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Dancing With The Stars: Week 4

by Brett Love, posted Apr 10th 2007 3:00AM
laila and maksim(S04E06) Tom kicked off week four by proclaiming, "It's time to go big, or go home." I would disagree with that. We are still early enough in the competition that people can continue to skate by on popularity. When they get down to four couples, then it will be time to go big.

Len followed that up by going to the stats. According to his numbers, this group has been slacking on the practice. They have only been practicing 13 hours a week. The teams from the last season averaged 19 hours. He said that it shows in their performance, but I don't notice a stark difference between the two seasons. I think we have a similar division of couples again this year. He followed that up with a threat of lower scores for anyone he thinks isn't putting in the work. I wasn't buying that, but in retrospect, this was some of the tougher judging they have ever done. That said, on with the show.

Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Paso Doble) - I suspected when I heard what the dances would be that Laila would be doing the paso doble. They were good, but this was probably my least favorite of her performances so far. It was not helped by that music. It's the soundtrack I would expect if there was a paso doble on Tom and Jerry. I was expecting something a little darker, with more passion. Len didn't see the fire, aggression, or attack. Bruno thought it felt like a rerun. Carrie Ann agreed with Len and Bruno. 21 (7, 7, 7)

apolo and julianneApolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Waltz) - Good grief, I think Julianne just gets cuter every week. And the two of them do have a very good rapport. They certainly have danced well, but their chemistry helps as well. That really shined through in their performance this week. It was a very romantic dance, and I thought Apollo really held his own in selling the performance. Bruno called them the crown jewels of the competition. Carrie Ann thought it was very romantic. Len jumped on them for bad footwork and technique. It's becoming something of a DWTS tradition to hammer on the really good dancers while going easy on the weaker couples. 26 (9, 8, 9)

Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani (Paso Doble) - As sure as I was that Laila would be doing the paso, I was just as certain that Leeza would be doing the waltz. And I think that would have been the better choice. It just fits her abilities better. On a side note, what was with Randy Couture in the pre dance bit? The dance wasn't very good, and it lacked the fire that is supposed to be the paso. Leeza seems to be moving between her marks, as opposed to dancing. Carrie Ann thought Leeza looked awkward. Len simply called it dull, dull, dull. Bruno called it the diet version of the paso doble. 16 (6, 5, 5)

Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Waltz) - Going in, I liked the choice of the waltz for Ian. He's shown that he can do the flashier dance, it's good to see him show some style. After watching the performance though, I couldn't help thinking he might have made the same mistake that Leeza did, and may have been better served in the other dance. Not that their waltz was bad. It was very well done, and it had some beautiful moments, but I think they could have really hit one out of the park with the paso. Len called it a really good waltz. Bruno thought Ian didn't hold his character all the way through. Carrie Ann said Ian isn't breathing. 24 (7, 9, 8). I can only guess that Carrie Ann took off an extra point for Cheryl's hair.

John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska (Paso Doble) - John sure is a likable guy, but he's just not a dancer. I give him a lot of credit for committing to the performance. He certainly does do a good job with the attitude, but the dancing is just not there. As he noted in his post dance interview, John is here as long as the fan vote keeps him here. Bruno thought it was a major bleep. Carrie Ann didn't understand John's performance. Len didn't think the dance suited John and called it a disaster. 16 (6, 5, 5)

Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko (Waltz) - Clyde is probably the contestant I am most unsure of at the moment. He was not good at all last week, but I still think that there is potential for a lot of improvement. This week showed again though that he is just kind of moving through the dance trying not to do anything wrong. You never get the feeling that he is putting his all into their performance. Carrie Ann thought it looked like every other dance he has done. Len didn't think Clyde was even trying. Bruno didn't see any romance in the performance. If Clyde put the same kind of energy into the dance that he put into his comments for the judges, the scores might have been better. 15 (6, 4, 5)

Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff (Paso Doble) - I can't feel sorry for Karina, no matter how bad Billy Ray is as a dancer. She's certainly not the first pro that has been stuck with a difficult partner. I think she needs to have a talk with Ashly DelGrosso about Master P to get a little perspective. Billy Ray seems to be the opposite of Clyde. He doesn't have Clyde's natural grace, but he beats him hands down in commitment and effort. I think the fact that you can tell that he tries so hard is driving a lot of those votes. Len praised Billy Ray for his work ethic. Bruno also appreciated the hard work. Carrie Ann called it awkward and sexy. 21 (7, 7, 7)

Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts (Waltz) - At this point in the competition I have to say I have been much more concerned about what wardrobe they are going to put Heather in than what is going on with her leg. This was probably her best outfit yet. She took advantage of that great dress and had a great performance. It was a very beautiful dance and she performed it very well. Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann thought her neck and shoulders were off. Len said she did a great job and praised Jonathan's choreography. 23 (7, 8, 8)

joey and kymJoey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Paso Doble) - Saving the best for last, Joey and Kym were very good. More than anyone else that performed the paso doble, they really sold the fire and the passion of the dance. There is still a lot of dancing to be done, and a lot of votes to be counted, but I think Joey is now the front-runner. Carrie Ann said they were on fire. Len praised them for capturing the flavor of the dance. Bruno called it a mean paso. 28 (10, 9, 9) First 10 of the season.

6 out of 7 Seeing the judges take the scores a little more seriously added something that has been missing from the show. All too often the scores are all so similar that the judges effectively take themselves out of the equation. Because of that change, I'm giving this one a 6 out of 7. Were the new, harsher, judges enough to seal Clyde or Leeza's fate? That would be my pick for the bottom two tomorrow, but we'll just have to tune in to find out.

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This season of Dancing with the Stars isn't as good as last seasons. The celebrities last season were so much fun to watch because they were having fun and they worked for their scores. This season doesn't seem as fun. I think Clyde Drexler should be voted off. He's not even trying. Some of the stars don't seem like they are trying except for a few of the stars (Heather Mills, Ian Ziering, and Joey Fatone). The show seems to me as a popularity contest.

April 16 2007 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Toni...and I was so sad when he was disqulified.....Hes a great dancer but this season his partner wasn't so good. If he had a better partner he could have won.....After all he is the Current world and undefeated United States Open champion. Plus hes Albanian and hes just awesome..Hopefully he gets a good chance next season and wins.

April 12 2007 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey, MitziFaye (12), your list is right on the mark!

And three cheers for Billy: a dancer he ain't, but, boy, he sure is putting in a terrific effort.

April 10 2007 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was good to see the judges reign in their scores a little this week. Someone got a 9 the second dance of the season. They paint themselves in a corner when they give scores like that so early.

April 10 2007 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

re: Wonder what's up with the "brother/sister" comments??---Perhaps Apolo is trying to remove doubt and speculation over the relationship he has with Julieanne. Remember last year, the hype over Mario/Karina and Willa /Maksim? Or, perhaps it's simply as he said; it makes it more difficult to dance a romantic number, such as the waltz, and make it appear so when you're dancing with someone who is like your sister.

I'd like to comment, too, on one reason Joey's butt is always sticking out, which was a problem with the judges last week. The judges were not commenting on the size of his posterior, but rather the position of it. Joey, himself, admitted he danced that way because he was uncomfortable being in such close contact with his partner "down there" and was holding himself away from her. He's done so well in all other areas, that's one place he needs to improve, which he indeed did last night.

April 10 2007 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I thought Apollo y Julianne and Joey y Kym performed amazingly last night, I 've got to say, I am way up there rooting for Apollo more than Joey 'cuz Nsync was never my thing, but I absolutely adore Apollo from watching him in the Olympics last year. And he and his partner are crazy cute, and I so wish they stop calling each other siblings. If they decide to get it on, their partnership won't gross me out at all. love, Love, LOVE them.

Kudos to Billy Ray for effort and to Laila for always adding a bit of hip action - she is the only one out of all the women celebrities who does that at all. Women have hips - show them. Detested Cheryl's hair. Had to add my $0.02.

April 10 2007 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The judges really made it clear who was practicing and who wasn't. I know that they give the celebs a little bit of a break at first but not anymore. I'm proud of Billy for putting in the time. Sure he's not a great dancer but I think the contestants that are taking this seriously should get rewarded with at least lasting longer than those who just wanted a couple of weeks of PR. Last night it was fun watching Billy with his head bobbing on beat and counting out loud and practically "marching" through the number. There is no reason for Karina to get mad because she could have gotten a Master P and she didn't. Billy is at least trying and wants to learn, a professional couldn't ask for more.

I also thought you saw Max being Max last night. That number was chorographed for him to show off, not to show of Laila and that was the problem. Maybe she had less time to practice this week and he was making up for it but I think his ego got the best of him.... again. Was he making a comment with his fake cough after Len's comments? Max really hates it when the judges are critical of him.

The funniest thing last night was Ian looking at Tom when Bruno said "McStiffy". They both had this look like "do we dare?" "nah, it's too easy". I guess Bruno wasn't brought up with Beavis and Butthead.... I could just hear Ian and Tom now... he said McStiffy... hehehehe yeah Stiffy ... hehehehe

April 10 2007 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My daughter danced in many competitions in NYC and Vegas. Over the hours watching other dancers while waiting for her numbers, it seemed a fantastic performance could be predicted within 10 to 15 seconds of the dance. I think that is what Joey/Kym gave us this week. To me, their performance was compelling. Undoubtedly, dancing with N'Sync gave him the aggressive style to attack the Paso.

I think Apolo/Julianne were second. They are very entertaining to watch. Wonder what's up with the "brother/sister" comments??

April 10 2007 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the biggest problems with most of the Paso Dobles was the horrible music choices that were made. The only one that was even close to sounding like it had the passion and fire that was needed was Joey and Kym's song. Billy Ray and Karina's was passable, but the other three were just downright horrible. It really takes away from the dance when the music doesn't match the feel of the dance and I think whoever chooses the songs is doing the dancers a huge disservice.

April 10 2007 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm still an avid fan of DWTS however the judges seem to be losing their interest. We know these stars are not professional (JOEY??)
so let's be aware of their capabilities. It takes a lot to have the courage to even attempt this show. I say hip hip hooray for the contestants.

April 10 2007 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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