Dancing with the Stars is bringing together 4 Stars and 10 Professional Dancers in a live tour all across North America in 38 days covering 37 cities beginning December 17, 2008 in California and culminating in Pennsylvania on February 8, 2009.
If you’re a fan, this is your chance to see the cast perform the show’s highlight of dances- unfortunately, you won’t get to see 2008 reigning champion, Brooke Burke in the tour.
Lance Bass, Maurice Green, Toni Braxton and Marlee Matlin are the only stars performing. Multi-Grammy winner Toni Braxton promises not only to dance but sing her biggest hits as well. That should be a treat for the aficionados! We wonder if N’Sync member Lance Bass is singing too?
Maksim Chmerkovskiy leads the cast of professional dancers alongside Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough, Kym Johnson, Alec Mazo, Fabian Sanchez, Edyta Sliwinska and Karina Smirnoff- all of whom are stars in their own rights.
New this season Lacey Schwimmer, best known as a reality TV contestant herself from Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) completes the roll. She is expected to attract not only DWS fans but fans of SYTYCD as well. She will be a refreshing addition to the tour with her unique style and choreography.
Wednesday, December 17
Thursday, December 18
Friday, December 19
Sunday, December 21
Monday, December 22
Saturday, December 27
Sunday, December 28
Monday, December 29
Tuesday, December 30
Friday, January 2
Sunday, January 4
Monday, January 5
Wednesday, January 7
Thursday, January 8
Friday, January 9
Sunday, January 11
Monday, January 12
Tuesday, January 13
Thursday, January 15
Friday, January 16
Saturday, January 17
Sunday, January 18
Tuesday, January 20
Thursday, January 22
Friday, January 23
Saturday, January 24
Sunday, January 25
Tuesday, January 27
Wednesday, January 28
Thursday, January 29
Friday, January 30
Saturday, January 31
Monday, February 2
Tuesday, February 3
Wednesday, February 4
Friday, February 6
Saturday, February 7
Sunday, February 8
San Diego Sports Arena
Citizens Business Bank Arena
Reno Events Center
American Airlines Center
i wireless Center (Mark of the Quad Cities)
Was there a way for Lance or Warren to come back from their deficit to Brooke going into the final night. Brooke needed a 24 to win, and Warren and Lance could pull off that perfect score for a shocker ending.
Lance & Lacey – Lance needed a perfect score to have a prayer. They didn’t get it. The audience didn’t give them the votes for that hip hop last night.
Warren & Kym – Amazing Warren could get this far at 300 pounds, but Kym would have had to lift him over her head to win.
Brooke & Derek – Perfect score from the judges two nights running? You can’t beat that. Brooke takes the ugliest trophy in show business.
Our reader’s choice to win this year’s Dancing with the Stars with 54% of the votes is also Brooke Burke!
T hey started the show reminding us of some of the best dances each couple had performed earlier in the season, and it was a great segment, because it reminded us of all the competitive pieces we had forgotten that brought the dancers to the finals.
Last week, Lance was the top of the heap. We felt he had a great chance this week and this was his competition to lose.
Tonight’s votes will count for half the total. Tomorrow in a final chance, the judges get to score the other half.
They had to draw numbers to see who would go first. Brooke drew the short straw and had to go first. If she wins going first, she deserves it.
Lance drew going second and Warren gets the finale dance of the night.
So, we will skip all the fluff and get to the competition. The first dance was a combo dance with all three couples dancing the Samba in the Samba Smackdown!
1. Brooke & Derek (8/10)
Derek started great, but Brooke was flat-footed and still. Then they started moving about a minute into the dance. Then, it started to get fun, but Brooke didn’t do it for us. Her knees wee bent and none of the splits or moves looked finale quality to us.
2. Lance & Lacey (9/10)
This is Lacey’s strong point, and she brings Lance into an almost Benjie style. He obviously has more style than any of the other dancers in this segment and the choreography by Lacey is spectacular.
3. Warren & Kym (7/10)
This dance is just too fast for Warren to keep up. He looks awkard and silly, and without Kym to offset his moves he wouldn’t be in the finals. People like his lovable personality, and we have to admit he won us over. But this is a dancing contest, not a personality contest.
Now the judges got in their 2c.
1. Brooke & Derek (28/30)
Way over the top scoring. How you could give that bent knees performance a 10, we have no idea. Lance was way better in this segment, so the judges stole away Lance’s chance if the audience listens to their influence.
2. Lance & Lacey (26/30)
This was sad. Lacey and Lance won this segment of the competition easily. It was more entertaining, better choreographed and had more style than Brooke & Derek. Could they possibly come back after winning a segment, and then losing in the judges’ eyes?
3. Warren & Kym (25/30)
Now, Warren & Kym did lose this round. No question! And it wasn’t close. The scores should have truly differentiated Lance from Warren here. They didn’t.
At this juncture, we had Lance in the lead, Brooke second and Warren a distant third.
So let’s get to the next segment. Free style. The couples get to choose their own dance. And the key here is to pick a memorable song and a dance that the audience has fun with.
1. Brooke & Derek (10/10)
Brooke & Derek chose to dance to “You’re The One I Want” from Grease. Their start was so cute with Brooke using her hand to look like a beating heart in Derek’s shirt. The moves were beyond cute after that; they were professional. Brooke was not missing a step. You have to see the performance to understand how professional this looked. Brooke was leaping off of the judges stands into Derek’s arms, spinning upside down in the very next move with a huge smile on her face as she realized she nailed it. The finale works into a dual tumbling role we cannot describe, so we will show it. Brooke didn’t miss anything; everything was perfect, fun and gave us a chill. We have not given any couple a 10 all season, and we have been under-whelmed by some of Brooke’s earlier performances. Not this time. It was the best dance we have seen on the show. Period. Judges gave all 10s, they agree, it was stupendous.
2. Lance & Lacey (8/10)
Lance & Lacey chose to do a hip hop in the free style. It is so out of character with the typical dance style in the show, and it just didn’t fit. Lacey can pull this kind of dance off, but hip hop for men has to have some butch moves, and honestly, Lance just isn’t butch. It starts off cute with some dancing behind the judges’ stand, but it went downhill from there. The dance never grabbed us. It had no strong theme, Lance couldn’t hit hip hop like we would expect if they really thought this was a finale dance, and most of all, it was just the wrong dance style for this competition. Judges: 27. They were kind.
3. Warren & Kym (9/10)
Warren & Kym did a more formal dance, at least at the start. Kym knows Warren is very strong. Lifting her is effortless, so the couple focused on lifts to get the most out of the dance. The way he can effortlessly spin Kym around made this a winner and placed them ahead of a hapless Lance in this round. Half way through the dance they changed costumes and picked up the pace. And the lifts, flips and moves were fast and furious. Every lift move was killer. Another dance you just have to see to believe. Judges: 28. Pretty much right on.
So who won?
Brooke brought it tonight. She won the night hands down on that last dance. Lance had his chance, but the hip hop choice in the freestyle was all wrong and done like an amateur. Warren showed us how powerful he really us, but it really served more to dress up Kym than to demonstrate his dance style.
We are calling Brooke the hands down winner tonight. It really wasn’t as close as the judges made it. If she doesn’t screw up badly tomorrow, Brooke takes home the trophy, but Lance and Warren are waiting to steal if it she does.
This is a huge week. Four teams left and each of them with a personality all their own. We felt Lance was very weak last week. He could have easily ended up on the plane ride home instead of Maurice.
Cody has been holding on, but is typically at the bottom and comes across as immature which can be offish to the type of audience this show attracts. He has had to change partners two times. That makes this a much more difficult task.
Brooke has been fantastic, but we don’t get a personality out of her. She is just a dancer to us. But she does have talent and flexibility that makes her look rather professional, albeit anonymous.
We finally realized what it is Warren portrays when he performs. It had escaped us, but the lovable, awkward large character he portrays is a living Shrek. He dances just like we would expect Shrek to dance in Shrek 5. It makes him lovable, albeit of minimal dance talent. He has a smooth technique, but the judges have been overly generous with him. We don’t think that with any dancer other than Kym, he would have gotten this far.
So, let’s get into it.
Dance 1: Brooke & Derek (7/10)
The couple had to dance the Jive, and it was energetic and fun. Brooke falls off some stairs backwards into Derek’s arms, which is very difficult to master. But from there on in the dance didn’t grab us. In some places it looked like moves could have been missed, and even if they weren’t, the move that resulted wasn’t impressive. This wasn’t up to Brooke’s standard. Judges: 21. Exactly on the mark, and we may have been generous.
Dance 2: Cody & Julianne (7/10)
Time for a Paso Doble. Very unique choreography, but it didn’t help Cody loosen up. And in fact, it was very difficult to identify what dance they were doing. Sometimes, it looked right, other times it just looked like a free style or perhaps contemporary dance. Cody was not perfectly in step either, which made it difficult to give him top scores. He did some interesting moves, but they had little to do with the dance. We think with the couple being back together after Julianne missing two dances, they should have stuck to basics. Judges: 22
Dance 3: Warren (Shrek) and Kym (8/10)
Kym is the one that catches your eyes and makes the dance. They give a ton of credit to Warren for capturing the audience, but without Kym, he is just a big relatively awkward guy that dances kind of flat footed. But we give them credit. They kept the dance what it was. They didn’t get too tricky with leaps and throws. They did a Mamba, which is what they were supposed to dance. Judges: 24. So far, the judges are in direct agreement with us. That doesn’t happen too often.
Dance 4: Lance & Lacey (9/10)
Time for another Mambo, Lance & Lacey broke out in step and did a very hot Mambo. The dance wasn’t overdone, which we like. No crazy over the top moves out of chracter with the dance. Lance was totally believable in his moves and was actually NSYNC (whoops, couldn’t resist). He has also picked up some of Lacey’s style, which makes him stand out as unique. Finally, his facial expressions come across as fun and endearing without being corny looking like Cody. This was clearly the best of the four teams. Judges: 28
Dance 1: Brooke & Derek (8/10)
The Salsa can be hot, but it shouldn’t be too crazed. There was a smart choice of costumes that had flash but not too much glitz. The moves weren’t the best we have seen, but clearly Brooke was better this time and more in the groove with Derek. There were no obvious major flaws except the spin at the end was too much and nearly broke off Brooke’s arm. Judges: 28 (Over the top, just not that good, a 10 was way out of line)
Dance 2: Cody & Julianne (8/10)
The Salsa once again, and Cody started stiff. They were in step, but the moves Cody performs, especially when he shakes his hips, just don’t do it for us. There were a couple of missed moves, but some spins that required difficult hand moves and complex lifts and Cody pulled them off wonderfully, so he made up for the minor slips. Finale was excellent. Judges: 24. Not fair that the judges differentiated Dance 1 & 2 by four points. Major blunder and totally unfair. The judges tend to lead the audience and we don’t like it when they play favorites for no reason.
Dance 3: Warren & Kym (8/10)
Time for the Jitterbug. Warren did some moves that once again made us think of Shrek. Once again, Kym steals the show. But warren was keeping up OK. And he is very strong, which helps. Kym exploits that strength to make some daring moves knowing Warren can handle it. In the middle, Warren just looked awkward to Kym’s grace. But he finished well. Still very flat footed. Judges: 25
Dance 4: Lance & Lacey (9/10)
This week is Lance’s to lose. Can they Jitterbug to the finale? Once again, Lacey choreographed a dance that was pure Jitterbug. Fun moves, but no major deviations from what we would expect in the dance. That is very smart here. Don’t overdo it. A lot of the Jitterbug is expression, and that is Lance’s strong point. Fast footwork didn’t hurt until he was so fast, HE LOST HIS SHOE!! He kicked the shoe out of the way and kept right no going without missing a beat. End was great. We loved it. Judges: 28
OK, we are pretty much in agreement with the judges. They severely overrated Brooke’s second dance though. Our scores put Lance way out in front, Warren second, and had Brooke and Cody in a dead heat for going home. The judges gave the edge to Brooke, which we really did not agree with this week.
We think the judges wills way the audience enough to send Cody home, and if you sum up past weeks, Brooke had better scores, so in the tie breaker, even we would send Cody packing.
Sometimes it comes down to popularity versus talent, and we feel tonight’s elimination was not fair on a talent basis, but that is not how an audience always votes.
On a talent basis from last night, the judges and we pretty much agree that Lance was mincemeat, but the audience liked him and he stayed.
Cody and Maurice were left at risk. We think of the two, Maurice did an overall better job, but got eliminated by the audience. We believe there are a couple of reasons, the primary one is that Cody had to struggle with a new partner while his original partner, Julianne, was getting her appendix removed. We believe the audience felt they could not eliminate Cody for that reason and we also believe Cody’s solo was better, so Maurice had to go.
Lance lucked out big time in our books though and he better step up his game or even Lacey won’t be able to save him.
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Lacey and Benji did a KILLER performance that was in line with the best you will ever see professionally and you can watch it here!!
The Fox Trot went off well. Cody was a little rigid, but hit every move with Edyta. Being the least mature of the pairs together, it was impressive how well they did. We liked the performance and think it was top notch, and may have scored it higher had it been later in the night. Judges: 24. Exact agreement.
Brooke & Derek (7/10)
Derek started off with a foot placement issue, but their tango looked elegant enough. The dance didn’t come across as entertaining though. We were bored so gave them a lower score. Judges always love them though. So we expect the Judges to look the other way. But tonight only one judge got it right. 28. Two of the judges gave them 10s for their slow and awkward steps. Not sure what that was about. Cody and Edyta were better.
Maurice & Cheryl (8/10)
A Paso Doble isn’t new to Maurice, so maybe he can pull this off. Some great footwork which is Maurice’s talent. Wanted more upper body movement. The finish was all Cheryl. Liked it. Not spectacular. Judges: 24. Again, the judges are right on. Can we be that wrong about how bad Brooke & Derek were but be this right about this dance? Hmmm.
Lance & Lacey (7/10)
Catchy tune, but will it be enough. We are part way through the dance and bored. It just has no spark. We were waiting for it all dance, and we just didn’t get it. The judges gave better words than we would have. Judges: 26. Generous and lucky considering what we saw.
Warren & Kym (8/10)
A tango could be difficult for Warren. Warren looks like he is trying to hard, but Kym is just smooth in everything she does. A couple of fun leg moves in the mddle showed Warren practiced. Warren was better this week. We can do 8s for him. Judges: 28. No way. A 10 for this team was a joke. 10 is supposed to be perfection. This wasn’t it.
Our strongest disagreement on Brooke and Derek who we found rather weak.
Time for the second round. In the second round, a solo has to be done for 15 seconds by the challenger.
Cody & Edyta (8/10)
Hot start. Catchy over the back flip move. Energetic job by Cody. Looked professional. Cody was nailing this dance, but he had a slight drop of Edyta right before the solo. The solo was a tad corny at the end, but cute. He ended up leaping on the judges desk. We rate it pretty high. The judges just completely missed the jump and early flip move. Kind of sad really that they seem to have already judged this dance lower. Judges: 24. Pretty much right on, if they aren’t generous with 10s in dances that don’t merit it. Note that Julianne will be back next week.
Brooke & Derek (9/10)
Brooke had a great solo, which makes her stand out. Fast hands, much better dance this than the first. It was fun, fast energetic and Brooke she has moves. This was their big dance and clearly moves them up in our rankings. Judges: 27. Closer to reality.
Maurice & Cheryl (8/10)
Paso Doble. Lines look good, but we don’t like Maurice’s facial expression. Nice cape exchange giving Maurice a chance to shine in his solo with a prop. Nice ending. Top notch. Judges: 24. Once again, right on.
Lance & Lacey (7/10)
The Samba. Lacy is great, but we are not sure about Lance. The solo didn’t do it for us. Lacey isn’t at fault, but we just can’t rate this as high. This puts Lance at risk. Can the judges see it differently? Judges: 24. Too generous after that solo.
But don’t miss tomorrow. Benjie Schwimmer (2006 Winner of So you Think You can Dance) will be dancing with sister Lacey and they are always amazing.
Warren & Kym (7/10)
The Jive. This is a dance Kym can pull off, but it makes Warren looked a bit silly. His solo just looked like a spazzy end zone dance. We thought it was cute, but boring overall and rather strained. Judges: 26. Way out of line. It was just not good. Unclear what they see in Warren. We just don’t.
Our guess from the brown nosing the the judges did, Lance is at risk and we would send him packing. However, the judges had Cody and Maurice at the bottom due to some ridiculously over-ratings of Warren and Brooke.
Have to wait for tomorrow night. DON’T MISS IT, BENJIE SCHWIMMER IS SOMEONE YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS ESPECIALLY DANCING WITH LACEY!