DWTS Cheesecake Retrospective! Season 5, Week 5

Welcome our summer serving of CHEESECAKE!!! :-) Hey, we hear people like this series and I have to say that I enjoy writing it with Courtney as much as some of you enjoy reading it. New to the series?? Look at the right side of the web page, near the top – see the Cheesecake Awards box? Click it and you can go back and read all our other Cheesecake posts. :-) Warning – if you are new to this site, we don’t spare anyone’s feelings.

What we’re going to do is randomly skip around throughout the series old episodes and do a cheesecake post just like we do during the season. Of course, we’re not going to re-do episodes we’ve already done – no need, as we have plenty of material out there to cover before the new season starts. At the end of each post like this one, we will announce our next selection – that way, anyone who wants to can watch that episode on Hulu prior to us posting it. Hulu covers seasons 5 through 11 – and I imagine they will have 12 up soon if they don’t already.

Season 5 participants included Helio Castroneves, Marie Osmond, Jennie Garth and Mel B – to name a few. :-) And the subject (or rather, victim) of our first retrospective takes us back to the week of October 22-23, 2007 – long before the days of Lacey, the Argentine tango, the Design-a-Dance, Brooke as co-host, the Bristol controversy, and the judges smoking crack.  It was the week before the very first “shock” elimination in DWTS history (Sabrina & Mark), and was memorable for Mark & Kym’s “I Dream of Jeannie” samba, Sabrina & Mark’s eyebrow-raising rumba, and Marie’s fall heard ’round the world.  Let’s get nostalgic, shall we? ;-)

Best Tactic for Avoiding Elimination: Marie fainting on live television

Courtney: Do you remember where you were when Marie bit the floor that fateful night? :-) I do – I was waiting tables at Hooters in Lafayette, IN, and heard one of the cooks scream from the kitchen “Dude!!! I think Marie Osmond just died!” Of course, every flat panel in the restaurant was hastily flipped to ABC, so we all could watch replays of Marie doing her best Aunt Pittypat and crumpling to the floor mid-critique, while Tom, Jonathan, the judges, and the audience stood slack-jawed.  This was quite possibly the best and most dramatic ploy for dodging elimination that I have ever seen on the show :-) And, in retrospect, I almost (almost!) wonder if it was done intentionally – Marie was already pretty winded post-samba, and then she started hopping up and down in excitement like a circa-2005 Tom Cruise, which I can only imagine hurried along her inevitable spill.  I believe Len’s choice of the word “gaiety” was the straw that broke the camel’s back – it must’ve been just too much for her wholesome Mormon ears, because the moment it passed his lips, her eyes were rolling back in her head and she was doing the slo-mo wipeout.  The look on Len’s face was priceless: mildly concerned, but almost disappointed that he wasn’t going to get to finish his critique.  There must’ve been a bit of a chaotic shuffle in the control room, because there was about a 10 second lapse of silence & the audience looking stunned between when Tom told them to cut to commercial and when they actually did. See? They had a Muppet stage crew even back then, kids ;-) Anywho, after that dramatic display – who wouldn’t toss a few sympathy votes her way? Not only was this the first instance of real onstage drama – it was quite possibly the birth of the sympathy vote as well. Historic!

Heidi:Ugh. Marie. Screaming at Bruno while hopping around like an idiot – no wonder she fainted, she used up all her air impersonating a 5 year-old. Was it planned? Nah, she’s just an ass. :-) I loved Tom’s follow on to the whole thing: “you know, in the movie’s swooning is so romantic….but IT SCARED THE CRAP OUTTA ME!!” Honest AND funny. LOL. As for the Muppet stage crew – well, I think a lot of them thought at first it was Marie doing a bit – you know acting like a jackass and goofing off. To this day, seeing Marie makes me cringe because she was just gawdawful unbearable on the show. She did make a good point on one of the entertainment shows later – the dude is supposed to catch you when you swoon, poor Jon just wasn’t on the ball. :-)

Best Argument for Not Getting Lyrical with Your Choreography: Jane & Tony’s bizarre “breathing” arm movements during their rumba

Courtney: Dang, Dr. Quinn’s body is even more incredible than I remember! But I digress.  Tony & Jane’s rumba song was “Breathe Again” by Toni Braxton (who would show up as a contestant a year later), most well known for it’s chorus of repeated “breathe again, breathe again”.  Well I guess Tony decided to get artistic when he was putting this rumba together, because he incorporated this weird back-and-forth arm movement that was supposed to be “breathing” in time with the chorus – except instead of breathing, it looked more like he & Jane were imitating the mighty albatross in a very sleepy game of charades.  Just…unintentionally comical.  CAW CAW!!!

Heidi:Oh. That was supposed to be breathing? Um, yeah, didn’t get it. :-)

Proof for the DWTS Theory of Tenure: Mark Ballas

Courtney: I’d like to take this opportunity to unveil my latest scientific DWTS theory – I like to call it the “Theory of Tenure”, and its underlying principle is that the longer a pro is on the show, the less of a true, competitive ballroom dancer they become.  This becomes apparent when looking at several of the pros’ evolution on the show, but the transformation is exceptionally marked (no pun intended) with one, Mark Ballas.  Season 5 was Mark’s rookie season on the show, and he was fresh off the competition floor – his choreography was pretty hardcore ballroom (not a lot of frills), his costumes were pretty normal, and his hair was much longer. None of the shaved head, tattooed, envelope-pushing rubbish he’s resorted to the past few seasons.  This rumba was quite lovely to watch, actually.  But what’s truly funny to me is that you can see little bits of the Mark of today peeking through – an enthusiastic piroutte here, a corny joke there. He was trying hard to keep the jimmy legs in check ;-)

Heidi: Mark was such a sweetheart back then…but he still had that bizarre, stiff looking smile. It scares me a bit. :-) I was watching the other day and also noticed he didn’t have too much to say in the Red (Blue this season) room. Interestingly enough, I was watching that OTHER dancing show the other night too – and Louis Van Amstel makes it VERY clear that the DWTS Theory of Tenure does not apply to all the pros – particularly those who are more mature (mentally, if not always in behavior). Louis choreographed a seriously kickass Tango that was strict ballroom – American version, I believe Mary said. Total content, killer lift at the end but not prone to all the flashy crap that SYTYCD choreographers doing ballroom feel like they have to add, thereby making it NOT legit ballroom – and certainly not straying from the rules of ballroom like Mark was so fond of doing in the name of “fresh” this past season on DWTS. And let me tell you, that Tango rivaled anything done on SYTYCD this season and certainly beat anything done this past season on DWTS. I am NOT a Louis fan by ANY stretch of the imagination – but I loved that dance. He disproves this theory…and he disproves (as Derek does frequently) that it is NOT necessary to stray from the Ballroom “rules” in order to create an amazing, fresh, exciting dance.

The Rocky Horror “Time Warp” Award: Mark, Maks and Tony

Heidi: Holy crap – they all look like BABIES. It looks like this was done ten years ago instead of 3 or 4. Wait…Mark at least WAS a baby then. What? 21?

Courtney: Tony definitely had more hair.  Maks was still trying to figure out what to do with his after chopping it off, and was toying with the babyfaced look (dislike).  Mark was still very “ballroom-y” – the heavily slicked-back, just slightly too long look.  Although I swear it looked a little teased on top.  I think he hit his stride in season 6 – no teased-up flat-top.  Just about an inch of hair that was neatly gelled.  Looked pretty good.  Then he decided that hair was for the common folk and went all cue-ball on us.  *sigh*

The “Translation Needed STAT!!” Award: Bruno Tonioli

Heidi: Dude, it’s Ro-DAY-o Drive, not rodeo “look at me I’m riding a bull” Drive. It took me a good 15 seconds or so to figure out what the hell he was talking about in his commentary to Jane and Tony. Apparently I wasn’t alone as Tom felt compelled to correct his pronunciation. :-) Bruno, word to the wise: If you can’t say it, you can’t shop it.

Courtney: Guess they were still working out the kinks in the Brunobot 5000, Version 2.0. At least he wasn’t being a total pervert like he is now…maybe they need to find the recovery disk for his propriety program.

The Award for Setting an Example That Will Unfortunately Be Ignored in Future Seasons: Mark Cuban, for arguing with Kym about their Choreography

Heidi: DON’T ARGUE WITH THE PROFESSIONALS ABOUT CHOREOGRAPHY. This should be a no-brainier, but not to those with egos rivaling the best Pro dancers. People, these dancers maybe be young – but they are the best at what they do and they have a pretty good idea what pleases the audience. Now, Mark went home this week and that may not be the reason why – but it certainly doesn’t help when the audience sees the novice MALE dancer arguing with the pretty, blonde professional. Who ignored this example?? Evan and Anna – to disastrous free style results. I’m sure there are more, but that’s the one that springs to mind most recently. I’m sure most pros don’t mind some input (Derek has often said he liked it from Nicole and Lil’ Kim) – but don’t let it escalate to “fight” level. Not even the appearance of a disagreement. It will backfire.

Courtney: I think my jaw might have dropped a little when witnessing this one, because it’s just not something that happens on the show much these days  - aside from the examples Heidi mentioned above. I think the celebs know better now than to question choreo.  Except if your name is Kate Gosselin, and you fancy yourself an expert on just about everything, and get off on arguing like the bitter old divorcee with the duck-butt hairdo that you truly are.  :-) But Kym seriously looked like she had no idea what to do – the aggression from Mark just seemed to come out of nowhere.  Clearly Mark hadn’t yet learned that you do not mess with She of the Awesome Boobage – not because she’s a barracuda, but because she’s just so damn sweet.  The ONLY instance in which I think some arguing between celeb & pro regarding choreography might have been good was between Mya & Dmitry when he was choreographing their “WTF?!” Hairspray freestyle.  I really wish she would have been more vocal about doing her idea instead of his.

Heidi: Okay, I re-phrase – don’t argue with Pros who have been on the show for a few seasons. :-) Yeah, the Mya/Dmitry freestyle was just bad and I chalk it up to him being new.  Of course, I don’t think he’s adjusted from SYTYCD to this day, so who knows.

The Award for Best (Worst?) Analogy: Samantha Harris for “Next We’ll See You do the Grocery Shopper.” Said to Mark Cuban, I believe, after he showed off his “style” of dancing.

Heidi: Huh whuh?? Grocery Shopper?? Do you suppose she means the “shopping cart” dance move?? I wasn’t sure, so I googled -and found someone asking the question “is that really a dance move or just another Sam Harris kooky comment?? LOL!! I also found that there are a couple videos of dancing Grocery shoppers that are dated 2010 – but I don’t think it’s an actual dance move and I think it’s Sam Harris doing her usual verbal tripping up. :-) Courtney? What say you??

Courtney: Maybe it’s one of those things where the term for it changes in different parts of the country…y’know, like “toilet” vs. “commode”? Or “purse” vs. “pocketbook”? “Water fountain” vs. “bubbler”? Yeah…maybe not.  And I know I may have bitched about Samantha when she was on the show…but I would still much rather have her cheesy ass back than deal with Brooke “Rainman” Burke yet again.  At least Samantha could come up with semi-entertaining banter off the cuff, and didn’t look like she had chased a few horse tranquilizers with a Cosmo before the show.

Heidi: Purse versus pocketbook??  That’s not regional, that’s generational! That’s mom versus grandma!  :-)  I kid….but really, pocketbook??

The Award for Best (Worst??) Metaphor (I think…): Carrie Ann Innaba for “I can see the colors of your growth”.

Heidi: WTF?? So Carrie and Sam were eating mushrooms together back at craft services. Or smokin’ some weed in their trailers. Or something. OR, CAI is doing hallucinogens – which would explain all the colors. Well, that’s what I’ve heard, anyway. :-)

Courtney: I’d like to show Carrie Ann the “colors of the wind”. Maybe Hines & Kendra would like to join me…they seemed pretty gaseous this season.

The Award for the Funniest Package (Clean Version): Helio and Julianne

Heidi: I cracked up when they are doing a move where Julianne has her back to Helio and he’s all smiley like normal and Julianne says, “Are you being macho” and he instantly goes into his version of Macho which is actually “constipation face”. :-) There were several little moments like that in this package and I laughed every single time. Even after all this time. :-)

Courtney: Y’know what? These two weren’t quite as enchanting as I remember them being the first time around.  Maybe it was because they had an off-week? Or maybe we’ve had enough charming couples in seasons since that it’s not such a rarity? Idk.  I remember thinking they were cute as a button when this season was airing, but upon watching this episode again last week – meh.  This rumba was stone cold. I guess I blame a kind of crappy rumba song & some pretty bland costuming.  And Julianne actually had a few moments of what looked like 100% bona fide bitch cross her face as the judges were critiquing this one…kinda surprised, really, since everyone usually pointed out Karina & Anna in the early days for their “pouty faces” and eye rolls when getting critiques from the judges.  I daresay Julianne wasn’t exactly a happy camper this particular week and let her face show it more than usual.  I guess their package was KIND OF cute…sort of.  I just was left feeling kind of “meh” about them this time around.

Heidi: Actually, I agree about Julianne. I found several instances of her in Season 7 where she just annoyed me with her comments during the judges talking.  I have several instances where I was muttering “Shut it, Julianne. She let it get to her a lot back then – but then, she was also only…what? 19 or 20?? That’s YOUNG for the responsibility the pros have.

The Award for Best Round Trip (AKA: The Come Full Circle Award or Award for Doing a 360): Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Heidi: Maks was absolutely delightful this season – hilarious and charming. “I met the Spice Girls!!!” LOL – that was hilarious. He was a great deal of fun with Mel B. It’s a round trip because we had a few seasons of “bad Maks”….but his season was Kirstie was also very delightful. So he went to a bad place for a bit…but he came back.

Courtney: Something bad must’ve happened during Maks’ hiatus in season 6, because he was oodles of fun in season 5 and seemed troubled when he returned for season 7.  And yes, fun Maks from season 5 definitely resurfaced for season 12 – you could tell Maks was having a ball with Mel B, and their practices seemed to move much more smoothly (and with a lot more laughter!) than some of his practice sessions with his celeb ladies in subsequent seasons.  Loved his bandit mask that he wore to keep Mel’s germs off of him!

Heidi: LOL!! I was trying to think of an award for that!  He said something like, “My immune system is very fragile right now.” Which had me cracking up – dude, your partner is SICK and you’re worried about YOUR immune system.  Hilarious.

The “Fret not, dearies, there’s better things in your future!” Award: Jennifer Esposito & Melissa McCarthy, who were sitting in the audience as publicity for “Samantha Who?”

Courtney: It may not be that big of a deal, but I was just amused by the fact that these two lovely ladies were playing second bananas to Christina Applegate on a short-lived sitcom on ABC at the time, and were probably forced by their higher-ups to go sit in the audience and pretend to be having fun in order to promote the show.  Now they’re both central characters on much more popular shows (Blue Bloods and Mike & Molly, respectively) – on CBS. :-) Guess good things await those who pay their dues on ill-fated ABC sitcoms…

Heidi: And Melissa was one of the presenters for the Emmy Awards so she was standing up there when her name was announced as a nominee for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. So Awesome.  Christina was in the audience during the Season 7 finale, clearly cheering on Lance – she looked rather bitter after Brooke and Derek’s freestyle. :-)  Well, not bitter…resigned.

Early Signs of Upcoming Dementia Award: Len, for mistakenly referring to M&M’s as “fruity”

Courtney: This might also fall under the “feeble attempt at a pun” category, because Len was trying to take their names and liken them to a “fruity, sweet, & delicious” candy…only one problem: M&M’s aren’t fruity, last I checked.  Unless of course, you referring to the limited edition coconut ones, which are FAB – but not probably what Len was talking about.  Pretty sure he meant “Skittles”, but didn’t want to ruin his perfect little pun.  You can even hear Tom chuckle in the background at that one.  Then again, maybe M&M’s are like Coke, and they taste different in different parts of the world… do we have any British readers? Are M&M’s fruity over there? Like…currant-flavored or something? Y’all seem to really like currants over the pond…

Heidi: Len was having a moment. :-)  But ya know, those Brits are just insane – UK’s sweetheart is a woman who lip syncs and is going back to her womanizing husband so it’s ENTIRELY possible that they have fruity M&M’s.  It would not surprise me. :-)  I mean, don’t they eat sheep’s stomach and something called “spotted dick”??  And this is the straight guys!

Best Example of How a Musical Guest Should Perform: Jennifer Lopez

Courtney: Seriously, I miss the days when musical guests on DWTS  could & would do more than just stand at a mic and sing, albeit rather apathetically (looking at YOU, Jennifer Hudson).  Jennifer may not be the most gifted vocalist in the world, but she sang (on pitch!) AND got out there and danced, without losing her breath, and when she wasn’t dancing, she at least moved about the stage and tried to get the crowd amped up.  How many musical guests in recent seasons can say they’ve done all of that? Anymore, I feel like some of the musical acts we get on the results show are there only because their handlers think it’ll be good publicity, and they seem to half-ass their way through their song and leave it to the pro dancers be the main source of entertainment.  Say what you will about Jennifer (people seem to really love or hate her – I’m in the former camp ;-)), but she got out there and performed her ass off…that’s more than I can say for some of the musical guests we’ve seen.  And while she may not have needed the entertainment value of the pro dancers she had for “Let’s Get Loud”, they were awesome too…damn I miss the days of the truly outstanding pro dances.  Seasons 5 & 6 were the heydey of the awesome pro numbers!

Heidi: Ahem. I have to object.  I do love Jennifer on AI, but I heard that she made DWTS re-shoot that song because there was too much focus on the pro dancers (also read it was one of the few that Derek had a hand in choreographing) and not enough on her. At which point I felt the need to bitch-slap. :-)  We don’t get enough pro dances as it is (although it was better back then than it is now), don’t be re-shooting to cut them out. You can tell this is the case just because of how the dancing is going full-on when the camera cuts back to Jennifer. They normally do a lot better of pausing the dancing when the camera isn’t on them, or splitting between dancing and singing.  I was irked. Pretty sure it came from one of the pros too, that little tid bit.

Courtney: Diva or not, I liked her performance.  I’d rather have a musical guest that tries too hard than one that looks like they’d rather be getting a root canal than performing on the show. And at least she had a number where she included pro dancers, even if it was limited – seems like a lot of the artists these days bring their own dancers and eliminate the need for the pros altogether.

Next time, on the Cheesecake Awards….Season 6, Week 7!!! You have two weeks or so.