Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 11, The Finals, Analysis:

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 11, The Finals, Analysis:   NIGHT 1:  Monday, November 23 THE FINALS Night on Dancing with the Stars!  The 4 remaining celebs are Nick, Bindi, Carlos, and Alek.  Surely, fabulous routines are planned for us.  The show opened to Meghan Trainor singing, joined by some pros and troupe members in a peppy routine.  Tom and Erin hosted.  Great entertainment coming tonight by each celeb doing two dances, the second of which is the freestyle.  And we all know the freestyle can be important; some still say it’s the critical make-it-or-break-it factor while others say it isn’t as heavy an influence as it used to be.   FIRST, THE “TRADITIONAL” DANCE:   Carlos PeneVega: Foxtrot. Judges’ score 10. My score 9. His first foxtrot was in week 2 and earned 8’s.  Bruno coached Carlos to prep for this one.  It was nicely done–sexy, dramatic, his arms looked good, and his footwork was good, but it contained little traditional foxtrot, which, in my opinion, does not warrant a 10.   Alek Skarlatos: Rhumba. Judges’ score 9. My score 9. His first rhumba was in week 5 and earned mostly 7’s.  Carrie Ann rather sternly coached him to prepare and improve this time.  Alek’s arms and hands were very graceful, and his dancing was smooth.  He truly has come a long way!  For me, two disappointments, though.  First, he showed only the most-minimal hip movement, and we all know that the rhumba requires mucho sexy hip action.  Second, the content was surprisingly untraditional.  Hence, why he didn’t earn 10’s.  Still, though, it was a beautiful dance.   Meghan Trainor’s second song, at this point, was accompanied by Peta and Artem dancing.   Nick Carter: Jive. Judges’ scores 10. My score 10. His first jive was in week 2 and earned all 7’s.  Julianne coached him to improve for his final jive.  It was sexy, charismatic, sharp/crisp, fun, heart-pumping, exciting, and truly entertaining.  I wanted to see more.  The incredible chemistry continued between him and Sharna.   Bindi Irwin: Quickstep. Judges’ score 10. My score 10. Her first quickstep was in week 3 and earned all 8’s.  This time she was coached by Carrie Ann.  It was so fast and demanding, intricate and difficult and precise, but also graceful and even fun.  Wow!  Julianne called Bindi “the Energizer bunny.”   Bindi’s dance was followed by a song called “Boys Like You,” which was performed by Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande, and a male whose name I couldn’t...

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 10 Analysis:

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 10 Analysis: Monday, November 16 Semifinals Night on Dancing with the Stars!  And then there were 4!  The show opened to the pros Val, Lindsay, Sharna, Derek, and Witney dancing in a simple routine.  Tom and Erin hosted.  The celebs’ individual dances concerned former personal struggles in their lives (Nick’s was drug addiction as a teenager resulting from troubles in his family, Bindi’s was about dealing with her father’s death, and I don’t remember Carlos’s except that he said, as he has before, that God gets him through everything).  Afterward, there was a dance-off and finally a trio round, all of which brought some great dancing.  Three dances this week–that’s a lot to learn and a lot of commitment to truly hard work!   Bindi Irwin: Salsa. Judges’ score 10?. My score 9. Of course, Bindi was all in.  Very exciting, happy, festive, and fun.  Her spotted turns were fab.  However, I saw too many well-done lifts when I should have seen more traditional salsa dancing.   Alek Skarlatos: Waltz. Judges’ score 10. My score 9.5. It was gorgeous, graceful, smooth, and very impressive.  Kudos to Lindsay on the choreography this week, except that, in my opinion, they should have spent more time in hold; hence, I’ve deducted a half point.  Alek really has become a good dancer, and they should show him off as such by consistently giving him plenty of dancing to do instead of sometimes mostly using him as a support while Lindsay dances around him (that really irks me!).  Fabulous job this week, but will the perfect-10 put a target on his back?   Carlos PeneVega: Contemporary. Judges’ score 10. My score 9. Very physical, dramatic (physically and facially).  Excellent moves, lifts, jumps/catches, etc.  I liked it, but it wasn’t as good as the one Alexa and Mark did last week, which was breathtaking and definitely memorable.   Nick Carter: Tango. Judges’ scores 8. My score 8. Nick made a few mistakes–nothing huge–but overcame them smoothly, for the most part.  Still incredible chemistry between him and Sharna.  Well done.   Jenna and Val did a full dance by themselves.  Steamy!  Loved it!   THE DANCE-OFF: 3 extra points to the winner(s).    Alek/Lindsay versus Carlos/Witney in a Cha-cha: Although Alex did well, he was clearly outdone by Carlos in stronger dancing that contained more/many excellent traditional cha-cha hip/foot movements.  But Alek is always so genuinely sweet, has a positive attitude, and gives his all, despite having had...

Dancing in the Stars Biography . . . and a Rhyming Picture Book, Too!

“The smile is the dance of the face.  Dance is the smile of the body.”  My father certainly embodied that motto during his dance career. 5 STARS on Amazon! My book, “Dancing in the Stars: Carroll Webster—International Dance Luminary of Vaudeville & Hollywood,” has received 5-star reviews on Amazon.  It’s the biographical story of my handsome father, Carroll Webster, as a professional ballroom dancer in the 1930s and 1940s.  You can travel with him from the dance marathons–where he started with comedian Red Skelton and singer Tony Martin–to Vaudeville and the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The book is a dance career, a love story, comedy and drama, history and mystery while revealing dancers’ struggles and successes both along the way and at the hills of Hollywood.  It also shows how dancing changes the lives of many people and shapes their history as they contribute to dance and history.  Available at www.createspace.com/5311269.   In addition, my rhyming picture book is out, for kids 0 to 101 but best targeted to ages 3-7.  “My Child, I’ll Still Be Loving You” shows in love and fun that the parent-child bond can overcome anything.  In the process it has teachable moments such as the real vs. the imaginary, animals, colors, counting, time, rhyme and alliteration, and more.  People wherever I go, including to classrooms in nearby schools, call the book “adorable” and educational.  Available at www.createspace.com/5714110.   Please consider buying either book as the perfect gift for a loved one or another on your shopping list.  If you want to buy in bulk, contact me and I’ll arrange an appreciable discount for you.  Thank you so...

Dancing with the Stars News Flash! November, 12, 2015

Dancing with the Stars News Flash!  November, 12, 2015   As you all know, despite doctors’ wishes that she stay at the hospital to treat her pneumonia, Tamar returned to the DWTS studio in the nick of time Monday evening and participated in her team’s dance to avoid elimination from the competition based on illness. Much has happened since then and immediately afterward, when Alexa was voted out.  It’s been said that Tamar went back to the hospital and was told not only that she does not actually have pneumonia but also that what she does have in her lungs is much worse.  She has blood clots in her lungs!  As you also may know, blood clots can break loose at any time from any location and cause a quick death.  The result:  Tamar has withdrawn from the competition and is making her health her priority.  Each morning she’s grateful to be alive!  Prayers that this strong, talented young woman will make it through this terrible obstacle! During the past two weeks, the frequent airing of her rehearsal-package claim that she was the best dancer on the floor brought negative reactions from others and put even more stress on her, which didn’t help matters, either.  She was already sick and didn’t deserve that, too; instead, she deserved consideration and better treatment across the board. Also as a direct result, rumors have surfaced that the show’s producers may find a way to reinstate Alexa as a contestant, even though America voted her off before she gave back-to-back perfect-10 performances this week.  Otherwise, maybe the producers will not eliminate any other celebs next Monday, or maybe they will eliminate one and then have the remaining four in the finale—even though I’d prefer the old way of having only two or three.  For all we know, they could come up with another scenario, too.   We’ll watch and find out, won’t...

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:

Dancing with the Stars Fall Season 2015, Week 9 Analysis:   Monday, November 9 Showstopper Night on Dancing with the Stars! And then there were 6!  The show opened straight to the introduction of the couples.  Tom and Erin hosted.  The celebs danced about personal experiences (although the only topic I can recall was Alexa’s), devoting about 30 seconds to dancing without their respective pros.  Afterward, three sets of two couples competed in showstopper performances.  How they can master so much in one week or less is amazing.   Alek Skarlatos: Salsa. Judges’ score 8. My score 8. Does it seem to you as though the judges sometimes pick on him? They rarely score him as high as they should.  However, this week the scores are accurate.  The problem appeared to be with Lindsay’s choreography.  I can’t imagine that he would refuse to do the appropriate hip action, so I have to blame either Lindsay or the producers.  What was up with that?!  She gave him very little salsa hip work to do, so we saw him do little.  Instead, she or the producers mostly had him just physically supporting her while she danced and sort of posing with her and two other girls (Jenna and Brittany, if I recall correctly–sorry, I was so shocked by the lousy choreography) around him.  What was that about?  There was no real reason to have the other girls involved; traditionally that’s done only when a contestant has little dance skill.  But Alek is actually a good dancer, so get with the program and show him off consistently, DWTS! (And I don’t mean extensive footage of chest-waxing.) Alek is a sweet guy who has genuine dance skills–he deserves much better treatment than this! I’m ashamed of how he was treated this week.   Alexa PenaVega: Contemporary.     Judges’ score 10. My score 11! Mark produced an amazingly creative, breathtakingly ingenious, and absolutely stellar dance to represent Alexa’s former battle with bulimia, an eating disorder that resulted when she was a child actress after a director/producer told her she was fat (when she didn’t really appear to be). How terrible for her!  The dance was intense and dramatic and bold, to say the least.  An open window with sheer honesty to the level of pain she endured.  From the core to the core!  WOW!  Julianne said “Raw.”  Right on!  I held my breath for a second, then turned to my husband and said, “Look how Mark did that with her fighting off the bulimia!  OMG! ...

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