Dancing with the Stars Week Four: The Waltz and the Paso

Heading into week four, we get to watch the stars dance either the Viennese Waltz or the Paso Doble. These always make for a fun combo. Hopefully tonight doesn’t disappoint.

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas – Paso Doble – Well, if Kristi was going to work on her emotions, this was the week to do it. This dance is always more fun with some emotion. Again, she was technically perfect. But I felt she still had some work to do on her emotions. She did have more then one facial expression, but it still seemed a little stiff to me. Len agrees with me, but Bruno and Carrie Ann thought it was a huge step forward.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29 That’s exactly what I expected from the comments. The first 10’s this season, and just barely off a perfect score. And we’re only on week four.

Priscilla Presley & Louis van Amstel – Viennese Waltz – While Kristi is obviously the favorite at this point, Priscilla and Louis are quickly proving to be a couple to watch out for. They have remarkable chemistry. That Viennese Waltz was smooth and romantic. The judges actually liked it less then I did. They thought it was rough and didn’t have the flow it should have. And we get our first comment about lifts. Really, don’t the professionals know by now that they can’t do that? I certainly don’t feel sorry for any points they loose as a result. We’ve only heard about it every single season.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 Total – 22 I have a feeling that she lost two points for the lifts, which could really hurt. This score puts her in the bottom two with the judges.

Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough – Paso Doble – Okay, I have to give Adams points of starting out the dance on a unicycle. I know Len doesn’t like cheap tricks, and I usually don’t either, but those things are almost impossible to ride. Believe me, I’ve tried. The rest of the dance was pretty good, too. They skated by the lifts rule because Julianne kept her foot on the ground (which seems like a cheat to me). It was dramatic and it had flair. Not the best dance of the night, but certainly better than I thought we’d ever see from him. Again the judges didn’t like it as much as I did. I think. I couldn’t quite tell what they thought from those comments. They were just blown away by the theatrics of it.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 6 Total – 19 That’s probably about right. It was fun, but it’s not at the level to get higher scores, especially in week four. I know the only reason I was impressed was because I didn’t think Adam even had this much in him after the first week.

Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez – Viennese Waltz – Every week I look forward to seeing how Marlee blows me away. And she did it again. The chemistry between them came out. And the dance was absolutely beautiful to watch. I’ll just keep saying it. I’d love to be able to dance that well, and I can hear. Carrie Ann absolutely loved it, but all three agreed that her posture was off. That was their only complaint, which is so amazing.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 A step up from last week. And, so far, the second highest score of the night. That’s nothing to be ashamed of by any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully she can keep improving. And maybe even break away from the pack.

Mario & Karina Smirnoff – Paso Doble – After his slide down the rankings last week, he needed to make a comeback. And guess what. He’s back. That was a great Paso with plenty of drama and sharp, fun moves. Much better than last week’s Tango. Len thought it was too “wild,” but the other two thought it was better than that. We also got too much info from Len about his clothing. But I am not going any further with that line of thought.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 9 Total – 24 Once again, the judges were all over the place with his scores, but his total is tied with Marlee and better than his score from last week. I really do like him, so hopefully he will continue to climb back to the top.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Silwinska – Viennese Waltz – I thought that was a great Viennese Waltz. Smooth, sophisticated, elegant. He did almost trip at one point, but that’s the only critique I’ve got. Of course, when the judges basically agree with me, I don’t think I’m missing too much. In fact, the judges are overlooking the stumble.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29 And forgive it they did. Kristi has finally been caught. Not surpassed but at least caught. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting 10’s, even with the talk of forgiving the stumble, so that surprised me. I think Jason is becoming the man to catch. I hope he and Kristi both make the finals.

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke – Paso Doble – For me the Paso is an either or dance. Either I love it or I tolerate it. This wasn’t the best dance of the night in my opinion. It looked technically fine to me. But it didn’t impress me that much. The grunting was certainly interesting. Maybe my problem was what Len picked up on, the music overpowered Cristian. But Carrie Ann (and my roommate) disagreed.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26 I’m not that surprised. Often the Pasos I don’t like do well with the judges. And the judges pretty much liked it, which was reflected in the scores. It was probably just the fact that I didn’t care for that dance that affect my opinion.

Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough – Viennese Waltz – Over the last week, the news came out that Derek really hurt his neck while rehearsing for a routine for the results show. Naturally, that played quite a bit in the back story of the week. So once again Jonathan Roberts stepped in, although Derek was doing too much from the sidelines. This should make for an interesting routine. If they hadn’t told us about the drama, you’d never know from watching them dance. I thought I saw Derek wince once, but that was it. They had great chemistry and the dance looked elegant. All three judges praised it, and Len said it was the best dance he’d seen all night.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 10 Bruno – 9 Total – 28 So the judges reversed their positions. Len gave the 10 and the other two gave the 9’s. That is a very high score. The competition is getting very intense now. And the stars are improving much more then I thought they ever would after those first couple of weeks.

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani – Paso Doble – Marissa is the other star who had something to prove after landing at the bottom last week. Again, the curse of the Paso struck me. It looked like a good routine, but it wasn’t one of my favorites of the night. And I’m not quite sure why I liked this the earlier ones but not the last two. The choreography was certainly great, so I know it is just me. The judges certainly liked it, giving it nothing but praise.

Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 Her best score so far and back in the middle of the pack.

So, tonight’s judges’ leader board is:

1. Kristi – 29
1. Jason – 29
3. Shannon – 28
4. Cristian – 26
5. Marlee – 24
5. Mario – 24
5. Marissa – 24
8. Priscilla – 22
9. Adam – 19

Encore: Since it was Len’s favorite dance, I’m going to say that Shannon will get to do the encore. It might be Jason, but my money is on Shannon.

Bottom Two: They’ve promised us the bottom two is returning, so I can safely make this prediction this week. Having nothing to base it on, I am flying blind here. I think Adam is a safe bet, but I’m torn on the other one. I don’t think it will be Priscilla. I’m going to say Marlee, but hope I’m wrong. Either way, it should be Adam’s week to leave. While I praised him earlier, he is the weakest dancer left. Beside, his “funny” bits are really getting to me.

Mark

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