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Carrie Ann Inaba blogs 'DWTS,' week 2

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Dancingjudgescarrie_l

Dancingjudgescarrie_l [Ed. note: Morning, DANCMSTRs! Carrie Ann has graciously volunteered to share her unique perspective of America’s favorite quest for a knob of hardened glitter each week. The ‘DWTS’ judge and former ‘In Living Color’ Fly Girl emailed EW late last night. For more ‘DWTS,’ read today’s TV Watch. –Annie Barrett]

***SPOILER ALERT*** (Duh.)

Tonight, despite the very sad departure of Belinda Carlisle (whose music I am a huge fan of — I used to choreograph numbers in my dance class to “Circle in the Sand”), I have never laughed so hard. When Bruno held up his paddle backwards, it was so funny to me. I’ve held up the wrong paddle once before, for Tia Carrere when she danced with Maks. I had to hold up an “I’m sorry” paddle the next night. It was so embarrassing, but we laughed about it, and tonight, we laughed again. We are like family up there, the three of us.

Tonight was a new format. It was a first for Dancing With The Stars to have a dance-off between the lowest scoring couples. We had to judge them again — their previous scores for that dance were tossed aside and the ones we gave tonight counted instead. However, despite the way it may have appeared, we judges do not have the final say. The audience’s and the judges’ votes are still split 50/50. What happens is that they replace our scores for the couple’s original dance with the scores they get for their dance-off performance. So it’s an opportunity for them to do better and improve their judges’ score — or sometimes lower that score, depending on how they do.

After the jump: Carrie Ann breaks down her favorite dances from week 2

I always wonder about the contestants who leave first. I think that’s avery difficult position to be in. No one wants to go first and I worryabout their well-being. I sometimes wish I could call them so that theycould tell me how they felt out there, what it was like, etc. Irealize it must be difficult for them to go through this process. Brunoand I went through it with the contestants on Dance Wars. It’s difficult to standand be judged. I do empathize with these people — they are so brave to do the show, to try something new like this. Andalthough I must score them and judge them, I do care about them andalways wish for them good things and many blessings. Belinda and Jonathan are such kind people from the looks of things,and I am hoping for great things in their future. I hope she enjoyedthe road. :)

This week was a good week. There was a lot of improvement fromLawrence, Denise, Ty, and Lil’ Kim. Ty’s megawatt smile was adorable,but his strength is incredible and his posture is quite nice. He’squite athletic and that will help him in this competition. Deniseseemed to find her new confidence. I love seeing them grow like that. Iwas so proud of her and her new sense of self that emerged on the dancefloor this week. That is what I love most about this show, when peoplegrow from the experience. I already see that growth in a few people.It’s incredible to watch.

Steve Wozniak was, once again, adorable on the dance floor. Hissecond performance was much better than the first time he performedthat Quickstep, but the mistakes in the middle took his score back to a6 for me. But generally, it was smoother than the first time he did it.He is a trooper. He’s doing all this with a fractured foot. And I wouldbet that he doesn’t ever complain about it. He’s setting a good exampleto people out there about hard work and just enjoying where you are inlife. I find that to be wonderful to watch. His dancing skills arestill growing, but his life skills are quite admirable.

Gilles and Melissa were fantastic Monday night! Tony Dovolani did agreat job with that salsa. It was really the only one that had a truesalsa flavor. He had the basic and all the variations and the legtricks and the underarm passes and it just had the right tone to it. Itwas driven by the music as all salsas should be, and it was such apleasure to watch. Gilles is also a force to be reckoned with. He trulymade Leeza Gibbons swoon (she was sitting in the front row)! He’s afantastic performer with loads of charisma and a natural flair fordancing. He’s not a one-trick pony by any means, but we will have tosee how it all pans out for him. It’s still early in the competition.

I think this season is so fun. It has a vibrancy to it. It feelsalive. The performers are all so different and all so likeable. I thinkit’s going to be tough for America to choose the winner this season. Ihope people will vote, vote and vote again for the ones they thinkdeserve the trophy. I can’t wait to see what happens.

I have to wrap it up because even though it’s already late, I have arehearsal tonight for the Kids’ Choice Awards. I am choreographing anumber in the show and I’m rehearsing from 10:30 p.m. to midnightbecause it’s the only time I have to do it. But every day, I count myblessings that I have a job — and a job that I love. I am truly hopingthat this season brings joy to people across the country. That they cansit with us all every Monday and Tuesday night, hang out with us intheir living rooms and just enjoy the evening together with us andcelebrate dance.

Until next week — hope life treats you well.

See you Monday!!!

Xoxo,
Carrie Ann

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