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  1. Lol, yes, I had a lot more respect Lindsey and Jenna after seeing that. In fact, Spicey is The White Guy who Claps on 1, 3, 5 and 7 (if he's on a beat at all!). (Most people with any rhythm at all clap/snap/bounce on the 2, 4, 6 and 8). To be fair, Lauren was okay on Hair Flip, Walk, Walk Walk, but started getting off once they got to hip, hip, hand, hand, pose. And I do think she's the shakiest of the remaining female celebs. I'd never heard of her before this season, but watching her, she seems like a singer who's been taught to walk to a mark and start singing, but very little as far as movement beyond that. The celeb who struck me as having real dance training this season was actually Kate Flannery, and it really showed in the choreography that Pasha was able to give her. Her routines were relatively "tidy" in a bunch of ways that aren't there for most of the other women, most of whom I want to tell to stay over their feet and get into their knees.
  2. I was really confused at the end of the episode as well because I was like "What happened to Max the Cat?!?!" He just disappeared partway through the episode after running to his kibble. It bothered me so much that I went back to confirm there wasn't a throwaway line that the FBI agent's family had picked him up or rehomed him.
  3. I liked the cooking movie a lot too. Definitely one of the best Hallmark movies I've seen in a while. The leads were both likable and believable, as were supporting characters like the executive producer and the best friend. And both the leads learned and grew over the course of their relationship. I liked the theme of nudging the kids (and the leads) to learn, but having to let them figure things out themselves. And she had a real job! That she really liked and was good at! And she got promoted in the end! And city people were okay!!!
  4. I have to agree. This one was telegraphed from a mile away. I've never seen the actress playing the ex-wife in anything else before, and I knew it was her after her scene. They just emphasized the "He has NO FRIENDS. NO FRIENDS. NONE. NADA." so much that the only possible answer had to be the ex, and then the whole immigration and pornography elements really sealed it.
  5. Ginger's really not good at moving her weight. She tends to carry her weight behind her, rather than on top of her feet and so she's not steady when she's moving from place to place. Her feet tend to arrive first, then her hips, then head and shoulders, which is very unsteady from a position perspective. Val's been hiding it by keeping her in place as much as possible, (seriously, how little did that samba move?!?!) but it does result in some really boring choreography. That's something that all of the athletes tend to have as an advantage. Some of them are hobbled by injuries, but they generally are good at keeping their feet underneath them which is a big advantage for a beginning dancer.
  6. It's not impossible. I've both seen and danced with some excellent deaf dancers, dancers that you would never guess couldn't hear that can be every bit as musical as hearing dancers. HOWEVER, that comes from getting really good at learning to feel vibrations of the rhythm section of the music (which is where most of the musicality comes from in these dances), as well as dancing with experienced dancers (like Peta) and feeling what their body movement is like. It is definitely NOT something that can happen within the space of a few weeks. But as a general thing... yes, it's totally possible.
  7. I don't remember seeing Derek do a pirouette on the show. But then I don't remember seeing Peta, Anna or Karina doing pirouettes either, and each of them have pretty significant ballet training. (You can see Sharna doing a double pirouette in the early Mary Poppins opening choreography, but It looks like Charlie struggled with getting it off and it didn't make it to the final show). Mark has done double tours on the show, and I think Derek has done those as well. And though it's fuzzy, you can see Derek doing a pirouette in this video from when he was in Footloose (as well as some of those other fancy pants ballet steps.) :)
  8. By any normal standards (i.e. not compared to Julianne), Cheryl is quite tiny, and she was especially in her early seasons like here. (Yes, I've stood right next to her, and she's quite small). Her original dance training was also in ballet, and when she goes into the lift the background really shows. You can see her stretching her back in a very classic, ballet-lift way, much more so than Bindi does or even Jennifer Grey in the original film. Actually, the big difference I see with Bindi is that she doesn't know how to balance the lift. For ease of reference, I'm going to refer to the person being lifted as "the girl" and the lifter as "the boy." (Doesn't have to be this way. I had friends who used to do aerial work, and they used to do demonstrations with the girl as lifter and guy as liftee to show that it's really all about the technique.) When the girl goes into an overheard lift, one of the essential things she needs to be able to do when she gets to the top of the lift is balance her center of gravity and hold that position with her core. If she can't do those things, the lift is dead in the water no matter how tiny she is. To illustrate, imagine lifting a cat above your head. Not a lot of weight, but the cat is squirming around like crazy, and the lift is going to fail real quick.. Same thing with someone not trained like Bindi. She's not squirming like a cat, but she doesn't know how to balance and hold that position rock-steady like she needs to for it to work. The result is that Derek is shaking trying to compensate and maintain that position for her.
  9. I don't think it does. Laura Benanti and Melissa Errico were complete unknowns when they were cast in their first big shows, and both were supported by their schools in their decisions. (Errico graduated from Yale, and Benanti never returned to Tisch). Melissa Errico has talked openly about how Yale let her do "Yale by Mail" when she was cast in the National Tour of Les Miz before her freshman year of college: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/onstage-backstage-i-hit-ews-bullseye-corbin-bleu-is-jesus-melissa-errico-do-192595/P2 And Playbill just did an article on the whole situation with Tisch when Laura Benanti was cast as an understudy in "The Sound of Music" right before she was supposed to start her freshman year: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/skipping-school-for-the-biggest-journey-of-her-life-laura-benanti-on-the-sound-of-music-343568
  10. In addition to everything everyone's already said, I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed McGarrett's speech about how he loves cats because they're adorable little ninjas, smart and fast and cute and cuddly at the same time. Absolutely hilarious. (And true).
  11. One of the things that I appreciate about this show is that even though it's an ABC/Disney superheroish show is that it doesn't completely show the period as this ultimate, romanticized America of the past where everyone treats each other perfectly and upholds truth, justice and the American way. So often "The Greatest Generation" is held-up as as such an ideal that subsequent generations can't live up to that it's refreshing to have it portrayed with some degree of not-so-nice humanity. Yes, there were crappy jerks even then. Yes, "others" (women, disabled, etc.) could be treated really badly. Yes, white, able-bodied men really were the top of the food chain and could act like it. Yes, some veterans had terrible homecomings and never recovered. Substance abuse was a reality for some. I think Thompson and Sousa are interesting flip sides. If Sousa wants to see the ideal in the world, Thompson is the ultimate cynic who speaks the harshest reality. And there's no cynic like a former idealist.
  12. Well, one thing is that with swing, for better or worse, people expect them. I THINK the more practical answer is that "Rock this Town" is BLISTERINGLY fast, especially for an inexperienced dancer. Doing the charleston steps that fast is VERY tiring, and Jonathan was already starting to fatigue halfway through the routine. (Seriously, try doing charleston steps for 90 seconds and see how fast you get tired...) I think Peta put in the aerials to give him a break actually. With a lot of aerials, it's actually much more on the woman to get the move done. The guy CAN plant and brute force it (not ideal, but this is DWTS, so a lot of circumstances are not ideal). I actually thought Jonathan and Peta got the most difficult assignment out of the bunch. You can't really half-ass the Jitterbug. There actually ARE steps to it that people expect to see (unlike Burlesque). There is a very real partnering component that you can't hand wave. (It's not a dance that you can mostly do as side by side, like the Bollywood or Charleston). The music they were given was blisteringly fast. All in all, I thought they did "not bad." Better than the judges critiques, certainly.
  13. I honestly don't give the producers that much credit. I don't think the producers had any idea what would happen when they hired her. But they do follow the audience trend. So for example, if someone is getting big audience/fanbase support, they'll start getting better feedback no matter how poorly they're dancing (see Sara Evans or Bristol Palin). I think if Allison and Jonathan were getting good audience support, they'd be getting more positive feedback. But judging by the boards, Allison's been alienating the audience and her relationship with Jonathan doesn't look strong. Jonathan doesn't have a huge fanbase to coast on either. Honestly, if I were advising Jonathan, I'd tell him to go hire an outside ballroom/latin coach and ask them to coach BOTH of them. But I don't know if Allison's pride will allow that at this point.
  14. That's probably unfair to Allison. We don't know that she didn't work on her Latin. Samba is a much, much more difficult dance than Cha-Cha. Cha-Cha's really a beginner level dance and is usually the first Latin dance taught to beginners. Samba is a much more advanced level dance, arguably the most difficult Latin dance. In addition to other Latin technique issues, it has the "bounce" AND it travels (it's the only traveling Latin dance) so the dancer has the negotiate the motion and the pushing of weight from foot to foot as they move around the floor. Even if Allison worked on the notes that Len had given her, she'd have much more to worry about with the Samba, both with her own dancing and choreographing/teaching it for Jonathan. I actually am not convinced that Allison is going to be awesome at contemporary or jazz. She'll be awesome dancing it, no question, but I for one have never seen anything she's choreographed outside of this show, and we have no idea how she teaches it. People who are naturally gifted at a subject, often aren't great teachers (look at Tony or Edyta for example) and as we've all noted, the teaching/coaching/working with beginners element isn't as ingrained in the culture of contemporary/ballet/jazz dancers as it is with Ballroom/Latin/social dancing.
  15. It's not that Allison needs ballroom cred from titles. The show's been moving away from titled ballroom/latin champions for a while now. The last several new pros on the show are much more "show dancers" than competition dancers. Peta, Sharna, Tristan and Keo are all "Burn the Floor" alums with much more show dancing experience than titles to speak of, and Kym had almost no competition cred either. They've all been excellent additions to the show (well, the jury's out on Keo still, but that's not his fault). Frankly, the level of dancing on the show doesn't require somebody on a Louis van Amstel credibility to coach, and if anything it's a hindrance, Those pros can get caught up much more on trying to teach good technique and that's kind of lost on the home audience. Not to mention Carrie Ann and Bruno. But it does need someone who can teach basic level Ballroom and Latin and choreograph to it in an entertaining way. And keep this in mind: Kym's Latin was painfully weak, not very far above beginner level. Cheryl's Ballroom isn't much better. But they could get through those dances and make their partners look good and competent (and themselves, too). Allison's not even that level. I think the producers were much more interested in the audience Allison could bring in as a SYTYCD favorite. Not sure they counted on how much she would alienate their core audience with her lack of experience and performance skill in ballroom/latin.
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