DWTS:Whoa Shannon, 2000 Percent Improvement!!

How cute is Anna’s mom?! So sweet! And how much of a little cutie is Steve? He’d better not get kicked off yet — he’s too adorable! He was so funny when he got all excited for himself and gave himself a little hand when he got that trick right (rapidly alternating knee lunges). And charming routine she created for him, with a cute story. She knows his strengths are in his acting and performance skills and she’s making routines heavy on that. I do think Latin is not his strongest style, but, there’s room for improvement — that’s what the show’s about, right? I think the judges were too harsh. Oh and was Steve’s “I thank you and I respect you” comment to the judges a riff on Adam Carolla’s cursing at Carrie Ann last week?

Cristian was really good at ballroom. He was the quintessential “quickstepper” if that’s a word… Very energetic, perfectly upright ballroom posture, very sharp and clean footwork, swift, and fast for a beginner. What I didn’t like was Cheryl. I felt she was too Latin. The way she shook and wiggled; it just didn’t look like Quickstep. Interestingly, he stayed with more traditional movement, not making it Latin-y as well. I think he’s a very good dancer and I has a charming personality that makes you care about him; I think he can do well.

Well, Monica tried. She was actually better this week than last, I think. Her feet are too pigeon-toed; Jonathan needs to work on that. I said this last week about just about everyone — pigeon toed feet really destroy the line, and the camera focused on her feet this time during some swivels and they were way turned in and very unprofessional-looking. Jonathan gave her a disco-y mambo, which is probably better for her than a more Latin-y one since she has this tendency to jump and hop a bit which completely destroys the rhythm and hip action of Latin. I think she has a way to go, and she has a good body. I sure do sympathize with her feelings of discomfort on first-time performing :)

Penn wasn’t so bad. The quickstep worked pretty good for him. I agree with Len; he was a “convincing” quickstepper. He does need to work on footwork; it was proper but not sharp and I kept thinking he would trip himself or Kym. But it’s hard for someone of his size — especially with his large feet — to dance so sharply. I liked the little jump. I want to know how does those magic tricks though — both the upstanding tie and the sawing Kym in half… And, he has cool glasses.

Priscilla was adorable. She was really good; there was a lot of fun, sassiness to those steps. Len’s right — Mambo is about having fun, not precision. And the way she lifted and bent her knees (I tend to straighten too much, like in International Latin, and it looks stupid, too ‘arty’ and not loose enough for Mambo), and that little crawling on the floor like a tiger at the end, perfect fun. Of course a lot of this is thanks to Louis — good choreography. He’s giving her lots of classics. Remember when he got reprimanded for that disco-y samba he did for Lisa Rinna? I think learned his lesson — at least with these judges. They want classic. And Priscilla just screams classic anyway. Oh and excellent dress for her. And earrings! Oh and, Barbara, I caught the tail end of some story on one of those tabloid TV shows about how her cosmetic surgeon ended up being a phony and screwed up her surgery. I guess she’s trying to have it re-done…

Okay, Shannon’s not going home this week. Omg — whoa, 2000% improvement. I couldn’t believe it. She looked like a real dancer out there. Very difficult routine, very fast, lots of hard footwork that could easily have tripped her up, hard jump at the end. It’s not as easy to get height on those back kicks as it looks. Only thing, very very nitpicky thing — at one point she extended her leg out and her knee was slightly bent. It just threw the line off a bit and resulted in lack of polish. But teensy tiny problem in overall awesome routine. She was simply gorgeous.

Jason had turnout, Jason had turnout, turnout!!! Makes me very happy 😀 Yay Edyta! The routine was a bit slow (I tend to like faster mambos), but he was fun, and he has such a charming smile. Makes me jealous of her that she gets to dance with him… They look so good together. At first I was worried the judges were going to give Edyta all hell on that “lift” — because I think both of her feet came off the ground every so briefly at the beginning of that swing. But fortunately they didn’t harp, as they have in prior seasons, and said nothing.

Marissa was a huge improvement too. Quickstep suited her well. I’m not sure if ballroom in general is going to be better for her than Latin, but Quickstep is fast and fun and “bubbly”, as Len says, and that’s very her. You can tell why she’s such a Broadway star. She has the best personality, with contagious buoyancy. I felt so badly for her when, prior to dancing, she was crying about not being able to do high extensions and certain athletic tricks. But her personality, which shines through in her movement, is what is so lovable about her.

Julianne looked kinda uncomfortable with Adam, particularly in that little tango promenade thing. He is pretty funny out there. He was bouncing too much, which, as I’ve said before, is a problem many beginning Latin dancers have. Cute choreography from Julianne though, and I love how she bopped him in the face with her … By the way, what did he say about her pelvis, in practice? When she said, try to roll your pelvis, like this… “That’s not your pelvis, baby?” Is that what he said? Yick.

Another very good performance from Marlee. It was a mambo / quickstep though :) but that’s Fabian’s doing. I think she missed a jump and their connection at times wasn’t so good (you’re always supposed to be connected at the pelvis, making a martini-glass shape where waist down is the stem, waist up is the upside-down triangular cup), but that’s the hardest thing for beginning dancers to get about standard ballroom. Wow. I’m so impressed by her. I don’t mean to keep focusing on the deafness, but I can’t believe she can’t hear. I can’t!

Okay, Kristi was just as good as last week. Which is perfect. She’s a natural at all forms of ballroom. She has it in the bag. I hate to make predictions this early, but if she doesn’t win, she should. I wish I had skating background :( Although something tells me she just turns everything she touches into gold. Only thing off was the costume — too much going on. Those gloves kind of took it over the top.

Mario’s so cute! Perfect as well. Funny, I was just thinking how he didn’t fit the “stereotype” of the ballroom dancer, though the footwork and charm and even the frame were right on, and then when I heard the judges’ comments, I realized it was the muscles! Ballroom men are usually not so muscly — and of course you can’t see those biceps because they wear full, long-sleeved tux jackets. So, it was the costume, combined with the physique. But different is definitely good. He and Kristi are my favorites thus far.

And that’s it for “Dancing With the Stars” week 2. I predict tomorrow night it’s going to be Monica and Adam who leave. Unless, people vote to keep Adam on because of Julianne, which I could see happening.

6 Comments

  1. no lol he said “I don’t think Guys have pelvisis” and she said said “Then move it from your thingy” *giggles* this coming from a strict Morman girl. Here’s my comments *warning there are swear words*:

    Steve and Anna: oh man I love Anna. I think he may be the dark horse this season! He still looks damn good for being an older gentleman. He is such a performer! Aw that was cute and funny!!! Yea for Steve! What? I really liked!!! ok, so his technique wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible… Interesting…That’s all I have to say … interesting

    Christian and Cheryl: LOL to the Pop culture (US) reference! Much better Posture!! whops, some choreography issues… ok the running thing was weird… very unique ending! I agree with Len! Decent scores… I think the jduges scores are fine for it being the only second week but I worry about his fan base

    Monica and Jon: awww good to see a change in her! LOL at the music! Ehh… again.. I”m looking more at Jon then I am at her… It’s kind of cute and she improved but her feet need major work and it’s still not there. That’s why I love Jon so much!

    Yea!! They mentioned Israel Lopez!

    Penn and Kym: OH wow!!! Hey they used this last song! well it’s sort of a quickstep. Wait wasn’t that a lift?! Eh… it wasn’t great…Penn shut up!!! Seriously the talking back is annoying

    Priscilla and Louis: awh cute! WOW I think she might be a dark horse! LOL Louis in the splits!!! Good technique!! Wow. Go Louis!!!

    Shannon and Derek: ahh.. so cute. LOL Derek. I need Derek to whip me in to shape. A couple of feet issues but it was good! That was really good! YEA!!!! now if only she had a bigger fan base!!!! They better get good scores… YES!!

    Jason and Edyta: Don’t kill him! LOL Eydta… think you could show any more skin? Good hip action!! Good god… for an football player… he’s amazing! damn! That was amazing!

    Marissa and Tony: Hopefully Tony can calm her down….awww YEA FOR TONY!! They got the feeling of the dance… It’s a dance from the Golden age of music so the whole flapper thing works well for them. That was really good. I seriously wish Carrie Ann would leave… I can’t stand her

    Adam and Jules: LOL Jules! I love you!! ok much better than last week… I’ll admit that Not enough hip action. Len’s going to get them for the “fluff” stuff… Eh.. it wasn’t “bad but it was not great. BULLSHIT. WHAT THE FUCK!! So they knock Steve but give props to Adam? I don’t get it.

    Marlee and Fabian: LOL That is so not a quickstep song!!! You know I give her seriously mad props but her foot work is not good…I think Latin Dances will be her strong suit

    Kristi and Mark: LOL oh Mark! I’m so like Kristi… Oh God Mark LOL…. Mark *breathy pant* shirtless… DAMN!!!! That’s all I’m saying! Good scores!

    Mario and Karina: His feet are much better but honestly I didn’t like the dance… I just didn’t… eh

  2. Hey Tonya,

    For all those people who have the image of pwetty-pwincess-Kristi, when she finished her amateur career and went professional, she went out of her way to stretch out of her comfort zone. A few of her non-classical or non-lyrical programs:
    * Never Gonna Get It
    * 100% Pure Love
    * Doop Doop
    * Heartbreak Hotel
    * Trust A Try

    She also did a pairs program “recently” too: One Day I’ll Fly Away

  3. Wow, thanks for all those links, DustPuppy! Something fun to watch when I get home from court!

    Katrina, you’re so funny — thanks for your thoughts! I agree about Steve – he’s so cute, I love him :) I know, I feel like Jonathan is doing everything he can with Monica, and I felt like she did much better last night than last week, though it still isn’t up to everyone else. Don’t kill me, but who’s Israel Lopez? I think Priscilla may be a dark horse too. I know, Edyta has always dressed like that… Oh, and thanks for the clarification of what Adam said!

  4. *grins and gasps* you don’t know who Israel Lopez is? hehe it’s okay… He is basically credited with bringing Mambo into popularity, especially in the US.
    I wasn’t haven’t a great night last night and I got kind of bitchy :)

    DustPuppyOl… it’s not surprising to see her doing pairs work. Kristi use to be a pairs dancer!
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=62iI8SbLm-I
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=R_ml-B0F3c0&feature=related
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=0KdW81ioHto&feature=related

  5. Louie’s signature move is the split – if I can find a show routine where he DOESN’T do it, combing through years and years of video from when he was competing, I’ll be sure to post it. He’s a long-standing split machine.

    Mario and Kristi both just nailed it, hard. Tough routines, intricate choreography – more advanced than open-level pro-am competitive dancing.

    I could’ve done without the war paint on the pro ladies this week – I guess the makeup artists are bored, but it looks silly.

    The pairing of Dovolani with Marissa is really pretty smart. Louie is the most distinguished teacher/motivator of the pros, so one can’t help but wonder how he would’ve worked with Marissa – but Tony has other advantages. One, his height, which helps balance out Marissa’s shape. Two, his dark look, which I think works well with hers. Three, he seems really relaxed this season, which is probably key in rolling with Marissa’s somewhat mercurial personality.

    Priscilla continues to impress. You know what I noticed that surprised me? Her feet. She is rocking the latin heels (looks like she’s wearing three-inchers!) and she is moving correctly in them, which most of the other women (including Kristi) are not. All ballroom technique comes from the feet; Priscilla and her teacher clearly understand this.

    Jason’s chroreography was a bit slow for me – it was cautious but obviously it was the right choice. A man that size could look really, really bad trying to dance a mambo routine full of shimmies and random butt-shaking (Tony Dovolani himself, multi-year Rhythm champ, always looked substandard in the mambo, in my opinion.) I liked how Edyta choreographed hits right with the music there at the end.

    I was really pleased that Shannon pulled it out. They put her in a more demure dress (she was born with great legs but the first-week bodysuit she wore only highlighted how poorly she was using them) and she obviously worked very hard with her teacher. It was so sincere, her relief and gratitude – I liked that. She might be one of those people who, despite leaving the show fairly early, continue to dance. I think standard should be her choice if she does :)

    Some bad music choices in the mambo (as usual, and least forgiveable of all the dances, in my opinion) but overall I feel the music has improved drastically this season.

  6. Hi Katrina,

    I did know that Kristi used to be a pairs skater (not an ice dancer – different discipline) with Rudy Galindo but her performance with former Olympic medalist Denis Petrov, was her most recent performance doing a pair skating routine. When Kristi toured with Stars On Ice, the choreographers always found ways to take advantage of her pair skating ability but it was only recently that she performed in full pair skating programs.

    And Tonya, for all the comments that Kristi is shy, if someone posts Kristi’s program to Bjork’s cover of “It’s Oh So Quiet” on youtube, you’ll see Kristi really inhabiting a character! If you don’t want to wait, poke around FS Vids (free registration) and you should be able to download it.

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