Dancing with the Stars – The Dance-Offby Jill Jones -- 09/21/2005
In case you didn’t watch the program over the summer or have been under a rock, Kelly was crowned the champion of Dancing with the Stars despite a less than perfect free-style performance. (Consequently, the judges were given a Hall of Shame Moment.) Many people cried “foul” since she appears on another ABC program, General Hospital. As a result, the producers decided to bring the two celebrities back for one final competition.
Many readers of RNO e-mailed me to express their displeasure with this move and I have to agree. While I personally was rooting for John to win and thought he did a great job, Kelly was named the winner… case closed. Also, considering everything that is happening with our country right now including the war and destruction in the south, it seems ridiculous to get upset over who wins a reality TV program. Besides, we’ll save that for the conclusion of Big Brother. OK, enough of my ranting and raving… let the dance-off begin!
Tom Bergeron and Lisa Canning are back. As they tell us that they are going to introduce us to the dancers, the show goes to a commercial abruptly. I don’t know if this was a problem with my local station or what, but I missed a minute or two of the show. When it returns, an explanation of the voting process is being given. I guess I should consider myself lucky; I was spared 60 seconds of Tom and Lisa.
Of course, we can’t progress right into the dancing; we first have to look back at the show’s highs and lows, and weekly eliminations. It culminates with Kelly winning the coveted (a.k.a. ugly) trophy. I wonder if the winner of the dance-off will get a trophy. Personally, I’d rather receive a burrito.
The first performance of the evening is from Kelly and Alec. Kelly says she won the competition fair and square, and isn’t about to back down from this challenge. She does admit to feeling like she is starting all over again though. Alec feels that they have more to lose since their credibility is at stake.
The couple performs the cha cha cha to “Lady Marmalade.” They have a lot of nice arm work and moves, but they do make some obvious mistakes.
The judges who are only providing professional observations and not directly deciding the outcome of the competition are ready with their critiques. Len Goodman says that the routine was fabulous and that Alec pulled out Kelly’s strengths. Carrie Ann Inaba notes that the couple stumbled and that Kelly needs to get her focus back. Bruno Tonioli notes that the lines in her legs have improved. The judges give us their meaningless scores, which include a seven from Carrie, a nine from Len, and a nine from Bruno.
Lisa interviews the couple backstage and Kelly notes that she and Alec are dancing for the Katrina relief fund. Excellent.
Charlotte and John are up next. John admits that he thinks they should have won. I give him credit for being upfront and honest. Charlotte says that John is more serious and focused this time.
Tonight, they are performing the rumba to “The Look of Love.” To begin the routine, they walk onto the dance floor very casually. I love this couple; even if their performance isn’t the best of the night, the routine is still fun and this dance is no exception. It seems very choppy, but is also sophisticated and hot.
Bruno says that John made mistakes and that Charlotte covered for him. Carrie says that she loves their connection and wants them to find it again. Len tells them that they did a beautiful job and that John gets into the character of the dance each and every time.
Backstage, John tells Lisa that they are dancing for Golfers against Cancer. It’s nice that the show is doing something worthwhile. When the judges are ready with their scores, we learn that Carrie and Bruno each give the couple a seven, while Len awards them an eight.
Lisa reminds us that only the viewers will decide the winner; the judges’ votes are only a reflection of their opinion and won’t figure directly into the results. Tom explains how to vote and when, but we won’t get into that since by the time you read this, the voting will have ended.
As an added bonus, Ashly DelGrosso and Louis van Amstel are performing the jive tonight to “Proud Mary.” The performance is very energetic and I like how they sing along to the song. I notice that even Ashly and Louis falter a bit. Nobody’s perfect.
Tom reminds us that he is also on America’s Funniest Home Videos. We are then treated to a series of clips that look like they could come from that show but are really from Dancing with the Stars. It’s humorous, but at this point, I’m ready to get back to the dancing.
Kelly and Alec are now ready to do the quickstep to “Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend.” During the performance, I notice that they look stiff; you can tell it has been a while since they really danced together outside of practicing. The important thing though is that they seem to be having fun. The routine is playful and it ends with Kelly dismissing Alec with a push.
Carrie says that she loved the routine while Len says he didn’t like it. He also notes that Kelly’s posture was lacking. Bruno says that she has improved and that the quickstep is the most difficult of all the ballroom dances. This translates into a nine from Carrie, a seven (with attitude) from Len, and an eight from Bruno.
Before the next performance, we take another look at John. He says that he gets a lot of recognition because of the show. He also explains that he would dance every week if he could because he enjoys it that much; I think you can tell it from his performances.
Charlotte and John are performing the waltz to “You Light up My Life.” The routine is very elegant, but what do the judges think (not that it matters)?
Len says that it was proper ballroom dancing. Bruno calls it superb. Carrie says that the routine was flawless and that she has chills; I actually think she is tearing up and close to crying. To no one’s surprise, all three judges give the performance a 10. John is speechless! The dance was wonderful, but again it wasn’t perfect. I’m sure people will say this was done because Kelly received a perfect score, so now John has to receive one too.
Jonathan Roberts and his wife Anna Trebunskaya, who is also a professional dancer, will perform to “Fields of Gold” while Brian McKnight provides the vocals. The performance is beautiful, but I really hate fillers especially when they are used to stretch a 60-minute program into 90 minutes of torture.
Great. Now we’re treated to footage of children dancing. The kids tell us that they get teased about it. They’re quite cute and say a lot of funny things, but again, I can do without the filler; I don’t mind it in my hotdogs, but my reality television is a different story. Anyway, when we come back from a commercial break, these same kids perform the cha cha cha for us; they’re sweet, but only in small doses. Tom gives them all 10s for their performance. And to think I’m missing South Park for this.
Next, we have the freestyle routines. John says that he didn’t think anyone deserved a 10 let alone three of them. Again, I applaud his candor; he certainly isn’t being politically correct and I’m glad about it. Both John and Kelly explain their freestyle routines. Blah, blah, blah… get on with the dancing!
Kelly and Alec perform to “Get the Party Started.” She seems to watch her partner to figure out what she’s supposed to be doing. Also, they make a few minor mistakes with their footwork, but the routine has energy.
Bruno begins the critiques by saying it was very good. He also notes that Kelly started off being very nervous. Len feels that they did another cha cha cha and the first one was better. He also expected more lifts from Alec. Carrie says they’ve lost some of their technique since the show last aired. The judges’ scores are an eight from Carrie and Len, and a nine from Bruno.
Charlotte and John perform to “I Am What I Am.” Their characters are having a disagreement as the dance begins. It is a very entertaining routine as they continue to argue throughout the performance. I think that Charlotte does a great job choreographing the dances. Also, it looks as if John almost dropped her during a lift; she has a lot of faith in him to allow him to do these things with and to her.
Carrie says that she is glad to see them take risks, but the dance itself wasn’t great. Bruno explains that he enjoyed the dance and acknowledges how hard it is to do the lifts. Len agrees with Bruno and then tells the audience, “Don’t moan if you don’t phone” meaning if you didn’t vote, then don’t complain about the outcome. The scores are identical to Kelly and Alec’s; Carrie and Len give the couple an eight while Bruno gives them a nine.
Charlotte and John have a final score of 77 while Kelly and Alec end with 74 points. These scores don’t matter so why are we spending so much time on them?
The show ends with both couples dancing to “Let’s Groove.” I love this song; I even get my jazz hands out for it.
Don’t forget to tune in to ABC on Thursday at 9:00 PM for the results show and RealityNewsOnline for another fun-filled recap. Readers, let me ask one question of you; regardless of who wins this thing, can’t we all just get along?
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 email@example.com.
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