Dancing With the Stars Week 3: "I Don't Come Back With Anything; I Just Keep My Mouth Shut."

Ooh dear, poor Julianne…

I am absolutely stunned by Marlee Matlin’s Jive. I can’t believe it. Fabian must have taught her some kind of counting method to keep them in sync because at the beginning he wasn’t leading her; she was dancing around him, and she still ended perfectly on beat. Perfectly. He simply jutted out his hip and she began. Well, her counting skills are excellent, that’s all I can say. Her kicks weren’t that high, but it’s hard when you’re starting dance as an adult, to have that kind of flexibility. Anyway, awesome.

Strange thing, though: I recently finished reading “Schuyler’s Monster,” (which I wrote a bit about here) about a little girl with a brain abnormality that prevents her from being able to speak. Because the same disorder prevents her from having fine motor skills, such as are needed to make some of the more intricate sign language hand formations, Schuyler learns to “talk” through a computer-type device, where she types words and a voice speaks them. Rob Rummel-Hudson, Schuyler’s father, remarked in the beginning that the voice in her first computer — a male one, just didn’t “look” like a little girl. With her next, more sophisticated computer, he made sure the sound of the voice could be controlled, so they’d have different choices. They finally got a “little girl sounding” little girl. It just reminds me of that when I hear Marlee’s translator speaking! I keep thinking, wait, who’s that, she doesn’t sound like that!

Steve and Anna’s tango: eh. I’m not a Standard dancer, but Tango is getting boring; there’s only so much you can do with it. It’s a dance that really inherently lacks creativity, I think. But I’m not a Standard person. Anyway, this was pretty basic – that little sequence where he rattled her shoulders about was cute — the rest typical. But, now that I’m listening to the judges, yeah, he did well with it, he really did. I guess if I’m bored it means there was nothing noticeably out of line in the dance. Gimmicky though to have Jonathan practicing with Steve in Anna’s sickness-induced absense. The supposed funniness of two big guys dancing a sexy dance together, oh no that’s never been done before… Still all my problems are either with the producers’ or the tango itself; Steve’s still adorable.

Wow, Cristian just blew me away with his jive. Those jive kicks — and Cheryl put in a lot — are damn hard, especially for a beginner. He did them nearly perfectly. And he got some good height on those side kicks. Cute routine; a bit too many sliding through the legs tricks though. Also, I hated that little Sea World excursion. This is what I dislike about shows like this — the phoniness. He needs to learn how to relax and let loose, so she takes him to visit her “friend,” a sea lion. Through the ocean creature, he learns to let loose and have fun with dance, as the lion flaps about on the wet cement, and, miraculously, Cristian does well.

Oh gawd with that Karina / Mario tango. Actually, I felt the opposite as I did of Anna / Steve’s tango. This was weirdly kind of cool because it was so bizarre, and I disagree with Len and his “bitter disappointment.” I always like the Argentine hooks / ganchos. I really couldn’t take my eyes of Karina with that getup though, and kept wondering what she was thinking until I realized she’s supposed to be a prostitute and he her savior. Her dark knight of a savior. But what an odd musical interpretation by the band too, right? Creepy. But I still prefer creepy and weird to typical and boring.

Derek was adorable. Shannon’s jive was okay. She’s tall and skinny and jive is difficult for people with that body type. The judges are eating her up though, so I guess I missed something. I thought it lacked polish, finish on some of the moves. It looked like she was struggling to keep up at points and ended up having to rush some of the steps, which goes along with the height issues. The kick-boxing thing in practice: made more sense than the Sea World and man on man tango. It seemed like a understandable way for her to learn jive kicks.

Oh excellent tango, Julianne!! Bravo! Loved the 50s theme, loved the costumes — his frilly shirt, her dress, her hair — Adam shut up about the gay guys in costumes! Those gay guys — and Julianne — just made your routine! Shut up! I loved the ochos (stylized forward criss-cross steps) over his outstretched leg, the promenade runs, the ending deep dip. This was a classic interpretation of Standard and Argentine and it suited him remarkably well. Julianne is a genius choreographer. Adam needs to stay on because she is the show’s greatest artist. Bruno’s imitation of Len with his “seVEN” was cute. Bruno’s growing on me, which is kind of scary. Wait, what did Adam just say??: “My mom always told me in order to find out about Argentine tango and prostitution and pimps, just go to a Mormon.” No comment.

“Tony’s a fabulous dancer, but he cannot tell a joke,” says Marissa, laughing like the typical sweet girl at the corny but cute guy. Tony is a goof and his jokes are silly. But they’re from the heart, which makes him lovable. Wow, sweet jive. I think this is Marissa’s best performance! I love the ending gaze upward — very Hairspray. Again, I totally disagree with the judges. “It was like a jive on cruise control.” Bruno DOES come up with his lines beforehand. He does! The turns were really good — some of the best American spins I’ve seen; she knows how to spot. Understandably, Marissa sounds like she’s about to cry though upon hearing the judges’ remarks. I don’t get their nastiness either, Marissa! I thought she was really cute.

Wow, another great classic from Louis for Priscilla. This Tango was almost entirely Argentine. I loved the handhold, I loved the forward ochos, I loved how they both developped up their legs, his slightly higher than hers, and how he then snaked it around hers into tricky sexy gancho. She’s dancing beautifully. She kind of reminds me of Jackie Kennedy; royalty. And he treats her with such respect. He and Julianna are the show’s two genius choreographers.

“One thing I’ve learned in football: when you don’t know something, you should keep your mouth shut and your ears open.” I love Jason. Edyta slowed down his jive substantially — it was a very slow, almost west coast swingy jive, which was smart because he seemed to be having some problems with the intricate footwork and keeping up with the kicks. He’s very large — again, it’s a hard dance for someone so tall. Interestingly, he did well with the toe / heel swivels though. But the routine had flavor and personality and charm and bits of cute choreography — like the shadow swivels — and he tries hard and is really respectful of her.

Hehe, how funny was that when the announcer developed a sudden case of laryngitis!? Is that bad of me to laugh? I’m sure it’s not serious…

Did they just say Alvin Ailey was going to be on tomorrow night? I’d heard they were going to be on the show at some time in the near future, but didn’t know it was so soon?! You guys, I’m so excited — now everyone can see my favorite dance company, not just NYers!! Woo hoo!

See, Tom Bergeron’s talking again; it wasn’t serious.

Okay, well in contrast to most of the other Tangos we saw tonight, Kristi and Mark’s was a real Standard ballroom tango, as opposed to Argentine. I prefer Argentine, but this was a pretty perfect Standard, at least technique-wise. Very precise. I do agree with the judges on this one: while it was technically excellent, the emotion was one-dimensional. It bored me, though I love Kristi. That’s a real ballroom hairdo too.

So, who do you guys think it’s going to be tomorrow night? I’m afraid it might be Marissa, though I think she’s a blast.


  1. Well, it has to be either Marissa or Adam or Steve who is going home tomorrow night. I would vote to send Adam home (because, apart from the fact that he is not a very good dancer, he is so obnoxious and annoying) but then we would lose Julianne as well and I don’t know that I’m ready for that. She is not only exceptionally pretty but is a marvelous dancer and as you pointed out, a brilliant choreographer as well. Steve is a possibility but he did show a fair amount of improvement tonight. Marissa could well be the leading contender to go because she received such low scores from the judges tonight but I would miss her as well because she is a lot of fun, exudes tremendous energy, and is proof that one’s body type should not prevent one from taking on ballroom dancing. Maybe the voters in the TV audience will feel the same way we do – that the judges were very unfair to her tonight – and give her a big sympathy vote. We shall see!

  2. I just voted like crazy for Marissa because I have HAD IT with how they are treating her. HAD IT. Its like because she doesn’t fit their mold they are never going to find her good enough. I hope that Julianne really is doing her own choreography this year, because last year she wasn’t. I can’t say more because it could hurt people I care about, but the person that told me is an inside source that is in the know. Regardless, I want for Adam to go tomorrow night because he just gives me the creeps. Lock up my kids and call the cops if he’s near me creeps. And I don’t creep out that way easily. And yes, he did go there with the Mormon comment, and on top of how much I can’t stand him before that, I’m LDS and that was offensive on levels I can’t even begin to express. Julianne and Derek were also raised in the church, as I’m sure many of you know. I don’t want Julianne to have to tolerate that type of behavior just to entertain us anymore. I want better than that for her. I’d like to see Adam go home, and then have Julianne as a frequent contributor to the pro numbers. Oh, did you guys read that Tony and his wife are expecting twins in the fall? I’ve seen it in a couple of different internet articles. Very happy for them!

  3. I was a little bored by the tango as well, which makes me sad because it’s such a beautiful dance. Though I suspect real tango is more fun to do than to watch, and I know the flashy showy stuff really isn’t authentic tango.

  4. will read rest later but:
    As Per people:

    Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Tony Dovolani and his wife Lina are expecting twins, Dovolani confirms exclusively to PEOPLE. The couple already have a two-year-old daughter, Luana. Dovolani, who’s paired with Broadway star Marissa Jaret Winokur this season, tells PEOPLE, “everything is great” with his wife’s pregnancy, which is four months along. Lina is 26.
    “Kids are a blessing and give your life purpose and meaning,” he says.
    Perhaps this explains why Dovolani, 34, known for his intensity on the ballroom floor, has been smiling so much on the show this season. Reharsals with Winokur, who’s expecting a son via a surrogate, have been a blast, he says.
    “I cannot stop smiling this year and part of the reason is Marissa is a sweetheart,” Dovolani says, acknowledging that ballroom dancing is not all they have in common these days. “I’m thinking about my babies and she’s thinking about her baby. Now if somebody doesn’t point their toe it’s no longer as important as it used to be.” –Monica Rizzo

  5. I’ will be mad if Marissa goes home. Adam needs to go home the gay bashing, religion hating, idiot *grumbles* Tony and Marissa did not deserve the scores they got. They deserved much better and Christian deserved lower.

  6. ahhh They took Derek off in a Stretcher:
    It will be Dancing with one less star tonight.

    E! News has learned that pro hoofer Derek Hough, paired with Shannon Elizabeth on this season’s Dancing with the Stars, was taken away from the set by ambulance following a neck injury Tuesday.

    An ABC rep confirms that Hough was rehearsing a routine with his sister Julianne and fellow Dancing pro Mark Ballas when he suffered the injury.

    The network says he was taken away on a stretcher as a precaution and sent to a nearby hospital for tests, but he appears to have only sustained a strained neck.

    The 22-year-old Hough, in his second season on Dancing with the Stars, will not dance as part of the professionals’ showcase on Tuesday night’s elimination show. However, he is expected back for next Monday’s dance-off round.

    Hough made his Dancing debut twirling Jennie Garth to a fourth-place finish during last season’s trouble-plagued contest.

  7. I totally agree with everything you said, Sharon. I completely believe a 19-year-old did not come up with that choreography all on her own; most of the pro dancers have help by coaches in choreographing their competition routines, so I would definitely not be surprised to hear that others are helping her too here. Katrina, when did that happen? Because he was okay tonight, right?

  8. Sharon, I think Jules came up with most of it. I understand the whole helping thing.

    Tonya, I don’t know exactly, just during a rehearsal for the dance Jules and Mark did tonight with Kylie

  9. Tonya,

    It was precautionary, he was back in time for the show, and took his neck brace off for the taping. He’s expected to be back at full speed for performance for Monday’s show.

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