Isn’t this a fun group shot of some of our couples with co-host Brooke Burke? The Dancing With The Stars Make-Up crew has more photos of the couples and cast from “behind the scenes” of week 9. Be sure to see them all here. A MUST SEE!
Some people touch on our hearts and souls all season through and such is true for the two couples who exited Dancing With The Stars last night. I’ll forever remember Apolo Anton Ohno for his “chemistry” with Karina from the time they started to dance to the end. Most of us never felt the “lack there of” with them. They had a powerful, romantic, unforgettable, and intense journey that will bind them forever and one of which we’ll never forget.
Then there is Emmitt Smith who had more class, wiseness, and charm in his little pinky than most of the contestants who have graced this show. I’ll never forget how he would sometimes sing to the songs when he danced and how he would smile, relax, and just enjoy each dance when it came time to hit the dance floor. I also loved how he would relate football and dancing.
So, here’s to Apolo and Emmitt and their interviews after their eliminations!! The titles “Champion” and “Dancing With The Stars All Star” fits them in every way, doesn’t it?!!!! Tom Bergeron was so right when he said we “lost a good chunk of charisma” last night.
Toni Redpath, a ballroom choreographer and judge from “So You Think You Can Dance”, has reviewed the Semi-Finals of Dancing With The Stars. She’s got some interesting comments. Below is how she felt on the contestants first dances. Be sure you read how she felt on their second dances at her official Facebook page here. She feels like us in some cases and not in others depending how you feel….
Melissa… Argentine Tango… Thank goodness for a recognizable dance. Great dance for her, as she can show off her beautiful legs. Some parts were amazing, some parts look a little awkward (like the pretzel move just before the final walk off). Great job to Tony for pulling off this evening with a bad back.
Shawn… I was curious to see if she could pull off such a mature & sexy dance considering how, in my opinion, she’s taken a step back in her emotional performance level since the Titanic routine. Unfortunately she came across as robotic & stand-offish instead of sultry. Remarkable physical performance though, but that’s not enough to win this competition.
Apolo… Rumba is a good dance for him. I love all the basics that Karina put in. Sliding doors, Nat opening outs, fan etc… Just beautiful after all the madness that ensued earlier in the evening. Apolo did a good job, but is throwing himself off balance by sending his upper body into turns first… Otherwise, amazing.
Emmitt…. Danced his Tango with a lot of intensity and I love the set of ripple stalks. However, footwork & posture are always going to be his great downfall if it ever becomes important in the competition. If it’s just a popularity contest he’ll be fine though. He’s just so loveable
Kelly… Breakout performer of the night… She’s really pushing herself in the emotional aspect of her dancing… Shawn should learn from her; dancing is not just about technical execution & dynamic movement, you have to have an emotional connection to the music & your partner, otherwise the audience won’t emotionally connect with you.
Some of you may recall what I’ve said on more than one occasion in various blogs on this site. I’ve said…when the judges get REAL, someone who has been previously deluded gets mad. And that, my friends, is Val and his big bro, who really needs to stay off twitter during the show. I think that’s all the attention that I will give these children – really what more can be said about them at this point?
Anyway, Shawn and Melissa did great, although I thought that Melissa’s AT was overscored by a point or two for being too soft (as per usual). She also made the mistake of her Lindy – too many lifts such that some of them were a bit messy. I also find it amusing that when given the opportunity Melissa and Tony LOAD UP on the lifts and tricks (Lindy and AT…and the caveman hustle, for that matter), but some fans whine about Shawn. Derek stripped their AT down to technical cool – it was also a tad soft, but it was a better dance than Melissa’s, despite what CAI thinks. Like I said in the comments – I want Melissa in the finale, so I’ll live with a tiny bit of overscoring. But if Shawn didn’t deserve a 30, Melissa didn’t either.
Apolo?? AWESOME Rumba – far better than Kelly’s. I will confess that I don’t know enough about Jazz to know if that was good or not. I liked it, despite a couple minor difficulties. But hell, Emmitt slipped last week and got 10’s, why not Apolo?? Emmitt was overscored on his first dance and, as Courtney pointed out on Twitter, it’s this sort of scoring that sends better dancers home. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Here is our scoreboard after two dances – and my top three coincide with the Judges Top 3. Awesome. Not that it means anything.
At the bottom, we have Emmitt and Kelly. I think that if Kelly or Emmitt manage to stick around it will be at Melissa’s expense and I hope like hell that doesn’t happen because Melissa is ten times the dancer that Kelly is. But, that’s the funny thing about an All Star season – you aren’t guaranteed a spot just because you’re a good dancer. That goes for Apolo and Shawn too – no guarantees. Read more..
What a night of television last night and one of the best for Dancing With The Stars!! I was at the edge of my seat all night, were you?
So, lets’ go straight to the interviews afterwards with the couples and George Pennacchio of On The Red Carpet. He asks them on the next 22 hours, what is keeping them going, and if they think they deserve to be in the finals. Great questions again and he puts them on the spot a little….
Cheryl and Emmitt! Cheryl tells George this is the week she is the most frightened, but, both Cheryl and Emmitt are hoping their fan bases will pull them through. Emmitt says it’s one of those things where you have to wait and see “where the chips fall”. What keeps Emmitt going is that there is always room for improvement. He gives Cheryl props for “teaching an old man how to dance” and to “another level” this season. They gave it their all last night and now they just have to wait and see what happens.
Tony and Melissa talk of how they dedicated their Michael Jackson dance to a friend who died this past week. Tony was so proud of Melissa for what she was producing on the floor. It was a “masterpiece” for him. His back was hurting, but, Melissa was like a “feather in his arms”. What’s keeping them going is their “friendship”. Melissa has been Tony’s “rock” through everything they’ve been challenged with this season and now he is just “enjoying every moment”. They hope they’ve made the finals. They’ve tried to do everything they can do to earn them a spot.
Apolo says the “fans” are what is keeping him and Karina going. They try to give it their all for them every week. Apolo and Karina says their rumba was their most “connected” dance than all the other dances they’ve danced. They poured all their hearts out and just danced. Karina will take that “moment” with her forever no matter what happens tonight and why she loves this show and the journey. Apolo doesn’t know if they will be back next week, but, either way, it’s been amazing and everyone is a “champion”.
Well, if you’re reading this, it means enough people FINALLY stopped hitting “refresh” on the homepage that I could get logged into the dash and actually get these posted :-P And with the way things are going, things might not calm down until Tuesday morning…so if this is late, sorry, but we got hit with too much traffic and my pleas for people to scale back the traffic on Twitter went unanswered. C’est la vie.
Maybe I’m just tired and apathetic from a full day of Thanksgiving grocery shopping and house cleaning, but I’m feeling a bit blasé about tonight – a few standout performances that I enjoyed, but overall, nothing too surprising, and I think things played out the way they should have…and as we suspected, the judges finally got real and managed to call certain couples out on the crap they’ve been getting away with for the past several weeks, and couples that have been putting in the effort finally got the love they deserved. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
1.) Shawn & Derek - In quite possibly the biggest surprise of the night for me, I actually ended up enjoying their Knight Rider bhangra the most out of any dance I saw tonight! Judging from some of the frustrated tweets we were seeing from the usually-unflappable Derek this weekend, I was fully prepared for this to be a hot mess – but it actually was the most high-energy, in-synch, and entertaining routine for me tonight. I think the speed of it was what really impressed me – they were both moving so fast, and doing such intricate steps, and were still somehow staying almost perfectly in synch. And the most amusing aspect? Shawn actually seemed to dance it better than Derek! I also thought they managed to put that hideous Bollywood routine that Gilles & Peta did to shame, which was another perk Overall, I think they handled the wacky dance theme challenge the best of the five couples. Moving onto their Argentine tango – another technically flawless dance. Shawn’s feet & legs were sharp and precise, which was the main complaint I had about Melissa’s dance – but I do agree a bit with Carrie Ann (and those words literally hurt my mouth) that Shawn & Derek had a little bit of a disconnect with the emotion of the dance. HOWEVER – this is something for which I really have to blame the music. “Bad” is a great song, but maybe not a great song for an Argentine tango – it’s a song about a guy asserting his authority and masculinity, and he’s doing it in a cheeky way. It’s not about passion or the thrill of the chase between a man and a woman…so I feel like if they had actually gone the smoldery route, it would have looked a little odd and out of place given the music. I also thought Derek did a slightly better job of really accenting the music with his choreography than Tony did. When it came to the two Argentine tangos we saw tonight, Melissa may have had more of an emotional connection, but I thought Shawn had the better technique. I thought they should have gotten the same score – either downgrade Melissa a point or upgrade Shawn a point, whichever. In the end, I think they may be the only couple that is a lock for the finale…at least I hope.
2.) Apolo & Karina – HALLELUJAH!!! They finally got the praise they deserve for their chemistry. Loved their rumba – I thought it was the perfect combination of good choreography and good emotion, and Apolo just NAILED the technique. And for those who poo-pooh “Man in the Mirror” as a rumba song – I think they injected far more romance into that rumba than Kelly & Val did with a song that was far more outwardly romantic. Then there was the “Big Top Jazz” – sigh. It wasn’t perfect – I agree that there were a few stumbles, and it felt a little frantic at times. But I really don’t think it was nearly as bad as the judges (Carrie Ann in particular) were making it sound – the degree of difficulty was much higher than Kelly’s flamenco or Emmitt’s Lindy hop, and possibly even Melissa’s hustle, and I still think he managed to stay far more in-synch than both Kelly & Emmitt. I also thought the lifts were amazing, and didn’t know what Carrie Ann was talking about, claiming they were clunky – I actually think Apolo could give Tony a run for his money, and I’ve always said that Tony is the best lifter we’ve ever seen on the show (and Julianne the best liftee). Was it his best dance? No. Did I enjoy it? Somewhat. But hopefully it’s just a minor, mediocre hiccup in an otherwise pretty damn strong season. I think Apolo is the strongest guy left, and deserves to be in the finale – and I feel a little bit better knowing he’s got a 3-point lead over Emmitt & Kelly, even if it doesn’t equal out to a huge margin. I do think he’s getting a decent amount of votes – both from loyal voters who’ve gotten pissed at his low-balling this season, and possibly from the voters who go for the “hot guy”…now that Gilles is gone, at least some of them must be impressionable enough to toss a few votes Apolo’s way Perhaps I’m being optimistic there, but while I wouldn’t necessarily put money on Apolo making it through to the finale next week, I would say I’m at least 76% confident he will. I think the judges do realize he’s one of the strongest dancers left, and probably want him in the finale…hopefully America agrees. Read more..
Emmitt Smith tells ET Online that there won’t be any “butt shakes’” in his dances this week. They have to “stay on course”. LOL He’s so cute. You can see them dancing in the interview too.
“No, you can’t have butt shakes in the tango, or the semifinal,” he said. “So at the end of the day, the dances that we have this week are pretty structured. When the opportunity comes for some butt shakin’, then maybe we will, but until then, we have to stay the course.”
USA Today has an article up where pro Chelise Hightower gives her thoughts on the remaining five couples on Dancing With The Stars. She was “surprised” on Gilles Marini’s exit last week, but, says, “You never know what to expect on the show.” Below are more of her thoughts and predictions for Melissa, Shawn, and Apolo. You can read more of her thoughts on Emmitt and Kelly at USA Today. Note too (at the link) that she’s picking Shawn to win it.
The reality TV star has been a dark horse in this race. “She was already a great dancer before, but she’s improved so much. She’s had a boost of confidence and that confidence is very noticeable,” says Chelsie. Melissa had perfect scores on two performances last week, so she’s riding high. “She could definitely be a finalist and a contender for the mirrorball.” Melissa and her pro, Tony Dovolani, must dance a “Caveman Hustle.” The name pretty much says it all. Says Chelsie: “I think they’re going to go a fun route.” What else can they do?
The Olympian is a firecracker on the dance floor, and Chelsie predicts we’ll see her in the finals. But this week, Shawn and her amazing pro partner, Derek Hough, are tasked with dancing a “Knight Rider Banghra.” Chelsie says a banghra Indian dance is “similar to Bollywood, which is a really, really cool dance.” (Gilles and his partner were only a half point away from perfect scores with their Bollywood dance during Week 4.) The twist will be the Knight Rider part. But, as Cheslie points out, Derek will “make it look great no matter what.” Derek has been tweeting photos of David Hasselhoff, who starred in the 1980s Knight Rider show.
Apolo Anton Ohno
“Third place is so up for grabs,” says Chelsie, assuming Shawn and Melissa will make it to the finals. Apolo, Emmitt Smith and Kelly have “‘been on the same level, I feel like, the whole season. Whoever can show the strongest dances will take the spot. But it’s going to be really tight.” With “Big Top Jazz” as their dance/theme, Apolo and partner Karina Smirnoff might do some clowning around on the floor. Jazz was a big dance in the 1990s, explains Chelsie, who says it’s totally open to interpretation. “It’s not a ballroom dance at all.” No matter what happens, Apolo landed a spot on People’s Sexiest Men Alive list, so even if he doesn’t win the trophy, he can boast about that.
Wow! Get ready as the odds at Sports Bovada may shock you this week more than they ever have…atleast that’s how I’m feeling right now? Never did I think we’d see Apolo in last?
Shawn Johnson 4/7
Emmitt Smith 5/1
Kelly Monaco 15/2
Melissa Rycroft 15/2
Apolo Anton Ono 17/2
Last week’s Las Vegas Odds going into Week 7 to compare:
Shawn Johnson 5/7
Emmitt Smith 7/2
Gilles Marini 11/2
Apolo Anton Ohno 9/1
Kelly Monaco 9/1
Melissa Rycroft 40/1
Kirstie Alley 100/1
Unreal. I think the odds makers have it totally wrong this week putting Apolo last. If anyone should be last, shouldn’t it be Kelly or Emmitt? Then again, it’s pretty tight odds for the last three (Kelly, Melissa, and Apolo). Even still, shouldn’t Emmitt be last and at higher odds to go home than the rest?
Let’s get my cohorts thoughts on this to help make sense of it and be sure to let us know your thoughts too in comments.
Heidi: Ugh, if we get THAT as a final three?? Anyway, look at last weeks odds – they had Gilles in the number three spot and he’s GONE. That’s where I will hang my hat. They RARELY get the order right, although by now they do usually have the winner right. I’m not so sure I buy into that this time around, with it being the All Star Season. I’m not quite sure why they think that Kelly should be up that high unless they completely buy into the judges rambling. If that’s the case, why are people who bet on Shawn actually going to OWE them money?? Isn’t that what the odds are saying? If they are going with what the judges say, Shawn shouldn’t be anywhere near the top – or do they see through Len as well as we do? Anyway, I think the final three is going to be Shawn, Apolo and Melissa, with either Shawn or Apolo winning. I’m starting to wonder if I’m wrong about Apolo though. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that up front. He’s not getting Ralphed in the slightest – but he also isn’t getting the love I think he deserves, while Kelly is getting far more love than she deserves. But I guess it’s in her ABC contract. She was only one point back from Shawn on the Viennese Waltz and she should have been at least two.
Courtney: I feel like pulling a Joe Pesci in Casino and laying the beat down on whatever asshat is setting these odds No way in HELL do I see Apolo as the low man on the totem pole – and my only explanation is that maybe these oddsmakers are also buying into the judges’ low-balling of him…and OTT praise of Emmitt, Kelly, & Melissa. Although I have to say, if the judging last week was any indicator – I think the dew is beginning to wear off the rose with Kelly, much in the same way it was with Gilles in previous weeks. They could have easily copped out and given her 29′s & 29.5′s like Gilles & Apolo – or really gone buckwild and given her 30′s like Melissa. But they didn’t – they gave her a comparably low 28 & 28.5. It didn’t make much of a difference in the great scheme of things, since there were so many points factoring into last week’s elim, but just the fact that they actually seemed to call her out on some of her errors tells me that she’s not immune to criticism & lower scores. But as Heidi has said, week 9 is the week that the judges tend to get real and really show their cards – that is, who they want in the finale. So I think whatever scoring we see this week is really going to tell us who the judges want in the finale, and who they don’t…and I honestly think they’re going to go for whatever combination they feel will produce the most entertaining finale. I would think that would have to include Shawn and Apolo, and then I think it will be a toss-up between Melissa or Emmitt. As almighty and powerful as the soap fans seem to think themselves, I don’t believe for a minute that they can compete with the might of an Olympian or NFL fanbase.
Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that re-watching the results show was enlightening and annoying as hell all at the same time. And some parts were downright gross. Anyway, I am just starting to write this down and I’m sensing that it will be WAY more bitchy than it is funny. Fair warning.
The Award for the Pro Giddy Beyond All Reason: Tony Dovolani, in His Confessional Shown During the Results Show
Heidi: He’s just freaking happy. And he should be, what with perfect scores. He and Melissa are so cute and fun that I would be happy to see them make it to the finale and win (although I want it to be SHAWN and it should be Shawn). I love him bursting with glee in the confessional to the point he blows Melissa’s ear drums out. But seriously – I hope he holds on to that feeling because the judges were exceedingly kind and probably for a reason. Looking back on that Quickstep, you could drive a mac truck between Melissa and Tony’s bodies – something that Len regularly bitches about when the Pro happens to be named Derek. Be prepared – this is a theme you will likely hear me complain about throughout the Awards.
Courtney: I’ve gotta say – Tony is really impressing me this season. He’s stepped up the choreo, and although he’s still not necessarily the most creative pro on the show, he still makes his partners actually dance, and he doesn’t buy into the drama – and neither does Melissa. They don’t try to pass off some phony showmance, they don’t go for super flashy choreography, they’re not over-the-top competitive & annoying – they just dance, and they dance well…and they don’t worry about what’s going on around them. It’s nice to see him genuinely happy and grateful to be doing well And him cheesing in the confessional was just adorable…I was half expecting the guy to say “Am I dreaming???? Am I actually headed to week 9???? AAAAAAGGHHHH!!!” I daresay putting up with the likes of Wendy Williams, Kate Gosselin, and Martina Navratilova over the years has paid off
Heidi: Yep, Tony is downright CUTE this season as well. He matches his partner in that respect.