Dancing With The Stars: Week 4
Things weren't all rosy though. Carrie Ann made it her personal crusade to annoy the crap out of everyone in her new role as the lift police. If you have watched the show over the last couple seasons, it's something that has come up before. And every time, it leaves me wondering just why they have that rule. It's not a competition sanctioned by anyone other than ABC, so that can't be it. To protect the dancers? They let Monique jump 12 feet, backwards, off of the stage. It makes debating whether or not a heel was half an inch off of the stage seem a little silly. I'm actually all for doing away with the rule and getting on with the dancing. Anyway, a rundown of all the performances after the jump.
Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson (Viennese Waltz) - Mark made a point of thanking his family as we headed off to get a look at his week in training. We saw him marking down all of the steps on a piece of paper to study. It's interesting because it shows one of the things that is holding Mark back. As Kym pointed out, part of it is feeling the dance, not just memorizing it. There was a bit of that again this week for Mark, but overall it was another step in the right direction. His hard work continues to pay off and he was improved again this week. I thought he looked a little stiff in a couple of his solo parts, but when the two of them were together it was a nicely done performance.
Len joked that Mark looks a lot better if you close your eyes when you watch him, but then added that this was his best performance so far. Bruno said it started very well, with good moments, but later he lost his rhythm. Carrie Ann liked that he didn't sing along and called him the little engine that could. Backstage, Samantha made her first mistake in her first interview, saying Len called it the best dance of the night. I've missed her! Score: 22 (7, 8, 7)
Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas (Paso Doble) - Sabrina was very concerned about Len's comments that their performances lacked contrast. So, she and Mark made it a point to improve that this week. In their training video we saw that she was worried she wouldn't be able to stay in character. It was a good bit to highlight, because that was exactly my concern when they announced that they would be doing the paso doble. It's a much more serious and passionate dance, and that's something we hadn't really seen from Sabrina up to this point. But we have now. She really did pull the character of the dance off. She was passionate, and fierce. And Mark once again took advantage of her dancing ability, crafting a high energy performance that was a treat to watch.
Bruno said she had power, attack, and stealth, calling her a little lynx on the prowl. Carrie Ann said she can tell that Sabrina really wants this, adding that their performance was perfection. Len said his expectations are very high for Sabrina, and he's always looking for things that are wrong with her performance, and tonight he didn't find any. Sabrina was very excited about all of the great comments and complimented Mark for their performance. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10) The first perfect score of the season solidifies Sabrina as the favorite at this point in the competition.
Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani (Viennese Waltz) - In the backstage we got a quick look at Jane painting. What little we did see was rather impressive. She said that she hoped their waltz would be beautiful and artistic, like a paining. There are certain dances that just fit certain contestants. This was probably the perfect dance for Jane. She's so graceful, and just looked amazing here. They had a couple breathtaking moments with their long slow spins. Everyone in attendance really seemed to love the performance.
Then, rather strangely, Carrie Ann started her comments by saying that she was bummed. Honestly, I had no idea what she was on about. She went on to say the dance was gorgeous, but she thought they did a lift. Len said he didn't want to get into lifts, declaring tonight a lift free zone. He added that the performance had all the romance, beautiful arms, great job. Bruno said she looked like the queen of the fairies. Tony was adamant that they didn't do a lift. Score: 26 (8, 9, 9) Backstage, they continued to debate the lift. A slow motion replay showed that Jane's foot did barely come off the ground for a split second, but it really just serves to point out how silly the rule is.
Floyd Mayweather and Karina Smirnoff (Paso Doble) - Floyd really came into this week under pressure. He was upset by being in the bottom two last week, and it's pretty obvious that the team needed a big turnaround. They headed off to an elementary school to meet with some kids, which was a nice moment for Floyd. They both were determined to make this a comeback week. It got off to an exciting start as Floyd worked the cape. It kind of went downhill from there though. Floyd has his moments, but where he really struggles is getting into, and staying in, character. You are always left watching Floyd the boxer dance. To be fair, there was less boxer this week than there has been in past weeks, but he is progressing slower than the rest of the stars. They had a big finishing move, that was very good, once they got into it. The beginning of it was a little awkward.
Len said he liked that Floyd gives it his all, but that it causes him to lose control. Bruno said Floyd went from a bulldozer to a bullfighter in one week. Carrie Ann was once again pre-occupied with whether or not their final move was a lift. Technically, yes, but good grief I so don't care. It's an iffy rule. After that, she praised Floyd's posture and called his performance much improved. Score: 23 (7, 8, 8) Did everyone catch the look on Karina's face when Carrie Ann said 7? Wow.
Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Viennese Waltz) - Things are looking good for Mel, coming off of three 9s last week. She said that she just wants to improve every week. In the backstage piece we got another look at the two of them fighting, an angle that is wearing thin, so they went off to meditate. Mel starting the dance before the music was a little awkward, but it all came together quickly after that. It was all very nice, but a little routine. I'm probably guilty of grading them on a curve because I expect a little more from the two of them, but it just seemed that the routine lacked any real wow moments.
Bruno said he was swept away to wonderland and that Mel continues to surprise him every week. Carrie Ann said she loves the transformation that happens when Mel dances, comparing Mel's off the dance floor personality to that of a truck driver. Nice. She also thought the turns were a bit off. Len thought it was well choreographed and called Mel a revelation. Backstage Samantha revealed that Mel will be in London next week shooting a new Spice Girls video, just what we have all been waiting for. Score: 26 (8, 9, 9)
Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska (Paso Doble) - Cameron started off his training video by talking to his son using AT&Ts video chat on his AT&T phone in a segment that really wasn't a commercial for AT&T. Really. AT&T. After that we saw that Edyta was worried about her choreography this week, and Cameron was having trouble learning all of it. They seemed unsure. After all the worrying, it actually came out very well. This was my favorite Cameron performance so far. He finally got over that nervous hump and embraced the character of his dance. He was powerful and dramatic. My only real negative would be that the Superman style C on his chest was a bit cheesy. Other than that, it was a nice step forward in the competition for Cameron.
Carrie Ann said it was incredible, every bit of it. She also, again, noted that there was a lift. Len said that Cameron and paso doble go together like fish and chips. Bruno added that Superman is back in a blaze of glory. Backstage the lift thing came up again and they both insisted that no, it wasn't a lift. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9)
Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts (Viennese Waltz) - Marie was worried about the waltz because of all the turning. In a bit of unrelated coaching, Jonathan sent her to ballet class to work on her arms and carriage. I'm not sure if it was the ballet, or just the training, but whatever it was, I think it worked. Marie looked very graceful throughout the dance, but the thing that impressed me the most was her character. This was much less campy than what I have come to expect from her, and it played very well. The two of them shared a couple really beautiful moments. We're not quite there yet, but we are headed to a point in the competition where it is going to be very difficult to decide who should go next.
Len said Marie puts the feel good factor in every dance, calling it lovely. Bruno said he was expecting more character from her, comparing her performance to Sleeping Beauty, who never woke up. Carrie Ann disagreed, saying she liked the change in character and the tenderness. Then she compared Marie's head rolls to a stripper. Tom noted that, adding it all together, they just called Marie a sleepy stripper. Score: 26 (9, 9, 8) Samantha asked how she remembers everything, and Marie said she just compartmentalizes. So now she has forgotten her brothers names and ages. Then she apologized to Jermaine and Tito. It was very cute.
Jennie Garth and Derek Hough (Paso Doble) - Jennie is my favorite for this season. The good thing about that is that she is doing so much better than my favorite last season. That would be Shandi Finnessey, who was in attendance at the show. In her training piece we got a look at Jennie's home life, and her gaggle of cute little daughters. Watching all of the family stuff made me think two things. Jennie is a sweetheart, and dang I'm still a little upset that Fastlane only got one season. Anyway... Jennie and Derek managed to overcome having far and away the worst music of the night. It was just completely wrong for the paso doble, and I'm really not sure why anyone would have chosen it. Despite that, it was another very good performance. She looked amazing in her red dress, and they managed to use it to good effect in the dance. It seems that she has turned the corner now, getting over her nerves and really progressing with her dancing. I'm not ready to move her into one of the top spots, but she should have plenty of time to continue improving. A run like Ian Ziering, who was also at the show, is certainly possible.
Before the judges could comment, Derek was already assuring Carrie Ann that they didn't do a lift. Bruno compared Jennie to Nicole Kidman and said she was getting better every week. He also praised the choreography. Carrie Ann was once again complaining about the lift, but said Jennie was fantastic. Len reiterated that he is still in a lift free zone, but tossed out a warning to all of the dancers. He told Jenny, "Listen to Lenny. That, was blooming fantastic." Samantha asked her if she was a real contender now, and she hesitated to go that far. Score: 27 (8, 10, 9). Jennie was thrilled with the 10.
Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough (Viennese Waltz) - Helio had a good attitude about their drop in the standings last week, saying that his competitors are all getting better. The two of them butted heads in practice about the details of the dance, and how practice is structured. At one point, Julianne was wearing a "Be Nice 2 Teacher" shirt. It came together really well, and Julianne took some real chances with the choreography. The safe bet is to keep the hold and stick with the traditional dance. But Helio had quite a few solo parts to do, and he was pretty convincing doing them.
Carrie Ann said that when Helio dances he makes her happy to be alive. Len said Helio has revved his engine right back up again. He also added that Helio's head was going forward a little too much. Bruno said the two of them are like sunlight, you can never have enough, and said it's incredible that Helio has never danced before. Backstage Helio complimented Julianne's choreography. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9)
So, the week four performances are in the books. What did we learn? While I get the feeling that I'm in the minority on this one, I learned that it's great to have Samantha Harris back. Even though she does make the occasional mistake backstage, her personality really fits well with Tom. I also learned that I hate the lift rule. Not that I desperately want to see daring stunts or anything, but the continued discussion of it takes away from the show.
And finally, most importantly as we move into the results show, we learned that Wade Robson is going to be performing. If you are a fan of So You Think You Can Dance, then you are very familiar with Wade. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of his work, make sure you tune in for the results show. Wade Robson is crazy, in the best way. I don't have any idea what he has planned, but I wouldn't want to miss it.
As to who is going home, I think it's probably Floyd. I do really appreciate how hard he is working at it, but he seems to be struggling just a little more than everyone else when it comes to getting into the flow of the dancing. Still, given the competition this year, making it to week four is a good achievement, and he's shown himself well in the competition.
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|Mark & Kym||16 (1.6%)|
|Sabrina & Mark||294 (29.8%)|
|Jane & Tony||77 (7.8%)|
|Floyd & Karina||20 (2.0%)|
|Mel & Maks||54 (5.5%)|
|Cameron & Edyta||83 (8.4%)|
|Marie & Jonathan||58 (5.9%)|
|Jennie & Derek||178 (18.1%)|
|Helio & Julianne||206 (20.9%)|
Gallery: Dancing With The Stars: Week 4