Tag Archives: Bruno Tonioli

Evan Lysacek: Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]

It has been ten weeks of sambas, jives, waltzes and finally the daunting freestyle of last night in part one of the Dancing With the Stars finals.

The week leading up to these final dances was a triumph for Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya from their “World on a String” foxtrot, for which Lysacek donned a new kind of tuxedo—the white jacket.


Apparently after the robotic turn taken the previous week, Trebunskaya decided that they needed to do a little soul searching into what makes Lysacek happy, in order to get some personality and joy out on the dance floor. She posed the question to him in rehearsal, to which he replied: “Cars, coffee, my nephew,” and then he showed off a video on his iPhone.

Whatever the inspiration, the dance was a great success garnering the pair a judges’ score of 29/30 and verbal praise near to gushing from all three, including exasperated heartfelt thanks from Carrie Ann: “Thank you for listening to my pleas!

Perhaps the most effusive compliments—shocker—came from Bruno, who shot out of his seat and exclaimed, “Talk about sparking with a capital ‘S!’ I haven’t seen something like that since Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney!”

Len chose a more conservative and plausible route, simply confirming that “We saw a completely different side, the happy-go-lucky, fun side… Overall it was a great performance.”

Learning how to dance and have fun with it has been Lysacek’s favorite thing about the whole experience (I know, original, right?): “I signed up because I wanted to do something fun after the Olympics” (well I guess being an Olympian is original enough).

This was the first “duck.” The second “duck” came in the form of a fierce paso doble that involved an energetic jumping and spinning solo portion.

Dear Evan: Thanks for being a figure skater.

Speaking of figure skating, the show incorporated mini bios with interviews of people close to the competitors. Lysacek’s illuminated viewers to the fact that his grandmother had always wanted to be in the Ice Capades and that it was she who bought him his first pair of ice skates. And it was his mother who wouldn’t let him quit after a growth spurt induced some bumpy times: “If someone is better than you at something, then you need to work twice as hard as them.”

And who besides his family is Lysacek close to? Scott Hamilton, Vera Wang (who commended his ever-present willingness to learn) and Kristi Yamaguchi (who called him one of the most driven people she has ever encountered).

Gush, gush, gush was the name of the game. Everyone else’s families gushed too, they just interest me much less. I know you are surprised.


Back to the second “duck.”

Team Evanna scored a perfect 30/30 for their paso doble. The judges’ response can be summed up in three three-word statements:

Bruno: “You got balls!”

Carrie: “Yes he does.”

Len: “I loved it!”

And I loved that part of Trebunskaya’s skirt was torn off at one point to be used as a matador prop.

Yes, that happened.

Coming off of such strong performances on week nine’s episode, the third “duck” was expected. The first dance last night was the so-called redemption dance—that is the judges asked each couple to perform a dance that they had previously struggled with. The Olympian pair was assigned a Viennese Waltz, danced to “Piano Man.”

Sure it was a little cliché, sure Lysacek wore a tux (this time with tails) yet again, but ti worked out well enough to the tune of 28/30 and Carrie Ann’s declaration that it was “A beautiful, emotional… enchanting dream.”

Afterwards, Trebunskaya made her own declaration: “Oh my gosh, he became a dancer. I’m so proud of him!”

And then there was the “goose.”

General hating prevailed in the case of their freestyle, the conception of which was a painful and clearly conflicted process. The two were in total disagreement over style and at one point Lysacek’s dissatisfaction with the way things were going reduced his partner to tears.

I love the dramatic rehearsal footage. It’s so ridiculous.

So is this picture which quite perfectly captures the moment of mayhem that was their freestyle—I regretfully concede.

They danced to “Footloose,” she wore a fantastic red dress, he wore a maroon velvet tuxedo jacket with black tuxedo pants and high-tops.

But it could not compare to Erin Andrews’ and Maks Chmerkovsky’s contemporary freestyle (which I hated and reminded me of the recital dance at the end of Centerstage, but I’m not in charge), or the following performance by Miss Pussycat to Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation (which admittedly was fantastically entertaining).

The judges awarded their displeasure, a 24/30 and a healthy dose of perplexion. Carrie Ann was nearly lost for descriptive words, uttering, “That was odd.”

It was really, very, super sad for them.

Especially when they were followed by Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough’s awesome and lauded freestyle that included a totally weird costume change.

So I immediately used all my votes on the Olympic Champion, and now we have 40 minutes to wait before the final of the final airs on ABC at 9/8 CST.

See you there.

Or not.

And then, when this over we can focus on things like maybe the World Cup and definitely Belmont Stakes, among other summer delights.

1 Comment

Filed under Commenting, Television

Still Dancing: Evan Lysacek & The Fifth Element

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″] I took a brief hiatus from Dancing with the Stars. My eyes needed a break from the sartorial scaring. My wallet was looking to be drained at my local cocktail bar. My social skills needed practicing. And I had no problem continuing to vote for Evan Lysacek without having seen him dance.


I won’t bother to attempt recapping something I haven’t seen, and let’s face it: If you really care, you have already digested the past weeks of Dancing. Instead, I shall jump right into the quarter-final battle.

Five couples competed this week: Words to Bumble favorites Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya, Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel, Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke, Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovsky, Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough. Furthermore, each couple had to perform two dances: one traditional ballroom dance such as the waltz or the foxtrot and one Latin dance such as the cha-cha or the paso-doble.

So how did things go for our Olympic Champion? Well, after the first perfect score of the season last week, Lysacek decided that it was time to take Trebunskaya out of her comfort zone and out onto the ice where he took a turn criticizing: “Your hips are too loose!”


[Everyone is always telling Lysacek that his hips are too stiff and rigid.]

This week Trebunskaya decided that they should present the most romantic waltz the world has ever seen. It involved rolling around on the ground, theoretically giving Romeo and Juliet another chance… or something to that effect.

Len and I felt similarly: “I didn’t like the rolly-polly stuff on the floor and one or two of the other things they weren’t’ my cup of tea,” however he did have to admit that the kid’s got grace.

Bruno was typically enthusiastic and Carrie Ann trod the middle road: “Your lines are impeccable… But really Evan, you have to lose yourself in the moment.”


I think people should just accept that he is a little bit of a robot and move on with their lives. Evan certainly has: For their second dance of the night, Lysacek and Trebunskaya presented a dance from the future, complete with face paint, the robot and costumes that one can only surmise were inspired by that cinematic masterpiece: The Fifth Element.


In rehearsals Lysacek even did a spot-on “Wally” robot voice saying things like, “Maybe my hips will be better in the future,” and “Are you ready to cha-cha-cha?” He even addressed the situation directly: “I can do no emotions,” and expressing his delight at the opportunity to be an android.

I wonder if he has a Droid phone?

And just in case the tape and mesh ensemble wasn’t enough: Lysacek brought along his sparkly white gloves from that delightful Stars On Ice Michael Jackson routine of his. Perfection.


Also, let’s just take a moment to ponder how much hair gel was involved in getting his hair to do that. As a sidenote.

And what did the judges have to say?

Len said, “Again you confused me [because the cha-cha is usually fluid;” whereas Carrie Ann was a fan of the rigidity. Bruno as per usual leaped out of his chair and effused, “It couldn’t be more futuristic… I thought was very creative and very inventive!”

At any rate, Lysacek and Trebunskaya did not quite mop the floor with the competition as they did last week, but they still did pretty well ending up with a combined 53/60.

In the end, the Olympian pair were the second couple to be named “safe” on Tuesday night, after Pussycat Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough. Let’s go right ahead and call it now–just in case it hasn’t already been called– it is clearly going to come down to those two.


Other mayhem from this past week?

Chad Ochocinco wore a maroon velvet suit with zebra trim and no shirt for his sixties-style jive. Seriously. In an outfit like that, Bruno just had to come out and say it: “You definitely pimped that jive.”

I don’t even know.

The Pussycat did a fierce fifties style paso-doble, which her ever so witty partner had called “impassoble,” based on the combination of a bubbly era and a dramatic dance. Things turned out pretty well for the pair with a “feisty vibrant passionate performance,” as proclaimed by The Bruno.
I admit it was pretty awesome, and they clearly won the right to an encore on Tuesday night.

And to whom did we bid a fond farewell? Niecy Nash and her “jiggly parts” have been sent home. Nash was pretty good-natured about the affair doing a little dance as she was sent off and repeated her patented line: “Most women who can’t hula-hoop with a cheerio wouldn’t even attempt this!”


Goodbye sassy lady. To be fair though, I cannot have you interfering with the Olympic champion.

One last sidebar: I am adoring the Dance Center Sports Center spoof from this week’s elimination episode.

1 Comment

Filed under Commenting, Television

Sweet Fancy Moses, Are You Prepped for Dancing with the Stars?

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]
Here’s what you need to know from last week, assuming that you feel like you need to know, which hopefully is not really a make-or-break situation for you.


Last week as movie week. Chad Ochocinco did the quick step to the tune of “Bare Necessities,” from the animated Disney Jungle Book. There was tiger print involved. Partner Cheryl Burke had some sort of strange tail-like detail situation on the back of her dress.

Bruno felt that there was too much jungle fever in their quick step, plus, “I know you’re trying hard… but tonight it really fell to pieces.”

Ochocinco just really looked like he would rather be doing dirty things to his partner versus competing on Dancing with the Stars. Just my thought.

Also, everyone was fighting last week, thus in addition to be movie night, it was “Do you want to bone each other night.” Seriously, the question got put to nearly every couple: Is there love in the air? A lovers quarrel perhaps? Do dish.

Erin Andrews’ answer: “Not until he gets me a ring like Chad got Cheryl, are you joking me?”

It was awkward.


Kate Gosselin meanwhile threw a fit in rehearsal for her John Hughes Breakfast Club themed Foxtrot: “Are we swimming or are we dancing?” Then her partner Tony told her that she fails to put forth any effort ever.

And then they were eliminated with a judges score of 15 to boot. It was really sad for her. Especially after the judges’ comments in which Carrie Ann compared their dancing to the Charlie Brown teachers “wah wah wah wah” inaudible speaking. Len said that they had not so much danced as strolled to the music.

I feel bad for Gosselin, this was clearly no enjoyable stroll in the park for her, and everyone is always hating. I mean, yes, she did that awful “Paparazzi” dance and she cannot seem to move with anything other than fear, but like… rough city.


Evan Lysacek update for the week: He and Trebunskaya were Armageddon themed with Aerosmith (which incidentally was on television this weekend). Their rumba involved Trebunskaya in a sheer sparkly situation and their highest score yet: 27, ranking second behind the Pussycat who scored 29/30.

Figure skating comparison of the week from Lysacek: “In skating we try to keep our hips really firm and tight because those are our stability.”

Trebunskaya revealed that she is “a little concerned because skating is so different from dancing the rumba.” She has been joining Lysacek on his touring with Stars On Ice so that they can train on the road. She is enjoying exploring American with him.

What is in store for tonight? Well… tonight the stars get to design the costumes and some of them sounded like they were quite looking forward to an opportunity for sartorial revenge. Others were just intimidated by the responsibility, Lysacek among them: “Anna’s look comes first. If I can’t figure out something for myself I’ll just wear a tux again.”

Oh Evan, we know you will. We know.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commenting, Television

This Week’s Theme? Slutty Tunics: Dancing with the Stars, Week 4

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]

Last week we were treated to cut-out torsos and low cut backs for the ladies, bare chests for the men. As ballroom dance and figure skating costumes go (Words to Bumble areas of expertise), this was not out of the blue. We were not shocked. We were mildly appalled by some choices, but we were not shocked.

This week, the trend shifted to female contestants swathing themselves in sheets, much as  Ariel did in Disney’s The Little Mermaid upon her discovery that being naked is a significantly more scandalous as a human than a merperson. It’s tunics, tunics and drapery galore– minus the modesty generally associated with the term tunic, but what else to call these swaths of fabric?

The most authentic Ariel enthusiast– OK, perhaps more appropriately we can call it a circa 1960s interpretation of a vestal virgin in a really authentic Hollywood masterpiece depicting antiquity– was the Pussycat Doll. She probably prefers to be called by her actual name– Nicole Scherzinger– but calling her the Pussycat is much more entertaining. Nicole sported a quasi-laurel leaf circlet for some reason and once again showcased her most buoyant and engaging assets.




Seriously… it was weird. It was particularly bizarre when taking a look at the other competitors. Clearly the costume department at Dancing with the Stars run on a weekly theme. Pamela Anderson presented yet another take on the Oh-I-just-threw-on-a-sheet look with a voluminous yet skimpy shoulder draping number. Carrie Ann expressed her love of the number by saying, “Something very profound was happening.”


Oh sorry– should not have used up my vocabulary so quickly, hmm… How to proceed with this next one?

Edyta Sliwinski the professional half of team Aiden Turner turned in a scanty but truly magical display merging the cut-out ensembles of last week and the draped tunic theme of this week, all in a retina scarring silver lamé. It reminded me of the blue lamé ice dancers, only it was even more embarrassing. At least she had the decency to look a little ashamed of her retro-yet-futuristic atrocity in the group picture.


There is no explanation for what is happening there.

Favorite quotatable moments of an evening scared by these visions of madness?

Bruno– who hovers out of his seat every time he gets even mildly excited about talking to the dancers– exclaimed to Kate Gosselin: “We having [sic] a mini break-through here! … You’re finally starting to move out there! Keep it going!”

Then Carrie Ann balanced things out by saying, “You may not have any artistry in your movement, but you have determination.”

Gosselin, meanwhile, wore another lamé ensemble that was downright dreamy in comparison. It does merit being mentioned that she looked fantastically improved over last week’s disaster both costume and performance-wise.

Why her partner is wearing chains and a leather vest, the world will never know.


Oh right, and Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya scored the highest again because he is an Olympian and knows how to bring it, even if he has no idea how to point his toes. He also understands how to work sequins. Note the sequined collar and Trebunskaya’s over-boob cut-outs with sequin details. Subtle I call it…

Lastly, remember that time Erin Andrews almost gave Len a lap dance? Bruno does and he was not amused.


Filed under Commenting, Television

Despite Foot Issues of Various Sorts, Evan Lysacek is the Leading Star on “Dancing With the…”

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]
After being horrified that Dancing with the Stars topped the ratings last week, I thanked the cosmos that I am not one of the special few with a metered tv/cable box to measure my household ratings, and tuned in.

At least I have the decency to be ashamed, which is more than I can say for Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd from The View who were all in a tizzy this morning. Whoopi was not amused; rather, she seemed fairly appalled.

Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya were the first out of the gate last night dancing to the “Entr’acte” from Chicago. Why you might ask? Well, last night was “Tell a Story with Your Dance” night (more officially known as the “Performance Show”) and as Lysacek said, “I’m from Chicago, so that’s pretty cool.”


He went on to note that he and Trebunskaya have been in second place two weeks in a row, so “hopefully our quick step will give us an edge.”

Lysacek also returned to his trusty tuxedo look, possibly in search of that first place edge. It was jazzy, it was sequined, it was “Chicago,” as was Trebunskaya’s fantastically fringed ensemble (it was all fringe from waist to ankle) and coif.


Take away moments? First and foremost, Lysacek did a cartwheel in the middle of the number! It was amazing. And of course those jazz hands in the final pose pictured here.

What did the judges have to say?

Len (a.k.a. angry British man): “That was a slapstick home run! … It really cheered me up to watch that. [However,] you’ve got to watch your feet [Evan].”

Bruno [a.k.a. the over excited Italian man]: “There is a thing with your feet. I think it’s the skates.”

As always, Evan responded with, “Obviously I feel most comfortable with skates on my feet, so it’s a whole new ball game for me.”

Yes, OK, we all understand that he is a figure skater and that dancing is not the same. We get it. He gets it. Stop bringing up his ice skates. It you want him to point his toes, then just tell him to point his toes.

Later on we learn that Lysacek has a couple of broken toes in tow, but that he thinks such injuries are to be expected with any new athletic endeavor. I am no expert, but broken toe would not be my go-to expected injury for ballroom dancing, but apparently that is why I am not an expert.

Are you on the edge of your seat for the elimination tonight? I predict saying farewell to Kate Gosselin, and not only because of her fashion disaster, one of many seen last night.


Also, why does this show have to be on the air twice a week? Like Whoopi said this morning on The View: “Just bring Lost back. I want Lost, but now we’re looking at people dancing.”

*Whoopi eyes*

1 Comment

Filed under Commenting, Television