Dancing with the Stars 4, April 9 – Doble Waltzingby Jill Jones -- 04/10/2007
Last week on Dancing with the Stars, the dancing duos performed either the tango or jive; despite doing a decent job, Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna didn't receive enough votes to remain in the competition. Tonight, the featured dances are the paso doble and waltz. Let's see who rises to the occasion and who falls flat (hopefully, not literally).
Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris welcome us to the program. Tom settles the crowd down and asks Len Goodman why nobody is standing out in the competition yet. Len says that last season, the couples practiced for an average of 19 hours a week; this season, the couples are averaging 13 hours. He then threatens the dancers with low scores. I think he’s being really critical over something that is going to lead to a mere disco ball trophy.
Len explains what he and fellow judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba are looking for tonight. The paso doble contains strong moves and twist turns, while the waltz features serene expressions and seamless breaks.
Dancing first are Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Laila says that she’s OK with Maksim’s chorographical mistake last week (breaking a hold). Maksim puts her through the paces during practice. She vows to be on top again.
They are doing the paso doble to a song that I recognize, but can’t identify. (Help, dear readers. The songs aren’t on the show’s web site yet.) Laila’s technique isn’t bad, but the routine itself isn’t fierce. (This is just like America’s Next Top Model.) Also, the music disturbed me; I had a hard time taking the dance seriously. Thank goodness Maksim showed off his chest.
Len explains that he didn’t see fire in the routine. (I told you so!) Bruno says that Laila can knock the judges out (tee hee), but her dancing is in reverse. Carrie Ann reluctantly agrees with Len and Bruno and gives Laila advice on lifting her shoulders.
Each judge gives the performance a seven; Laila and Maksim have 21 points.
Julianne Hough and Apolo Anton Ohno are up next. Apolo has trouble with the romantic side of the waltz. He’s worried that he and Julianne aren’t mature enough for it. Sure enough, they clown around during practice. It’s cute though, and I still want them to fall madly in love and have babies.
They are performing to “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.” The performance is beautiful, and Apolo comes across as romantic. When the routine ends, the crowd applauds wildly.
Bruno refers to Julianne and Apolo as the dream team. (Clyde Drexler might have a problem with that.) He also says that the dance told a story. Carrie Ann says that their technique was great. Len is grumpy and says that the dance was riddled with bad footwork. He goes off on technique, which I’m sure is way beyond what the stars are capable of learning. Tom asks if Len’s knickers are in a twist. Nice.
Carrie Ann and Bruno give the couple a nine; Len gives it an eight. Julianne and Apolo have 26 points.
Up next are Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani. Leeza says that because the paso doble is aggressive, they worked with Randy Couture, former UFC titleholder, to capture that feeling. Leeza roughs up Tony.
They’re set to dance to “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Leeza looks like a dominatrix and I make Yoko leave the room; she’s too young for this. Leeza performs some nice footwork, but her moves aren’t crisp and forceful. She also seems very hesitant throughout the performance. The dance ends with her placing her face near Tony’s crotch and making a biting motion. Um, OK then.
Carrie Ann says that there is no way Leeza is 50. Yawn. She goes on to say that Leeza looked awkward and appeared to be unsteady. Len refers to the dance as dull; he wonders where the fire was. Bruno talks about a juicy steak and wanting blood, sweat, and tears. Leeza graciously thanks the judges for their comments.
Carrie Ann gives Leeza a six; Len and Bruno give her a five. She and Tony have 16 points. Backstage, Leeza gets philosophical about her score. I get a little sick.
Cheryl Burke and Ian Ziering are ready with the next performance. Ian is reminded of his misstep from last week. Cheryl explains the waltz to him and tells us that the character of the dance is the exact opposite of him. He decides to behave himself during practice. In fact, he even shaves. Cheryl is impressed.
They’re performing to “He was Beautiful.” Cheryl has hair extensions, which add to the flow of the dance. Ian’s lines are better this week, and he seems comfortable when he and Cheryl dance apart. The waltz is very sophisticated and beautiful.
Len explains that he loved the standing spin that Cheryl choreographed and that Ian’s footwork was good; however, he notes that Ian needs to work on his posture. Bruno tells Ian to watch his free hand and that his lines should be longer. Carrie Ann says that the only thing lacking in his performance is breathing; she feels this is why he sometimes stiffens up.
Carrie Ann scores the dance a seven. Len gives it a nine. Bruno gives it an eight. Ian and Cheryl have 24 points.
Edyta Sliwinska and John Ratzenberger are set to dance. Edyta promises to threaten John physically if it will him improve. His 91 year-old mom visits while he and Edyta are practicing. Mom asks us to vote for John.
They are doing the paso doble to “A Kind of Magic.” In the dance, John is a wizard and Edyta is a witch… in a barely there outfit. I like the routine, but I find myself watching Edyta and not paying attention to John. I do give him credit though for being at ease when he dances apart from Edyta. The dance isn’t great, but John tries.
Bruno says a lot, but what it comes down to is that he didn’t like the performance. Carrie Ann explains that the dance confused her. Len says that the routine made him laugh. He also claims that John’s footwork stunk. My boyfriend says that he just wants to watch Edyta dance some more.
Carrie Ann gives the couple six points, while Len and Bruno give it five. Edyta and John have 16 points.
Elena Grinenko and Clyde Drexler are up now. Clyde says that last week’s negative comments from the judges didn’t bother him; he’s just happy that he didn’t fall down. Elena yells at Clyde for being late… again. She doesn’t want to be eliminated.
They are dancing the waltz to another song that I can’t identify. It’s going to be one of those nights. Clyde is smoother tonight, but he’s just so gangly! He has a hard time extending his arms. Also, the dance is basic and lacks romance and charm.
Carrie Ann says that every dance that Clyde does looks the same. Len says that he can forgive bad footwork, etc., but he can’t forgive it if someone isn’t trying; he obviously feels that Clyde is slacking. Bruno says there is more romance between Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell than there is between Elena and Clyde. Ha. He also feels that there is no commitment from Clyde.
Backstage, Clyde says that the judges’ comments sounded rehearsed. This is getting interesting!
Carrie Ann, Len, and Bruno give Clyde a six, four, and five respectively. He and Elena have 15 points out of 30 for the evening.
Dancing next are Karina Smirnoff and Billy Ray Cyrus. Karina says that she’s trying to find a way to bring out the best in Billy Ray. She instructs him to bend his knees, and he has trouble with the simple move. She becomes upset and cries in the bathroom. Again, why are we stressing over a disco ball trophy? I know that this reflects on her profession, but come on; she’s trying to turn someone into a dancer in a short period of time and is doing a great job at it. That says a lot about her abilities, even if she and Billy Ray don’t end up in first place!
They’re performing the paso doble to “Black Betty.” The dance is electrifying and entertaining. Billy Ray performs some nice steps, but I feel like Karina is dancing more than he is. He is obviously still counting the dance steps, but it only adds to his likeability.
Len tells Karina that the bear is turning into a lion. He then explains that he’s not calling Billy Ray a great dancer yet. Bruno tells Billy Ray that he went for it; Bruno appreciates the effort. Carrie Ann calls the dance strange, awkward, and sexy. I think that sums it up nicely.
All three of the judges give the dance a seven for a total of 21 points. That’s a very respectable score; Karina and Billy Ray should be proud.
Dancing now are Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts. Heather says that she thought the waltz would be easy to do, but it isn’t. Jonathan explains that balancing is a problem. She says that being romantic is difficult as well.
They’re entertaining us by performing to “Sandy’s Song.” The dance is romantic and Heather looks great; however, their breaks don’t appear to be smooth. Heather also stumbles a bit, but the performance is still solid.
Bruno gives Jonathan credit for his choreography and says that Heather is doing a great job. Carrie Ann disagrees and comments on Heather’s body language. Len says that Jonathan is a caring professional and that Heather did well. Carrie Ann jumps back into the conversation and says that she’s just trying to help Heather with her comments.
Carrie Ann awards the dance with a seven; Len and Bruno give it an eight. Heather and Jonathan have 23 points.
Dancing last this evening are Kym Johnson and Joey Fatone. Joey’s daughter helps him at practice with his butt; he was told last week to suck it in. Kym says that we’re going to see a difference in Joey tonight.
They’re doing the paso doble to a song that Samantha eventually refers to as the theme from Zorro. Joey’s moves are sharp and crisp; this is definitely my favorite paso doble of the night. The routine is intense and performed beautifully. Joey even drags Kym across the floor by her hair. When he finishes, he points to his butt to show the judges that it isn’t sticking out.
Carrie Ann tells Joey he was on fire. Len says that Joey captured the flavor of the paso doble. Bruno says that Joey did a great job.
Carrie Ann gives the dance a goober. Sigh. Len and Bruno give it a nine. Kym and Joey have 28 points.
At the end of the show, the scores are as follows:
Tomorrow night, we'll find out which of the couples has been eliminated from the competition. I'm betting it is Leeza and Tony, but I'm always wrong! What do you think about my prediction? Who should stay and who should go? Tune in to find out and in the meantime, drop me a line!
Jill is an east coast mama who loves sharks, zombie movies, and reality television. She welcomes your comments about these and other subjects, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .