DANCING WITH THE STARS, SEASON EIGHT, WEEK TWO

Steve-O’s injured, but they’re going to wait until later to let us know what that means.

Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin Quickstep: Well, she’s cute. It looked a lot like he was kind of pulling her around the floor and she was just hopping without really having the steps down pat. But she hasn’t had as much training as the rest, so there’s that to consider. I agree with Len that her frame was part of the problem — she didn’t have a firm center and that’s why it looked like he wasn’t leading, but dragging her. I don’t think she’ll get kicked off first. I think she can improve.

David Allen Grier and Kym Johnson’s Salsa: Uh, it was okay. I mean, it’s so hard to judge amateurs learning to dance in adulthood. He looked uncomfortable — I mean with the dance form, with the rhythm and speed. But he looked like he was having fun, which is part of the battle. Hmmm, he might be first to go tomorrow night, depending on how audiences feel.

Denise Richards and Maks Chmerkovskiy’s Quickstep:

Wow, that was really nice. She had a great battemant, a great ronde, good speed, did very well with that fast footwork, and what a cutely choreographed routine. Cute how she put her head on his shoulder like that. The only thing is that she lost her frame — her lower body disconnected from his quite seriously toward the end, and she looked a little uncomfortable (though, like a good actress, tried to hide with that smile) in close handhold. But these are things she can improve on — not necessarily easily, but it’s definitely doable.

Belinda Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts’s Salsa: Well, she’s definitely better at Standard than Latin. She was having a great time out there, singing along. But like Len said she wasn’t at all connecting to the ground, through the feet, moving up through the hips. She was doing a lot of wiggling and shaking and bouncing, but it wasn’t organic or solid. I had a teacher once who always made me “feel the floor” and he wouldn’t begin dancing with me until he could feel me (through our handhold) feeling the floor. I thought he was nuts, but it worked. When I forced myself to connect to the floor, feel my feet, my energy coming up from the floor through my feet to my hips, to my center, he could sense it. And I looked so much better. She needs to learn to do that too. Some people are just better at one type of dance though, and I think Standard’s going to be her thing more than Latin. We’ll see though.

Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower’s Quickstep: Wow, he really kept up with her. I disagree with Carrie Ann — I think she was totally leading him, but she’s the pro, so… He wasn’t that polished, but he had all the steps down and he was quick-footed. Very impressive!

Oh, the bottom two are having a dance-off tomorrow night? So, they’re making it kind of like So You Think You Can Dance. Hmmm.

Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas’s Salsa: She’s a natural. She was moving with ease and precision and clarity (as Len said), but it wasn’t really saucy. It needed more spice. Those back kicks were gorgeous. She’s cute: “I’ve never danced Latin before. In gymnastics . . . that’s . . . not really allowed.”

Steve Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff’s Quickstep: So, he’s hurt his foot. It’s not completely clear to me what it is: bone spur? Hmmm, that started out pretty good. Very fast, and he kept up with the rather intricate footwork, up front. But then he started to get tired and kind of lost the specificity. He was still bouncing around, but I was hoping he made it to the end. The last trick looked a bit scary — it looked like he picked her up and then she came down a bit hard, when I assume she was supposed to slide — like he was dragging her? Oh well, that’s the trouble with doing difficult tricks with amateurs. I hope she’s okay. It was very energetic and it’ll be interesting to see if he can improve. I hope he stays on, but I worry he may be one of the two doing the dance-off tomorrow night.

Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough’s Salsa: He says, “Salsa goes against every masculine bone in my body.” I don’t get why American guys say such things. Latin men do this dance. It’s not the least bit feminine — at least not when done properly… I Love You — what a corny song to have them dance to. Makes me annoyed that they’re even dancing together — and I’d almost forgotten. I’m actually glad Bruno’s being hard on him. I’m still annoyed with him for the anti-Latin comment. I think he did okay — it certainly wasn’t polished, it certainly wasn’t sexy, but I think he tried and just couldn’t get it — likely because of his inhibitions. Which annoys me more.

Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska’s Quickstep: Oops, her feet came off the ground a bit again in that swing! That was really good, I thought. He had the speed, the rhythm, he got all that footwork with those little jumps in rotating directions, really well. And he didn’t lose proper connection at all! I think he did last time — I’m going to have to look that up, but I think last week I thought he danced well on his own but when he danced with her was nervous and awkward. If that’s so, he made a huge improvement this week. And in Standard! That was really really good.

Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer’s Salsa: Oh, okay, so Steve-O just got hurt, right before the show, and we see him get hurt on video playback of their dress rehearsal. Oooh, ouch — landing right on that microphone pack on his back. Well, judging by the video, I don’t really see how this was a Salsa — oh no, I’m really agreeing with Bruno this week, how scary. It looked more like a Jive / Cha Cha or something, a combo, anything but a Salsa. She gave him some difficult tricks though — that long slide on the heels of his shoes, the ending flips to the floor — that would be nerve-wracking, especially after he’s hurt his back earlier in the week. They might have been better off just doing basics. Anyway, too hard to judge him this week with the odd routine and the injuries, so I’ll wait till next week — I hope he’s better by then. If he’s in the bottom two tomorrow night, how’s he going to do the dance-off?

Lil Kim and Derek Hough’s Quickstep: Aw, I love Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend! She’s like Shawn Johnson, a natural. She did slightly better in Latin, whereas Shawn is more of a Standard dancer, but it’ll be fun to watch the two of them go against each other more. I think they’ll both last long. Derek outdanced her, his kicks and jumps were higher. Len thinks it was completely lacking in quality. Hmmm. I didn’t even notice that they came out of frame. I thought her footwork was precise though. I think maybe why they became unconnected was because he was outdancing her — going higher, etc. — their bodies weren’t at the same level, how are they going to maintain connection? But I blame that on him, not her. Everyone wants to look good on TV, but it’s sometimes better to put good dancing above the flash. Or maybe she was doing better in practice and then got nervous and he wasn’t really outdancing – -who knows?…

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani’s Salsa: Okay, natural number three. She, Shawn, and Lil Kim are going to be the ones to watch this season, methinks. I still think — disagreeing with the judges — that she wasn’t grounded enough — she had the same basic problems as Belinda but of course since she’s a dancer, she looked far more polished. She was on her toes — or the balls of her feet rather — too much, which is normal for a person with ballet-background. But I agree she had the best Salsa of the evening. Excellent tricks; she has really pretty leg lines.

Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke’s Quickstep: It was okay, but seemed a little too performance-y. It seemed to lack polish, although he had the speed element down pat.  The judges are heaping mounds of praise, and now they give him the highest scores of the night? Hmmm, what did I miss? I’m still rooting for him in general — he’s the only guy who’s anywhere near the same level as all these wonderful women.

My favorites thus far: Shawn, Lil Kim, and Melissa. Who may be in the dance-off tomorrow night: David and Steve W.? Maybe Belinda? What do you guys think?

9 Comments

  1. My thoughts are at my blog but I agree with you… My biggest problem with Melissa is that it was it looked way to pagentry and cheerleader-esque. Which annoys me but that's me.

    I disagree with Len's comment that Shawn should take something from Kym… Shawn is 17 years old. And I know Salas is more “dirty” in terms of posture and what not but Shawn is 17, plus her parents are in the audience :)

    I agree with you so much about American Men… I just don't think it's Latin, I think it's dance in general. I mean, if men knew how much you get to touch a women in dancing, they'd be all out of the floor.

    I thought though that Chuck's dance was bad…There was no Salsa…

    I also agree with Giles. It was good but much more like a show dance.

    It's a stress fracture, basically… A minor one, not as serious as Jewel's

    The bottom two are:
    Steve Wozinak and Karina
    Ty Murry and Chelsea Hightower

    Belinda just barely made it out of the bottom by one point.

    The bottom two is solely based on judges scores, not audience scores.

  2. I'm thinking that bottom two tonight are Belinda and one of the Steves, or David Alan Grier, but I'm having a hard time pegging which one. This is a rare cast in that I don't really want to see anyone leave already.

    Katrina, I think the bottom two is judges scores plus audience votes, unless they have changed something. We just don't know what the audience impact is yet.

  3. Chuck Wicks is afraid to look feminine but he apparently has no problem looking like an ignorant jackass. What an idiot.
    I liked seeing the improvement in Lawrence Taylor and the effort and determination he put into it this week.
    I really just adore Lil' Kim and her positive infectious joy at being part of the DWTS experience. I do think that Derek is a bit too tall to be her partner which could be part of the out of frame problem.
    Why does Jonathan always get the crappy partners? What was up with that handstand with Belinda's legs split at the end? Kinda creeped me out.
    Bruno seems really cranky and mean this season.
    The judges seem to really dislike David Allen Grier for some reason. His dancing has been better than their comments lead you to believe, but I do think the chemistry between himself and Kym is lacking.

  4. Sharon, if it is that way, then are they going to do the whole “so and so is safe” right at the beginning so they have enough time? They only have an hour…

  5. I agree Susan… Lil' Kim is only 4″11 (Second shortest competitor, Shawn is 4'8″)… So I honestly wish they would have brought Louis Van Amstrel back and paired her with him.

    I agree Jonathan needs to get a good partner for once. He's such an amazing teacher and guy.

  6. That is the way I understood it to be working. I think they will switch to more like SYTYCD in how they do the announcement. They have 2 musical guests tonight, I am guessing we will (I HOPE) get a pro number to Cherry Poppin Daddies at the top of the show or close to it, then learn who is dancing for survival, and have Jewel while those two couples prepare. It is just a guess, though. What I'm seeing with our blog is that Belinda is getting the fewest search hits, I'm curious to see how that translates with viewer votes.

  7. You mean Big Bad VooDoo Daddy 😉

  8. Wow… new season already. Here in the UK, we'd have to wait until autumn for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

  9. Wow… new season already. Here in the UK, we'd have to wait until autumn for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

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