May 15, 2009 03:00 PM by Britteny Elrick
In this week’s Popwatch blog for Entertainment Weekly, Carrie Ann Inaba sounds off on last week’s Dancing With The Starsperformances, the finalists, and Ty Murray’s elimination. Keep reading to see what she had to say about all of this and more…
Carrie Ann wrote:
Well, Ty was sent home this week. He was such a joy to watch. Every season, we have someone that touches the hearts of the masses and really reminds us that anything is possible. I love that about our show. Ty Murray was that person this year. We actually had a few people that really brought heartwarming stories to our show — Steve-O, and Steve W. both pulled on our heartstrings as well. And I have to say that Lil’ Kim also really surprised everyone. I still wish she could have been in the final three. Derek does such great choreography that it would have been nice to see their final performances.
But who would they have replaced in the finals? That is something I wouldn’t want to address….
We’ve had good stars this year, all unique and strong but each with very different performance styles. At this point, I think Gilles has the most well-rounded performances. He moves with incredible grace and passion. He finishes his moves with polish and clarity and conviction. That is what earned him his 60 points Monday night. Melissa seemed to be having problems this week with Tony. They were out of sync with each other a bit, and she looked a bit timid out there, both emotionally and physically. This is such a difficult show for the performers — I don’t think the general public knows how hard they all work to do this show and to be as good as they are. We also have Shawn who is the precision queen. Jive was not her best dance but it’s over now and she’s still in the finals. She is so cute and adorable, and so focused. She is so much younger than the rest of the performers, with so much less life experience so she has to make up the emotional element of the dance with technique and precision.
Gilles and Shawn appeal to different tastes. Melissa is right in the middle. I get frustrated a bit with her because out of all the competitors, she is the most gifted in the physical attributes that would help her in this competition. She’s got grace, flexibility, lyricism and athleticism. Sometimes the people who have the most natural tendency to be a great dancer don’t have to work as hard and that can hurt them. In my career, I have seen many a dancer who was gifted with incredible natural talent — but didn’t have the work ethic to bring it to the edge with each moment. They didn’t have to work that hard to be good and when the others caught up, they easily would pass them by — no fault of theirs, but it makes it more difficult for them later when the ones who have had to struggle more catch up. Hard work and talent = luck. And only the lucky ones really go far. I’m not saying that Melissa doesn’t work hard. Everyone who joins our show works hard. I’m just saying that dancing comes easily for her on many levels, which doesn’t allow for her to dig deep.
I also think that Melissa’s injury may still be bothering her. I had a hairline fracture in my rib and to this day, it hurts me. It’s a strange injury. When I watch her movements, where she holds back and where she seems timid, it seems that her injury may still be hurting her. She is a trooper though because she is not complaining. She continues on. And I commend her on that…
We had a great performance this week by Julianne, Derek, Mark and Lacey in the Design a Dance. And congratulations to Rebecca Farmer, who designed and created their costumes. It was a high-energy performance and those Design a Dance performances have been consistently good now. And I’m looking forward to next years dance.
Raphael Saadiq performed at the top of the show last night and it was a treat. I had never heard of him before last night but am going to buy his album — or download it from iTunes today. High energy, great music, a whole lotta fun! I hope he comes back to perform again. I think he’s a perfect match to our show. He’s a little retro too.
Tomorrow I go and work with one of the contestants for their “Master Class.” Usually, it’s just Len who goes and helps the performers on their final performance. This year, they have changed the format — Bruno, Len and I will each be working with the finalists to help them prepare for their last performances. I’m excited and always love being in the studio…so tomorrow’s going to be a good day.
Next week we have the finals. I know one thing — it’s going to be a tight race to the finish. They are all dancing in a dance off that features the Paso Doble — which is one of my favorite dances because it’s so dramatic and dynamic. Every one of them did well with their previous Paso performances so I think we are in for a treat.
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