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May 2010 Archives

Nicole Scherzinger takes the mirrorball trophy

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So it's nearly 24 hours later (is that seemingly endless finale show STILL going on?), and another season of "Dancing with the Stars" comes to a close. While many still would argue this was the best season ever, I found season 10 to be tedious and boring simply because the competition was a lock pretty much from the first week. Looking back, was there any doubt Nicole and her pro partner Derek Hough would win the whole shebang? Sure, it ultimately became a of three-way race between Nicole, Erin Andrews and Evan Lysacek, but even that race seemed a shoe-in for the fiery and yes, talented, Nicole. For the rest of the pack, it became a game of "which one of us will be the next one to leave because there's no way we're catching up to that trio."
Dancing With The Stars.jpg

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough with their mirrorball trophy backstage Tuesday night at "Dancing with the Stars. (AP)

Which brings us to the eternal question: Who will dance next season?
Here's hoping the series decides what it wants to be by the time the next lineup is revealed.

One of the best reasons to watch tonight's final episode of season 10 of "Dancing with the Stars" is that eight members of Purdue's Latin & Ballroom Dance Team will be competing for the collegiate championship. They'll be facing off against Utah Valley University for the trophy.

While viewer votes helped propel Purdue to the championship round, tonight it's all up to judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, who will determine the winners.

"We've been training anywhere from 4 to 12 hours a day to prepare for this [cha cha]," said Purdue team member Sean Lyons, a freshman who hails from suburban Naperville.

Lyons, a freshman at the West Lafayette campus, who is majoring in management and finance, said he has had a great time meeting several of the pros and the celebrities, especially fellow Naperville native Evan Lysacek. "He is so nice."

Another Chicago-area team member is Tracy Matz, who hails from Des Plaines.
"I've been ballroom dancing for three years, but have studied other dance since I was 5" Matz said. "It's so exciting to be on national TV in front of millions of people. It's crazy!"

Like Lyons, Matz, a junior who is majoring in visual communication and design, has met her share of the show's celebs and pros, including Lysacek, Anna Trebunskya, Niecy Nash and all the judges.

Prior to their initial turn on "Dancing with the Stars," the Purdue team had never competed in "formation" dancing, which is what they are judged on for this particular competition.

"Formation dancing is really more of a West Coast thing," Lyons said. "We're all about partners and pairs, and letting each couple's personalities come through. So it has been a great learning process for us."

As for that formidable dance floor, looks can be very deceiving.

"The ballroom is way smaller than it looks on TV," Lyons said. "Just look when there are 8 people out on that floor at the same time. They take up the entire space."
The rest of the Purdue team members that will appear on "Dancing with the Stars" include:

--Josef Conner, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Galveston, Ind.
--Tiffany Lam, a senior majoring in dietetics from Hong Kong and West Lafayette,
Ind.
--Kris Ezra, a senior majoring in aeronautics and astronautics from Winamac,
Ind.
--Yitian Chen, a senior majoring in pharmaceutical sciences from Xi'an, China,
and Moon Township, Pa.
--Lincoln Slentz, a senior majoring in chemistry from Auburn, Ind.
--Dessi Moneva, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry from Greenwood, Ind.

The team competes in intercollegiate competitions throughout the year and
conducts classes, shows and social dances on or near campus.

It's up for grabs on 'Dancing with the Stars'

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What a finals night it was on "Dancing with the Stars" as three couples squared off for the finals of season 10. And who could have imagined any finalist earning 8s on the most critical night of competition (okay, two more dances remain tomorrow night but viewers won't have any input on those)?.

The evening started off on an interesting note as Erin and Maks kicked things into a funky high gear with a playful samba. Was it fabulous? Not particularly, but it was lively and entertaining and it earned the duo a 29 from the judges. Next up were Evan and Anna who delivered one of the most eclectic Viennese waltzes I can remember. It was stylish and risky and enchanting and the couple earned 28 points (it should have earned at least a 29) and it received the loudest standing-O of the night. The last one up was Nicole (the odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang tomorrow night) and her partner Derek who turned in a sultry rhumba, which thrilled the judges. But then, could it be? The routine included not one but two lifts (yep, there was one way in the beginning that Carrie Ann Inaba missed) that just threw the scoring into a free-fall, earning a 27 for what should have been a perfect 30 outing.

The freestyle competition turned out to be the real deal-breaker as everything just sorta fell flat. I'm sorry, but Erin and Maks' bedroom/ballroom routine looked like a pastiche of who knows what. Was it daring? Sure. Was it different? Sure. Was it fabulous contemporary dance? Nope. The judges weren't buying it either (except for Bruno). The romping around on the prop bed looked uncomfortable and awkward. The duo earned a miserable 26!! Not finals-worthy by any means.

Evan followed with one of the strangest routines this side of Marie Osmond's "dancing doll" routine a few seasons back. Following a tumultuous rehearsal week in which Evan slammed Anna for what he called "Broadway" and "cheeky" dance moves, the pair seemed outta synch from the get-go in their super-charged routine. Carrie Ann summed it up nicely when she commented that it seemed like two separate dances. Gotta hand it to Bruno for the best comment of the night when he said he didn't know if it was "Footloose or screw loose." Again, a miserable score of 24 was Evan's reward. How can these guys still be earning 24s on finals night?!?

So it was time for Nicole's big moment, and again, it was one of the oddest routines. It was daring and sexy but the super-slick moves that Derek choreographed were cumbersome and awkward and it cost the dynamic duo big time when it came to the scoring, landing them only 27 points.

With the 8s flowing freely from the judges' paddles, the whole competition is up for grabs. Maybe that was the plan, especially in a season where the pack was pretty much split between those celebs who had some kind of dance training and those who did not.

Two more dances to go; it's hard to say who's gonna hoist that mirrorball trophy Tuesday night. Don't count anybody out; the judges made it anybody's game tonight.

The judges seal the deal 'Dancing with the Stars'

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And so it went on tonight's semi-finals round of "Dancing with the Stars." If EVER there was a clear, concise and in-your-face message from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, it was the "24" they awarded Chad Ochocinco for his marvelous samba (it merited a "27"). They were determined to make sure Chad had little hope of advancing to next week's finals (unless there's a tsunami of voter turnout for the football great).

While Ochocinco may not be on par with the remaining semi-finalists--- Erin (I've been dancing all my life") Andrews, Nicole ("I've been dancing all my life and look I still dance for a profession") Scherzinger, and Evan ("I dance on ice" ) Lysacek, he proved this season that someone with absolutely no dancing experience can learn to dance; and dance well-enough to make it to the semi-finals. After all, isn't that what "Dancing with the Stars" was supposed to be about?

Barring any surprises, Chad will be leaving the ballroom tomorrow night on the results show. And when (if!) he does, he can hold his head up high because he played a great game all season. Too bad the rest of the pack had such blatant advantages.

2010 Daytime Emmy nominees list

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The 2010 Daytime Emmy nominees were announced today -- 18 nods for "General Hospital"!

Oprah, who doesn't compete for the top categories, received four nominations. Ellen DeGeneres' talk show got eight nods, including best talk show. And Chicago's own Bonnie Hunt is up for best talk show host.

Here's the list of top nominees:

Erin Andrews a dancer from way back?

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Hey "Dancing with the Stars" fans...

So check out the fresh-faced, ponytailed (and vocal) dancer at about 45 or 46 seconds into this god-awful infomercial from years ago...

Tonight's results show ushers in a three-week collegiate dance-off in which dance teams from two universities each week will compete against one another in a formation ballroom showdown. This week, it kicks off with teams from Purdue University (West Lafayette) dancing against the University of California San Diego. Viewers will be asked to vote for their favorite teams each week to determine which squad makes it to the next round.

The finals of the amateur competition will air on May 25 as part of the season finale of "DWTS."

The 'wow' returns to 'Dancing with the Stars'

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The impossible became possible on tonight's edition of "Dancing with the Stars." After weeks ---- that is seasons--- of the "wow factor" being awol from the ballroom, it returned tonight with a vengeance.

Just one week shy of the semi-finals (the results show tomorrow night will determine the final four), all five couples tonight brought their best game as they fought like heck to land the highest judges' scores possible ---- and hopefully enough viewer votes to matter.

Two dances were required tonight, one in ballroom and one in Latin. Suffice it to say, Nicole emerged at the top of the leader board with 59 out of a possible 60 points with her stunning 50s-style paso doble and a hugely theatrical fox trot. Nipping at her heels was Evan, who along with his partner Anna, earned a 53 out of 60 for a Viennese waltz that was too "rolley-polley" for Len Goodman, and a futuristic cha-cha that Bruno Tonioli described as Mr. Spock-meets-Barbarella. Enough said.

Tied with Evan, was Erin, who couldn't overcome her gangly-arm phobia (she's the ONLY one who thinks it's a problem!). Her 80s-style rhumba with Maks was just too odd, while their Argentine tango was sexy and gorgeous. It was 53 out of 60 points for her as well.

Chad and Cheryl were next on the leader board with a 60s-style jive that looked fun and funky on television, but didn't exactly thrill the judges; he landed 24 points for his efforts. His tango also failed to impress, earning him a 21. That's only 45 points out of 60; will it be enough to keep him in the ballroom for the semi-finals?

Niecy and Louis fared even worse on this night, earning a total of 43 out of 60 points for a beautiful Viennese waltz (which I thought was sadly under-scored... come on! that was an "8" if ever I saw one!), and a 1990s-style paso doble that was just plain weird. (Who thought these "era-themed dances" were a good idea anyhow?)

The results Tuesday night, for the first time this season, will be actually be interesting to say the least. Remember, Erin and Maks had the best scores going into the results show last week and yet the ended up in the bottom two, so anything is possible.

It's truly up to the viewers this week (read; fan base), and barring any REALLY weird viewer voting pattern, Erin, Nicole and Evan should end up in the final four. Which brings us to the remaining semi-finals slot, and Chad and Niecy. This one's difficult because both dancers have come so far, and they've truly shown us what it means to be completely out of one's comfort zone on national television.

Hmmmm. Dilemma indeed, but if I had to choose (and I do), I'm saying Niecy might be hanging up her dancing shoes Tuesday night.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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