So the contestants have designed the costumes this time. For the most part, they look better. I really like Julianne’s snazzy red fringe — her boyfriend dresses her well 🙂 And I love Edyta’s floor-length robe, although I’m sure it’s going to come off at some point…

Tony and Melissa’s Argentine Tango: That was really quite nice. There was a lot of basic dancing with a lot of intricate footwork, and a few flashy lifts thrown in here and there, but it wasn’t about the lifts. And she had excellent leg lines on those lifts. And I like how Tony varied those lines — the first had a clean split, the second both legs in attitude. Very good choreography and very good dancing.

Lawrence and Edyta’s Waltz: Aw, I love Journey’s Open Arms!

That was really romantic; he was very elegant. He did have a little flub, he lost balance when he kneeled, but it didn’t destroy his support of her and you hardly noticed. He was very graceful, as Len said, and as Carrie Ann said, there was a freedom of movement in him we haven’t really seen before. I’m impressed! And so the outer coat did come off — as I predicted — but to reveal a beautiful gown, that covered her almost as much. Edyta looks good in clothes.

Derek and Lil Kim’s Rumba: Hmm, for once someone talks about the difficulty of creating good choreography. Wow, that was excellent as well. The competition’s really strong this week. Her dress was very pretty but its length made it difficult for me to see her hips and some of her lines. I could well see her lines in the bigger things — like the ronde en l’air and the kicks and the gorgeous arabesque when she was stretching away from him — that’s damn hard! Well, I’m totally disagreeing with the judges. I thought that was one of her best dances. I thought it was understated in a good way. I liked that it was soft and romantic and subtle and not over the top and oozing with sex. I don’t get the judges at all. I’m surprised at least Len didn’t go for it…Well, they still gave her pretty good scores. Who knows what they’re thinking.

Chuck and Julianne’s Samba: That was so good — he’s improved SO much! He really deserves that standing o. He looked like a real contender — those voltas were fab, I love the opening promenade runs (my favorite ballroom step), and the samba rolls were excellent (those are hard, harder than they probably look). Even the side-by-side walks in the middle — he looked so good the way he was moving his hips! The judges are speechless — I love it. I mean, he wasn’t perfect — and I prefer the pelvis to be fully rotated instead of just the hips shifting straight back and forth — but you’re never going to get that from a beginning amateur. It’s way too hard. Costumes were excellent — his red flowing red silk shirt and flashy but not skin-tight red tux pants and her sweet red fringe. The contestants are really so much better at designing these costumes. They’re all so much more classy. Not at all gauche and even vulgar like they sometimes (usually) are.

Ty and Chelsie’s Waltz: Aw, that was sweet. And very polished. Love her long, pink gown. Really, the contestants are so much better at costume design. Those were basic steps, but they’re still hard, and he executed them so well it was a pleasure to watch even without much flash. He had the rise and fall rhythm down, was very fluid, and had great posture and frame. A lot of them don’t spend a lot of time dancing in the closed handhold and I think it says a lot about his partnering skills that Chelsie has him in that position at length. I was afraid he might be leaving tomorrow night, but now I’m not.

Mark and Shawn’s Cha Cha: Okay, I don’t know much of what Shawn did because I couldn’t stop focusing on Mark. Why were his pants so short? I couldn’t stop looking at his feet. Which were perfect. The only time I saw her was when the did the disco-y side-by-sides. Normally I’d be annoyed, but I’m actually glad he put them in because it gave me a chance to see her. The times I did try to focus on her, she looked perfect. I just wish he wasn’t such a show off. Though he is really good. And cute…

Gilles and Cheryl’s Viennese Waltz: Another beautiful dress — floor-length summery yellow with sweet criss-cross straps in back. The women are actually clothed — amazing. Very glamorous and very polished, and a lot of that footwork was really fast and intricate. So very good for him. But his arms looked a little too Latin-y in the side-by-side swayings, and his feet sickled inward. He needs to concentrate on keeping his feet pointed outward. But he was so dapper and that footwork so fancy, he still gets major kudos.

Group Sixties-style dance: choreographer Christian Perry was the Friday-night pre-party class teacher at DanceSport, my first studio, and it’s always so funny to see him on this show. Hmm. Well, I think I liked the Mod-Squad costumes with the shiny high boots and short minidresses, and the background Kaleidoscope-squiggly picture designs better than the actual dancing. Lots of crazy lifts — I’m really kind of surprised no one’s gotten hurt… not to jinx anything. I thought it was good, and cute, just underwhelming. What about you guys?

A couple of other things: did you guys see this? They’re having a pro dancer competition to choose the next pro dancers on the show. Anna Demidova is in the running. She’s Katusha Demidova’s little sister and an excellent and very celebrated Standard dancer. She’s been at the top of the Amateur comps for a while. I hope she makes it; I’d love to see her on this show!

Also, here’s an interesting interview from the Wall Street Journal with a couple of Britain’s Strictly Come Dancing pros, Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag.


  1. My thoughts:
    Tony and Melissa
    – I wish that dress was just a bit longer
    – decent song I guess
    – Not a fan of Tony's shoes…
    – Great lunge
    – It doesn't have the street feel that AT needs
    – Great technically
    – *gag* Carrie Ann, leave the drama alone
    Didn't really deserve 10s

    Lawrence and Edyta
    – They need to home. Should have gone home a long time ago
    – I like that second dress a lot better
    – See Edyta can be pretty not showing a lot of skin! I actually think she's even prettier in this dress than in some of her other outfits
    – He just stands there
    – ug that wasn't great
    – Way to high of scores

    ~ Dude ABC/BBC do not let the audience pick the pro. Do not pick Benji! Bring back an old pro!

    Lil Kim and Derek
    – WTF on the song?
    – He still needs to put her into a ballet class! Her feet
    – Needs more hip action
    – Well that was… interesting

    Chuck and Julianne
    – dude. remove hand from breast! This is a family show
    – still pigeon toed
    – He needs more hip action
    – I will say that was way better than last week and probably the best he's danced

    Ty and Chelsie
    – un oh for lifts!
    – Those hands…
    – He looks much happier dancing Standard than Latin

    Shawn and Mark
    – decent hip action
    – wow… That was amazing
    – Shawn's probably like “who?”
    WTF Carrie Ann and Len? Seriously! What The Fudge!!!

    Gilles and Cheryl
    – NOT a true Viennese Waltz!
    – It looks/feels a bit rushed. I think it might be the song..
    – The Viennese Waltz isn't suppose to be sexy

    ~ Yea for Celtic Women! They finally got somebody new!
    Group dance was bloody awful. The 1960s was the worst error to chose a group dance for. Too many stiles of dance

    His pants were short because that was a Michael Jackson song 😉

  2. As long as one of the new pro's isn't Benji from SYTYCD I'm fine with bringing in a pro from the actual ballroom world

  3. So, I haven't watched the show yet (I always have to wait until the day after to watch it online), but does anyone else find Lil Kim's facial expressions annoying? I've noticed that she always has this “Ah” face. Maybe in the rumba it looked appropriate.

    I agree with Katrina that V Waltz shouldn't try to be sexy.

  4. OH man yes!! I love Derek (have since I heard him in Footloose off the London Stage) but her facial expressions (long with Chucks) annoy me to bits!

  5. I really liked Tony and Melissa's AT. Their best dance so far.
    Loved Eydta's dress. I think with her all you ever see is an exposed body, which is admittedly insanely awesome but when she's covered up a bit she looks really elegant and you can see what a beautiful face she has.
    Lil Kim/Derek- Derek is over-thinking the choreography again and getting completely stressed out about it. Someone give him a Valium. Was an underwhelming dance.
    Regarding Lil Kim's face, it looks as if she has had extensive plastic surgery. Probably cheek implants and God knows what else. I think that contributes to the slightly weird facial expressions.
    Chuck and Julianne were actually quite good, which pissed me off as I really dislike him and would like him voted off.
    Ty and Chelsie. Just love these two together. It really doesn't matter that he's such a stiffy on the dancefloor. Hope he stays at least another week.
    Shawn and Mark were good. I thought she needed just a little more pizazz to sell the dance because the technique was pretty great.
    Gilles/Cheryl. Not their best dance. I did love her dress though. I immediately was reminded of the white ball gowns in the last section of Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes. Pretty shade of yellow and very classy and elegant.
    Unusually for this show all the women looked fairly classy and elegant. Is this a sign of the coming apocalypse?

  6. Benji isn't on the pro list for next season. There are 6 “contestants” that you can vote for. I hope that Snow Urbin doesn't get the spot. Yes, she's an actual ballroom dancer but we've had enough SYTYCD crossovers. Time for a fresh face!

    I'm rooting for Anna Demidova as well 🙂

  7. I agree.. I'm hoping for either Genya or Brent

  8. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Oh is that why Mark was swiveling his feet so much 🙂 I didn't even think about it being a Michael Jackson son! I agree about the group dance, and, yeah, I expected Lawrence to go home this week. I wasn't surprised at all. But I got a little scared when Ty was up there at the end as well. I agree he is way more comfortable in Standard than Latin.

  9. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I know, I'm so glad it wasn't Ty kicked off this week! I just watched it last night — I was really sick all day yesterday and didn't even get out of bed… I guess the one-day flu. Funny, I didn't notice Lil Kim's expressions like everyone else did, but I'll have to watch for that next time! And I totally agree about Edyta being covered up. She really does look elegant, you're right, Susan, you do notice her pretty face more!

  10. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I agree about Snow. These people already had their 15 minutes on SYTYCD; give someone else a chance. I liked Anna and Mayo. I thought until I watched the results show, though, that they're having on one new man and one new woman, but I guess it is only one total. So, I guess one dancer of the same gender as the one who wins this competition will get replaced now? I wonder how they're going to work that out. Or maybe they're going to have more contestants on next time?…

  11. No Julianne is taking a break. She was suppose to this season but only did this season because of Chuck (READ: her boyfriend). So that's one less pro…

  12. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    That's what I figured, Katrina. That's why I thought they'd only have female pros competing this time around, to replace her. I guess if a man gets the spot, they're going to have to get rid of one of the current pro men.

  13. If Anna DEmidova does not get chosen for Dancing with the Stars for next season -it will be a tradgedy . She is absolutely spellbinding . Her waltz was beyond believe and her tango this week was excellent. She will be the best asset the show could have.

  14. If Anna DEmidova does not get chosen for Dancing with the Stars for next season -it will be a tradgedy . She is absolutely spellbinding . Her waltz was beyond believe and her tango this week was excellent. She will be the best asset the show could have.

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