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

Ever wondered what Len looks for as a judge?

January 12, 2009 at 8:15 am | Posted in ballroom dance, Dancing with the Stars, Superstars of Dance | Leave a comment
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Hey Everyone,

I stumbled across this video from 1994 that has an interview with Len Goodman, where he was a judge at this competition. The whole video is very interesting, but I paid particular attention to the segment with Len. It seems to me that he is still using this same technique for judging with Dancing with the Stars now. I’ll be back tonight with your Superstars of Dance recap, but for now, please enjoy this video, and feel free to leave your comments.

Keep Dancing,
Ballroom Dance Channel

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