Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bye, Bye Kathy ... We Hardly Knew Ye!

The results show begins! After a recap of last week, we find out Mya & Dmitry get the encore dance with their Jive and those goofy glasses of Dmitry’s. Then, the first couple “safe to dance again” are Donny & Kym. Then, Mya & Dmitry and Aaron & Karina are announced as safe...the three top scores from last night. Tom mentions that “your votes are more important than ever” and that there “may be a surprise tonight.” Uh oh! Is there another elimination from left field, a la Sabrina Bryan or Lil’ Kim?

Joss Stone comes up to sing. She’s a little cutie! Not a bad singer, either. I’m not young enough to know who she is.... nor do I know who the dancers are.

The show a clip about the training center. It has six big studios and one of them is the actual size of the show’s floor, complete with judge’s table and stairs. All the stars can go upstairs into the rafters and peek in on other couples rehearsing. Derek doesn’t sneak a peek, he barges in on people and scares the crap out of them. Mark says he likes the studios because they’re quiet...and that’s “because Bruno isn’t there.”

The three couples that scores 21 last night - Mark & Lacey, Natalie & Alec, and Debi & Maks - are going to learn their fate. Mark & Lacey and Natalie & Alec are safe, but Debi & Maks are “still in jeopardy.” Wondering if that means they are in the bottom 2 or 3, or if the producers just want to make them sweat a bit more!

Somebody-Gomez comes up to sing after the commercial. Sounds like a little pop idol or something. Derek & Karina dance and they look great, making the song a bit bearable.

After a backstage interview with Donny & Kym and Natalie & Alec, Tom remarked that “Kym and Samantha’s hair looks like Chia Pets tonight.” (I’m still trying to figure out if I like Samantha’s hair. It’s cute except the top looks flat.) We find out about Joanna & Derek (safe) and Michael & Anna (safe also).

Chuck & Anna are told they are safe - and Mickey Rourke is in the audience cheering. Melissa & Mark will be back as well as Kelly & Louis. Louie & Chelsie are told they are “in jeopardy.”

We see what the pros have to do to train their celebrities and fix their bad habits. Alec is having trouble getting Natalie to breathe. After Michael complains that “this is hard” Anna tells him that if “dancing were easy they’d call it football.” (Heehee!)

The Macy’s Stars of Dance feature the USC Trojans marching band (not all of them, I’ll tell you that! Looks like just the drums and horn sections. There are dancers with “DWTS” on their sweaters (it took a sec for that to click - was trying to figure out what school that was). The dancers did a lot of break dancing - it was okay, I much prefer the ballroom stuff myself. (Yes, I’m an old broad).

Joss Stone again, and Cheryl, Dmitry, Louis and Anna dance - great job by all!

Samantha talks to Kelly, Michael and Joanna backstage. Michael says “we can go as far as prayer and the voters will take us.” Kelly and Joanna thank the voters for keeping them around.

Tom & Cheryl and Kathy & Tony were the lowest vote-getters of the night. Tom & Cheryl are safe (and Cheryl looks majorly surprised) but Kathy & Tony “are still in jeopardy.”

Debi & Maks, Kathy & Tony and Louie & Chelsie are left to squirm - we find out who’s in the bottom two and who’s safe. It’s Louie & Chelsie staying. Carrie Ann is asked about the two couples left, and she says she’s surprised about Debi being in the bottom two. However, as expected, Kathy & Tony are the ones leaving. Too bad for Tony!!! I really like him and his choreography.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jive, Quickstep, and Tango - the Ballroom is Alive!

LIVE! From Hollywood! It’s Dancing With the Stars!

As we get a glimpse of the judges’ table, we see no Len. I had heard he was having health issues, but Tom explains later that he was “otherwise engaged” in Britain and would be back next week and for the rest of the season. So who’s the new guy? Baz Luhrmann, the director of - among other things - Moulin Rouge. I hated that movie (it just lost me) so we’ll see how this guy does. His mother was a ballroom dance judge, so he may have a little idea of what he’s looking for. Baz says that the “work is done now, I want to see joy in the performances.”

Joanna & Derek get to begin the evening and will dance a Jive. It looks like Derek has really given her hard choreography (but he’s one of the best) and it looked good. Carrie Ann tells her that she had great energy but her feet were a little spastic. Bruno complimented Joanna saying “you don’t hold back” but that she lost precision on her kicks. Baz said the dance was exciting but she has to connect more with Derek. Their scores: 6-7-7=20.

Natalie & Alec are up next. They’ll be dancing the Quickstep. Alec has to keep reminding Natalie to breathe. I love the choreography but Natalie looks a bit stiff. Bruno tells her to relax a bit more. Baz offers that during the first half of the dancing she was “thinking” but the last half she looked more in tune with the music. Carrie Ann says she moves well, but she needs to think of Alec as an extension of herself. Okay scores: 7-7-7=21.

Chuck & Anna will dance a Tango, and this one should be right up Chuck’s alley. After Len wanted Chuck to “get in touch with his feminine side” Anna told him not this week - the Tango needed all of his fighting attitude. He’s got the face down pat for the dance, but I notice his posture drooping. (I’m getting pretty good at this elitist dancing stuff, huh?) At the end, Anna rips off his shirt (ooh, dramatic!) Baz tells them “if Uncle Lenny were here he might rip you to pieces” but he likes how Chuck is embracing his fears. Carrie Ann says she was a little frightened - but they were looking for impact, and that had impact! Bruno called it “savage and primeval” and that he saw the hard work Chuck put into his practice this week. Scores much better this week: 6-7-6=19.

Melissa & Mark are dancing the Jive. Mark tells us Melissa wants to learn the tricks but she’s not very coordinated. Melissa looks really joyous during the dance, but she’s not very bouncy. Carrie Ann hoots and tells Melissa “last week you were beige, this week you’re bright red!” Bruno tells her that she fell to pieces “down there” and she needs to check her feet. Baz tells her it’s a big improvement from last week but to watch her stepwork. Their scores: 7-6-6=19.

Michael & Anna come up next with a Quickstep. Anna admits that she may have let Michael down with her choreography last week. Michael says he’s doing this show to challenge himself. Bruno compliments them, saying “we wanted content, you gave us content.” Baz called him a natural performer, saying he confronted the challenge. Carrie Ann said “compared to last week, this is a touchdown!” Much better scores: 7-7-6=20.

Debi & Maks will Tango. Of course, Maks is being tough and Debi says they have a love/hate relationship. She gets upset that he’s yelling at her so much, and Maks feels bad and apologizes. The Tango looked great, full of passion, so the relationship works! Baz called it fantastic, and Carrie Ann loved the form and posture. Bruno told Debi “that’s the way to channel the feisty ball breaker!” Their scores: 7-7-7=21.

Louie & Chelsie are dancing the Jive. He’s got some energy, and she’s using it. Carrie Ann tells Louie he has joy when he dances, but sometimes it looked like he lost touch with the music. Bruno says “you can actually do it” but he didn’t do enough. Baz called it joyous but “maybe the jacket worked against you.” Okay scores: 6-7-6=19.

Aaron & Karina will be dancing the Quickstep. Aaron says “Karina is the mean one.” (Maybe that is why she and Maks broke up - they can’t both be mean ones!) The music gets ready to start and we see the Muppet, Animal, playing drums in the balcony and they dance to the Muppet Show theme. It really is a cute dance! At the end, the little purple Muppet with the hooked nose (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) blares a trumpet in Bruno’s ear at the desk. Bruno calls the dance spectacular and says Aaron is a “mini Fred Astaire.” Baz called it a great show, and Carrie Ann told them it was sharp with great holds. The best scores of the season: 9-9-9=27.

Kelly & Louis are up next, and they’re dancing the Tango. Kelly is getting herself all worked up with only 4 days to practice after having 4 weeks at the beginning. I notice her smiling in the beginning of the dance but she catches it and gets her Tango face back on. It seemed she lost it at one turn - I really liked the choreography, though. Baz tells her that her story was greater than the dance - “you had mistakes but you didn’t give up.” Carrie Ann told Kelly she was the opposite of everyone else, she’s building a base of technique. Bruno called her “Eva Peron” when she got it right, and that she can be amazing without the mistakes. Their scores: 6-7-6=19. Kelly was happy, saying “I wouldn’t have given me that.”

Kathy & Tony will dance a Quickstep. In rehearsal, Tony says being in the bottom last week made him so nervous, he was “sweating up.” Kathy says she needs to get over herself and not be so tentative. Song too slow for QS! Love her dress! Not great. Carrie Ann told them that as a full presentation, it was better than the Salsa, but that Kathy is so reserved, still carefully placed. Need to stand out. Bruno says you’re elegant but you have to be engaging. You can’t dance Quickstep 2 miles apart. Baz tells her she’s beautiful and elegant but the Quickstep is an exciting dance. They get 6-6-6=18 for their score.

Mark & Lacey are up to dance the Quickstep. Mark says “you have to do the steps quick but there’s no way to learn the steps quick.” Mark slips on the floor right at the beginning of his dance but recovers pretty easily. Bruno says he’s a great performer but he needs to get his dancing under control. Baz tells him it was an incredible comeback after the first slip. He didn’t fall apart. Carrie Ann says he’s clean when he dances, but the slip will take points off - but he did recover well. He needs to breathe too! 7-7-7=21.

Mya & Dmitry’s turn! He asks her if she’s mad at him for getting them a 5 from Len, and she “kicks” him in the nads and says “heck yeah, I’m mad!” (It was all in good fun). Mya is having problems with the Jive because she’s done tap and “it keeps getting in the way.” Dmitry is going to do a technically perfect Jive this week. Don’t know what the song is, but at the beginning, Mya mouths “will you go to bed with me?” Funny! Great Jive, looks good! Baz says “that is the real deal!” He likes how they made it their own and “claimed the dance.” Carrie Ann tells Dmitry that Len would not have liked the beginning - “but Len’s not here!” Bruno said it looked like Josephine Baker and Clark Kent, he loved it. They matched the night’s killer score: 9-9-9=27.

Tom & Cheryl will dance the Tango. She’s trying to teach Tom to snap his neck and he’s having problems. Plus, he’s getting a pre-stress fracture in his toes. Watching the dance, I realize Cheryl is a good teacher but even she isn’t going to be able to help this one for very long. He loses his balance at the end and almost drops Cheryl and looks mortified. Carrie Ann says they’re an oddly well-matched couple. She really liked the Tango till the end, and tells Tom “you gotta squeeze them together.” Bruno said “you nearly pulled it out of the bag.” Baz says if “Uncle Lenny” was here he would have liked the hold. Backstage, Tom says he’s gotten emails from Congress, and they all think he’s crazy. Their scores: 6-6-6=18.

Donny & Kym round off the evening with a Jive. He’s having trouble with the faster footwork. Kym’s got some cool looking knee-high boots on! He really looks pretty darn good, actually! Bruno says “mission accomplished.” Called it well-executed, and a very good Jive. Baz says the dance was accurate, but he likes that Donny is full of life. Carrie Ann called it an amazing performance. She wants to do “girl talk” for a moment and tells Kym she loves the outfit. The judges give them 8-9-8=25. Donny’s eyes pop out at the 9.

So here’s how it all adds up after the judges’ scores:

Aaron & Karina 27
Mya & Dmitry 27
Donny & Kym 25
Natalie & Alec 21
Mark & Lacey 21
Debi & Maks 21
Joanna & Derek 20
Michael & Anna 20
Chuck & Anna 19
Melissa & Mark 19
Louie & Chelsie 19
Kelly & Louis 19
Kathy & Tony 18
Tom & Cheryl 18


So is this the week Tom goes home? Or will Kathy be the one to leave? Did you vote? Tune in for the results tomorrow!

Okay, Playing Catch-Up: a Guy and a Gal Go Home

The results show begins! Len announces the encore dance will be performed by Kelly & Louis doing their Viennese Waltz. For some reason, Kelly looks more nervous tonight than she did last night. She tells Louis at the end of the dance that she didn’t pick her foot off the floor (although tonight it wouldn't have taken points off anyway).

First two couples that are safe: Louie & Chelsea and Aaron & Karina.

John Kingston sings - TiVo’d through that one (although I caught the end out of curiosity and it wasn’t bad).

A little film was shown - “The Losers Club.” Penn, Kenny Mayne, and Jeff Ross explain that it’s an elite club of celebrities that were voted off the show first. The only way to get in the club: “suck.” They tell us “Tonight when you’re waiting for your name to be called, hold your head up high, because no matter what, we’re holding a spot for you.”

Next couple safe: Mark & Lacey, then Chuck & Anna. Donny & Kym are announced safe next. After the commercial, Samantha interviews Chuck and Louie. Chuck obviously got his beauty sleep because he doesn’t look hung over (saw a clip on Entertainment Tonight last night of Chuck downing shots at a bar after the show on Monday). Tom then tells us that Tom & Cheryl are the next safe couple, and we find out who’s going home ........ Ashley & Edyta. Well, we just lost half of the male viewing audience with Edyta leaving!

The world premiere of Miley Cyrus’ video is on!!! Ooh, so exciting! TiVo’d through it.

Now, we find out which two women will stay for another week: Natalie & Alec (Alec doesn’t look thrilled at all!) and Mya and Dimtry.

We see Adam Corolla come in and give the men a pep talk before the first show. “The last time a man won the mirrorball trophy, Len was in the Army, Carrie Ann was in diapers, and Bruno was still in the closet.” He then goes on to trash talk at each one of the guys. Pretty funny, actually. (“Donny Osmond - you’re 51. Can we start calling you Don now?”)

Macy’s Stars of Dance offers us the cast of the Lion King. I think I now want to see the stage play - those animals are really cool! Love how the giraffes look. Although, the little baby lion looks like it has an - er, appendage between its legs. I figured it was a tail, but after slowing down the tape I saw its tail behind it. So the Lion King is anatomically correct!

Melissa & Mark and Joanna & Derek are told they are safe. Then Debi & Maks are announced as safe. I think it’s mean letting Kelly & Louis suffer through this so long - they got the encore dance, doggone it!

The pros dance a tribute to Patrick Swayze. Dmitry & Chelsea begin (and sorry, I don’t know the name of the song), and Anna & Jonathan dance beautifully to Unchained Melody. (I don’t recall ever seeing them dance together before! They’re married so I would have expected it sooner.) Tony & Cheryl dance to (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life. Anna D. & Louis join in and finish out the song with the previous couples, and the ending is really neat, recreating a scene from the movie Dirty Dancing. It was a very nice tribute, I’m sure Patrick was loving it!

I do notice that the younger dancers - Chelsea and Lacey especially - dance barefoot a lot. These young whippersnappers, bucking the system and not wearing spiky high heels! For shame!

Len is asked how the first week has gone, and says he looks at the celebrities as flower buds. “Some flower early and some late, but we eventually get blossoms from everyone.” Aw, how cute. The shots of Macy Gray are something - sorry, that woman just looks like she’s from another planet!

Tom finally tells Kelly & Louis they are safe, and if they don’t send Macy home ... I just don’t know. Yeah, she’s going. Jonathan tells her it was nice to see her blossom into a ballroom dancer (I think he’s gotten into Macy’s Prozac!)

So there you have it! What happens next? Tune in next week!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Amazing Race 15 Starts Tonight Septemeber 27, 2009

One of the biggest reality television shows of all-time, The Amazing Race, starts season 15 tonight. We don't normally do a lot of posting on it here. Sometimes we do recaps The Amazing Race Info Blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Ladies Get a Turn! (And Macy Busts Her Cherry)

LIVE! FROM HOLLYWOOD! IT’S DANCING WITH THE STARS!

I was wondering what song the girls were going to dance to ... “She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones. I really like this band, but their singing leaves a bit to be desired - and the guy singing this blew it. But the girls looked great!!!!

Over to Tom and - Samantha? WTF did Samantha do to her hair? She looks like a bad rendition of a pinup girl. I’m wondering if she’s wigged up or if she really cut all her hair off!! (If it’s a wig, it’s a darn good job). That emerald green dress doesn’t do her any good at all either with that shiny thingy draped across the chest....

Debi Mazar is up first, dancing with Maksim Chmerkovsky. Maks interviews that dancing is not a democracy, “just listen to what I say.” Their first dance is the Salsa. Debi talks a lot and is driving Maks crazy. We’ll see how this goes throughout the season! I’m not impressed with Debi - although I’m not watching her much with Maks out there! Her shoulders are droopy but she is moving. Len said that Debi’s hips were lacking because her feet were flat. They had good energy and she has potential, but there’s work to do. Bruno is on a roll already: “Debi, on the good side, you can work those bazooms like nobody else!” (Maks covers Debi's ears). He goes on to tell Debi that she needs to keep her weight on the balls of her feet and he hopes she stays because “you’ve got a lot to show.” Bruno, you perv! Carrie Ann thinks the girls have it tougher. She tells Debi that she lacks a connection from her character to her moves, that she was thinking too much. Their scores: 6-5-5=16.

Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas are up next. Although Melissa still has the baby face I’m surprised how much older she looks (I haven’t seen her for awhile!) They will be dancing the Viennese Waltz. She’s having trouble with her posture and claims it’s because she has huge deltoid muscles. She looks really good and elegant - although we can see some clumsiness out there too. I’d say pretty good overall for the first time! Bruno asks if Melissa is nervous. “It was prim, proper and adequate but lacked a bit of magic.” Her shoulders rose up and spoiled the line of the dance. Carrie Ann said Melissa created a few moments but her connection to the beat of the music was lacking. Carrie Ann says that she has a definite elegance though. Len called the start of the dance “all sweet and sickly,” saying he couldn’t stand it. (I don’t picture Len any kind of romantic anyway). He did think her hold was good and her movement was great, but her footwork was off in her turns. Their scores: 6-6-6=18, not all that bad.

Mya, the R&B star, will dance with Dmitri Chaplin. She may have a little edge because she can dance a bit so she’ll be more flexible to start. She is humbled by how hard it is - “I feel like a car accident waiting to happen.” She looks really good and I love Dmitri’s choreography. She does have the fluidity for the Viennese Waltz. Carrie Ann yells “way to set the bar tonight!” She loves Mya’s lines and turns, musicality and performance. Len says he’s in a bit of a predicament because it’s the American smooth version of the dance and “you can release holds - but the three bars in hold you did, I didn’t like. The further you go from the roots of the dance the lower you go - it was a theatrical hodgepodge.” Bruno is having fits and yelling that it was “artistry in motion! The girl did magnificent!” Len points his pencil saying that Mya is a fantastic dancer but Dmitri let her down by not doing a Viennese Waltz. Hoo boy, these scores will be interesting! Tom asks Len if he’s been to three bars tonight. Mya was very diplomatic backstage saying that she appreciates the professionals’ opinions. The scores: 8-5-8=21 and Len gets smacked from both Carrie Ann and Bruno.

Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani will be up next. Kathy says that since she’s a model, people think she’s coordinated - but that she was in a an aerobics class and was asked to leave and not come back! Tony laughs at Kathy’s attempt at a shimmy. Not looking good here! At least her hips are moving a bit and her shoulders are good. Her bottom half looks good but the top half looks disjointed. Len goes first, saying she has the potential but that was “far too careful” and lacked energy. Bruno said she can sell almost anything but she didn’t sell the Salsa - there was no sex, which is inherent in Salsa. Carrie Ann said Kathy has great posture and that will work well for her, but she has to work on loosening up. Bruno pipes up that “we like a loose woman.” Carrie Ann seemed to want to make a snide comment about Bruno’s sexuality and that comment but it didn’t come off well. The scores: 6-5-5=16. Tony said it’s fine for the first week, nowhere to go but up!

Natalie Conklin, Olympic swimmer, will dance with Alec Mazo, the Season 1 champ. At practice, she’s concentrating so hard on dancing her face looks like she could kill someone, and Alec has to keep reminding her to relax her face. She says in the pool sometimes she bites her lips and they bleed. Alec shows her a smile and tells Natalie that is her new “concentration face.” They dance the Salsa and Natalie looks pretty loose (Bruno should like this). Toward the end, her face gets tight but she catches it and smiles again. She’s got hips, that will help! Bruno says that Natalie is the million dollar mermaid and could one day “make it here.” He noticed that she “freezes in the middle” and has a hard time catching up. Carrie Ann says athletes do well because they know how to use their muscles and she did very well. She adds that Natalie needs to improve her musicality. Len says he’s bewildered again (“I think it’s time for me bath.”) “The Salsa is sexy and steamy and we have all these beautiful women - and if they can’t come out and knock my socks off -“ Carrie Ann pipes up “you’re getting old!” Poor Len is just getting hammered tonight! Their scores: 7-6-6=19.

Macy Gray is up next with Jonathan Roberts. She talks funny! Her voice sounds like a little kid’s and my daughter offers that she's like someone taking too much Prozac. Jonathan tells Macy they will be dancing the Viennese Waltz and Macy says “the what?” Macy is told to walk like a lady and Jonathan then mouths “help me.” She is gonna be one tough student to do anything with!!!!! They have a week in studio before Macy has to leave on her European tour. Poor Jonathan, he gets stuck with some real “winners” for partners! I’m not sure Macy could look ladylike if she got a sex change! (She’s not built very ladylike! She’s bigger than Jonathan!) Carrie Ann called their dance fascinating - “your technique, I can’t even go there. But there’s a natural genuineness to you.” Len agrees that there is a vulnerability and charm and “if I was at home, I’d be voting for you.” (Yes, Len has been to bars tonight). Bruno says Macy is endearing and it was like “watching a child take its first new steps into the world. Who am I? What am I doing here?” Wow, they were pretty diplomatic with Macy!!! Backstage, Macy was glad to get the first dance out of the way, and said “I busted my cherry.” Everyone was cracking up and Carrie Ann could barely squeak out her score. 6-4-5=15.

Joanna Krupa is dancing with Derek Hough. Oh, jeeze - Derek says (get ready for it) “I’m rough. I’m tough. I’m Derek Hough.” Joanna is happy to see Derek, saying that Derek will help her to determine how many massages to get per week - and Derek says “I give all the massages myself.” Sometimes we forget that he’s a young guy! They will dance the Salsa and Joanna is working really hard, much to Derek’s delight. Ooh! Joanna is wearing the fringy pants! She can move her hips, but her moves are a little choppy. Derek seems to have choreographed the sex into this one though. It’s pretty energetic and she looks like she’s having fun. Len gets to start and he’s very happy. “At last we’ve seen a hot, smoking Salsa.” Bruno says it was sexy and saucy and what a Salsa should be. He compliments Derek’s choreography as making the most of his partner. Carrie Ann calls it hot and Derek carries Joanna backstage. Joanna says her (bright yellow) outfit gave Len some sunshine, and Derek offers that Len had a bath at the last commercial break. Great scores: 8-8-8=24.

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel round out the individual round with a Viennese Waltz. Kelly wanted to do the show because no one thinks she can be a lady. Louis shows up to meet Kelly and Ozzie answers the door, mumbles at Louis and yells for Sharon. Kelly says that the best way to describe herself as a dancer is “crap.” Louis says he will turn the tomboy into a princess. She starts out really well, at least with posture and head position. He feet seem to get mixed up here and there but c’mon, it’s the first night! They’re not holding a whole lot and Len will have a fit and – uh oh, Louis lifts her so here comes Carrie Ann and the lift police! Sharon Osbourne is crying and Kelly runs over to kiss her parents. Bruno cannot believe his eyes - “the rock princess transformed into a vision of grace in a Waltz of impeccable style.” Carrie Ann says it was beautiful, that the technique Louis taught her was great - but she saw the lift! Len will be very brief: “It was the best Viennese Waltz of the night.” (So much for my thoughts about Len’s opinion!) Kelly gets backstage and sniffles too, saying it was the most fun she’s had in her life. Their scores: 7-8-8=23.

The Relay Dances are coming next. Natalie, Kathy, Joanna and Debi will be doing the Foxtrot first. Natalie and Dmitri are first up and while Natalie is looking sultry, that can end up looking evil (she’ll be good in the Tango or Paso Doble!) Kathy and Tony are next and Kathy looks very elegant. Joanna & Derek come up next and look pretty good. Debi & Maks finish up this Relay and Maks lifts her at the end (will Carrie Ann have fits again?) Carrie Ann begins by snarking about the lift, but telling Maks it was a good place to put it because she can’t take off any points for it. She calls Joanna sexy and elegant, Kathy’s footwork was a little small for her height, Natalie was excellent, and Debi was “muscling” it. Len tells Natalie she had great extension, Kathy has to try and move a little more, Joanna with a good mix in hold and not, and complimented Maks on his bravery of using holds. Bruno tells Natalie she has great fluidity, Kathy is very elegant, Joanna is still smoky, and Debi is a great performer but “control your energy.” The judges rank the couples: Kathy & Tony in 4th, Debi & Maks in 3rd, Natalie & Alec get 2nd, and Joanna & Derek get first place and 10 points.

The Cha Cha Relay is next, with Kelly, Macy, Mya, and Melissa. Mya looks like she’s a natural for this one. Melissa looks like her hips are gonna leave her. Macy & Jonathan are first, and Macy’s shoulders just kill it. (Not only their position but their size. Cover those babies up!!) Melissa and Mark come next and Melissa’s doing much better. Mya and Dmitry look pretty hot, she’s got the hip action! Kelly is moving pretty darn good - something I certainly didn’t expect! (Whoops, a little miss there at the end!) Len begins by telling Macy that her busy schedule has caught up with her, and Melissa had a much higher level of performance. He compliments Dmitry for his content and Mya’s great hips, and tells Kelly that she’s produced two first-class dances. Bruno tells Macy she had better timing with the Cha Cha and Melissa - “it’s good having fun, isn’t it?” He loved Mya’s footwork and then tells Kelly he still can’t believe what he’s seeing. Carrie Ann tells Macy she needs to work harder on capturing the essence. She says Melissa came out of her shell, and Mya was fantastic, and tells Kelly she had fantastic footwork. The couples’ ranks: 4th are Macy & Jonathan, Melissa & Mark get second, Kelly & Louis get 2nd and Mya & Dmitry get first.

So, after all the scoring, here are the women’s standings:

Joanna & Derek 24 + 10 = 34
Kelly & Louis - 23 + 8 = 31
Mya & Dmitry 21 + 10 = 31
Natalie & Alec 19 + 8 = 27
Melissa & Mark 18 + 6 = 24
Debi & Maks - 16 + 6 = 22
Kathy & Tony 16 + 4 = 20
Macy & Jonathan 15 + 4 = 19

So has everyone voted? Who do you see as the early favorites? Who’s going home? We’ll see on Wednesday night!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dancing With the Stars is Back!!!!

The set looks great, Tom and Samantha look great, the band sounds good, and our three wonderful judges are there and......

LIVE! FROM HOLLYWOOD! IT'S DANCING WITH THE STARS!

The sixteen couples come down the stairs, looking happy & excited. Another season has begun!

Tonight, the men will do all the dancing with their professional female partners. They will have to dance two dances, a ballroom and a Latin. The professional men open the show, dancing to "The Boys are Back in Town: and I LOVE IT! They're so hot and I really missed seeing the great dancing.

First up will be Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff, dancing the Cha Cha. Being young, Aaron is this year's Cody, goofing off instead of learning. He says "It's tough to concentrate with such a hottie as a teacher!" Their dance is pretty good for a first night - Aaron is fluid and can move, and forget the little bobble at the end. Len calls it a great start, "even though it was a little stiff." Bruno said that while he was "all over the place" it was sharp and edgy. Carrie Ann laughed that "little Aaron Carter is all grown up!" She added that it was great even though his feet got "a little funky." Their scores are pretty darn good for a first night: 7-8-7=22.

Next up are UFC Fighter Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya. They will dance the Fox Trot and I'd like to see Anna get this hulk to look smooth. Chuck wants to prove that fighters are not neanderthals and scary - but then he starts dancing and yes, that's scary. His facial expression makes him look like he's in major pain, very stiff. Anna will have her work cut out for her with this one! Bruno says the audience liked the "gentle neanderthal and Russian Princess" but it was very rough with poor footwork. Carrie Ann said it was not graceful but yet "smooth and charming." Len told Chuck not to get his hopes up, but it was much better than he thought it would be. Len advised Chuck to get in touch with his feminine side (that I gotta see!!) Backstage with Samantha, Sam suggested that maybe the judges were scared of Chuck, and Anna piped up that "they should be, he can really hurt people." Their scores: 6-5-5=16.


Iron Chef host Mark Dascascos and Lacey Schwimmer will dance next. Mark says "I was ecstatic that I could dance with Lacey." Lacey says that Mark is super flexible and should do well in the Cha Cha. Mark says he can apply his martial arts discipline to his dancing. Cute, they dance to "Kung Fu Fighting." He actually is pretty fluid and looks good! Lacey has choreographed some martial arts moves into the dance, and Len won't be pleased, I bet. Lacey the rabble rouser starts already! Carrie Ann loves the Asian theme and sees a lot of potential but sees the arms going strange. (She makes some weird sound effect to go with her description, and I can't even begin to spell it!) Len "isn't a great fan of gimmicks and doesn't want to see Kung Fu in every dance." He says Mark had good hip action, though. Bruno says the tricks made him lose timing, but the talent is there "so be careful." Backstage Mark says he's used to protecting himself with martial arts, and Lacey "wants me to show my man boobs" which cracks everybody up. (Mark, "man boobs" are only on those guys that are chubby....you have a very nice chest!) Good scores: 7-7-7=21.

George Hamilton is in the audience to watch his son Ashley dance with Edyta Slawinska. Edyta danced with George back when George was on the show. Edyta says that he looks like great ballroom material but it didn't take long to figure out otherwise. Ashley explains that he had brain surgery and his left side is not as cooperative as his right. He's not bad, but he's pretty stiff (I guess that's the theme for the night) and he's dropping his shoulders a bit. (I sound like I know what I'm talking about! Am I turning into a Dancing elitist?) Len says the basic steps and his footwork was correct, but with a roughness about it. Bruno says he has good looks, charm, but total lack of showmanship. He calls the dance "dead." (My my, Bruno's really not pulling any punches this season!) Carrie Ann says that they look great together, but Ashley needs to define himself - "knock 'em dead" during his Salsa later. Edyta says that Ashley was in a wheelchair for a year and a half and is now dancing the Foxtrot, so she's very proud. Lousy scores: 5-6-4=15. Tom quips that "based on the look on Alana's face (Ashley's mom) Bruno will be in a wheelchair before long."

Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson will dance a Fox Trot. Donny has been dared by his sister Marie to come in higher than her third-place finish. He wants to prove that Marie isn't the only dancer in the family. They dance to "All That Jazz" and Donny actually looks pretty good! He looks like he's having fun, and his footwork isn't bad. After the dance he runs over and kisses a blonde in the audience, which I assume is his wife. Bruno says he can "play an audience like a fiddle," but his shoulders dropped and his holds were not great. Carrie Ann says he'll be a fan favorite but he has to watch his holds. Len said too theatrical and "too much razzmatazz - you need more ballroom." Tom reminds everyone that there should be "no Kung Fu and not much razzmatazz." Scores: 7-6-7=20.

Snowboarder Louie Vito will dance with Chelsie Hightower. He's never danced and never even watched the show - so he has no idea what he's getting into. He's dancing the Fox Trot and really looks geeky in his long baggy shorts. Chelsie is being a tough teacher and hopefully it will work! Louie looks like he's really trying with his posture - he has a really great smile, too! Carrie Ann called it a "little surprise" (Louie is a short guy, like 5'7") and says that it looks like he's never danced before - but that he really respected the dance and gave an honest effort. She liked the "joy" but said he has to wear his heels all the time to get used to them. Len tells Louie that "your hair may be all right for messing about in the snow but it's not what you expect for ballroom dancing." (He is a bit shaggy). But, apart from the little bobble on the "feather step" his technique was good, the hold and posture was good also. Bruno said it was like "watching a little dancing Hobbitt." (Is he getting snippy or what?) He thought it lacked fluidity, but Louie has the potential to be really, really good. Their scores: 6-7-6=19.


Michael Ervin, the former Dallas Cowboy, will be dancing with Anna Demidova, our new pro. He's dancing this year because of Jerry Rice - saying that he's been in competition with Rice forever (they were both wide receivers in the NFL). He pins a picture of Jerry Rice (from Jerry's Freestyle dance in the Afro wig) in the practice room for inspiration. Michael says Rice got a 21 on his Cha Cha, and all he has to do is get a 22. He talks to himself in the mirror a lot - saying "Michael, what were you thinking?" When Anna tells him that "Jerry did it" it's good motivation. He looks like he's having fun, but he's not doing a lot of Cha Cha steps. (Oooh! Gilles is in the audience!) Len said it wasn't a great first dance. Anna needs to put more content in, and Michael has to be slicker. Bruno said Michael has a great presence, but the Cha Cha was poor - no footwork, no content. Tom asks Bruno if any cash changed hands between him and Jerry Rice. Carrie Ann tells Michael he beats Jerry Rice's charisma but tells Anna there was a lack of content, that she has to push Michael a little harder. Does he beat Jerry Rice's 21? 5-4-4=13 - no way!!!! (I really didn't think it was THAT bad!)

Tom DeLay, former House Majority Leader and butthead (and I'm conservative but he really was an idiot), will dance with Cheryl Burke. Poor Cheryl, I really love her and she'll be outta there quick.....she's trying to teach Tom the Cha Cha, and he's looking like a total dork. He's a conservative, and Cheryl is telling him to shake his hips left - but quips that "going to the left for me is totally impossible." Cheryl actually does a really good job with him - she is a great teacher and choreographer, even if her partner is an old fat politician! He looks like he's lost weight from the initial meeting and actually looks like he's having fun. Bruno yells that Tom is Acrazier than Sarah Palin" and tells him that the little Cha Cha he did wasn't bad, but he isn't sure about the rest. Carrie Ann calls it surreal, saying that Tom has a natural grace and he's "rocking it for the older crowd." Len says that "parts were magic, and parts were tragic." He says the Cha Cha parts were very good - but "all that other stuff wasn't up my alley." DeLay shakes his booty again and everyone laughs (I got a little queasy). Their scores: 6-5-5=16. Maybe he won't be the first to go after all!

A new thing now - the Relay Dance. They are splitting up the couples into groups of four, and the judges will rank them, giving them 10 for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, and last place gets 4 points. Chuck, Donny, Ashley and Louie will dance the Salsa Relay. Ashley and Edyta are first and Ashley has no shake whatsoever. Chuck looks pretty good compared to the first dance. Donny kicks butt, looking good! Louie comes out doing flips but I'm not sure about the Salsa moves. Ask me, I think Donny's got this one, then Louie, then Chuck, then Ashley. Carrie Ann says Donny "smoked them." As I paused the TiVo to type this, I see Chuck glaring at Donny like he's going to eat him or something! She tells Chuck he knows how to "work a woman." Len offers that Ashley's dance was "a dance only a father could love," saying that they key to the Salsa is rhythm, and that's what Donny had. Bruno said Donny was shaking like something - his accent got in the way of understanding. Looks like I'm right, Donny won this round. The judges say that 4th place is Ashley, Chuck is in 3rd, Louie in third, and Donny gets first. (I wish I was this good at lottery numbers!)


The rest of the guys - Aaron, Mark, Tom and Michael - will be dancing the Viennese Waltz Relay. Aaron complains about getting dizzy. Mark says that the Viennese Waltz is so stiff, it should suit Tom DeLay better. (Hee hee! I really like this guy. Very affable). Aaron looks good going first, but his face is pretty dumb. Mark messes up at the beginning - actually through the whole thing. Missteps, not food. Tom looks pretty good but he's just not fluid. Michael does okay, I guess. Hmmm. Aaron first, then maybe Michael, and it's a tossup between Tom and Mark, but just because Mark messed up. Len says that Tom's Waltz was a little bit "skippy" and that Mark attempted a "fleckle - which I commend you for." (I checked it out and found out it's Fleckerl, and it's when the partners come out to the middle of the floor and spin in place. There we go, kiddies, our lesson for the day!) Bruno loved Aaron's rotation and the way he worked the floor. He said Mark's lines were great but Tom was skippy. Michael was "better." Carrie Ann said that Michael and Anna were much better, and Aaron had very nice lines. She told Mark he has potential but needs to breathe. She told Tom he was elegant. The judges rank them: 4th place are Tom and Cheryl, 3rd are Michael and Anna, 2nd Mark and Lacey, giving Aaron and Karina first place.

So, an interesting evening to begin the season. One would have expected Ashley Hamilton to dance much better, but he's not all that - and Donny Osmond sure surprised me. I don't think Michael Ervin will beat Jerry Rice, and I'm not sure that Tom DeLay will be the first to go either.

What do you think? Did you vote? The girls go on Tuesday, we'll see what they can do!

The rankings after the judges' scores:

Aaron & Karina - 22=10=32
Donny & Kym - 20+10=30
Mark & Lacey - 21+8=29
Louie & Chelsie - 19+8=27
Chuck & Anna T. - 16+6=22
Tom & Cheryl - 16+4=20
Ashley & Edyta - 15+4=19
Michael & Anna D. - 13+6=19

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Brother 11 Season Finale Coming Soon

Just a reminder that Season 11 of Big Brother on CBS is coming to a close. We have a related site, The Big Brother Blog, where our writers have been doing recaps and providing commentary on Big Brother episodes since season 8.

Big Brother has been a huge ratings success this summer, one of the few shows to gain viewers after many years on air. CBS has already renewed the show and announced that Big Brother 12 is coming summer 2010.

You can also check out the last few days of Big Brother 11 with Big Brother Live Feeds.

If you use the banner below, you can get a 3 Day Free Trial. Keep in mind the show ends in just a few days. You might be interested in watching the final days 24/7 and uncensored.


Watch Big Brother 11 on SuperPass. Can't see on TV

Ellen Degeneres Will Be a Better American Idol Judge than Paula Abdul

In case you haven't heard, Ellen Degeneres will be the new judge on American Idol this season. She is effectively replacing Paula Abdul. Gossip sites said Paula Abdul was seeking more than $10 million per season. Rumor was that AI execs offered a 3 year contract somewhere in the low 8 figures. Paula was making a couple million a season and was offered a couple million increase. Ryan Seacrest was a signed for a lot more, and Simon was making more in one episode than Paula made all season. She says it's not about the money. Maybe it's not. Either way, Paula is gone. Will Paula be the next Brian Dunkleman? Not exactly. She may not find another seasonal job that will pay 8 figures over the next few seasons, but at least she cashed in before she left.

With Ellen on board, however, I think American Idol fans will miss Paula only slightly more than Brian Dunkleman. Why? Ellen Degeneres will be that much better. While Paula had incredible success as a dancer, choreographer, and lip-syncher, she didn't bring much to the table as a judge of talent. Her critiques had minimal substance, and she brought little as a fan or an industry insider. Fans watched Paula for the trainwreck factor. Was she going to be loopy tonight? Or would it be the boring uncritical Paula?

This is why hiring Ellen Degeneres makes so much sense. She's not a singer. She's not a music industry veteran. OK. When was the last time Paula Abdul was considered a singer or used any of her experience in her role as a judge? Ellen will be the "fan" judge, which is essentially what Paula had become. Paula was everyone's fan and rarely a critic. Yet, even as a fan, she rarely said or did anything exciting.

Ellen brings a new personality and has great comedic timing. I think she can bring a lot to American Idol as the "fan" judge. She will never be accused of using tranquilizers on air. What she lacks in a critical musical ear and technical singing knowledge she will more than make up for in performance. Who needs another boring singer or musician anyway?

WARNING: Big Brother Spoilers!

We watch the current season of Big Brother on CBS, Big Brother After Dark, and the Feeds. We watch all Big Brother 18 coverage and DVR it and watch it again. There will be posts about things we have seen from watching Big Brother 24/7. If you are a casual viewer of the CBS show-only or do not want to read any spoilers, do not read our posts dealing with After Dark and the Live Feeds.