Dancing With the Stars Semi-Finale … Already?

I can’t believe it’s already the next to last week.

Jason’s Foxtrot was lovely. He was perfectly dashing and his lines are really much nicer than before. Although this routine wasn’t the most thrilling I’ve seen, there was some nice choreography from Edyta — her dip with the kicks and the arabesque with the leg landing on his shoulder into the lunge was pretty. And he put some good character to it. Good performance but underwhelming choreo.
Ooh, I missed last week but got a glimpse of Marissa’s fish — very pretty! Why did they take the lifts out again this week? They were just a one-week thing? Hehe “I can make passionate love to Len before you” — poor Tony; she’s embarassing the hell out of him :) Eh, now that I just saw the routine, I have to repeat, why did they take the lifts out — I found her Quickstep cutely acted on her part, but very bland choreography-wise. The big controversy among the judges was her missed footwork on the runs. But to me that wasn’t that big of a deal; it was the bland boring choreo that made it blah. Len may be right that the footwork was fast and difficult and complicated, but I think a straight ballroom dance with few flourishes only appeals to people like Len himself.

Aw, Cristian is so cute; he’s just so excited when he does everything right, with no mishaps. I thought the Viennese Waltz was lovely, but I’m having the same bland blah ballroom experience with all these routines tonight. What’s up?

I LOVED Kristi and Mark’s tango. I loved the different elements — the fast furious almost flamenco-y taps into the soft slow dips and toe-swirling rondes and just the sensuality of it all. Tango’s usually not very sensual — it’s usually so “I love you, I hate you, I love you again, no I hate you again,” etc. And there was some of that. But when she arched back toward the end and he lowered his head toward her waist and kind of took her scent in, then extended his arm out to hers and traced her line, it was just so beautiful. Something new from him! There was a real stylistic and even a kind of narrative development to their dance; it went somewhere. Best dance so far of the night, IMO!

I think Len might have fixed Marissa’s hips, if the practice session is any indication. We’ll soon see…

I liked Jason’s Paso much better than his Foxtrot. It was very passionate and fiery, and the footwork was excellent. His jumps at the beginning were a little too bent-kneed and awkward-looking but that was my only problem. He really got into it and had fun and it showed.
Len did fix Marissa’s hips! They weren’t perfect, but they were much better, especially in the cucharachas! I totally disagree with Carrie Ann — this was one of the most interesting dances of the night, I thought. Tony peppered her Rhumba with that lovely supported lunge, her one leg wrapping around his back. And she had perfect form in her passe (right leg lifted, crossing the left at the knee, as she leaned into him). I like what Tony did with her arms — having her brush the back of her hair and trace her shoulder before returning her hand to his, after the hip twist. Her arms had been somewhat awkward before so I thought this was a big improvement, along with the hips.

Hahahah, Cristian is so CUTE! That’s probably not what a man wants to hear about his dancing, particularly his Samba — and his Samba was nothing near a professional man’s — but who cares! It was so full of energy and attitude and just … cuteness! His voltas (where the one foot crosses in front of the other as the dancer travels sideways) were adorable! He just really shook his hips and rounded his pelvis and it all just looked so good on him. And same think with the forward-traveling lock steps. The cute classic retro song was perfect for him in a way that a really sexy, percussive contemporary Brazilian song would have showed up his weaknesses. So good choice for Cheryl. I love him! I think he’s this season’s Helio Castroneves. Whether that means he’ll win I don’t know, but I think he has the same kind of charm as Helio.

I was a bit disappointed in Kristi and Mark’s jive. It was cute, and a damn hard routine, and she did very well with it and kept up. But the level of difficulty was so high, it sunk her a bit. It looked like she was struggling and they were out of sync at some points, and it seemed like he out-danced her. His jumps were higher, he had double her energy, his form was better and his lines and footwork more clean, and I felt like for once it showed that he was the pro and she the student. It was uneven and they didn’t look like a real partnership. But then again, with every other single couple it’s always been apparent who the pro is, so is it even fair to make that complaint about them?

9 Comments

  1. I agree about Kristi and Mark’s jive…I think if they had more time with it then it would have turned out better. Her kicks didn’t seem to be as high and I felt like he was trying to outdo her. I liked their first jive better. Loved the pink outfit, though!

    If Carrie Ann says “hair” one more time, I’m going to pull my hair out…

  2. Welcome back Tonya. Here’s my review for you:

    I really hope Cristian goes home tomorrow.. He doesn’t deserve to go to the finals

    Standard Round
    Jason and Edyta
    – OH god.. serious Dan Marino? Give me a Break! Jason I like you but it’s time you left too
    – His footwork is better this week
    – could use just a little more extension in his arms
    – that hold was pretty
    – cute

    Marissa and Tony
    – Yea for Stacey!!!!!!!!!
    – I love the dress
    – it felt kind of slow
    – How cute!
    – oh come on Bruno! one jete! seriously?

    Cristian and Cheryl
    – That’s so tacky!! He needs to go home
    – That arm looks so bad…
    – See this is another gripe I have about the show now is that the show’s Viennese waltz is more Rhumba in feeling and form than a true Viennese Waltz which should be in continous hold
    – ick
    – did not deserve 9s

    Kristi and Mark
    – The dress doesn’t work for me as a tango dress
    – good lunges
    – I really liked their first tango was better but *shrugs*
    – Interesting
    —————————-
    Latin Round

    Jason and Edyta
    – ug… seriously edyta put on clothes
    – Seriously edyta.. Why do you put in the moves that are going to get you into trouble. NO LIFTS!
    – eh… I didn’t care for it
    – I don’t know what to make since I didn’t really like it

    Marissa and Tony
    – I love Tony’s outfit!
    – wow.. they really got screwed with their song… sucks for them
    – ok.. well it was better than their first one
    – Good listen to Bruno and Len. Len knows what he’s talking about and Carrie needs to shut the fuck up

    Cristian and Cheryl
    – they better knock him for not having much hips
    – his posture sucks
    – Cheryl outshines him
    – sure… he has an arm injury *eye roll* as Kate Hudson would say in How to lose a guy in 10 days: BULLSHIT!

    Kristi and Mark
    – Poor Kristi!!! Her hair
    – her flics aren’t very good…
    – I liked their first jive better

  3. your comment about straight ballroom with no flourishes only appeals to people like Len was a little harsh. I dance standard (“straight ballroom) and I enjoy seeing my style danced well. It is also why I think Marissa’s rumba was underappreciated. I thought it was nice sold rumba, without being raunchy which would not have suited her. As much as I love DWTS raising the profile of Ballroom, I think it has led to expectations that don’t match reality.

  4. I’m glad they took the lifts out. Why did they do it? Probably because Jason had one too many, and they wanted to keep Cristian from hurting himself (last week Cristian said he had to do lifts to compete with Jason). Lifts are okay when they’re not overly distracting and keep the momentum of the dance, but some of the dancers don’t know how to do this. When Jason does it, it looks like “Okay, time to stop dancing and start lifting to show how strong and manly I am!” They had one lift that looked like it came out of a trapeze act. Impressive, but not really dancing, IMO. The best lift last week was with Mario and Karina in their waltz. They maintained the flow of the dance and the lift looked effortless. Mark had some sense and said he was reluctant to do a lift if it wasn’t in the character of the dance.

  5. Thanks Elizabeth — I missed the show last week, but that makes sense about the lifts. It just seemed like a one-week rule! I completely believe that about Karina and Mario — she made a lift last season with Billy Ray look effortless too; she basically lifted herself. I love her :)

    Katrina — oh no, you’re not going to be happy with the results tonight! I like Cristian though :) I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that about Kristi and Mark’s jive. I know, I thought the same about her hair in her mouth!

    Hi Debra — well, I like watching straight ballroom at the competitions performed by the pros, especially Mirko and Alessia from Italy, who’ve won the world Standard the last couple years. They’re so beautiful to watch; I can’t take my eyes off them. Something on TV is different though. Maybe it’s that they’re doing individual showdances instead of a group competition, or maybe it’s that they’re pro / am couples and the amateurs are just not going to take anyone’s breath away the way Mirko and Alessia, for example, do. I just feel like it gets a little boring if there’s not a little story or some kind of thematic or stylistic development to the dance — like with Kristi and Mark’s tango. I don’t mean I want a bunch of big lifts and flashy tricks; I just mean a variety of steps some originality in the choreography.

  6. see my other comment about tonight 😉

    My mom doesn’t get why I don’t like Cristian so I told her this: You find Marissa’s personality annoying, I find Cheryl and Cristian’s personalities. :)

  7. Your point is weel taken. Victor and Anna or Katusha and Arunas make syllabus mesmerizing. I suppose for the vast tv audience, something more is needed. However, it is all good as it is rasing the profile of Ballroom (both typess) here.

  8. I love watching ballroom/latin on tv even cabaret (when it used to be on), but I’m totally clueless as far as difficulty levels go. But, I’m wondering. Has Kristi’s routines all season really been that much greater in difficulty or just in the last few weeks?

    The other thing is, Mark and his mouth. I know facial expressions are pretty common in latin, but is he going overboard?

  9. Hi Karen — well, I remember thinking her first Jive was danced at full speed and was really complicated — it included Gold syllabus-plus (highest level) steps, whereas most of the others’ focus mainly on basic (Bronze or Silver-level) steps and the music has been slowed down a bit, sometimes a lot. I don’t remember exactly when that first Jive was, but it must have been several weeks ago. The facial expressions – hahahha! I do think he goes a bit overboard sometimes, though so many dancers do that in Latin! It drives me nuts, especially with the Paso. Everyone seems to think they actually ARE a bull-fighter and the woman IS the bull and they make these crazy angry faces at each other. Too much!

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