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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 199
 - posted April 06, 2009 20:20
Well, it's the first DWTS since Woz got sent off (complete with the classic Mac "bomb box": "Sorry, a system error occurred"). Nine couples remain, and the show's dropped to 90 minutes to compensate. Unfortunately, Samantha's voice is back, though...well, never mind that now, let's get to the action!

Chuck and Julianne really need to "go for it" this week to have a run at the top tier...and the Viennese waltz could be the vehicle for them to do it, especially given their relationship! The Viennese waltz is all about grace, smoothness, and passion, and their dance, to "Feels Like Today," seemed to bring it. Chuck was big and expressive, definitely reaching for it; Sabrina said, "Oh my God, he has so improved!" "You've come out of hibernation!" said Len, who did say the finesse could be improved, but was pleased. "You're emerging from the shadows!" said Bruno, who praised his command and performance but thought his focus could use work. Carrie-Ann, for once, was Negative Nancy, saying, "You need more confidence!"
Scores: CAI 7, LG 8, BT 8, Total 23
(And Chuck declined a broad hint from Samantha to propose to Julianne on camera.)

Meantime, Lawrence and Edyta are definitely lagging, but they hope the fiery paso doble will turn it around. Lawrence hoped to attack it with the kind of intensity he brought to football games, even though he seemed to have trouble with his cape. The music was "Granada," proper paso music, but Lawrence seemed to have trouble moving to it, at least at first. He is still stiff and off with his timing; I didn't think this performance did them any favors. Bruno called him "The Prince of Darkness," and noted that he started the routine "like a block of granite" but then managed to get those feet moving. Carrie-Ann thought, even though that limited motion held him back, he did well with the music and with what he had. Though the quality was not really there, Len did call it Lawrence's best dance so far.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 7, BT 7, Total 20

The routine Shawn and Mark turned in last week looked more suited to Beijing 2008 than DWTS 2009, and the marks showed it. Shawn has the determination, the focus, and the drive...she just needs the technique! The rehearsals this week seemed to frustrate her more than usual. The Viennese waltz, to "Ordinary Day," looked beautiful, and, according to Sabrina, much better than last week. It was simple and expressive, and, as Carrie-Ann put it, sometimes simplicity is the key to success. Len faulted her footwork a bit, saying she needed to step forward on her heels more, not just the balls of her feet. Bruno agreed with Carrie-Ann on the simplicity, calling it "Sweetness and light, pretty as a picture!"
Scores: CAI 9, LG 8, BT 9, Total 26

So far, she's been solid, but Melissa and Tony would like to maintain the pace. For the paso doble, she's getting good and angry, keeping with the aggressive character of the dance. But it's hard for her to maintain the character and remember all the steps, and one of those typically-klunky ABC music choices--"Poker Face," a dance track--didn't help! There is definitely fire in her performance, but she seems a little hesitant to me, even through those high, very ballet-like kicks...and, uh-oh, did she stumble a little on the end spin? Len agreed that she did well on a very difficult routine, but he noticed the blunders and lack of aggression. Calling her "Carmen the ballsy heartbreaker," Bruno did acknowledge the mistakes, but thought she really "went for it" and looked beautiful. Carrie-Ann thought she was a little off-balanced and stumbled there, but thought it was a nice job.
Scores: CAI 8, LG 8, BT 9, Total 25

With David and Kym down among the low scorers in the competition, they need to step it up, focus, and keep improving. But is the "injury curse" finding a new victim? I noticed David was wearing a knee brace in rehearsal. The Viennese waltz they did, though, showed the work; he seemed to be "feeling it" and it worked, but, for me, it was kind of "meh." The music was "I Put A Spell On You," and, according to Bruno, the spell worked; the only thing he lamented was that there were too many "tricks." Carrie-Ann thought they were "disconnected," not moving in unison enough. Len, though, seemed pleased with the performance.
Scores: CAI 7, LG 8, BT 7, Total 22

(continued in next post)
Member # 199
 - posted April 06, 2009 21:01
(continued from previous post)

And now we come to the darlings of dance for this season, Gilles and Cheryl. The perfect 30 last week "overwhelmed" Gilles, and he's inspired to bring some of his martial-arts experience to the paso doble. Off to the dojo they go, where Gilles does some sparring with his extremely-cute son, then back to the studio, where Gilles vows, "Get ready to see me fight!" They get good music, at least..."Habanera," from Bizet's opera Carmen. And ROWR! This paso had everything the previous ones didn't! The foot stomps, the aggression, the passion...if Fran's dad were to ask them "Show me your...paso doble!", I think he'd have been impressed! Carrie-Ann called it "breathtakingly passionate" and admired the way they bring the core and essence of the dance to life. Len admired the passion and fire, but was puzzled by Gilles' shirtless intro (I bet the ladies in the audience weren't, though!) and called it "hectic" (oh dear, there goes our hope of two 30's in a row). Over the top as usual, though, Bruno called it "Going for the kill!" and "A battle for supremacy!"
Scores: CAI 10, LG 9, BT 10, Total 29

The reason Steve-O and Lacey are still here is that they were passed over in the double elimination that claimed Our Hero...and, even though Woz encouraged people to support him, he's still in deep you-know-what. He's still going to try his best on the Viennese waltz, though, and the rest of the Jackass cast has shown up for moral support. The dance starts off as--Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?--a mime routine, but it did get better. Steve-O has decidedly improved, but I still left underwhelmed. Len said, "Don't get excited at this comment, but it was your best dance." Bruno liked the Marcel Marceau routine, though, and said his timing was good, but there's still lots to do. Carrie-Ann liked the emotional quality and the acting, but encouraged him to work on his posture...assuming he survives elimination.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 6, BT 6, Total 18

Ty and Chelsie are doing the paso doble. The paso doble is about the relationship of the bullfight. Ty knows a few things about bulls! To prove it, he took Chelsie to meet one...and they even got into the chute on the beast's back! (They didn't open the gate, though.) Sadly, though, the "Barracuda"-themed paso may have bucked him off; his moves looked stilted and left me wanting more. "You did it all," said Bruno, "but it looked robotic and metallic, like a Transformer!" "Where did my dancer go?" lamented Carrie-Ann, who said that, once again, Ty was overthinking the routine. Len said this dance "wasn't his cup of tea," but noted that he had come a long way since Week 1.
Scores: CAI 7, LG 7, BT 7, Total 21

After laying down the first "10" of the competition, Lil'Kim and Derek have no time for celebration, needing to get through, not only rehearsals, but a photo shoot for Kim! Derek found himself jumping from element to element of the dance, trying to get Kim to get it all together. The Viennese waltz, to "I'll Be," was nicely done all around, and made Sabrina cry a bit. I noted the good arabesques, the smooth lines, and the fact that she seemed to be enjoying herself. Carrie-Ann felt like she was Kim's mom, watching her daughter dance! She also noted how perfectly matched they were. Len thought it was lyrical, floaty, and had great musicality, but noted footwork issues (as only he would) and felt there should be a few more "classic" elements. "I've never seen anyone make the Viennese waltz look sassy!" said Bruno, who praised their "total harmony."
Scores: CAI 9, LG 8, BT 9, Total 26

And with that, our competition draws to the close. Gilles retains his lock on the top of the leaderboard, while Steve-O finds himself in the bottom slot. Now it's up to the viewers; tune in tomorrow for the results!

Member # 111
 - posted April 07, 2009 10:12
Great reveiw! I only got a bit of the first part, as it wasn't the same without the Woz! I sure wish he was still on there. I don't know who I'm rooting for now, I like Shawn, she is cute as a button, strong, talented, and she seems like a really nice kid. I think I want her to win. I'm not a fan of Steve O, I think that's who Woz is cheering for now, however, I liked his message last week about being able to handle high pressure without booze or drugs. That was a good thing he did being open about that. [Applause] But I still rather have Shawn win. [evil]
Member # 199
 - posted April 07, 2009 20:51
We're back to dancing off this week on the elimination show, which promises to be another nerve-wracking one! First, though, we get the judges' encore of the week...and, somewhat surprisingly, it's Lil'Kim and Derek with their lovely Viennese waltz. She's definitely "Rising Star" of the competition.

Then we ran through last night's competition...including one little factoid I didn't spot: Melissa actually caught her heel in her dress during the paso doble, ripping it! Despite that, she managed to hold on and complete the routine. Hmm, sort of like the way Ty caught Chelsie's stumble?

Finally, we get to start seeing who's safe:
1. Shawn & Mark - Our pint-sized pixie, and Nitrozac's new favorite, will get another shot at perfection!
2. Lil'Kim & Derek - Well, getting the encore of the week was kind of a clue they'd be back, wouldn't you say?

The first performance this evening is by 71-year-old Etta James, seated on the stage and singing her old classic, "At Last," acting as backdrop for a lovely dance by Maks and Karina. She may have aged, but she's still got it. Then Samantha does her bit for show-padding with Ty and Steve-O. Forget that stuff, I want to see who's safe!

3. Gilles & Cheryl - Oh, ain't nothin' gonna dislodge him from this competition!
4. Steve-O & Lacey - WHOA! I think Steve-O just got his "miracle save," the way Woz did in Week 3!
5. Chuck & Julianne - Next week, we get to see this couple do the rumba!
6. Melissa & Tony - It'll take more than a torn dress to ruin her chances!

Another background piece, in which we see all the places the stars came from--the ranch, the cubicle, the soccer field, even rehab--to get to the ballroom, and the trials they've had so far. Then, the Macy's Stars of Dance performance for this week came courtesy of the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel...and it looked more like a Cirque du Soleil routine than a dance routine, I thought. Finally, we got another musical performance by some Disney Channel pop-tart who's going on tour soon (cross-promotion anyone?), Demi Lovato, singing over a spirited jive routine. Forget the padding, let's see what happened to the last three couples:

Ty & Chelsie...SAFE! The cowboy rides again for one more week!

And that means David & Kym and Lawrence & Edyta are dancing off! So let's get to the action!

No intros this week, so David and Kym get right to their Viennese waltz. I think he was a little shaky, but he did leave out that high leg kick that got him in a little of trouble last night. Len noted he was more fully focused and had more expression; it was "better, but maybe not one point better." Bruno said, "You work well under pressure!" and thought it worked better. Carrie-Ann really felt the connection that was lacking last night, and that there was more passion there.
Scores: CAI 8, LG 8, BT 8, Total 24 (+2 from last night)

Lawrence and Edyta then went back into the paso doble, to "Granada," which, as I noted, is real paso music, but difficult. "Lawrence don't like being in dance-offs!" noted Sabrina. But I think I saw some improvement. Bruno felt he needed to go with the music more, and trust the performance from the beginning. Both Carrie-Ann and Len noted that the music was quite difficult, and felt he worked well with it; Len saw some improvement, while Carrie-Ann liked the intensity and power.
Scores: CAI 6, LG 7, BT 7, Total 20 (unchanged from last night)

And now...combine the scores...the supercomputers are crunching the numbers...and the couple going home is...

David and Kym! Shocker! That two-point gain couldn't save them...and the songbird has his swan song!

So Lawrence recovered his fumble, and continues to press down the field, at least for now! But will he keep it up next week? Will Steve-O's incredible luck hold? And can anybody catch Gilles and Cheryl? Tune in next week, True Believers!

Member # 199
 - posted April 08, 2009 16:28
Here's a funny for you...from EW.com back on January 21, reporter Annie Barrett gives us the then-new First Couple as if they were Dancing With The Stars contestants!
After their tender but staid foxtrot, head judge DANCMSTR Len Goodman complimented Barack's "core," which he recalled fondly from a paparazzi beach photo, but harped on his nearly nonexistent footwork. Bruno Tonioli praised the couple's chemistry and called Michelle "a beautiful swan under the curse of an evil sorcerer, afraid to flutter its wings lest they get clipped by ten thousand flashes of fancy!" Nobody knew what that meant. Carrie Ann Inaba merely stood up, pointed to her tears and wailed, alternating between two equally horrific pitches. Still, Barack and Michelle scored a respectable 21 out of 30 and should fully redeem themselves in next week's freestyle.
No comment necessary. [Big Grin]
Member # 199
 - posted April 09, 2009 16:06
Woz may be out of the competition, but you can't keep him away from the show, and his new friends! Herewith, another Woz update:
On Apr 9, 2009, at 11:52 AM PST, Steve Wozniak wrote:

It's not over, for sure!

I'm going back and forth, attending the show every week to support my new good friends.

Plus, I'll be dancing in the finale. I have never watched the show, as I don't watch TV. I don't know if we plan and perform a new dance for the finale, but what else could it be? I guess we have to wait until they give us our song to perform to. Otherwise, I'd love to get in the studio now and start preparing an incredible performance.

I drove home yesterday, for the first time in nearly 2 months. My dogs just acted like it was another normal "daddy comes home" evening. They didn't yelp and jump all over me and cry. They didn't uncontrollably pee on me either. Perhaps they understood when Janet this week had brought home some of my unwashed clothes for them to smell, and told them that daddy was coming home soon. We took them for a night walk after going out to the Old Spaghetti Factory, one of my favorite places.

I was in the audience for this Monday's and Tuesday's shows. I asked to be seated 'off camera' because I just want to enjoy the great privilege of watching the show live, and I don't want or need exposure. Oddly, I found that you see a better artistic presentation on TV.

I was as happy as anyone in the audience when Steve O was saved from the [horrible] dance-off. Many in the audience expressed happiness when he was saved. He has a lot of fans and he is on a good road in life too. He smiles and laughs like I did at the rudest comments by the judges or others. I can see through him how infectious and good this positive attitude is.

For those of you who admired this in me, and the bravery and the hard work and being totally out of a comfort zone, Steve O is the one to support with your votes. The way the judges are after him for his dancing, he needs our support the most. I get my best feelings when an underdog is saved. Plus, Steve O and I became very close friends and we both would do anything we could to help the other. It's hard to explain, because going in I imagined, from what I had heard, that he would be the only one that I wouldn't even befriend at all.

By the way, Steve O's dancing partner, Lacy, admired my nixie tube watch the way a true geeeeek would, so I gave her one as a gift and she was wearing it Tuesday morning at an interview for the TV Guide channel (we were both there for interviews).

As for the dances this week, Gilles truly amazed me as much as anyone. But I also thought that Lil' Kim and Derek brought the wonderful feeling of watching a couple truly doing a waltz together, as one, to us all. I would have given them 10's as well. Everyone comes to love Lil' Kim. She is the most wonderful person in real life. I truly love her as well, about as much as I 'love' Steve O. But in the case of Lil' Kim, I'm not alone.

I'm sorry to see David Allen Greer leave. He has a style of comedy that I love. A bit like Kathy Griffin, but not so outward, he carries comedy in his body movements, facial expressions, and subtle comments. I love the sort of comedy that is so clever you almost don't recognize it as comedy, and David is a master at that, at saying things just the right way. Anyone knows how comedy is so important to me. I hope very much that David gets back to watch more shows, so I can see him and talk with him.

I'll drive back to L.A. on Sunday or Monday to see the next show live. Then it's off to San Antonio, Texas, for a speech to apartment owners. I'm going to love this one. After that I could have gotten out to Atlanta for the championships of the FIRST robotics competition, which is always the best thing I do in life, but I would have only been able to make it for 1 day. When you are so behind in life after DWTS, it's hard to travel so much for just 1 day there, so instead I'll come back to L.A. for the next DWTS show, and then home again.

I'm really hoping that there will be some Segway polo match I can play in this [Easter] Sunday! I missed that a lot, but at least I was on my Segway for many miles every day in L.A.

I hope to arrange a dinner or something with the San Jose Mercury columnist Gary Richards, who writes the Roadshow column, my favorite. He went out on a limb and said some very nice things while I was on DWTS. When you are doing something like this TV show, every friend in the world means so much to you.

best wishes,


-- tv is wake zone

So, we'll get to see Woz take the floor one more time before this season is out! Looking forward to that!

And, if you want to throw your support behind anyone, take Woz's suggestion into account. I don't know that Steve-O can hang on much longer (I thought for sure he'd be gone this week), but if he doesn't have fan support, he surely won't!

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