February 10, 2006

The semifinal approacheth

Week 6 came and went, and George finally danced his last. I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out; while Jerry isn't fantastic and Tia really ought to be there instead, he has definitely shown considerable improvement over the course of the series. His paso doble was perfectly respectable, its chief fault being that it was danced against some seriously great competition. Meanwhile, I feel that George has actually gotten worse, or maybe it's just more apparent now that he just stood there and acted a part while Edyta danced circles around him (or, as Len put it, "flatulated around him", but that's probably not quite what he meant to say ;).

Over the last few weeks, I've found myself really rooting for Freaky Lips Lisa, though. Unlike Stacy, who was a total natural, Lisa has clearly gotten this good through a lot of hard work, and definitely gets the "most improved" award whether she wins the series or not. Contra the judges, I actually think Lisa's dance was the best of the week. Drew still has that shoulder problem (though it's much better now), and his tango wasn't nearly as sharp as Len claimed. Stacy's jive looked fantastic, but her knees were bent the entire time. But Lisa, arguably dancing the hardest dance of the three, managed to do a quickstep with poise and elegance, very well in synch with her partner. It's true that there was a misstep in the middle—I'm not arguing she deserved a 30—but I still thought it was better than the other two.

(See, this is the problem with grade inflation. Once you have people that consistently get 9s and 10s, it gets very hard to make fine distinctions between them. Since scores don't carry over from week to week, the judges should really just say "the first dance of the night is getting 5s from everyone, no matter how good they are, and then we'll curve it from there." I suppose that wouldn't be as exciting, though.)

With respect to tonight's performances, holy cow those kids were sharp. That last one—Maksim's brother?—did the most amazing triple spin ever, and I had to back up the TiVo to rewatch it about four times, the last time in slow motion. Wow. And the other performances were all impressive, too. This is so much better than the occasional ballroom championship special; thanks to the reality show format, we get 2˝ hours a week of good-to-great-to-OMG-fantastic ballroom dancing. Here's hoping for a successful and long-running franchise!

"I'm a single woman with three cats---if she hangs out here much longer I'll get attached to her and keep her and will someday end up shuffling around with thirty-odd cats in a filthy, decrepit Victorian house, frightening the neighborhood children and likely being eaten when I expire. I'd like to prevent this." --Jill Moniz

Posted by blahedo at 11:24pm on 10 Feb 2006

Yes, Valentin is Maksim's brother. Carrie and I watched America's Ballroom Challenge (TiVo'd from PBS -- I'm curious if TiVo would have picked it up as a suggestion, but it turns out that my mother informed me of it and I added it by hand), at which Valentin and his partner, Valeriya, performed. They are already British Open International Under 21 Latin Champions.

By the way, I'm delighted that you snapped up that quote from GSBB-L. It was excellent.

Posted by Greg at 6:27am on 13 Feb 2006
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