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Author Topic: Dancing With The Stars - Season 8, Week 4

Icon 1 posted March 30, 2009 19:39            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This week we've got a new thing for DWTS...it's a double elimination! Two couples will be going home this week, so Woz needs your help! As if that weren't novel enough, this show debuts two new dances for DWTS, the Argentine Tango (a sensual, passionate Latin dance, more so than the standard "ballroom" tango), and the Lindy Hop (similar to the jitterbug, but with lots of kicks and tricks, very high-energy). The action is going to be hot and heavy this week, so let's get to it!

"You like me! You really like me!" That's the watchword for David and Kym, as David quotes Sally Field. Their Lindy Hop has to incorporate plenty of lifts, but make it look fun as well. For inspiration, they visited the Lindy Groove in Pasadena, where they saw dancers doing much the same thing, and also worked the crowd. To "Bandstand," they got into a fun dance; David seemed a little out of sync at times, but the lift at the start was good. Len noted that he was out of sync, and the routine was "not the best, not the worst." Bruno called him pumped up and full of energy, but did note he lost the timing and the footwork. Carrie-Ann said "You were workin' it!" and noted how well he kicked up the energy as the song modulated to a higher key.
Scores: CAI 8, LG 7, BT 7, Total 22

Lil'Kim and Derek wowed the judges last week with her "bionic booty," but she's determined to maintain a gradual ascension in her scores with the Argentine tango. Oddly, Derek had to learn the dance right along with Kim, as he didn't know it well; Kim also had to keep in character and show the strong emotion of the dance. Their tango looked ready to melt the screen, as Kim showed excellent leg and hip work, crisp motions, and great timing. Bruno, who almost had to be restrained from jumping the gun, said "That was the tale of a fatal beauty!" "You are the real deal!" said Carrie-Ann. "You looked four inches taller!" Len was the party pooper, praising the choreography but saying the sensuality was lacking. ("It worked for me!" protested Bruno. Guess he's not strictly gay after all!)
Scores: CAI 9, LG 8, BT 10, Total 27 (First "10" of the season!)

After giving a good foxtrot performance last week, Chuck and Julianne now face the challenge of establishing him as a real contender. Julianne tries to coax him into doing a backflip by saying "Steve Wozniak did it!" (!!!), but Chuck has this ingrained fear of landing on his head, due to an injury he sustained as a child. Julianne changed that move in their Lindy Hop, to showcase his strengths. With "Summertime Blues," they got the energy up, and a high throw and flip by Chuck added flavor to the dance; I felt he performed well. In this case, though, all three judges said much the same thing: he was very competent, but really needs to push himself to a higher level in order to excel. Bruno put it best: "Pizza to go, please...but crispier!"
Scores: CAI 8, LG 7, BT 7, Total 22

With a middle-of-the-pack score for their samba last week, Lawrence and Edyta were anxious to improve. "What I gotta do to get an 8?" asked Lawrence. The Argentine tango seemed to worry him, though: "I'll still be married after this dance, won't I?" Lawrence focused on the steps so much, he couldn't focus on his character...so Edyta brought hubby Alec Mazo in to demonstrate! Lawrence seemed a little immobile at first, but then got a little more into it, with a deep dip and a high lift that showed promise, and a nice pose at the end. Len noted he remembered the routine properly, but it was "heavy," lacked passion, and he looked uncomfortable. Bruno noted that he was good at portraying danger and menacing intensity, but, in his routine, he stomped where he should be gliding. Carrie-Ann felt he executed it well, but seemed a little "afraid" of Edyta's sensuality.
Scores: CAI 7, LG 5, BT 7, Total 19

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2009 20:17            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Continued from previous post)

The producers seemed so anxious to get on with the Woz-bashing, they accidentally started rolling his tape instead of the one for Ty and Chelsie! Chelsie did apologize for her slip during last week's excellent foxtrot, but Ty shrugged it off. He acknowledged that he needed to handle both Latin and ballroom dances, "like a bull that spins right instead of left." His strength allowed her to add some good lifts to their Lindy Hop routine...as long as he can keep from dropping her! "No risk, no reward!" he said. Their dance, to "You And Me And The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight," made Sabrina go "DAMN!" He seemed maybe a bit slow, but he sure wasn't nervous; he was keeping up, and the lifts were everything that they hoped. "You were jumping, kicking, and skipping like a young stallion!" crowed Bruno, who still thought it was "a bit rough around the edges." "YOU ARE A DANCER!" cried Carrie-Ann, who praised Chelsie's skill as a teacher as well. And Len gave the comedy moment of the night: "Hot dog and darn my britches!" Ty exceeded his expectations.
CAI 9, LG 8, BT 8, Total 25

The judges may have given Woz and Karina a raw deal last week, but the fans have spoken, and he lives to dance another round! In the Argentine Tango, Woz had to put on an "angry face," very unusual for a Galactic-Class Nice Guy like him! He and Karina planned to show some moves unlike anything people would expect from him. Meanwhile, "Team Woz" took to the streets...on Segways, natch! "I'm dancing for the fans!" said Woz. "The geek shall inherit the earth!" And, to the "unusual" strains of "Cite Tango," we witnessed the dance unfold. "Holy sh*t!" said Sabrina. Woz was intense, he was doing some spectacular lifts, and he held his own! My view: Magnificent Valour! Sadly, the judges haven't heard of that phrase. "It felt really long," said Carrie-Ann, "and there wasn't much going on." (Except a leg rub.) "There IS an improvement," said Len, "...but it's relative." "We love you..." said Bruno, but "this really stunk!" Woz responded: "Three words: I'm still standing!" Go ahead, Len, Bruno, Carrie-Ann: I'm guessing every time you put Woz down, he picks up another 10,000 fan votes.
Scores: CAI 4, LG 4, BT 4, Total 12

Next up is one of the couples at a three-way tie for the top of the leaderboard last week: Melissa and Tony, who are looking to keep up the pace, as well as have fun, with the kicks and tricks of the Lindy Hop. Tony has been Melissa's instructor, brother, teacher, and friend all in one, and Tony is pushing her to excel. The dance, to the tune of "Brown Derby Jump," was energetic and fun looking, with fast action and incredible flips, well-synced; a slight bobble on the last lift didn't mar the routine. "You have the potential to go all the way!" said Len, who noted that stickiness on the last lift. "Truly eye-popping fun!" said Bruno, who noted that she showed the full range of steps in the dance. Carrie-Ann gave them a high ten, and said, "NOW I'm impressed!"
Scores: CAI 10, LG 9, BT 10, Total 29 (High score so far!)

Holly and Dmitry turned in a disappointing samba last week, but managed to survive the dance-off, and are determined to improve their standings this week. The Argentine tango will challenge them, though...especially since the DWTS injury curse seems to have hit Holly next! She strained the muscles around her ribs last week, and had to take a trip to Cedars-Sinai to get evaluated and get some pain meds. Fighting through the pain, she went out to the strains of "Libertango" (at least they seem to have decent tango music!) and gave it her all...but still seemed stiff and slow. "She just don't have it!" said Sabrina, and I'm forced to agree. I did like the ending, though. "It was a bad start, and it got worse," said Bruno, who noted that the problems began when Holly fell off a stool at the start of the routine. Carrie-Ann gave her credit for dancing through the pain, but said she needed to work on her technique and strength. Len thought Dmitry's routine was fantastic, but Holly's execution of that routine...not so much. "There is light at the end of the tunnel!" he said, but I think that light is the proverbial oncoming train; I don't expect her to survive tomorrow night's elimination.
Scores: CAI 5, LG 6, BT 5, Total 16

(continued in next post)

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2009 20:38            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Continued from previous post)

Poor Steve-O and Lacey. Due to injuries and so forth, they seem like they're almost three weeks behind the other competitors, and the foxtrot last week showed it. They want to "turn the corner" with the Lindy Hop, but the dance is so chaotic, Steve-O is overwhelmed, and still fighting the pain besides. Lacey helped by bringing him...a clown costume? Well, Steve-O got his start as a circus clown, so getting "back to his roots" seemed to help a bit. His Lindy Hop, to "Dance Little Sister," seemed energetic but unfocused; he may still be slow and sluggish in some areas, but his spirit is coming back. Carrie-Ann was enthused about him getting through it, but felt he was off in his musicality. Len thought his timing was a big issue. "It was more 'hopping mad' than Lindy Hop!" said Bruno, who encouraged him to listen to the music and not overthink the routines. I've got a bad feeling about him, too.
Scores: CAI 5, LG 5, BT 5, Total 15

When you turn in a sizzling-hot samba like Gilles and Cheryl did last week, what do you do for an encore? You train for an Argentine tango, that's what! Gilles struggled with it, and Cheryl encouraged him to draw on his acting experience for the characterization. "Show me passion! Show me anger!" she exhorted. The "Assassin's Tango" provided the backdrop for a display of dance that was guaranteed to crank up the thermostat! I could almost SEE the sparks flying! The lifts, the intensity, the artistry...I smelled high score! ("Thirty!" said Sabrina.) Len noted that he showed every element of the Argentine tango, calling it "another fantastic performance." "Ladies and gentlemen," gushed Bruno, "the quntessential Latin lover! Bravissimo!" "Holy cow! Jeez Louise!" said Carrie-Ann, fanning herself and blushing. "I couldn't tell who was the pro and who was the celebrity!"
Scores: CAI 10, LG 10, BT 10, PERFECT 30!!! (First of the season!)

This puts the pressure on Shawn and Mark, who are also looking to keep the pace up. The fact that Shawn had a stalker coming after her this past week didn't help! Shawn took Mark to the gym to bring him into her world, and Mark distinguished himself on the balance beam and in the floor exercises--NOT! He did come away from it with some ideas for the Lindy Hop, to improve their standings. "The Lindy Hop is my dance!" said Shawn. Their dance routine was energetic and featured lots of very gymnastic lifts and flips, but I came away from it thinking it looked more like an aerobic workout than a dance. Bruno picked up on that, as did Len; both said, basically, "too many tricks, not enough dancing." Carrie-Ann felt her footwork was "heavy."
Scores: CAI 8, LG 8, BT 9, Total 25

No surprise: Woz remains in the cellar, though he did score two points better than last week. Meanwhile, Gilles is trying for homestead rights at the top of the leaderboard. Which two of these couples will get the hook? Tune in tomorrow, True Believers, and find out!


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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2009 20:01            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, I've figured out why they had to have a double elimination this week...they need to cut the field to nine couples, so next week they can cut the Monday show to 90 minutes, to make room for some stupid Bob Saget sitcom. After a review of Monday night's dances, we revive an old DWTS tradition: this week, Len gets to pick one of our dancers to give an encore performance. No surprise there; it's Gilles and Cheryl, with their Argentine tango that, if this were the movie Strictly Ballroom, would have won them the Pan Pacific Grand Prix.

There is no dance-off tonight! The two couples who would ordinarily have danced off will be going home. Meanwhile, here are some of the announcements about who's safe and who's in the bottom three:

SAFE: Gilles & Cheryl! No surprise here. None at all.
SAFE: Lawrence & Edyta! The chains move again, as he makes the play!
BOTTOM 3: Holly & Dmitry! Would Bridget or Kendra have done any better?

Next up, Kevin Rudolph performs as some of our pros do a paso doble (one of next week's dances); lousy music choice, but some hella good dancing, in my opinion. After which, Samantha does one of her croaking-voiced puff-piece interviews with the three couples singled out so far. Finally, we get another indication of who is safe:

SAFE: Shawn & Mark! Our pint-sized bundle of energy isn't going anywhere anytime soon, stalkers notwithstanding!

The other dance for next week, the Viennese waltz, gets a look this week, with a three-couple routine to some John Denver music. Beautiful. Then--pad the show, pad the show--the stars talk about the double elimination. Get on with the announcements already, Tom!

SAFE: Chuck & Julianne! The Lindy Hop, while it could have been crispier, was good enough to deliver Chuck to next week!
BOTTOM 3: Steve-O & Lacey! Could we see the "tears of a clown" later?

Then we got one of the better entertainment segments of the night, with Cheryl, Tony, Kym, and Dmitry dancing to the Motown sounds of Boyz II Men. The guys still sound good after all these years! Next, Samantha talks to Chuck, Julianne, Steve-O, and Lacey. Steve-O admits that he's not used to dealing with the pressure without drugs and alcohol! In an interview segment with the judges (in which Bruno says, "The Woz is charming, but he just can't dance!"), we see what they're looking for: Bruno wants them to "sell" the dance, Carrie-Ann is looking to be entertained, and Len--no surprise there--is looking for great dancing.

Who else is safe?

SAFE: Lil'Kim & Derek! The Funk-Fu--and the HAWT--is strong with this one!
SAFE: Melissa & Tony! Yeah, no surprise here either. I mean, really.

Then we pad the show again by having the celebrities talk about their strategy for impressing the judges and the fans. In the process, we get a better explanation of the scoring: The points awarded by the judges are totaled up, and each couple's score is converted to a percentage of the total "points pool." This percentage is, in turn, added to the percentage of viewer votes received by each couple, to get their final score. Presumably, in the "dance-off," the extra points given by the judges are refactored into the total judge percentages. Clear as mud...

Now to learn the fate of the three remaining couples:

Ty & Chelsie - SAFE! He must have plenty of "friends in low places" to keep him in the running!
Woz & Karina - BOTTOM 3! We're seeing a glitch in the system...can we recover?
David & Kym - SAFE! And he gets to sing again next week!

Our bottom three are Holly & Dmitry, Steve-O & Lacey, and Woz & Karina. And here are the couples who go home...

ELIMINATED: Holly & Dmitry! First, out of the Playboy Mansion, then out of the competition!
ELIMINATED: Woz & Karina!
No, wait. Surely you meant Steve-O and Lacey!
Didn't you?
Didn't you?
I feel a strange disturbance in the Force...as if millions of geeks cried out in anguish--and were suddenly silenced.

Game over, man. Game over.

Naturally, both stars are glad to have had the experience. Woz even admitted that Holly & Dmitry's dress rehearsal of their dance made him cry! He praised the show, the system, and all his co-competitors.

The mark of a true gentleman, friends and fellow geeks. That is class personified.

So, Holly and Our Hero have reached the "End of the Road." But, next week, nine more stars continue the competition...and your intrepid reporter will be on the case, right down to the wire, at the behest of our Benevolent Dictator!

Till then...as I say in my DJ sets in Second Life...peace out, goodnight everybody!


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Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 9 posted March 31, 2009 20:21      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Epic sadness [Frown]

Live long and prosper.

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Benevolent Dictator!
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2009 20:32      Profile for Nitrozac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Awesome post! [Applause] [Applause] I like when Woz said it was "weird". I hope he has a good rest, and recovers well from this brush with Hollywood. Looking forward to Jimmie Kimmel!
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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2009 08:02            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm trying to figure out what happened to Woz.

First, let's take the judges' scores into account:

Week 3: 254 total points awarded; Woz's share 10, or 3.937%
Week 4: 242 total points awarded; Woz's share 12, or 4.959%

So Woz's share of the judges' scores actually increased, on an absolute basis, from Week 3 to Week 4. This had to have been accompanied by a big drop in his viewer vote percentage, for him to land in the bottom two, when he did not land there in Week 3.

How could this have happened? Two possibilities:

(1) Woz's fans slacked off in the voting. Unlikely, but possible.
(2) The publicity around Woz's "save" in Week 3 inspired the other celebrities to light a fire under the collective asses of their own fan bases and get them voting in greater numbers. This was probably a greater factor.

Well, guess that's what they mean by that saying, "Can't win 'em all." ("Yup. They do have that saying.")

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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2009 08:18            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And now, here's my less-than-scientific weighting of the remaining nine couples in the running:

TOP TIER - I expect one of these couples to eventually take home the trophy.

Gilles & Cheryl - Obviously the cream of the crop here. Cheryl is on pace to be the first three-time pro winner on the US DWTS, maybe the first in the world.

Melissa & Tony - Strong second-place contender; a misstep by Gilles could give her the initiative she needs to win.

Lil'Kim & Derek - The one with the most upward momentum; Kim jumped into the top tier this week with her performance.

Shawn & Mark - Showing some signs of fading. May drop down to middle tier unless Shawn can deliver more high-20's performances.

MIDDLE TIER - Strong challengers that could still break out.

Ty & Chelsie - The couple that has the best chance of hitting the top tier sometime soon.

Chuck & Julianne - Need more work than Ty & Chelsie do to make a bid for the upper ranks.

NEEDS HELP - These guys really have to step it up or they might go home soon.

David & Kym - Most improved in this group, but still not quite there yet.

Lawrence & Edyta - Has to pick up the pace now that most of the real low-scorers are gone, or he could be "Tail-End Charlie" soon.

DESPERATION TIME - No explanation necessary. [Smile]

Steve-O & Lacey - With the number of times he's been near the cellar in marks, Steve-O has to really improve to avoid being cut in Week 5...and I don't think he can improve that much, that quickly.

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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2009 09:31            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A Computerworld article suggests that Woz's DWTS departure actually has negative implications for Apple itself:
His elimination will put an end not just to his dancing career, but also to the good will that Apple was getting from his time on TV, said the head of a digital marketing firm. "He's been a distraction from [CEO] Steve Jobs' health issues," said Kathy Sharpe, the chief executive of New York City-based Sharpe Partners. "Woz is kind of a clown and good counterpoint to Jobs' condition. You don't take him seriously."


"I don't think that Woz's appearance [on Dancing with the Stars] was happenstance," Sharpe said. "I think there are challenges when such a strong visionary leaves a company that's tied as tightly to his vision as is Apple." This was one way to counteract Jobs' absence, she said.

Apple also benefited another way from Wozniak's dancing. "Apple takes itself too seriously at times," she said, and Wozniak's repeated message that he was enjoying himself worked to the company's advantage. "The Mac aficionados are much deeper in the brand, and they know who Woz is and the part he played in the first years of Apple.

Don't forget that The Other Steve is also on the board of Disney, parent company of ABC. Could that have been how Woz got onto the show in the first place? Well, Jobs may have got him there...but the fans kept him there, right up till last night.
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