Dancing with the Stars – Week #8

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Working their way to the final four was Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane.  Their Waltz routine told a story in a beautiful way!  The fusion of the Waltz steps and contemporary dance styling was a perfect marriage.  For her to improve, she needs to work on footwork being inconsistent.  With a 10 from Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli , Mark and Chelsea received the first 29 of the season and they deserved it!

It’s very rare that I’ll say the closed section of a Fox Trot routine is the best part, but that was the case with Hines Ward’s routine.  His movement across the floor is well beyond the amount of weeks he’s been dancing.  Hines has also developed his frame nicely, but still needs to watch that his head stays picked up. Kym Johnson has done a great job of highlighting his strengths.  Score 28.  I think this week is going to be a close one!

Boy, has Romeo improved!  In the beginning he relied on his charm, and now he has substance.  Chelsie Hightower put together an intense Tango routine with a lot of difficult moves, yet his is the most natural I’ve seen him dance.  Romeo does need to watch his posture still, especially in promenade position.  I found Chelsie’s hair style to be very distracting.  Score – a fair 27.

Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff danced a demented Viennese Waltz.  Normally demented and Viennese Waltz wouldn’t go together, but in this case it did.  It was beautiful, yet strong.  I did find by the second half of the routine, it was a little too intense which made him look stiff.   Ralph is dealing with a leg injury this week, which means he didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time.  Overall, a good job.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, he can spin!  Score – 25

Rehearsal time for Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy looked rough.  She was all over the place!  Maks actually stopped a rehearsal which never happens.  However, Kirstie pulled together a precise Argentine Tango.  They had great chemistry and passion on the floor, and her opening lift was effortless.  I do wish the routine had more Argentine steps, like flicks and kicks.  With two 9’s and a 10 from Bruno, they were thrilled with a 28.

It’s instant dance time! – All the couples must dance a second number tonight to music just moments after hearing the song selection for the first time.  The couples all found out what dance they will be doing ahead of time, just not the song.  This is how it’s done at all the ballroom competitions across the globe.  The stars might not be used to this, but the pros dance this way all the time.

First one up, Chelsea and Mark.  Their dance was a Salsa and they picked the song “Get Busy” by Sean Paul.  The routine was together but it definitely was not an authentic street Salsa.  Especially Marks rolled up pants with colored socks.  What is up with that?  It drives me crazy.  He dresses like this in every dance. The only place this belongs is in a sock hop.  Chelsea, on the other hand, looked great.  I thought the routine matched the song pretty well.  Score 26… Total for the night – 53.

Hines and Kym danced a Jive and picked the song “Chantilly Lace” by Jerry Lee Lewis.  It was fun and energetic!  Hines needs to work on pointing his toes when he kicks in the Jive.  There were a few spots where he got ahead of the music, but Hines does a great job picking up the advanced choreography. Hines said, “The Jive was like a P90X work-out, good for the off season.”  Score 26…Total for the night – 54.

Dance Center returns with Kenny Mayne for the results show.  It’s always hilarious, check it out!

Chelsie and Romeo hit the Salsa club to prepare for their instant dance.  They picked the famous song “Tequila” by Xavier Cugat.  Visiting the club payed off as far as the authentic street nature.  Unfortunately, it got a bit messy towards the end.  It looked like they were fighting to hit the breaks in the music.  Salsa is not one of the dances on the professional competition circuit and it shows sometimes with the way the technique is danced.  Both the pros and the Stars need to work on not going up and down in this dance!  Score 25…Total for the night – 52.

Having no preparation at all, due to Ralph’s injury, Ralph and Karina were very lucky and received Cha Cha for their instant dance.  Their game plan was to integrate the Cha Cha choreography from last weeks group dance, to the song they picked, “Stuck in the Middle” by Stealers Wheel.  Having about 20 minutes to plan out their routine, they really pulled it together.  Though the cuban hip motion was lacking, I thought he did a great job with the choreography.   The judges, however, were not impressed and it showed with a score of 21. Total for the night – 46.  Ouch!

Last week for the first week, Maks and Kirstie were at the bottom of the leader board.  The pressure is on for this Salsa danced to “Cobrastyle” by  Teddybears featuring Mad Cobra.  As  technique goes, Kirstie was the winner of the night.  Her cuban hip motion is very rhythmic, fluid and natural.  This has been her forte in the Latin dances.  The steps and technique were WAY more authentic than any of the other routines, but it was a pretty basic.  Not the WOW you normally get from Maks’ choreography.  I agree with Bruno Tonioli, there were several parts where they lost sync with each other.  Score 25…Total for the night – 53.

What a show!  Making predictions at this stage is near impossible!  But here I go….Bottom 2 – Ralph and Kirstie.  Bottom 1 – Ralph

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