Last night on Dancing with the Stars...
Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas - (Quickstep) - The lift they talked about wasn't exactly a showstopper, but did fit in very nicely as Mark hoisted her to his shoulder to finish the number. It was another fine example of just what makes Kristi so good in this competition. Her attention to detail, and the difficult routines that Mark continues to choreograph for her, are always impressive.
Len said that cheered him up to no end. He loved the changes of speed and the light and shade. Fabulous. Bruno called Kristi a super-candidate with a super-ticket for the final. He said it was it beautifully moved. Carrie Ann liked the character and how they presented themselves to the judges. She also thought Kristi was a little out of sync, yet she said Kristi's technique was perfect. Those things seem to be at odds with each other to me, and it almost seemed like she was searching for a negative. Score 29 (9,10,10)
(Samba) - We actually preferred the quickstep to this, but only by a little. Kristi continues to prove that she can do just about anything Mark throws at her. She even managed to do a nice job capturing the spirit, although it was more of the G-rated Disney spirit, of the samba.
Carrie Ann said she didn't care for it. She called it a bit awkward, and out of control. I just didn't get that at all. Len said that dance is a balance. They had great speed and fantastic energy, but lost the rhythm of the dance. Bruno thought she had beautiful spins, noting the eight spins into the drop. Score 26 (8,9,9) Total: 55
Mario and Karina Smirnoff - (Viennese Waltz) - This was a nice draw for Mario coming off of last week. It gave him a chance to showcase the work he has done on his posture, and the waltz just always looks good. Mario continues to work on the things that the judges suggest, and it showed here. He had a new found ballroom grace as they spun their way through the waltz. Their spinning lift worked into the dance very fluidly and should have earned them a bonus point. It was very impressive. Score 27 (9,9,9) I would have liked to see one 10 just because the lift was so good.
(Jive) - Len said the whole thing had a roughness about it, and called Mario's feet bloody big ugly ones. Bruno said it was the spirit of rock-n-roll, and that's what the jive should be. Carrie Ann said this is the one dance where wildness works, and the flavor Mario brought to the performance worked. Score: 26 (9,8,9) Total: 53
Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani - (Foxtrot) - Their performance was solid, but calls to mind some of the comments from last week. It was good, without any major mistakes, but very safe. They really didn't take any chances with the difficulty. Following Kristi and Mario it almost made them look a step slow. The lift followed similar lines. They did it adequately, but weren't as smooth getting into it.
Carrie Ann loved it, saying she brought joy out on the floor. Len said she looks better when she's in hold and has great posture and lovely movement. Bruno compared her to Ethel Merman. For the foxtrot though, he wanted more gliding movement and said this wasn't quite appropriate for the quarter finals. Score 25 (9,8,8)
(Mambo) - Bruno said Marissa can do sexy and he wants more of that. He loved the hip action and called it really really nice. Carrie Ann said it gives her joy to watch Marissa because she goes for it, but she didn't like the turns at the end of the performance. Len said that she really came out and performed, but it was a little bit careful. Score 25 (8,8,9) Total 50
Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska - (Tango) - Len said he agreed with the audience that they did a good job, but for him it was too much like an Argentine tango, which got Bruno's dander up, and confused the heck out of me. Bruno said he hates them because they are so beautiful, adding that Edyta has never danced better, and Jason was right with her. Carrie Ann said that beyond the beauty, Jason brought a whole new dimension to the dance, calling it intriguingly great. Score 29 (10,9,10).
(Samba) - Carrie Ann said it didn't go so well. His head was down a lot and his musicality was lagging. She called it muddy. Len said it was alright, but next week is the semi final. Jason looked uncomfortable and it lacked rhythm. Bruno said that after a series of blockbusters, he got a turkey tonight. It didn't look as good as it could be. Score 23 (8,7,8) Total 52
CristiÃ¡n de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke - (Tango) - Bruno said CristiÃ¡n was the man with the golden arm, and that he could see no problems with his tango. Carrie Ann agreed, she saw nothing at all with regards to his injured arm, great job. Len praised Cheryl's choreography, and said they did a great job. Score: 28 (10,9,9)
(Mambo) - Tom noted before the dance that a 28 would give CristiÃ¡n and Cheryl the overall lead. Len said it was full of energy and CristiÃ¡n had great hips. A fabulous job, well done. Bruno said the things CristiÃ¡n can do with one arm is magic. More energy than a volcano in the Andes. Carrie Ann agreed, adding that the two of them were definitely on fire. Score 29 (10,9,10)