Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Post-Mortem: Week 9

I was so afraid I was going to have to start this post with a giant, "NOOOOOOO!" because of J.R.'s ankle. What if I jinxed him? What if he gets the boot because of me? I was too tired to text in my votes Monday night and what if there's a huge upset on Tuesday because of my laziness? 

Thankfully, I did not cause J.R. to get eliminated. If he had been, I'm not sure I could live with myself. With everything else going on in the news lately I am sorely tempted to move my family to a log cabin in the woods and live as solitary survivalists, and J.R. not making it to the finals may very well have pushed me over the edge.

Because he's still in, we don't have to break the lease on our new apartment. 

This is how the world works when you live with me.

Meanwhile, my husband loves the DWTS finals because, as he puts it, "When that show ends, we all win." See, he says stuff like that, and yet he will also comment on the dances. He pretends to play Angry Birds next to me on the couch, but I think he secretly loves DWTS. 


Nothing on earth makes me as happy as the Muppets do. So Muppets on DWTS? It's like all my Christmases and birthdays rolled into one! Why aren't the Muppets on every week???

And Carson Kressley. I <3 you. Never leave the show!!!

Now, if I were Hope Solo, and I was pretty sure that barring Rob or J.R. or Ricki dropping dead I was going to be eliminated this week, you know what I would NOT do? Start my Paso Doble in chains. And sit on the floor in the middle of my Paso while Maks dances around me. But that's just me; I've seen a lot of seasons of this show and I know what needs to happen in the semi-finals in order to advance to the championship dance. Maybe Hope didn't know these things. Maybe Maks forgot? Maybe he was so busy holding her hand during her shoulder injections and trying to be a Nice Guy that he didn't think, "Hey, the semi-finals are no place for wasting time with chains and floor-sitting!" 

Then again, maybe they both knew, which is why neither of them were at all surprised when Hope got eliminated last night. We'll just never know.

Their Argentine Tango, though....whew! HOT! RAWR! 

Husband: "Doesn't someone do a Tango to that song every season?"

See? He pays lots of attention for someone who professes to hate this show with the passion of a thousand dying suns.

He also called her fringe pants during her part of the Cha-Cha relay "gorilla legs." I'm just saying.

Still, the sexy, steamy Tango could not save Hope from the merciless producers who have clearly wanted her to go from Week 1, but more on that later.

Now, J.R. sprained his ankle during rehearsals, but he took a page from the book of Ricki Lake - and also, let's face it, the dude is probably the toughest man on the planet - and kept going. His Paso was not his best dance, but I didn't think it was as bad as Len said it was. His footwork was surprisingly crisp and precise for having an ankle injury, and I've already said that I know from ankle injuries

His Argentine Tango was also fine, and for a second dance on a hurt ankle, he not only pulled it off he actually impressed the judges. I knew they couldn't stay disappointed in him for long.

I admit, I was embarrassed for Rob when he and Cheryl came out on that parade float with the giant blow-up rainbow behind them. But I also admit that I kind of loved their Samba. I loved it so much that I woke up the next day with "I Go to Rio" stuck in my head, and sang it for my 3-year old son, the Juban Princeling, when he woke up, so we Samba'ed together from his room to the kitchen. It was highly cute. Oh yeah, and Rob got his first perfect score to this dance.

After Rob's Argentine Tango, the judges pointed out that Rob is actually a good dancer, and not hiding behind Cheryl, which is true. I've said before and I'll say again how much I hate when stars don't really put any dance in their dances and still continue from one week to the next, or even win the mirrorball trophy. I'm looking at YOU, Emmett Smith. When the pros don't have a strong dancer, they have a tendency to have the stars simply stand there while they do all the dancing. This is more obvious with female stars and male pros than it is with male stars and female pros, which is how Emmett Smith won a few years ago. But Rob doesn't do that, and I'm glad the judges noticed.

So, Ricki Lake. I like her so much, but is her whole "I'm no good at this!" schtick getting under anyone else's nerves? It's a little annoying, I think, to make it this far in the competition and still act surprised when you do well. She's like that friend we all have who apologizes all the time for everything, and at first you're like, "No, really, you're fine!" but then after a while you're like, "Seriously, stop. You're making me feel like a monster here." Ricki - you are in the finals. I think it's OK to be proud of yourself. 

Anyway, Ricki and Derek did a Samba to "Jump in the Line," which is another song my husband is sure someone does a Samba to every season. And again: he hates this show and tries to distract himself every week when I watch it, but this he notices. Mmm-hmm. (I'm going to end up divorced after this post.) And I didn't notice any glaring problems with the Samba, despite Ricki's sour puss when she finished, and clearly the judges agreed with me because Ricki got a perfect score. So, you know, just smile and say "Thank you," Ricki. Oy.

Her Argentine Tango was excellent. Of course. Just...stop demanding external validation already!


I'd like to take a second and point out how much I enjoyed the Design-A-Dance. Even my husband liked it because he is in love with Anna Trebunskaya. What can I say, he likes bossy redheads. I like it when the Paso costumes are more black leather and Goth-ey, it goes with the dance. (Husband: "Well, yeah. Gothic and Paso Doble go together because who do you think the original goths were, as in the Visigoths who ruled Spain?") I've also always thought that "Bad Romance" would be a kick-ass Paso song. And I was right. Of course.

In fact, some day when I am finally just famous enough to be on DWTS, here is my song list. Oh, I know I won't get to pick my own songs, but here's my list anyway:

Paso Doble: "I Love Rock n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Samba: "The Rhythm of the Night" by El Debarge
Argentine Tango: "Common People" by Pulp (is that Sadie Frost in the video?)
Mambo: "Conga" by Miami Sound Machine
Cha-Cha: "Just Like Heaven" by The Cure
Jive: "Just Can't Get Enough" by Depeche Mode
Rhumba: "On and On" by Stephen Bishop
Quickstep: "A Little Respect" by Erasure
Foxtrot: "Galileo" by Indigo Girls
Waltz: "Angels" by Robbie Williams
Freestyle (for when I make it to the finals): "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Learn it, know it, love it, DWTS producers. Also: if you pair me with anyone but Tony Dovolani as my partner, I will cut a bitch.

Yes, I've put a lot of thought into this, and maybe if I put this much effort into my writing career I'd be published already.

So, Hope Solo got eliminated last night, to absolutely no one's surprise, least of all hers or Maks's. You could tell by the way Maks embraced her before the announcement that he totally saw this coming. And so did she. She had none of Nancy Grace's (possibly false) bravado, and was not at all stunned to find herself in the bottom two like J.R. was.

And here's another example of inconsistency in judging. I know I'm not a professional ballroom judge, but I never thought Hope's dancing was as bad as all that. Len, Bruno and Carrie-Ann seemed to pick on her a lot when there were always worse dancers around. Hope was actually kind of good, though she had no shot in hell of winning. But the producers of the show clearly had their favorites, and Hope was not one of them. I think this might be what Maks - and, many seasons ago, Derek - tried to say, though it came off as a self-serving rant: that for some contestants, the odds are stacked against them and no matter what they do they aren't going to win. I hate to sound paranoid, but I do believe that's how it is on this show. There are fan favorites who stay voted on, but there are also producer favorites, kept around for ratings reasons no matter how poorly they dance. (See above, re: Emmett Smith.) And poor Hope was not one of the faves. Maybe she wasn't controversial enough or didn't have a famous mama, but clearly her fans kept her alive far past the point which the producers - through the judges - would have kicked her off. 

So, we are nearly at the end of our DWTS run (husband: "Thank god!"). Next week we have the finals, which is always super fun because I like seeing what everyone chooses for their freestyle dances. Here's some free advice, Ricki, Rob and J.R.: don't do a slow song. Do something fun and fast and energetic. The slow songs are pretty much death knells in the finals. 

Stay tuned!


Gina Conroy said...

Thanks for the fun update. I've missed several weeks. Ever since I started ballroom dancing I've watched the show with different eyes. Can't miss the finale!!

Meredith L. said...

Oooh, I'm jealous! I want to do ballroom dancing! I'd love to hear your take on the show. :-)