Ralph padded his rear end tonight. Yup, I said it and he did. Apparently his real hiney isn’t as luscious as Karina wanted, so she had him wear his BVD’s with pads. So, tonight was the semi-finals, where the final four battled it out to see who would move on to the final round. Tonight consisted of two dances from each couple, and then a 40 second Cha Cha Cha from each couple in a face off. After the first two dances, the top and bottom scorers went up against each other and the middle couples went up against each other. The winners from those rounds faced off in a final round, and that winner got 15 bonus points.
My theory before the show even started was confirmed when the point was driven home by Bergeron and the judges. They did this face off to prevent, hopefully, a Bristol Palin moment again. Remember last season when the clearly more talented Brandy got the boot this week in favor of Bristol? Ticked me off BUT, even with the wild conspiracy theories I cooked up, it boiled down to viewer votes. That’s what I thought was part of the equation too, even with as much as I disagreed with Bristol getting through last year. More on that later.
Okay, breaking format tonight. Going to evaluate each couple on their first two dances and then hit on the face off. First up tonight were Ralph and Karina. They danced the Argentine Tango and the Salsa. My opinion was so far off the judges opinions tonight! I really liked both dances, I thought they danced just as well as all the other couples. I thought Ralph went so far out of his norm, and got up to the speed that the judges had been asking for so I totally didn’t get their critiques. They said the emotions were lacking in parts, that he wasn’t on par with his steps, and that it was too much, to paraphrase. Carrie Ann went so far as to point out a couple times to the audience that they were the judges. Not a smart thing to do, talking down to people who can turn the tide. Anyway, their total score for the night was 48 out of 60; 25 on their first dance and 23 on their second. Way underscored if you ask me.
The next couple was Maks and Kirstie. They danced the Viennese Waltz and the Paso Doble tonight, neither of which are easy dances. Now, in the Paso Kirstie was wearing a headband that could best be described as a doily made by grandma dipped in tar, crinkled up and slapped around her head. I love Kirstie, in fact I have a bias to her (not a journalist, never claimed objectivity), but the headband was all kinds of bad. But her first dance was great, I thought there was a terrific connection and in fact in both dances I thought this. I think she’s picked up her game in foot work and aside from the slight error in her removing her skirt during the Paso, I thought it was spot on. They didn’t get bad scores by any means, 54 out of 60 (27 on each dance), but I think their second dance in particular could’ve gotten them a couple 10′s at least considering the judges raves.
Next, we have Chelsea and Mark. They did the Salsa and Argentine Tango, and I think they did fantastic on both dances. Chelsea has matured so much from the start of this competition to now and Mark has tailored the dances to the actual dance instead of taking elements of the dance and going way outside the norm. Plus, he’s a fantastic choreographer too. Seriously, I thought they did terrific and the judges did too, giving them a total of 58 out of 60.
Finally, Hines and Kym. They also did the Argentine Tango and the Salsa. Kym came back terrifically from her injury. Speaking of which, they showed us the actual accident and man, all I can say is she is so lucky it didn’t cripple her. She was literally dropped on her head and back of her neck at an angle. HARD. Immediately she said she couldn’t feel her arms, but she was more upset that this would disrupt practice. Hines, on the other hand, didn’t care about the practice and cared about her as a person. He was a true champ in the sense that everytnign else was pushed aside for concern of her well-being, much respect for both of them. Onto their dances. The judges LOVE Hines. I cant’ say he sucks as a dancer either, this guy puts EVERYTHING he has into his dances and is really good. BUT….for some reason it seems like he doesn’t move as fast as the others either. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem as sharp. I’m no expert though, the judges are. (That being said, they’ve been well known to pad scores in favor of those they want to get to the end). Gotta give credit where credit is due, they got 60 points total tonight! The first perfect scores of the season and as Len would say, well done.
Onto the Cha Cha Cha Face Off Dance, or as I like to call it, and already have in this recap, the We Want To Make Sure The One We Like Gets Through To The End Off. I’m experiencing a dichotomy of emotions right now because on one hand, I DO think the dancers who are typically viewed as the better ones getting to the end. On the other hand, I do NOT think there should be judge or producer manipulation into making that happen and to me personally, that’s what I felt happened here. The entire reason we get to vote now is due to Season 1 when the judges had a clear favorite and made sure that person won despite evident audience reaction to the contrary. They were given an even call along with the viewers, but personally, like American Idol, I think the voting should be done in the sense that the audience holds the sole vote. A bottom three is determined, and they have a “dance for your life”. The judges then save two couples out of the three in the bottom. Then, when it gets down to the final four, let the judges give scores too and split the results in half.
Okay, the actual face off now. It was Hines/Kym versus Ralph/Karina in the first round. I honeslty couldn’t pick a favorite, I thought for what they were faced with they did really good. The judges, however, picked Hines/Kym. Did anyone think it would be different though when the pairings were announced? Second round was Chelsea/Mark versus Kirstie/Maks. The judges tried to make it seem like they were torn, but I personally think they decided who’d be in the final round before the rounds were even done. Mark and Chelsea though, as much as I like Kirstie and Maks, did dance better. So, the final dance off. Chelsea/Mark versus Hines/Kym. I expected Chelsea and Mark to come out on top, since she has a lower fan base, but I also thought they did dance better in this last round too. Putting my bias and conspiracy theory aside, these people danced more in one night than any other season of this show though and should’ve been given points on principle alone. Chelsea and Mark were determined to be the winners and ended up the night with 73 points!!!
Personally, I say scrap the dance off and do it marathon style. Give them points from first to last, but everyone woudl still get points. Either way, the leader board is: Che