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Tuesday May 6, 2008 1:03 am

Dancing with the Stars 6: Week 8

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Last week on Dancing with the Stars: Season 6, Jason Taylor ended Kristi’s six-episode winning streak and Cristián nearly ended his run with a painful injury.

In tonight’s quarterfinals, the final five stars had another two dances to perform (one Latin, one ballroom).  They also had the opportunity to finally perform lifts.  Who rose to the challenge…and who simply fell flat?  Read on!

Kristi Yamaguchi (partner Mark Ballas)

(Dance: Quickstep/ Song: ‘Billy-A-Dick’)
Although I liked this upbeat number, I really didn’t love it.  It was bouncy, fun and well-executed.  Unfortunately, the skater is really starting to bore me.  I’m wondering if the lack of improvement will eventually work against her.  I think viewers really like to vote for the underdog.

Len thought it was great.  He loved the performance’s different contrasts.  Bruno thought the highly-detailed dance would earn them a super ticket to the finals.  It had subtlety and crescendo.  Even though she felt Kristi was momentarily out of sync, Carrie Ann liked that they performed toward the judges.  Score: 9/10/10 (29)

Mario (partner Karina Smirnoff)

(Dance: Viennese Waltz/ Song: ‘If I Ain’t Got You’)
I thought Mario looked great tonight, though at times I worried he was trying too hard to be ‘stiff’ for Carrie Ann.  He had great posture and pulled off a nice lift with Karina.

Bruno said Mario was the new ‘prince’ of DWTS.  He thought the dance had polish, distinction, romance, elegance and restraint.  Carrie Ann complimented the singer’s elegance and posture.  Len said this was the most elegant he had ever seen Mario.  The head judge liked the gorgeous flow and movement.  Score: 9/9/9 (27)

Marissa Jaret Winokur (partner Tony Dovolani)

(Dance: Foxtrot/ Song: ‘New York, New York’)
I’m not entirely sure if I liked the open.  I know the song was ‘New York, New York’, but the beginning almost seemed too Broadway to me.  The rest of the performance also seemed a little underwhelming – though I’m not sure if the song was too blame.  Marissa did have great posture, though, and a few razzle/dazzle moments.

Carrie Ann loved it.  She said Marissa brought so much joy to the floor. She liked how she smiled and connected with the audience.  Len said Winokur looked better in her holds than she did apart from Tony.  Bruno said it was bold and brassy.  He also said the dance needed more gliding movement.  Score: 9/8/8 (25)

Jason Taylor (partner Edyta Sliwinska)

(Dance: Tango/ Song: ‘Tango Bárbaro’)
This style perfectly showcased Jason’s massive height.  But posture wasn’t the only thing Taylor had going for him.  The football player was snappy and smooth.  He also had great hip action, impressive glides and nice footwork.

Len thought the couple did a good job, he just wasn’t happy with the dance’s Argentine flavor.  Bruno said it was poetry in motion.  It also said it was Edyta’s best DWTS performance ever.  Carrie felt they brought a a whole new dynamic of posturing into the dance.  She thought it was “intriguingly great.”  Score: 10/9/10 (29)

Cristián de la Fuente (partner Cheryl Burke)

(Dance: Tango/ Song: ‘Beat It’)
Cheryl wanted to choreograph something that disguised her partner’s injury – and I think she did exactly just that.  I never would have known he was injured and/or in pain; Cristián’s upper body looked fabulous.  He was incredibly fierce in the style and amazingly pulled off a one-armed lift.

Bruno called him the “Man with a Golden Arm.”  He said the actor was arrogant and convincing.  Carrie Ann said she could see nothing at all wrong with that Tango.  Len complimented Burke on her sneaky choreography.  Score: 10/9/9 (28)  **His very first 10**


 

Kristi Yamaguchi (partner Mark Ballas)

(Dance: Samba/ Song: ‘Volare’)
Kristi – who looked like a toucan in her colorful outfit – really failed to impress me with this number.  Although she had a series of great turns, she looked a bit awkward this time around.  It was almost like watching a too-skinny attempt a Latin dance.  I was actually wondering where her hips went.  (You can see this performance above.)

Carrie Ann said she didn’t really care for the dance at all.  She said Yamaguchi was not as graceful as she has been in the past.  She thought that the dance might have been too ambitious.  Len said the dance had a lot of speed, energy and spins…but it suffered in the rhythm department.  Bruno said she looked like a bejeweled hummingbird.  He was high impressed with her “8 spins into a drop” move.  Score: 8/9/9 (26)  **Another season low!!**

Mario (partner Karina Smirnoff)

(Dance: Jive/ Song: ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’)
The performance was a bit off from the start.  Mario stumbled a bit after cartwheeling off of the stage; things seemed a little sloppy from there.  His “loose joints” and showmanship definitely fit the style.  Unfortunately, his footwork and lift could have used some improvement.

Len thought the whole thing had a roughness about it.  He said Mario’s feet were “bloody big ugly ones.”  Bruno thought the performance captured the spirit of Rock ‘N Roll.  He said the dance was fast, energetic and youthful – what a jive should be.  Carrie Ann said the singer’s “wildness” worked for this performance.  She liked that he brought a whole new flavor to the dance.  Score: 9/8/9 (26)

Marissa Jaret Winokur (partner Tony Dovolani)

(Dance: Mambo/ Song: ‘Ritmo De Chunga’)
I absolutely loved Marissa in her red dress.  She looked quite sassy and her performance was quite sexy.  Unfortunately her sit-spin move looked a bit sad compared to Kristi’s recent interpretation of it.

Bruno said Marissa can definitely do sexy; he would like more of that.  He called it a “beautiful” Mambo and said she had great hip action.  Carrie Ann complimented the Broadway star for continuing to “go for it.”  Unfortunately, she said Winokur’s foot came down during her spin.  Len thought the performance was almost too careful and dainty.  He said it wasn’t raunchy enough.  Score: 8/8/9 (25)

Jason Taylor (partner Edyta Sliwinska)

(Dance: Samba/ Song: ‘It Had Better Be Tonight’)
I thought Jason looked extremely comfortable in his loose white shirt and on the dance floor.  He had great hip action when it called for it and was smooth and dainty when he needed to be.  His difficult lift looked a bit wobbly though.

Carrie Ann appreciated his attempt at being flamboyant, but she didn’t think it went so well.  She thought his musicality was lagging.  Len said it was simply “alright.”  He felt Jason looked uncomfortable and was lacking rhythm.  Bruno said Taylor was not as focused as he normally was.  He also said the Samba looked more like a RumbaScore: 8/7/8 (23)  **The lowest so far tonight**

Cristián de la Fuente (partner Cheryl Burke)

(Dance: Mambo/ Song: ‘Saca Tu Mujer’)
Cristián proved you don’t need two arms to be able to groove…or smack your partner’s rear.  He helped Cheryl do some nice spins while pulling off some nice turns of his own.  Dual limbs are also not needed for good footwork or hip-shaking.  (You can see this performance below.)

Len said it was full of energy.  He noted Cristián’s great hips and one-armed underarm turns.  Bruno said he had “more energy than a volcano in the Andes.”  Carrie Ann said the actor was “definitely Latin” and that the couple was “definitely on fire.”  Score: 10/9/10 (29)  **His best score ever**


(You can find all the Dancing with the Stars: Season 6 posts here.)

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