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Carrie Ann Inaba blogs 'DWTS,' week 9

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Dancingjudgescarrie_lWHAT A SHOCKER! Lil’Kim went home. The whole room collectively dropped their jaw when Tom Bergeron made the announcement. I am shocked by the outcome of the audience’s vote. However, I think we may be in for some surprises from here on out. Since we have such great competitors left in the game, and they are all sitting quite close to each other on the leader board, the audience vote is really going to come into play. We never know how the audience votes on our show and that keeps it interesting and never allows anyone to have a clear idea of how anyone is doing. I thought Lil’ Kim would be one of the last performers standing. I don’t think I was alone in that thought. But the show must go on.

Awww…..but I’m still bummed she went home. In all honesty, I will be bummed every week from here on out.

The final four all have different strong points so it’s going to be up to the dances they get, the order they perform in, and how they present every detail of the dances along with how they keep the voters voting for them. Shawn, Melissa and Gilles are all scoring really well — Ty is not scoring quite as high as the rest of them, so he must be getting a huge audience vote. I can see why. He is certainly likable, making an honest attempt at improving each week — and actually IS doing just that. But his finesse is not quite up to the standards of the other semi-finalists. I enjoy watching him perform and seeing the fruits of his labor on the dance floor. But no one would have predicted he would last longer than Lil’ Kim. But — for those Lil’ Kim fans, she did a great job and really raised her public profile. This show gives celebrities a second shot at fame, it gives them a wonderful new start or a kick start at least to go in new directions with their careers. Lil’ Kim came across so lovely on our show. I certainly felt that I got to see a whole different side of Lil’ Kim while she was on our show. I hope she gets many opportunities from this show. I know she will.

Everyone else did spectacular things on Monday’s show. We had Tyrese in the audience. He was booing Bruno all night. It was funny. He is the one who started the “BOO BOO.” The double BOO began with Tyrese. He’d be a good contestant on our show. He seems to have a good sense of humor about him, and is quite playful. He was up and down all night. I think out of all the celebrities we’ve had at the show, he had the most fun. He was yelling and booing and standing up and yelling things at us, and laughing and smiling. It was nice to see someone having such a great time. Tonight we had Omarosa in the house as well. She was quiet in the second row — just watching how it all works.

Melissa’s Samba was so much better than we expected it to be. She really found her grounded energy. She also didn’t show any signs of her injury in that dance. It seemed that it might be bothering her Tuesday, though — she wasn’t as good in the encore as she was on Monday…so maybe that rib is bothering her more that we know. It seemed like it might have hurt her in her Viennese Waltz. I wanted to say that last night but we ran out of time for me to say all that I wanted to say. I thought that she wasn’t giving us the best shapes in her posture but I thought it might be because of her injury because without the support of the core, those dramatic ballroom postures are very difficult to hold. It is easier on the ribs to be straight up and down. I can understand but I have to judge what I see on the spot. Thankfully, the audience doesn’t have to mark down for those things.

Gilles was quite incredible in his Foxtrot. It was a beautiful performance — I was surprised that Len did not give him a 10. But to each his own. Len, Bruno, and I all see different things. That is what makes us such a well-balanced panel. People often ask why we are on the panel if we don’t come from a formal ballroom background. Well, the answer is quite simple. This isn’t a formal ballroom dance competition. This is a competition for the laymen, the non-professionals, so the show needs different opinions to keep the panel balanced. WE can’t just judge these contestants on formal ballroom dance criteria. It would be boring. These people are not trying to become professional ballroom dancers. They are competing on a show called Dancing With The Stars. And now, our show has opened up the competition to include more styles of dances from various genres. Our different backgrounds allow for us to give different corrections to the performers and different commentary so that different viewpoints are represented. This helps the audience formulate their opinions. They agree, or disagree or yell at the tv. ;) It’s great. We want people to care about the people on the show. They are working so hard…

Which brings me back to Gilles. He did so well on the first number but his second performance, the Rumba, was a bit strange. Yes, it was sexy but it was over the top in my opinion. I think he wanted to do such a great job that he just pushed it over and lost his mojo for a moment. I’m sure he’ll get it back. Some things don’t need to be forced. Gilles sex appeal is one of those things. No force needed. It comes naturally for him.

Shawn was on fire. It’s too bad she and Mark did that break in the hold the way they did. But sometimes, the contestants like to push the boundaries. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Her performances were top notch this week. She could have had some 10s in that first performance….but she did really well in that Paso. I’m so happy to see her dare to push the emotional side. At 17, it is not easy to tap into those things, but she did and she really pushed out a great performance. Actually, she did two great performances!

Ty was quite good in his Argentine Tango. There was a lot of content. Ty does not rest on his laurels. I admire that about him. He doesn’t settle for doing “weak dancer” choreography. Chelsie gives him difficult choreography and demands — in a nice way — that he deliver and he does. He seems to like the challenge and really takes it seriously. He has come so far…The Rumba was a bit stiff but it was better than I expected. He just has a difficult time sometimes with the finesse between the moves, and the subtleties of the facial expressions. I thought Chelsie’s choreography at in the tango was great. When he had his hands in his pocket at the top of his first number, and when he performed his solo during his Rumba were both moments none of us will forget. The room went crazy. It was so adorable and heartwarming to see Ty Murray roll his hips for his wife….No — it didn’t score too many points with the judges, but I see it won the hearts of the viewers.

I want to point out that Tuesday night, we had a great performance. The two guest dancers that performed the Quickstep (Agnieszka Kazmierczak and Urs Geisenhainer) were a sight! They were so breathtakingly beautiful to watch, I had to bring it up. The performance by James Cullum was really special. I had never heard of him before last night. I’m not a huge Jazz fan but I will be buying his album later this week. He’s quite talented.

Well, my mom is in town so I’m going to wrap it up. We are doing the Revlon Run Walk this Saturday — it was a year ago that she found the lump in her breast that led to a diagnosis of breast cancer for which she has undergone her treatments. We are taking part in the cause again — we did it last year before her diagnosis — and are looking forward to a nice Mother’s Day Weekend. I’m grateful to have my mother in my life. She is a wonderful lady and an inspiration to me. Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate not moms every where but to celebrate your own personal mother. That’s why the apostrophe comes right after the r. It’s about your mother, and it’s a day you should spend reflecting on that special relationship that is a mother and child. Your moms may not be here anymore or may be estranged, but it is because of them that we are even here. So this weekend — I hope you will have a chance to express your love of your mother.

And thank you to all the people who bid on the auction. It closed at $12,500 and I’m looking forward to meeting the person who won the final bid! They will be at the finale of our show. Congratulations to you and see you soon! The money you donated will be going to The Andrea Rizzo Foundation to help with Drea’s Dream. We thank you for your kind generous support of this great cause. And I thank my mom for inspiring me to start to get involved in doing things that have deep value and meaning in the larger scope of things. To give back is like getting a special gift yourself…

Thank you for tuning in! Keep voting!!!!!!!

And I’ll see you next week!

Same time, same place.

Carrie Ann

P.S. How cute was Len with his fake tattoo and gold chain in Dance Center?!

Go Len! :)

More on Dancing With the Stars:
Carrie Ann’s blogs: Week 8, Week 7, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4, Week 3, Week 2
Annie Barrett’s ‘DWTS’ elimination recap: Booted Booty
‘DWTS’: Season 8’s Crazy Costume Watch!

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