Dancing With The Stars: Week 4
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 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 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.
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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