Kathy Riordan

Kathy Riordan
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Florida, United States
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April 27
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One woman's view of life and the universe. Follow @katriord on Twitter.

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NOVEMBER 10, 2009 7:01AM

Going Back to the Future on Dancing With the Stars

Rate: 9 Flag
Week 8 of Season 9 of Dancing With the Stars found the five remaining couples dancing through the decades in the Latin half of Monday night's quarterfinal competition.
 
Kelly found her mojo, Donny got his mullet back, and Joanna transported everyone into surreal supercyberspace. 
 
 
 

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel dance a groovy 60's jive.

 

 

Donny Osmond and his partner Kym Johnson channel Adam Ant in an 80's paso doble.

 
 
 
 

Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa design a futuristic paso doble.

 

 

 

Capturing the first perfect score of the season, Mya was a perfectly bad girl in her 70's Donna Summer samba.

 

 Mya and Dmitry Chaplin do an homage to disco in their 70's samba.

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Thanks for the wrapup, Kathy. I missed this and will now be able to see the highlights. This show gets really good about now with the better dancers, but still doesn't compare, IMHO, to "So You Think You Can Dance."
Lea, Louis took away Kelly's "toys" and pets this week, removing all distractions to get her to focus, and it obviously paid off. It was a cute Carnaby Street jive. I didn't put up Aaron Carter's 90's samba, probably my least favorite, but all five dances were fun and well executed. Derek's choreography in the futuristic paso was, in the words of Bruno and Len, "genius." Truly.

I'd look for Aaron and Kelly to be on the chopping block tonight. The final three will probably be Mya, Joanna and Donny (the second time an Osmond will make final three), and hopefully Donny won't do a ragdoll routine for his freestyle. Joseph and the Dreamcoat, maybe. Or Crazy Horses.
Yes, I think Derek is an exceptional dancer and choreographer. And I agree on your top three. Then it becomes fan favorites.
Lea, I'd look for final two to be Mya and Joanna, unless Joanna chokes. Mya will likely take the competition if she pulls off a flawless and inspirational freestyle, but a lot comes down to that final performance, and the fans, as you rightly note. Derek can get Joanna to the final and the trophy if they don't make any missteps and play to their strengths.
It's Mya's to lose. But, that's just my opinion. She has been out front for about three weeks now and pulling away. Unless she really messes up next week, I think she has won it already.

Rated.
One of my fave shows about this time in the competition. I agree with who the top 3 might be. Derek is freakin' amazing with his choreography. I thought Wade Robson was pretty good and off-beat but Derek Hough's mind twists totally on a different planet. It's good he got Joanna who has proven she can keep up with him.
I thought this week that Dmitry Chaplin, Mya's partner pulled ahead with the choreography as well this week. He is a new addition, like Lacey Schwimmer, who traveled over from So You Think You Can Dance. I think, as a new comer, it has affected some of his natural ability. I thought last night was one of the best choreography he has done to date. I hope as he settles in we see more of that. Mya certainly could carry the weight.
Thanks for the videos, Kathy!
I agree, Torman. It's really been Mya's to lose since the beginning of the season. She's had some struggles with Len, but I think she's on her way to the mirror ball.
Here's a link to the Wade Robson video that Patie is talking about, for those who are interested: Wade Robson on Dancing With the Stars
I agree with Kathy and Torman -- Mya already seems like the winner of the competition, but the biggest winner of it all has to be Kelly.

After being such a petulant teen on her family's reality show, Kelly's grown up to be such a likable, personable young woman, someone everyone can relate to. She's not blessed with a dancer's body, but she works hard. She struggles like most of us, but she's charming and goofy and I think this season of DWTS will prove to be important to her future endeavors.
Maria, you are exactly right about Kelly Osbourne. She is the Cinderella of this season, to be sure. When the audience responds to her, she comes alive. While I don't see her getting into the top 3, the fact that she has made it this far is a testament to her tenacity and sheer will and determination. I expect her parents are enormously proud.
Derek's choreography has risen to the top among the DWTS pros. I'm impressed with how Louis has brought Kelly along through the season. Rather than just being a partner, I suspect he's had to wear the hat of a coach/mentor/friend/psychologist.

That said, I think the biggest breakthrough of the week was Dmitry's choreography. He finally cut out the gimmicks. In the taped segment, he complained that he didn't know what Len wanted. Good God, Len's made it perfectly clear what he wants and doesn't want. Mya and Dmitry lose the gimmicks and score 59 out of 60. As for the eventual winner, I'm sticking with my pre-season pick (since I didn't mention the title or link to the post, it's not really blogwhoring, is it?), Mya.
Stim, I'm perfectly happy for you to link your post here. Stim wrote an excellent article at the beginning of this season scientifically predicting the winner: Dancing With the Stars: Predicting the Winner.

Stim's system is relatively foolproof and fascinating to read.
Thanks for these. I haven't been watching it this season. But maybe I'll watch the finale. I so love Louis. I thought the Derek choreography was great. And thanks for the Wade Robson link. But nobody sambas like Dmitry. That's who I'll be rooting for.
Kathy, my sister and I agree with your picks. Aaron will probably be out; he's not a fan favorite. Joanna is very impressive and Derek is in another league as choreographer. Donny is fun but he's not quite as sharp as I'd like him to be. Still, he's game and that impresses me.
Juliet, from here on out the dances and competition should be very exciting. Dmitry is indeed a good choreographer and samba king.

Nikki, exactly. Although Kelly could be out tonight, I think it will be Aaron, because he has less of a fan base and really didn't pull out all the stops last night. I completely agree about Donny; he's a better dancer than his sister, but she stayed in to #3 because of the fan base, which is enormous and can't be underestimated. He needed cleaner, sharper lines and more strength on that paso doble last night; had he done that, he'd have had a good chance at a #2 position I think. Still, it's between Joanna and Mya, with it being Mya's to lose. Dmitry was fluffing around with the extra bits in the choreography initially which cost her, and I think he'll stay more focused from here on out. I doubt Kelly expects to be top 3, but I imagine they're holding a freestyle program in reserve just in case. It will really come down to the individual performances in the final, just like it did when Shawn Johnson won, and how people choreograph and execute the freestyle. I look for Derek to pull out all the stops for Joanna, and the competition to be fierce.
On a show off note, I can run circles around these guys.
As always, thanks for the links, Kathy.
Rated.
Kathy, you're a gem. Thanks for the link. I agree with you that Shawn Johnson won because her Finals dances, especially the freestyle. She scored enough judges points to overcome Gilles' slight, if any, popular vote advantage. There lies a huge key to the trophy. If the popular vote is close (and I'd love to see the vote totals), the judges's point totals become critical. I think DWTS's math is each couple's total equals Couple's Judges' Points/Total Judges' Points + Couple's Votes/Total Votes. Or something like that. When Marie Osmond finished third, she might've had the most votes. But she was so far behind in Judges' Points (deservedly so), she couldn't make up the difference.
At this point, I think Donny's a lock for the finals. Barring voter insanity, Mya is a lock. As do you, I think Joanna will be the third. As long as Mya/Dmitry don't regress to gimmicks, I think it's fair to figure they'll score 58 - 60 points with their two Finals dances. The goal for Joanna/Derek and Donny/Kym is come as close as possible, thereby making it a popularity contest (having no idea about Mya's popularity). To break it down further, if Joanna can go into the freestyle even with Mya, Joanna can count on Derek likely coming up with a better freestyle routine than Dmitry. To further break down the freestyle: my one reservation about Mya is that she seems slightly reserved. I don't feel that she's let it all out for any of her dances. That could hurt in the freestyle. Joanna is fearless. Combining her fearlessness with Derek's choreography, they could leave a stronger impression with the voters.

I think way too much about this.
But it's so fun. Your thoughts run parallel to mine, Stim, and are well expressed here.

Never worry about linking to your own posts on one of my threads; I'm always happy to support the writing of others here, particularly when it's relevant to the conversation, as yours clearly is.
I accidentally watched some of this last night - someone came in so I just hit "mute" and stopped playback of "Amazing Race" from Sunday. So maybe you folks can enlighten me - who the hell is Mya, and has Donny had some serious work done, or was it just the Adam Ant getup?
Mya is a singer, and no, that was just Donny's Adam Ant getup. If you aren't familiar with Mya, you might know her as one of the female vocalists on the remake of Patti Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" from the soundtrack of the Baz Luhrmann film, Moulin Rouge.
And, as I expected, Aaron has been eliminated tonight, leaving Kelly, Mya, Joanna and Donny in the semifinals next week.
Some comments:

Mya is gonna win.

This group has been sub-par from the beginning. None of them would be in the final groupings most years.

The futuristic paso doble was the best dance so far this year…and I am not a fan of Joanna. But she did a bang up job with that dance…and kudos to Derek for the choreography.

Joanna may be the next to leave…not Kelly. Kelly has a huge fan base…Joanna has no fan base at all.

This show will never even come close to comparing with SYTYCD. The dancers there continue to be EXCEPTIONAL…and this year is no exception. If you are not watching it…and you like dance at all…DO SO!!!!
Frank, you're right about the futuristic paso doble being the best dance of the season, and it was rightly recognized as such by being the encore dance last night. My next favorite was probably Aaron's Kermit/Miss Piggy routine, very well done. And you could be right about Joanna, because without a fan base, she could fall before Kelly. Marie Osmond clearly made it further than her abilities in her season; I give Donny props that he actually is dancing well, but don't think he's final two material.

Mya should take it unless she chokes. I'm not entirely sure what her fan base is compared to the others.
I was there last night--and at last week's performance show (the Team Tango vs Team Paso one)...it's a fun show, but I agree--it doesn't compare to "So You Think You Can Dance" in terms of the dancing. Not to promote myself, but I did write a post about my overall experience there last night. Hugh Hefner was there (very surreal). It's not at all about the dancing though--and you did an amazing job recapping that here. :) RATED for Really, really, good!

I don't know how to put a link to mine in case you wanted to read it, but here's the URL you can just cut and paste I guess. I'm technologically challenged.

http://open.salon.com/blog/susan_cross/2009/11/11/dancing_with_the_stars_and_hanging_with_the_host
Amazingly cool, Susan, and I'm happy to link to your article here:

Dancing With the Stars and Hanging With the Host (Susan Cross/Open Salon)