Samantha Injured Too? More DWTS 9 Media from Week 6

Coming up shortly – clips from the results show and an extremely romantic pro dance to Taylor Swift. Yes, I am a total sap.

The Insider has video up on their site that includes MOST of the couples. The accompanying write up was cute:

Samantha Harris may only co-host “Dancing with the Stars,” but that didn’t stop “The Insider” correspondent from suffering an ankle injury.

Not realizing her physical ailment, Derek Hough tried to dance with her. Backstage after the show he apologized. Samantha joked, “I’ve been waiting for eight seasons to have Derek to dance with me. He finally does it while I have a sprained ankle.”

Entertainment Tonight with Derek/Joanna and Melissa/Mark – and Derek gives pointers to one of the correspondents on the Thriller dance:

Maks’ blog gives us some insight into the competitive Mambo and how it works in the ballroom world in his weekly blog with TV Guide – no surprise he goes after the Derek naysayers and echos what I have said. Lots of good stuff in Maks’ blogs and I always enjoy them.

I was unable to watch Monday’s show because I was flying back to L.A. I saw all the performances on video and got a recap of some of the things. I saw a little bit of the mambo marathon, but heard a lot about it. I actually really like the idea. This is something we can explore and try to figure out. I think what people don’t understand is that we come from a competitive ballroom world and this is the format. Having couples dance one at a time, like Dancing does, yes, that’s awesome, but we’re used to everyone being on the floor at the same time dancing against so many other couples. I think Derek killed it with his competitive ability. We’re trying to stand out from the crowd. We have a set a routine, but there are a lot of elements that come up from within the crowd of other couples that you can play off of. I think that’s exactly what he did when he kept dropping Joanna over and over and doing that little lift thing. That’s what people are not used to seeing, but that’s when our true competitive spirit comes out. Couples that can pull it off pull it off.

I also liked the marathon because the judges, for the first time, had to judge couples in comparison to other couples. Whoever is the better dancer, wins. A lot of times, somebody gets a 7 and somebody else gets a 7 and people can’t believe it. A 7 given to someone who did an amazing job for them and a 7 given to somebody who is amazing but could’ve done better is not the same 7. In the marathon format, there was no chance for them to do that. They can’t say, “Hey Michael, you did great for what you did today. You showed improvement,” and “Mya, you should’ve done better because you’re that amazing.” They had to pick people based on how they compared to each other as dancers and not how they compared to themselves.

When you’re in a ballroom event, you start off with hundreds of couples, then you have a number of heats where more than 15 couples dance at the same time. They choose couples out of those heats and then you go to the next round. You have to stand out from the crowd and be in the judges’ memory for many heats until the end. You truly end up with some of the best at the end because they were not only able to showcase their dance ability, but their showmanship and everything else. I think that element was missing from the show. In the competition, if you’re truly great, you can draw audience attention from across the room.

I may not have been the most technical dancer, but what I was is I was a great competitor. I try to teach my students that it is very important to remember it’s 50 percent quality and 50 percent presentation. Then you can dissect presentation into many things, but it’s important to possess or develop, if you don’t have it, star quality. The idea is when you walk out on the floor, you cover the entire stage with your presence. I can go out and just stand, metaphorically speaking, or do something simple while somebody is doing flips all over the place and I can draw your attention to me. This is what we’re trained to do. If you’re better at it, you may have a better chance to win even if others may be better dancers.