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April 2011 Archives

It was the results show that went on and on and on and ..... You get the picture. It wasn't until 45 minutes into hour TWO that the long-awaited Pia sings/Mark dances "moment" occurred. The rest of the night, played out like a variety show, with great performances by Back Street Boys and New Kids on the Block, fer sure, and a whole lotta filler in between that really just dragged. Honestly, do we really need to stretch the results for two hours? Even the judges scoot outta there for periods of time (careful camera angles try to avoid showing their empty chairs).

In the end, the two couples left standing were Chris and Cheryl, and Ralph and Karina (two of the stronger players until Monday night). And when the near 6 minutes of commercials/ABC program promos were over, and the creepy music stopped playing, it was Chris Jerico who was shown the ballroom door. And what a class act he was as he headed over to the judges' table to personally shake their hands in gratitude. A class act all the way!

At this point in the competition every season, it really comes down to the fan base, so the coming weeks will be a test of just how loyal the celebs' fans really are. It's easy to see that Chelsea Kane right now is the one to beat this season; but will her fan base stand up to those of Ralph Macchio or Kirstie Alley or Romeo?

Stay tuned.

'Guilty Pleasures' abound on 'Dancing with the Stars'

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"Guilty Pleasures" night on "Dancing with the Stars" brought out some interesting judgement calls.

Best guilty pleasure video montage of the night: footage from Elton John's classic video for "I'm Still Standing" that featured Bruno Tonioli shaking his bootie and everything else as one of the backup dancing boys. It was priceless!

And who wouldda thunk that Hanson would become the night's house band? It was cute to see the boys all grown up and smilin'!

Most heartbreaking moment of tonight was the paso doble by Karina Smirnof and Ralph Macchio, who suffered a huge misstep when Karina tripped over the tail of Ralph's military coat and fell down for a moment (and thankfully was not hurt!) during their fiery dance. And despite the accident, the duo pulled it together and completed their very difficult routine! Bravo! And what a comeback from being at the bottom of the leaderboard last week.. Score 24.

Hines Ward and Kym Johnson delivered an elegant Viennese waltz that didn't exactly thrill the judges, though his marks were almost perfect.... score 27.

Moving on to the competition:

Kendra Wilkinson delivered a fiery samba (surprise!) that as Carrie Ann said, found her right within element. It was Len Goodman's birthday and he got the perfect present... a quasi-lap dance from Kendra that made Len quite the happy fella! Still she only earned a 25 from the trio of paddle-wavers.

Carrie Ann Inaba felt compelled to give Romeo a perfect "10" for his waltz with Chelsie Hightower. It was promptly followed by "9s" from both Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Which begs the question... are these judges watching or making notes and therefore missing what the rest of us are seeing? The waltz was in no way perfect (the 9s were more in line with the overall performance). But a 10? Really? Does that take into account the loss of the rhythm is a few places, and missteps in a few others? I guess on this judging panel, 10 doesn't stand for perfect.

A few minutes earlier, Len bestowed an 8 on a tango by Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke that included among its tango steps: paso and waltz; even his co-judges couldn't believe their eyes and handed out 7s for Jericho's labored performance (he has been WAY better than this).

And as the night moved on, Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas and their quickstep seemed to be anything but perfect for Len and Bruno who found fault with rhythm, steps, transitions. And Carrie Ann saw nothing but "magic." Again, awarding the perfect "10" for a less than perfect routine. (And yes, Mark's ankle was sprained or bruised, but his dancing was not the problem).

Starting things off were Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who turned in a samba that sizzled and her score of 26 (yep, that was Len granting the coveted 9) was totally warranted.

Tuesday's results show should be interesting?
Who's heading home? Based on the scores tonight, Chris Jericho might have danced his last dance in the ballroom.

'Dancing with the Stars' goes All-American

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It may have been "America Night" on "Dancing with the Stars," but the judges' scores seemed to come from outer space. And it was a night that left me wondering just "what were they thinking?"

Let's cut to the chase: there wasn't a sustained moment of fox trot in Kendra Wilkinson's and Louis van Amstel's fox trot (hugely entertaining though it was), and yet the judges failed to mention that little fact in their cautious praises. (And how appropriate that the show's 1,000th competitive dance be choreographed to "Yankee Doodle Dandy"!) Score: 22. The couple tied with Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chmerkovskiy who danced a sleepy quickstep to the ridiculously ill-tempo'd "Viva Las Vegas."

Kirstie Alley's and Maksim Chmerikovskiy's fox trot was messy in most places, and as much as I love this duo and have been cheering Kirstie on (and the fact that John Travolta did a very cool cameo in their rehearsal video snippet), I couldn't understand Carrie Ann Inaba calling it their best dance yet. Hellooo... remember their glorious waltzing a few weeks back? Score: 23

Chris Jericho's and Cheryl Burke's Viennese waltz was pretty, and pretty boring, though the judges just gushed. What? How difficult is it to choreograph a waltz to a song that has been reduced to perfect 3/4-time in tempo (as was the version of "America the Beautiful" that they danced to?) Score: 26. Yawn.

Speaking of music, who thought anyone (I challenge you Len Goodman!) could choreograph a samba to "Sweet Home Alabama" and really, REALLY pull it off? Such was the challenge for Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio who turned in a very entertaining, lively and fun samba to a song that is great, but really didn't mesh with the spirit of the dance. Score: 22.

Romeo and Chelsie Hightower's foxtrot was indeed cheekie as the judges remarked, but it was also stilted in parts, still it earned a 26 from the trio of paddle-wavers. Really?

Hines Ward (another of my faves in this season's competition) and Kym Johnson's rumba was pretty if all that mattered were Kym's endless spins, twirls and gentle dusts of the dance floor. Oh yes, there was Hines mostly standing or walking in her wake. Score: 27. Really?

The best of the night, was Chelsea Kane' and Mark Ballas' samba; it was fun, exciting, dazzling and danced remarkably well... far better than Hines' samba, and yet the judges managed a mere 26 for score. Really? And give credit to Len Goodman (reacting to Kane's dance moves) for the quip of the night: "Yum Yum, what a bum!"

And so it went tonight, on and on and on, with songs that just were so completely out of the realm of the dances they were paired with. America deserved better.

So who's leaving Tuesday night?
My money's on Petra.

When the creepy music was over, it was Sugar Ray Leonard who was shown the exit sign on Tuesday night's "Dancing with the Stars" results show. Standing alongside his partner Anna Trebunskaya and Chelsea Kane and her partner Mark Ballas, it was quite an interesting turn of events considering Chelsea and Mark had topped the leader board the night before. Sugar Ray had been showing signs of improvement over the previous weeks, but the lack of viewer votes were unable to keep him in the competition.

The results show started off on a very odd note, with judge Len Goodman doing a complete 180 and stating that Chelsea and Mark had danced "the dance of the night" just 24 hours earlier. That was completely ridiculous considering Goodman had totally ripped into the young duo for their contemporary take on the Viennese waltz during Monday night's competition. Not sure why the pseudo-apology was called for; perhaps it was ABC's attempt to stave off another Bruno Tonioli-Michael Bolton-type war of words from last season. Bruno never apologized, or even softened his criticism of Bolton's lack of dancing prowess. Not sure why Len had to justify his criticism and praise what he had previously chastised. Never saw him as pissed off as he was Monday night at Mark for failing to teach Chelsea a "proper waltz."

Back to Mark and Chelsea... wonder if they'll stick to their hip choreography next Monday or heed Len's words from Monday night. Oh wait, Len wasn't listening to his own words, either, apparently.

'Classic' Dancing with the stars

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It was a night of classics ---- and classic missteps on "Dancing with the Stars."

The ballroom was transformed into an elegant dance hall, complete with 46-piece orchestra and white-tie and tails for conductor Harold Wheeler (and just about anybody else who could don a tuxedo). Added to the mix were the vocals of mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and techno/classical-violinist David Garrett. And there was music, of the elegant, sweeping kind: "Love theme from Romeo and Juliet"... "Con te partiro".... "Carmen".... and so forth.

And for the mostpart the competing couples did their darndest to live up to the orchestrations that enveloped the room.

Those elements were classic.

On to the classic missteps. Most of them fell to the judges who for some reason are obsessed with Chelsea Kane's groovy, young approach to ballroom (save for Len who REALLY let her and her pro partner Mark Ballas have it tonight) and Ralph Macchio's hands. I couldn't understand the judges' gushing over Kane's cha cha cha last week that pretty much included every dance step except for those required in a cha cha cha. And this week, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli were tripping over themselves in praising her Viennese waltz that started out so strong and evolved into comic relief. Seriously? A push-up in a Viennese waltz? Sure, Mark and Chelsea were dancing to the theme from "Harry Potter"... and kudos to Mark for wearing his wizard's hat so well. But I had to agree with Len on this one... the 300-year-old dance deserved a little more respect. Still the couple landed atop the leader board with 26 for the night.

On to Ralph and those hands, or as Bruno likes to call them, paddles. Frankly. I don't get that either. Last week, he was quite stylish in his rumba and yet the judges barely managed a smile. This week, Ralph and his partner Karina Smirnof were simply gorgeous in their interpretation of "Romeo and Juliet" and yet, the judges except for Bruno steered clear of 9s.... the dance deserved a 27, not the 25 it ended up receiving. It was dance in its storytelling and interpretive best in terms of the evening's program. It deserved better.

Continuing his winning ways, Hines Ward and his partner Kym Johnson were simply amazing in their fiery and very precise paso doble, as were Chris Jericho and his partenr Cheryl Burke. Yet, Hines and Kym earned a 25, while Chris and Cheryl scored a 23. Maybe we're just not seeing what the judges are seeing?

And the evening ended on another Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy "first"... last week it was his thigh 'injury'.. this week it was all about Kirstie's shoe coming off during their waltz. Gotta give it to Kirstie, she slapped that shoe back into place and got on with the dance ---- not their best effort by far, but good enough to nab a 22.

The result show tomorrow night should be interesting. Kendra Wilkinson (scored an 18 for her dismal turn on the dance floor) should be outta there; though Kirstie's shoe tragedy could send her packing.

I'm putting my money on Kendra.

It came down to Chris Jericho and his partner Cheryl Burke, and Wendy Williams and her partner Tony Dovolani, but when the smoke faded away on tonight's "Dancing with the Stars" results show, it was talk show host Wendy Williams who was shown the exit sign.

With graciousness and some comedic bawdiness, Williams said her many responsibilities outside the show may have contributed to her early exit, but she was thankful for the chance to compete.

In the end, the decision made sense, after Williams' awful turn the night before in which she scored only 15 points from the judges --- the night's lowest total.

Alas, I had predicted Sugar Ray Leonard or Petra Nemcova would have been booted (due to Williams' fan base), but I was proven wrong. Perhaps this season it really will come down to who's the best dancer afterall, and not who has the largest fan base.
Here's hoping.

Let's get past Kirstie Alley's fall

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Ok, so let's just deal with it and move on. I'm talking of course about Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy's unfortunate "incident" tonight on "Dancing with the Stars." Stepping off into a billowy rumba, the duo went down (ok they fell), due to (as we later found out) Maks' thigh "giving out." That's the story and there's no need for all the snickering that will no doubt ensue in the coming days. It was unfortunate, because they danced quite a lovely dance, despite the comments of the judges.

And speaking of comments, it was a night of "huh?" as the story dances unfurled. Not sure what the judges were seeing that the home audience (or at least our home audience) is not seeing.....

Worst comments of the night? Kendra Wilkinson's whining about having to dance the "dance of love" with, and I'm quoting here, "of all the people in the world, Louis van Amstel." Shame on you, Kendra! Especially after Wilkinson said how horrible she felt that her hubby's hometown allegedly "hated him" for marrying "someone like her".... "a stripper."

Biggest "huh" moment? The way the judges beat down Ralph Macchio for his rumba. Macchio danced an impressive rumba (he moved to the beat, which is more than I can say for the other male celebs who selected a rumba on this night and then pretty much just stood there while their partners danced around them.) Come on, you know it's true! That's how the rumba is for the male celebs who tackle the dance's footwork... unless you're a seasoned pro, the guy pretty much stands there while the woman dances around him.

Hines Ward turned in one of the evening's best dances (the feisty samba)! I'm predicting he's going to be in this competition for the long haul. Also in it for the long haul? Kirstie, Chris Jericho (wild card) and Ralph Macchio.. so there's the final four. You read it here.

So who's going home on Tuesday's elimination show?
Sugar Ray Leonard and Petra Nemcova will probably hit the bottom two spots with the champ headed to the locker room.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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