Live TiVo-Blogging Dancing with the Stars Finals

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on May 21, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

A little behind even the West Coast feed since I’m TiVoing it.

First up: Laila and Maks’s paso doble was about >this< much better than their last paso doble. I have to go by what Carrie Ann said about it being technically so much better, because I really don't see it--that is not Laila’s dance, and I really don’t think it’s even Maks’s. They both do better in the high-energy “drive” routines.

Next: Julianne and Apolo’s rumba. Bruno, SHUT UP ALREADY. I know I called him a “shrewd judge” in the past, but I think I was smoking something. He is far too enthusiastic at all times and far too generous with 10s. And far too blabbery with his mouth. It’s Len’s turn to speak–let him speak. And, surprise, once again I agree with Len. Julianne cannot help herself picking fast songs to go with slow dances. Too fast. Other than that I did agree a little with Bruno–that was far more chemistry than I’d seen out of those two all season. Apolo insisting in every early show that they’re like “brother and sister” didn’t really help the dance-floor vibe.

Here we go: Joey and Kym’s cha-cha-cha. Uhoh … speaking of too fast. Is that a real cha-cha? I don’t know that I like this new thing of having the judges pick which dance each couple needed the most work on and making them dance it in the finals. It’s too much like what my voice professors used to do to me at boards time–pick the song they think I don’t know. It doesn’t do them any favors with the fans voting on their score, and let’s face it–there’s not a dance future riding on whether they improved or not. Joey’s hips need help, and they shouldn’t still need help after ten weeks. What is that in the middle? Save it for the freestyle. Other bloggers have observed it before now: sometimes the music choices on this show simply suck hard. “Groove is In the Heart” for a cha-cha? Lame. Sorry, Joey. Love ya. Bring it in the freestyle.

Judges’ verdict: I’m vindicated! No cha-cha, too much freestyle. Sorry again, Joey. Len scores 8! Ouch!

Laila and Maks: Freestyle. I hope to God it’s not all The Snake and The Butterfly. Enough, already. Ohmigod, Maks, not you too with the Michael Jackson nonsense. Okay, this is looking good: not all one style of move, easy-going in music and movement, sexy enough without beeing too raunchy for Len, a little boxing motif going on, and comfy shoes for Laila’s knee problem. NO YOU DIDN’T: She did the Running Man. Aieee. Verdict: Cute and energetic without being wild. Oooh–Karina in the audience with Mario Lopez. Maks shirtless: Yes please.

Posting this now, will update through the rest of the freestyle …

Update: First freestyle scores: Carrie Ann’s giggling. Good sign. Okay, they wanted sophisticated, but please, are any of them going to do that in freestyle? Bruno: her strength is sex appeal and she should play more to that? I don’t know. She’s pretty well rounded. They should’ve taken the freestyle for what it was.

Update: Okay, tomorrow they’re going to dance their favorite dances. Good.

Aw, kids writing Laila letters–good for them and good for her thanking them. Damn, Len gives another 8: this is not last year’s finals.

Update: Julianne and Apolo freestyle. Why is she wearing hip-hop pants? Now sex appal is one of her very big strengths. I’m starting to hate the freestyle round: too many of them go straight to hip-hop, which really doesn’t do it for me to begin with, and ignores all the totally gorgeous dancing they’ve been rigorously taught. Joey, please don’t do us wrong like that.

Judges’ verdict: Len loves it. (!!!) Bruno says “original.” Um. Breaking to “Bust a Move” is original? I guess it is, for kids who were in diapers while I was listening to that in high school. Tens. Bleah.

Update: Emmitt, Drew, and Kelly tomorrow night. Whee, Emmitt!

Update: Ballroom clothes on Joey and Kym. Freestyle departure? Come on, Joey, knock our socks off.

Update: Okay, no departure. Ripped off the clothes and went into the … DISCO? YES. Joey, I have to say, is not looking like his usually flashy self, but the choreography and music (and Kym) are more or less making up for it. Awesome shot of the mirror ball wit them dancing disco. Nice.

Update: Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann loved it. Len … Good God, a Harry Potter analogy out of the mouth of Len, and Bruno shuts up long enough to let him get it out. The TV world is ending. Lifts: “Effortless.” “I wish we had more than tens to give.” Excellent.

Update: So who am I voting for? Apolo surged at the end, but no way I’m getting behind him with Laila and Joey to choose from. (Sorry, Julianne. You’re still the firecracker.)

I gotta go with Joey. It pains me a little for Laila; 1) watching the athletes really get into the dancing is part of the fun of this show; 2) the women really are at a disadvantage because it’s harder for them to look good doing this alongside professional male dancers than it is for the guys alongside professional women; 3) it almost seems like cheating for a guy from N*Sync.

But not enough like cheating. They put him on the show despite his entertainment/dance background, much like Mario Lopez, though I guess Mario had a little less dance experience, so all’s fair in love, war, and dancing. Joey gets my vote. But here’s the thing: they really are still neck and neck. I’ve no idea who’s going to take it. Knock ’em dead in the dancers’ choice round, Fatone.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace