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16 February, 2006
Liveblogging: Dancing with the Stars, Show #7
This week the couples are slated to do two dances. I don't expect any perfect 10s like last week considering the time crunch. I've added photos of each performance from the official Dancing With The Stars 2 website. Click on tlinks to play the complete video clips of each performance courtesy of Raphael Pungin's blog.
Stacy Keibler & Tony Dovolani started the ball rolling with the quickstep. Their performance was fun to watch, jaunty with lots of skips and hops. Len said they came out with guns blazing; Carrie Ann mentioned the excellent footwork and hand extension although she would like to see Stacy take more risks and "get on the edge". I agree with the assessment; as great as Stacy's performances have been, it's beginning to feel stale. Bruno disagrees however, and calls their performance "stunning".
Scores: 9,9,9. I agree with this.
Jerry Rice & Anna Trebunskaya were up next with the tango. I was stunned at how uninspired it was. I mean, what was that all about? I didn't like the music and the gimmicky props which looked silly and were so not Jerry. Bruno thought the same and said the performance wasn't good enough for the semi-finals. Len was more unsparing in his criticism, noting it wasn't a proper tango and that Jerry wasn't George Hamilton -- referring to the ill-conceived gimmicks -- and that "Jerry Rice was Jerry Springer" in reference to the up and down movements which are a no no in tango. Only Carrie Ann gave them a pass, saying Jerry took a huge risk and gave it a nice try.
Scores: 7,7,6. Straight 7s might have been more fair.
Next comes Lisa Rina & Louis van Amstel with the foxtrot. I thought it was a very nice performance, light and flirty, soft and sexy. The judges agree: Carrie Ann called it strong, graceful and elegant. Bruno called it a "delicious foxtrot", with beautiful musical nuances. Len called it a treat and a joy to behold. I'm really impressed with how far Lisa has gone; she's emerged as my favorite of the remaining four couples. I wish she would make it to the finals, but I have the feeling that since she was in the bottom two last week, she would be the next to go.
Scores: 8,9,9. These are fair scores.
Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke performed the foxtrot next. It was good as usual, but I didn't enjoy it as much as their previous ones. Perhaps because they put in too much energy and intensity, it didn't feel like a foxtrot. Len said Drew continues to amaze him, and that he interpreted the music well although he lost the character a bit. Carrie Ann noted their strong chemistry and partnership, which I think is their best asset as a dance couple. Bruno was slightly disappointed, saying the two sometimes went into paso doble mode. I agree with this, because instead of feeling seduced, I felt like they were grabbing my shoulders and shaking me down with this performance.
Scores: 9,9,8. I think the 8 is a tad low.
At the halfway point, Stacy & Tony received the highest scores, then Drew & Cheryl, Lisa & Louis and Jerry & Anna.
For the next round, Stacy Keibler & Tony Dovolani performed the cha cha. She has nice, sinewy lines, but the whole thing looked choppy to me and very much a rehash of a number they did before. The storyline of her being angry with him just didn't work because let's face it, Stacy isn't a good actress. I angry with Carrie Ann about not believing the angry angle and how it didn't resonate with her. Len said the arms were a bit stiff and the cha cha a bit clipped. However, Bruno continued to fawn over Stacy, calling the performance a "visual feast".
Scores: 9,9,10. Come on, Bruno, that 10 is a bit much.
Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya performed the rumba next. He didn't really do much, although I love the hip action. Jerry looked uninspired; I think the judges' withering criticisms are getting to him. He used to talk about wanting that winner's trophy -- which is as tacky as you can imagine, by the way -- and not settling for anything less. Now all he says is doing his best and being happy with that. The judges were more generous this time, though; well, two of them at least. Carrie Ann said they did a great job and though they were off the music and lagged a little bit, the seduction worked. Bruno felt Jerry projected a stronger character, though the performance still wasn't semi-finals quality. Len, however, was unrelenting: said he respects Jerry but that against the others, he's the worst. Ouch. Jerry couldn't let this go; he responded by saying he's already won just by making it that far. Good for him!
Scores: 7,7,7. These are fair scores. Sorry, Jerry.
Lisa Rinna & Louis van Amstel's cha cha was smart and sexy, though a bit slow for my taste. I think Lisa's getting tired. The judges liked it better: Len noted the "clever choreography" and their "wonderful chemistry" and that Lisa is improving every week. Carrie Ann praised Lisa's sheer determination to nail the routines while Bruno called it "full of pep and pizazz", echoing Len's observation that Lisa and Louis work well as a pair.
Scores: 9,9,9. I think this should've been their foxtrot's score and vice versa.
Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke's rumba was intense and dramatic. Bruno called it powerful and passionate, "the Drew we love to see", while Carrie Ann called it sexy with fantastic chemistry. Len had reservations; he said it was a wonderful routine, but that it was too hard and far too agressive. I tend to agree with Len. The couple's performances in general, not just this one, all have hard edges and are starting to look generic. There are no highs and lows, just highs all the time and it's getting exhausting to watch.
Summary: After two performances, Drew & Cheryl and Stacy & Tony are tied for first place, with Lisa & Louis next and Jerry & Anna last. My favorite performance of the evening was Lisa & Louis's foxtrot; least favorite was Jerry's tango. Unfortunately, since this show is as much about popularity as about talent, I predict Lisa will be the next to go.
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