By Carrie Ann Inaba
Updated March 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Dancing With the Stars

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What a week it’s been. Whew!!!! Okay, where do I begin? First of all, thank you all for writing. I read your questions and will provide as many answers as I can for you all. I appreciate your comments greatly….and I love blogging!

Let’s start with a neutral area and progress from there…the musical guests. Adele was wonderful tonight performing with such an incredibly passionate and soulful voice. I was mesmerized by her vocal quality. And then, to top it off, having Edyta and Alec dance was just a fancy treat! They are so beautiful to watch together — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful couple than those two. I love those showcase numbers. They really display the talent of our professionals and remind everyone how talented and incredible our pros truly are. We also had Hall & Oates, and Karina starring as “THE MANEATER.” She was fantastic in that red outfit. It reminded me of Olivia Newton-John in Grease when she sang “You’re the One that I Want.” She worked the guys in that number and showcased her power on the dance floor. For those of you who are not familiar with Karina’s incredible dancing skills, you should YouTube her. Look out for Karina’s performances with Slavic — they were a fabulous partnership. The ending of tonight’s number was cute when Karina kissed her fiancé, Maks. That’s another real-life couple on our dance floor…and that’s nice to see.

It was cute tonight — during the Hall & Oates number, Dmitry asked me if he could kiss my hand. I like that he was so polite about it: good old-fashioned manners. On a side note, I think Dmitry and Chelsie are doing a great job this year as newcomers. We are grateful to SYTYCD for bringing up these great dancers — it’s nice to see the synergy between our shows there. But back to this show….

After the jump: Carrie Ann explains how songs are chosen for the performances, and satisfies all your judge-centric foot-fetish needs with photos of the trio’s shoes!

Monday night was a fun night…I have to say it again: I LOVE THISSEASON! The cast is wonderful and really a delight for us judges. Ithink there is a warmth to this season that makes it fun and friendly– and in times like this, that’s not a bad thing at all. I was veryimpressed with Shawn, Gilles, Melissa, Chuck and Ty. They reallyimpressed me this week. Chuck and Ty are finding their way andsurprised me with their performances. I will say though, that I findsome of the comments by the celebs funny — especially when Chuck saidwe might think he’s a dancer just because he’s going out with Julianne.Chuck, no — we don’t expect you to be a ballroom dancer because you goout with Julianne. We are not unintelligent, my dear. Keep working onyour dancing…you’ve got great potential.

Let’s move on to tonight. The dance-off is tough. It’s hard on thepoor dancers — I feel so terrible for them and commend them all forgetting out there and not breaking down under pressure. I think Hollyand Denise did a good job out there. I can’t tell you people who arenot in the studio how much pressure is on the bottom two at the momentthey have to do the dance-off. It’s a difficult situation to be in. Iwas impressed with Denise for her attack tonight. She really took ourcomments to heart and worked on some of the elements of her performancethat were lacking. She seemed to be more confident and less self-awaretonight, which made her performance that much better. It’s a shame shestill went home. This goes to show how powerful that audience vote is.She gained 4 points tonight in her score. Bruno went up from 5 to a 7.I went up fro a 5 to a 6, and Len gave her a 7 instead of a 6. So shereally did much better in the eyes of the judges. But the audiencevoted on her other performance and when they were combined, it didn’thelp her out of the bottom spot.

OH, speaking of the scores. There was a scoring mishap tonight. Letme explain what happened. We score on a piece of paper. All threejudges write down their scores on a piece of paper and I hand it off toRob, our stage manager, who takes it to the booth where the producersand graphics person are waiting for it so they can type it in — sowhen we actually show our paddles, they have the piece of paper in hand(and the numbers are displayed on-screen). Tonight there was a mix-upbetween Bruno’s score and my score. Bruno gave Denise and Maks a 7 andI gave them a 6. I think that most people figured it out just bylooking at it. It was just a mix up that was not that big of a deal.Denise’s score was in fact a 20 and Bruno and I held up the correctpaddles that represented our actual scores, the ones we’d written onthe paper. So, there was no real problem. If you want all the nittygritty details, let me know and I’ll post it.

Okay let’s move on….WOW….STEVE was safe! Good for him. I think thepublic loves him. And I can understand why. I do too. I just have acertain criteria by which I must judge all performers. My job is togive my critique and professional opinion — but lucky you, you all getto vote anyway you please and can just follow your heart…and I encourage that! I think SteveW. gives a great show — I admire him for his tenacity and I’m happy tosee that we have created a dance fan! He is a true dance enthusiastnow. You can see how this experience is changing his life. This is abeautiful thing to see. He’s a good egg, that Steve W. I’ve never seenso much joy in a newbie to dancing. I give him respect for that. Ismile more watching him than I do some of the people who get greatscores. I think we all need a bit of that right now.

Let’s see, what else…Oh yes, let me answer a question. Someoneasked about the music. I spoke to the producers today to get theaccurate explanation. The dancers (pros) are given the opportunity togive the producers a list of songs that they might want to dance to forthe season, before the season starts so that the producers can clearthe music. However, according to the producers, the pros don’t allcreate a list. Also, the pros are asked again, once they’ve been pairedwith their celebrities, to create a list of songs they might like todance to. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone gives their input.And for television, the producers have to think ahead so that they canclear the music for the shows…it’s a long process. So, the answer isthat the pros have the option of having input on the song selections,but sometimes, it doesn’t quite all work out.

The costumes are designed by a team led by Randall Christensen andHoward Sussman. Those dresses are incredible works of art. The amountof work it takes to create those outfits is mind-boggling. They arevery expensive to create and are often repurposed for the Dancing With The Stars Tour so that they don’t go to waste…it’s a costume recycling that happens. This is good for everyone!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did. I think it wasa great show on Monday, and Tuesdays will always be a bit tougher oneveryone because of the elimination. But that’s how it goes.

One last thing…people are always asking me to tell you somethingabout what you didn’t see so tonight I’ve included three pictures ofsome things you never see on the show.

Len: Shoes by Kurt Geiger; Bruno: Shoes by R.M. Williams; Carrie Ann: Shoes by L.A.M.B.

Yes…that would be the judges’ shoes. So, for all you people with ashoe fetish, in case you were wondering what we wear under that desk –here are the shoes we wore on Tuesday night’s show. ; ) Enjoy.

And see you next week. They are doing the Argentine Tango and theLindy Hop. I’m going to go easy on the lifts….You have to do a fewtosses for the Lindy Hop to be a Lindy Hop! And next week, I’ll explainwhat a lift is as defined for our show.

Oh — tune in to the Kids’ Choice Awards on Saturday to see thenumber I choreographed. It’s going to be fun…Can’t tell you who thesurprise guests are going to be but you might enjoy it! And for thoseof you who want to win two tickets to the season finale of our show,you can bid on my auction at Clothes Off Our Back. I’ve puttogether a great package for you to bid on if you feel the urge to.I’ll tell you all about it next week — why I did it and who itbenefits. I know some of you are die hard fans of our show — check it out and see if it’s something you might want to bid on. The proceeds goto charity, to give pediatric cancer patients dance and movementtherapy. It’s the most empowering thing you can give them besides aclean slate of health. It’s a beautiful thing…

Hugs to you all.
See you next Monday!

Carrie Ann

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