Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dancing With the Stars: One! More! Time!

It's Monday, which means it's time for another episode of "Dancing With the Stars!" This week, Kel was unavailable (and I swear she wasn't just being lazy ... this time!), so it's just poor sweet me, Jen, who doesn't know anything about ballroom dancing.

But I will soldier on and persevere!

In a bit of a new twist this season, all the dancers got a second chance to impress the judges - and the viewers - before the unfortunate first dancer is eliminated. This was a good thing for several of those who did a bad job last week, but it also made the fates of some of last week's favorites a little less certain.

In performance order, here are your alleged stars!
Roshon & Chelsea did a quickstep to the song "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" by Good Charlotte. I was worried that Roshon, a hip-hop guy, would have trouble with the smooth, traditional ballroom dances, but he did a very good job. Now, he did lose his feet a few times, and he wasn't quite as smooth as he needed to be, but overall he was light on his feet and made most of the dance look effortless. Best of all, he has personality when he dances!
Judges' Opinions: Len liked it and found the dance young and fresh. Bruno was impressed with how precise he was, and enjoyed the fact that, though he danced a traditional dance, he also had "cheeky swagger." Carrie Ann thought the dance was "amazing" and sophisticated.

Score: Carrie Ann, 9; Len, 8; Bruno, 9. Total: 26.

Sherri & Val did a jive to "Proud Mary." Sherri was having some problems with stamina in practice, so the choreography Val gave her was not terribly tough. However, what Sherri lacked in stamina and dancing talent, she more than made up for in personality! Sherri works hard, but, better than that, she works the audience! It was a joyful, enjoyable performance.
Judges' Opinions: All three judges were absolutely in love with Sherri, even though they acknowledged that she missed some things.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 8. Total: 23.

Melissa & Maks danced the quickstep to "Dancing With Myself." Melissa definitely knew more of her steps than Sherri before her, but she just didn't shine. I have to admit, Melissa was a little better than last week - she had a little bit of snap and personality at moments - but her nerves really get the best of her as she dances.
Judges' Opinions: Carrie Ann saw some bright moments, but warned her to be careful of her shoulders. She added that she showed her nerves on her face. Len said he found the dance hectic and loose, especially as she lost energy later in the dance. Bruno encouraged her to relax.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 7; Len, 6; Bruno, 7. Total: 20

Jack & Anna danced a jive to "Gimme Some Lovin'." Jack is really worked at having a good personality, but he kind of comes across as a dork because his dancing is a little wild. It was an OK dance overall and he kept up OK, but overall it was just OK.
Judges' Opinions: Len liked the energy, but thought he lost control. Bruno said he wasn't quite precisely on the beat. Carrie Ann thought he overdanced, which threw his dancing out of sync.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 7; Len, 7; Bruno, 7. Total: 21.

Gladys & Tristan danced a quickstep to "Sir Duke." Gladys is very good on her feet and clearly is having fun. However, her dance wasn't quite as thrilling as last week.
Judges' Opinion: Bruno urged Gladys to be careful of her frame. Carrie Ann said that Gladys and Tristan had a great connection, but thought she was too casual and spent too much time "gazing into Tristan's eyes." Len didn't appreciate the dance tonight, and said she needed to keep her posture.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 7; Len, 5; Bruno, 7. Total: 19.

Katherine & Mark did a jive to "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That. It was a super sassy jive that Katherine said required her to "shake my naughty things." She committed to the dance fully and did a great job both with the dancing and with her personality.
Judges' Opinions: Carrie Ann was very impressed with the choreography and with Katherine's style of dancing. Len loved the start and the casino setting, but though the middle section was "a little bit wild and wacky." Bruno was glad that Katherine unleashed her sexy side.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 9; Len, 8; Bruno, 9. Total: 26.
CA: 9; L: 8; B:9. T: 26.

Jaleel & Kym danced a jive to "I Think I Wanna Marry You." They told a cute little story about a soda jerk and a girl through their dance. Jaleel is incredibly light on his feet and is a wonderful dancer. He is cute, and has a wonderful personality when he dances. I definitely still have that crush on him from last week!
Judges' Opinions: Len was disappointed, because he thought the dance lacked speed and crispness, and thought the dance needed more attack and punch. Bruno loved the feel and thought it was a well-done performance. Carrie Ann thought it was good, but lacked the sparkle from the week before.
Score: Carrie Ann, 7; Len, 7; Bruno, 8. Total: 22.

Maria & Derek danced a quickstep to "Sexy, Sexy." They had a cute Bonnie & Clyde-style story they were telling, and did a very traditional, big-band quickstep. I wasn't super impressed with Maria, though, as much as I liked the feel, because even though she had energy, she was stiff and messed up her feet several times.
Judges' Opinions: Bruno thought the dance was a step in right direction, and even though she lost a step, it was brilliant. Carrie Ann was impressed with her frame and hold, but said she got out of sync in the middle. Len would have liked more body contact. However, all three agreed it was an improvement from last week.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 8; Len, 8; Bruno, 9. Total: 25.

Martina & Tony danced a jive to "Tell Her About It." Martina was totally lost at the beginning of the dance, and several times throughout it, but as she relaxed and got back on the beat, she really did a good job. Overall, I think she's just still nervous and unsure about ballroom dancing. Her dancing just sort of reminded me of what it would be like if I danced on "Dancing with the Stars." It was a cute idea, but it wasn't a great dance. However, I admire her for trying!
Judges' Opinions: Carrie Ann liked the attitude, but said that she was missing several things. Len thought it was too neat and careful, and that she needs to come out and "attack" the dances. Bruno said she couldn't keep up, but that she did well when she let her hair down and relaxed.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 6; Len, 5; Bruno, 6. Total: 17.

Donald & Peta danced a quickstep to "Stay the Night." Donald is sexy and cute and smooth. He moved extremely well. After watching Hines Ward do so well on "Dancing With the Stars," I know I shouldn't be surprised when football players are elegant dancers, but I still am!
Judges' Opinions: Len thought it was one of the best dances of the week, and he admitted that he watched last week's dance and undermarked him. Bruno and Carrie Ann both praised his elegance.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 8; Len, 8; Bruno, 8. Total: 24.

Gavin & Karina danced a jive to "Real Wild Child." I loved the feel of it, and even though Gavin isn't a great dancer - he loses his feet and sort of stumbles around the dance floor a bit - he is a wonderful performer who clearly loves to be goofy and have a great time. Gavin is absolutely adorable!
Judges' Opinions: Bruno said he messed up a lot, but loved his performance. Carrie Ann praised him for pushing his boundaries, but said his posture was funky. Len loved his attitude and energy, and said it was an improvement from last week.
Scores: Carrie Ann, 7; Len, 7; Bruno, 7. Total: 21.

William & Cheryl danced a quickstep to "Nice Work If You Can Get It." William, as much as I'm not thrilled with him, is a good dancer overall. He's pretty light on his feet, although on some of the jumpy steps, he came across clunky. However, I don't feel like he has a lot of personality, and I think he uses his nice body as a substitute for actually having some personality. Overall, he left me a little cold, even though his steps were pretty good.
Judges' Opinions: Carrie Ann was just panting over him, and loved his technique, posture and form. She called him "the Harry Connick Jr. of the ballroom." Len thought he needed to work on cleaning up his footwork, and that the dance was good, but not great. Bruno said he had "dazzle," and reminded him of Jean Dujardin in "The Artist. 
Scores: Carrie Ann, 9; Len, 7; Bruno, 9. Total: 25.

Jen's Take: Overall, there are two distinct groups emerging in this competition - the people who can dance but don't have great personality, and the people who have great personality, but can't dance. The only dancers who really have both right now are Roshon, Katherine, Jaleel and Donald. Thankfully, early on, the judges respond to dancers like Sherri, who aren't great at the dancing part but really work the personality, and I think that the voters at home will respond to that too, so I think Sherri, Jack and Gavin are safe, even though they didn't dance as well. Gladys had an off week this week, but I think she's enough of a legend and a favorite that people will at least keep her on a few more weeks. The people who can really dance well also will be safe, because a good chunk of people listen to the judges and vote for people who dance well.

The "star" I'm worried the most about is Martina Navratilova, who has just been so nervous and uncomfortable the first two weeks. I think that she has a lot of promise and could be a fun dancer if she'd just relax, but it's been a little uncomfortable to watch her struggle on the dance floor. If it's not Martina, I also think that Maria and Melissa are in trouble, because they were just sort of mediocre overall.

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