Dancing with the Stars – Week #7

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I thought this day would never come, but Dancing with the Stars has a guest judge that is a ballroom legend! It’s Ballroom Greats Week, and  Donnie Burns, who is 16 time undefeated World Champion,  and 11 time International Champion, is on the judging panel.  Amen!

It’s group formation time! First team up – Chelsea, Romeo, and Ralph danced a group Cha Cha to Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance.’  It was super hot and I thought the celebrities did an excellent job fitting in with the professionals!  It was on and off as far as being in sync.  Score 30.

Second team up – Kirstie, Hines, and Kendra dancing a Cha Cha to Ke$ha’s  ‘We R Who We R.’  The opening was very together, but Kirstie Alley was a little slow in the transitions.

When they got to each individual spotlight, they all brought their own individual flavor.  Their overall theme wasn’t as strong as the other group, but well done.  Score 30.  This round was basically a waste and won’t help any of their solo performances.

Next up was an amazing Jive from the current World Latin Champions, Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko.  Most of the American public have no clue what a treat this was, but it doesn’t get any better than this!

Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas were full out!  It was intense and, as always, they pushed the conservative envelope.  Her coach is ballroom great, Shirley Ballas (AKA – Mark Ballas’ mom),  and she wanted no smiles from this intense Paso Doble, and that she got.  As always, when the routines are ultra modern, they get mixed reviews from the judges.  Score 34.

Giving a pointer or two to Kendra and Louis was 2 time world champion and ballroom great, Luca Baricchi. He and his wife, Loraine, currently reside in Florida where they own the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Tampa.  Luca’s advice was good, but the couples’ routine was jammed packed with difficult steps.  As Donnie Burns said, “it was choreography that top professionals would find difficult”, which  I feel at times this is Louis’ downfall.  I would like to see the routines breathe a bit so you can appreciate them.  Executed pretty well, with a score of 31.

Always feeling the dance, Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerskovky performed the Jive.  Shirley Ballas added her expertise to this one.  Kirstie’s energy, personality, and execution was pretty good, but unfortunately, I agree with Len Goodman that her Jive kicks were ‘leaden’.   The judges were a bit confused as well, giving scores that ranged from a 6 to a 9.  Total score 30, which is the biggest spread I’ve seen to date.

Next to perform a Tango was ballroom greats, Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova.  They are the current two time world champions, and watching these two dance is amazing!  They are so quick, yet so smooth. Wow!

Top scorer so far, and receiving his first 10 from Donnie Burns, was Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff dancing a Quickstep.  Ralph complained and moaned during rehearsal due to his knees and back, but he pushed through his aches and pains and delivered a routine where he looked light and quick on his feet. Well Done Ralph!  Score 36.

Luca helped Hines and Kym work on the love/hate character of their Tango routine.  Every time Hines gets on the floor, he really dances.  Though he needs to watch his head tipping forward at times, which causes his bum to stick out.  Another 36 for the men, and another 10, this time from Bruno!  Now he’s tied for first with Ralph.

Next to dance a Samba with help from Shirley is Romeo and Chelsie Hightower.  Last week Romeo received the first 10 of the season, but unfortunately it’s not happening this week.  His routine was entertaining, but lacked the proper technique.  His legs remained bent throughout the dance and are supposed to straighten at times to achieve the correct Samba action.  His score 30.

The dancing from the celebrities was good this week, but the highlight was without a doubt the addition of the ballroom greats!

The bottom 3 this week – Romeo, Kendra, and Kirstie.  Bottom 1 – Romeo

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