When you’re visiting EPCOT the next time, do yourself a favor and head over to the American Adventure pavilion in the early afternoon to catch one (or more) a capella performances of the Voices of Liberty. Their show is amazing all year-around, but I think… Read More »Disney’s A Capella Superstar Group Voctave New Videos
The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a must-do for racing fans who visit the Walt Disney World Resort. But not everyone dreams of driving a race car. On the other hand, almost everyone has watched as a high performance automobile, such as a Ferrari or Lamborghini, zoomed by them on the road and said to themselves, “Gee, I wish I could drive one of those.” That’s the premise behind “Exotic Driving Experience” where you get the chance to drive, or ride along, inside a very expensive automobile and put it through its paces.
Exotic Driving Experience opens officially today and this weekend The Disney Blog was invited out to experience it ourselves. Disney has modified its existing Walt Disney World Speedway track to include a new infield section with hard turns and sweeping esses, that will offer unique challenges and lots of fun for drivers. Driving experiences start at $199 and Thrill Rides with a professional driver behind the wheel start at $99.
Lots more below the jump including on-board POV video of Christian Fittipaldi putting a Ferrari 458 Italia through its paces around the track:
Week 9 brings us to the semifinals! I was so stressed about this show that I could barely watch. True story. Each couple had to perform three (yes, three!) dances.
Hope and Maks began the evening with a paso doble to Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed.” Hope battled some serious shoulder pain in rehearsals, but seemed to thrive on the adversity. The judges agreed that she was successful in displaying the right attitude for the dance, but were not as pleased with her technical performance. Triple 7s gave the pair a 21.
Next, it was J.R. and Karina’s turn for the paso doble. We saw J.R. twist his ankle during rehearsals (major ouch), and it definitely affected the dance. Bruno and Carrie Ann noticed that his injury had a negative impact on his posture, and Len called him more “Zero” than “Zorro.” Insert sad face here. Judges’ scores of 8, 7, 8 gave the couple a total of 23.
Rob and Cheryl arrived on the dance floor shaking maracas on a horrifying parade float. Yikes. Thankfully, things improved as they began their samba. Rob did a great job of shaking his hips during the energetic routine. Despite his last name, I like Rob more and more every week. Unanimous praise from the judges translated into scores of 10 (wow), 9, 9 for a 28, which is Rob’s highest of the competition.
Ricki and Derek brightened up the ballroom in canary yellow costumes they donned to samba to “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)” by Harry Belafonte. It was a fun and rousing dance. Len said Ricki took a giant step towards the finals, and Bruno and Carrie Ann loved it all. Perfect 10s from the judges gave them a 30!
We were treated to a stunning Argentine tango by a group of the professional dancers. The lifts were incredibly daring. I’m pretty sure I watched with one eye closed.
Hope and Maks returned to the dance floor to perform their Argentine tango to “Whatever Lola Wants.” Maks was on his best behavior with the judges, but this time Hope seemed to be the slightly disgruntled one. The three judges agreed that this performance was better than their first, and gave them triple 8s for a 24, and a total of 45 for the night.
J.R. came back with a freshly taped ankle to dance the Argentine tango with Karina. He was obviously frustrated that his injury was hampering his ability, but he pushed aside the pain to deliver a solid routine. The judges awarded them triple 9s for a score of 27, which brought them to a total of 50 for the evening.
Next to tango were Rob and Cheryl. Their sexy dance delighted the crowd and the judges. Rob is certainly finishing strong. Triple 9s gave them a 27 for this dance and a total of 55.
Ricki and Derek didn’t disappoint the judges with their Argentine tango. Len thought it was really good, and Carrie Ann declared that Ricki’s new core strength has given her the “pop.” I thought this was a term reserved for HGTV. Hmm. Scores of 9, 10, 10 totaled 29 and brought the pair an overall 59.
The final event of the evening’s competition was a cha cha relay to “I Like How It Feels,” by Enrique Iglesias. Each couple performed a portion of the song, just like a relay race. The judges awarded Hope and Maks 4 points, for a total of 49. J.R. and Karina scored 6 points, which brought them to a total of 56. Eight points were given to Ricki and Derek, which gave them a total of 67. Rob and Cheryl were the top scorers of the relay, earning 10 points and boosting their total for the night to 65. Kind of surprising, but yay Rob!
Whew, what a night. There was an inordinate amount of math involved in writing this post…what a novel way to use my business degree. I’m hoping the audience’s votes ensure J.R. a much-deserved place in the finals. We’ll find out tonight! Who do you think is going home?
Video highlights from the episode are below the jump:
There are a couple websites out there talking about what the guest experience will be like for those in the audience at the American Idol Experience, which is currently in soft-opening phase (which means not guaranteed to be open on any particular day and no golden tickets awarded) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But I’ve been given a few details from a couple first hand accounts of what the audition and show performance is like from those guests lucky(?) enough to pass the muster.
So if you’re considering auditioning. Heads up. Here’s your first look at what you’ll need to be prepared for.