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Author Topic: Dancing With The Stars - Season 8, Week 9

Icon 1 posted May 04, 2009 20:42            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
With three shows to go, the competition is getting fierce! We have two rounds tonight, the Ballroom Round and the Latin Round, each of which begins with a professional exhibition of the dances and a segment with the judges (mostly Len, natch) analyzing the remaining competitors. And Melissa made it down the stairs, so she must be OK to go this week! So let's get to it!


Shawn and Mark are stretching for that perfect 30, and the quickstep is the perfect dance to show that energy she has! But she's under a hell of a lot of pressure, with two dances this week! The quickstep music is a little Disney cross-promotion, "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin, and she has fun with it! Her feet were maybe a fraction slow...but she did some fancy spin moves that imoressed me, and finished very strong! Unfortunately, Mark's routine caused them to break hold mid-dance...which is a violation of the rules for the quickstep! All three judges pointed this out, and had to deduct for it. Aside from that, they loved it. Len enjoyed seeing her personality, Bruno crowed, "You dance like Sporty Spice!" and Carrie-Ann called it her best dance yet.
Scores: CAI 9, LG 9, BT 9, Total 27 (And I think that, if not for the hold break, it would have been a perfect 30.)

It's a good thing that Ty likes a challenge, as Ty and Chelsie are up against it this week! He likes the characteristics of the Argentine tango, and he's working 24/7 to do his best...after all, he didn't win nine world bullriding championships on luck alone! The Argentine tango seemed slow, but Ty's steps were solid; the timing was off a little, but the lifts were impressive, and he was definitely bringing it. Bruno said "You went for it like a Power Ranger," but the Argentine tango is more subtle, and this was strong and passionate, not smooth. Carrie-Ann praised his progress, but noted his stumble and his lack of breadth in motions. Len, uncharacteristically, was more effusive, saying "You captured the flavor and essence of the dance!"
Scores: CAI 8, LG 9, BT 8, Total 25

Up at the top, Lil'Kim and Derek need to show versatility with their waltz...but slow dances are tough for Kim! She needs to look smooth, think smooth, and be smooth! Now, I thought their waltz, to "When I Need You," was beautiful and a joy to watch. The judges seemed more ambivalent though. Carrie-Ann noted that she needed to compensate for her lack of height by making her movements big, and also some missteps. Len said, "I was shocked at the quality of your dance!", though he agreed with Carrie-Ann. Bruno brought the house down: "You try to be a lady, but you're more comfortable being a tramp!"
Scores: CAI 8, LG 9, BT 8, Total 25

You know Gilles and Cheryl can do a good foxtrot, but Gilles is having trouble with the moves. Cheryl takes him to see the Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships, to see how pro dencers do it. If he can do half of what they do, he should be fine. The foxtrot, to "Fever" (nice choice!) gave Sabrina body chills to watch; it was crisp as always, and...well, wow! Len couldn't help but enjoy the performance and loved the interpretation, but said, "Straighten your legs!" "This performance was in a class of its own!" crowed Bruno. "Cool, yet hot!" "Len, you're crazy!" said Carrie-Ann. "Gilles, you finished every line, and when you tossed your hat, you had a guy catching it!"
Scores: CAI 10, LG 9, BT 10, Total 29

Melissa and Tony were saved by the viewer vote last week, but she was still disappointed she didn't get to dance! Her new treatments are working, though, and she can stand the pain, for now. In the Viennese waltz, technique is important...she has to try and stay on her heels, as we know Len will be watching those! The Viennese waltz, to "Angel," was decidedly angelic, but Melissa's ballet background betrayed her again; she's still on the balls of her feet quite a bit. It was slow, but that fit the music...though her turns seemed a bit off, I wonder if she's favoring her ribs a bit. Bruno called it "An ethereal vision, lighter than air!"; he noted the balletic nature of the routine, but the Viennese waltz lets you get away with that a bit. Carrie-Ann praised her natural ability, but noted she wasn't torquing her upper body as much. "I'm still not a big fan of your feet," noted Len, "but the rest was fantastic!"
Scores: CAI 9, LG 9, BT 9, Total 27

For the ballroom round, our high score is Gilles, while Ty is at the bottom. But there's more to come!

(continued in next post)

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Icon 1 posted May 04, 2009 21:28            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(continued from previous post)

Before we get into the next round, we have an update on the pro dancer competition: Genya Mazo has been eliminated, and the remaining three dancers will get a chance to work with celebrities from previous seasons for their dances tomorrow night. Afton DelGrosso is paired with Cody Linley (Season 7), Anna Demidova is paired with Maurice Greene (Season 7), and Mayo Alanen is paired with Lisa Rinna (Season 2). We'll see how well the would-be pros do at teaching their celebrity charges tomorrow night!


For the Latin round, a new twist has been thrown in; the celebrities will have to perform a solo of at least 15 seconds, minus their pro partners, during their dance! We'll see how that affects things!

Shawn and Mark are doing the paso doble, which is very different from the gymnastics solos that Shawn is used to! The paso is very intense and hard to get into; Shawn is such a nice person, it night be tough! Their music is one of those klunker choices, "Gotta Get Through This," but Shawn took it and ran like a thief with it! Her solo started the performance, and, oh, she is a changed woman! It was maybe a little stiff, but dramatic, and she got a standing ovation! Carrie-Ann thought she delivered a fantastic performance, noting, "She glared at me!" Len liked the solo and the turns, but said it "wasn't over-exciting" though technically great. "You have the killer instinct!" said Bruno. "You were focused like a guided missile!" Shawn hugged Bruno and kissed the other two judges before exiting.
Scores: CAI 10, LG 9, BT 10, Total 29

On paper, "bullrider" and "rumba" don't go together, but Ty and Chelsie are out to change that! Ty just wants to let the pride and hard work show through, but he needs a lot of hip action! "Are you ready to rumba?" he asks. (Har har.) He showed hip action in the rumba, to "Free Fallin'", but still seemed slow, and he stumbled a bit. He saved his solo for the end, which started looking stiff...but then started lap-dancing his wife in the audience, making Sabrina go "HOLY SHIT!" Len did see the hip action, and said he was charming, but "you were a peacock, now you're a feather duster." Bruno said "We can't confuse likability with ability," and said, "We thought Mario Lopez, but we were seeing Kenny Mayne!" "Right now, we're looking for people who can make it to the finals," said Carrie-Ann, implying that Ty probably would not be one of them. I'm forced to agree.
Scores: CAI 7, LG 7, BT 7, Total 21

"The Bionic Booty is back!" vow Lil'Kim and Derek. Salsa is right in her wheelhouse, but Derek has to push her hard! For her solo, he has Kim get wild, improvising some moves, then choreographs around what she's comfortable with. To "Por arriba, por abajo," she proved she could bring her "A" game and work it! Her moves were sharp and sexy, and, that solo, oh Lord, that solo! "You spin my head right round, right round, when you get down!" crowed Bruno, but thought there was a misstep at the beginning. "Not in the history of this show have I seen a booty shake like that!" exulted Carrie-Ann, who did think that Kim was a little "over the top" and out of control. Len agreed, but said, "You and salsa are absolutely delicious!"
Scores: CAI 9, LG 9, BT 9, Total 27

Gilles and Cheryl are doing the rumba, and Gilles always wanted to do the rumba! Cheryl wants him to show that Latin lover, and to make the solo really sexy and sensual! And, to "Sexual Healing" (good choice!), he does just that! His moves were precise and his extensions were strong! "DAMN!" said Sabrina. Carrie-Ann said it was the most highly-anticipated rumba of the contest, but thought his solo was "a little self-indulgent, over the top." Len thought it was fantastic, but called the solo "silly walk" and the rolling across the floor at the end "distracting." "It started like that scene from Showgirls, but ended like Ravaged by the Savage!" said guess who? Bruno also called it "uneven, but still good."
Scores: CAI 9, LG 9, BT 9, Total 27

The rib injury can't do much for Melissa and Tony, and Melissa has to struggle to switch gears! She's also terrified by the prospect of the solo; "Can't I just stand there and smile?" she asks. The samba, to "Jaleo," seemed good, all right. She might have been showing a little concern for her ribs in the solo, but it worked! She might not have been shaking as much, and been a bit slow, but she made it work, finishing with the ever-popular "sit on the judges' table" maneuver (and maybe a quick nip slip!). "You 100% should be here next week!" said Len. "Your samba has everything anyone could want!" said Bruno. "Take the week off, you deserve it!" cried Carrie-Ann. And, with comments like those...
Scores: CAI 10, LG 10, BT 10, PERFECT 30!!! (Second of the season)

In the Latin round, Melissa is our high scorer, while Ty once again occupies the bottom spot. Combining the totals, Melissa leads with 57 points, while Ty trails with 46. Tomorrow, one couple goes home. Who will it be? Gotta wait till tomorrow to find out!


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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2009 10:21            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pre-elimination analysis...

Ty is most likely out tonight. Don't feel bad for him, though; it was basically either last week or this week for him, and Chuck took the bullet last week. Ty's gotten a lot farther than anyone would ever have expected in this contest, and he has nothing to be ashamed of.

Melissa may be riding the sympathy vote, but she's also stepped up with her dancing, despite the rib injury. I question whether she can hold out under the pain for the final two weeks and still produce top scores, but she's silenced any critics for now. She's on course for a showdown with Gilles for the trophy.

Lil'Kim is slipping back. She's very good and entertaining, but needs some extra "oomph" to get those high marks from the judges. As it stands now, she's one of two "at risk" in Week 10. But, if she can "crack the code" and start really wowing the judges with solid dancing, all bets are off.

Shawn is technically good, but she needs to focus on the artistry of the dance to really knock one out of the park. And Mark needs to watch his choreography; I really think it was his screwup in breaking the hold in the quickstep that cost Shawn a perfect 30. She's the other one "at risk" in Week 10.

Gilles? He's reestablishing himself as "the man to beat" in this contest. If he can overcome his "mid-season slump," he's a virtual lock for the Cheesy Disco Ball Trophy...but he'll need to fend off a run by Melissa, as well as the other two if one of them gets it into gear.

Of course, all this could be completely wrong tomorrow...

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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2009 21:08            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
With five couples left, this is a crucial elimination tonight! But first, we have the encore dance for the week...and, no surprise, it's Melissa & Tony, reprising the "Perfect 30" samba!

Now recap!
- Ty turned in a powerful Argentine tango...but the rumba...not so much!
- Kim's "sophisticated" salsa brought a 50-megaton zinger from Bruno...but the Bionic Booty came back in the salsa!
- Gilles' rumba was, surprisingly, off...but his foxtrot was in the house!
- Shawn paid the price for a rule violation in the quickstep...but proved she was game with her paso!
- Melissa returns! An angelic waltz, and a samba that gets a perfect 30!

Next up, the musical guest...Jamie Cullum, playing and singing Frank Sinatra's "I Get A Kick Out Of You," accompanying dancers Agnieszka Kazmierczak and Urs Gaisenhainer doing a quickstep. He's a pretty decent player, even if he does seem like a "bad boy" of jazz. Following this, we get a segment of "DanceCenter" (play on ESPN SportsCenter--CROSS-PROMOTION ALERT!), where Kenny Mayne, Len, and Jerry Rice comment on Ty, Kim, and Shawn, complete with stats and color commentary. Len can be a pretty funny guy, but Kenny and Jerry upstage him an awful lot.

FIRST SAFE: Gilles & Cheryl! The "sex god of the dance floor" won't be left out in the cold!

On another segment of "DanceCenter," our three commentators comment on Melissa and Gilles...and, during the Gilles segment, we see ALL THREE of them with their shirts off! INCLUDING Len! AAAAHHH! MY EYES! THE GOGGLES...THEY DO NOTHING! Following this was a Macy's Stars of Dance segment that had a huge star-shaped jungle gym on stage, for some reason. Sabrina and I both thought it was dull.

First up in our pro dancer contest is Afton and Cody. Afton was a bit worried at first, but Cody compares her favorably to Julianne (his pro partner in Season 7). Cody has a busy schedule himself, on the set of Hannah Montana (MORE CROSS-PROMOTION ALERT!), but he has a ton of energy, which helps! Afton, however, can crack the whip! They do a samba, to "Hips Don't Lie," and it was full of energy! Cody has a "slinky" nature to him (quoting Sabrina), and as for Afton, she's every bit as good as Ashly was! Len praised the way she helped counter his wooden and stiff nature. "You made him sell himself!" said Bruno. Carrie-Ann admired her bright, youthful energy. (Remember, no scores from the judges!)

SECOND SAFE: Melissa & Tony! Assuming her ribs hold together, she'll be a contender!

When Mayo and Lisa got together, Lisa said, "I got the tall one!" Mayo is used to teaching ladies of all heights, though, so the difference between his 6'3" and Lisa's 5'6" isn't a problem. When he wants to say something doesn't look right, Mayo says it looks "timid," and Lisa responds! The quickstep, to "Walking on Sunshine," may have started out a little slow (despite a nice flip), but quickly sped up...and Mayo did a nice strip-the-skirt-off-Lisa maneuver...but did I just see them break hold? That's what got Shawn in trouble! None of the judges mentioned that, though! Bruno said, "You took advantage of Lisa's assets!" in his special double-entendre way, and said he gave it "a Las Vegas touch." Carrie-Ann thought they got a little out of control. Len liked the way he pushed the boundaries, and thought he did a good job.

Anna and Maurice are doing a tango, something Maurice has never done before; he wanted to see how well she teaches it! As with all her students, Anna is strict but fair; he responds well to her instruction. He seemed stiff as the tango started, but maybe that's just the "locked frame" of the dance; it was competent, if a little unexciting. Carrie-Ann thought that was a semifinals-ready performance, and that they looked great together. "You bought the most out of your celebrity!" said Len. "You're a miracle worker!" said Bruno. "He's never looked better! He's never danced better!"

THIRD SAFE: Shawn & Mark! She moves on to the "medal round" of this competition!

That means our bottom two couples are Lil'Kim & Derek, and Ty & Chelsie. And the couple eliminated in this week's competition is...

Lil'Kim & Derek!


The Bionic Booty is history.

Sabrina and I are sitting here with our jaws dropped.

Somehow, somehow, Ty & Chelsie escaped the horns of the bull, and will survive to the semifinals!

Tom was as shocked as anyone that he had to read off that verdict; he enjoyed watching them dance. So say we all, Tom. So say we all.

Four couples remain as we go to the semifinals next week! Will Ty be lucky enough to make it through one more week? Will Melissa be able to keep from injuring herself worse? Well, if there's one thing this season has shown us, it's that anything can happen on Dancing With The Stars! Till next week...


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Icon 1 posted May 06, 2009 12:29            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
News from Our Man Woz!
On May 6, 2009, at 11:15 AM, Steve Wozniak wrote:

Life has been rather busy lately.

I have been taking advantage of being in the DWTS "family", commuting to L.A. every week to attend the show. I get to see some great dancing and visit my good friends from the show. It's actually amazing when the dancers do one of the dances I was taught a routine based on. It's easy to see so many things they are doing correctly.

Usually, on Monday nights, I have to drive Janet to the Burbank airport immediately after the show so I don't have time to see or chat with any of my friends from the show. But after Tuesday shows I have just enough time to say "hi" to the remaining contestants on the stage, before driving off. Oh, yes, this driving gets to you. I still have a mildly sore shoulder from the show and it isn't improved by driving or lifting Segways or swinging a polo mallet. Which reminds me of the upcoming Segway polo championships in Cologne Germany. I'm hoping to stay a few days after that to take trains around Eastern Europe.

At first I requested seating out of camera view when I attend the DWTS show, but now I find that the front row seats are much better to see everything well, so I'm often seated in front, right next to Jewel. We are not allowed cell phones inside so I usually leave mine out the Segway. But I noticed that Jewel was texting on hers throughout the entire shows. At first I thought, well, whatever, some people text a lot. But yesterday she took this photo with her iPhone and uploaded it right to her twitter account. She even got immediate responses saying "hi" to me.

I was in a very good mood yesterday, partly because they have a spot on most of the Tuesday shows where the audience is invited out for a while to dance to music on the stage. I don't really dance very well but I sure do enoy [sic] it.

I have to admire this great, on-the-spot twittering that Jewel was doing and told her so. I asked her to add me to her twitter account but I'm so far behind on such things that I don't think it worked, though. I hate to constantly stop to twitter so I barely did it during the show. But I was talking to Chuck Wicks and Julianne after the show about that and he said it's different for him, being in the music business as he is. Yes, that does make sense.

There was a confusing end to the results show last night. The host announced which party would be LEAVING but some fans yelled a name thinking it was which party as STAYING and when they announced Lil' Kim, it was as though she was happy or confused about the call. Jewel herself was uncertain, but I stuck with the words I'd heard and congratulated Jewel (shook her hand) for saving Ty through her twittering. I'd told her earlier how a small fan vote advantage can win everything, and even gave her an idea that Ty only needed a couple of percent extra fans voting to remain.

After the show I did manage to convey my love to Lil' Kim. She took everything as well as anyone could, so all is very well. It's very hard with so few contestants left. You don't want any to be eliminated and you start to realize that you can't relate some ability to who stays any longer. The audience votes drive everything, and the judges mainly drive the audience votes with their comments. I'm glad things are getting to an end.

Unfortunately, my personal schedule has not remained free. Just about every open day gets filled in pretty well. I had 2 company meetings on Monday and Tuesday before the shows this week. One even involved some light video work involving a dance scenario for a product rollout at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, an event I'll miss due to the DWTS finale and wrap party.

I do get home between DWTS shows but, believe me, my calendar is still packed. Everyone has this idea that I'm very free with my time, but it ain't so.

audios, or adios,


Indeed, I saw him on last night's show, applauding Lil'Kim after she was informed that she had been eliminated.

Woz also alluded to Jewel's Twitter feed; some hunting with Google revealed she's at @jeweljk. But, before that, I actually dug up, totally unrelated, Jewel Staite on Twitter: @jewelstaite. Browncoats take note!

UPDATE: And Jewel Staite's Twitter followers list led me to @NathanFillion. Good news for Browncoats and fans of Castle (which is on Monday nights following DWTS; Sabrina likes the show, and I think it's pretty decent, actually).

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