Dancing with the Stars 8-5: Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

With two stars eliminated last week, we are down to 9 stars and an hour and a half. My DVR can catch a bit of a break on Monday nights. But we still have a long ways to go, so let’s get down to tonight’s action.

I do find it funny we are doing the Viennese Waltz since we did a regular Waltz in week one. I’m a little unclear about the differences between the two, so that’s part of why it seems funny to me. But, since they didn’t consult me, I guess we’ll just take what they give us.

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough – Viennese Waltz – Julianne really pushed him this week so they could break out of the middle of the pack. And they started right off with a blatant lift. But it looks so good and elegant. And his arms are certainly looking dramatic. I noticed one moment where it looked like Julianne whapped him in the face, but that was the only flaw I saw. Len started things off by saying that Chuck has finally come out of hibernation. However, his foot work could have been better. Bruno said Chuck was really performing but needs to keep his confidence all the way through. Carrie Ann disagreed, saying he lost his focus and the entire package wasn’t coming together yet. This lead to a shouting match between Carrie Ann and Bruno as Tom ushered Chuck and Julianne backstage.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 23

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska – Paso Doble – wow, that was an incredibly long intro. Yes, it was dramatic, but the dance was over half over before they really started to dance. I did like the pendulum thing that Edyta did twice, but it was a pretty weak performance. Bruno thought it started off very wooden, but when his feet got moving, it got better. (Yikes! I agreed with Bruno?) Carrie Ann had two thoughts – he has a limited range of motion, but he does those motions well. And she praised him for working well with very difficult music. Len said the dance quality wasn’t there, but it was his best dance so far. And they all praised his intensity.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 (So far, Carrie Ann has been lower than the other two. I do think this is a first.)

(And Samantha’s voice seems much better.)

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Viennese Waltz – After the comments last week, Shawn and Mark are trying to put more dancing into this week’s routine. Of course, having a Viennese Waltz should help. That was elegant and smooth, but possibly a little boring. I think I have gotten too used to all the tricks the couples normally throw in. Carrie Ann will pick on that blatant lift they ended with, but I thought it was great. Carrie Ann said that simplicity is often the best road to success because this dance showed off all the technique. She praised her for keeping her foot on the ground for the first lift and gave them a pass on the second because it was their artistic finish. That really surprised Tom (and me). Len said it was very lyrical and romantic, but he thought the foot work was off (not enough heal leads). Bruno said she was sweetness, light, and pretty as a picture, agreeing that simplicity worked for them. I think Carrie Ann won’t be the low score this time.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – Paso Doble – The hardest part for Melissa this week was the aggressiveness of the dance. She could only get it when she was angry at herself. Well, her face was an intense smile (if that is possible), but the steps were good. That was sharp and dramatic in action if not look. And she did break out a smile once. Len picked up a couple blunders and said it lacked the aggression they were aiming for, but on the whole he liked it. (And I wish the audience would stop booing when the judges say something constructive like that. He wasn’t being mean, just honest.) Bruno also praised her for coping with a very difficult routine even though there were a few mistakes. Carrie Ann praised her for challenging herself, yet said it looked like she couldn’t get her feet under her. While the audience booed yet again, Melissa was busy nodding her head in agreement with the statement.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 25

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson – Viennese Waltz – David is aiming for a comeback again this week after faltering some last week. Those fans that Kym started with were something else. And they did some decent dancing with them before they really got going. David seems a bit stiff and his feet just seem to be moving too quickly for the music. It lacked the elegance they needed to move out of the middle. Bruno said it worked when they kept it classy, but when they tried to get wild, it didn’t work as well at all. Carrie Ann thinks she figured their problem out, they aren’t moving in unison. Len thought it was a good performance of a difficult dance, but it did have a few problems in the middle.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 8 Bruno – 7 Total – 22

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke – Paso Doble – So he has to come out and dance after Tom points out that the last time we had a perfect 30 in week four (last week) was when Sabrina got one only to be eliminated two weeks later. Gee thanks, Tom. Len is not going to like this. Gilles is starting off completely shirtless, but Cheryl brings him a jacket that’s mostly open in the front. Wow, the heat is on again this week. This is the fastest Paso we’ve seen tonight. Yet it is sharp and amazing to watch. I thought he dropped Cheryl there at the end, but it was indeed part of the routine. Bruno and Carrie Ann are giving it a standing ovation (along with the crowd), while Len is sitting down. I’m going to call this as a 29 now before we even hear from the judges. Carrie Ann said it was breathtaking and almost moved her to tears. They take things back to the core of the dance. Len said it was a tad hectic in places (and he did mention him being shirtless). Bruno said it wasn’t a dance, but a battle for supremacy as Gilles went in for the kill.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Bruno – 10 Total – 29 (And can we stop booing? Please?)

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer – Viennese Waltz – A Viennese Waltz in mime outfit? This will be interesting. (Frankly, I would have preferred to see him do the Paso.) His Jackass friends came out this week during rehearsal to support him. Okay, the mime thing really worked. Of course, after the opening moments, they just went to dancing. I wouldn’t say it was the smoothest dance we’ve seen yet, but it was certainly adequate. But is adequate really good enough in week five? Len said it was his best dance (which isn’t saying much since Len hasn’t like any of his dances so far). Bruno said there is still lots of technical work to do, but his timing was on, so that is a step in the right direction. Carrie Ann said that the acting it out actually worked this time and found the emotional story worth while. However, she said he still has a ways to go on his posture.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 Total – 18 (Best score yet!)

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower – Paso Doble – This should be a fit for him since it revolves around bulls and Ty is a bull rider. But will that translate to a good dance? Um, no. Ty has regressed. He doesn’t look stiff, but the fact that he is dancing most of the dance at half the tempo of the music doesn’t help at all. If they had picked a slower song, it would look better. Bruno said Ty did it all, but it was too stiff. Carrie Ann agreed, guessing that Ty was thinking too hard. Len said this wasn’t Ty’s cup of tea, but it was still better than his week one dance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21

Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough – Viennese Waltz – Lil’ Kim is shooting a music video, doing a photo shoot, plus trying to learn this dance. It was fine, but there was very little here to blow me away. I guess that’s what makes the final dances stand out to me. And yet it was smooth and elegant. The crowd loved it and the judges were smiling. Carrie Ann praised Lil’ Kim for bring every moment to life and said that Kim and Derek are the perfect compliment to each other. Len found some problems with the foot work, but praised it for the most part. Bruno said that she made this dance look sassy and sexy.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26

So, here are the standings for tonight.

1. Gilles – 29
2. Shawn – 26
2. Lil’ Kim – 26
4. Melissa – 25
5. Chuck – 23 (So much for breaking out of the middle)
6. David – 22
7. Ty – 21
8. Lawrence – 20
9. Steve-O – 18

The dance off is back tomorrow night, so I am going to guess that we don’t have an encore.

Bottom Two: I could make an argument for it being any of the bottom five, but I am going to play it semi-safe. I think the bottom two this week will be Lawrence and Ty with Steve-O’s fans saving him again. (I know, Steve-O was in the bottom three last week, but he is fairly close to the competition.) And I think Ty’s lack of fan base comes back to bite him as he leaves this week.

While we wait to see how wrong I am tomorrow, don’t forget to stop by and see what else is on my mind at my blog.

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4 Responses to Dancing with the Stars 8-5: Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

  1. JoAnne says:

    I still think Gilles & Cheryl are the couple to take it all. Lil’ Kim is not going to give up without a fight. I agree that any of the bottom five can be in the bottom two tonight. I do have to think that David could find himself there; I would believe that Lawrence has a much larger fan base. And, Ty could pick up some of Jewel’s fans. But, nothing would surprise me.

    • Mark Baker says:

      When I was looking at it last night, I was trying to judge fan base. I honestly think that is what it will come down to for the next couple of weeks unless someone’s dance is so horrid that no one votes for them.

  2. Amphigorey says:

    Speaking as an occasional competitive ballroom dancer, I can talk about some of the differences between Viennese waltz and slow waltz. Firstly, there’s tempo; Viennese waltz is a good deal faster than slow waltz. In International ballroom, there are only six steps in the syllabus through Gold: natural turn, reverse turn, forward change, backward change, and natural and reverse fleckerls. Waltz obviously has many more.

    From a dance perspective, you have to be strong and precise to do a really good V. waltz. You need a lot of control to do a very good slow waltz as well, but precision is key in V. waltz. In general, when you are first learning ballroom dance, you learn Viennese last because it absolutely requires good frame and good partnering. If your frame is sloppy, you won’t be able to do the dance at all because it’ll throw your partner off balance. Slow waltz is a much gentler way to introduce new dancers to ballroom, because it is much more forgiving.

    • Mark Baker says:

      That explains why I learned the regular waltz and never the V. Waltz. (And as soon as you said that about the tempo, I remembered having heard that in the past.)

      Thanks for answering my question for me.

Comments are closed.