Wednesday, October 31, 2007

After a 24 hour cooling off period

I've spent the last day or so cogitating on the mess that is Dancing With the Stars. Emotionally, I've been swinging between outright anger to resigned sadness to overwhelming confusion. Here's what I've come up with:

Right now, the whole thing is a crapshoot. Everyone has weaknesses and everyone (except maybe Jennie) has a strong fanbase.

Mrs. High Lord hates when I say the show was rigged for Kelly back in season 1, but I think the same thing might happen for Cameron, too. If all the soap opera watchers get together and vote for their beefcake, he could be a force to be reckoned with. It helps him a little that he started off better than Kelly did, too.

Helio has always been the guy to beat and now the best dancer left is Mel. Jane, Marie and Jennie are all weak dancers, but Jennie is on the rise and the other two have shown that they can get loads of sympathy votes.

The wildcard is Cameron and his voters.

I think Jane is getting the older voters. Marie is the patron saint of all moms who are a few pounds overweight and newly single (it helps that she's remembered fondly for that TV show she did with her brother). Jennie has been steadily improving; what I like about her is that every week she takes the comments and feedback from the judges and tries to do it. No, she's not the greatest, but I think her effort is earning her lots of votes, both from "America" and in the judges's scores.

With Sabrina gone, Mel is the best dancer, as evidenced by her 30 this week. She and Maks have great chemistry. Both know how to push the other's buttons and they have come to play every week.

Of the guys, Helio has stumbled lately, but has he been sandbagging so he would get penalised for not improving week after week? If he starts drawing a string of latin dances, I'd look for him to make a strong charge towards the end of the show.

How does Cameron play into this? He's improving as a dancer every week, but he is not as good as Helio and Mel. He's got a steady fanbase from the huge crossover appeal between AMC and DWTS. I think he's going to start picking off the weaker women one by one.

The question at this point is this: What happens to Sabrina's voters? Apparently there weren't very many . . . or perhaps there just weren't enough. A friend of mine says lots of people who might have voted for Sabrina just automatically assumed she was safe so they either didn't vote, or they used their votes on other dancers. The best instance of this was Rueben's appearance in the bottom 3 in AI season 2. But even he wasn't really in danger of getting canned.

Sabrina's voters may take their frustrations out on Cameron and go to either Mel or Helio. I don't see the Cheetah Girl's voters going to one of the other (weaker) girls, but we'll see.

Please remember to vote next week, even if it's for someone I don't like. In a season when the weakest dancers were eliminated first, this horrible injustice must not happen again.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robbed!!!!

My mother called at the beginning of the show needing some tech support help, so I missed the first 45 minutes of the show. I can't say I was disappointed to miss all the filler and I just might call her again next week on Tuesday night, especially if the results shows continue to go like they did tonight. I tuned in just in time to see Mel and Helio declared safe.

Following that, Cameron was unexpectedly put into the bottom 2, then Jennie and Marie were pronounced safe. That leaves a surprised Sabrina in the bottom 2 and up for possible elimination. At this point, I thought that was a sure bet that Cameron would get canned.

From last night, I picked either Marie, Jane or possibly Jennie to get whacked tonight because they're the weakest dancers left. Marie doesn't have the moves, Jane showed a glaring lack of range with her subpar jive and Jennie--while the most coachable and most improved--has yet to peak.

Imagine my complete and utter shock that Sabrina got the axe!!!

WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Is ABC trying to get rid of the best dancer because she's the biggest threat to their soap opera homer? Or did the fans smell a ringer in her and vote for other people? Or did the Sabrina voters get complacent and not vote for her on a night when her judges's scores were a little lower than usual?

I remind you, dear reader, that Sabrina scored the first 30 of the season and that she has been consistently good, unlike some of the others who have been anywhere from mediocre (Marie) to erratic (Jennie) to downright awful (Cameron's "Superman" dance).

Let me be the first to put forward the soap opera conspiracy because this absolutely stinks. Just like them rigging the show for Kelly three seasons ago, it seems that they're doing the same for Cameron this year, which is strange because you'd think that the ABC/Disney mafia would want one of their rising stars to be shining right about now.

Of course, it could also be that the soap opera fans got together en masse and kept their guy around on a night when he an Sabrina tied in their scores, leaving their fate up to the texts/phones/emails. What puzzles me is I don't know who is voting for Marie and Jane because both of them scored lower with the judges than Sabrina and Cameron.

This year, the weakest dancers have been sent home each week, so having the best dancer get sent packing is not only stunning, it's downright appalling.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a Cameron fan, so unfortunately, I'm going to spend the rest of this year thinking that he robbed Sabrina of her rightful spot and if he wins, I will only beat the drum of an ABC soap opera conspiracy that much harder. I loathe to admit that, and I hope I can get past this, but it just shows that even the High Lord is not above a little bit of petty anger and indignation every now and then.

I think I'm going to go sulk in the corner now.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

(We got about 70 trick-or-treaters tonight; lots of fun was had by all and much candy was consumed.)

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

All dancing, all the time . . .

. . . at least for tonight.

With the worst dancer left getting the boot pretty much every week this year, it makes me fear for Jennie and Marie. I also think Cameron is a pretty weak dancer, but being a soap opera homer, he may have enough fans to keep him around (and ABC might rig the competition for one of their home grown dancers to win . . . again).

I'm watching "Chuck" on the split screens, so it's an almost filler-free night for me.

First up is Sabrina, a Disney (that owns ABC, by the way) girl who is pimping her new album/video/whatever. After some mindless filler, we see Sabrina and Mark come out with a bang. Her moves are crisp; if there's a ringer for this year, it's her. She's got all of the usual moves often found only in the boy banders. Len doesn't like her foxtrot, but I did. Maybe they're trying to bring her down. It wasn't her best dance, but it wasn't as bad as Len and Bruno said. The pre-selected music didn't help her. They're going to get 8s.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

Shock of shocks, that one singer isn't wearing something sparkley on her head. And here I made it my 100% Guarantee of the Week. I'm already off on the wrong foot. But that dress Samantha's wearing drowns out all of the words coming out of her mouth.

The girl on "Chuck" has a picture of them together with her in the Slave Girl Leia outfit. I'll put her third on my make-out list after Marie and Julienne.

Jennie is next and she's doing the mambo. Her music is a little better. I don't know that she should be doing this dance with Derek. She's my age and he's just out of high school. She always looks nervous and a little stiff. She misses a couple of cues and like she's moving at ¾ speed. The judges are raving; she's going to get 9s.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 7

Last week Jane landed under the red light, so let's see if she bounces back this week. My sister-in-law thinks she's snobby; it's probably just the accent. She drew the jive, which could be bad news. Jane has done the elegant ballroom dances well, and the jive might be a little too exuberant for her. She shouldn't ever wear an outfit like the one she has on tonight again. If she gets stuck in the bottom 2 again, it's because she isn't meant for this dance. She's not bad, but certainly not great. She might get canned and the producers (or whoever "randomly" picks the dances) will be at fault. Jane does a good job of sucking up to the voters after getting some sub-par scores.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 6

The guys on "The Big Bang Theory" are all dressed as The Flash and it's downright hilarious. Now the Indian guy dressed as Thor is funny, as is Sheldon going as the Doppler Effect.

The most annoying of the dancers is next. Cameron is doing the samba and he always strikes me as a little too eager. What's with the Pocahontas outfit? They were a big aiiiight for me. I just don't like him, and that's my problem. He's not a bad dancer, but I just don't see his charm.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

What's with the scoring tonight? Carrie Ann is the high scorer and Len and Bruno are on the same page most of the time.

UNF called mie in the middle of the show, so I missed the filler for Mel. She looks good. The music sucks (nothing new there), but Mel was moving over the floor like she owned it. Aside from my dislike of Maks, I would put her down as the best of the night. I look for her to get a 10 or two . . . and it's perfection! I don't know they were that good, but that's how we roll in the shire.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

After passing out last week, Marie is the bull in the paso doble. She looks more like Swiss Miss to me. She's got that serious look on. What's with the hair that keeps getting stuck in her mouth? This is the first time this year she's looked like she's counting along in her head. I like her more when she's obviously having fun and not "in character".
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Before the group dance, Helio gets the pimp spot. Is he going to fix that thing he's been doing with his neck lately? The "Vote for Helio" shirt is very funny. Is this a cha-cha-cha or disco? He's still sticking his neck forward; maybe I just need to get over that. Or maybe he just needs to stop looking like a Skeksis. They're okay. Not as good as they were earlier in the competition, but passable. The judges will say he's back, but it wasn't as good as the audience's cheers.
The Judges's Scores: 9-10-9
The High Lord's Score:

Did I see that there's a Happy Days theme to the group dance? Is it going to be as grest (read: craptastic) as the AI group sings?

I saw the guys dressed like they were all getting ready for "You're the One That I Want", so this could either be really good, or it could blow up on TV.

Oh, god, this is horrid. And not even in that giant rolling head kind of way. Their moves are pretty good in what is basically a sock-hop freestyle theme, but the pure cheeze on stage doesn't make up for it.

That outfit doesn't do Sabrina any favours; it only makes her look tubby, when in reality she isn't anywhere near fat (or is it just that everyone else is so thin--too thin)? At least Marie gets to show off her legs. I wonder why they couldn't get the rights to something from Grease.

The weakest dancers left are Jennie and Marie. Jane was the weakest of the night, but that was because of the dance she got saddled with. I'd look for Jennie to be in danger and either Marie or Jane to be under the red lights with her. I like Jennie and I think she's just beginning to hit her stride in the middle tier, but I don't know that she has enough fans to keep her around.

Cameron is also one of the weaker dancers, but I think he's got too many soap opera fans voting for him. Check back tomorrow after trick-or-treat to see if I'm right; and since I was wrong about the thing on that woman's head, who knows what will happen tomorrow?

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Carrie vs. the 7 Wonders of the World

I was surfing CNNSI today and came across a little gem that pitted Carrie Underwood against the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

It's pretty funny. You should check it out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

J-Lo night

After an underachieving dancing show, ABC is going to saddle us with an hour-long results show. J-Lo is going to be on, and maybe she can show these celebs how latin dancing is supposed to go.

The best of last night was clearly Mel, who I expect to get the encore. Cameron gets some pimping by ABC and we are reminded of how good Jane can be. Sabrina is still the class of the show, but Mel made a strong charge and thanks to Helio's stumble, she's now the #2 dancer. Jennie is trying her darndest, but I think she's going to be in danger each week from here on out. I think Mark is going to get the boot tonight and that leaves us with a pretty strong field.

Now J-Lo is one and Mrs. High Lord says that outfit is covering her pregnant belly. I wasn't aware the Jen was preggers and I'd have really liked to have seen her rockin' body, but that's okay.

Have any of you actually been paying attention to this show tonight? I think we need to lobby Congress and get a law passed that says "reality/entertainment" shows are only allowed to have results shows that are no longer than 15 minutes (including commercials). I hate all this crap.

After some unsuspenseful results we find out Mark and Kym are in the bottom 2 with only 8 minutes to go in the show. Then we find out the Jane and Tony are also in the bottom 2. Helio and Julienne didn't know what the heck Tom was saying when he told them they avoided the bottom 2.

That means Mark is a dead man walking. There's no way Jane gets whacked. He's clearly the worst dancer left.

"Scary" music time and then we find out . . .

Mark is getting the boot.

Raise your hand if you didn't see this coming. You, there . . . in the back . . . put your hand down.

I admire Mark for being able to do this show after hip replacement surgery, but it was his time and I think he knows it. It's interesting that there are no Jerrys and Master Ps this year that the fans are keeping around undeservedly. The people who are getting canned are the ones who deserve it.

Next week, I promise I'll watch and blog the show live instead of watching my Jaguars on MNF.

Here's my 100% Guarantee for next week:

That one singer will wear something sparkley on her head next week.

High Lord. Out.

Dancing With the Stars, no filler edition

Since I stayed up last night to watch my Jaguars lose to the Colts, I didn't watch DWTS, so now I'm watching the tape (that's tape, not the TiVO) without all the filler and useless banter.

First up is Marie who is okay. She brings some of her goofly, Lucy-like looks to her performance. Not great, but passable. She's doing the samba and then passes out. Mrs. High Lord told me about this last night. Like Wayne a couple of weeks ago, Marie seems to be moving at about ¾ speed. When combined with the lead off spot, I see bottom 2 for her. Of course, the collapsing on stage might earn her some sympathy votes.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

In the two-spot is Jane with her rumba. This seems awfully slow for a night of latin dances. I'm not blown away, but I wonder if it's because of the snoozer music or the fact that I don't like Tony and Jane doesn't have a lot of Yo! to her. Jane's strong suit is definitely the ballroom styles.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 7

Carrie Ann appears to be the humbug again this week.

Who the hell picks this music? Last week it was "Superman" for Cameron and this week it's "I Dream of Jeannie" for Mark. Methinks they're getting too gimmicky. They should just stick with good music, rather than trying (too hard) to be clever. Of course, they might be trying to use the Jeannie costume to draw our attention away from Mark. The good news is that he's not laden with the sheer badness that has plagued him in weeks past. The bad news is that he's still the weakest dancer left. It's also very evident that he's trying and I think that's why the fans keep him around. Oh, and have I mentioned that Kym is hawt?
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

Last week's undeserved perfection is next and Sabrina is going to show off her romantic side. I don't know that I really buy her getting all hot and heavy with Mark. I also don't like her song selection; "Me and Mrs. Jones" should have been used with Jane or Marie, not a a 23 year old girl. That said, the dance is pretty good. Sensual, despite her inclination to ham things up. Her technique is also solid and her athleticism covers well for her youth. She won't get another 30, but it was light years ahead of the three people who went before her.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-10
The High Lord's Score:

I don't think I ever want to hear Derek say, "Jennie needs to learn how to shake her fun stuff" again. Last week was a breakthrough for her because she just now looks like she's having fun. The choreography also plays well to her strengths and doesn't ask her to do too much. Jennie definitely can't match Sabrina's raw talent, but Derek brings out the best in her.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-8
The High Lord's Score:

Last year, it was Apolo who made me jealous and this year it's Helio. If Mrs. High Lord leaves me and Marie gets that restraining order, Julienne is next on my make-out list. Of course, I think my friend John has first dibs. Helio still needs to straighten out his neck, and I'm not sure about the rhinestone body suit. I give them a big aiiiiight for this dance. Not their best and they're not in their usual spot in the top tier tonight. Maybe they're sandbagging.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-8
The High Lord's Score:

After a trip to the bottom 2, Mel and her diva Max are next. The start of her dance is good. The music at least close to latin-appropriate, even if it is a Spice Girls song. They get lots of good hip action. It's entertaining and devoid of flubs. I give Mel the best of the night award for this week.
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Getting the Pimp Spot is soap opera homer Cameron. I'm not high on him and I don't see his charm, but then again, I have a Y chromosome and I don't watch soap operas. Can Edyta wear any less? (Not a complaint, just an observation.) He's okay but not fab. I didn't think it was particularly romantic or seductive, but it wasn't bad either.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

This week wasn't as good as I think people had hoped. I was a little bit underwhelmed.

For me, the bottom 2 are Mark and either Marie or Jane. I think Mark will get the axe, which is as it should be.

We'll find out in about an hour.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

There's too much on TV tonight!!!

I officially hate the networks for their Monday night schedule. ABC is showing the second favourite reality/contest show, "Dancing With the Stars", CBS has "How I Met Your Mother" followed by "The Big Bang Theory", "Chuck" is on NBC and my Jaguars are playing the Colts on Monday Night Football on ESPN.

As a result, I'm not watching DWTS in favour of football. I'll watch it tomorrow afternoon and blog it before the results show. I've been switching between the pre-game show and "How I Met Your Mother" and I'll switch over to the game full time at 8:30.

I hate this crap.

In other news, the hypocrisy of Dubya continues to astound me. A couple of weeks ago, he vetoed a bill that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program saying that it would cost too much money and was a step towards socialised medicine. The cost was $35 billion over five years, and I didn't see him having any problem with America's socialised schools when he ramrodded No Child Left Behind through Congress.

He also said that he was going to bring back some semblance of fiscal responsibility to reign in a massive federal deficit (which his administration ran up with a combination of tax cuts and increased spending).

Now, Dubya wants $42 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This isn't over five years, this is this year, bringing the total cost of the wars to something like $650 billion. Oh, and he doesn't really have a way to pay for it. On the other hand, the SCHIP bill would have been paid for by an increase in cigarette taxes.

What kills me is how the Republicans always harp on the Democrats for being "tax and spend" with the spectre of tax increases always looming over their shoulder. You heard as much at the Republican debate the other night with everyone seemingly jumping on the "the Democrats will raise your taxes" bandwagon.

The Republicans haven't been the party of fiscal responsibility since Grant was president. They've cut taxes, but haven't cut spending. In fact they've cut taxes and increased spending. It's no wonder that our deficit is out of control.

I'd like to coin a new term with regards to the Republicans: "spend and spend", because that's all they seem to do.

It was a Democrat that brought the government's spending under control after 12 years of deficit spending under Reagan and Bush (41). Dubya has done nothing to show that he is a fiscal conservative and in fact has increased the size of our government and usurped powers the Founding Fathers had specifically prohibited the government from having.

I don't mind people disagreeing with me, but hypocrites really get under my skin. If you're going to say you're a "true conservative", then act like one. Don't say you want smaller government and then increase its size and power. Don't say you want to cut taxes and then not have a correlating spending cut to avoid going into debt. Don't run up a huge deficit and then make it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy because they got into some credit card debt, because that's what Dubya and his cronies have done for the past six years and there is apparently no end in sight.

No one has the balls to stand up to Dubya when it comes to the war. He's managed to build a huge fear that if you vote against his war, you're voting against American soldiers. Never mind the fact that the war was sold under false pretenses and the administration has no idea what the hell they're doing.

I'll get off my soapbox (again).

Tomorrow I'll only blog about ballroom dancing. I promise.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Dancing results . . . and Samantha's no-so-triumphant return

After one night of Samantha "Look at My Big Mommy Boobs" Harris's painful unintentional comedy, she's apparently back for good. Maybe she's just as inevitable as the bad 80s songs (with the benchmark of sheer craptitude being last year's "Hungry Like the Wolf"). Maybe I shouldn't complain; she's funny--even if she doesn't mean it--without having to resort to the fake drama of the Seacrest-Cowell "you're gay--no you're gay" banter.

We get the quick recap of last night's show and then we see ABC homer Cameron's Superman paso doble again. I'd say we were treated to Cameron's Superman paso doble, but now I don't think I'll be able to watch a movie I used to enjoy without thinking that I need to hunt someone down at ABC and beat them senseless with my bat'leth.

In the meantime, let me say that I watched "Chuck" and "The Big Bang Theory" on the split screens last night. I enjoy both shows and it sucks that they've put them up back to back against each other and also DWTS. This show isn't going away; it's the second-highest rated "contest" show after American Idol. Unfortunately, I think that means one of the nerd shows will be going away.

I also hung around and watched "Samantha Who?" last night and found it to be both funny and entertaining. I enjoy Christina Applegate, and not just because she's pretty. Since leaving "Married . . . With Children", she's distanced herself from Kelly Bundy and done a good job at it. I especially enjoyed her two-season series, "Jesse" which was a complete 180 from her other roles. I'll be watching that until the impending writer's strike causes a bunch of my favourite shows to get canned.

We're 25 minutes into this show and we've had 24 minutes and 40 seconds of filler and 20 seconds of actual results. I can't stand this crap.

And the usually funny Jimmy Kimmel bit is uncharacteristically weak.

Who the hell is this guy with a star for an eye. Gimmie results, dammit!!!!

While I'm waiting through the freaky clown routine, I'd like everyone to send an email to their elected representatives and tell them what an outrage it is that the NFL and DirecTV hold the good games to an outrageously-priced package that is only available through one satellite provider. A group calling themselves "IwantMyNFLNetwork.com" is circulating an online avenue to contact your elected representatives (state and Congressional) and tell them that they should force cable providers to carry the NFL Network while maintaining the monopoly on the NFL Sunday Ticket.

The link is here.

Rather than fill out your name and address and then hit send, I urge you to fill out the form they have so graciously provided but instead change the subject to:

Stop the NFL and DirecTV from denying me access to NFL games and key NFL programming.

Then, delete the body of the text and substitute the following:

Football is America's game. But the NFL and DirecTV are denying access to millions of fans.

Allowing the NFL and DirecTV to maintain a monopoly on the full slate of professional football games is outrageous. People in Canada, Mexico and even Iraq can view any game on their cable system, yet the American people--the same people who fund many of the stadiums these teams play in--are subject to either the local programming of their network affiliate or they have to go through a satellite provider many do not want or cannot get.

If the NFL and DirecTV want to shut out cable companies from carrying the Sunday Ticket option, their antitrust exemption should be revoked.

Please stand up for football fans tell the NFL and DirecTV to listen to the fans and offer NFL Sunday Ticket to everyone, not just as a monopoly with one satellite TV provider. Thank you.


I think it's great for these people to provide an avenue to contact your state governor, your state representatives and your Congressional delegation, but I think the NFL/DirecTV monopoly on the NFL Sunday Ticket is bastardly corporate behaviour at its worst.

American taxpayers fund the stadiums that make a very small group of people very, very rich, yet we can't get the NFL Sunday Ticket on any cable provider or Dish Network. At the same time, people in Mexico and Canada, whose citizens do not contribute taxes towards the venues NFL teams play in, can get this package as part of their cable packages.

Please us these jerks's system against them and help make NFL Sunday Ticket available to subscribers of all cable systems and satellite providers.

After Drew and Wayne come back, we find out that Mark is safe, but Floyd is in the bottom 2. I'll bet Marie or Jennie is the other person in danger. Floyd even has the "dead man walking" face on.

Marie, Mel and Jane are left and I think it's going to be Marie . . . no! It's Mel, meaning Jane is safe.

This practically seals Floyd's fate. Mel had high scores so unless no one voted for her, it's got to be Floyd.

We get some useless banter from the judges and then we find out that it is indeed Floyd's turn. Mrs. High Lord thinks he's happy to get whacked so he can go back to training for his next fight. He does seem uncharacteristically upbeat for a guy who just got booted off the show, so maybe he is really relieved.

That leaves a field that is fairly deep, so things should get interesting.

I know this is a long column (results nights are really boring), but I have one more thing.

Earlier this week, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. After his SEAL element came under fire, he exposed himself to enemy fire to call in an air strike and extraction but was killed before he and his men could be rescued. You can read more about him here and here.

I heard about this on CNN from host John Roberts and he used a phrase that is one of my pet peeves.

[soapbox mode=on]

He said something to the effect of "Lieutenant Murphy is the first SEAL to win the Medal of Honor since Vietnam." I hate the expression "win the Medal of Honor" or "winning" any other combat award.

Combat medals are not "won". You win a football game. You win an eBay auction. You win a prize at the fair.

Combat medals are either earned or bought--and even then the price is usually in blood. Please, please, please! Do not demean the sacrifices of our servicemen and servicewomen by saying they "won" a combat medal. Thank them for their service and be glad that they were willing to sacrifice so much to earn a little piece of metal and ribbon.

[soapbox mode=off]

That's it for me tonight. Thanks for sticking through the ramblings.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bring Drew Back!!!!

The good news for this week is that the weakest dancer in the competition (Wayne) is gone, but the bad news is that Samantha "Superfluous Blank Look" Harris is back. Wayne was never comfortable on this show. I truly believe he was trying, but I just don't think he can move fast enough to keep up with this show. I had envisioned him lasting another three weeks, like Master P and Jerry, before the fans finally came to their senses and let him go.

I just wish they had send Samantha packing along with him.

First up is Mark and Kym. He looks kind of stiff and he's counting along in his head. I don't like his fake dancer's smile. The choreography is slow and safe. They had no flulbs, but nothing stood out either. If this were American Idol, they would be definite bottom 3 because of the Dead Man's Spot and a forgettable performance. (On a side note, what the hell is up with the singer in the yellow dress and those things she wears on her forehead?) The judges are finding nice ways to say that Mark is trying but that he's now the inferior dancer on the show.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Samantha needs to talk less during her "interview". I think she said about 40 words and Mark got in 12. I can't stand her. Please, please, please! ABC, bring back Drew!!!!!

Following the one-hip wonder is Sabrina, who also happens to be my pick to win. My friend Jennifer from Idoling Along thinks she may get Stacey'd, but I don't think she's going to peak. If I ever hear this rendition of "Round and Round", I think I'm going to have to beat someone to death with an olive loaf. Aside from her closing move coming after the last note, I enjoyed the dance. I didn't think it was spectacular, but she was good. I even got the impression that she may be sandbagging this week. The judges are glowing, though. I'd look for a mix of 9s and 10s.
The Judges's Scores: 10-10-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

Wow! The first 30 of the year! Way to go, Sabrina!

Jane is built for the Viennese Waltz. Her moves are graceful and light, which shows her off perfectly. I see her struggling during the latin rounds, but on the ballroom nights she shines and tonight is no exception. I don't think she was as good as Sabrina, but I think she did well. I'm not sure Carrie Ann didn't call Mark on the lift if she's going to bring it up with Jane. Tony opening his mouth and arguing with Carrie Ann doesn't help. I don't know about the rule, but I thought it was good.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

If you're bored (or if your boss isn't looking), check out this article about Samantha "Queen of Unintentional Comedy" Harris over at MSNBC. Unlike me, they seem to like her being on the show. She remind me of the girl who sat in the back of my AP Spanish class in high school who was pretty and had big boobs, but the minute she opened her mouth, all you wanted was for her to shut up and go back to looking pretty.

Speaking of not talking and looking pretty, Tony needs to shut his pie hole, too.

With the next paso doble, we have the hunched-over Floyd who gets in some quality time with a bunch of kids. His biggest problem is his boxer's posture which might also be due to the fact that he has no neck. Like Mark, Floyd is kind of stiff and he, too, spends too much time counting along in his head. His intensity is a little distracting, and he doesn't look like he's having fun. Len is also telling Floyd that he appreciates the effort, but doesn't think he's a very good dancer.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

I think the judges are inflating the scores a little, although it's a little bizarro to see Carrie being cranky and Len being complimentary.

Mel gets her shot with a Kelly Clarkson song and she's good. It seems slow for her, but that's a refreshing change of pace. Maks does a good job of playing to her strengths with the choreography. I just wish he'd shave. Carrie Ann has a little bit to gripe about, but if that's all she has to complain about, as they say around here, they done good.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

Did Carrie Ann and Len switch paddles tonight?

Following Scary Spice is super-hammy Cameron, a guy I don't particularly care for, but apparently has a big following among the soap opera crowd. I heard the other day that the dancers don't pick the music; someone at ABC does and they apparently had too much fun with the Clark Kent comment. It was a big aiiiiight for me. The judges glow about it though; even the lift. Maybe it's because he's on an ABC soap opera. Don't tell me he's going to be this year's Kelly Monaco and that ABC is going to fix this thing for him, too.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

With a nice ballroom routine, Marie should do well. The ruffles and the big hair are a little distracting. Her dance is devoid of some of the theatrics she has used in the past, which is refreshing. I don't think she's the best dancer in the group, but she covers it well. Plus, she just does the dance.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-8
The High Lord's Score:

Rounding out the show are the Hough kids, with Derek and Jennie going first. She needs to have a little more fun and smile more. To me, she always looks like she has a teeth-protecting mouthpiece in her jaws. She lets go a little bit this week and gets some cheers from fellow 90210 alum. I thought she did very well. I think the judges will continue being kind.
The Judges's Scores: 8-10-9
The High Lord's Score:

I don't know that she deserved the 10, but given the inflated scores tonight, an 8-9-9 would have been appropriate.

In the Pimp Spot is my runner-up, Helio. Aside from the creepy fake smile, I like the routine. His shoulders seem a little hunched over, though. They were good: graceful and elegant. I put them in the top tier along with Sabrina. I don't think they're going to get 10s, but they should be put into second place. Now we have to hear Samantha incoherently babbling car jokes along with Len.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

So far, we have Sabrina, Helio and Mel in the top tier. In the bottom group is Mark and Floyd with everyone else comfortably in the middle.

By virtue of his early placement, I think Mark is a shoo-in for the bottom 2. Floyd, too. If any of the girls are in danger, I'd bet it's Jennie or Marie, but I think this week will be another all-guy bottom 2.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dancing Results, Part III

Did Tom say this might be Drew's last week as co-host?

Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Please, please, please, ABC, don't bring back Samantha "Inexplicable Blank Look" Harris! Isn't she entitled to 12 weeks off under the Family and Medical Leave Act? Make her take all 12!

Back to the filler.

I skipped the performances by Seal, but I caught part of Billy Ray and Hannah Montana. Before I saw who was singing, I thought for a second that it was Dolly Parton. Except for that last note (which was flat), Miley sounded very good. Plus, we got to see Billy Ray doing what he does best (not dancing).

The early safe ones are not surprising.

Helio, Wayne, Mark and Floyd are left. Predictably, the girls are all safe.

The race car driver and Mark are declared safe first.

Did "America" get it right tonight? Is Wayne actually going to get whacked when he is clearly the weakest dancer? Or is his name recognition going to carry him for one more week?

I'll bet it's Floyd, though. I don't think he has enough fans. His posture doesn't help him, either.

After some manufactured suspense, we find out Wayne is getting canned. I'm not happy about this because I really like Wayne. It's just that the others are clearly better than him. There is no doubt in my mind that he was giving this competition his all, but his heavy feet and slow speed killed him.

I think Cheryl did as much as she could with him, but he was just too much of a challenge. Do you think Cheryl picked Wayne or that she was placed with him? After all, I'm sure lots of people were happy to see the two-time champion get a much tougher partner.

The field this year is very deep. While there aren't a bevy of top tier competitors (Drew, Stacy, etc.), the middle of the pack dancers are very deep and now that Wayne is gone, none of them are really bad.

Someone please start a petition to keep Drew!

(I'd do it myself but Mrs. High Lord already says I have no life.)

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Week 3, Dancing With the Stars

It's the end of the six weeks and I'm always amazed at how students are suddenly interested in their grades. I have to tell each of them, "I wish you had shown this interest in your work three weeks ago because you wouldn't be in this pickle . . ."

My favourite question, though, is, "Can I do something for some extra credit?"

The usual response is, "You haven't done the regular work, why should I give you extra?"

They typically stare at me like I just landed from Mars.

On to the dancing . . .

First up is Sabrina and the only way she looses is if the New England Patriots show up. Her jive looks fun and they even sneak in a little bit of the electric worm. Her only problem is that she's so good, so early that voters might not see her improve, and that could hurt her (see Keibler, Stacy) in the long run. My only complaint is that her teeth are almost blinding (and if that's my biggest gripe, she's doing very, very well).
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9 (The Inverted Satan Score)
The High Lord's Score: 9

Next up is soap opera homer Cameron. He's a big "meh" for me. I don't like him, I don't think he's taking up space. The song doesn't sound very tango-ey (not his fault) and he's got a bunch of goofy facial expressions he's flashing all over the dance floor. Carrie Ann says the tango should be sexy and seductive, but it seemed a little cheeky.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

Mark is now rolling around on the floor . . . perhaps earning him some sympathy votes? He's not as good as Sabrina, but he's also twice her age and has a bad hip, so that's not surprising. Last week, Wayne was moving at about half speed and it seems Mark is only going about three-quarters. I don't think for a minute he believes he's in the top tier of this competition, but I do think he's trying.
The Judges's Scores: 6-7-7
The High Lord's score: 7

After their fall last week, I'm interested to see how Jennie and Derek bounce back. Both appear very intense. I'm not keen on the music and both look a little robotic. Maybe they're afraid of another flub? They were good without being great. Their technique was pretty good, but I felt like there was something missing. The judges, however, are being very generous tonight.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 7

Scary Spice is next and her jive isn't as energetic as Sabrina's but it's still pretty good. I think she could be the dark horse in the group. She doesn't have quite the name recognition of some of the others, but she has a lot of ability, especially in the latin dances. Plus, her ballroom is pretty good, too. I could have done without seeing Maks shirtless.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score: 8

After last week's horrifically-low scores, Wayne and Cheryl are back for some redemption. Is this a tango or paso doble? Either way, it's much better than last week. Still, it's not great. Wayne is slow and heavy on his feet. It's bad when you make George Hamilton look fleet and nimble. He'll stick around because of the fan support, but he's clearly the weakest dancer of the group. I look for him to last a few more weeks (three at most) and then get kicked off by someone more deserving to stick around.
The Judges's Scores: The Satan Score
The High Lord's Score: 6

Former front-runner Floyd still has the hunched-over boxers' posture . . . or maybe he just doesn't have a neck. He still seems a little stiff and you can almost see him counting along in his head. He's not bad, but I don't see him getting better each week. I give him a big aiiiiiight.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

After missing last week's results show, Jane is back. She's also going to pick up some sympathy votes tonight, regardless of how well she actually dances. Jane does the traditional ballroom dances well. She carries herself with a lot of grace, and that shows on the dance floor. I was not blown away, but I thought it was a couple of steps above good.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

The judges are being extra generous tonight with their scoring paddles.

If I hear another race car analogy for Helio, I think I'm going to have to beat the crap out of someone at ABC. That said, he's sitting on the pole as far as the guys go. I don't think he was as good as Sabrina, but he's close. Certainly, better than the rest of the field tonight. I especially liked Julienne's outfit almost falling off at the end (and I know my friend John did, too).
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

Rounding out the show is Marie in the Pimp Spot. I could swear that, like Wayne, she got a paso doble memo this week. I don't quite know what the "story" was behind this dance, but it seemed at little forced. The dancing itself was good, but not spectacular. She reminds me a lot of George because she gets into character so easily. Where she differs from George is that he was almost pure schtick and she's got fairly good technique, and when she comes up lacking, she is very adept at using her character to cover for her deficiencies.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score:

Tonight, Wayne solidified his position as the weakest dancer and Sabrina showed that she's the best (despite her early position in the order). Mel made some headway, which she desperately needs because I don't think she has a large bloc of voters in her corner. I think everyone else is fighting for their spot in the second tier.

I think Jennie could be in danger, but my prediction is for Mark and Cameron to be in the bottom 2 tomorrow night with an even chance for each to get kicked off.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dancing results

After last night's show, I'm pretty sure either Wayne, Floyd or Jennie is going to get whacked.

Wayne because he's the weakest of the dancers, Floyd because I don't think he has the largest fanbase out there, and Jennie because of her (Derek's, actually) flub and because I think her star is on the wane.

After a short bit of filler, we find out that Jane's mother died and that she went home to England. However, we also find out that she will be staying with the show. I just wonder if she can maintain 1) concentration and 2) training. In either event, she'll come back to lots of sympathy votes which should keep her around automatically for a couple of weeks.

I can't believe all the filler they're packing into the show tonight.

The Jimmy & Guillermo bit is kind of funny. Much better than Kenny Mayne last week. Of course, anything featuring the Count rocks! (Ha! Ha! Haaaa!)

Helio gets the encore and surprisingly, Mark is safe. Then more filler.

I hate American Idol for bringing along these 1 hour long results shows. These things should only be about 5 minutes long.

And more filler.

Jennie, Wayne, Cameron and Albert are all up for elimination.

Wayne and Albert are the bottom 2.

I'll bet it's Wayne because he's the weakest dancer (hence the lowest scores). Albert has a fan base problem; raise your hand if you'd heard of him before this season started . . . that's what I thought.

We don't get an "after the break" moment and it's . . .

Albert and Anna, who were actually pretty good. Wayne has all those fans who are probably power voting/emailing/texting for their guy.

I think we're going to see Wayne in the bottom 2 for a while. His scores from the judges are going to keep him there and it will only be his legions of voters who might (undeservedly) keep him around.

Mark and Jennie need to really step things up next week because they're both still very stiff on the dance floor and they can't afford that in a competition that has several people who are vote magnets.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Dancing with the Stars, S05E04

We're back this week for another 2 hour dancing marathon. Instead of all the filler tonight, we're only going to have a little bit of filler because all 11 remaining stars dance. Then it's an hour-long results show tomorrow night.

According to the TVGuide.com, they're dancing the mambo and my favourite ballroom dance, the quickstep. We'll see how it plays out.

Drew is back once again, filling in for Samantha "A Gazillion Awkward Interview Moments" Harris and then we get introduced into the dancers. The girls are wearing lots of sparkle and/or bouncing out of their outfits (not a complaint; I'm just sayin').

First up are Mel and Maksim with a quickstep. I hope there's not this much filler throughout the whole show. If anyone ever hires and etiquette coach for me, I will kill them. And if I'm ever at a wedding with this guy who's singing "Take On Me", I will throttle him (and I don't think a jury would convict me). Mel and Maks are good, not great. It seemed to me that she was counting along in her head and seemed a little bit heavy on her feet. The judges's comments are nicer than she deserves; it helps that they had low expectations.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-8
the High Lord's Score: 7

After the "Wannabe" joke, Drew should get a permanent job on this show. That is, unless Mel actually strangles him during the commercial break. He is soooooooo much better than Samantha.

Last week, Mrs. High Lord said that Mark needed to either shave or use some a darker colouring on his goatee and he shaved. It's good to know that she has such influence over him. This week, Mrs. High Lord says Mark needs to send us $10 million in cash. He and Kym are doing the mambo and I know my friend John is happy to see her in that outfit. I don't for a minute think he's going to win, but at least he looks like he's having fun. The judges give him some softball comments; maybe they're afraid he's going to say some nasty things and threaten to beat them up. I think the whole hip replacement surgery thing is going to do him in.
The Judges's Scores: The Satan Score
The High Lord's Score:

Wayne is next and he's trying the dance that John O'Hurley did so well. He just seems so awkward and heavy on his feet. Plus, he's slow. So slow that it sounds like the guy singing is on a 45 being played at 33 (if you have to ask what that means, send me an email and make me feel old). Still, he's trying (which is more than you could say about Master P). If anyone can get the most out of Wayne, it's Cheryl, but I think he was in way over his head tonight. He may have the energy of a teenager, but he's still a 66 year-old man. That's not a criticism; it's just reality. The judges give him some candid comments; at this stage it's what he needs.
The Judges's Scores: 5-5-5
The High Lord's Score:

In what might be a good spot (following Wayne) is Marie and she says she has to improve because the judges called her on lousy technique last week. If she wants to win, she's got a long way to go, but with Donny on her side, who can stand against her? Len tells her to avoid the tricks and Carrie Ann calls her a cougar (meow!). I agree with both of them. I thought Marie was good and she seemed a little more comfortable this week, and she'll need that to advance deep into the competition.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

Mrs. High Lord says that if I come home one day and my key doesn't fit the lock anymore, it's because she's making out with Albert. Is it 80s night on the show tonight? I'd almost pay real money to hear "99 Luftballoons" in German from these singers. They were good (Albert and Anna, not the singers). His technique seems solid and fun. Plus, he was light (unlike Wayne) and moved around easily. It helps that he has Anna as his partner/mentor. The only thing Mrs. High Lord doesn't like is the vein that sticks out of his forehead; is there a surgery that can take care of that? The sprinkler, car wash and lawnmower during Drew's phone number schpeil was funny as hell, too.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 8

For me, the frontrunner among the guys is Helio and he's lucky enough to be paired with the defending champ, who apparently enjoys beating him up (some people pay extra for that). Technically, they seem very solid and the dance flows well. They mix in a couple of tricks and some good solid latin dancing. I'd say he and Sabrina are the two to beat right now. Last week it was Carrie Ann at a loss for words; this week it's Bruno. I'll bet they get 9s.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

What might hurt Helio and Sabrina is that they're doing so well early. If they start off too good, they might not show enough improvement to inspire voters and that could lead to a Stacey Keibler-esque early exit.

Next up is Jennie. Ballroom is definitely better for her. She still looks like she's counting along in her head, though. He movements are also a little stiff, but I don't think she'll be in any danger this week. Wait, check that; Derek falling down won't help. It seemed like his flub not hers; I wonder if the judges will hold that against her in their scores.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

It looks like Cameron is showing off his chest this week, much to the delight of the soap opera fans. Mrs. High Lord is looking at his ass, though. He seems to be a little slower than some of the other mambos we've seen to night. Edyta isn't slow and she's shimmying all over the place. They were a big aiight for me. Drew liked them . . . in a staged, awkward way.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Early guy frontrunner Floyd goes next. His expression is very intense and that means, he's counting along in his head. His technique seems solid, if a little stiff. He's still got a little bit of the boxer's posture happening, too. The judges must like him because they get in a little bit of coaching instead of just ripping him. After the whole Master P debacle, everyone is trying harder and harder on this show. even the people who aren't very good are still putting forth a lot of effort.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

It's a good thing this show isn't happening in Vegas; lots of 21s tonight.

Jane and guy-diva Tony are second-to-last and they're doing the mambo. Does she have her own private studio? I know she's a fave of many people out there, but she doesn't move me. She seems kind of robotic to me. Jane lacks the flair I think a latin dancer should have. Still, she hit all her marks and didn't screw up, so that's good. They'll get 7s, too. Plus, Tony does some nice sucking up to the fans.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Going in the Pimp Spot is Miss Cheetalicious herself, Sabrina. If there's a ringer in this year's competition, it's her. The Disney training pays off again, but I wish she'd put those teeth away (could be the Disney indoctrination, and that's hard to unlearn). What's with all the flapper hairdo's tonight? I like her and I think unless she has a series of bad nights, she'll easily make the top 4, if not the finals. It helps that she's the youngest and most athletic. I was also happy to see they didn't resort to a lot of tricks; they just went out and danced. She and Mark also have a lot of chemistry which surely helps them on the dance floor. I think we're going to see our first 10 of the year tonight (guess not; stop being a jackass, Len!).
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 9

Looking at the scores, I think Floyd may be in danger this week because I just don't see a lot of crossover between the boxing audience and this show, but I could be wrong. Wayne should go home because he is clearly the worst dancer remaining (his technique, not his desire). Mark could also be in the mix.

However, I think the person who will get sent packing is Jennie because of Derek's slip up and the fact that her heyday has passed. She and Floyd will be the bottom 2 and she'll get sent packing.

We'll find out tomorrow.

High Lord. Out.