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TV Review: Dancing With the Stars, A Stunning, Successful Semi-finals Night

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Monday night’s season four semi-finals was probably one of the best of any past season. The stars were in top form. I hope you didn’t miss it. It was stunning. There were too many tens and too many sharp performances to count. And to make the night more exciting the best performance was also a surprise: Joey and Kym’s jive — plain fabuloso. It was made even greater by the progression of this N' Sync star. He had to bring his best dance, and he brought it. It closed the show. Apolo and his perfect-score quick step opened the show.

I would have put Apolo’s cha-cha at the top of the list, but just before the scores were revealed I was thinking that his cha-cha was a bit too cheeky, too sexy. So Len Goodman’s comment did not take me totally by surprise: “too raunchy.” He’s the judge, and probably took one point off for that very thing. But the two other judges agreed that the dance itself was perfect.

Ian was the night's comeback kid. He brought his breakout dance tonight — a true transformation — even if it was by bringing back Elvis Presley. He did it, according to the judges, by combining his already good technique with openness. He lost the stiffness just in time.

Last but not least: Laila. She revealed that she has been having knee problems and thus wore flats with her Cleopatra-inspired dance and outfit. Both her dances tonight were very good, but not great. That’s my opinion, because she came away with tie for first and 60 points!

Just as we have seen in past seasons this is very much a popularity contest. It was obvious that the fame of some of those male athletic stars stayed on the floor long past their expiration date. I don’t think Laila’s floating like a butterfly merely on her fame though. Why? She is able to bring pure pleasure in the form of fun and flirtation to the Latin dances each and every time. And for the Latin dance, flirtation and enjoyment of the partner’s presence is a must. It keeps the dance from being too stiff or formal. Her form, especially with the arms, however was not perfect. This was an ongoing critique for her.

Finally, Both Ian and Joey had held onto various weaknesses in technique before reaching their personal bests. But there was no sign of it in the Semi-finals. Every performance was rock solid.

But who do you think was most consistently sharp and fun to watch? I think that honor belongs to Apolo and Laila. That’s why I am sticking to my prediction: Apolo and Laila are the two strongest competitors. And they will get the most votes, and one of the two will win. They both brought uncommon elegance, good technique, and personality plus each and every time. Vote, and stay tuned.

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