Tag Archives: Dancing with the Stars

The Last Dance

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As has been declared on Words To Bumble: The final face off is between Pussycat  Doll Nicole Scherzinger and Olympic Champion Evan Lysacek.

Past eliminees came by, Erin Andrews placed into third—not a surprise looking at the competition she was up against—and reflections have been made by all.

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The moment is upon us.

*****

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Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough came out with a jive to the Tina Turner version of “Proud Mary.” It was fast, it was fun; like Scherzinger wanted: It was rock ‘n’ roll— a gold fringe dress, wildly tossed hair,  lightning fast jive moves and a lot of smiles.

“It’s so much fun and it has so much energy.”

She had that right.

Len straight off said that she should win… which I feel he shouldn’t have been allowed to say…. no?

The other judges gushed similarly. At home, Molly snapped, “Well. She. is. a. dancer.”

And then the Pussycat got to hug Gladys Knight.

And then a perfect score of 30/30 was awarded and we went to commercial.

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Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya countered with the quick step (because it is “very precise and technical,” and that’s what Evan likes) … and no tuxedo, but a pair of suspenders and a daisy boutonnière to the tune of “I Want You to Want Me.” And no worries, he was wearing tuxedo pants—just no jacket.

It was also fast-paced, it was also a triumphant performance, and it also spoke perfectly to their established style. Compliments aplenty were won from the judges.

Bruno told Evan that although he has always been a good dancer, “Your performance level has enhanced, you’re now dashing, you’re now sexy, you can now do charming.”

Len continued the trend by saying, “You bring elegance, style, you’ve got a charm about you… You have done a fantastic job!”

Carrie Ann testified to the way that Lysacek has won hearts over the course of the season, and behaved as a champion.

The judges followed this up with a score of only 28/30. Boo.

After a breathless commercial break…

dun dun dun

The sinking feeling that crept into my heart yesterday after the freestyle round has solidified into icy disappointment…

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The Pussycat beat the Olympian.

Tragic.

I mean, sure, Scherzinger was great, but this blog was born to favor Olympians and we shall continue to do so. After all, we did go out to Long Island to see Stars On Ice.


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Evan Lysacek: Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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[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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You’ve Been Eliminated

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Goodbye silver-shredded-trash-bag-wearing Edyta and soap star Aiden Turner. It has been every so nice criticizing your sartorial choices. Toodles to you.

On this final viewing of Ms. Sliwinski, I noted that her outfit was downright ridunkulous, which Molly agreed, “I think ridunkulous might be the actual adjective.”

Aiden says that he now feels “like I can move like I have never moved before. Going home, I am truly going to miss it.”

Well… at least we can be happy for Kate Gosselin who looked as though her life might end if she was eliminated (I’m really gonna cry if it’s over!”) despite a dramatic eye roll when the term “mini break-through” was mentioned again.

And fun fact of the week on Dancing- You know what is super weird? The fact that Chad Ochocinco apparently bought his pro a pavé diamond cocktail ring for being a great partner. It is very glittery. He also explained that “a woman loves a man she can mold.”

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

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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.

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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.”

Yeah.

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.

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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.

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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.

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More Sartorial Headaches: Dancing With The Stars

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And you thought that after the figure skating season ended there would be nothing to judge in the sartorial department. Enter the costume designers of Dancing With the Stars.

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We will begin with the second place team comprised of Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough. They wore sassy sailor suite because they danced to “Anything Goes,” which was a magical occurrence in my mind. They also chose to break the rules of quick step, did not keep enough contact and descended into vaudevillian mayhem, prompting Len to snip, “I think you took the title of the song too literally… there was no quick step.”

But there was lots of cleavage framed by a glittery sailor collar, so that is something.

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There was an unnecessary amount of bare-chestedness among the men, particularly for Latin numbers, which clearly mandate a matador costume. Why you might ask? After encountering Chad Ochocinco’s sartorial choice, Words to Bumble guest commentator Kate explained,”Because in Spain men don’t wear shirts, they just wear jackets over their bare chest.”

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Pamela Anderson’s partner, Damian Whitewood also felt compelled to show some skin, although to lesser effect than Ochocinco– let’s face it.

Meanwhile, Carrie Ann’s deep thoughts on Anderson’s performance involved the declaration that “You follow your shape.”

And my deep thoughts included, “You wore an orange bra under a white dress.”

Then there was the Indiana-Jones-Goes-to-Egypt situation presented by bachelor Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower. It included a golden archaeological tramp stamp appliqué situation. Incidentally they performed their quick step to “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

Yes.

Another lady who chose an aqua ensemble decided to forgo the formality of a complete bodice. Edyta Sliwinska wins the prize for exotic attire. I will never cease to be entertained by ballroom dance costumes. Much like figure skating, I have always been fascinated by dance costumes, ever since those special airings on PBS that I used to watch as a child.

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And now for the final train wreck of the evening: Kate Gosselin.

Disclaimer: I have no strong feelings about Mrs. Gosselin. I never saw an episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, sure I acknowledge that her hair has major entertainment potential, but I am not an established Kate hater.

However, she should never have agreed to be on Dancing With the Stars. Ever. And she should never have chosen to do her “Performance Show” to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” She should have never let hair and make-up give her tranny eyes or that fake side-pony. Furthermore, she should never have believed whoever told her that the spangled, sequined and patterned dress they wanted her to wear would be flattering.

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It was upsetting.

The judges were not pleased by the performance either, Gosselin and partner Tony Dovolani managed to accrue only 15 points for their dance, which was “without soul.”

Guest commentator Kate did a deep psychoanalytic breakdown of the performance: “Just like with Kate’s real life, this dance involves her running after the press and ends with her clinging to the paparazzi’s legs” (yes, that was the final pose).

Len called it “pedestrian,” whereas Carrie only gave a puzzled, “That was very strange, sorry.”

It was.

This did not help Gosselin’s case of the crazy eyes. You have to feel a little bad for her. If you are Sherri Shepherd then you are very concerned that this might be the only way for Gosselin to support her eight children: “She needs a job!”

But maybe she needs a different job, also known as a real job. Of course, I am not in the best position to note such a fact… unless you were to give me a job…

Sayin’.

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