Monthly Archives: November 2006

DwtS 3, Week 9: Results Show

Mario and Emmitt have been fan favorites since the beginning of the
season, so it was no surprise that they earned spots as finalists for Dancing with the Stars 3. Still, it was sad to see Joey & Edyta go.

After
a brief rundown of last night’s performances, the judges asked Mario
& Karina for an encore of their Tango. Len said that the judges
finally agreed on which of the perfect-scoring routines to award the
encore “after hours of deliberation and three bottles of wine.”

Hey, look, the newest Bond girl is in the audience! Perhaps it’s because the latest James Bond movie comes out next week.

And
wouldn’t you know it, several of the pros just happened to choreograph
a demo dance to the James Bond theme song just in time for this week’s
show. Elena, Tony, Kym, and Max were joined by two of last seasons
pros, Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts. It was good to see them
back again.

After the shameless promotion, Samantha interviewed
the remaining couples backstage. She recycled some of the questions
she’s been asking for weeks. Joey’s still working hard, and Mario’s
still feeling “the pressure.”

Emmitt said that Joey and Mario were so competitive, “They could play my sport.”

The
backstage interviews were followed by footage of interviews with
members of last night’s audience. Of Emmitt, one audience member said,
“Any man that can smile like that and make your panties fall off, he
deserves to be voted for.” (I must not have sat next to her; there was
no underwear on the floor by my table.)

Elizabeth Berkley was rooting for her former Saved By the Bell
castmate, Mario. And Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first president of Zambia (and
my unofficial date for last night’s show), said he was impressed by all
of the celebrities. That’s the kind of stuff you’ve gotta say if you
want to be president.

After the interviews, we got a preview of some of the early rehearsals for the DwtS
Tour. Even though she’s not listed on the official tour website, Ashly
DelGrosso was at rehearsals, perhaps filling in for Karina while she
competes with Mario.

To build excitement for the tour, Max &
Willa, Harry & Ashly, Lisa & Louis, and Kym & Joey McIntyre
performed a fun jive to “Footloose.”

Slim-Fast contestant
Tysonia and her instructor Christian were in the audience tonight to
watch footage of her performance at the Pacific DanceSport
Championships. They finished their round in second place. According to
the DwtS board at Dance-Forums, the winning couple was pro Jeremy Gatlin and his student Mika Garrett.

Then, tonight’s special musical guests, Pet Shop Boys, performed “West End Girls” alongside some hip-hop mimes.

A
package of interviews with members of the media followed. Rachael Ray
said that the show is so popular, even the animal kingdom keeps up on
the show: “My pit bull definitely has an opinion about this.” Most of
the media members expressed more interest in the scandals associated
with DwtS (e.g., Shanna decking Paris Hilton, Sara Evans’ divorce, etc.) than in the show’s dancing.

Another
clip package featured the remaining participants talking about their
competitors. Edyta said that when Emmitt dances, “he looks very
masculine.”

“Joey’s a real nice guy,” said Mario. “And I think that comes across when he performs.”

And of Mario, Joey said, “Those routines that he does with Karina are perfection.”

Finally,
it was time for elimination. Mario & Karina were announced as the
first couple moving on to the finale. Then Tom announced that Joey
& Edyta had received the lowest number of audience votes, meaning
they were going home.

Tom asked the audience, “Have you ever seen as much unbridled enthusiasm as Joey brought to the dance floor?”

Of
Edyta, Joey said, “This is a great friendship. We’re gonna go on the
tour, and we’re gonna rock it out for 40 dates or so.” Joey tried to be
positive about his experience, but the smile was gone from his eyes. He
was obviously disappointed.

Samantha announced that next week,
the final two couples will dance their favorite routine from the
season, a new freestyle routine, and then both couples will perform
dances to the same song

As the show closed, Joey & Edyta danced their final dance to the comically insensitive “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.”

DwtS 3, Week 9: Performance Show

I was at the taping for this week’s Performance Show, so my hubby, Greg, took over the task of getting the videos recorded, prepped, and uploaded. And since he’s the only one of us who saw the show on TV, he wrote this recap. Later this week, I’ll be posting about seeing the show in person.

Ballroom Round

Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff – Tango
Mario was glad to have the chance to pick this week’s dances and music. “I like having control of my destiny,” he said. He chose the Tango as one of his dances because he “got scolded for it before.” Mario went back to his hometown, Chula Vista, where he spoke to students and celebrated “Mario Lopez Day.”

Dancing to “Whatever Lola Wants,” Mario and Karina wore black outfits and serious expressions. They started their hold early on in the dance, and kept it throughout — a big change from their first Tango. Rather than exhibiting athleticism and showmanship, it looked like they focused on doing the dance properly, trusting their personality to come through.

Len started off stern, saying of the stars, “They’ve all got to up their game.” He quickly softened and told Mario, “That was your best dance…ever!” Bruno thought the routine was “Gutsy, intense, all gift-wrapped with beautiful technique.” Carrie Ann said, “That might be the best dance I’ve seen this whole season.”

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – Waltz
Emmitt & Cheryl went to a NASCAR event to promote themselves and give Emmitt a chance to say, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Cheryl was excited to do a Cha Cha Cha, because “Emmitt is so good at putting in his own funky moves.” Emmitt looked forward to the Waltz, because it would show off his versatility. He said, “You’re in the competition so you can become a champion.”

The couple danced to Billy Vera’s “At This Moment.” Emmitt wore a jacket with long tails, and Cheryl had on a beautiful, flowing dress. The routine was romantic and smooth, just like me. It sounded like the audience was cheering loudly throughout the entirety of the performance.

Len said it the dance was like a music box, in which “Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty used to go round and do a lovely waltz.” Carrie Ann said, “There’s an authenticity to you when you get out there and dance.” Bruno told Emmitt, “You’re turning into an American wonder. It’s like the Grand Canyon.”

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 29/30

Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska – Quickstep
Joey said he and Edyta chose the Rumba because, the first time out, “we didn’t get the marks we wanted.” Conversely, they chose the Quickstep because they did it well the first time they tried it. Joey wanted to dress as a sailor and dedicate his dance to his Navy vet grandfather. Joey and Edyta went to Disneyland to rally support.

For their Quickstep, Joey and Edyta danced to “42nd Street.” As promised, Joey wore his sailor’s outfit, and Edyta wore what was, for her, a rather conservative dress. It was appropriate, but a little sad (for me). Their moves together were quick and sharp, and they were at their best when working together. Unfortunately, Joey broke into another one of his solo tap routines in the middle, which broke the momentum of the dance.

Of the routine, Bruno said, “Anchors aweigh! Full speed ahead!” Carrie chided the couple for Joey’s solo bit: “You broke the hold!” Len responded by saying, “Technically, you did break the hold. But, it was still in keeping with the dance. That deserves to go into the finals.”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 29/30

Latin Round

Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff – Cha Cha Cha
They danced to Weird Al Yankovic’s hit song, “Fat” — though this version had different lyrics that weren’t as funny. Karina wore shiny vinyl pants and a bikini top, and Mario had on a tank top and black slacks. I just happen to have both those outfits in my own wardrobe. Where their Tango was serious and restrained, their Cha Cha Cha was an athletic crowd-pleaser. There wasn’t a lot of interaction between the two dancers, but the routine very well danced. Mario did a bunch of Michael Jackson moves, though I don’t know what that has to do with Weird Al.

(Update: To save any more readers from sending us emails, I want to clarify that I was just kidding about Weird Al. I know the song was Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” Thanks to those of you who’ve sent helpful messages.)

Carrie Ann said, “I took a point off because of the Michael Jackson. I added a point back because of the hot Cha Cha!” Len felt “there was too much popping and breakdancing, and not enough Cha Cha.” Bruno snarled, “When you’re good, you’re very, very good. And when you’re bad, you’re even better.”

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 29/30

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – Cha Cha Cha
For their Cha Cha Cha, Emmitt wore a metallic shirt, and Cheryl had on an animal print dress. In this dance, Emmitt got to be Emmitt. Throughout the song, “Mustang Sally,” Emmitt showed off his big smile and smooth footwork. He worked a lot more with his partner than did Mario, and the routine was pure fun.

Bruno said, “The audience really eats you! You exude such joy. Irresistible.” Carrie Ann stood up and sang, “Ride, Emmitt, Ride!” Len told Emmit, “You did that dance in week one. I loved it, then. I love it ten times more, now.”

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30

Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska – Rumba
In a week where the couples got to choose their own music, Joey & Edyta inexplicably picked the Bangles’ “Eternal Flame.” Edyta wore a fringed skirt and metal bikini top (just like Princess Leia), and Joey was in dark pants and an open shirt. They did a solid job, like they always do, but I think this dance may have been their last. Joey might score the highest in real competitions, but he doesn’t play to the audience like the other two contestants.

Len told Joey, “I’ve always said you are a ballroom dancer, and not so much a Latin dancer. Tonight, you proved me wrong.” Bruno called Joey “a smoldering shapeshifter on the floor.” And Carrie Ann praised Joey’s partner for her teaching. “What an improvement. Edyta, you worked on his chest!”

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30



Leaderboard:
1 (tie) – Everybody (59/60)

This week, my vote didn’t go to anybody. I’m a man. I don’t watch this dancing stuff.

(Okay, I voted for Emmitt. But I’m going to miss Edyta after she and Joey go home on Wednesday.)

DwtS Extra: Jerry Springer Interview

This past Friday, I had a chance to chat with Jerry Springer. Jerry was a great interview and a heck of a nice guy. We talked a lot about Dancing with the Stars, and a little bit about politics.

How are you feeling after your run on Dancing with the Stars?
My hair hurts. You know, it was more exercise than I was used to.

You didn’t have a strenuous regimen before doing the show?
Back in ’87, I think I did a knee bend. I do remember doing that. But I don’t think I’ve had any real exercise since then. I play golf, and back when I was younger I played sports. Most guys did. But I haven’t run around or done anything like that for years.

So when you signed up, how long did you think you were going to last?
One week. [The show’s producers] thought so, too. The hotel was only booked for the first week. I was joking around that, that first week, when you show up at the studio to find out if you’ve been voted off, I was the only guy that showed up with his luggage. I was sure I was going home.

I really was the worst dancer. But the people watching were really nice, and I guess they just liked to laugh at me falling over and they kept me on. But clearly, all of the others were better dancers than I am.

I don’t know about that. Tucker was no great shakes either.
Yeah, okay, I figured we were about even. I figured if I was gonna last, it would be between him and me.

The rest, they’re 35 years younger than me. They certainly were coordinated; they knew how to dance going in.

And it was important at the end. That’s why I kept going to the camera and saying, "Please, stop voting," because it would’ve ruined the show. Next year then, everyone would’ve just come on and joked around.

I think it’s important for the integrity of the show that I was voted off — that you let the final four be real dancers. I could be entertaining for a while, but at the end, it was a show about dancing, and it wasn’t appropriate that I was still on. That’s why I kept saying, "Please stop."

So you were being sincere when you asked fans to stop voting for you?
Yeah. I was just being honest the whole time. I said, "This is fun. I enjoy it, and I’m flattered. But it’s not fair."

Plus, these are young people at a really important part of their career. It could be a great boost for them; this could make them stars. So why should I get in the way? I’ve had my run. I’ve been lucky. Let one of the younger people give their career a boost.

You’ve already got the Jerry Springer Show on television, and Springer on the Radio on Air America.
I’ve been lucky. That’s why I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to be on in the first place. I just tried to be entertaining every week.

All of the cast members seem to get along really well. How much time did you spend together?
Starting Monday, we’d be together. I’d fly in on Sunday night or Monday morning, usually Monday morning I’d fly out there and then in the afternoon we’d have the blocking and then the dress rehearsal. Then Tuesday, we’d have the show and then Wednesday, the Results show. So I’d say Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we’d be together.

They were all really, really so nice to me, and I like them all. Every one of them had a great personality, and it was just nice. I’m sure they didn’t see me as a real threat, so it was pretty easy to be hangin’ with me. They weren’t worried that I’d come up with a trick step.

But, if they’d ask me questions — some advice about the business or what they’d be doing — I’d be helpful, of course. They were probably watching my shows when they were in high school, so that was kind of neat.

How often did you see Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris?
I would only see them on Tuesday and Wednesday, and they were really nice. So are the judges. The truth is, everyone associated with the show was really nice. No one had an attitude. For all the bad stories you hear about Hollywood, this was really a nice group. I don’t think we were overcome with any huge egos.

So you said you would fly out there. Where were you training? What was your work schedule like, accommodating the radio show and the TV show?
Well, the radio show I would do from whatever city I was in, but the TV show I would do in Chicago on Thursdays and Fridays, three shows a day. And then Saturday and Sunday we would rehearse, and Monday morning we would fly out to L.A. Because I’m going against the clock, that got me in around noon, and blocking was late afternoon.

So that was usually my schedule. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday I’d do the radio show from out in L.A.

So where did you and Kym practice in Chicago, then?
The Fred Astaire Studio and the Arthur Murray Studio, downtown.

By the way, was that her idea for the ruffled shirt for the Samba?
Well, what happens is, they have a wardrobe coordinator, and as soon as the Results Show is over, they tell you what your next dance is for the week. So you have a meeting with the designers, and you talk about what the dance is and what you kinda wanna be looking, and you all discuss it.

Me, I just sat there. The only thing I kept saying was, "Think funny. Think funny." Because if I look like I’m taking it too seriously, it would be offensive to people.

Let’s be honest about this. The honest thing is, I don’t know how to dance. I’m gonna really try, but let’s try to entertain by putting some comedy into it. Make it an entertaining dance rather than an artistically perfect dance. So that’s what I did. We always thought, "What am I gonna look funny in?"

And those [practice clip] packages we do for the next week, I always tried to put some comedy into it.

And it seemed like Kym was really able to play off of you.
She was phenomenal. Phenomenal. She had the toughest job of any of the dancers.

In fairness, all the other pros are wonderful people and great dancers, but they got to dance with people who can dance. So they got to say, "Now we’ll do the split, and now we’ll do the lift, and now we’ll…" So they could just sit down at the drawing board and create this wonderful dance.

Well, she obviously couldn’t do that with me, so considering the limitations of what I could do physically, she was remarkable. And she’s got such a great attitude. She’s a real sweetheart.

Yeah. She’s been a great addition to the show, and I hope she comes back for another season. Now, regarding the other young woman in your life, it’s well known that you did the show for your daughter, Katie. Is she taking dancing lessons, too, in preparation for her wedding? Or does she already know how to dance?
No, she doesn’t. We’re all gonna take lessons someplace and learn how to do the Waltz together. I now know the basic steps, and I can show her, but I don’t trust myself as being a teacher. So I suggested, "Why don’t we go take dancing lessons together and learn it." So that’s what we’re gonna do.

What advice do you have for any fathers who might have to learn this stuff for their daughters’ weddings?
Try to do it in front of less people! You know, trying something in front of 30 million people probably wasn’t the smartest thing I ever thought about.

Are you and Kym going to be back for the finale?
Yes. And then there’s a national tour, which she’s gonna go on, and they’ve invited me to be on as many shows as I can be on. So I’ll see. Trying to balance everything, I’ve gotta figure out what cities I can get to.

I’ve already got my tickets for the Chicago show.
I’ll probably be at that one.

Switching gears, the big question is… Do you think Sherrod Brown’s going to be able to defeat Mike DeWine in your former political stomping grounds of Ohio?
Yeah, I think it looks like it. It’s not a slam dunk because of the great "Get Out the Vote" operation that the Republicans have, so they will always wind up doing a little better than what the polls show. But even if the gap is narrow, and it’s now seven points, my guess is that Sherrod will survive that.

I also think there really will be, and what happened today with that reverend, that really nullifies any concerns people had with what John Kerry had done for the Democrats. I think there is just now such national disgust with the current administration or whatever, I think it’s a sweep year. Every once in a while, it happens. And it’s happened to Democrats, too. It’s not always just bad Republicans. There’s a pendulum, and I think the pendulum’s ready to switch. I think we’re going back the other way.

Even if Saddam’s trial is decided by Monday, is that going to make any difference?
I don’t think it means anything because I don’t think it’s on anyone’s consciousness. People are wondering why we haven’t gotten Osama bin Laden. Saddam Hussein may be a pig, but he never attacked us.

Americans don’t go around saying, "God, I hate Saddam Hussein." That was someone we were told to hate, but there’s no instinctive feeling of animosity. People intellectually say, "God, this is a very bad person," but I don’t hang around anyone who starts a discussion with, "Oh, that Saddam Hussein…" It’s, "Why the hell are we in Iraq?" Some people think it’s good, some bad, but you never hear talk about Saddam.

So no, I don’t think that has any effect. Plus it looks a little too manipulated. To the extent that it has a political impact, I think it will backfire, because it looks like we talked them into announcing it two days before the election. It’s just so blatant.

Even if the judge did decide that’s when he was going to announce it, wouldn’t you call him and say, "You know what, it’s going to look awful. Couldn’t you just hold it off for a week until after the election?" And of course they would, so it’s clearly a political…it’s just so crass and obvious. But I don’t think it will any effect. No.

Thanks so much for the interview, Jerry!
Thanks, Kath. Take it easy.

TAR 10: Episode 8

Twice this season, Kentuckians David & Mary were the last team to
the Pit Stop. And twice, they’d been spared. This week, David &
Mary actually beat a team to the finish. But a 30-minute penalty bumped
them into last place — and off of The Amazing Race.

The
episode opened with teams leaving Mauritius for nearby Madagascar.
Beauty Queens Dustin & Kandice started out in first place, and
David & Mary were in last. The Kentuckians needed to finish in
first place this week, or else they’d suffer the aforementioned
30-minute penalty for coming in last place during the previous
episode’s non-elimination leg.

All the teams caught the same 11
a.m. flight to Madagascar, where they arrived to find a new twist in
the game: the Intersection. An Intersection forces two teams to work
together until informed otherwise.

Models Tyler & James
paired up with Dating couple Rob & Kimberly, forcing the distrusted
Beauty Queens to work with one of the members of the 6-Pack: The Chos,
the Alabama Moms, and David & Mary.

In this case, being
despised by their competitors worked in Dustin & Kandice’s favor.
Lyn & Karlyn and David & Mary paired up, leaving the Beauty
Queens to work with the younger, fitter Cho Brothers.

The clue
at the Intersection contained two clues: a Detour and a Fast Forward,
which could benefit (or not) the both teams attempting to complete it.

The
Intersected squad of Tyler & James and Rob & Kimberly opted to
go for the fast Forward. They rode to a market to discover they’d be
dining on a local delicacy: cow lips. Kimberly pointed out that the
cooked lips still had teeth and hair attached. Each person had to eat
an entire plate full of lips, and it wasn’t long before barfing ensued.

Because
other teams had already undertaken the Fast Forward, Lyn & Karlyn
convinced David & Mary to skip it and just go for the Detour.

Both
Bama/Tucky and Cho/Queens chose to do the Detour task “Long Sleep,” in
which teams needed to cover eight large, foam mattresses in fabric and
deliver them to house. No one chose the other task, which required
teams to make 28 sheets of decorative paper, using traditional methods.

The
Chos and the Beauty Queens had a relatively easy time carrying their
large mattresses through the narrow streets and alleys of Madagascar’s
capital city, Antananarivo. David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn tried
to carry their mattresses in a single giant stack through traffic,
succeeding only in dropping the mattresses on top of unsuspecting
motorists.

Once the mattresses were delivered, teams received a
clue freeing them from working with their partner team and directing
them to a Roadblock. One team member needed to search through a market
for four rubber stamps — car, boat, plane, and train — sold by four
separate stamp dealers. The non-Roadblocking team member went ahead to
the Pit Stop to wait.

As Dustin and Godwin began their stamp
searches, Tyler & James and Rob & Kimberly were still munching
on cow lips. James discovered an unknown gift: an astounding ability to
eat large amounts of gross food quickly. He finished his lips well
ahead of Rob, who was followed by Tyler.

A crowd of locals
watched Kimberly throw up every few minutes, until she eventually ate
the last of her lips. Task completed, the team partnership was
dissolved, and both pairs drove to the Pit Stop in separate cabs.

But
moments before Tyler & James reached the Pit Stop at Andohalo
Cathedral, Dustin arrived and rejoined Kandice. They stepped on the mat
in first place, for the second week in a row. For finishing in first
place, they won a trip to Hawaii, complete with a helicopter tour over
an active volcano.

Tyler & James finished in second place,
followed by Rob & Kimberly in third. All those cow lips (and teeth
and hair) couldn’t have been worth it for second and third place.

Godwin
arrived at the Pit Stop and met up with Erwin, giving the Chos a fourth
place finish. That left David and Karlyn to wait to see which of their
partners would arrive first.

Mary reached the Pit Stop, and
their 30-minute penalty started when she and David stepped on the mat.
With 20 minutes remaining on the penalty, Lyn arrived, so David &
Mary were eliminated.

It was an emotional goodbye for the two
sets of friends, but Mary stayed upbeat. She said she’s proud to be
from Kentucky, but she looked forward to showing her kids the wider
world. “I don’t want my kids to be like me,” said Mary. “I want my kids
to experience life.”

Next week, Lyn & Karlyn get emotional
after watching videos from their kids. And racers get stuck in a “muddy
situation.” Here’s a hint: it involves mud.

DwtS In-Season Update: 11-04-06

There’s a lot happening at My Ox Is Broken. First, we’re heading to Los Angeles, where I’ll be in the audience for Tuesday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars! I’ll be hanging with my pals Eva Longoria and John Salley — provided I can elude their security guards. My husband/webmaster, Greg, will be writing that evening’s recap and posting the videos. He may not know dancing; but he knows what he likes (Edyta). I’ll file a behind-the-scenes report later in the week.

Second, Jerry Springer was kind enough to grant me an interview on Friday. I’ll be posting the transcript this week from my swanky hotel suite. They have suites at the Ramada, right?

On to the power rankings…

3. Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Joey & Edyta are a great couple, but Mario’s got the moves, and Emmitt’s got the fans. Joey’s probably the odd man out this week, no matter how cool Edyta’s outfits are. To stay in, they’ve got to keep their scores right up with Mario & Karina’s, and then hope the audience finds them more likable.

2. Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
Mario could be poised for a fall–just like last season’s most naturally talented dancer, Stacy. Mario’s been on top long enough that he’s started to expect it, and it’s coming across to some fans as cockiness.

Even the judges are starting to have their doubts about Mario & Karina. In an interview with Extra, Carrie Ann gave Emmitt & Cheryl the edge. And Len said, “My brain, at this stage, is saying Mario will win. My heart is saying Emmitt will win.” When the competition is likely to come down to audience votes, the heart could win out.

1. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Emmitt & Cheryl are still improving each week, with exciting and memorable routines. They’re peaking at the right time. If Cheryl can put together a freestyle routine for the finale that’s half as good as last season’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” they could have it in the bag.

Other DwtS News:
People has a new weekly update, and Access Hollywood’s Dish of Salt blog reveals that ousted celeb Shanna Moakler and her professional partner, Jesse DeSoto, might be romantically involved.

Tickets for the Dancing with the Stars Tour are now on sale to the public through Ticketmaster. American Express is offering its Gold Card members special offers for floorside tables at some of the events.

In order to clear up some confusion surrounding the Dancing with the Stars tour, Ashly DelGrosso posted this at her website:
“I have received many emails regarding the DWS tour and conflicting information about whether I will be on it. I wanted to let everyone know that contrary to some advertising I will not be performing on this tour. I am not sure why the tour is being advertised with my name as a performer and I apologize for any inconvenience to those of you who’ve purchased tickets based on misinformation that I would be attending. Thanks again for all of your support. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Cook Islands: Episode 8

Flicka was nobody’s friend after all. This week, she became the eighth contestant booted from Survivor: Cook Islands.

Early
in the episode, Jessica (Flicka) made everyone nervous when she
complained about being left out of her tribe’s voting plans for the previous Tribal Council. She got on
her soapbox in front of Nate, the kidnapped member of Raro. He took it
all in, seeking information that might help him later in the game. “My
eyes are open very much.”

Flicka’s loose lips got
Candice, Becky, and Yul talking about their voting plans. They had
originally planned to eliminate (immunity threat) Ozzy next, but now
they wondered whether to get rid of (unpredictable) Flicka first — or
even (untrustworthy) Jonathan.

Along with their summons to the
episode’s Reward Challenge, each tribe received a catalog of possible
prizes, from which they could choose two items as rewards. Aitu chose
jars of peanut butter and a bag of potatoes.

Raro ignored Brad’s
suggestion to choose the same two items, instead opting for peanut
butter and bread. Their folly was revealed soon after they arrived at
the Reward Challenge; it was raining, and the bread was not in a bag.

The
Challenge consisted of two phases. First, three swimmers would take
turns swimming to a floating platform. There, they jumped off of the
platform, breaking a suspended clay box with a baseball bat-like club
while in midair.

The box contained a key on a string, which fell
into the water once the box was broken. The swimmers retrieved the keys
and swam back to shore. Each team needed to retrieve a total of six
keys, one at a time.

For the second phase, two puzzle solvers
used the keys to unlock six boxes of puzzle pieces. First team to
correctly assemble the puzzle — which, when assembled, was a map of
the world — won reward.

Because of their extra players, Aitu
sat out Flicka, Sundra, and Nate, who was still a part of their tribe
through the end of the challenge.

Brad insisted that he was
better at puzzles than he was at swimming, which proved to be the fatal
blow for Raro. Rebecca was the squad’s first swimmer, and she was so
exhausted from her swim to the platform that she wasn’t even able to
retrieve the first key.

Meanwhile, Ozzy dominated the challenge
for Aitu. When Candice wasn’t able to find her key underwater, she swam
back and Ozzy went out. It turned out that Candice’s clay box hadn’t
shattered completely, and the key was still in it. Ozzy didn’t have a
club with him, so he leapt off of the platform and smashed the box with
his fist.

Aitu was one key ahead of Raro for almost the entire
challenge, and the puzzle was pretty simple. As a result, Aitu finished
their puzzle before Raro’s final key made it to shore.

Nate
rejoined Raro, and Aitu selected Adam to spend the night on Exile
Island. It was already windy, cold, and raining during the challenge,
and the addition of intense thunder and lightning made the night almost
unbearable. Adam huddled under a few boards in the fetal position, but
he was still wet and miserable.

Despite the weather, Aitu
savored their victory back at camp. Blissfully snacking on peanut
butter, Candice said, “I’m in love with everybody I can see right now.
If anybody wants a kiss, come on over.”

Flicka took Candice up on the offer, and the two quickly swapped dabs of peanut butter lipstick. Somewhere in the distance, Billy sobbed, “Why couldn’t it have been me?”

Raro
had little else to due but stew over their loss, and Brad took most of
the blame. Nate called Brad a “nancy boy,” and Parvati said, “I wanna
punch him in the mouth.”

Even on Exile Island, Adam had a few
thoughts on his teams loss. He said, “It’s hard to soar like an eagle
when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” Adam gets all his wisdom from
T-shirts.

Adam’s stay on Exile Island ended when it was time for
the Immunity Challenge. Similar to the Reward Challenge, this challenge
also revolved around swimming and puzzle solving.

First, teams
placed heavy logs into holes dug in the ground, in order of height.
These created a stairway to a platform. From there, three swimmers flew
down a zip line into the water, one at a time. Each retrieved a bag of
puzzle pieces and brought it back to shore.

When all three bags
had been retrieved, the swimmers all climbed a rope ladder back up to
the top of the platform, where their remaining three teammates
assembled the puzzle. The first team to complete its puzzle won
Immunity.

Ozzy’s strong swimming skills gave Aitu a decent lead
going into the puzzle phase, and the team seemed to be doing pretty
well with the puzzle. But once Jenny got the pieces to Raro’s puzzle,
she solved it in what seemed like seconds. Her teammates, Adam and
Rebecca, pretty much just stood back and let her work her magic.

At
Aitu’s camp, a paranoid Flicka pestered everyone about their voting
plans, lest she be left out yet again. She tried to focus everyone’s
attention on targeting Jonathan, sensing the growing feeling of
distrust towards him.

Ozzy was concerned that he might be the
target, so he raised a valuable point to Candice. As the teams only
successful hunter, the tribe would go hungry without him. Like Flicka,
Ozzy also thought Jonathan should go. “If nobody trusts him, then why
is he still here?”

But ultimately, it was Flicka’s paranoia that
rubbed her teammates the wrong way. She became the first Caucasian
voted off this season.

Flicka was understanding about her
dismissal: “I guess I wasn’t playing the game as hard as I should’ve.”
She’s rooting for her buddy Ozzy to win the million dollars.

Next time: Brad loses the trust of Raro, and a surprise twist gives Survivors the chance to change their fate.

DwtS 3, Week 8: Results Show

After several weeks of middle-of-the-road scores from the judges, Monique, the last woman standing, finally earned her first perfect 10s. But they weren’t enough to save her, and she and Louis were the next pair eliminated from
Dancing with the Stars.

The show began with confessional clips
from last night’s Performance Show. Mario admitted to getting emotional
during his Waltz. “I promised Karina I wasn’t gonna cry, but I got all
watery,” he said. “Then when I concentrated on not crying, I thought I
was going to forget my steps.”

Regarding his Fox Trot, Emmitt said, “I’m not sure if the performance was as shaky as those scores.”

But
Emmitt & Cheryl were happier about the response to their Rumba, especially
Len’s comment that he wished he could’ve given them an 11 — which
would have given them a total of 30 for the dance. Cheryl said, “We
really did get a perfect score…”

Emmitt completed her sentence: “…in our minds.”

The
first dance of the evening was the Judges’ Encore. Len announced that
the honor would go to Monique & Louis, “because we thought it was so
fantastic, and it’s the first time they’ve been asked to give an
encore.”

The only difference in tonight’s performance was that,
at the end of the routine, Louis wouldn’t move out of the way so that
Monique could get up off the floor. She played along, flopping around
to indicate her displeasure.

Then it was time for the return of Willa Ford. She didn’t dance. Instead, she sang the theme song from Fame. Why? No one knows. But Tony, Max, Louis, Edyta, Cheryl, and Elena danced to it, which is reason enough for me.

While
the pros cleared the floor, Samantha was backstage asking the celebrity
competitors about the previous night’s dances. Emmitt discussed his
low-scoring ballroom routine. “When you have a score that’s low,”
Emmitt said, “you wanna come back and give a great performance.”
Monique, who’d fared similarly in her performances — scoring high in
the Latin after a rough Ballroom — agreed.

When asked how he
and Edyta were going to move forward in the competition, Joey said, “If
we’re blessed to be here next week, we’re just going to keep it going.”

On
what it would take to score a perfect 30 points from the judges, Mario
said, “Maybe the stars have to be aligned. Maybe everyone has to be in
a good mood.” Back in the ballroom, Tom said the latter condition would
never be met on this show.

Then we learned what last night’s
audience thought of the performances. “I started to get a little choked
up when I saw Edyta in her costume,” Andy Lawrence said.

Another male audience member was outraged: “I am so sick of Mario! The women want him… and the men want him too!”

Two
of last season’s pros, Jonathan Roberts & Anna Trebunskaya, were
also in the audience. Anna was impressed by the male celebrities this
season: “I think I’ll have Mario for Monday, and I think I’ll have
Emmitt for Tuesday.”

After the audience comments, Tom and
Samantha announced the first couple who will be returning for next
week’s semifinal round: Emmitt & Cheryl.

Multinational operatic pop stars Il Divo then took the stage to perform Harry Nilsson’s hit song, “Without You,” in Spanish.

But
the real stars were professional Standard dancers Victor Fung &
Anna Mikhed. They danced beautifully, and Anna’s dress was positively
dreamy. It was my favorite dance of the whole season, so far.

After
the dance, Samantha caught up with Emmitt & Cheryl backstage. “The
pressure right now is really awful,” Emmitt said. “Performing is
nothing. The Results Show is the toughest moment.”

The interview
was followed by an update on Slim-Fast Challenge contestant, Tysonia.
Her partner, Christian, surprised her with the news that they’d be
competing against professionals at the Pacific Dancesport
Championships. Tysonia’s initial excitement gave way to panic, as she
practiced the Rumba. More to come next week.

Then, it was time for the third new dance demonstration of the night. Choreographer Hinton Battle has created a fusion of swing and hip-hop he calls Swop. Eight dancers demonstrated the style with an exciting, acrobatic performance.

Tom
and Samantha announced that, for the remainder of the competition,
couples will choose their own dances. For next week, they will pick one
Ballroom and one Latin style that they’ve already performed, but the
music and choreography must be all new.

“Every couple has to have a strategy from now on,” Cheryl said.

“It’s
going to be a hard decision,” Edyta said, “because we have to choose
dances that are good for us… and the audience… and the
judges.”

As for which dance he’d prefer, Mario said, “To me, it’s the one that got the best response from the audience.”

Monique said, “I think I’m gonna choose something that got some criticism — to give myself a second chance.”

All
the pros said they have special tricks for managing their celebrity
charges over the final couple weeks. Mario needs to be dealt with
harshly. Emmitt needs to have fun. Monique needs to have confidence.
And Joey needs to keep from burning out.

In another clip
package, the judges gave their opinion of the four remaining
celebrities. Len called them “The Big Easy (Emmitt),” “Little Miss
Dynamite (Monique),” “Joey The Dependable,” and “Mario The Magnificent.”

Of Emmitt, Len said he’s “funky. He is a true, cool dude.”

Carrie
Ann said, “What I love about Emmitt the most is the way he moves his
head. It goes with his body.” (I guess that’s better than if it
went with someone else’s body.)

Len did have some nits to pick. “Technically, Emmitt needs to work on his footwork. We want to see good posture.”

Bruno suggested, “Give it the edge. Give it precision.”

Len said Monique “comes to the floor totally committed.”

Bruno
said she has “the most beautiful arms in the competition.” But he also
noted that “she seems to give the same facial expression in all the
dances.”

Carrie Ann said, “She’s disconnected. It all feels quite fake.”

Joey was described by Len as “the most accomplished ballroom dancer in this whole series.”

“You can see the pin-sharp execution of the step with his feet,” said Bruno.

“The only problem with Joey’s dancing,” said Carrie Ann, “is that he gets a little locked in his chest.”

Len said Joey’s weakness was “lack of flair.”

“Mario,
without a doubt, is the most talented of all our celebrities,” said
Len. “He can do things that none of the other celebrities can do.”

Carrie
Ann said, “What’s missing from Mario’s performance is fluidity. He goes
from move to move to move. It’s precise, but he’s forgetting about
everything that’s happening between the steps.”

Of all the competitors, Bruno said, “The standard is so high, whatever happens is going to be amazing.”

After the clips, Joey & Edyta were announced as the next safe couple.

But
that didn’t mean that Mario & Karina and Monique & Louis were
the Bottom Two. Tom clarified that, though either Mario or Monique had
received the lowest total score, the other couple could have been
anywhere in the top three.

Tom then announced the couple who would be going home: Monique & Louis.

As
Tom tried to get Monique to come over for an interview, her mother ran
out onto the floor for a hug. After prying herself away from her mom,
Monique thanked the fans who’ve kept her in the competition so long.

Of
his partner, Louis said, “Whatever I threw at her, she never said no.
She’s a perfect example, that if you want something bad enough, you can
do it.” Monique said she and Louis will be lifelong friends.

After
a short video montage of their performances, Monique & Louis walked
to the center of the floor for their final dance. Monique’s mom was
back, cutting in on Louis. The rest of the competitors waited to
approach, until Monique waved them over. Everyone stood in a circle and
danced to “Don’t You Forget About Me.”