So You Think You Can Dance 5: Los Angeles and Seattle Auditions by WriterMarie426

May 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Hi Everyone,

We have another treat for you tonight, our own WriterMarie 426 has recapped the last batch of auditions for us, enjoy.

Good evening again dance fans, and welcome to the third and final audtion show of So You Think You Can Dance – Season 5. Our cities for today are Los Angeles and Seattle.

It’s our first day in LA, and our judges are Nigel, Mary, and Adam Shankman, who has judged and choreographed for SYTYCD before, and also choreographed the latest movie version of Hairspray. Last year’s winner, Joshua, is present for today’s auditions.

First up is Bianca, who almost made the Top 20 last season. Her mom flew in all the way from Michigan just to show her support. Bianca performs a classic tap routine, and receives a standing ovation from the audience and all 3 judges. Nigel likes her use of light and shade, calling her the consummate tap dancer. Mary says she is brilliant and the best female tapper that’s ever been on the show. Adam calls her a monster competitor and looks forward to big things from her. Bianca is going to Vegas!

Brynelle and Xavier are dancing next, and they are a brother and sister who say they have the best relationship and it shows in their dancing. Their routine is very dramatic, but they dance more like a couple than like siblings. They have some problems with their lifts. Nigel says this is the strangest brother and sister act he’s ever seen, and tells Brynelle that she dances like a little girl would. Mary says there was no base and no technique. Adam sees no power in the jumps and the extensions are not there. Neither of them is moving on to the next round.

We get to see Debra, who is a plus size dancer, but also is struggling with being an extreme Orthodox Jew…they do not allow dancing on the Sabbath or women dancing in front of men. Nigel likes her routine, but tells her she needs to use the right lines for her body type. Mary says she should never stop dancing, because she loves it. Adam tells her that he is closest to God when he dances, and God does not make mistakes, so even though it would not be her profession she should dance because it is her passion. Debra is not moving on to the next round.

After Debra we are shown several clips of some very strange auditions. The judges are getting frustrated.

Then comes Calico, who loves swing dancing. She says she is inspired by the man who invented the Lindy Hop, because he is 95 years old and still dancing. She performs with a partner, but he is not competing. Nigel says it was enjoyable, and it makes him want to dance with her. Mary believes that Calico should just dance on a social level. Adam says there was no presentation, but he would also love to dance with her. She invites him to come up and do just that! Adam performs the same dance with her that she just did, and he is awesome! Nigel and Mary call Adam to the mic, where past contestants judge him…they tell him he’s going to Vegas. Adam jumps up and down and acts like a real contestant. I just love it!

After Adam’s big moment we watch Asuka and Ricky, who perform International Latin Ballroom. They love the fact that because they are Asian they stand out at competitions. Asuka almost made it to the top 20 last time, and they are back to try again. Nigel loves their dance, saying that it’s hard to take your eyes off off Asuka, but Ricky held his own. Mary calls it absolutely breathtaking, and likes that he is grounded and masculine. Adam says Asuka is very special, but he loves Ricky too. Both of them are going to Vegas!

Later in the day, there are quite a few good dancers, which makes the judges very happy. Then they see Nathan, who quit dancing in eighth grade because people made fun of him. His brother talked him into dancing again because he knows Nathan loves it. Nathan performs a stunning modern ballet routine. Adam calls him impressive, and loves his great center and technique. Mary says he is extrordinary. Nigel likes his great control and says he is brilliant. Then he asks how old Nathan is…he is only 17. This means he is not eligible for the competition yet, but Nigel gives him a ticket to Vegas to hold onto for next season, because he is that good!

We move right on to Day 2, beginning with a wrestler named Sammy. The man who taught him to pop and lock is now in prison, and Sammy hopes his teacher will be able to see him dance on TV. Adam calls his routine awesome, praising his great stops. Mary says he is wonderful. Nigel loves his beaming smile. Sammy is sent to the choreography round.

Next up is Stacey, who does a very strange number for her audition. Adam says he’s never seen anything that looks like that. Mary calls it too crazy. It is decided that she is not moving on to the next round.

After Stacey we meet Amanda, whose dad has had MS for 13 years, but he’s been symptom free for the last six. He gets a lot of joy from seeing Amanda dance. She performs a very expressive contemporary routine. Nigel says he is grabbed more by her beauty than her dance. Mary praises her strong center and says she is extremely talented. Adam asks her about her dad, then tells her to use those feelings to connect with the dance. Amanda is going to Vegas!

Next are Phillip and Arielle. Phillip made it to Vegas last time, but he came down with pneumonia and couldn’t perform. When Nigel sees him, he automatically gives him a ticket to Vegas without him even auditioning this time. We do see him dance though, since he is partnered with Arielle. The judges say they will only be judging her dance since Phillip is already moving on. We find out that Arielle and her parents were in a car accident where they were hit by a semi. She and her dad were OK, but her mom spent a long time in ICU. Phillip would take her to the hospital to visit her mom, and once she was finally in a wheelchair she taught them the choreography in 3 days, focusing on showing Phillip how to partner. Nigel likes the great choreography. Mary calls it clever and says she is a good dancer. Adam says she is a beautiful dancer and she brought out an even better dancer in Phillip. Arielle is also going to Vegas!

After the judges see quite a few great dancers, along comes Kevin, who is channeling Shakira. He even goes by the nickname of Shakiro. Nigel says comparing Kevin to Shakira would be insulting to her, and all he did was move his hips. Mary says he was not dancing, just shaking. Adam tells him to dance for fun, but that’s it. Kevin is not moving on to the next round.

Finally it’s time for the choreography round, and Sammy is among those who are moving on to Vegas.

We are down to Day 1 of our final audition city…Seattle, “The Emerald City”. Our judges are Nigel, Mary, and Mia, who’s been choreographing for SYTYCD for 4 seasons. She won an Emmy for Season 2.

First up today is Christopher, who brings a friend he’s known since seventh grade to help him audition. They call their style a mix of Argentine Tango, East Coast Swing, and International Tango. After their routine, Nigel doesn’t even know what to say, but finally manages to tell Chris that it looked like he was dancing with an ironing board. Mary cannot stop laughing, and tells them it was not good dancing. Mia calls it strange. Christopher is not moving on to the next round.

Our next competitor is Nick, who goes by “Nasty Nick”. He is an aspiring tattoo artist. He does a fast routine with some breakdancing, but stops before he should because he ran out of energy. Nigel asks him about his stamina and Nick gets very disrespectful with him. Mary tells him that he was a yes for her, but since he showed such disrespect to Nigel it’s now a no. Mia agrees with Mary. Nick apologizes, but he is still not moving on to the next round.

After this fiasco comes Dmitrious, who couldn’t wait to audition but now is losing his confidence. His routine consists mostly of a bunch of tricks. The judges are nervous that he is going to hurt himself. Mary says he does not have enough strength. Mia is scared, and couldn’t enjoy it. Nigel says there was nothing there. Dmitrious is not moving on to the next round.

As the day goes on, the judges get frustrated by the lack of good dancing and their energy begins to flag. Mary wishes everyone would stop playing it so safe and just go for it!

Finally they see Kelsea, with her dramatic contemporary routine. Nigel likes it, calling it zany. Mary loves the fun and musicality. Mia calls her a beautiful, disastrous weirdo, liking that she is refreshing and new. Kelsea is sent to the choreography round.

In the choreography round, only 4 people from this day make it to Vegas, and Kelsea is one of them.

Day 2 in Seattle starts with Kuponoh’i (which I hope I’m spelling right!) from Hawaii, and he wants to live up to his name, which means honesty. He dances an emotional routine with a chair. Mary is on the fence about him, saying he was strong but had some feminine moves. Mia says there is definitely something there and she has faith in him. Nigel likes him. Kupo is sent to the choreography round.

The judges are having a much better day, since they are seeing better talent than the day before. Then Nigel spots a familiar face. It’s David, who goes by the nickname of “Sex”. He auditioned in Season 2, and also every season since then.

Dancing next is Leonid, who is from the Ukraine and works on websites and data recovery. He jumps around a lot, moving fast and acting crazy. Nigel says it’s Leo’s personal rave party. Mary likens it to 3 and 4 year olds playing. Mia decides she’d like to see a battle between Leo and David. There is a strange dance-off between them, with the ladies deciding they like Leo better and Nigel actually disagreeing and going with David. He admires David’s tenacity and wants to send him to the choreography round hoping it will finally give him the reality check he needs. Mary finally agrees to that, but Mia does not. Leo is not moving on, but David is going to choreography.

In the choreography round, David is a mess and I feel sorry for the poor girl that wound up as his partner. David goes home, but Kupo is going to Vegas!

Get ready for next week, when our dancers hit Las Vegas. There are over 170 dancers that will be there, but the field will be cut to the Top 20. Good night everyone!

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So You Think You Can Dance 5: Miami and Memphis Auditions by WriterMarie 426

May 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

Marie has written us another fabulous audition recap tonight, enjoy!

Good evening everyone, and welcome to the second night of auditions for So You Think You Can Dance – Season 5. Tonight’s audition cities are Southern style…Miami and Memphis.

Our judges for the Miami auditions are Nigel, Mary, and Tyce, who was a contestant in Season 3. First up on Day 1 is Tony, who calls his rubber band type movements “Tony style”. He says that anything goes in dancing. He does his routine to “Footloose”, with a lot of sliding on the floor and a cartwheel, which he falls on. Tyce looks bored throughout the routine. Nigel says the only compliment he can give is that when Tony fell, he picked himself up and kept on making a fool of himself. Mary thinks he just looks like a goofy guy. Tyce says it’s quirky, but in a bad way. Tony is not moving on to the next round.

Our next dancer is Priscilla, who’s been dancing since she was 3 but had to deal with an injury at 15. She does a modern ballet number that is meant to celebrate life. Nigel likes it, saying that she proved she is a dancer. Mary says she was over the top wonderful and captivating. Tyce calls her stunningly beautiful, and says watching her makes him happy to be a dancer. Priscilla is going to Vegas!

Tony, who was having trouble breathing after his routine, is now able to leave after being fed a banana and some water.

Janette and Romulo are next. She made it almost to the end last season, but he did not make it. They both came back this season to audition again. They have a great ballroom style, filled with lots of tricks. Nigel says he’s been waiting for some spicy salsa in Miami…and he finally got it. Mary calls them sexy and strong, giving one of her famous screams. Tyce believes they are both amazing. Both Janette and Romulo are going to Vegas!

We now have a set of twins named Jennifer and Jessica, who have created their own style of hip-hop. During their routine, Mary gets nervous when one sister almost kicks the other in the head. Nigel calls it a nightmare. The girls tell him they made up their routine in one day…he says, “That long?” Mary says she’s finally seen something she’s never seen before. Tyce thinks it was fun but tragic. Neither twin is going on to the next round.

The afternoon drags with one bad dancer after another. Tyce reaches his breaking point, and starts being brutally honest with all of the contestants.

After this we see Joseph, who says he needs to go with the flow. He does a wonderful modern/hip-hop number. Nigel loves his humor and footwork. Mary calls him a great entertainer. Tyce says the comedy is good, but he is only half impressed. Joseph is sent to the choreography round.

Lauren choreographs for the group round once again, and Joseph makes it through to Vegas!

On Day 2 in Miami, we start with a lady named Wislande, who feels like she swallowed a bunch of butterflies. She winds up performing a very strange routine. Mary says she was not exactly sure what Wislande was doing up there. Nigel does not see any personality, likening her dancing to that of a little girl just starting out. Tyce says he was shocked and it was not good. Wislande is not moving on to the next round. She calls it a reality check.

We now see a whole group of bad dancers who get their own reality checks. All of the judges have now gone over to the brutally honest side.

Thankfully Erik is next, and his nickname is “Silky”. He says he is bringing tap back. He does his tap/hip-hop routine to “Thriller”, throwing in some Michael Jackson moves. Nigel says he just cleaned up and it was a great performance. Mary loves him, saying she didn’t want it to end. Tyce calls him totally inspiring and likes that he came prepared. Erik is going to Vegas!

Now we meet Paris, who is a former Miss Washington. She knows she really has to bring it. Her routine is ballet with a modern twist. Nigel says it kept him interested and she was fabulous. Mary praises her beautiful lines and great personality. Tyce really likes her, but tells her not to focus too much on her feet, and focus more on her personality. Paris is going to Vegas!

After we see clips from a few great contemporary auditions, we see Geo, who performs an African dance. He scares Mary when he almost jumps onto the judges’ table. Mary calls it entertaining. Tyce says he was scared, but Geo did a good job. Nigel says he is good but needs choreography. Geo is sent to the choreography round.

Finally we meet Talia, who got married when she was 18, but tragically lost her husband when he died in a motorcycle accident. Her dancing gives her a little joy, and helps her take a step forward. She realizes that no one can take life for granted. She does a great hip-hop/jazz routine. Nigel says there was not enough there and she should watch her lips. Mary calls her fiery and sees potential. Tyce says she was one with the music and there is definitely something there. Talia is sent to the choreography round.

In the choreography round, several dancers make it to Vegas, including Geo and Talia.

Our next set of auditions is in Memphis, and our judges are Nigel, Mary, and Lil C from Season 2. Our first dancer is a police officer named Marico, who performs a style called Memphis juking, which consists of rhythmic bounces and steps. Nigel really enjoys it. Lil C is impressed and calls it fundamentally sound. Mary likes the humor and says it’s a great performance. Marico is going to Vegas!

The second dancer up is Dustin, whose mom was a police officer. He also says his cousin is Howie D from the Backstreet Boys. His routine is funny but sloppy. Nigel calls him delusional if he thinks that was hip-hop. Mary says he has a strong body, but his moves are too feminine. Lil C says it was not good, but Dustin might want to consider tricking, which is a combination of fusion and martial arts. Dustin is not moving on to the next round.

Chris is next with a style he calls electric. He calls it performance art, but it looks mostly like a lot of jumping around. Nigel says it looks like Chris is having his own rave party, but it didn’t really show anything. Mary calls it fun, but also thinks it was too much jumping around. Lil C is ready to speak, but Chris doesn’t even want to hear it, because he says the judges are too critical. He walks off the stage.

We see a funny tutorial on The Guide to a Good Audition, which most of the contestants do not follow. They should start with their best moves, come dressed to impress, connect with the judges, and follow directions. We see quite a few people who do not follow this advice.

Next we see Caitlin, whose sister Megan auditioned in Miami and made it to Vegas. She has a gymnastic background but has only been dancing for 5 years. She has also been through hip reconstruction. She performs a beautiful modern ballet routine. Nigel praises her feet and great control. Mary says this is her destiny. Lil C calls her beautiful and captivating. Caitlin is going to join her sister in Vegas!

We see the choreography round, but none of our featured performers are in it. Some dancers do move on to Vegas.

Day 2 in Memphis begins with Anna, whose father committed suicide last year. Dancing is her outlet and her way of expressing herself. She does a very nice modern routine. Nigel says she is a lovely dancer, but she needs to calm the choreography down a bit. Mary says she is a diamond in the rough, but there was too much head bobbing going on. Lil C tells Anna that his father also committed suicide so he knows where she’s coming from, and that she needs to connect with her pain. Anna is sent to the choreography round.

Next up is Travis. His dad is a football coach, but he totally supports Travis in his dancing…he wants him to do what he loves. Travis performs an expressive contemporary number. Nigel says he could be a great dancer but he needs to strengthen his body. Mary believes he’ll have a great future if he can get stronger. Lil C agrees, saying he has great technique and is graceful for his height. Travis is sent to the choreograhoy round.

We meet Ryan and Evan, who are brothers. Evan made the top 40 last season but then was cut. Ryan choreographs for Evan and himself. We see Evan first, doing a classic jazz routine. Nigel says it’s a beautifully constructed routine, and Evan is superb. Mary calls him fabulous and is glad he’s back. Lil C says he is amazing. Evan is going to Vegas!

Before we watch Ryan, we see another set of twins…Lauren and Lydia. They do everything in unison, even talking. They perform a nice contemporary routine. Nigel says that Lydia shows the extremes, while Lauren embodies the performance. Mary calls them solid and adorable. Lil C says they both delivered the routine differently. Both girls are going to the choreography round.

Now we get to watch Ryan. He does a funny tap routine, using a whoopie cushion as a prop. Nigel calls it a terrific performance. Mary says it was clever and fun. Lil C loves the use of the prop. Ryan is also going to Vegas!

Finally we see the choreograohy round, and all four of our featured performers are going to Vegas: Anna, Travis, Lydia, and Lauren.

Tune in tomorrow night for the final two audition cities…Los Angeles and Seattle. Good night until tomorrow!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: New York and Denver auditions

May 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

WriterMarie426 has been kind enough to write us an awesome recap for the first auditions for SYTYCD Season 5. Enjoy!

Hello dance fans, and welcome to the first audition show for Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance. Let’s see who has the personality, charisma, and talent to go on to Las Vegas!

Our first audition city is New York…Brooklyn to be exact. We see footage of Cat dancing with people waiting in the audition line, plus various moves from other dancers who are waiting for their turn to impress the judges. We find out that our judges for New York are Nigel, Mary, Tabitha and Napoleon.

We start Day 1 with Gabi, who was raised in a circus family and is inspired by her mom to be the best she can be, even though she has very painful Rheumatoid Arthritis. She does a beautiful modern routine, receiving a standing ovation from those in the audience. Nigel says it was one of the best auditions he’s ever seen, and he’d be surprised if she didn’t make it into the Top 20. Mary screams and tells her she loved it. Tabitha likens her to a bird, and says Gabi made their day. Gabi is going to Vegas!

Next we see a pair of friends who call themselves Storyboard and Hobgoblin. They call their style mutation and joint tortionism. They perform with a deathly green painted on their faces, shocking the judges with their unusual and double-jointed moves, finishing their routine on top of the judges’ table. Nigel calls it weird and says they would be perfect for “Dawn of the Dead – The Musical” if it ever came about. Mary says it was crazy and interesting. Napoleon thinks it was cool, and Tabitha calls it off the wall. The judges decide to send the two of them on to the choreography round later in the day.

Our next performance is by a girl who goes by the name Crazy Kate. She has her own very unique style of ballroom. The judges decide she is not good enough to move on.

Peter performs after Kate; he is from a large Italian family and was raised in Philadelphia. He does a sensational tap routine for the judges. Nigel likens him to a tap dancing boxer. Mary says she really enjoyed it. Tabitha states that she is looking forward to much more from him. Peter is going to Vegas!

After Peter we meet Tiffany, who was born with severe spinal problems which have stunted her growth and coordination. She only has three vertebrae in her spine instead of seven. The doctors thought she would die as a baby, but she is now 23 years old. She tells us how much it hurts when people laugh at her, and that she loves to prove everyone wrong when she’s told she can’t do something. She credits her mom with helping her become a fighter. She is absolutely beautiful when she dances. Nigel states that it’s not easy to critique her because of her situation, but he must point out that she has some trouble straightening her legs. He does say that her arms are lovely, and her bravery is stunning…people at home who sit on their butts and think they can’t do something should be inspired by her. Mary calls her a beautiful inspiration. The judges decide that although they love her, she is not right for this competition. Tiffany says she didn’t really expect to go to Vegas, but she came to audition mainly to make a point.

We see Maksim next, who borrows one of the SYTYCD past contestants to perform the Cha-Cha with him. Together they do a strong Cha-Cha. Nigel likes that there is no falseness in his face while he dances, saying he is first class. Mary tells him he has a really strong presence. The other two judges agree, and they send Maksim to the choreography round.

At this point we see various clips of other dancers’ auditions…some good and some not so good.

After these auditions we come to Nobuya, who calls his style funk jazz. He does a wonderful pop and lock routine. Nigel says he is good, but speeds through the popping and locking too much. Mary likes the comedy and says it was very entertaining. Napoleon and Tabitha say he did a great job, but they would like to see him do other styles. They send Nobuya to the choreography round.

The choreography for this next round is done by Lauren, who was on the show in Season 3. The dancers have 30 minutes to learn it before dancing in front of the judges again. Storyboard and Hobgoblin leave during this rehearsal, saying it was more than they bargained for and thanking everyone at the audition for the experience. The other dancers all perform together, and Maksim and Nobuya are among those who move on to Vegas.

We start Day 2 in New York with Arielle, who tried out in Season 3. She made it to Vegas, but she knows she wasn’t really ready yet and comes back to try again now. She performs a very expressive dance with great turns. Nigel says that she definitely learned from her last time there and that she’s terrific. Mary calls her a stunning, beautiful dancer. Tabitha and Napoleon commend her for not giving up and coming back to follow her dream. Arielle is going to Vegas!

Next we see Thomas, who has a partner help him perform the Bolero. The routine is very unusual, and the judges cannot help but laugh through the performance. Nigel is speechless, and Mary calls it novice level dancing. Thomas will not be moving on in the competition. After he is done, the day just falls apart from there.

Finally there’s a bright spot. Nina and Igor audition together, performing the Cha-Cha. They have great moves and spins. Nigel says they are a fabulous couple. Mary is amazed at the length and speed of their spin. Tabitha and Napoleon praise their control. The judges send them to the choreography round.

Our next dancer is Kellen, who performs a very moving routine with an umbrella. He says the umbrella represents his aunt, who had just recently passed away and always supported his dancing. This was his way of showing that she is still watching over him. All of the judges are very moved by his performance and say it was so good because you could tell that it really meant something to him. Kellen is going to Vegas!

Lastly, we see Chimezie, who does a car in traffic type routine. Nigel likes the fun choreography, and Mary says it was very entertaining. Tabitha and Napoleon like the performance but there wasn’t enough in the choreography for them. They send Chimezie to the choreography round.

Lauren choreographs again for the dancers. Chemezie and Igor move on to Vegas, but Igor’s partner Nina does not.

Our second audition city is Denver. Our judges here are Nigel, Mary, and Sonya…who was also a previous SYTYCD contestant.

First up is Kayla, who lives with her mom and grandparents because her dad left when she was young. Her grandparents are big supporters of her dancing dreams, and work extra jobs just so Kayla can keep up with her training. She performs a beautiful routine to “Blackbird”. Nigel says she brought it, and praises her great angles. Mary agrees with Nigel, and Sonya calls her smokin’ hot and inspirational. Kayla is going to Vegas, and her grandparents are overjoyed!

We see a lot of clips from the day’s auditions now, and most of them are so good that Sonya can hardly contain her excitement.

Up next are Misha and Mitchel, who are performing same-sex ballroom. It is definitely different to watch, but they also have a problem with a spin and wind up falling. Nigel likens the routine to watching Will Ferrell in “Blades of Glory”. He doesn’t like them together, but he says that separately they are both good and strong. Mary says she was confused because they kept switching roles throughout the dance. Sonya is also confused, but thinks it was amazing. The judges send both of them to the choreography round.

In the choreography round, some of the dancers for the day make it to Vegas, but Misha and Mitchel are not among them.

Day 2 in Denver starts off with Allison, who does a Star Wars routine with light sabers, but is dressed as a lion. Mary says she did not see any actual dancing in the routine. Sonya cannot believe that Allison is serious. Nigel tells her that if she really dreams of being a dancer, she has a long journey ahead of her. Allison is not moving on to the next round.

After Allison, we are shown more strange audition footage from the day in Denver.

Our next dancer is Elias, who performs with his brother Enoch. Enoch is only 16 and therefore cannot audition himself yet. They grew up the two youngest of 14 kids, and the family was all about swimming and dancing. They perform an intersting pop and lock routine. Nigel calls it extremely entertaining. Mary likes the fun and charisma. Sonya says she could see them in dance commercials. Elias is sent to the coreography round.

Now we see Natalie, who auditioned last season with her roommate Katie. It came down to her and Katie for the final spot, and Katie was chosen. Natalie says that what happened last season motivated her to try harder, so she performs for the judges again now. Sonya is overwhelmed with emotion, saying that Natalie did everything right…she is so sincere that Sonya got chills. Mary is proud of her, praising her realness and connection. Nigel says she was superb and it’s an honor to watch her dance. Natalie is going to Vegas!

Brandon is our last dancer today. He also auditioned last season, and it came down to him and another guy. The other dancer was chosen, and Brandon bonded with Natalie because of their similiar experiences. At the end of Brandon’s routine, Mary is crying, saying he can touch millions of people with just a few moves. Sonya calls him wonderful, and Nigel likes his growth since last year. Brandon is also going to Vegas!

In the choreography round, Elias is told that he will not be moving on, but that he should get more training so he can come back and audition for them again in the future.

Next week, the judges travel to Miami and Memphis. I wonder what’s in store for the there? Good night everyone!

DWTS Finale: From The Audience Seat

May 20, 2009 at 6:08 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Hey Everyone,

We have an amazing intern, Erin, that was lucky enough to attend Monday’s performance night finale of Dancing with the Stars, and lucky for us, she graciously agreed to recap her experience. Enjoy!

Hello BDC Socialites!

I recently won a trip a trip of a lifetime. Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my local ABC station telling me that I was the winner of their Dancing With The Stars Sweepstakes and have won a trip for 2 to the finale (performance) taping! Over the next 20 minutes, a mix of emotions ran through my body. At first I was caught off guard and was somewhat confused by the phone call. Having entered the contest months ago and thinking “nobody really wins these contests,” I never gave my entry a second thought. However, as I learned more details and all the information started to sink in, those feelings changed. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! Though I live only a short 6 hour drive north of the LA area, I have never attended a DWTS taping, despite always desperately wanting to go. Never in my wildest dreams was I expecting anything like this to happen!

After we got the legal formalities out of the way, I received more specific details from the promotions rep in LA. I found out that ABC was going to wine & dine us! Our hotel accommodations were at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (http://www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire) in the heart of Beverly Hills adjacent to the infamous Rodeo Drive. We checked into our gorgeous hotel room around 3pm Sunday afternoon where we were given a welcome packet with more specific details such as dress code, what to bring to the studio, what not to bring, and Monday’s schedule including the possibility of a meet and greet with some of the dancers! Emotions started building up as reality was starting to set in. I honestly don’t know how I slept Sunday night!

Before getting ready for the show, my boyfriend (my guest) and I shopped around and explored Beverly Hills – but I know none of you care to hear about that! At 2:45pm the winners from all over the country met in the lobby in our best cocktail attire. There was a representative from ABC with us every step of the way taking pictures and videos as none of us would be allowed to bring our own cameras. After the “photo shoot,” we boarded a bus to the studio. We played trivia games along the way and were given DWTS memorabilia, including a copy of the new Ballas Hough Band CD autographed by Mark and Derek! We were a pretty enthused bunch and definitely didn’t need the help of the opening MC to get us pumped for the show!

We took our seats at the set about an hour before show time. We were seated on the floor level facing the stage. We took in the whole set, noting how much smaller it looked in person, and gawked at all the celebrities in attendance. Six chairs down from me was Genya Mazo, Alec Mazo’s brother. A few rows in front, sat Corky and Shirley Ballas, and just feet away were DWTS alumni such as Jane Seymour, Marissa Jaret-Winokur, Brooke Burke, Holly Madison, Vivica Fox, Emmett Smith, Warren Sapp, the Woz, and many more! Tom & Samantha opened the show just to the right of us, and from that moment forward, it was a non-stop thrill! As I’m sure you all saw on TV, the group Paso was amazing and the freestyles were full of energy and entertainment. But what came after the show made our trip even more memorable.

Our ABC rep met us at our seats once the taping concluded and informed us of a little surprise. Mark and Derek were going to come over and take a group picture with us to finalize our night. While we were waiting for Derek, Corky and Shirley Ballas came over to greet each of us and thank us for coming out to the show. They were both very cordial and chatted with us for a bit. Then Derek made his way over to say hi and take the group picture, but was then was kind enough to offer to take individual pictures with all of us winners. He was very nice and patient while we all took our turns to pose with him and the stage. Then it was time to play the waiting game while Mark and Shawn finished up in the Press line, but we didn’t let that bring down the mood!

While we patiently waited on Mark, we took in the chaotic Press line and watched the couples move from interview to interview (where Maks and Karina were conducting interviews for their respected shows as well). A few of us eventually built up our courage and inched our way closer and closer to the end of the press line where, after some time, we were able to meet and get autographs from Gilles & Cheryl and Tony & Melissa. I even snagged a kiss on the cheek from Tony! (Thanks again Tony! 😉 )

Forty not-so-long minutes later, Mark made his way over to take the group picture. Corky was taking pictures for Mark as well, then started to record a video. He then said, “On the count of 3, everyone yell ‘VOTE FOR MARK AND SHAWN!’” We of course chanted back, but apparently it wasn’t loud enough for Corky! He had us do it even louder, which made Gilles stop what he was doing in the Press line and turn to us exclaiming “WHAT?!!!” Gilles threw his hands up in the air in protest then ran over to jump in our group picture. He then summoned Cheryl, then Shawn followed thereafter. Tony then looked up from what he was doing and, of course, had to jump into the fun as well. Melissa was the last to join us, leaving the reporters behind to give us one complete group picture with all of the Season 8 finalists! This crazy, hilarious moment gave us a climactic ending to one of the most perfect nights for all of us.

At the beginning of this trip, I was expecting nothing more than to witness a lively dancing spectacle, but the outcome of the trip far exceed those expectations. Our experience is one I will never forget thanks to all of the people at ABC, both the cast and staff behind the scenes. I will never wash my cheek again Tony, (just kidding!) nor do I hope to come down from this cloud for a LONG while!

(Pictures from the meet & greet are still to come!)

DWTS FINALE Results, Brought to you by Sammi-T!

May 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Hello, and welcome to Dancing With The Stars, the FINALE! Tonight, the winner of season eight will finally be crowned. Will it be Melissa and Tony (allowing Tony to win for the very first time), Gilles and Cheryl (giving her a THIRD trophy) or Shawn and Mark (giving him is second)?

JUST DANCE……

The show opens with a performance by Lady GaGa. She sings ‘Just Dance,’ which if you remember, Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin danced their cha cha cha to. It is a great performance, but I wish some of the pros would have danced to it.

INTERVIEWS

After a recap of last night, Len calls this the best season ever. Samantha interviews the celebrities backstage. They all chose their favorite dances—all of which received at least one ten.

RECAPS AND REPRISES 1

We get favorite moments from the season, including Steve Wozniak’s worm, Steve-O’s foxtrot and Denise Richards saying how much her daughters love her dancing. This leads to the first three couples reprising their dances. Belinda Carlisle does her salsa, Denise Richards does her quickstep and Holly Madison does her samba. I must admit, all three did better this time around, I guess because there was no real pressure?

Tom and Samantha ask them about their favorite moments. Holly says her highlight was her awesome personal trainer. Denise loves the bond and support backstage. Belinda jokes about the nausea.

After some commercials, Steve Wozniak reprises his quickstep. I still find him so cute and endearing and he seems to be doing better as well. Tom asks him to do the worm, which he does with a cheering audience.

We get more recaps before we get to David Alan Grier’s Viennese Waltz. Was he always bald or am I just not remembering? He did great though, as did Steve-O with his fabulous foxtrot. He just melts my heart, I swear, LOVE HIM! Aww, he got a standing ovation! David calls the experience incredible and Steve-O quips that the trophy could have been his had he danced the way he did tonight.

CONTESTANTS THOUGHTS, AND THE PRO DANCING NEXT SEASON…..

Several past contestants talk abut the final three. Everyone has different opinions, but they are all excited to see who will win.

The champion of the pro competition is……Anna! Congratulations girl and good luck to Mayo! She reprises her quickstep with Maks from last week. It was just as fun and entertaining as the last one.

RECAPS AND REPRISES 2

Lawrence Taylor reprises his jive, which has an awesome flip I’d forgotten about. Good job overall though. I like Edyta’s cross charm, anyone know where I can get one like it? LOL at Samantha reminding Edyta how happy her husband can make her.

We get more flashbacks from the season and then finally see Chuck Wick’s samba. The one where he stole Tim Allen’s pajamas from The Santa Clause. He did do a good job though, I have to hand it to him. I had to laugh at him admitting to wearing thongs…..TMI Chuck, TMI!

ROASTING WITH JEFFERY

Jeff Ross returns to roast our finalists. He compares Tom to Ryan Seacrest and calls the judges Smokin’, Broken and Flamin.’ He says this is the first finale where he had to google the finalists because the well known stars got kicked off. He says Lil’ Kim was there for community service and asks if Steve W. took the bite out of the apple logo. I’m dying—Gilles has the largest part on Sex and The City—The Movie. He picks on Shawn’s height and says it would be ironic if Melissa came in second here too. I won’t even get into his comment about Holly, I felt like it was in VERY poor taste.

RECAPS AND REPRISES 3

Lil’ Kim reprises her jive, which reminds me of why I’m such a Derek fan. This is definitely one of her best dancers and makes me wish she had gone a bit further, but then again, I love everyone in the top three so it would be too hard to choose who she would replace. She says she felt like she won because of how far she got and the family she joined. Ty and Chelsie do their Lindy hop one last time. I love him and am so proud of how much he accomplished. He says it was a lot of fun and tells his cowboy friends not to learn ballroom dancing and then says he lucked out with Chelsie as a partner.

FINAL THREE DANCE AND COMPARE

After a small segment with the finalists comparing themselves to each other (I admit, I tuned out a bit here) we FINALLY get to the final three.

Shawn and Mark choose to reprise their cha cha cha, but not before we get a montage of their time on the show. It is a lot of fun and just as awesome as it was the last time.

Len says that tonight she came out and did it!

Bruno jumps up and screams over how much he liked it.

Carrie Ann admits they underestimated her.

Score: 30 (10,10,10)

Total: 88

Melissa and Tony are next with their samba. They also get a montage of their time on the show. It is just fantastic—you can tell they are going all out and having fun with it—just amazing!

Bruno wants more helpings of her samba.

Carrie Ann calls her a muse.

Len loves her presence on stage and her performance.

Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)

Total: 86

Gilles and Cheryl do their Argentine tango one last time after their montage. The only thing I have to say is that this dance is what made me fall in love with the Argentine tango.

Carrie Ann calls him their very special performer.

Len says he is the most pleasurable to watch.

Bruno calls it an Argentine triumph.

Score 30 (10, 10, 10)

Total: 88

LADY GAGA AND RESULTS

After ANOTHER Lady Gaga performance, we find out that Melissa and Tony are in third place. She says some nice words about the viewers and her fellow competitiors before they go off to the sidelines.

THE WINNER IS……

With only less one percent difference between them, we find out that the winner is………..SHAWN AND MARK! They are both totally in shock! I think this is the single most awesome reaction I have ever seen on any reality show I’ve recapped since joining TV Grapevine. LOVED it and I LOVED Derek and Lacey running up to them and all the hugs and kisses everyone gave them. (I’m a sap, what can I say?)

That is it for this season folks! See you for more LIVE DWTS coverage in September. Until then, join me for America’s Got Talent and more of your favorite shows! Goodnight America!

Dancing with the Stars 8 Performance Finale Recap by Tinkcrzy1972

May 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

Well, it is finally here, the finale of Dancing with the Stars, Season 8! Tomorrow night, we’ll crown a winner, but tonight, it is a group paso doble and the freestyle round that lie ahead. Let’s get started, shall we?

First up will be the group paso doble, but before that, each of the judges will be visiting with one of our 3 couples. This is a change in the format from previous seasons, it used to just be Len that went out to the couples. Carrie Ann meets with Melissa and Tony, Len meets with Gilles and Cheryl, and Bruno meets with Shawn and Mark. As usual, it is an entertaining segment, and we learn that the order the couples are dancing in for the group dance was determined by a draw.

Shawn and Mark are the first solo. Although I find Shawn’s costume distracting because there is so much of it for her tiny frame, I think they really killed it! Melissa and Tony are second, and I love their costuming. She is SO improved from when we saw them do the paso a couple of weeks ago. She had one little stumble, but recovered quickly and went on with the routine. That isn’t easy! Gilles and Cheryl are last, and to me, it seemed like Cheryl really made the choreo about what worked for her, instead of what worked for Gilles. I don’t like the combined segments for this dance because you couldn’t see all three couples at once, and had to watch whoever the cameraman decided you should watch, instead of deciding for yourself. Judges scores:

Shawn and Mark: 9,9,10
Melissa and Tony: 10,9,10
Gilles and Cheryl: 10,10,10

Now for my favorite part of the whole competition, the freestyle round. Shawn and Mark are first, starting clothed all in black, with white gloves and white sparkly masks, reminiscent of the Jabbawockeez. These are stripped away early on in the number to reveal green and black costumes that are really cute. Their freestyle is a little bit lindy, a little bit hip hop, a little tumbling, and a whole lot of fun. I will say that I think Mark was overdancing Shawn just a bit in some sections, but I enjoyed their freestyle very much. Judges’ scores: 10,10,10

Melissa and Tony are next, and I just have to say it….wow, my boss here at Ballroom Dance Channel is a hottie! Sorry if I’m embarrassing you, Tony, I know you work hard for everything you have! Okay, I know I’m biased, but this freestyle is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and it has everything a freestyle should. It is a classic mix of tricks and flash for the crowd, but with plenty of ballroom content thrown in as well, so we can see what Melissa learned. Also, it was FUN! Tony, win, lose, or draw tomorrow night, I’m so proud of you, and so happy that we have gotten to see you really come alive through your dancing with Melissa this season. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us! Judges’ scores: 9,9,9. BOOOOOOOOO!

Gilles and Cheryl are the last to dance the freestyle tonight. I wasn’t getting the costumes until I heard the song, they chose the theme from Flashdance. Hmmm. Interesting. I would have thought they would choose something that would showcase Gilles a little more, but again, this routine feels like it is more about Cheryl than Gilles, where the other two couples are acting as one, as a team. Also, it seemed like there was much less for Gilles to do in his routine than Shawn or Melissa did. Given it is a freestyle, I don’t think the picture/frame analogy applies. Again, that could just be me. Judges’ scores: 9,10,9.

Tomorrow night is the end of the road, win, place or show. Who do you think is taking home the coveted mirror ball trophy, and who will be the first to go? Hope we’ll find out together tomorrow night. Also, please note that Ballroom Dance Channel is proud to be covering So You Think You Can Dance again this season, and that coverage will start on Thursday with the first audition show!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

WriterMarie426’s Dancing with the Stars Finale Recap

May 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Well, here we are everybody! Welcome to the finals of Dancing With The Stars – Season 8. Ty had a good long run this season, but went home last week just shy of the finals. Gilles, Melissa, and Shawn dance tonight for the mirror ball trophy. The first round will be a Paso Doble face-off among the three couples, then we will move to the always popular Freestyle round.

All three of our stars and their partners descend the stairs in their breathtaking Paso outfits. Kudos to Randall Christensen and his talented staff for making the dance costumes so amazing every single week. All of our dancers look pumped and ready to go.

First we see footage of all of our couples being visited in practice by one of the judges. Each judge is there to give pointers and help improve the dances. Bruno observes Shawn and Mark, telling them to surprise the audience with something they’ve never seen before. Carrie Ann goes to see Melissa and Tony, who wants them to bring out more aggression in their Paso this time, and less of Melissa’s ballet and cheerleading background. Len pops in on Gilles and Cheryl, saying that they need to up their game and dominate, and also make this Paso less hectic. Finally we see the group part of the Paso rehearsal, where the couples are trying to look good as a group but also realize that they are competing against each other in this group number.

Our Paso Doble face-off starts to the tune of Pink’s “So What”, with all three couples together on the floor. Shawn and Mark dance their solo section first, keeping their moves strong, sharp, and serious. Melissa and Tony dance next, making their Paso aggressive and powerful with tremendous kicks. Finally Gilles and Cheryl dance, keeping it sexy and giving us some great spins. The group comes out together to finish, keeping everything in sync.

Len says it’s difficult to do a classic dance to contemporary music, but our couples did a good job with that. He likes Shawn’s excitement and energy, but tells her to keep her chin up more. He tells Melissa she did a good job, but he saw a slight mistake. Len says he liked Gilles’ full on intensity, and that this time the Paso was not too hectic for him.

Bruno commends the three couples for dancing well together as a team. He says that Shawn did a beautiful job, and likes that Melissa’s confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. He calls Gilles a leading man.

Carrie Ann remarks that this is her favorite season so far, and these couples prove why. She doesn’t think Shawn was as emotional as she needed to be, but does say that Melissa nailed it this time. She tells Gilles that she expects perfection from him, and that’s what she got.

Shawn and Mark 28 (9,9,10)
Melissa and Tony 29 (10,9,10)
Gilles and Cheryl 30 (10,10,10)

Now we get to peek in on the Freestyle practices. Shawn says that she and Mark will not be using her gymnastics moves this time, because they got in trouble last time they used them. Former DWTS Champion Apolo Anton Ohno comes in to tell Shawn to use her Olympic edge. He also mentions that no Olympian that has made the DWTS finals has lost, which makes Shawn feel a little nervous.

Shawn and Mark start their Freestyle routine in black hooded track suits, with their faces covered in sparkling silver masks. After a short time they strip down to their green show outfits, and show us a Freestyle filled with acrobatic break dancing moves. They have a little difficulty with a lift, but otherwise do a solid routine.

Bruno says they are going for the gold, and he liked the explosiveness and creativity. Carrie Ann likes the youth and energy, along with the precise movements. Len tells them he enjoyed the fun, speed, and precision.

Score: 30 (10,10,10) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 58

When Bruno holds up his 10 paddle for them, he shouts “11”!

Melissa and Tony tell us that they have to put it all on the line this week. The last time Tony was in the finals was in Season 2 with Stacy Keibler, and he learned something important…no risk, no reward. Tony states that this is the most physical routine he’s ever choregraphed, and that is proven when Melissa accidentally clocks him in the eye practicing a lift.

Tony and Melissa come out in hip hop style, with great footwork and fantastic flips. Their Freestyle is fast and fun, with a lot of intricate moves.

Carrie Ann loves Melissa’s new attitude and likes the performance, but feels that that choreography was a bit disjointed. Lens says they showed versatility, but the style they danced is not his cup of tea. Bruno agrees with Carrie Ann, but also says he really enjoyed their lifts.

Score: 27 (9,9,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 56

Our final Freestyle comes from Gilles and Cheryl. Gilles says that all three couples are so good, it’s really anybody’s game now. Cheryl works on bringing out his personality and charisma. Gilles is nervous about all of the tricks in this routine, especially since his shoulder is hurting a lot more. The doctor wraps Gilles’ shoulder to help him with the pain during the lifts.

We hear the music of Flashdance start, and they start the performance with some chair moves. It’s a great routine, high energy yet still sexy, and the lifts go well.

Len really likes the high energy, telling Gilles that he is a real dancer. Bruno says it was a great performance, but he wanted to see more. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno.

Score: 28 (9,10,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 58

Ballroom Dance Channel Congratulates Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft on making the finals!

May 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

We at BDC just wanted to take a minute and congratulate our own Tony Dovolani with his celebrity partner Melissa Rycroft on making the DWTS finals tonight! We hope you will join us in supporting their bid to win by voting by phone at 1-800-868-3413, and online at ABC.com. If you are an AT&T cellular customer, you can text votes in as well. Thanks for helping us help them!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8: The Semis!

May 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Hey Everyone,

Welcome to the semi finals! I can’t believe we’re here already, it seems like our season just started, and next week it is all over until the fall. I can’t be too sad, though, because that means we get to start covering So You Think You Can Dance. It is a wonderful time to be a dance fan, isn’t it?

To start off our evening, there is a rousing pro number to “Should I Stay or Should I Go” that featured Louis Van Amstel, Dmitry Chaplin, and Genya Mazo, partnered with Karina Smirnoff, Aliona Vilani, and Chelsie Hightower. I loved it, but am a little confused why Chelsie was dancing when she has two routines to get through with Ty tonight as well. I hope it doesn’t put them at an additional disadvantage.

After the pro number, we do a segment with Melissa and Tony, where they chose their favorite smooth and Latin dances. They chose the foxtrot and the samba as their favorites. I thought then they would dance, but we are going to go through all the couples first. I assume this is meant to lengthen the show so that Castle’s season finale airs immediately after the close of our show, as it is on the bubble for renewal and showed a 40% increase in viewers last week when aired immediately after DWTS.

Gilles and Cheryl are second for the trip down memory lane, and they chose the foxtrot and the paso doble as their favorites. I was there the night of the paso doble, and I have never felt an energy in the ballroom like I did that night, it was like a rock concert! After the commercial break, we hear from Shawn and Mark. They choose the quickstep and the paso doble, both dances from last week. Interesting that Shawn finally felt she had a breakthrough just last week, as good as she has been throughout the competition! Last for this segment are Ty and Chelsie, and they choose the quickstep from week 2 and the Lindy hop. Chelsie really gives some helpful pointers to Ty during the voiceover for their segment. She is brilliant with the analysis and in telling him what he needs in their dances for this week. I really hope they invite both Chelsie and Dmitry back for next season, as both are positive additions to professional roster.

Melissa and Tony have the quickstep in the smooth round tonight. Melissa is intimidated by the footwork, because she knows Len is going to be watching her closely, and already isn’t a fan of her feet. WOW! That was so beautiful, so elegant, and so much fun all wrapped in one. I thought the footwork was beautiful, and I agree with Len about the musicality. The other two were nitpicky, as usual. Judges scores 9,10,9.

Gilles and Cheryl have the waltz in the smooth round. This has been a busy week for Cheryl, she opened her third dance studio in Laguna Nigel over the weekend. She wisely brought in Jonathan Roberts to help Gilles learn the elegance needed for the waltz, and he did a brilliant job. This was just amazing, all the way through. The song choice, costuming, and choreography combined to make one of the most beautiful waltzes I’ve seen on the show. Judges’ scores: 10,10,10.

Shawn and Mark are dancing the Argentine Tango in the smooth round. The pressure really seemed to be getting to them about the lifts in the practice footage, but the actual routine was just stunning. Mark really knows how to choreograph for Shawn’s strengths. Actually, he’s always done an amazing job of finding the essence of each of his partners and really making him shine. If the reports from this week come true and he and Derek take next season off, I think it will be a loss to the show in both cases, as both are brilliant dancers and choreographers. Judges scores: 10,10,10. Can you imagine what that feels like for her?

Ty and Chelsie are dancing the Viennese Waltz in the smooth round. But first, Ty needs to issue some payback for that rumba solo, and makes Chelsie ride a mechanical bull. She does brilliantly, but Ty mocking her for being too fluid was too funny! Sigh. I love Ty, and I love Chelsie more than I can say, but that was not very good. The musicality wasn’t there, and it was choppy throughout. There were points he ALMOST had it, but we didn’t quite get there. Judges’ scores: 8,9,8.

We’ll be dancing in the same order for the Latin round tonight, which means we’re back to Melissa and Tony. They have the cha-cha for the Latin round, and danced to my favorite Michael Buble song! I thought they did a wonderful job, but the judges were a bit critical of the footwork. Still, you can’t be perfect in every dance, one of them has to be your weak point. Judges’ scores: 9,9,9.

Gilles and Cheryl have the salsa in the Latin round tonight. Once again, a flawless routine. Gilles and Cheryl deserve to be in the finale, but with performances like this tonight, has he peaked too early? How much will they now have to put into the 3 dances for next week in order to sustain that level of intensity? Judges’ scores: 10,10,10.

Shawn and Mark are dancing the jive tonight, and it was a really fun routine. Mark needs to be careful, though, if they make the finale as expected. He doesn’t mean to do it, but he tends to outshine Shawn at times with the precision of his movements. I love to watch Mark dance, but it can make Shawn look less than when he doesn’t dial it back just a little. Judges’ scores: 9,8,9. Seriously? An 8?

Dancing last tonight are Ty and Chelsie, with the samba. It actually is pretty good, but I thought it was lacking in musicality. Ty’s stiffness works well for him with the samba rolls, though! He’s just so cute, and I have to say I am really proud of him for making sure he wasn’t leading with his heels. Judges’ scores: 8,7,8.

Okay, that’s it for tonight. We’ll see you tomorrow where we’ll learn together who makes the finals next week!

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

Dancing with the Stars 8: Semifinal Recap by WriterMarie426

May 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Semi-Finals of Season 8! Tonight’s dances will determine which three of our four remaining couples dance in next week’s Finals. Each couple will perform two dances again this week, one Ballroom and one Latin.

We begin the evening with another superb pro dance choreographed by Louis Van Amstel, performed to “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”. Our four couples all come down the stairs smiling and ready for their dances.

Before any of the couples dance, we see footage of them discussing their breakthrough Ballroom and Latin Dances so far this season. Melissa and Tony look back on their Foxtrot and Samba. Gilles and Cheryl also choose their Foxtrot but then analyze their Paso Doble for best Latin dance. Tom asks Gilles if Cheryl’s “crankiness” is helpful to his learning the dances. Gilles answers that she is not cranky…she is The Boss, and he would not change a thing. Shawn and Mark talk about their Quick Step and and Paso Doble, and while Ty and Chelsie also believe the Quick Step was their best Ballroom dance, they choose the Lindy Hop for their breakthrough Latin dance.

We begin the Ballroom Round with Melissa and Tony dancing the Quick Step. At practice Tony gets Melissa to work on her feet, because he knows Len will be watching. Melissa has some trouble switching between the Quick Step and Cha Cha this week. By the end of the week, Melissa declares that Tony has gotten her feet whipped into shape. They perform a fun, classic Quick Step with beautiful footwork that is perfectly timed with the piano music.

Len calls it a delight, saying he likes the musicality and that Melissa’s feet are much improved. Bruno believes it was very good, but it wasn’t as exhilarating as it could have been. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno, saying Melissa was not connected to her soul. She also states that she has to take a point off for the space she saw in their hold.

Score: 28 (9,10,9)

Gilles and Cheryl are next with the Waltz. Cheryl states that they took some risks last week that paid off, but they need to get back to basics this week. She does mention to Gilles that since Lil’Kim is gone, he has to be the one to shake his booty in the Latin Round. While working on the Waltz, Cheryl brings in Jonathan Roberts to help Gilles learn how the man should look – classy and sophisticated. Their Waltz is full of beautiful spins and romatic moves, and Gilles’ posture is perfect.

Bruno stands up, telling Gilles that he looked like a matinee idol and the dance was incredibly romantic. Carrie Ann states that people watch dancing so they can be swept into a world of fantasy…and that Gilles and Cheryl took the audience into a breathtaking fantasy world. She also praises Cheryl’s choreography. Len simply tells them he is giving them a sitting down standing ovation.

As they head backsatge for scores, Gilles has tears in his eyes, telling Samantha how much he loves dancing with Cheryl and he is enjoying all of the hard work they have put into it.

Score: 30 (10,10,10)

Shawn and Mark get ready for their Argentine Tango. Shawn says at rehearsal that breaking the rule last week was worth it, because their dance really entertained the fans. She feels challenged by all of the steps in the Jive, and a little bit scared of the lifts in the Argentine Tango. She really wants to be in the final. Their A-Tango is strong and sharp, with a lot of intricate leg work.

Carrie Ann says she sometimes worries that since Shawn is the youngest contestant that she will have trouble delivering the emotional content…but she delivered it! She loves the lifts, passion and precision. Len appreciates the maturity and intensity, calling it their best performance to date. Bruno calls her “Catherine Zeta-Shawn, likening her to the character in Chicago.

Score: 30 (10,10,10)

Our last Ballroom dance is a Viennese Waltz from Ty and Chelsie. Ty decides to payback Chelsie for his Rumba solo, so he takes her to learn how to ride a mechanical bull. They have Samba also this week, which Ty says is supposed to be a party but is more like a “pain in the ass”. Chelsie gets Ty to look smooth and graceful for the V-Waltz, and Ty wants to dance well so the fans can justify voting for him last week over a better dancer. They perform a very pretty V-Waltz, but there is some stiffness along with some rough movements near the end of the dance.

Len says no one has worked or tried harder than Ty, and even though there were a couple of issues during the dance it was fabulous overall. Bruno states that he can see why America loves Ty, but their Waltz was not smooth enough. Carrie Ann says she loves Ty, but she has to take off points for the wobbles in the dance.

Score: 25 (8,9,8)

As the judges continue to argue with each other, Tom says that the post show dinner reservations have been made…three tables for one.

As each couple gets ready for their Latin dance, we see hometown clips about their lives. Melissa and Tony get in position for their Cha-Cha, and we go to Dallas to learn more about Melissa. She loves her city and the family feel of it, and her family tells us how she is Texas tough and resilient. We also learn that when she became a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, she was shy at first but really opened up. Melissa says that what doesn’t kill her makes her stronger. Melissa and Tony’s Cha-Cha is crisp and fun, with extraordinary splits.

Bruno believes the dance was sensational at moments, but that feeling was not sustained throughout. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno. Len says he liked it, but it was not to their usual standard.

Score: 27 (9,9,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 55

Gilles and Cheryl get ready for the Salsa as we see clips of Gilles’ life growing up in Cannes, France. Gilles says that even though Cannes is known for high society, he was raised in a tough part of town. He likes that French men are allowed to be romantic and emotional. His father was a baker who worked day and night, and Gilles learned his strong work ethic by working along side of him. Gilles and Cheryl perform a hot, sexy Salsa, with great footwork and hip action.

Carrie Ann stands up and dances, saying Gilles is at his best. Len is almost speechless, but does say he wishes he had an 11 paddle to hold up. Bruno states that Lil’Kim is alive and well and living in Gilles’ pants, and that Gilles deserves to be in the final.

As they head backstage, Tom announces that there will be a performance on the results show by Raphael Saadiq.

Score: 30 (10,10,10) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 60

Shawn and Mark perpare for the Jive as we travel to Shawn’s hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. She says it is a small town with a big heart. Her family tells us she is a daredevil who learns things quickly. Her gymnastics coach tells how Shawn never gives up, and we learn that she had the flu while performing at the Olympics but still won the gold medal. Shawn and Mark’s Jive is fun and bouncy, with awesome spins and footwork.

Len likes that it was fast and fun, but there was not enough traditional Jive in it for him. Bruno calls it a strong performance, and that they gave 110%. Carrie Ann says it was a wonderful performance, but they lost steam toward the end.

Score: 26 (9,8,9) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 56

Last up are Ty and Chelsie with the Samba. We see Ty’s friends and family in Stephenville, Texas, telling us that all Ty ever wanted since he was little was to be a cowboy. Jewel says that Ty is always focused and determined, and she’s glad we all get to see both sides of Ty…the strong side and the sensitive side. Ty and Chelsie’s Samba is good with their spins and rolls, but Ty does look a little stiff on some of the other moves.

Bruno says they put everything but the kitchen sink in their routine, and that Ty looked like he was dancing on a tightrope. Carrie Ann calls him the MVP of Season 8. Len says that Ty is smooth in Ballroom, but too quick in Latin.

Score: 23 (8,7,8) TOTAL FOR THE NIGHT: 48

Our evening finishes with the recap and reminder to vote. Also remember that tomorrow night is the final round of competition for the new pro dancer for next season. Good night everybody!

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