Dancing with the Stars Laila Ali weds


According to People magazine, boxer and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Laila Ali was married over the weekend to former NFL player Curtis Conway. Laila reportedly planned the wedding during her time on the show. Laila’s father, boxing great Muhammed Ali, was among the 200 guests.

A Sad Goodbye: Hok Eliminated (& Anya too)

hok-iguana.jpg Photo courtesy Hok’s MySpace Page

In what was the saddest elimination for me thus far season on So You Think You Can Dance, my favorite male dancer, Hok Konishi, was sent home. Although I suppose the judges were correct in their determination that he has not progressed as well as he should have, he certainly had a star quality about him. His ability to interact with the audience and impress everyone with his b-boy skills was tremendous and it is unfortunate that we will not be seeing him anymore on the show. I have a feeling, though, that we will be seeing him in the future. He does not seem to strike me as the kind of person who will just disappear into the shadows. His personality and zest for life is too strong to allow that to happen.

The final 10 dancers will be on the nationwide tour that will take place at the end of the season. I am sure that the producers realize what an asset that Hok would have been to the tour, as he certainly has a lot of fans and is a lot more interesting dancer, personality-wise, than some of the males left. I have a feeling that the producers may be having their lawyers work on a way to to have “The Top 10 Dancer Tour featuring special guest Hok” without having the other eliminated dancers sue them.

Anya was also eliminated last night. When Lauren and Jaimie joined her in thye bottom three, I thought maybe it would be Lauren who would be chosen to go home. Although the judges said that Anya was sent home because she had trouble with her solos and it is a solo competition, I think perhaps it was because she did not connect with the fans and has not let her personality come through. Personally, I was always irritated by her ugly solo costumes, of which she wore another last night.  The judges were not unanimous on their decision and you could see by the look on Mary Murphy’s face that she wanted Anya to stay and was very unhappy that she was eliminated.

The differences in the way that Hok and Anya reacted to their departures demonstrates the way that Hok was an entertainer and Anya was just a dancer. While Anya cried, Hok, with a huge smile on his face, said that this was just the beginning for him. While Anya hugged her fellow contestants goodbye, Hok danced around the stage, drawing tremendous cheers from the crowd.

Next week the couples will be switched around. Next week the judges will not have the final say in who goes home. Next week, the competition gets even more intense.

Dancing with the Stars Nominated for Emmy Award

Dancing with the Stars has been nominated for an Emmy for “Outstanding Reality Competition Program.”

It is up against the following shows:

American Idol
Project Runway
The Amazing Race
Top Chef

To read all the Emmy nominations, go to the official Emmy site here.

Danny and Anya Foxtrot on SYTYCD

Here is what may have been the best performance of last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Danny Tidwell and Anya Garnis perform the Foxtrot to “It had to be you” by Brian Evans. The dance was choreographed by Tony Meredith. You can see Anya’s beautiful purple dress that I wrote about yesterday.

What was your favorite performance of the night?

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The Final 12 Performance Show

Host Cat Deeley was wearing a cute dress this week on So You Think You Can Dance! It was a peachy minidress without any obnoxious pattern or anything. Mary Murphy took over Cat’s usual role by wearing a hideous black and white patterned dress. Wade Robson was the third judge this week. That is a bit disappointing in that it means no routines choreographed by him this week. (Hey, Nigel just took my line and said the same thing!)

This is the last week that these couples will be performing together, as they will be split up and given different partners. I think that is when the real test begins, because it is important to show that you can work with different partners. Nigel also mentioned that surviving this week is important because the top five couples get to go on tour.

Here are my impressions of all the performances, as well as the critiques by the judges:

Dominic and Sabra

Jive: choreographed by Tony Meredith
Song: I do the jerk by Ryan Shaw

I thought this was a great, fast-paced routine. Sabra’s red dress was very cute. The routine had some swing and disco elements to it and was pretty creative. They executed the difficult moves pretty well, like the big lift at the end. Wade thought that they had a lot of positive energy and gave 110%. Mary thought it was a great way to start the show, although some of their kicks were too high. Nigel said that they were the best partners he has seen work together, with the exception of Heidi and Benji from last season.

Hok and Jaimie
Broadway: choreographed by Tice Diorio, with Travis Wall (from last season)
Song: Mr Bojanges from Fosse

Jaimie revealed that she hurt her toe last week. They showed a clip of it bleeding fairly badly. It did not seem to bother her during the performance.

I think this is the first slow Broadway performance we have seen, the others having been very upbeat. Hok was playing an old man and Jaimie was his spirit trying to get him to dance again. I thought the routine was great, but the song was not a good choice because it annoyed me a lot. I thought that they both did well and Jaimie had a lot of great spins. Wade said that he did not get that the character of Hok was supposed to be an old man and suggested that maybe Hok’s nerves are holding him back. Mary said, “It’s not doing it for me.” She said that Hok did not make any connection with him, but that Jaimie was elegant. Nigel said that the choreography played to Hok’s lack of technical experience and was “much ado about nothing.” He thought Jaimie had great lines and did well.

Pasha and Sara
Jazz: choreographed by Mandy Moore
Song: Body Language by Queen

I thought this was a very fun routine, although I was a bit distracted by Sara’s outfit, which looked like an 80s workout outfit. The routine was very creative and involved several moves with their suspenders, which we don’t see too often. Wade liked the choreography a lot and thought that Pasha was showing a lot of versatility and they both did a good job. Mary said they did well, but doesn’t know if it is enough to keep them out of the bottom three. Nigel said that they need to be careful that they are giving emotion and personality over to the crowd.

Neil and Lauren

Contemporary: choreographed by Mia Michaels
Song: Let the drummer kick by Citizen Cope

This was a much faster-paced routine than we are used to seeing from Mia Michaels. It was quite bizarre, but in a good way. They wore goggles and the moves were a mixture of big movements and small little actions. It almost had some hip-hop like elements in it. Wade said that Neil has come alive with this performance. Mary liked it, despite not understanding the story. She would have liked to see their eyes. She said it was good, but not great. Nigel did not understand it either, but doesn’t think you have to. He doesn’t know if he enjoyed it or not, not taking anything away from their dancing.

Danny and Anya:
Foxtrot: choreographed by Tony Meredith
Song: It had to be you by Brian Evans

Anya revealed that she was injured as well, hurting her ankle during their routine last week. She seemed pretty strong during the performance and I did not notice her struggling. The dance was gorgeous and I loved Anya’s purple dress (I am partial to purple). I am always impressed by the ballroom performances because I cannot even imagine doing it, but this week the judges agreed with me that it was wonderful. Wade had planned to say that he had never been moved by Danny, but the performance today changed that. Danny surprised him this week and he thought that Anya was elegant and classically beautiful. Mary said she was not surprised at all, because she loved them since the very beginning and thought they were fantastic. Then she gave them a scream and said they were in first class on the tamale train. Nigel said it was the best Foxtrot he has seen on this stage. He added that Dancing with the Stars will have to change their name to Dancing with Celebrities because the stars are here!

Kameron and Lacey
Hip-hop: choreographed by Dan Karaty
Song: Here I Come by Fergie

This was another fun routine with Lacey dressed up as a cheerleader playing hard to get. I thought that Lacey was great, although Kameron was lacking a bit. He had a solo in the middle which I thought was a little boring. At the end of the routine, Kameron pulled a girl out of the audience instead of going with Lacey. Wade said that Kameron was heavy and was not light on his feet or snappy. He did not “dance inside of the music” and “floated on top of it.” He said that Lacey was a great performer, but he is not sure that she is “personal” enough. Mary agreed that Kameron danced heavy, but that Lacey is on point. Nigel said that Kameron did not “bring it,” especially during his solo.

My bottom three couples (it is getting so hard to pick three when they all do so well!):
Hok and Jaimie
Sara and Pasha
Lacey and Kameron

Is this really Benji?

I found this video on YouTube, which purports to be Benji Schwimmer imitating Michael Jackson in 1988. The video is not great quality and I have no way of knowing if it is really him. What do you think. Is it Benji?

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Apolo Anton Ohno Busts a Move

Here is a video of Dancing with the Stars champion Apolo Anton Ohno and his partner Julianne Hough performing a routine as part of the Dancing with the Stars tour. The routine is a hip-hop/breakdance routine set to Young M.C.’s “Bust a Move.” The video was taken by a fan from the crowd, so the picture and sound quality are not the greatest, but you can see the great energy from the performer, as well as the crowd.

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Lisa Rinna “cried all the time” during Dancing with the Stars


In her appearance on The View today, with husband Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna said that appearing on Dancing with Stars changed her life. She discovered through performing on the show that she loves to dance. Her experience made her feel like she could accomplish anything, which led her to audition for the lead role in the Broadway musical Chicago. Although her agents laughed at the idea, she had confidence in herself and succeeded in obtaining the role. She is presently starring in the musical opposite her husband.

Despite the fact that being on Dancing with the Stars “changed everything” for her in a positive way, the experience itself was very stressful for her. Although the show aired only one instance in which Lisa broke down in tears backstage, she said that she actually “cried all the time,” because of the pressure to succeed.

Lisa added that she danced a waltz with Harry on the Dancing with the Stars tour and that dancing together has improved their sex life after 10 years of marriage.