11/24 Dancing With The Stars Finale, A Clear Winner Emerges, and a Hip Hop Flop

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.

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11/18 Dancing With The Stars Results, No Shocker Here. Finals Time.

Cody is done.

There isn’t much to say. He was in a dead heat with Brooke last night, but Brooke had been more consistent and strong coming into the week.

Lance is the man to beat, and Lacey isn’t going to let him go quietly. Time for the Finals.

Recap of the dances from last night.

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11/17 Dancing With The Stars: Analysis and Prediction

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.

Round 1:

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

Round 2

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.

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11/10 Dancing With The Stars: Analysis and Predictions

The Ballroom Round:

Cody & Edyta (8/10)

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.


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UPDATED: 11/3 Dancing With The Stars: Recap, Prediction and Results

We are back as we said, now that Cloris is gone. That joke is over so we can move a bit in the real competition.

Warren & Kym (6/10)

Kym dances better than anyone, but Warren is huge. There is nothing else to say about that. He is strong, but extremely awkward. He looks like a guy trying hard at a wedding. One thing good tonight. He wore a vest to hide his stomach. Judges: Way too generous with a 21.

Susan & Tony (8/10)

Great outfits. Bullfighter style. Hand movement by Susan looks stiff. Kicks not very high. Some nice spins. A couple of interesting trick moves. Not sure if it was the outfits, but it was better. Judges: 24. Pretty accurate eh? The judges are getting better.

Maurice & Cheryl (8/10)

Nice start, playing up Maurice’s injury for all it is worth. Cheryl was the show. All eyes are on her as she moves to the max. Cheryl loses an earring, but it doesn’t phase them. As good as Susan and Tony. Judges: 25. Close again. Judges finally getting the gist of it.

Cody & Edyta (7/10)

Julianne had to have her appendix out, so a substitute was called in. Edyta would do what she could to keep Cody in the competition and we have to give them a break. The dance seemed well practiced, but not quite as smooth as we had come to expect from Cody. Steps were in time, some nice spins, but a simple dance. Good enough. If the judges give him a sympathy vote, we shall see. Judges: 22. Again, right on the money. The judges must be taking dance lessons.

Lance & Lacey (9/10)

Lacey had to duke it out with Lance for being a baby this past week, but hopefully they get it together. Nice lines in the dance. Lance complained about dancing barefoot, but did it nicely this week. Decent hand movement. Timing was great. We liked it best of the night.

Len shows he has no clue with his criticisms and disappoints us. We thought he was finally coming around. Judges: 25 (Len was the only 7 and an idiot, the other judges agreed with us).

Brooke & Derek (9/10)

Great swaggering start. Hands high and well formed. Timing right on, but kicks not knock out high. Graceful high leg drag and finale. We liked it too. Judges: 30. It was great. It wasn’t perfect. So perfect 10s is kind of silly, but still it was the best of the night.

Our choice for elimination: Warren & Kym (Can they keep Kym and just ship out Warren?).

But wait, we get a team competition where two teams of 6 get to dance 2 at a time go get an extra point in the scoring next week.

Team 1: (7/10)

The six teams together start very awkward and out of time. When they go into solos, they are OK, each team showing some strengths, but nothing knockout. Lance and Lacey came to the rescue at the end. Some moves were easily the highest quality of the night. Then the six went together again and it was once again awkward. Ending was the only thing in sync. Lance and Lacey saved the dance. Judges:20. Just about right. If it wasn’t for Lance and Lacey this could have been a disaster.

Team 2: (9/10)

Beautiful black gowns on the gals. Nice start in time. Much better timed thtan the first group. Warren was fighting for his life. Still don’t care for him much. But he was good tonight albeit a bit awkward. Maurice looked stiff and nervous, but the moves were hot with Cheryl. And Brooke and Derek topped it off with whipped cream. Finally of all 6 in sync. This almost looked professional. Judges: 29. A bit too generous, but they did win.

Still, despite this, Warren is the weak man in. But this could have place Cody at risk.

Results Night

So, we are down to the Final five and got a small surprise in the elimination.  We thought Cody would go after his poor performances both in the individual competition and the group dance.

The judges standings were:

6. Cody and Edyta
5. Susan and Tony
4. Lance and Lacey
3. Warren and Kym
2. Maurice and Cheryl
1. Brooke and Derek

But ultimately, the audience sent Susan Lucci packing.  Warren was saved by the Team dancing.  That second team was killer.

Well, on to our prediction for next week?  Hmmm.

If Cody doesn’t get back his original partner, he could go.  Warren could too.  Maurice is a big swing kind of performer.  Sometimes great, sometimes sad.  If he has one bad week, he could get sent packing.

Still, they made the top 5!!  Thankfully Cloris didn’t.

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UPDATED: 10/13 Dancing With the Stars Predictions, Who Will Go Home?

Updated: October 15, 2008

After last night’s results 10/14, Rocco Dispirito goes home to his kitchen while Cloris Leachman stays for another week. See you all in two weeks!

Maurice & Cheryl (7/10)

Corny outfits and corny choreography just didn’t help the dance. The moves were OK, but it wasn’t our favorite dance by this duo. Judges: 20. Just about right.

Cody & Julianne (7/10)

Lots of energy, but a couple of stumbles. No gimmicks, straight dance. Judges: 23, OK, we thought the stumbles deserved more of a demerit.

Toni & Alec (7/10)

Once again, Toni is the Belle of the Ball. Where does she get these outfits? At first she didn’t look comfortable. The dance looked simple. Very basis Samba. Kind of boring. Judges: 22,Pretty much right on.

Cloris and Corky (5/10)

Once again a stiff awkward performance. Corky tries to make Cloris look less comical, but she is a stumbler. She gets the elderly sympathy cheer if she does anything right. She was better this week. That isn’t saying much. Judges: 22. OK, we will not be covering next week. The judges are retarded. Until Cloris is gone, this show is a joke.

Rocco and Karina (7/10)

Rocco looks queer in a red frilly shirt. It just doesn’t fit at all. The outfit made the dance look clownish. But the moves are better than last week, so we have to give him a few points for effort. We liked it overall. Judges: 18. To place Rocco behind Cloris in this competition explains why we need a week off from this foolishness.

Susan & Tony (7/10)

Susan is too stiff for the moves they are attempted. She doesn’t have the leg lift so it just looks like she is trying to kick somebody. Some interesting moves, but nothing spectacular. Not a standout. Judges: 24. Again, the judges have no clue. This was nothing special and certainly not the best of the night.

Brooke & Derek (8/10)

They killed it last week and started fast and furious tonight. Derek can kick better than many of the girls. This was the best of the night. Judges 26. How can the judges do this one right on and miss the others so badly? This is the team to beat for the finals.

Lance & Lacey (7/10)

Can Lacey save Lance? This had a clear feel of So You Think You Can Dance. Same style of choreography. Lacey is the show, Lance is just there for the ride. Some great moves, but they didn’t make up for the fact Lacey did 80% of the work. Judges 26. Now we are surprised because Lacey and Lance were better in past weeks and the judges were absurdly hard on them. Hmmmm

Warren & Kym (7/10)

Kym is our favorite dancer of the pros, but Warren is awkward and big. We just have not liked his performances. The judges are seeing something in Warren we just plainly do not see. Watching Warrens belly bounce takes away a bunch from the dance. But Kym could dance with anything or anyone and make them look great. Warren looked effeminate at times, if that is possible for an NFL player. Judges: 22. We can see that. But realize they tied Cloris.

See you in two weeks. Hopefully by then, Cloris will be gone. We figure Rocco is gone tomorrow night with the Cloris sympathy vote. Cloris should go home, but Rocco likely will go back to cooking.

9/29 Dancing With The Stars: Performances and Prediction. Will Cloris Stay Another Week? We Hope Not!

1.      Toni & Alec (8/10)

Toni this week was untouchable in her gown.  She was the bell of the ball by so far, it was seriously unfair.  The only reason anyone would vote against her would be jealousy.  The dance was slow, provocative and sensual.   Judges score: 23.  A slight understatement by the judges, but overall, right on.

2.      Brooke and Derek (7/10)

Great outfits, but the dance was stiff.  They started getting it on in the middle, but there was little chemistry, minimal eye contact, just lots of flash.  Nice finish.  Entertaining, but not as good as Toni and Alec.  Judges score: 24, an overstatement by the judges, but close enough.

3.      Rocco & Karina (6/10)

Last week, Rocco must have cooked his special recipe for the judges to get the score he did.  It was silly. Let’s see what he can do this week.  Karina’s got the moves, but Rocco seems to be mediocre at best.  The choreography was fun with a tray of gems being served up.  Judges score: 16.  Wow, we were generous on this one.  But only by a point or two.  If Rocco survives, he will need a much better recipe next week.

4.      Lance & Lacey (8/10)

OK, we have the couple dancing to “I Kissed A Girl”.  Lance, for you, shouldn’t it be “I Kissed A Boy?”.  Lance did look great, even though the exaggerated lips on his collar looked a big corny.  Good entrance.  The job here is to exploit the fact that Lacey can dance better than anyone in the competition.  Some great moves, between the leg slides, almost SYTYCD quality choreography.   Ending kiss was corny though.  Judges: 20, these judges are way too hard on Lacey.   Won’t hurt much this week though.  If they give Cloris 24 we will just stop watching the show period.

5.      Kim & Mark (6/10)

Kim looked spectacular, but she has had continual problems with her dance having no passion.  She looks like she is just going though the motions; it just doesn’t look right.  There is absolutely no chemistry with Mark. Judges: 17.  Finally, the judges show some aptitude for dance.

6.      Misty & Maks (8/10)

Misty looked mean in the black outfit.  Almost S&M folks.  Would she lead Maks by the leash?  It started stiff.  But the athleticism kicked in and the confidence Misty has showed became evident.  There was a great flip move near the end.  If there were some whips, we would have given an extra point.  Judges: 21.  The judges praised these guys, but ranked Brooke and Derek higher?  Wow.

7.      Maurice & Cheryl (7/10)

Cheryl is incredible as a dancer.  Once she starts moving, you know you are looking at true talent.  Maurice?  Not so much.  He fakes it OK.  This was all Cheryl with Maurice along for the ride.  Judges: 19, just about right.

8.      Cloris & Corky (4/10)

Cloris wore a wig and elaborate Spanish dress to hide her figure.  Good thing.  She is so stiff and awkward.  Corky is good, but this isn’t about him.  Cloris looks like a woman that would struggle to cross the street.  It is just pathetic she is still here.  We gave her an extra point for the dress.  Judges: 15, and that was generous big time.  Risk Elimination!

9.      Susan & Tony (7/10)

Graceful at the start.  Susan fit the dress well, and was better than last week.  Still, she doesn’t excite us when we watch her.  There are no chills.  We give her one thing, there is chemistry with Tony.  Judges: 21, exactly what we thought.

10.  Warren & Kim (6/10)

Kim was over the top in her make-up.  She is so stunning, but this week looked rather Trick or Treat.  She can dance unbelievably though.  The black outfits gave the bullfighter feel.  Warren looked stiff.  Nice walk in the middle towards the front of the stage.  Warren looked like a fat ballerina for most of the rest.  Even Kim couldn’t save it.  Not good, but Kim, fantastic.  Judges: 24, idiotic.  Warren must have threatened or bribed them.  The fact the judges gave them the highest score of the night was complete comedy.

11.  Cody & Julianne (9/10)

Smooth start, nice moves.  Julianne has the body for the short dress she was wearing and Cody looked like he fit with her.  The chemistry and timing were there.  They were our favorite of the night.  Judges: 21.  You would rate Warren Sapp above this dance?  Wow.  We hope the judges have a chance to study dance before this gets too far along.  We would hate to see them ruin the competition with their inconsistency.

9/24 America’s Got Talent Finals, So Hard to Choose!

Tonight, AGT was better than usual thanks to President Bush. AGT compacted the show and reduced the commercial count because the President had used up a ton of time to tell us how badly the economy is doing and how they want a scant 700 billion bucks to save the day. How did it happen? We don’t know, but we aren’t thinking too many people would vote for Bush in this competition.

We were grateful for the result though. AGT was short, compact, tight, quick and entertaining. Normally it would have been so drawn out, and it was so much better with the judges being quick and Jerry talking much less, awesome.

Now the acts.

Nuttin But Stringz (8/10)

As usual, very dynamic with tons of energy, and, with help, the only act that could do a Vegas performance someone might pay for long term. The audience loved it. The judges stood for the ovation. An amazing performance after which it took a while to calm the audience. Their biggest problem. They went first. That is a very tough slot to win when the voters can’t vote until the end of the show. We didn’t give them the highest score because they are depending more and more on hired hands. Other dancers and performers to enhance their performance. We suppose that is normal for Vegas, but for us it cheapens the act.

Donald Braswell (6/10)

“You Raise Me Up” after I have fallen asleep listening to you. Donald sings “nice”, We could see him doing the national anthem nationwide, I could see him doing Broadway, We could see him doing anything but a concert weekly in Vegas that anyone would want to see. Sorry Donald. You sing great. Honest. But the judges even looked asleep at the end.

Neil E. Boyd (8/10)

They cleared the stage for Neil. They had to because he wouldn’t fit on one stage otherwise. But the adjustment was something they would have to do for Queen Emily anyway. Neil has a hamburger eating competition next week if this doesn’t work out. He listened to the judges and did some incredibly boring opera. And you know, maybe if someone is looking for a real huge man to sing Opera, he will do fine. He has a quality voice and could perform in Opera just about anywhere, but he could not have his own show on Vegas. Maybe a permanent Opera show though, something that centered on him but was a much bigger show. That could work. But we are not sure enough America will recognize it, and they would need a massive stage to hold him and anyone else.

Eli Mattson (9/10)

Time for some Phil Collins, “Against All Odds”. Eli had a problem with tonight’s song, which has to do with a disappearing voice at the beginning and end of verses. We think it could be just be a proper microphone adjustment because of his style. Eli has a lot of inflection in his voice that leads to soft and louder moments that are part of his technique. But the microphone cannot be set flat or it doesn’t pick up his voice on the softer moments. Eli was great, but has one major problem; he is no Vegas act. So, what do you vote for? Talent or Vegas?

Queen Emily (6/10)

We said when we originally saw her, “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings”. Well, they are once again going to have Emily sing last. An advantage clearly, but so far, we haven’t thought much of her talent since her first week. She had a chance to choose a killer song, and chose a boring one. “One Moment In Time” is a classic, but it is boring and has to be driven by an incredible voice. Emily doesn’t have it. Back to donuts.

Here is our selection:

Eli was once again better than anyone on the stage. He needs a quality microphone, but overall, no one touches his creativity and talent.

A dark horse is Nuttin But Stringz, but they went first and by the end, America may forget to vote for them. We think they are the only unique act left so deserve the votes to at least be close with Eli even if they don’t win.

Neil was great, and if you could picture a long running Opera show on Vegas, Neil could pull it off as the center of that show, but it would have to be a large show. Very large.

Eli and Nuttin But Stringz are so close that it could go either way. We will leave it for you to pick.

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