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"Dancing With the Stars" - Season 8, Week 10
by Eric's Recap Journal (dork_wesley)
at May 14th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

They're describing the four remaining contestants, and Tom uses the phrase "the girl next door" to describe Melissa. Dude, I don't know what neighborhood he grew up in, but the girl next door to me didn't look like Melissa Rycroft.

We start with another pro routine, totally out of the blue. It's another awesome Louis van Amstel formation, to "Should I Stay or Should I Go", and features Louis, Dmitry, Genya (who we thought might be Alec-- there's never a close-up and they look/dance that similarly) with Chelsie, Karina and Aliona Vilani (thanks to the folks online who provided that name). Good, but huh?

Standing on the floor, the Wife notices with annoyance Chelsie's nervous habit of pursing her lips. We're padding out the first half hour of the show by having the competitors do picture-in-picture commentaries over some memorable dances. Yeesh, this is lame.


I'll keep the comments quick on these. Tony says that for Melissa, it's the "easy" things like walking that she finds tough. Cheryl admonishes Gilles for not having the right rise and fall in their Foxtrot, which is WRONG, and Tom states that "she can be on the cranky side". Shawn thought it was worth it to break the rules with their Quickstep. Ty has good posture and really loved the Lindy Hop. Done. Now to the actual dancing, jeez.

Melissa & Tony: Quickstep. She's actually mostly covered up, for once. They're focusing on speed and obsessing on her footwork. The routine is a lot of fun to fantastic music. It's very good overall, much more solid footwork and she stays down on the lift. The music, though, all but demanded a side-by-side section in the middle, but the rule they introduced meant no joy. 9.0/10.0

Carrie Ann says that Melissa wasn't "connecting to [her] soul" with that dance. Why yes, Paula Abdul visits often, why do you ask? Tony is elated that Len gives them a 10.

In the audience: Brooke Burke, Kym, Maks and Corky.

Gilles & Cheryl: Waltz. They wisely bring in Jonathan to make Gilles sophisticated and tone down the sexay. Jon does a hilarious "short" list of things to remember. It's a much softer and subtler routine than normal, but still no smiles. More subdued and less intense, more graceful and not overdone at all.\o/ x 2 9.0/10.0

Shawn & Mark: Argentine Tango. Now she's got the BHB shirt. Feeling the pressure, they struggle with the timing on the lift. He's got the guyliner going for some reason. The routine is just awesome, with amazing attack and intensity. Precision is fabulous and the lifts are huge and spot-on. The choreography was incredible. 9.5/10.0

Ty & Chelsie: Viennese Waltz. Some payback for him when he gets her on a mechanical bull. He's realistic about himself, and that's so loveable. Very simplistic choreography, of course, but clean. He still has no idea what to do with his hands and arms. The lift is rough, but it's overall fairly nice. A solid job for him. 7.0/10.0

Len and Bruno get so bickery during the judging that Carrie Ann shushes them and Ty & Chelsie get ushered off to the Red Room while the guys are still arguing.

Video package: childhoods/families of the competitors.

Melissa & Tony: Cha Cha. The song is kind of jazzy and mellow, which isn't good because they wanted to sharp and energetic. At first, I think she's got an Edyta castoff, but the skirt is cool and longish. Some very nice figures, all done clean and solid. Good footwork, and well danced. Not enough to wow, though. 8.5/10.0

Tom says he's surprised Mark lent them some of his hats.

Gilles & Cheryl: Salsa. He's holding maracas. Speaking of which, Cheryl is just oddly busty tonight. Seriously, it's not a bad routine, but he barely dances, not doing any figures more complicated than a basic, a cross-body lead and walking. Oh, and he shakes his butt and shoulders. It's good and right up their alley, but boring. He's actually crying at the overly effusive judges' comments. 8.0/10.0

Boy, the judges' bias is getting really bad again late in the game. I hate this part of the show.

Shawn & Mark: Jive. She looks adorable in the polka dots Mark seems to like for Jive. Lots and lots of energy at the top, really bounce and fun. A good routine with good choreography, though she never quite gets her knees up or gets the ticking motion down. I'm not sure I see her losing steam, but it's never quite explosive. 9.0/10.0

The judges' comments really piss Mark off, and he leaves shaking his head. When Bruno asks Len to compare the dance to Gilles, Len states clearly that he doesn't compare the dancers to one another. And in analyzing his scoring this season and in the past, I think that's true. He's always commenting on whether they've improved or worsened since the previous week, and he's usually the one to call things "your best dance" or "your worst dance". Which means although he's more knowledgeable on dancing, his scores are just as arbitrary as the others, since he's not judging them against each other.

Ty & Chelsie: Samba. He really goes for it, he does, and honestly when you look at content and figures, he's doing way more than Gilles did, and about as well, apart from the butt shaking. It's a nicely fun routine and he keeps with the music. Heck, they even do a decent roll. 8.0/10.0

Gotta say that Chelsie's doing way better than any of us expected. Didn't take to her individually on SYTYCD, but she's stepping up here.

Results show.

Starting right off with the musical guest, Raphael Saadiq, performing "100 Yard Dash". He's got a kind of groovy, retro soul thing going, with the suits and guitar cord and such. Pretty good song, too. He even heads out onto the dance floor to sing and dance with some backup girls. The Roommate thinks he looks a bit like Urkel, and I'm hard-pressed to disagree.

We see just how seriously pissed Mark was last night in the confessionals. Maks & Kym are there to dance with the two remaining prospective pros, which gives away that Mayo made the cut.

Encore: Shawn & Mark's Argentine Tango. Yay! I'm so glad that they didn't choose one of Gilles' routines, even though the Waltz was first-rate. The routine is almost better tonight with the slight looseness of the pressure being off.

Video package: Former champions Brooke Burke, Helio Castroneves and Drew Lachey size up the final four. (In an aside, I read a comment from Drew stating that he was voting for Shawn and not Gilles, Cheryl's partner. His joking reasoning was that if Cheryl continued to win, it would imply that she was the winning factor in Drew's win, and not Drew himself. Maybe not totally joking?)

In the audience: DAG, Woz and Nancy O'Dell.

Professional Competition.

Mayo & Kym: She starts out a little iffy on some of his choreography, but does say it makes "a statement". They start with a Tango. It's a good, wide open routine with some neat tricks (a coffee grinder in Tango?!) and lots of great lines. Very sweeping, but a little less personality than usual from him.

In the Red Room, Samantha asks Kym if Mayo showed off her best assets. The gorgeous black net dress over the push-up bra answers that the costume designer certainly is.

Anna & Maks: He warns her, hilariously, that he's going to be "a lot more difficult" than any celebrity, and it turns out to be true, but it brings out her tough side, which he likes. Their Quickstep starts and ends on stage, and is very fast and kinetic with lots of travel. Performance was first-rate, and Maks was having fun.

Tom notes that only four times this season has the couple with the lowest judges' score been the ones eliminated. Really tells you something.

Stars of Dance: This week, it's the "Design-A-Dance" result. Quickstep to "It Don't Mean A Thing", and it looks like the audience wanted the kids again. Dancing are Julianne and Lacey (who looks really good with the lighter hair) with Mark and Derek. It's a really busy, constantly running formation, with lots of partner switching and great expressiveness. It covers the floor, the stage, the stairs and even the audience. Really fun.

Mayo & Kym: Cha Cha. They do it a little disco-y to "Shake Your Groove Thing" (which thanks to That 70's Show has a very clear image in my head of Wilmer Valderrama dancing). More personality and sharpness than the Tango, but the choreography is much less original and inspired-looking. Very by the book.

Anna & Maks: Samba. Not loving her hair bow, but really digging her dancing. A spectacularly put together routine, with lots of changes in speed and tone and level. Great personality and character from her. She even indulges herself in a solo.

Safe: Gilles & Cheryl \o/, Shawn & Mark... and Melissa & Tony (she's almost in tears, he's totally relieved)

Eliminated: Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower. He's definitely ready for it, and very humble about the whole thing. I really liked him, if not his dancing. There's a big group hug on stage for Melissa while on the floor, Ty scoops up Chelsie for some lifts and spins before being joined. The music? "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)". *L*

See you next week at the finals!

Comments

Posted by: Eric's Recap Journal (dork_wesley)
Posted at: May 14th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)

You know how he's usually very supportive and focused on his partner in the confessional? He was sulky and frowning and shaking his head. Very unlike him.

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