Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Power Ranking – The FADS Edition: Week 10 - The Finals!

This week - the final week of our Season 12 DWTS Power Rankings - we see Chelsea Kane dropping from her #1 spot all the way down to #3, and by no fault of her own other than not having enough fans. Mirror Ball Trophy winner Hines Ward was a consistent #1 finisher throughout the weeks of this competition, and he was never seriously in jeopardy. Kirstie Alley managed to capture 2nd Place thanks entirely to her fan base.


#1 - Hines Ward
Hines danced well all season. As I mentioned above, he was never in serious jeopardy, and Kym knew quite well that his huge fan base meant she could keep him in safe dances that, although oftentimes uninspiring, would nearly always result in him scoring well with the judges, and that in turn would allow the fans to take care of the rest.

#2 - Kirstie Alley
Here's a point that not too many people have bothered to mention: Kirstie Alley made it into the Season 12 Finals almost precisely the same way Bristol Palin made it into the Finals in Season 11 - by way of a huge and loyal fan base voting for her. It certainly wasn't because of her prowess in dancing. But, in the end, DWTS isn't about being the "best" dancer (she's listed below); it's about being the most popular.

#3 - Chelsea Kane
Oh, Cheslea, you performed so well. In a real dance competition you would have won. Alas, just as many predicted, your lack of a fan base eventually did you in.

I was actually pretty surprised at the animosity exhibited towards Chelsea by so many posters over at the DWTS message boards. Many predicted she would win because, after all, she was a Disney/ABC employee and so the ABC show was "setting her up" to win it all. That logic, of course, flew in the face of past DWTS winners (and losers). I think a lot of their dissing had to do with the fact that, deep inside, they knew she was a great dancer and had a great chance to win on her own, so they had to come up with some kind of conspiracy theory to stir the pot, if only to justify their own support for less-talented celebrities.

Oh well, in the end it hardly matters. As Syracuse FADS co-owner Natasha Oreshkina said in her commentary on the Finals show, it's just a show.

Congratulations to Hines Ward and to all of the celebrities who entertained us for the past 10 weeks on Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars.

Season 13 of DWTS is set for September 19, 2011.

See you then!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dancing with the Stars - Week 10 Commentary - The Finals!

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.


WEEK TEN Okay, this past week was the Finals on Dancing with the Stars, and I was a little surprised by the results. That being said, I thought all three couples did well in their dances. On Monday night we had two couples do Sambas (Chelsea & Kirstie) while Hines did a Quickstep. These were Judges Choice dances, and they were followed by the couples' Freestyle dances.

1st Place - Hines Ward/Kym Johnson (W1:21 + W2:23 + W3:25 + W4:25 + W5:27 + W6:27 + W7:36/G30 + W8:28/26 + W9:30/30 + W10:89 = 417 total) [Overall judge score: 2nd.]
For their Judges Choice dance, Hines and Kym did the Quickstep. This had a bit of Fred Astaire and Ginger as they danced to "Puttin' on the Ritz." I liked Hines's posture and I liked his movement. One thing that I caught, though, was his footwork - he was too flat-footed in his steps for this dance. Anyway, the judges gave them a 10-9-10 for their performance.

For their Freestyle dance, Hines is a strong guy and he was able to flip around Kym very well. Kym had great choreography and the judges scored them 10-10-10 for their dance. On the night, they tied Cheslea and mark with 59 points.

2nd Place - Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy (W1:23 + W2:20 + W3:21 + W4:21 + W5:23 + W6:26 + W7:30/G30 + W:28/25 + W9:27/27 + W:10:84 = 385) [Overall judge score: 3rd.]
I thought Kirstie did a pretty good job with her Samba. She didn't do as good a job with her footwork, however, as she had done with her past dances. Also, a little bit towards the end there was a loss of power. Still, she scored 9-9-9 from the judges for her performance.

With her freestyle dance, Kirstie had to show a lot of lifts - and for her partner, Maks, it probably wasn't so easy. Kirstie is not a small woman - she's a little bit heavy compared to Chelsea and Kym (Hines's pro partner). On this routine, the judges gave her another set of 9s, for a total of 54 points for the night.

3rd Place - Chelsea Kane/Mark Ballas (W1:21 + W2:18 + W3:23 + W4:26 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:34/G30 + W8:29/26 + W9:28/30 + 15b + W10:89 = 423 total) [Overall judge score: 1st.]
Chelsea and Mark did the Samba for their Judges Choice dance. This dance had great choreography. There was lots of shaking - lots of bouncing and movement that should be in a Samba. Judge Len Goodman was a little critical of her hands and arms, but he said overall the dance was very entertaining. They scored a 10-9-10 from the judges.

Their Freestyle dance was a combination of Hip-Hop and Salsa that was very entertaining. They did a great job with this routine, and the judges scored them well with three 10s, for a total of 59 points for the night.

On Tuesday night, the couples got to perform their favorite dances from the competition. Chelsea and Mark did their dance from the theme of Harry Potter - which I was glad to see because it was my favorite. Kirstie and Maks did the Cha-Cha, and Hines and Kym did the Salsa. The judges were all very generous - giving all of them 10s, which was great.


For the Results, Chelsea and Mark ended up coming in 3rd Place. When that happened, I said "whooops.." because I thought Chelsea was the best dancer. But all three couples did a great job - since the 1st round of the season, they all did great and Kirstie deserved her 2nd Place finish after Hines won the Mirror Ball Trophy. Hines had much more fans (than Cheslea) and that had a lot to do with him winning. Chelsea made a lot of fans through this competition, though, and this is a good experience for her. I'm happy for all of them.

This was a good season for Dancing with the Stars. It wasn't frustrating like it was last season with the Bristol Palin drama - though I could tell Mark Ballas was a little frustrated. But it's a show. And I think it's good that this season we had a gentleman win the Mirror Ball Trophy.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Power Ranking – The FADS Edition: Week 9

Well, this week on DWTS we didn't see any surprises in the contest. As I expected, Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley were the two "in jeopardy" celebrities and, thankfully, Chelsea did not join them. There's been a lot of debate on the ABC DWTS message boards about Ralph deserving to stay and how Chelsea (possibly) has the lowest fan votes and so she should have gone, blah, blah, blah and so forth. The truth is, both Ralph and Kirstie were the weakest of the final four, and Ralph had a bad week last week and was unable to redeem himself this week, so off he went.

The Power Rankings this week remain unchanged thanks to Ralph Macchio's loss and Chelsea's winning of the 15 bonus points. Yes, Hines did outscore Chelsea on their two full routines, but Chelsea is riding a wave, now, and I think Hines may well have peaked.

Controversy #2 (controversy #1 being judge Donny Burns's Week 7 phantom "8" vote): This season marked the first time DWTS used the infamous (according to message board posters) "Winner Take All" 15-point bonus dance. The guess here is that the show wanted to avoid the kind of controversy that followed last season's turmoil after Bristol Palin made it all the way to the finals despite some seriously sub-par dancing. Giving the judges a "wildcard" vote would ensure a better dancer got into the finals instead - or so the thinking apparently went. Unfortunately for the producers, this season the sub-par dancers happened to be the very likeable Ralph and Kirstie. And who ended up winning the 15 bonus points? Disney star (and ABC employee) Chelsea Kane. Conspiracy theorists wailed!


#1 - Chelsea Kane
I thought Chelsea did a nice job in both her routines - an Argentine Tango and a Rumba. It's come to the point, now, though, that I'm so used to Chelsea not screwing up that I don't even look for it. According to judges Carrie Ann and Len Goodman, as well as FADS pro Natasha Oreshkina, she did mess up her footwork in the first dance. Bruno Tonioli, on the other hand, thought Chelsea did fine. Go figure.

Next week it probably won't matter how well Chelsea dances. She will either have enough fan votes to take home the Mirror Ball trophy or not.

#2 - Hines Ward
Hines captured two perfect scores (30) in both his dances (Argentine Tango and Salsa). There's really no point in commenting on his performances these days. The judges have long been smitten by the always-smiling Hines and they continued with that affection on Monday night. I think of all of the contenders this season, he has been the least controversial and also the least interesting. Yes, he dances very well, but he also dances very safe. And I guess that's all he really needs to do.

#3 - Kirstie Alley
Kirstie did a nice job with both her Viennese Waltz and her Paso Doble. I was surprised that none of the judges thought to gift her with a 10, but maybe they figured she didn't need it to beat out Ralph.

#4 - Ralph Macchio
Poor Ralph. All he did was try hard and all the judges did was roast him over the coals. Bruno was especially brutal to him after his second dance, a Salsa, that had the Karate Kid wearing fanny padding. For whatever reason, it was take-down time for Ralph - who didn't appear to dance nearly as bad as the scores he got, but not well enough, just the same.


After Ralph Macchio was eliminated from the show, he walked over to be interviewed by hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke. He thanked everyone rooting for him in the audience and everyone on the show - all except, that is, the three judges. He never even looked their way. Sour grapes or just deserts?

So now we've come down to the Finals, which means there is only one FADS Power Ranking left after this one. Chelsea Kane, by rights, should win this contest. But instead, I'm thinking Hines Ward will take it all, with possibly Kirstie Alley taking 2nd place based on the audience vote, which looks to be huge.

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Dancing with the Stars - Week 9 Commentary

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.



[Natasha]This week we had four couples performing three dances - a ballroom dance, a Latin dance and a "Winner Take All" 15-point Cha-cha dance. The celebrities all tried to do their best, but there were three dances to practice and there was too much nerves, so there were some mistakes.

1st Place - Chelsea Kane/Mark Ballas (W1:21 + W2:18 + W3:23 + W4:26 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:34/G30 + W8:29/26 + W9:28/30 + 15b = 334 total) [Overall position: 1st.]
Chelsea and Mark first danced the Argentine Tango. They showed good character in the dance, and it was good choreography. I agree with judges Carrie Ann and Len, though, that Chelsea wasn't so good with her leg movements on this dance. They scored a 9-9-10 with that dance. With their second dance, a Rumba, they definitely did a much better job. Their costumes were very beautiful and the dance was elegant and romantic. On this one they scored 10-10-10, for a combined total of 28 points.

2nd Place - Hines Ward/Kym Johnson (W1:21 + W2:23 + W3:25 + W4:25 + W5:27 + W6:27 + W7:36/G30 + W8:28/26 + W9:30/30 = 328 total) [Overall position: 2nd.]
Hines and Kym danced the Argentine Tango first, and it was full of passion and had some interesting moves in it. Their second dance, a Salsa, was a lot of fun. Hines nailed all his moves and was very successful. After their first dance, it looked like Kym was still hurting from the fall she took the previous week during practice (when she had to be taken to the hospital). They scored all 10s on both their dances, which gave them a combined total of 60 points.

3rd Place - Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy (W1:23 + W2:20 + W3:21 + W4:21 + W5:23 + W6:26 + W7:30/G30 + W:28/25 + W9:27/27 = 301) [Overall position: 3rd.]
Kirstie and Maks danced a Viennese Waltz first. Kirstie showed good posture, movement and good footwork in the dance. She looked beautiful and did great, scoring 9-9-9 from the judges. On her second dance, a Paso Doble, she again showed good footwork, and the dance had good character to it. Great choreography, too. They scored 9-9-9 on that dance, for a combined total of 54 points.

4th Place - Ralph Macchio/Karina Smirnoff (W1:24 + W2:21 + W3:21 + W4:25 + W5:22 + W6:24 + W7:36/G30 + W8:25/21 + W9:25/23 = 297) [Overall position: 4th.]
Ralph and Karina first danced the Argentine Tango. It was sharp and the footwork was good, but Ralph didn't show good enough emotion for the Tango. They scored a 8-9-8 from the judges. As for the second dance, a Salsa, it was just not a good week for Ralph. There wasn't any rhythm to the dance, and I think Len was right, there were too many wild movements. On this one they only scored 8-7-8, for a combined total of 48 points.


Everyone's third dance was a Cha-Cha for a "Winner Take All" 15 bonus points. Hines and Ralph went up against each other first, with Hines winning. They were followed by Chelsea and Kirstie, with Chelsea winning that matchup. Finally, then, it was Chelsea versus Hines. Chelsea's cha-cha was very technically clean and fun to watch, and she was able to beat out Hines to get the 15 points from the judges.

So next week is the Finals show. It should be a very good competition between Hines and Chelsea, and I think Chelsea will win it, with Hines coming in 2nd and Kirstie coming in 3rd.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Power Ranking – The FADS Edition: Week 8

As I mentioned in last week's Power Rankings, Romeo held on in Week 7 only due to Kendra's presence and subsequent elimination. With her out of the way, Romeo was the next weakest link in the DWTS competitive chain.

Something told me, even as I watched the drama of the "in jeopardy" showdown between Romeo and Ralph Macchio, that Romeo's time had come. Ralph's fan base, I'm beginning to think, is much larger than we might have first imagined it to be when the season first began. His combination of personal charm and dancing prowess has obviously won over hundreds of thousands of admirers as the competition has gone on.

That being said, could next week bring an end to Ralph's challenge for the much-prized Mirror Ball trophy?


#1 - Chelsea Kane
Chelsea Kane finally steals 1st Place from Hines Ward after several weeks of having to look at his back. She would have (should have) been here sooner if not for Hines's huge and imposing fan base. This week the couples again had to dance two dances - one a rehearsed dance and the other an "Instant Dance" where the couples learned of the song they were to perform to only 30 minutes before having to do it. Both of Chelsea's Week 8 dances were again exceptional (though the first, rehearsed dance much more so). Her pro partner, Mark Ballas, must be beside himself at having been paired with such a terrific talent this season. The only possible spoiler in this fairy tale coupling could be Chelsea's fan base, which is probably much smaller at this point than either Hines Ward's or Kirstie Alley's.

#2 - Hines Ward
Hines Ward's smile is his biggest asset in this competition. DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli gave him a "10" for his rehearsed Foxtrot this week, which I thought was a bit of a reach. Regardless, Hines continues with his charmed life in front of the judging panel - all of whom, in my opinion, have consistently over-graded him throughout the course of the season. He is destined for the Final Three - his fan base alone will get him there at this point in the competition.

#3 - Kirstie Alley
Kirstie did a really good job with her Argentine Tango in Week 8. Her follow-up "Instant Dance" (a Salsa) was less inspiring, but still garnered her 25 points. I see next week as a contest between her and Ralph Macchio possibly getting the boot. That being said, though, her loyal fan base could very throw everything completely out of whack.

#4 - Ralph Macchio
Courage, Ralph. Courage. That's just what he showed this week after battling a ruptured cyst behind his knee that made even the simplest of movements very painful for him. Back in Week 6, the dashing Ralph came to his pro partner, Karina Smirnoff's, rescue. In Week 8, Karina returned the favor by quick-coaching Ralph (the couple only had about 9 hours of practice time due to Ralph's injury) to a 25-point Vienna Waltz and a survivable 21 points for their "Instant Dance" Cha-Cha. Both dances brought grimaces of pain from Ralph, but he finished them anyway. He noticeably limped, though, as he stepped over to the judges panel. Ralph's fan base made his last-place finish on Monday night irrelevant as he was able to beat out Romeo on Tuesday's Results show. But with his injury a lingering factor, could next week be Ralph's final curtain call on DWTS?

#5 Romeo
Well, it's the last spot on the DWTS Power Rankings, and that means it's Romeo's turn to say farewell. In what is looking to be somewhat of a trend on this season's DWTS, Romeo had one of his finest performances on Monday night before being ousted by the voters on Tuesday. The young rapper-movie star looked sharp and really focused in his Tango with pro partner Cheslie Hightower. It was a routine worthy of the triple 9s he received from the judges. (I actually thought he danced better than Hines Ward, who received a 10 to go along with a pair of 9s.)

Romeo was a perfect gentleman in defeat. He thanked everyone, from his fans and his pro partner, Cheslie, to the DWTS judges. He said DWTS helped him overcome his life-long fear of dancing and that he had the best time of his life on the show.

"This show has changed my life forever," the upbeat Romeo said to host Tom Bergeron. "I think I showed kids anything is possible if you try."

Well said, Romeo. And well done!


So now it's down to four couples competing to take home the Mirror Ball trophy. Last week I figured Kirstie would be one the final three "in jeopardy" celebrities, but instead Chelsea once again found herself there - although this time it was only by default: because there were only five couples to begin with, after Kirstie and Hines were declared safe earlier in the show, that left only three couples remaining.

Next week, look for Hines to once again be declared safe (ugh). If the judges scores happen to somewhat even out the fan scoring, then, we should see either Ralph or Kirstie going home. It would be a shame, though, to see Chelsea walk before it comes down to the Final Three.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Dancing with the Stars - Week 8 Commentary

[NOTE: This is a re-posting of a post published last week that was evidently removed from Blogger.]

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.



[Natasha] This week was "Instant Dance" week on Dancing with the Stars. Each couple had to dance a rehearsed routine plus a second routine where they didn't know the music until 30 minutes before they had to perform.

1st Place - Chelsea Kane/Mark Ballas (W1:21 + W2:18 + W3:23 + W4:26 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:34/G30 + W8:29/26 = 261 total) [Overall position: 2nd.]
Chelsea and Mark performed the Slow Walz for their first dance. This was a great performance and the first time a couple received two 10s this season. It was very elegant, very flowing. The past few weeks they've been doing a really great job.

Their second dance was the Salsa. The judges were surprised Chelsea and Mark were able to do such a good job in such a short amount of time. Like Carrie Ann, though, I felt the dance didn't connect to the music.

2nd Place - Hines Ward/Kym Johnson (W1:21 + W2:23 + W3:25 + W4:25 + W5:27 + W6:27 + W7:36/G30 + W8:28/26 = 268 total) [Overall position: 1st.]
Hines and Kym performed the Foxtrot for their first dance. They have a really good connection with each other. It was elegant and fun to watch. Hines's footwork was not so good this time, though, which is surprising because he's usually good.

For their second dance they performed the Jive. The Jive is not an easy dance to do. You need to move your legs and really pick up your feet. Hines didn't do a good job with that.

3rd Place - Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy (W1:23 + W2:20 + W3:21 + W4:21 + W5:23 + W6:26 + W7:30/G30 + W:28/25 = 247) [Overall position: 5th.]
Kirstie and Maks did the Argentine Tango first. This was a very hot and very passionate performance. When you watch Kirstie dance you can see her footwork was very good and she looked like she was dancing very well.

For their Instant Dance, they did the Salsa. Kirstie showed good movement, and, as usual, did a good job with her footwork and also showed good hip action.

T-5th Place - Romeo/Chelsie Hightower (W1:19 + W2:23 + W3:20 + W4:23 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:30/G30 + W:27/25 = 251) [Overall position: 3rd.]
Romeo and Chelsie performed the Tango for their first dance. You can see that Romeo has really improved a lot and has a lot of confidence. He was a little stiff in this dance, however, and the footwork was a little off.

This couple performed the Salsa for the second dance. not much to say about this routine. It was fun, but I could tell it was nothing special.

T-1st Place - Ralph Macchio/Karina Smirnoff (W1:24 + W2:21 + W3:21 + W4:25 + W5:22 + W6:24 + W7:36/G30 + W8:25/21 = 249) [Overall position: 4th.]
Drama, drama, drama! Ralph had a knee injury during the week and so he and Karina only had about nine hours to practice. Ralph's footwork for their Viennese Waltz was not good, but he did well with the upper body movement. He seemed a bit stiff - probably because of the pain he was in from his knee.

Ralph and Karina's second dance was the Cha-Cha. You could see he was very uncomfortable and he looked stiff, with no hip action. Again, though, his knee injury was obviously affecting him.


Okay, so this week we saw Romeo get voted off of the show. If we had gone by last week's (Week 7) performance, then he should have gone home. But this week, I'm not so sure. As for Ralph Macchio, I think next week he will be eliminated if he can't show his leg doesn't bother him so much.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Dancing With The Stars Power Ranking – The FADS Edition: Week 7

It took Kendra Wilkinson 6 weeks to get excited about competing on Dancing With The Stars. On Week 7, she was voted off.

The outcome that so many have been waiting to see has finally happened. On Tuesday night, at the end of Week 7 of Dancing With The Stars, Kendra Wilkinson's name was the last one called out by host Tom Bergeron - and on DWTS, that meant the competition was over for her.

A lot of people (myself included) were beginning to wonder if she was going to be this year's Bristol Palin - a bad dancer, but with a fan base large enough to boost her into the Finals. That turned out to not be the case, as the spunky - yet oddly unenthusiastic - former Playboy bunny was ousted on the heels of what was ironically one of her better performances (albeit still wanting).

I have to admit it, though: Kendra was really starting to get on my nerves. I don't think she took the competition seriously until it was too late for her to catch up. Even then, her sass talk was a turn-off for me. She was the anti-Petra Nemcova on the show - and that's probably what kept her in the competition longer than the adorable Czech supermodel: Sass beats sweetness in the ratings game (and apparently the voting booth) every time.

Oh well. The last of the really bad dancers has departed DWTS, and so now we have only the most popular and most talented celebrities remaining.


#1 - Hines Ward
Hines has been ranked #1 since the FADS Power Rankings began in Week 4. I think as long as he doesn't take a fall or do something terrible in a routine, he's probably a lock for the Final Three. His combination of consistency and high judges scores, plus his large following of Steelers fans, makes him a formidable competitor unlikely to lose out until perhaps the very end. (Oddly, Hines is also the most "under the radar" contestant remaining. Even as the likes of Kirstie, Ralph, Kendra and even Cheslea have grabbed the lions' share of the gossip headlines, Hines has gone through the season with barely a mention.)

#2 - Chelsea Kane
Even though Chelsea did find herself "in jeopardy" this past week, I think that was just part of the ruse to heighten the drama of the moment. It didn't really work for me, though, as there was no way Kendra was going to be out either Chelsea or Kirstie Alley. Chelsea's dancing prowess is remarkable, and I honestly believe she's won over thousands of fans who previously had never heard of her before (myself included). Will that translate into her making it into the Final Three grouping? I certainly hope it will. But there is one potential fly in the ointment for her: Pro partner Mark Ballas. Mark has repeatedly placed Chelsea in an unfriendly light before the judges with his "youthful" choreography. In his defense, Mark has been amazed at Chelsea's dancing ability and is seeking to capitalize on that talent by crafting admittedly risky routines that he feels will best show off her skills - which he knows she can handle. But the judges - particularly Len Goodman - have had issues with his creative license on some of the more traditional dances. This past week was a prime example of that dislike after Len told Chelsea that he thought she was "too aggressive" in her Paso Doble. (My reaction to that remark was identical to Mark's own shocked response.) Was that an honest critique of Chelsea's dance by Len, or was he just searching for a problem where there was none because he didn't like the choreography?

#3 Ralph Macchio
A huge performance by Ralph in Week 7. After pro partner Karina Smirnoff's fall last week, he really needed this dance to make things right again. Ralph's body (particularly his knees) are beginning to wear down on him, but once he hits the dance floor he always seems to find the energy to get the job done. At this point in the competition, Ralph's fan base may even be bigger than - dare I say? - Kirstie Alley's.

#4 - Kirstie Alley
This was not one of Kirstie's better performances - although, oddly enough, guest judge Donnie Burns gave her a 9 (what was with that?). Kirstie did manage to out-dance Romeo this week, though, so she captures the #4 spot in the Power Rankings. As a side note, I honestly did not know what to make of her purple ballet tutu outfit.

#5 - Romeo
Romeo survived Week 7 only because Kendra was there to stop his fall. The young star seemed convinced he was on his way out as he hurriedly plugged his new album during an interview segment on the show. His dance in Week 7 was part "good" and part "wooden." As FADS pro dancer Natasha Oreshkina noted in her commentary this week, Romeo seemed to get lost midway through the routine as his pro partner, Cheslie Hightower, danced all around him. Another weak performance like this one and Romeo may find himself with plenty of free time to plug his album. As an aside, Romeo's fawning over Chelsie is becoming more and more noticeable as the weeks go by - and it's not just when they're on the stage: In "behind the stage" video clips he's also been constantly hugging her and draping his arm around her. Maybe they are an item, and maybe not. But Cheslie herself doesn't appear to be reciprocating his advances - kind of more like she enduring them.

#6 - Kenrda Wilkinson
And so the "late blooming flower" has left the celebraquarium for the final time. Kendra's stay on the show was a bit long - there was no way she was a better dancer than either Petra Nemcova or Chris Jericho. But I guess that's why they have viewer voting, aye? In the end, though, even that wasn't enough to save the Playboy bunny and reality show star.


Week 7 of Dancing With The Stars brought us this season's first judging controversy after guest judge Donnie Burns inexplicably held up his "8" paddle and called out "Eight!" for a performance by Romeo and Chelsie Hightower - only to have us learn just afterwards that he actually marked down a "7" as his official score. Whaaat? He sheepishly held up a "7" paddle and apologized for his gaffe. Cheslie was not amused.

Next week the show will be down to five couples who will again have to dance twice (sorry, Ralph). Last week I was only off by one person in my final three "in jeopardy" predictions (Cheslea replaced my predicted Romeo), and so for my Week 8 predictions I see, once again, Romeo and Kirstie, joined by Ralph Macchio. If, however, Cheslea Kane is again in this mix, I believe it may sadly be her time to go.

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Dancing with the Stars - Week 7 Commentary & Scores

Season 12 of Dancing with the Stars is finally upon us. Each week Syracuse, NY FADS co-owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Natasha Oreshkina will be sharing her thoughts on the competition and giving us her take on which celebrities had the best week on the dance floor and which ones should be getting ready to pack their bags.



[Natasha] This week the couples were separated into two groups to perform team dances (the cha cha for both teams) before each celebrity performed their own individual dances. We also saw guest judge Donnie Burns added to the field of Bruno, Len and Carrie Ann to bring the total possible individual high score to 40.

The teams competing on Monday consisted of Chelsea Kane, Ralph Macchio and Romeo on one side and Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward and Kendra Wilkinson on the other. Team Chelsea danced to a Lady Gaga song ("Born This Way"). I thought it was a hot dance routine, very high energy, and everybody put in their best effort. I liked this one a little bit more than Team Hines's routine, which represented the older group of celebrities - although Team Hines also tried hard to dance well as a team. Both teams scored 30 out of 40 with the judges, and so each celebrity got to add 30 points to their individual scores.

T-1st Place - Ralph Macchio/Karina Smirnoff (W1:24 + W2:21 + W3:21 + W4:25 + W5:22 + W6:24 + W7:36/G30 = 203) [Overall position: 3rd.]
Ralph and Karina danced the Quickstep this week. Ralph had a lot of fun with this dance, and the people in the audience really liked his performance, too. Very energetic and a good job. He got the highest score of the night with a 36.

T-1st Place - Hines Ward/Kym Johnson (W1:21 + W2:23 + W3:25 + W4:25 + W5:27 + W6:27 + W7:36/G30 = 214 total) [Overall position: 1st.]
Hines and Kym danced the Tango. This was a very sharp and romantic dance, and it seemed like the judges really liked it, too. He tied Ralph for the highest score of the night with another 36.

3rd Place - Chelsea Kane/Mark Ballas (W1:21 + W2:18 + W3:23 + W4:26 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:34/G30 = 206 total) [Overall position: 2nd.]
Chelsea and Mark performed the Paso Doble this week, scoring a 34. That was some interesting choreography that Mark came up with. It was a good dance and I liked what they did - Mark puts a lot of creativity into his choreography, which sometimes the judges don't like. Len Goodman is very conservative and likes to see traditional routines, but I like to see different interpretations, so I think it's good that Mark puts them in.

4th Place - Kendra Wilkinson/Louis van Amstel (W1:18 + W2:19 + W3:23 + W4:18 + W5:22 + W6:25 + W7:31/G30 = 186) [Overall position: 6th.]
Kendra and Louis danced the Tango. I thought this wasn't her best dance. She was stiff and she seemed frustrated after the routine. Even so, she got a 31, which wasn't the lowest score of the week. This would be her last dance on the show, however, as she was eliminated on Tuesday.

T-5th Place - Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy (W1:23 + W2:20 + W3:21 + W4:21 + W5:23 + W6:26 + W7:30/G30 = 194) [Overall position: 5th.]
Kirstie and Maks danced the Jive. It seemed like they worked very hard for this dance. Kirstie again showed good footwork and it was very entertaining, but she only scored a 30.

T-5th Place - Romeo/Chelsie Hightower (W1:19 + W2:23 + W3:20 + W4:23 + W5:26 + W6:28 + W7:30/G30 = 199) [Overall position: 4th.]
Romeo and Cheslie performed the Samba. I thought his dance was good - very high energy, but he seemed to get lost along the way and the judges ended up giving him only a 30, matching Kirstie Alley's score.


Okay, so now Kendra is out of the competition - I was not surprised to see that happen. Next week we'll have two dances again, with one of them being an "Instant Dance" where the celebrities won't know the music they're dancing to until 30 minutes before they have to perform it.

See you next week!

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