28April2015, Dancing With The Stars’ Week 7: Tenth Anniversary Special!

28April2015, Dancing With The Stars’ Week 7:  Tenth Anniversary Special! On this exciting night, the ballroom was filled with current and former contestants and pros, and a huge audience that included many celebrities. The opening number dazzled with many on the floor, though not as many as we had anticipated. Former host Samantha Harris also was present, but the host who replaced her, Brooke Burke (winner of season 6 with pro Derek Hough), was not. DWTS showed clips from all past winners, in order from first to the most recent: Kelly Monaco, with pro Alec Mazo Drew Lachey, with pro Cheryl Burke Emmitt Smith, with pro Cheryl Burke Apolo Anton Ono, with pro Julianne Hough Kristi Yamaguchi, with pro Mark Ballas Brooke Burke-Charvet, with pro Derek Hough Shawn Johnson, with pro Mark Ballas Donny Osmond, with pro Kym Johnson Nicole Scherzinger, with pro Derek Hough Jennifer Grey, with pro Derek Hough Hines Ward, with pro Kym Johnson J.R. Martinez, with pro Karina Smirnoff Donald Driver, with pro Peta Murgatroyd Melissa Rycroft, with pro Tony Dovolani Kellie Pickler, with pro Derek Hough Amber Riley, with pro Derek Hough Meryl Davis, with pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy Alfonso Ribeiro, with pro Witney Carson   Here are some of the other, many highlights: Flubs and odd happenings: We were reminded of when judge Carrie Ann fell out of her chair a few times and Marie Osmond fainted. Maks, who sometimes disagreed strongly over the years with Len’s comments of his choreography and performances with his celebs, rode a bicycle built for two with Len. Someone said how incredible it was that actress Marlee Matlin had danced without being able to hear the music, and she actually did quite well.  In addition, celebs with physical disabilities were highlighted for their courage and accomplishments in dance. Sharna remarked that choreography has advanced hugely since years 1 and 2 of the show, adding, “The sky is the limit!” A really cool thing was that quite a few NFL players, from various field positions, got together and did a short paso doble, including, among others, Jerry Rice, Emmett Smith, Donald Driver, and Kurt Warner.   The current judges told us the top things they look for in performances, accompanied by clips of their favorite examples: Len: technique (Helio Castroneves with Julianne in the quickstep) Carrie Ann: emotional impact (Amy Purdy with Derek in a contemporary dance) Julianne: artistry (Donald Driver with Peta in an Argentine tango) Bruno: passion (Mel B with Maksim in a paso doble)   Visiting...

Dancing With The Stars: Week 7 Analysis

27April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 7 Analysis It’s Eras Week on Dancing With The Stars, a trip of dancing through the past several decades.  That was followed immediately by dance-offs between couples, with one choosing whom to compete against and the competitors choosing which dance to compete in.  It was a night of comebacks for certain dancers and of improvement or status quo for others, along with a few surprises, especially from the judges.  At the end of the night, I was shocked to see who was sent home. Musician Riker Lynch: Quickstep/1920s era.                    Judges’ scores 9.5.  My score 9.5. The positive: Fabulous musicality, timing, rhythm, content, footwork!  Fun, riveting. Loved it! The negative: The judges mentioned that he should work on controlling his neck and arms, I believe.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules: Foxtrot/1940s era.                     Judges’ score 8.  My score 8.5. The positive: Sharp kicks, overall good form/footwork, improved timing and musicality.  He performed very well through the entire song—no fooling around and wasting time, and no excessive focus on the darling Witney.  He has come a long way! The negative: He has to keep monitoring his timing, technique, and footwork if he wants to stay in the competition.   Actress Rumer Willis: Jive/1960s era.                              Judges’ score 9.  My score 9. The positive:  Cute, sharp kicks, good footwork/form/content/musicality/rhythm/sync. Winning choreography by Val.  She does not disappoint as a dancer.  In the froxtrot dance-off against Chris for 2 extra points, Rumer won unanimously, even though Chris has improved significantly. The negative: I didn’t identify anything.   Veteran Noah Galloway: Jazz/1970s era.             Judges’ score 9.5.  My score 7. The positive: This production was cute, creative, and lots of fun. Noah clearly had a good time with it.  Well done.  Later, in the dance-off against Robert & Kim for 2 extra points, Noah and Sharna won doing the cha-cha—congratulations! The negative:  However, I majorly disagree with the judges regarding content and scoring. Noah’s performance, through no fault of his own, lacked sufficient traditional jazz content, choreographed fluid dancing and footwork in order to qualify it as an actual dance.  Unfortunately, I’m disappointed in Sharna’s choreography this week.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Argentine Tango/1980s era.                 Judges’ score   8.  My score 9. The positive:  Sexy! Hot! Passionate! Sizzling chemistry ready to explode! What a connection these two continue to have, and I think it only continues to grow!  Great content and good form.  Couldn’t look away—loved it!  For me, this was the dance of the night, followed...

Dancing With The Stars: Week 6 Analysis

20April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 6 Analysis [To comment, click on the title of this week’s article or go directly to sign-in in the lower right-hand corner of the page.] It’s Spring Break week on Dancing With The Stars, and what a night of improvement it was for some of our dancers!  They’re still knocking our socks off and it’s only week 6.  Who excelled, who delivered my fave dance of the night, and who went home? Singer Patti LaBelle: Quickstep.                           Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The positive: It was cute and fun. Artem upped the choreo but didn’t involve Patti in all of it. Still, once in the game Patti exhibited proper technique, elegance, and improvement. Her participation and performance were pretty good. She did the second half of the dance wearing only one shoe after a slight change of plans. What a gracious, fun, and wonderful lady! The negative: Artem wasted some time again, not involving Patti in actual dancing soon enough.   Gymnast Nastia Liukin: Tango.                                        Judges’ scores 8-9.  My score 9. The positive: Sharp, crisp, precise, accurate, beautiful form/hands/pointed toes, musicality/form. Very pretty. Excellent choreography from our award-winning Derek. My second-fave dance tonight. The negative: Hectic, like their weekly schedules. Too bad they can’t relax a little and just enjoy the dance, esp. in a way that we could see and feel.   Young Actress Willow Shields: Salsa.                               Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8.5. The positive: Fast, rhythmic, athletic with lifts/cartwheels/splits. Lots of fun, complete with constant facial expressions to represent the fun of their dance. She’s cute and a good dancer. The negative: She still sometimes needs to focus on form and follow-through.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Jive.                                         Judges’ score   7.  My score 7. The positive:  What an adorable pair! Their jive was cute, lively, and lots of fun for them and for us to watch. Very entertaining. As always, his winning attitude and effort reigned. The negative: Robert got just a tad out of sync at one point but recovered and did a pretty-good job of it.   Veteran Noah Galloway: Rhumba.                                    Judges’ score 7.25.  My score 7. The positive: What a beautiful pair they are! The dance was strong yet graceful, flowing and fluid, well connected in purpose and movement. A proper, spot-on rhumba that warmed my heart. Very pretty! The negative: Nothing notable or new to mention here.  We all know the challenges under which Noah strives.  If only he could somehow...

Dancing With The Stars Week 5 Analysis, Spring Season 2015

13April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 5 Analysis [To comment, click on the title of this week’s article or go directly to sign-in in the lower right-hand corner of the page.] It’s Disney week on Dancing With The Stars! We saw a night of many delights and a few disappointments, beauty and fun. The makeup and wardrobe departments outdid themselves.  Some of the performances were mesmerizing and stunning.  An occasional other was a bit off his/her usual mark due to an injury, a functional wardrobe issue, or something undefinable. Actress Suzanne Somers: Jazz.                                         Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The positive:  She keeps improving!  To me, last week was her best, followed by this week.  This dance was pretty, sophisticated, elegant, graceful, and showed good lines. Like Patti, Suzanne has a lovely, gracious, and professional attitude. The negative: Unfortunately, her shoe got caught on the hem of her dress (which has happened to both pros and contestants over the years on this show). That threw her off sync/timing for several beats, but, as a seasoned pro, she handled it well until Tony took over and got her back on track.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Quickstep.                               Judges’ score   6.  My score 6. The positive:  This quick-footed and challenging Mary Poppins production was cute, happy, fun, enthusiastic, endearing, and entertaining. Robert’s magnetic personality, attitude, and basic skills do not disappoint. However . . . The negative:  Near the beginning he got off timing; in this fast-paced tune he had a hard time getting back on track. It happened to be an off week for him, but I’m betting that he’ll be back to normal next week with perfect timing and fabulous form.   Singer Patti LaBelle: Waltz.                                              Judges’ score 7.  My score 6-7. The positive: Patti exhibited proper technique and elegance in much of the dance. It was pretty and quite an improvement. She has a hurt knee, which caused Artem to choreograph/limit accordingly, but she didn’t complain and instead showed her usual gracious and I-don’t-quit attitude. The negative: Artem didn’t waste as much time as usual this week, but he still wasted some. Len usually calls the pros out on time-wasters but hasn’t done so yet this season.   Young Actress Willow Shields: Foxtrot.                         Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8. The positive: She’s amazing in general and was adorable as Alice. Creative and cute but challenging choreo. Very good! The negative: Needs to focus a bit more on follow-through and maintaining form.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules:...

Dancing With The Stars: Week 4 Analysis

6April2015, Dancing With The Stars: Week 4 Analysis [Click on the title of this week’s article and you can comment.] This week on Dancing With The Stars, all of the dancers stepped up their games to showcase the most-memorable year in each of their lives—very impressive. The pros led their students into more steps and greater levels of performance. The performances made me feel good. The best night yet! Gymnast Nastia Liukin: Argentine Tango. Judges’ scores 9-8-9-10. My score 9-10. The positive: Fantastic, strong, sharp, passionate, athletic, gorgeous lines & lifts. Stellar choreography and fabulous execution. Stunning! Again, I couldn’t look away. The negative: What?   Football player Michael Sam: *Rhumba.               Judges’ score 7-8.  My score 8. The positive: Pretty, smooth, flowed properly, lovely story through dance. Well-done and much better!  What a genuinely sweet guy! The negative: He has to keep being careful to control his strength and how much the dance requires; impressive, caring control by a man with huge thighs who’s on the football field most of the day.   Musician Ryker Lynch: Tango.                                         Judges’ score 8-9.  My score 8-9. The positive: Tight, correct, passionate, well-done to fast music, good choreo., captivating. Very good! Didn’t want it to end. He’s a nice young man who works very hard and is very impressive. So, why was he in jeopardy of going home tonight? The negative: He needs to keep making small improvements to his technique and posture, and he can do it.   ‘Shark’ Robert Herjavec: Waltz.                          Judges’ score   8-9.  My score 9. The positive:  Dancing to “The Last Waltz with You,” his mom’s favorite song, Robert dedicated this to his mom, who died of ovarian cancer several years ago. He pulled me into his emotional story and took me with him on a beautiful, genuine, heartfelt journey. The dance flowed and thoroughly entertained me.  As usual, he had good rise and fall, placement, and pointed toes in his footwork, and his frame was very handsome. His hands were more graceful this time. What a pleasure he is to watch each week! He’s so sweet and nice, a good person, and a good dancer. His magnetic, endearing qualities keep me coming back to wish him well. The negative: Nothing to report.   “Bachelor” Chris Soules: *Rhumba.                                  Judges’ score 7.  My score 7. The positive: Another ultra-sweet and genuinely nice guy! What you see is what you get. Nice job! He keeps improving. A good, flowing, and pretty rhumba, but somehow not as...

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