I have to say right at the beginning that I just love Carson Kressley and have ever since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was on, so I'm pulling for him to stick around as long as possible. I also like his professional teacher/partner Anna Trebunskaya.
The dances tonight are the Quick Step and the Jive. Both are fast and difficult to do well. I got the team names from the DWTS website.
Hope and Maks are first and dance the jive. It was fun and had a soccer theme. The judges said she needed to spend more time working on her dancing. Hope said soccer and dance kicks are two entirely different things. Her body is amazing. I said last week that she has 0% body fat with extremely toned muscles! What she wore this week was revealing and showed her abs and back, so no one could help notice. Score for Team MakSolo was 19. Maks might be solo before we're ready for it. No!!
Kristin and Mark's quick step had a Marilyn Monroe vibe as they danced to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Team KristinBalls was lively and entertaining with praise from the judges except for Len who still gave them a "well done." Their score was 22.
David and Kym did a sparkly gold jive that was stronger on enthusiasm than technique. Courtney Cox and their daughter CoCo were at the table with David's sister Rosanna and someone I didn't recognize. I hope he gets to stay a while longer because he is sweet and entertaining. Score for Team GoodTimes was 18.
Elisabetta and Val had issues during rehearsal. Val sounds just like Maks when he's teaching her the dances. I keep trying to figure out what George Clooney saw in her for two years other than her looks. She's definitely high-maintenance and doesn't dance that well which leads to some of my theories about dancing and sex. I'll just say she's a dead dance. Not too much longer for DWTS Team Valisabetta's score was surprisingly 21.
Rob and Cheryl danced a surfer jive. Rob smiles enthusiastically and does pretty well. His mother and frozen-faced from botox and surgery step-father Bruce Jenner cheered him on. Carrie Ann said it's official that he dances better than Kim. Remember when she was on there for a couple of weeks? Me either. Score for Team CherBert is also 21.
Carson and Anna did the quick step. Last week they were so popular and entertaining that they did the encore dance! This quick step was colorful with bright crayon hues in their costumes. I believe we're going to hear "better on enthusiasm than skill" again. This was a bit awkward for the quick step which is supposed to be lively and controlled. Len said the worst dancers this season are the most entertaining. Team CarsonAnna had scores that reflected his lack of technique and totaled 18. That's about what I thought.
Ricki and Derek danced the jive with a 20's theme. Ricki had trouble with endurance and stamina and asked how Kirstie Alley managed to do it. Team DRickilous did a lot of bump and grind with enthusiasm and energy. Bruno said Ricki's kicks and flicks were the only ones done right all evening and Carrie Ann said best jive of the night. Ricki said she's lost weight and 12 inches so far. Their score was 23.
Chaz and Lacey danced the quick step. Chaz said he was afraid his knees would blow or that he'd literally pass out. Chaz lumbered through the pain with determination and charm. Bruno said it was like watching a little Ewok dance with Princess Leia which was cute and lovely but that the quick step had to be lively and this was too slow. Team Schwaz shouldn't be on too much longer but might because of the fan base he and Cher have. Score was 17.
Chynna and Tony danced a jive. She did well but seems sort of restrained in a way. The judges said it was "polite" and not enthusiastic enough. Team ChynnaDove had a score of 21.
Nancy and Tristan danced a quick step. She shut down during rehearsal and quit speaking for a while. They talked it out and got past it. Her technique was awkward but had good footwork. Len said this dance followed the rules and was a proper quick step. She had a Janet Jackson type of wardrobe malfunction, but Tom Bergeron stepped in front of her and the camera panned away while she adjusted herself. He said that would be fine on the European version. Team MacGrace had a score of 21. Len gave them an 8!
J. R. and Karina did a lively and entertaining jive that was really good. J.R.'s foot work was great, his stage presence engaging, and his musicality right on! The judges praised them. Carrie Ann, the lift police, had to point that out, and Len said it was a Lindy Hop instead of a jive. Standing O from the audience! Score for Team Martinoff was 22.
Now let the voting begin! It's hard to tell this early who will stay and who won't. Voters as we know are a fickle lot.
I've watched every episode of every season, and here I am again! Not sure if I'll recap DWTS but will write about it every week. New tri-level ballroom. Brooke Burke got married and hyphenated. This is the first week, so it will take a while for them to really dance. The dwarf stars are nervous. Here goes ...
Ron Artest dances with a new pro this season Peta Murgatroyd who is from Australia (so is Kym Johnson). Their cha-cha was lively and fun but sort of awkward. The huge height difference was OK during this dance but could be a problem later on. Ron Artest is a basketball player whose hair is a work of "art" in the way Dennis Rodman's was at times. It's blonde with writing on the sides. Not really a good look.
Scores: 5 + 4 + 5 = 14
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke had the Viennese Waltz for their first dance. Awkward. Lumbering. Yet arrogant. If anyone can get him to improve, it's Cheryl. The judges thought he might make it a few more weeks if he loosens up and dances to the music.
Scores: 6 + 5 + 5 = 16
Kristin Cavallari is or was the bad girl on The Hills, which I've never seen and have no idea who she is. She said she was engaged but it was broken and that she hopes this will help get her mind off of it. OK. Her partner Mark Ballas told her she has natural dance talent. They are doing the cha-cha pretty well. Very good beginning! Bruno was smarmy and Len was nice to the pretty blonde.
Scores: 7 + 6 + 6 = 19
Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovalani danced a Viennese Waltz, and she was graceful and lovely. I mentioned before that I keep forgetting that she's married to Billy Baldwin. It's one of those things I block. The judges praised her. Hope she gets votes and sticks around. Tony finally got a good partner for a change! He was so thrilled with what the judges said and the scores that what I suspected might be true that he has PTSD from having to be around Kate Gosselin season before last.
Scores: 8 + 7 + 7 + = 22
Nancy Grace is paired with Tristan MacManus (new this season but has been in the dance troupe - and quite sexy I might add - Irish accent and all). They danced the cha-cha. Well, mostly. She walked through parts of it. She did seem to have fun but was busy concentrating on the moves. I can understand that. First week. Then the judges argued.
Scores: 5 + 5 + 6 + = 16
David Arquette has Kym Johnson for his partner, and they danced the Viennese Waltz. Kym is a taskmaster (taskmistress?) and David is sweet, funny, and wants to do well. He was a little stiff but did well overall. I hope he and Courtney get back together. She and their daughter were in the audience cheering him on, which made me a little teary. The judges said he has potential and did well but didn't get out of his head.
Score: 6 + 6 + 6+ = 18
Elisabetta Canalis has Maksim's younger brother Val Chmerkovskiy for her partner. Yes, there was a photo of her with George Clooney since that's her claim to fame in the US. In Italy she's a model. She and Val had a communication problem since she doesn't speak English fluently, and he speaks it well but is Ukrainian. That was interesting. The judges said she danced pretty well when she was with Val but not on her own. From what they said, she might not be on too long. Models don't often last more than a few weeks if that long.
Score: 5 + 5 + 5 + = 15
Hope Solo dances with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. It's going to be another battle of wits between them! Maks said the Viennese Waltz doesn't suit her at all, but she managed it pretty well and was graceful for someone who is all muscle. I don't think she has any body fat at all. Being the athlete she is, her discipline, focus, and competitive spirit will will get her there. She might win it.
Score: 7 + 7 + 7 + = 21
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya should be a good team. I just love him, and she's fun and a good teacher. Cha-cha for them which was lots of fun which it would have to be. He worked it and gave a performance! The audience loved it! Carson pranced. The judges loved the performance and sparkle! I knew he'd be fun and entertaining!
Score: 6 + 5 + 6 + = 17
J. R. Martinez dances with Karina Smirnoff. He survived a land mine and sustained burns and 33 surgeries. He's a veteran and an actor. They danced the Viennese Waltz, and he was graceful and focused but seemed relaxed and confident. After all he endured, how would this make him nervous? He has a wonderful attitude and great smile. The judges praised his dancing.
Score: 8 + 7 + 7 + = 22
Ricki Lake has Derek Hough for a partner. He and Mark Ballas trained together and are both fearless competitors. They danced the Viennese Waltz. Ricki said Kristie Alley inspired her to go on DWTS and that she wants to lose weight and win a mirror ball. Smooth, graceful performance.
Score: 7 + 6 + 7 + = 20
Chaz Bono is dancing with Lacey Schwimmer. I knew they'd have Chaz last since that's what they do about dancetestants who are controversial and/or awaited. Chaz did OK on the cha-cha with good footwork and moves. He looked like he was having fun. The judges were supportive and praised their dance.
Score: 6 + 5 + 6 = 17
Predictions? Probably the first to go will be Elisabetta, Nancy, and Rob. Best so far are Hope, Chynna, J. R., and Ricki. It's really hard to tell because so much of the voting has to do with their fan base and popularity. The best dancers make it to the finals but don't always win.
Since I didn't win the HGTV Urban Oasis in NYC, I will just have to win the one in Chicago. When I win this, I can enjoy an apartment in downtown Chicago and go to plays and do all kinds of things including entertain my friends and spend time with Dan and Luis. The house swapping idea is even more attractive since there are probably people in the UK who would rather visit Chicago instead of Dickson, and that place would always be prepared for company. I seriously am considering the house swap when I get my house ready to be inhabited. But now I want this apartment in Chicago and will find a way to pay taxes and whatever on it so I can keep it. Wish me luck!!
Well, I managed to burn myself out playing Angry Birds on my iPhone. I played it so much the battery needed to be charged several times a day. When Brendan was here this weekend, he watched me play a few times and would say, "When you fail the next level, come outside with me." In a later conversation, he asked if failing levels was good. I explained that it was losing, so we had a laugh about that. Anyway, this is a welcome break from it for a while. I know I'll be back to smashing structures, freeing caged birds, trying for 3 stars, and finding golden eggs soon but now not so much. I had my own intervention!
I'll bet many of those people who applauded the execution of prisoners and yelled "YES" about letting patients without insurance die identify themselves as being "pro-life." Ironic and hypocritical, isn't it? They can't by definition be pro-life and in favor of the death penalty, of sending soldiers to war to kill "enemies," advocate letting anyone die who can't afford insurance, and/or bomb abortion clinics or kill doctors while they're in church. What they are is anti-abortion. Not pro-life.
The moment that would have broken my
father's heart was the moment when applause broke out at the mention of
more than 200 executions ordered by Rick Perry in Texas. It was stunning
and brought tears to my eyes. This is what we've come to? That we
applaud at executions? I remember the first time my father ordered
an execution when he was Governor. He and a minister went into a room,
got down on their knees and prayed. The real shame of our times
is that there doesn't seem to be anyone on the political horizon with
that compassion in his or her heart.
A bit of a startling moment happened near the end of Monday night's CNN debate when a hypothetical question was posed to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? "Are you saying society should just let him die?" Wolf Blitzer asked.
"Yeah!" several members of the crowd yelled out.
Paul interjected to offer an explanation for how this was, more-or-less, the root choice of a free society. He added that communities and non-government institutions can fill the void that the public sector is currently playing.
"We never turned anybody away form the hospital," he said of his volunteer work for churches and his career as a doctor. "We have given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves, assume responsibility for ourselves ... that's the reason the cost is so high."
The answer may have struck a truly libertarian tone but it was clearly overshadowed by the members of the crowd who enthusiastically cheered the prospect of letting a man die rather than picking up the tab for his coverage.
I might recap DWTS this season after taking a few years off for good behavior. Here are photos of the dancetestants. Still haven't decided about the recap but will at least write posts about this season. Interesting article HERE that gives the odds and why from TV/Line. Their prediction for top three are Hope/Maks, Ricki/Derek, and David/Kym. I believe Hope and Ricki will be in the finals but guess I should see them dance first. So much depends on fan base.
These are the only photos I found from rehearsals. More to follow. Btw, I keep trying to forget that Chynna Phillips is married to William Baldwin. It makes me shudder. Stephen is totally creepy. Alex is funny. But then there's all that with her sister Mackenzie and their dad of the Mamas and the Papas. Wilson Phillips reality show to air soon. Just saying. Much more drama in that family than all the Kardashians.
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd (Heaven's to ... will be thought how many times?)
Mark Ballas and Kristin Cavallari (Who is she?)
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy (Maksim's brother)
consumers were asked to vote for their favorite Wheaties champion of
all time. Wheaties celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1999 by
rereleasing the original cereal packages featuring the champions
selected; the top ten vote recipients were Michael Jordan, Lou Gehrig,
Babe Ruth, Mary Lou Retton, Tiger Woods, Cal Ripken, Jr., Walter Payton,
John Elway, Jackie Robinson, and the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey