Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dancing With the Stars Week 6


 Motown on Dancing With the Stars this week was brilliant!  With the talents of Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and The Temptations you could feel that the crooners were still smooth after all these years. Although The Temptations does not consist of all original members, the vibe and rhythm of the all-male group was strong and made me shake a tail feather!   We sadly said goodbye to Gavin when eliminated last week.  I give him a standing “O” for stepping out of his comfort zone, and trying something gutsy like dancing live on television before millions of viewers.  Great job, piano man! 
     I am thrilled to be joined this week by coolio blogger, Michelle Bell; southern belle, author Tracie Banister; and last but never least the other female who balances out the testosterone in my home, my daughter Gracie.  Let’s roll!   
Standout Performance of the week:
Tracie: I was very pleasantly surprised by Melissa Gilbert's Viennese Waltz.  It was really lovely.  She had grace and fluidity and her spins were amazing!  Her shoulders were hunched up a bit towards the end, but overall, it was her best, most enjoyable to watch performance yet.  Kudos, Half Pint!  If Melissa stays in the competition, I think it will be to her advantage that she's already gotten so many of the Latin dances out of the way.  Ballroom seems to come more naturally to her.  Perhaps because when she's dancing in hold with Maks, she can just relax and follow rather than rush to keep up with him?
Michelle: The group cha-cha!  I loved it! You could see who has come far and who is still struggling. I was shocked that Maria and Derek went out as fast as they did.  I was disappointed that William spent a lot of time sliding around on his knees. I loved Katherine and Mark. It was a fun dance off.
Jen: I thought Katherine and Mark’s Samba was fun!  Their moves looked so effortless and I know that was due to hard work in rehearsals.  In my eyes, Katherine is the quintessential non-professional dance partner.  She can shake it like a Polaroid picture one week, and then grace the floor effortlessly in a more controlled dance step the next.
Gracie: Maria and Derek were so, so cool!  I bet she is hungry after she dances.  Do you think they go to Taco Bell when the show is over?  
This Was Definitely Not Your Dance - Worst Performance:
Tracie: Oh, Roshon.  I knew that you would struggle with the slow, sensual movements of the Rumba and I'm afraid you did.  I really feel like the Rumba is an "adult" dance and poor Roshon is just too young to really grasp the concept of it.  He did try and I give him credit for that, but in the end, he was too herky jerky and hitting every move too hard.  When in doubt, he always falls back on Michael Jackson moves.  I feel like every dance of his this season has had that MJ flavor.
Michelle: I was not fond of Gladys and Tristan's dance tonight, but it was Roshon and Chelsie that I found to be the weakest of the night. Roshon is a cute kid, he and Chelsie have fun together, but the dancing is just not up to par with the rest of the contestants.  The dance was disconnected and clunky for me.  (And yes there was a lift, even if Chelsie wanted to argue it.)
Jen: I think that Gladys really struggled on the floor tonight.  Perhaps she was nervous with old friends singing as she took her steps.  I felt she found it difficult to maintain the moves.  She looked amazing in her purple dress, and with her countenance bright and gleaming you know that she had a ball regardless.  When it gets to the heart of the matter, having fun is what this show is all about.
Gracie: Why are William and Cheryl acting like they are on a date?  They didn’t dance very much this time.  They were all kissy and stuff; that’s gross!

The Tina Sparkle Award for best use of sequins and spandex:
Tracie: It's a tie for me this week.  I thought Melissa looked exquisite in her floaty emerald green gown (a great color for a pale redhead!) and her upswept hair was styled in an elegant and sophisticated way that really suited her Ballroom dance.  Gladys Knight was adorable in her grape-colored Rumba dress, which was very flattering to her figure.  I could have done without the Betty Rubble wig with the little purple bow, though. 
Michelle: I really loved Cheryl's dress tonight. The cut, the color, the way it flowed. It was the perfect look for her tonight.  

Jen: So many stars looked beautiful and their wardrobe embraced the Motown vibe; so hard to choose!  I already mentioned Gladys; she stunned the ballroom from head to toe.  Melissa looked like a porcelain goddess in her emerald green dress.  With her stunning red locks, it was the perfect complement!

Gracie: Did you see Chelsie?  She was wearing pinkish-tannish!  She was my favorite because she planned the best outfit.
I liked Maria too!  She looked like that lady in the movies that Mommy loves who wears black and pearls (Audrey Hepburn).  She was a princess!

This just in . . . the wardrobe department hates you!
Tracie: My eyes, my eyes!  Donald Driver's tux was turquoise, people!  A bright, cornea-searing shade of turquoise!  That is not a color that should ever be used in men’s formalwear.  And Peta's gown was the exact same shade, so when they danced, they melded together into this big bright blue blob (try saying that five times fast!) floating around the floor.  Not good!
Michelle: Maria looked like a dancing mirror ball! It was her worst outfit this season for me.

I love Tristan but the purple suit was not working.  He looked silly in it and I was trying not to laugh. I do give him some props for the hot geek glasses he was wearing, though.  I do love a geeky boy, just not one wearing a purple suit.

Jen: As much as I loved Gladys, the purple cardy that Tristan sported needed some sprucing up.  I would have loved to have seen him wear a letterman’s sweater, dress like Fonzie; something a little different.  LOVED that he embraced his inner geek wearing glasses!

What were the judges' smoking?
Tracie: I don't think that Len and Carrie Ann saw the same Rumba from Cheryl and William that I did.  Len thought it was too "raunchy" while Carrie Ann complained that the pair didn't seem "connected" at certain times in the dance.  How can something be raunchy when the dancers aren't connecting?  Oy!  That "8" from Len was ridiculous and a bit insulting.  I thought William did one of the better Rumbas I've seen from a male celebrity on this show.   
Michelle: Bruno must have gotten into a bit of trouble for his over the top sexually charged comments last week.  He slid in little zingers here and there, but he was on better behavior.  He still looks at William as if he would love to take a bite.  Len and his "midwife" comment to Katherine was a little weird. I was also surprised he scored Roshon with an 8 after he heavily criticized the dance between Roshon and Chelsie.

Jen: When Bruno said to Katherine, “You can bounce and you can funk,” I needed a moment.  It sounded to me like he said something quite different.  Once my brain caught up with his actual discourse with her, I was fine.  Scared me for a minute there, Bruno!
Gracie: Why did Carrie Ann cut off all her hair to make it curly tonight?!?  My daddy would be so, so mad if I cut my long hair.  I bet she goes to timeout when her parents see it.
*Mom’s note: I told her Carrie Ann’s hair was pinned up; she didn’t buy it.*

Tom Bergeron's best one-liner:
Tracie: Tom was on fire last night!  I was going to pick Tom calling Maks a "charm school dropout."  But since Michelle already mentioned that one, I'll go with Tom's comeback to Bruno when the latter said that Cheryl and William were "wired for sex" and Tom retorted, "Stop being an electrician."  Hee!
Michelle: "Next up Melissa and charm school drop-out, Maks" tossed in after Maks had a meltdown. That is the classic Maks that I love, though.  He is all about attitude and arrogance, temperamental and demanding.  And it is exactly what Melissa needs.
Jen: “Later tonight, Len will be home reading Fifty Shades of Grey…”  I have nothing more to add; it’s self-explanatory, really.

The "Oh, Brooke!" moment of the week:
Tracie: The question to William asking him if he thought he was intimidating the other celebs with the hotness of his Rumba was pretty lame.  I love how confused William always looks when he's in the celebraquarium and Brooke is nattering on.  He may understand English, but the language of the Brooke-bot is still incomprehensible to him.  

Michelle: "Do you think you intimidated the rest of the competitors?  Did you enjoy *this* dance with Cheryl?"  Brooke was all but leering at William. (And while the dance was spicy, I didn't find it as "ecstasy inducing" as it was being called.)

Jen: Am I softening to “Brooke Speak?”  Maybe I am tuning her out?  I cannot pick one monumental mishap.  Was she there tonight?

Time to hang up your dancing shoes:
Tracie: I think we'll probably be seeing Gladys and Rochon in the Dance Duel tonight.  I just don't know how Gladys can overcome the point spread between her and the other low scorers from last night, even with her tremendous voting fanbase.  If Gladys ends up in the B2, I can't see the judges keeping her over any of the other remaining celebs.  If it's Roshon and another celeb, like Maria or Jaleel, in the DD with him, Roshon is toast.

Michelle: I was sad to see Gavin get the boot last week as I really had hoped that Jaleel would go home. But it was time for Gavin to go, he wasn't as strong a dancer as the others.   I think that Roshon has about hit his peak.  The judges aren't enjoying him as much and it is obvious Roshon and Chelsie are getting frustrated with the critique and lack of higher scores. I think they could see the bottom two again.

Melissa did pretty well tonight.  I was impressed with her dance.  But maybe it’s a little too late.  Last week I said that Maks needed to get firm with Melissa and make her work harder.  They showed improvement tonight, but is it too late?

And as much as I adore Tristan, I think Gladys has gone as far as she can go.  I really feel this is her week.  Sorry, Gladys, I enjoy you and your partner, but it is time.
Jen: I think this might be the week we say farewell to Gladys.  Roshon and Chelsie also scored low this week, so they might be headed to the bottom two as well. 
Gracie: You know, I think they all worked so hard and should stay!  I know I don’t like it when they forget to wear pink and get mad  but sometimes I like to wear different colors too and so I will not say that anyone should leave.

Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle, Tracie, Jen & Gracie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dancing With the Stars Week 5

Welcome back!  We are so glad that you are joining us for our Dancing With the Stars recap of week 5.  I am joined by some of the coolest gals I know.  Popular blogger Michelle Bell, fabulous author Tracie Banister, and my five-year-old daughter Gracie. 

None of us saw Sherri as the one leaving the dance floor last week.  That just proves no one is safe, and remember to vote for your favorites or they might be heading home quickly.  Santana was jammin’ last night!  Preach it with that guitar solo, Carlos!  I loved it! 
Buckle up, because it was Latin Night on DWTS, and we are ready to get to it.

Best performance of the week:
Tracie: This was a really tough call.  I had to rewatch William and Cheryl's Argentine Tango, as well as Donald and Peta's, before I could make a decision.  I'm going to give it to William and Cheryl.  Loved the music, loved the choreo, loved the intensity of the performance.  What I enjoyed most about William in this number was how well he alternated between the quick, sharp movements and the slow, langorous ones; it was a very <Cover your eyes, Gracie> sensual dance.  I'm amazed that William was able to pull that off with a hurt ankle.  I want to give William some bonus points for his posture, too.  It's so nice to see a male celeb who doesn't have bunched up shoulders or a swayed back.  William takes full advantage of his height and really inhabits and dominates the space he's in.
Michelle: I really liked quite a few of the performances tonight. Maria and Derek were frisky and fun, with just enough sensuality thrown in. (Come on, they have to be dating!)  Donald and Peta were spicy!  He is following in the lines of the other football players from past seasons and showing he has the talent. Katherine and Mark made it look so simple and they were perfect.   But I say welcome back, William and Cheryl! Hot, Hot, HOT! Unlike the jive, which Cheryl is weak at, she had it going on for tonight's dance and choreographed perfectly for the Argentine Tango. That was my dance of the week.
Jen: This is the FIRST week that I felt William and Cheryl’s dance really showed them both off as a couple, and did not just focus on William’s hotness.  Okay, in all honesty maybe it was the eye of this beholder that saw them in a new light.  As a pair, they sizzled and played off each other so well.  I totally needed a shower after that number!  They were smoldering.

Gracie: I got up and I danced to Peta and Donald’s song, so that means they are the best.  They had moves!  Donald is strong to carry her around so much.  He must lift weights.

This Was Definitely Not Your Dance - Worst Performance:
Tracie: I was incredibly disappointed with Maria and Derek's Salsa.  Maria had been doing so well the last few weeks, but with that Salsa, I felt like she regressed back to her tepid Week 1 performance in the Cha Cha.  She had fantastic music and fantastic choreo from Derek, but she hardly moved her feet!  They were SO sluggish throughout the whole dance.  And she had very little musicality.  She didn't seem to be enjoying the dance at all, which is an essential element when you're doing a PARTY dance.  Derek was clearly aware of how lacking Maria was in the dance because he not only resorted to ripping off his shirt, but kissing her, to try and distract from her failings.  It might have worked on the judges, Derek, but it didn't work on me.
Michelle: We had a three car pileup. Melissa looked clunky and confused, which in turn made Maks seem a step off as well.  Gavin evidently gave up right off the bat, settling for fan votes to hopefully get them through this week. I don't know how Karina is handling that because he really wasn't in the game and it showed.  And, unfortunately, Gladys tried so hard but fell flat for me.  She didn't have any smooth movement going on and, like Melissa, looked clunky.
Jen: Gavin really struggled to get through his Samba.  I give him props though for really putting personality into his groove. I never connected with Melissa’s dance tonight.  I am not sure if she really did either.  I know she was injured last week and I wonder if the fear of getting hurt a second time kept her restrained.
Gracie: That girl (Kym) whose clothes were flying around while she was dancing.  I just really didn’t like watching their dance.  If she would’ve worn pink and not brown, I could have tried to like her dance a little better.
**Mom’s note: apples don’t fall far from the proverbial tree, do they?**

The Tina Sparkle Award for best use of sequins and spandex:
Tracie: Although their wardrobe was pretty subdued, I was a big fan of what William and Cheryl were outfitted in this week.  When you've got a physique like William's, you don't need to gild the lily.  The half-undressed tuxedo look totally worked for William, giving him a strong, masculine presence.   And Cheryl was classy, but sexy, in her glittery, nude-colored gown. 
Michelle: Karina's dress was really festive and fun tonight. I loved it.  But the best dressed goes to Katherine.  She was gorgeous, and truly is one of those lucky ladies that can wear any color.  And I'm sure Gracie was happy to see the pink.
Jen: Can I just say that everything about Peta and Donald’s clothing made me swoon?  That’s how you dress on Latin night!  Serious skin showing on Peta, muscles flexing on Donald, black and red colors popped. Hot, hot, hot! 
Gracie: Oh!  Did you see Chelsie?  She was so beautiful in her dress that made her look like a beautiful bird!  But you know only the boy birds have the pretty colors in real life, and not the girls.  Karina and Chelsie were my favorite ones that dressed up tonight.  They were beautiful!
This just in . . . the wardrobe department hates you!
Tracie: I could not take my eyes off of that pink shirt Maks was wearing last night!  Normally, I like a pale pink shirt on a guy with a tan, but the color and style of Maks' shirt just screamed, "I borrowed this from my girlfriend's closet!  See, it doesn't even fit!"  The short, blouse-y sleeve with the satin band, the sheer fabric, the too-bright shade of pink, and the way it clashed with Maks' Ooompa Loompa-colored skin; it was just a disaster!  I didn't like his white cabana-style loafers either.  Just "ick" all the way around.
Michelle: What in the blue blazes was Kym Johnson wearing?  Why do they keep putting her in clothes that wrap around one side of her body?  She looked like Cher and Tacky had a love child and spit her out.   (PS did you see Jaleel put his hand on Kym's butt and she instantly removed it? Hahaha!!) 
And Derek...yellow doesn't work that well for him.  Luckily he decided the same thing and shed his shirt!
Jen: For some reason when I looked at Kym’s jumpsuit, I thought of the lamp that Ralphie’s dad won in the movie, A Christmas Story.  You know, the “fra-gee-lay” leg lamp?  I was so distracted by the tassel flinging, that I really felt as if I didn’t get to see her moves on the dance floor as much as I would have liked to.
You all know I love Gladys.  I think her outfit was a great style choice.  However, I would’ve loved to have seen her “lit up” in a bright turquoise rather than the dark green that she wore.
Gracie: That boy (Derek) needs to keep his shirt on!  There are, like, children watching!  And that guy (Jaleel) is naked with no shirt on!  That is so weird!

What were the judges' smoking?
Tracie: They were totally drinking the Kool-Aid when they gave Maria straight 9s for that sub-par Salsa.  And Bruno was so ridiculous with his comments to Derek and Maria after the dance, asking them if they wanted to get a room and could he join them?  I did laugh when the camera immediately panned to Maria's father in the audience and he was smiling and clapping enthusiastically as though he thought a threesome sounded like a GREAT! idea. 

Michelle: Ah, Bruno, the sexual harassment was out in full force tonight.  From his dancing for Maks (and Melissa) to his licking his lips over Derek (and Maria), he was in rare form. I do wish they would give Bruno a chance to get out there and dance!
Jen: “You were sexy!  In a Disney way!”  Carrie Ann, saying that to Roshon can get you 5-10 in the pokey!

Tom Bergeron's best one-liner:
Tracie: It tickled me when he introduced Chelsie and Roshon's Salsa by saying, "And now dancing from Hollywood and Vine(s)" because the staging did look crazy with all of those vines hanging down.  Chelsie and Rochon are lucky they didn't get twisted up in them when they were trying to emerge from the faux jungle to get to the dance floor.

Michelle: "Tassels have a lot of bounce don't they?"  As Tom eyeballs Maria jumping around backstage over their scores. 
Jen: Tom speaking about Maria, “Tassels have a lot of bounce don’t they?”  Okay, so I am at the end of battling a head cold, my ears are plugged up beyond all reality, and I thought Tom said “castles” rather than “tassels,” yet I realized he probably didn’t say that.  My brain was on a ten second delay and fortunately caught up.  Yowza Tom!  I wonder if the judges and hosts drank from the “sexual harassment” water cooler last night before the show began.
Gracie: Is he ever going to show funny videos on this show?  He just talks too much and should be showing funny films people make!
The "Oh, Brooke!" moment of the week:

Tracie: I'm in agreement with Michelle on this one.  "Maks, if you were a street performer, what would you do?"  I think she just pulled that one out of thin air.  Maks didn't even try to hide his incredulity over the stupidity of the question.  I don't think he really answered it either and who can blame him?  

Michelle: "Maks, if you were a street performer, what would you do?"  Oy, Brooke! The looks you get are priceless.  And, of course, she has to ask Gladys how much it would mean to her to make it through to next week when they do the special Motown episode.  Poor Gladys does get the brunt of Brooke's dumb comments.

I'm sure the producers were feeding it to her when she gave the lecherous smile and asked Maria and Derek, "That kiss looked well rehearsed.  Was it?" 

Jen: Brooke speaking to Gavin after his performance, “What was the story of your dance?”  Brooke, remember there was this boat?  And Gavin paddled it to shore where he found the gorgeous island girl, Karina, waiting on him?  And then they danced like a shipwrecked dude and gorgeous gal would, remember? 
Gracie: I bet when Brooke goes home at night, she misses her dogs and hugs them.
**Mom’s note:???**

Time to hang up your dancing shoes:
Tracie: If I keep saying "Maks and Melissa," I have to be right at some point, don't I?  I just really feel like she's the weakest of the pack right now.  I think if she ends up in the Bottom 2 and has to participate in the dreaded "Dance Duel," she's toast.  The judges have clearly shown that they're not buying what she's selling and the DD is in place so that they can push their pets through.  If the judges have to choose between Melissa and Gavin (another dancer they don't seem overly fond of), it'll be interesting to see which way they go.  I am just praying that I don't see Gladys in the B2 this week because I really want her and cutie pie Tristan to be around for Motown Night next Monday. <crossing fingers>

Michelle: Melissa really tries so hard, but she was just not strong out there tonight.  I don't know why Maks doesn't get tougher with her like he normally would.  Maybe he is scared of the tears?  But I predict a bottom two for Melissa and Maks.

I want to like Gavin, I really do. I think most of the time he is charming and, like Melissa, he really is trying out there.  But tonight when he said in practice that he was just going to have to depend on the fans to vote for him, it rubbed me the wrong way.  He wasn't even trying and it showed.  The dance was sloppy and the scores reflected it. I see him back in the bottom two as well.

(I am not good with this prediction of who needs to go.  I never would have imagined that Sherri and Val would get the boot so soon!)

Jen: Oh Gavin, could this be the week?  I think you have really improved over the weeks, and know that you have given it your all.  Have your nine lives come to a halt? 

I think Melissa has also come a long way, and think this could be when we part ways.

Oh, who am I kidding??  It’s always a shocker and I am clueless who might be singing that swan song!
Gracie: I think it’s sad that someone has to go home, but it better not be anyone I liked this time.  If they wore pink, they should be allowed to stay and dance no matter what!

See you all next Week!
Tracie, Michelle, Jen & Gracie

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dancing With the Stars Week 4

Welcome to week four of our coverage of, Dancing With the Stars!  As always I am joined by fabulously popular blogger, Michelle Bell; talented author, Tracie Banister; and my Matt Lauer loving, five-year-old daughter, Gracie.  I have to say that Seal’s performance during the elimination show must have been fate to quell my pain for Frisco Jones heading out of the ballroom.  I knew Jack Wagner was in jeopardy of being in the bottom three, but I did not think he would be the one to exit the building so soon.  Gavin DeGraw is the feline of the bunch, whose nine lives are ticking away each week.  It will be interesting to see who goes home after Rock Week.  Let’s get to it!  

Standout Performance of the week:
Michelle: Donald and Peta! They brought fire to their Paso and Donald brought his A-game this week.  Bravo to Peta for brilliant choreography!
Tracie: I just told someone yesterday (prior to the show) that she shouldn't discount Donald Driver as the winner this season.  He's been flying under the radar, but I saw a lot of potential there.  That potential became glorious reality with his Purple Haze Paso last night.  What an amazing performance!  I've already rewatched it several times.  Not only did Donald have the aggressive attitude required of the Paso, his actual dancing was really, really good.  The shapes he made with his arms were gorgeous, his posture was perfect, and his footwork was flawless (loved those high kicks!)  He was in command on that dance floor!  I still can't get over that crazy drop spin Peta did (with Donald's assistance) at the end of the routine; that was insane!
Jen: I believe we are unanimous among the people over five-years-old in this group!  I was so smitten with Donald and Peta this week.  Their syncopation and heat bowled me over.  Donald is becoming my favorite male dancer.  William Levy, you are still my favorite in all categories, so do not be alarmed.  William this is just a side note: you wore too many items of clothing this week.
**Mother’s Note** Gracie is under the weather, and under the influence of a fever in tandem with cold medicine.  Please take that into consideration when you read her answers.
Gracie: If I dance to it, that means I like it.  So Gladys was my favorite this week because she made me get out from the covers and dance.  Those judges just don’t know a great dance song.  It’s too bad really.

This Was Definitely Not Your Dance - Worst Performance:

Michelle: I love him, I really do, but William and Cheryl had a bad jive!  It is not a strong dance for Cheryl as it is, but it was clunky and uncoordinated.  I will give Cheryl the fact that she lost her shoe and was off balance, but the sharp kicks weren't there. Better luck next week!
Tracie: Disclaimer: The Tango is my favorite dance, so I get bent when I see celebs doing it badly.  Sherri Shepherd's Tango was actually painful for me to watch.  I don't know if it was the height difference between her and Val or if she just couldn't manage the sharp, staccato movements of the dance, but her Tango was a hot mess that bore very little resemblance to the real thing.
Jen: I didn’t feel the magic in Sherri and Val’s performance this week.  I love to see an amazing dress that flows while dancing the Tango, and it sounds silly but I feel like that was a missing element for her to pull it off.  It might have given her the umpf she needed to work the moves; feel the dance in her soul.  Make no mistake; Sherri was rocking the “rocker chick” look; I loved it! 

The Tina Sparkle Award for best use of sequins and spandex:
Michelle: I didn't have one outfit this week that had me all over.  I think that Maks and Melissa were my favorite. Very dramatic and fitting.  Speaking of Maks, you can definitely tell he and Val are related with them showing off their chests.
Tracie: I was mesmerized by Peta's purple gown.  It fit her so beautifully (love that low dip in the back!) and the diaphanous skirt was so floaty and glittery and perfect.  Love!
Jen: I loved Katherine’s look tonight.  It felt like she channeled the famed comic book star Barb Wire.  The girl can rock the leather!  Peta in her smoky violet gown was a show stopper!  Gorgeous!  I could not take my eyes off of her.
Gracie: I liked Melissa and Maks because the guy looked like Bugs Bunny in that one cartoon where he fights the bull all the time. 


This just in . . . the wardrobe department hates you!
Michelle: The boys in the dance troupe looked like runaways from the local sex club! I did not like Katherine's good girl gone Goth look at all.  She should have been in something slinky and with a dramatic splash of red.
Tracie: I don't think the rock wardrobe did any of the female celebs any favors, but it was pro Kym Johnson's gown that made me cringe.  The red, sparkly dress itself was fine, but it looked like some huge leopard-printed boa constrictor was slithering up the left side of her body and preparing to wrap itself around her neck!  It was visually disturbing!
Jen: I was not a huge fan of Jaleel and Kym’s wardrobe tonight.  It felt like the stylist added one item too many with the red, and the leopard items.  It was too much of some great elements, and when added together they represent a “Glamour Don’t” moment. 
Gracie: There was nothing I liked in this show that they wore.  They need to wear more pink and then I will be happy.

What were the judges' smoking?
Michelle: Len was definitely not in sync with the other two judges tonight.  He did either higher or lower scores on everyone. The judges dinged almost everyone tonight, but I think because they have started out giving such high scores they have kept the scores in the 7 + range.  They gave quite a few 8's that were not deserved.
Tracie: I'm still laughing over Carrie Ann's comment that she was trying to offer the contestants' constructive criticism this week as if that's something she doesn't normally do!  Hee!
Jen: When Carrie Ann said to Donald and Peta, “What did I just see?  It was the most psychedelic, bizarre, sexy, raunchy, hot damn!”  Wait, what?!?  Which was it? 
Tom Bergeron's best one-liner:
Michelle: "Up next the man who brought tears to his own eyes, but not the judges."  So true! I have to admit to being biased against Jaleel White after his bizarre behavior last Monday and his subsequent outbursts defending his actions. I laughed when Tom fired that shot off.
Tracie: "Welcome back to Mimes Gone Wild."  Tom said this with a smirk after we returned from commercial break to find two of the unitard-and-KISS-makeup-wearing troupe members doing some sort of bizarre interpretative rock dance.  Hee! 

Jen: In all transparency, I did not pay attention to Tom as I probably should have.  I had a difficult time focusing on him after cut-away shots of the celebrities in the audience.  This was Jen, “Oh look! The Hoff!”  “Oh look! Little Richard!”  “Oh look! John Stamos!”  “Oh look! J Love!”  See, you get the picture.  My reaction was not based on my level of celebrity love for those in attendance.  I just can’t help but wonder why they are there, and then it’s all downhill with my curiosity from there.  Why didn’t Blackie Parrish come last week to see Frisco dance?  Will “The Hoff” grab a burger after this or has he sworn off of them since the release of the drunken Wendy’s incident on tape?  See, it’s a problem for me… 

The "Oh, Brooke!" moment of the week: 

Michelle: To Gladys:  "You were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Do you think that helped you?"  And once again, Gladys looked at her with that "oh honey, you are dumb" look on her face.

Tracie: I'm sorry, I can't remember anything Brooke said this week because I was too busy staring at that crazy, teased up rat's nest of hair attached to the back of her head.  What were the DWtS stylists thinking?

Jen: The Maks hair pulling incident of 2012.  It was not Brooke’s fault; rather I think it was sabotage from the stylists.  I think that they planned this backstage with Maks, and it went off without a hitch.  People can be so cruel…
Gracie: What happened to Brooke’s hair, Mommy?  She didn’t brush the conditioner through her hair in the shower like you make me do?  That’s what happens, people when you don’t shower correctly!  She will cry when she brushes it before bed, and that makes me sad.

Time to hang up your dancing shoes:

Michelle: I think the bottom three will be Jaleel, Gavin, and Gladys.  I think it may be curtains time for Gladys, unfortunately. While her dance tonight was entertaining, I don't think it will be enough to keep her on. Too bad as I really enjoy Tristan.

Tracie: It's a really tough call this week.  I have a feeling Gavin Degraw is going to be safe as people will think he needs votes after being in the Bottom 2 twice.  Melissa Gilbert was rushed to the hospital post-performance with a potential head injury, so viewers may throw her sympathy votes.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Gladys Knight in the B2 since the judges seem to want her gone and are scoring her accordingly.  I'm going to go out on a limb and declare that Jaleel White is going to get the hook.  His dancing has only been okay since week one, his judges' scores are on the low end of the spectrum, and he's gotten a lot of negative publicity from the "alleged" fight with Kym last week.
Jen: I never saw Jack Wagner being eliminated so soon, so I feel a little inept at choosing the one going home.  I think the bottom three will consist of Gladys, Gavin (God love you), and maybe Jaleel.  The couples who were outstanding in the judge’s eyes in previous weeks received some very low scores this time around.  I do not think the loss of points for the leaders will send any of them home.

Gracie: If they don’t start wearing more pink, they should all go home and never come back!

 Thanks for stopping by, and we will see you next week!

Michelle, Tracie, Jen & Gracie

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


     It is WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!  The first Wednesday of every month, I am giving my gal pal, Pj Schott the center stage.  Pj is a friend and great accountability partner.  Do you have one too?  The one person in  your life that you share goals with, be it spiritual, professional, or even olympic shopping.  Pj is mine for connecting with you all electronically.  I needed the pact and the push from her to blog regularly.  My favorite quote from her is, "You know Jen, in the time it took you to write me this email, you could've blogged."  Curses!  She was right!  

     Pj has lived in several U.S. port cities, Europe, Greece, and the Middle East.  A marketing professional, mystery writer,and futurist, Pj is known to those with whom she works as a problem-solver, an innovative thinker, a top-notch communicator, a visionary, and the soul of a group.  She is the owner of the Boston, Massachusetts based company Genius II.  Pj is the woman behind the new Facebook page, Survival for Blondes.  Make sure that you check it out, even if your only connection to our hair color hue is that you tell a fabulous blonde joke.  One of the many things that endears Pj to me, is her passion for women to take control of their health, wellness, and planning for anything that might come our way.  Let's hear it for Pj! 

The lovely Pj Schott


DISCLAIMER:  No animals were harmed in the production of this blog.

Jen asked me what I would say to the woman on the edge of being brave, and starting something new in her life? Great question ... tough answer.

The short reply: Dream big and work with at least one net.

The longer answer:  If you're starting a small business, launching a writing career or simply want to be the best [fill in the blank] in the whole world ever ... act as if you've already succeeded.

Read everything you can on your specialty. Start each day listening to a motivational recording such as Napoleon Hill, David Allen, or Tony Robbins. Or a book about, or by, one of your heroes (Oprah, Steve Jobs, or Anne Lamott). Consult with experts in the field and subscribe to them on Facebook. Join organizations that will nurture and support you.

Most small business fail. Most novels never get written. Most dreams never become reality.
Get a plan and work said plan. And if you don't have an income-producing partner or a trust fund, learn to save and invest wisely.

Passion is only one ingredient in the mix. Expertise in your field is only one job skill required. You need a business plan. A marketing plan. And these days, you'll have to be somewhat of an expert on social media (inbound marketing). For every income-producing hour, you will spend one hour on the "back end" of the business (the books, correspondence, phone calls) and one hour promoting the business (seminars, networking, and social media).

And, when the going gets tough, take comfort in the fact that Pooh is there to get you through those Dark Nights of the Soul

 "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dancing with the Stars Week 3


     What have I been waiting for?!?  I have never watched Dancing With the Stars, in any of the years it has been on their air, and I am starting to wonder what the heck was wrong with me?  Well, besides my obvious life issues, that is.  If the iconic television shows, Disco Fever and Solid Gold had a baby together, DWTS is their prodigy!  Those were shows of my yesteryears that helped make me who I am today.  I pay homage to you Denny Terrio.  Nothing but love…
     It is no secret that I only began watching this season out of loyalty to Jack Wagner.  You see, I chose Jack’s hit ballad, All I Need, as a dark horse in a contest my friend, author Erik Atwell was running.  The starry cast for the 2012 season had just been announced, Erik was looking for songs to sing his son to sleep that were crooned in the 80’s era, and voila!  Jen put those two cookies together, and won the coveted 2012 Sing My Baby to Sleep Contest!  I publicly thanked Jack, Frisco Jones, and even Erik’s son for falling asleep at a record time for the win.  With that victory, I felt like I had to give back those who made it possible in some way, and so my curiosity to watch DWTS was born.  As the late, and always great, Paul Harvey always closed his broadcasts, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

The song Jack & Anna danced to, Lighting up the Night, I heard Jack sing in concert in 1985 with my friend, Kim.  Glory days...

     Every Tuesday for the season, I will be joined by some fabulous ladies, giving their input on the previous night’s events on DWTS.  Popular blogger, Michelle Bell; author Tracie Banister; and last but not least my five-year-old daughter, Gracie.  I am coming from a place of being a novice, so I am so thankful that I have these experts in the history of DWTS to really help guide me while I learn.  Gracie.  She is key for colorful commentary.  This is all in good fun, so without further ado, let’s roll!

The Tina Sparkle Award for best use of sequins and spandex:

Michelle: It is a tossup between Maria and Katherine.  Both looked so absolutely beautiful, but I think that Katherine brought just a little more to the show tonight.

   Tracie: Anna Trebunskaya (Jack Wagner's partner) did Tina Sparkle proud in her Samba outfit, which was a glittery orange-and-gold bikini adorned with copious amounts of fringe, and best of all, an explosion of ruffles emanating from Anna's backside.  That ensemble screamed, "PAR-TAY!" and it was the perfect complement to Anna's coppery hair, as well as a great showcase for her abs - is there any way I can get my own set of those without having to dance 8+ hours a day?    
Jen: Sherri took my breath away in her dress!  She shines and glows when she steps out onto the floor.  Love her!  No matter what Katherine wears, she is just delicious!  Her black and pink fringe number last week, and then the beautiful, fluid gown she wore for this performance, both devastatingly amazing.  William Levy, you are a tall drink of yum!  I think you could dance in a parka and you would make it shine!  Please don’t take me seriously, and cover yourself up in a parka.  Please?

Gracie: Matt Lauer should be here dancing too.  Why didn’t they invite him?  That’s so mean…

This just in . . . the wardrobe department hates you!

Michelle: Sorry, Jack Wagner!  The color is HORRIBLE on you and they dress you so much older than they should.  I didn't dig Roshon's outfit, but it wasn't as bad as Jack.

Tracie: There was a three car pile-up on the fashion freeway last night.  Melissa Gilbert has a rockin' body for a 47 year-old, but that purple monstrosity she wore for the Jive did her no favors.  It was way too short, so we had full view of her legs throughout the routine and mistakes could not be hidden.  The fit of the bodice made her look top-heavy and the color was all wrong for her freckly skin and red hair, which looked beautiful last night without the overabundance of hair extensions from previous weeks.  Did the costume designer who made that sassy red frock for Gladys Knight in the premiere go to Lauderdale for Spring Break this week?  Because the poor woman looked like she was wearing a coral-colored potato sack last night!  It was shapeless and so unflattering, doing her curves no favors at all!  As for Cheryl Burke (William Levy's partner), where do I begin?  Her Salsa outfit should have been sleek and sexy, but it was a riot of clashing colors (turquoise and banana yellow - ugh!), which had no correlation to William's very tame white shirt/brown pants combo (oh wait, I forgot, he was wearing a supposed-to-be-turquoise-but-wasn't bandana.)  And Cheryl's skirt was too poufy; it looked like a ruffle meringue and it totally obscured her hips and booty, which is the center of movement in a Latin dance.

Jen: I do not understand why they are not putting my man Jack in clothing that makes him shine.  The wardrobes of William and Cheryl were amazing last night, and similar clothing styles would have rocked Jack and Anna’s genre of song choice.  I understand the salute to MJ with Roshon’s fashions.  It was a little too “throw back” for me.

Gracie: Wow!  Josie (Chelsie) is so pretty in orange!  I think Josie (Chelsie) is my favorite because she has the same name as my friend Josie P.

*Mother’s Note* Yes, I told Gracie her name is Chelsie.  Gracie wasn’t willing to acknowledge the name correction, and therefore she shall refer to Chelsie, as Joise.

What were the judges' smoking?

Michelle: While he was good, I don't think that Jaleel White deserved the "9" from Carrie.  Otherwise, I'm surprised to have to say that Len must have passed his happy pills around because the judges were pretty much spot on with everything they had to say.

Tracie: Apparently, their 1-7 paddles were taken away from them last night, so there was a lot of overscoring, but nothing horribly egregious.  Carrie Ann did put her foot in her mouth when she exclaimed that she wanted to go to Cuba after seeing William's Salsa.  This, after William spent most of his rehearsal package talking about what a repressive, miserable place Cuba is and how happy his family was to get out and come to America.

Jen: Oh Bruno Toniolli, with his quote, “Gavin, you have that premature stiffness under control!”  Did Gavin really want all of America to hear that?  Sorry, I know.  I went there.

Standout sob story of the week:

Michelle: Donald Driver brought tears to my eyes with his story, but Katherine Jenkins made me sob from story through dance.  And I have to say that I did not feel Jaleel's story and his tears at the end just felt off to me.  (Sorry, Urkel! I think you are a cool guy, but crocodile tears were fake.)

Tracie: Since it was "Most Memorable Year of My Life Week" on DWtS, or as I like to call it "Emotional Breakdown Week," all of the celebs had a sob story to share.  The one that really got to me was Katherine's story about her father dying when she was 15.  Her Waltz with Mark was such a beautiful and poignant tribute to her dad, so when she broke down in his arms afterwards, I was a sobbing mess!  And, of course, Carrie Ann could barely give her critique because she was so choked up, which made Katherine cry even harder.  I think I went through a whole box of Kleenex during those five minutes!

Jen: All of the stories truly touched my heart.  This week has personally been difficult in our family, with my son’s buddy losing his mother to cancer.  My father is a cancer survivor.  Katherine and Donald’s stories had me in tears.  With each couple that hit the dance floor, I was cheering them on to make it through to the end.  I truly believe it is the grace of God, plus the nervous energy of the performance, that saw them to the end of their number without breaking down.

Gracie: I didn’t like seeing Sherri’s sick baby in the hospital.  No mommy should ever have a sick baby because that makes me sad.

Tom Bergeron's best one-liner:

Michelle: It wasn't even a one-liner, it was the slack jawed look on his face after watching Derek and Maria.  He wasn't quite sure what to say.

Tracie: Tom held back on the one-liners last night since the mood in the ballroom was so serious, but I did get a chuckle out of him personally walking Sherri over to the celebaquarium stairs because she was holding things up by crying and making gestures to the audience and running over to kiss her son.

Jen: In reference to William Levy, Tom said, “Clark Kent doesn’t get that reaction when he rips off his jacket!”  Do you know why that is Tom?  BECAUSE HE ISN’T WILLIAM LEVY!!!!

Gracie: Hey!  I know him!  He’s on the video show where people hurt themselves and put it on TV!  I like him.

The "Oh, Brooke!" moment of the week: 

Michelle: "Did you guys actually kiss?  We couldn't tell."  To Derek and Maria.  She is such a nosy one!
That and every time a contestant got emotional she thrust herself into the camera, throwing her arms around them and "aww"ing. Back off, woman!

Tracie: I've got to give Brooke credit because she handled all of the post-dance crying jags by the celebs pretty well this week.  She was sympathetic without losing it herself and when a celeb was too emotional to answer a question, she tossed it to their partner or called for the scores.  Of course, there was that cringe-inducing moment when she asked Derek and Maria if they had kissed during their Rumba, but I'm pretty confident that she was fed that question through her earpiece by a producer.  So, I can't really blame her for it.

Jen: I heard Brooke ask Gladys, “Sam Cooke taught you about singing.  Did that help you tonight?”  Gladys had a momentary look on her face that read to me, Seriously?!?  Did you seriously just ask me that??

Gracie: That girl upstairs (Brooke) is not as good as Ann Curry could be with the microphone asking the questions.   

Time to Retire those Dancing Shoes!

Michelle: Gavin and Karina, it is time to go.  I think the bottom three will be Gavin/Karina, Melissa/Maks, and Jack/Anna.  I do worry for Gladys when the dances get faster...

Tracie: Gavin Degraw would be the obvious choice since he was in the bottom two last week and he was one of the lowest-scoring celebs last night, but . . . my spidey sense is telling me that Melissa Gilbert will get the boot this week.  Who goes home has been pretty much left up to the fans and I'm just not sure that Melissa has been connecting with viewers so far.  We shall see later tonight!

Jen: I really worried this week for Gladys.  Her dance was lovely, but I didn’t connect with it as I did with her earlier performances.  I think she will be safe this week, but I am concerned about her, and want her to go on and do well.  I think Gavin and Karina might be heading home.  Jack, I am worried about you too, my love. 

Gracie: Gavin and Karina.  They get a big boo from me.

Thanks for joining us!  See you next Tuesday!
Michelle, Tracie, Jen & Gracie