers have given this a thorough think. 

Big news - I don't watch the Emmy program, but I can report that Derek Hough won an Emmy this year for Outstanding Choreography for his work over Seasons 14 and 15, both of which aired during the 2012 Emmy qualification dates.  YAY Derek!

Our pros and Troupe lead off the show with a hot Latin routine.  I like the way the celebrities are introduced this season during the opening group routine.  It keeps the show moving.  The piece was choreographed by Sharna Burgess and Henry Byalikov.

Here's a reminder of last week's leader board:

27 Amber and Derek
24 Corbin and Karina
24 Elizabeth and Val
23 Jack and Cheryl
23 Nicole and Sasha
22 Christina and Mark
22 Brant and Peta
21 Leah and Tony
21 Valerie and Tristan
18 Bill and Emma
17 Keyshawn and Sharna
14 Bill and Tyne

I guess we're adding scores from this week to last week, so all the couples get to dance before eliminations are announced.  You have to be careful how you decide to vote now, because the lines are open during the show.  If you vote for an eliminated couple, the votes obviously won't count.

So your choices are to take your chances and vote for the pair you like, not to vote at all, or to wait until after eliminations and vote. 

Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy dance Samba.  I like that wardrobe put her in vibrant red.  She comes out with tremendous balance and timing in those spins.  She understands how to spot her turns so she doesn't lose her place.  And when she comes out of the turns she is able to connect the next dance step without losing musicality.  She also has great control over her movement.  I thought she started just a little tentative, but then she dropped right into the pocket and kept her energy consistent through the entire routine.  I thought she was very precise and clean with her footwork.  There was lots of content and difficult Samba steps.  They had trouble with a couple of passes, and Val owned up to the mistakes.  I think she has great potential.  Still, there's something missing for me.  I just can't quite put my finger on it.  Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25. 

Christina Milan and Mark Ballas dance Paso Doble.  I don't always care for Paso danced to modern music, mainly because I can't understand the rhythm.  Sometimes I can get past that, but this is not one of those times.  I don't like the music.  I saw some Paso elements that I recognized and I thought they were performed pretty well.  I just couldn't really find the drama, passion, and aggression that I like to see in Paso.  I couldn't find the lines.  I'll have to watch this one back because I really didn't care for the music or choreography.  Sometimes if I mute the sound, then I can see the dance better.  I often appreciate Mark's choreography to modern music because he'll make neat dances while rarely breaking rules.  But this time I wasn't on the same page with the piece.  The judges loved it, so it seems that I missed something because of my inability to get beyond the music.  Judges say 9,8,8 for a total of 25.

Bill and Emma dance Jive.  His pop eyed expressions are much better suited to Jive than they were to last week's Foxtrot.  And again I am impressed by how light he is on his feet.  He connects the movements without really breaking stride.  This is a great style for him.  Emma did a fantastic job with the choreography and he picked it all up.  She worked in lots of basic Jive...stuff that looks good even if you don't get it exactly right.  I thought the performance was a lot of fun.  I spotted a couple of mistakes, but I think those were down to anticipating the next hold rather than forgetting what he was supposed to do next.  The kicks and flicks certainly could have been more precise, but the overall presentation was very entertaining.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21. 

Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke dance Rumba.  Oh no.  It's never good when the celebrity puts on the confused face during rehearsal.  And mom Sharon says get the terrified look off your face.  Ha!  I love the music for this dance.  I think Jack's main competition is his own confidence.  That didn't have much of the Rumba sensuality, which might have been Cheryl's intent, but the choreography was tasteful and suited to Jack's ability.  And Jack's ability is actually better than Jack thinks it is.  He can really do this.  He had terrific musicality and rhythm.  He controls both his own movement as well as Cheryl's.  He makes it look like he is leading the routine, which is hard for the male celebrity and a real coup if you can do it.  And there is an honesty in his presence that is very compelling.  There is a lot to like about Jack and Cheryl, and very little to dislike.  Well done.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess dance Samba.  Keyshawn has plenty of rhythm but not nearly as much musicality.  That throws off his timing.  Plus he's not always completely sure of what his next step is supposed to be, so he doesn't really connect one movement to the next.  He has moments when it all comes together.  And then he loses track of what he's supposed to do next.  He's not dancing well, but at least he's having a good time on the show.  The effort is there.  I'm wondering if a ballroom style might help him get a bit more organized so that he can focus on cleaning up his lines and extensions, polishing his footwork, and connecting one movement to the next.  He's not one of those ball players with the type of charming personality that excuses the dancing, so I think he's going to have to improve a bit more quickly to stick around.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.

Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber dance Rumba.  I think she's really good gang.  I wasn't sure about her last week, but now I can see what she can do.  It's all in the legsses gang, and she haz dem.  She made some great shapes.  Her extensions were wonderful.  She had the nice taught legsses you expect in Rumba.  That helped her achieve competent Rumba hips.  I thought the dance was clean and precise.  I think for a non-performer, one thing that she'll gradually learn is how to develop and sustain the character in each dance.  I think she has plenty of natural ability.  She has musicality and she picks up all of the steps quickly.  Now she just needs to learn performance and how to engage with her partner and with the audience.  Sasha seems to understand what works for her, and that's a bit plus.  Judges say 6,7,7 for a total of 20.  I thought her performance was better than that score.

Leah Remini and Tony Dovalani dance Samba.  She has to lighten up on herself and give herself a little more time in rehearsal, first to learn the dance, then to polish it up.  Love the pink fluffy dress.  I love the attitude in her posture and movement.  She's terrific gang.  She takes all of her insecurity and all that self-doubt and uses it for motivation.  I liked her hands and upper body.  I thought her footwork was precise.  She had control of each movement.  She had great musicality.  She gave us character to go along with a great performance.  She's got some potential in this competition to challenge some of the younger ladies.  I think she's likable.  She can play whatever character is required, and she's got the dancing talent to give us a complete performance.  Well done.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein dance Paso Doble.  I like that he isn't taking the criticism from last week too personally.  I'd still like to see where he's hiding all the coordination and rhythm I saw in the rehearsal clip last week when he danced a little bit of swing.  He was clearly very comfortable with swing.  He hasn't shown that same level of comfort or musicality in his two dances so far.  His movement is quite awkward.  I do think he portrayed the aggression of Paso.  Tyne put in enough content and Bill did many of the steps.  I'm still not sure they should be playing the dances for laughs, but I do like that they aren't trying to do more than Bill actually can.  Both performances so far have been more endearing than cringe worthy.  I have a sneaky feeling that he's getting his share of votes because he's Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Judges say 6,5,6 for a total of 17. 

Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff dance Jive.  Here's our ringer gang.  He's got correct posture.  He's got quick and precise footwork.  His kicks and flicks are clean.  He's able to do all of the steps and moves and tricks that the pro guys can do.  He is athletic and musical.  Plus he understands how to perform and give us character.  He breathes in the right places.  He connects each phrase, and separates them by a lock on the beat with the pause into the next movement.  This was great Jive choreography from Karina.  Corbin has shown that he can get into the pocket in styles that he's trained in.  Now he'll have to show that he can hold frame and lead Karina through a proper ballroom style.  I suspect he can.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.

Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus dance Paso Doble.  She's got a little soreness in her knee.  She's struggling a little bit this week with the steps.  There's a lot out of hold that Tristan asked her to do.  She hung in there and did her best.  It wasn't really good, but it's enough for me that she tried and that she's out there.  I think she did a good job with attitude.  She just didn't have the confidence with the steps.  She had trouble with musicality.  Tristan did give her a difficult piece, and she tried it.  I think it would have helped her if there was more of the dance that was in hold.  I'm in awe of her for what she's doing, and I appreciate Tristan for his work with her.  I also like that she wants honest notes and honest scores from the judges  She's hear to inspire, but she's also competing.  Judges say 6,6,7 for a total of 19.

Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd dance Rumba.  He surprised me last week.  He continues the surprise this week.  Last week I thought he was good, but also a bit jerky in places which impacted his fluidity.  This week I think he is much smoother.  He has some nice Rumba hips.  I thought he found the fluidity of motion required of a true Rumba.  There was sensuality and heat between them, and they kept it just the appropriate side of raunchy.  He provided a great frame for Peta, but he also had his own presence in the piece.  I couldn't see his feet and I didn't see anything in the way his hips were moving to suggest turned in feet.  Len said they were turned in so I guess I'll have to take his word.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.

Amber Riley and Derek Hough dance Jive.  She showed she could move last week, so I expect her to be able to do it again.  And I am not disappointed.  She also has great character in the piece.  I also like that she's able to keep her shoulders back.  She's got terrific footwork, although she was a little flat footed.  The kicks she got off the floor were clean and crisp.  Unfortunately she slid into some of the them.  She kept her energy up for the whole dance.  And the gal threw in a cartwheel at the end of the routine!  Put a period on that sentence.  The choreography was fantastic.  So much content.  I don't think she missed a step.  And she didn't miss a mugging facial expression either.  That was a full on performance with content, character, and charisma.  Outstanding work.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Here's our leader board after the second week.

51 Amber and Derek
50 Corbin and Karina
49 Elizabeth and Val
47 Jack and Cheryl
47 Christina and Mark
45 Brant and Peta
45 Leah and Tony
43 Nicole and Sasha
40 Valerie and Tristan
39 Bill and Emma
35 Keyshawn and Sharna
31 Bill and Tyne

OK.  Let's see about eliminations now.  The announcement isn't necessarily in order of highest to lowest.

Corbin and Karina are safe.  Leah and Tony are safe.  Bill and Tyne are safe.  Christina and Mark are safe.  Amber and Derek are safe.  Valerie and Tristan are safe.  Nicole and Sasha are safe.  Jack and Cheryl are safe.  Brant and Peta are safe.  Elizabeth and Val are safe.  Bill and Emma are safe.

That means Keyshawn Johnson is eliminated.

Oh he's going to take some grief from the ESPN football crew for going out first.  But it's nice to hear him say he had a good experience.

I'll have some encores for you tomorrow. 

Later gang!


  1. I have to admit, I thought Bill Nye was the worst dancer on the floor. I didn't think that Keyshawn, Valarie, nor Bill Engvall would be around for too many weeks, but I certainly didn't expect Bill Nye to be safe. Obviously, he has a huge fan base and apparently a viral video on YouTube helped the cause.