Monday, May 10, 2010

Five Couples Try to Dance Their Way Into the Semi Finals

Five couples left! Who will make it to the Semi Finals? We’ll find out if they can handle the pressure .... LIVE!!!!!

Hmmmm, interesting dress on Brooke tonight. Love the color but hate Brooke...she can wear horizontal stripes and not look fat.

Tonight’s dances include our couples having to embrace an era for one dance- 50's, 60's, 80's, 90's or the future. Hey! What’s wrong with the 70s? That was my era and it was pretty damn neat if you ask me! The “gang of nitpickers” will get even nitpickier tonight since it will get the couples in to the semi-finals.

What do the pros think about the stars? Erin has long legs, but doesn’t trust Maks enough. Evan has the grace for ballroom dancing, but he needs chemistry with Anna. Chad has great posture and frame but needs to do more movement. Nicole is one of the best ballroom dancers on DWTS, but she tries to reinvent the wheel. Niecy is elegant but needs to be lighter on her feet and focus on her technique to shut Len up. (That from Maks, who else?)

Chad & Cheryl are up first in the Ballroom Round with the Tango. Chad wants to see a 10 paddle. Cheryl never knows what she’ll get when Chad comes to rehearsal - sometimes he’s playful and others far too serious. She tells him and he says if he was normal he’d be like everyone else. He’s going to get serious now if he expects to win. They’ll dance the Tango first, and he starts great - he’s got the persona, and his movements are pretty good. It seems as if he’s slouching a little, like he thinks he’s too tall for Cheryl. His butt is sticking out! Len says learning one dance in a week is tough, but learning two in a week really shows the imperfections because there’s no time to get the details (uh, oh, sounds like it won’t be good!) He had good movement but it needed more refinement. Bruno tells Chad he went for the emotional involvement, but the dance had to be “slicker.” Carrie Ann loved the intensity and attack, but his posture was funky. In the Celebraquarium Brooke asks Chad where his head is at, and he says he’s treating this as his own personal playoffs - “win or go home.” Their scores are okay: 7-7-7=21.

Before the commercial, we see the pros saying that Evan needs to let go a little - Anna tells him he can seem cold. Erin is not trusting Maks - again. Nicole is putting too much pressure on herself and is crying during rehearsal.

Niecy & Louis will dance a Viennese Waltz. She’s up at 4:30 a.m. and gets to work about 5:30 for hair and makeup, and begins taping around 7:30 a.m. She’s exhausted by the time she gets to Louis at 11:30 a.m. Louis is explaining that her head needs to lean a certain way and her body will stretch correctly, because the head is the heaviest part of the body. Niecy tells him there are other parts of her body that are heavier. Louis says she never complains about how tired she is. Their Waltz is to “I’ve Got You Babe” and it’s great choreography - but Niecy isn’t all that light on her feet. It is fairly graceful, though. At the end, Louis spins her to the floor and then kind of drags her in circles. Bruno says he knows the Viennese Waltz should cover the floor, but he “doesn’t know about polishing it.” The beginning was very pretty, but the way she was swinging her arms looked at times like she was swatting wasps. (Ever the Italian, Bruno is waving his arms as he says this, and Len is ducking.) As he’s getting soundly booed, Bruno gets louder and says “it was a tiny thing in an otherwise good performance.” Carrie Ann says there was a little too much “push and pull” and the transitions weren’t there. Len is pleasantly surprised - it was floaty, her posture was good - although her arms did look like she was taking lessons from Harold Wheeler (the band leader). Niecy asks Len about “holding up her carriage” and Len says she held it so high he’s surprised she could hear the music. Niecy squeals and Louis laughs. Brooke asks her how she keeps up her energy and humor with as hard as she works, and she pats Louis’ cheek saying she laughs at him - “he doesn’t even know how hysterical he is.” Louis says he went from snacks to caffeine because it’s the only thing that keeps Niecy awake. Their scores: 7-8-8=23. (I don’t know if they were better than Chad & Cheryl, but.....I’m not a judge. Although I play one at my keyboard!)

Next are Erin & Maks with an Argentine Tango. She hated being in the Bottom Two - she felt sick onstage. Maks tells her they can’t let that bother them. They’re rehearsing and Maks grabs her, and Erin yells “ow!” and tells him it looks like she’s humping a fire hydrant. He’s trying to teach her to jump off the raised stage and she’s scared - she’s six feet with her heels and doesn’t “jump off stairs for a living.” Maks doesn’t know what goes through her head. He just wants her to be unafraid for one minute and thirty seconds, and then she can go back to being afraid. Wow, that jump is something - she lands on Maks’ shoulder with one leg on either side of him. He lowers Erin into a backbend and it’s painful to watch, but a great move. It’s a great dance, and they high-five at the end of it. Carrie Ann gets to begin, and grabs Len and kisses his cheek. She says “that was so hot!” It showcased her assets, and she was committed to the character. Len comments “Erin. You dirty, dirty girl. I absolutely loved it!” Bruno says Maks is a lucky fire hydrant. He didn’t know Erin could “be so bendy.” He says she was on fire. As usual, they manhandle Tom before they scoot off for the Celebraquarium. Brooke congratulates Erin on the jump and asks how Maks helped her face her fears. In her best Russian Maks voice, she said he just told her “come on, woman, just do it!” Here come the scores: 9-10-9=28. They got a 10 from Len!

Tom comes back after commercial and says Len just asked for Carrie Ann’s number. (Heehee!)

Evan & Anna are up next to dance a Waltz. After getting a perfect score last week, Evan decides it’s time to relax a little and takes Anna ice skating. He tells her “that’s horrible frame” as she skates by, but Anna says it will be one of her best memories, being coached by an Olympic gold medalist. Back in their dancing shoes, Anna tells Evan she wants it to be the most romantic Waltz - and there’s no hip action, which thrills Evan. Anna is having problems with Evan and his “sensitivity.” She keeps telling him “this is not technical.” Will she be able to coax the romantic out of him? They begin the dance lying on the floor, and Anna rolls over on top of Evan. He seems to be doing well, but sometimes his eyes are staring off more into the distance rather than gazing longingly at Anna. Very pretty dance, let’s see if it was romantic enough. Len isn’t sure if he liked it or not - of course, he didn’t like the “roly poly stuff on the floor” but Evan’s posture was great, his footwork is good. Bruno says the beginning was like “Romeo and Juliet reawakened.” Bruno tells Evan his lyrical lines of his top half is something to behold. Carrie Ann says his lines are impeccable - but when she looks closer, Evan has to lose himself in the moment. Brooke asks if Evan is having problems with the emotional parts of it, being more of a technical person. He said it was easy when he looked at Anna’s “big green” eyes but when he looked away he thought “step, step, step.” Their scores: 9-9-9=27. As Brooke tells the audience how to vote, Anna silently tells the audience with her hands to call or text, and Tom tells us that Anna will be doing street mime during the week.

Nicole & Derek round off the Ballroom Round with a Foxtrot. Derek listens to Nicole’s creative ideas. Derek says no matter how well Nicole has performed, she’s still learning how to dance. Nicole tells Derek that if anyone says she’s a dancer and it comes naturally to her, they should come and watch her rehearse. Derek thinks she’s putting herself under too much pressure because she’s done so well, and Nicole feels overwhelmed and tired. This Foxtrot is a little perky, and it’s pretty nice! It’s really different than the in-hold soft dance, they’re dancing to “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and it’s perky and fun. Wonder if Len will complain about all the messin’ about. Bruno calls it “one and a half minutes of pure dancing joy.” He loved the creativity and calls it a “jewel created by a master.” (Great, give Derek more fodder to make his head bigger. But it was really good!) Carrie Ann says it’s nice to see Nicole smile again. They’re not phoning it in, which they could do with their skills, but they’re challenging themselves. Len said they took a Foxtrot and a Michael Buble song (wonderfully sung, and the audience gives the band applause) and turned it into a love story. The lack of body contact “spoiled it a bit for me” but Len loved the dance. After the commercial we go right to the scores: 10-9-10=29. Nicole tells Brooke there’s a fine line between putting too much pressure on herself and taking it easy.

Tom introduces a sample of what the Latin round might look like, trying to dance in a certain decade. A champion dancing couple, Gary & Rita Geckman, will dance their futuristic number that got them disqualified from the 2006 World Championships for being “too edgy.” Interesting. They dance a bit of Foxtrot, some Quickstep, a little Cha Cha....all with silver- painted faces, hands and hair.

The pros talk about our stars dancing Latin. Maks says the biggest part of Latin dancing is the emotional input. Chad’s smile is the best for Latin, but because he’s so tall he looks uncomfortable. Niecy has a bubbly personality, but lacks strength sometimes. Evan’s movements are crystal clear, but sometimes everything is bleached out and it’s more mechanical. Erin has the chemistry with Maks, but she gets sloppy in Latin and needs to tighten up. Nicole is an amazing Latin dancer, she’s got the body for it and knows how to use it. She’s too judgmental of herself and puts too much pressure on herself.

Chad & Cheryl pick the 1960's to do their Jive. Cheryl says the 60's Chad is all about the ladies and throwing his cash around. Like he does naturally. He tries to tell Cheryl to get her “pimp hands” going, and she says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Chad says “I don’t either, but it sounds good.”

Before they dance, we see the other couples picking their eras. Evan & Anna get the future, and Evan does a cute robot voice asking “do you want to Cha Cha?” Maks insists he’s not dancing like they did in the 80's. Derek is freaking out, because they will dance a Paso Doble, and they picked the 50's, and “the 50's are all happy and bubbly, and the Paso is more tough. It’s not gonna work!”

We finally get to see Chad & Cheryl’s 60's Jive. It’s bouncy, and fun, and Chad looks goofy in his red velvet pimp suit with leopard trim. Len says it was high energy, fun, and there weren’t a lot of kicks, but that was okay because “the few kicks you did were terrible.” Bruno said “you definitely pimped that Jive.” He thinks it’s great to see Chad smile, because it changes the whole dance. Carrie Ann thought it was great, very groovy - but the energy was a little wild at times. She did think it was Chad’s best dance yet. Cheryl tells Brooke that Chad is improving every week. Their scores: 8-8-8=24, and they like it that they’re better than the first scores. Chad tells us he keeps working on his posture, and maybe he’ll have to borrow someone else’s.

Niecy & Louis get to dance a 90's Paso Doble. Niecy is struggling with the attitude of the dance, because “I’m an easy, breezy girl.” Louis tells her it’s Paso Doble, and Niecy realizes she’s giving him Saturday Night Fever. Louis thinks Niecy will be fine, because the 90's was the “era of the diva.” Louis is messing with her hair a little, and Niecy tells him “black women don’t like their hair touched.” During the opening sequence of their dance it seems as if Niecy is off the beat and looking down. She really isn’t good at the attitude, she looks like she’s trying so hard to look tough. Bruno calls her a “scary mama.” He thinks she may have thrown herself into the dance like an avalanche - “you never know if it’s going to end up in disaster.” She looked unsteady. Carrie Ann says she gives Niecy a lot of credit, because they’re always telling her to give us more, and this was her most ambitious routine yet. She thought the beginning was out of whack, and they were like “bumper cars.” Len said Niecy got through the routine, but it isn’t good enough at week 8. He thinks everyone has a dance that doesn’t suit them, and the Paso Doble is Niecy’s. Their scores aren’t great: 7-6-7=20. Brooke asks her what she brings to the dance floor is her joy and she’s comfortable in her skin - she’s throwing it all around. Louis says “after those scores, we need some votes.”

Erin & Maks will try a 1980's Rumba. Erin will wear the Flashdance sweater and Maks is complaining that he can’t dance looking like Don Johnson - loafers with no socks. She thinks her arms are long and skinny and doesn’t like them. Maks tells her that she thinks she’s not good and pretty, but “that’s your problem.” Wow! Maks lowers Erin into sideways splits - and then flips her around. Maks was right, though, she looks sharp in some spots. Carrie Ann tells her that she should be up there with Nicole and Evan, and it’s only because she doubts herself that she’s not. She moves beautifully. Len thought it was great at the beginning, but the whole thing was jerky and she needs to smooth it out. But he liked it. Bruno thinks “you two make great music together.” He says it had a spiky, bitchy Madonna feel to it. Maks goes over and puts his white jacket on Bruno’s shoulders as Bruno tells Erin that her extension is getting better and she should be in the Finals. Erin likes her outfit, saying she’s channeling Edyta with the leg warmers. Their scores: 8-8-9=25. The whole interview with Brooke was pretty stilted and ridiculous.

Evan & Anna will show us their futuristic Cha Cha. Evan is thinking Wall-E. Anna is telling Evan to do a hip movement, and Evan says “maybe my hips will be better in the future.” The beginning of their dance is hidden in the smoke. Not sure Len’s gonna like this one, there’s not a whole lot of Cha Cha. Len thinks Evan had a bit of luck, because his Latin dances are lacking, but he comes out tonight as a robot and doesn’t have to be loose. Again, Len is confused. Bruno says he’s not confused, it’s “Mr. Spock meets Barbarella in Cha Cha Trek, the Next Generation.” He thought it was very creative, and he liked it. Carrie Ann thought he was much more committed to his character. She thought it was lucky that Evan got the futuristic dance, because the stiff movements worked well. Their scores: 9-8-9=26. Anna looks disappointed.

You’ve been warned! DanceCenter will be back tomorrow night, with Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice, and Len. Tom says they’re prepping for it, and we see them in toilet stalls with their pants around their ankles. Well, we see what we can see with the door closed.

Nicole & Derek will show us what a 50's Paso Doble looks like. Nicole was really excited about doing a Paso Doble, and Derek is having problems incorporating the 50's and it’s “im-paso-bley.” Cute. Not! It’s really a great dance, though. It’s tough, and kinda looks “West Side Story-ish.” Nicole looks incredible in this dance! Bruno yells “it’s Lucy and the Rebel!” It’s a feisty, passionate performance. Carrie Ann is cracking up that she doesn’t know what to say. “How can you match the 50's with a Paso?” She calls it brilliant. Len said he was nice about her Foxtrot and it’s not like him to be nice about two dances in one night. So, he was very disappointed that there was nothing he could see to criticize. I see three 10's coming here, and I really think they deserve it! It was a great dance! Brooke asks if Nicole would enjoy practice more this week, and Nicole says yes. Derek thought it would be tough but Nicole is a great inspiration. Their scores are as good as I expect: 10-10-10=30.

59 - Nicole & Derek
53 - Evan & Anna
53 - Erin & Maks
45 - Chad & Cheryl
43 - Niecy & Louis

Make sure you vote and keep your favorites in this competition! We’ll find out who goes home tomorrow!

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