Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We can hope can't we?

The answer is, of course, "Yes, we can!"

As you may suspect, I am speaking of DWTS finally getting rid of Cloris Leachman. While I appreciate her as an entertainer, her welcome as a dancer has long since been worn out. For the last two weeks, she seemed to be coming along nicely. Not great, mind you, but fairly well especially considering that she's 82 years old. However, I think everyone (except the VFTW crowd) would agree that it's time for her to go and stop holding a spot for celeb dancers who are clearly better than she.

Last night, Carrie Ann pointedly reminded us that Toni Braxton was eliminated to keep Cloris around. While that drew a round of boos from the studio audience, she was right on. Toni was not going to win, but she deserved to stick around longer than Cloris and probably Susan.

So who's it going to be this week?

I'm going no-filler, which means I'm going to start watching the show at about 9:25 and FF through the crap.

While we're waiting for the show to get to that point, check out this YouTube video.


It's now 9:25 and I've starting watching the show. Please tell me they're not going to do the hip hop routine again . . .

We get the recap and are reminded that for the first time, Brooke didn't finish at the top of the heap. I think she was sandbagging. I treat the next few minutes like I'm watching the Transformers movie: If there's talking, it's time to fast-forward. Now if only, the band would turn into giant robots and start fighting over a cube.

I also FF through the group hip hop at 5x speed.

Now they're lined up for the first batch of results. The first two of the safe couples are Lancy & Lacey and Cody & Julianne (please come back soon, Future Mrs. High Lord!).

I'm happy for Lance who has deserved better than he's gotten from the judges in the past. We also find out that Edyta will be returning to the show next week to fill in for Julianne. If they win, does that mean the girls have to share the Mirror Ball Trophy? Or will there be a catfight for it?

Then it's time for more kids dancing. I'm so glad I didn't lose the last 30 minutes of my life watching that live.

Earlier tonight, I went out and bought some candy for trick-or-treat. Although Halloween isn't until Friday, we're having trick-or-treat on Thursday so not to interfere with high school football. We always get a lot of kids in our neighbourhood. We live in a sub-division that has one way in and one way out, so there's no through traffic and it's very safe. In fact, a lot of kids come up to our hill just to trick-or-treat. They park at the bottom of the hill and walk through the neighbourhood.

I can't wait for the baby to be old enough for me to take out.

ABC pays some bills and then it's time for the very flexible Pussycat Dolls. Missy Elliott is not as flexible.

We get an update on Julianne and then Warren & Kym are declared safe.

Is Michael Flatley on to fill in for Len or shill for his new show?

It's time for more results. Susan & Tony are put in the bottom 2. Brooke & Derek are declared safe. Cloris & Corky are also in the bottom 2, which leaves Maurice & Cheryl as safe. Which means it's time for more commercials.

How 'bout that Jimmie Johnson? He's basically won the Cup with three races to go? Wasn't this what the Chase was supposed to fix? I think NASCAR should try this: Go back to the old points system, but give out a 50 point bonus for each win. Then get rid of the COT. Give every team a common roll cage, common safety requirements and a maximum engine displacement. Then let them build their own cars from the ground up. Bring back the days of "run what you brung." (Yes, that is how they say it in NASCARland.) That would fix all of stock car racing's ills.

The commercials end and I'll bet it's Cloris who get whacked. They need to go.

. . . And they're gone.

Don't get me wrong: Cloris was an asset to the show this season. She brought an element of entertainment that was lacking as the others learned the ropes and she was certainly very fun. However, as the weeks have worn on, she has shown that she is clearly an inferior dancer. I think if she were even thirty years younger, she'd still deserve to be around.

But right now, she is so obviously bad that she needed to go.

That leaves Susan as the weak link, Maurice as the wild card, and Warren in the second tier. Lance is peaking at the right time and Cody has come on strong lately; if he can adapt to a new partner mid-season, he could make a strong charge into the finale. Otherwise, this thing is Brooke's to lose.

Remember to vote early if that's available in your precinct.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

DWTS: Hitting the half-way point

Of the 13 stars to start this season, 6 are now gone, making this week the hump week for the show. Who will be this week's sacrificial lamb at the Altar of Clorky?

This week's serious subject of discussion is gas prices. In case you haven't noticed, the price of gas at the pump has been steadily dropping. Here in the great state of West Virginia, we're paying something in the neighbourhood of $2.79 a gallon for regular unleaded, down from a high of $4.19.

The reasons are many, but mostly revolve around the tanking economy causing a drop in demand. In addition, the worldwide recession has led to speculators pulling out of the oil futures market, thereby reducing the artificially-high price of a barrel of oil. Did you know that before Dubya was president, oil futures were never traded and on his first inauguration day, a barrel of oil cost something like $30. Dubya's family made all their money on oil. Coincidence?

At any rate, I wonder if high gas prices are ultimately good for us all.

Consider this: Every politician promises three things with regard to oil:

1. They are for independence from foreign oil.

2. They want to protect the environment.

3. They want low gas prices.

Those three goals are absolutely, completely and irrefutably 100% incompatible.

There is not enough oil in the reserves controlled by the United States to make us independent of foreign oil. Even if we drilled in Alaska and along the Gulf Coast, we would still have to import oil from other countries. Some of these would be friendly, and some would not. But they would still be getting our money. Burning oil creates greenhouse gases. It's bad for the environment.

If gas is cheap, people will only use more, harming the environment. Cheap gas is the reason why there are so many SUVs on the road. It's why people drive and drive and drive. We move out of the city and commute an hour each way because gas is cheap. Even today, cheap gas means that we send money overseas and harm the environment.

So what's the solution?

In my opinion, we need to curb demand and develop alternative fuels in the long term. Not overnight, but we need to up the CAFE standards. CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy and it requires automakers to average a certain mileage across their product line. We need to 1) up the number (which is something like 27 right now) and 2) include trucks and SUVs in the number.

Cars in Europe are more fuel efficient than they are in the US. It's not because Europeans are inherently more environmentally conscious; it's because they pay more taxes. Gas costs considerably more in Europe. Consequently, they use less gas, have better public transportation and are further along in alternative fuel technology.

Our cars are over-powered gas guzzlers. We need to cut horsepower, up mileage requirements and extend tax breaks for alternative fuel (hybrid, electric, natural gas and hydrogen) vehicles. I drive a 250 horsepower car that's pretty and very, very fast. It's also a fuel hog. Do I need it? Of course not. I like it, but unless cars like mine are made prohibitively expensive to buy, our roads are going to be clogged with vehicles that only encourage our dependence on foreign oil, and cough out greenhouse gases.

I know that having cheap gas is good for our immediate bottom line, but it's detrimental for our long-term future. The planet will run out of oil. The only question is whether it will be in 20 years or 50. As long as we are dependent on oil as a fuel source, we are only harming the planet and stifling technology that could help us out sooner rather than later.

As you go to vote next week (because I know all of you are going to vote), please pick the candidate you think will look out for the long-term good of our country, not the one who can't think further than the next election cycle.

Now that my weekly rant is out of the way, let's get on with the dancing. This week's Big Bang Theory is a re-run; I guess they didn't want to put a new episode up against the World Series. Speaking of . . . how 'bout them Phillies. Does this mean we don't have to hear any more about how championship-starved Philadelphia is any more? Or are fans there going to be jackasses anyway?

Each couple is performing two dances. I think Susan and Cloris really need to step it up because they are the clear second and third tier (respectively) on the show. Both are undoubtedly being saved by the fans because the judges's scores are doing them no favours. Sitting in the center seat is Michael Flatley; does anyone know what Len was doing? Is he at the World Series or something?

Leading off are Maurice and Cheryl. They get the Viennese Waltz. His feet are heavy as he turns. Cheryl is clearly out-dancing him. It's not bad, but his ballroom skillz are being exposed. They're not going to be 6-6-6 again, but they won't be getting 9s again either. Cheryl's non-lift is excellent.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

After going first, Lance and Lacey get another crappy draw. Going early is starting to hurt the dancers more and more, almost like Idol. They get the jive, which should help him out. Taking last week's comments to heart, they start off with Lance doing a solo. They look like they're having fun, although I think getting crappy scores last week has him a little gunshy and more nervous than he should be. I liked it and they should get markedly better scores than last week.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

Hoping to milk the "injured" storyline, Susan and Tony need a big week. They were in the bottom 2 in the previous results show, and that's not good for her. I find her to be kind of cold, and given my pre-disposition against ABC's soap opera stars, I really don't care for her. They're doing the mambo and she tries to get some hip action in. She's better than I thought she'd be. I think Maurice is in danger; Susan's not spectacular but she's a step ahead of the remaining Olympian and Cloris. The cat claw thing at the end reminded me (in a bad way) of Priscilla.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-7
The High Lord's Score:

This season's leaders are Brooke and Derek. She's taking the injury angle. I think they're sandbagging with the intro piece. They're doing the rumba, which shouldn't be too hard on her ankle. She seems a little shaky on that right foot, but it's not fatal. It would be better if Jordin were actually singing this. The dance is very sensual, which is kind of creepy since she's my age and he's 14. I think they were lying when they said she was hurt. You wonder if they got an easy dance knowing she wouldn't be able to do say, the jive or the quickstep. Just sayin'.
The Judges's Scores: 8-10-8
The High Lord's Score:

I think Michael was scoring with his balls, not his brain.

Cloris and Corky are playing with house money, so every week is a bonus. Their dance is the cha-cha-cha. Everyone knows they're bad. But that's not why people vote for them. They're moving at about 60% and she seems to have regressed after two weeks of progress. The fast dances just aren't good for her. I think if she survives this week, it should qualify as a minor miracle.
The Judge's Scores: 5-5-5
The High Lord's Score:

It seems that the producers and judges have finally tired of her schtick.

Doing the samba are Cody and Julianne. She's also "injured"; even sick she's hawt as hell. Don't tell Mrs. High Lord I said that. Have I mentioned that Cody annoys the dickens out of me? Her outfit doesn't, though. She is one helluva dance coach. They lose sync a time or two, but he's passable as a latin dancer. In a week when they only need to be above average, they did pretty good (as opposed to "very good" or "excellent").
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-7
The High Lord's Score: 8

Why is Julianne having surgery tomorrow? Oh, appendix. I hope she feels better soon!

I thought Warren and Kym got the shaft with the scores last week, so he's blessed with the pimp spot. Let's see how he does with the rumba. They say this is the sexiest of the dances,a and Kym is certainly dressed for the part. It should help Warren that he's dancing to a Beyonce song. Even with the crappy arrangement. This is not a good dance for big guys. He's trying, but his body just isn't built for this dance. It's not awful, but if he thought he was going to make up some ground on Brooke or Cody, he drew the wrong dance.
The Judges's Scores: 8-9-8
The High Lord's Score:

With ten minutes left, we get the first group dance and they're doing a hip hop routine. This is the real reason why Len is gone, right?

My eyes and ears are bleeding.

Susan gets lost. Lance and Lacey are clearly better than everyone else. As are Cody and Julianne.

Warren is having fun. Cloris is trying not to need knee replacement surgery on Thursday. Tony is surprisingly good. Susan is not.

Everyone else is painfully out of their element. I hope I never have to witness anything like that again. Lance's mullett is horrendous.

Bruno is obviously high.

For about the fifth week in a row, Cloris was the worst dancer, but this was probably the first time when she actually deserves to get canned. Even at 70%, Brooke is the class of the show, although Lance and Cody made up some ground tonight.

If Frau Blücher doesn't get the boot, my money is on Susan or Maurice to be next. I seriously hope it's Cloris.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dancing results: No filler edition

After last night's show, I wonder if the producers are doing a little vote engineering. While not as insidious as the way Idol works, it seems to me that some couples have been talked up and others have been talked down more than usual this year.

Lance and Lacey, for example, have been above-average dancers all year, yet they get mediocre to bad scores. Meanwhile, others perform at a comparable level, and they get raves. I'm not saying there's an exec at ABC making "the call" like they did for Kelly Monaco in the final week of dancing in season 1, but in terms of music, dance selection and judges's comments, some couples are getting softballs and others are being hammered.

This week, we were introduced to four new dances: West Coast Swing, salsa, the hustle and the jitterbug. That was way too much new dancing for one show. While I don't mind seeing new styles, I wonder why they had to unload in one week, especially since some were easier than others.

From a technical standpoint, West Coast Swing and salsa are harder than the hustle and the jitterbug. The first two require actual effort and technique, the latter are just plain fun, and their steps are easier. So it should be no surprise that the people doing the hustle and the jitterbug scored better.

Of course, they're also the better dancers (except for Susan), so I wonder if the selection was "random" or if it was designed to get the faves better numbers from the judges. Only the execs at ABC know for sure, but if it seems like there's obvious collusion, the show will only become a bigger joke, one that they're not in on this time.

By the way, yesterday I mentioned the Constitution as one of the two greatest documents in the history of the world. Anyone want to guess what the other one is? Leave me a comment and defend your submission. The correct answer will be given next Monday.

I skipped the 1 hour filler . . . er, recap. And now that the actual results show has started, I'm only half paying attention to it. After all, the only part of this show that matters is the last five minutes.

If you all will amend the Constitution to allow me to be president, I promise two things and then I will abdicate office for someone immensely more qualified: First, I will pass a balanced budget amendment and then implement a plan to pay off the national debt within 15 years. Second, I will Constitutionally limit the length of reality show results shows to 30 minutes. Not 32 or 60 or 61 minutes (why do they do that?!?!?) . . . 30 minutes of false drama and filler for every reality show.

That is my platform, please write your Senator and Congressman/woman and allow me to be come President of the United States.

I will say, though, that watching Julianne and Cody perform the encore showed off just how good they were. I still thought Brooke and Derek were better but they were F. A. B. FAB.

Brian Setzer comes on in what is a breath of fresh air. After lots of young "stars", it's good to see a guy who is an actual musician with talent. I had a flashback to middle school. Louis and Karina are pretty good, too.

Then we find out two couples to be declared safe: Warren & Kym and Cloris & Corky. I think this means either Lance or Susan will get whacked. Probably Susan.

Going into tonight, it's pretty much automatic that the top 3 couples (in terms of the judges's scoring) will be safe. Mathematically, that's pretty much a given. If Cloris and Corky weren't the lowest vote-getters (notice that there's no bottom 2), then they were probably second to last.

While we're waiting for the rest of the results in this indeterminably-long results show, check out me and my granddaughter.



Between her cuteness and my orbital battlestation with its army of clones, we're going to rule the world.

I could do without the kids dancing and their accompanying filler. And the robot dancing. And the trash-talking.

Just give me the results, dammit!!!!

Okay . . . here we go: Cody/Julianne, safe. So are Maurice and Cheryl.

That leaves Lance, Susan, Toni and Brooke as the possible eliminatees. We all know that Brooke and Derek are safe. So who's it going to be? I'm guessing Lance is going to be this season's shocker. Susan certainly deserves to get whacked, but then again, so does Cloris. I think the soap opera voters will keep her around and that leaves the Boy Bander as the one getting kicked off. Toni is the wild card because I think she might have a fan base problem.

We get some more false drama and then we find out that . . .

Brooke and Derek are safe. Duh.

Then we find out there is an actual bottom 2 this week. And Toni and Alec are put in it.

Lance and Lacey are (surprising me) safe.

So will it be Toni and Alex or Susan and Tony?

I'll bet one of the Toni/ys gets canned.

Toni gets kicked to the curb. I didn't see that coming. I thought she was coming along strong while Susan has plateaued. That just goes to show what I know.

One the way out, UCG tells us that Michael Flatley will be taking the center seat at the judges's table. What's that about?

Oh, well . . . we'll find out in a week.

Meanwhile, let me know what you think the second greatest document in the history of the world is (Hint: It's not The Unabomber Manifesto).

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Will this be the week Cloris finally gets whacked?

Hullo, dear readers (all five of you). The above is the big question facing reality TV right now. Has Frau Blücher worn out her welcome yet?

I guess we'll find out in about 26 hours.

The subject of my weekly political rant is on separation of powers. The forefathers of the United States were very smart in one regard: they feared one person or group having all the power. In what is one of the two greatest documents in the history of the world, the Constitution of the United States was designed to spread power out among the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government. In addition, the Congress was built to divide its power among various voting blocs to keep one group from having too much power.

During the first six years of the current administration, a single political party (one of the things George Washington warned against in his farewell address) controlled both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency. In addition, due to the hysteria following 9/11, the Judiciary pretty much went along with whatever Dubya wanted, too. So that left no checks on the power of the President.

That has left us with an executive branch of government that has usurped so much power, getting them to give it up will be tough. In addition, it led to rampant and out of control spending, which was one contributing factor in the financial mess we have right now (massive de-regulation is another). Without the two parties keeping each other in check, the party in power has a tendency to promote its own agendas without fear of recrimination.

For the Democrats, this means expansion of social justice programs. For the Republicans, that means taxes, often without reductions in social justice programs and that leads to deficit spending.

No matter what your political leanings, it is in our collective best interests for one party not to have control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. However, with the economic mess and an unpopular war, this is a very bad year to be a Republican and I fear that that Democrats will run amok.

The one reason why the Clinton administration was so effective in reducing the debt is that they had to work together with the Republican Congress to fix the mess that was left by Reagan and Bush the Elder. We need a disciplined fiscal policy and I hope the incoming administration will do something about out of control spending, too many tax cuts and the mounting debt.

We're mortgaging our grandchildrens' futures right now and we need to get that under control. We have to find a way to fix social security, cut health care costs and pay for all the services we want/enjoy/need without borrowing money from the Chinese or Saudis to pay for them. Please write to your Senators and Congressmen/women and urge them to pass a balanced budget amendment.

Rant over.

We're getting four new dances tonight and I wonder why hip hop isn't one of the styles. We get a quick primer on what each dance is about and then we get down to business.

Lance and Lacey are up first and they're doing the West Coast Swing, which should be good because she's a West Coast Swing champ. As was her brother. And by the way, her dad invented it. Harold Wheeler, you suck. The dancing is hot, though. L&L start the show off with a 2x4 of whoopass . . . and then Lance falls while sliding. It's still not fatal because they finally look like they're having fun. They'll lose a point for the slip, but it was still good.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 8

The judges are unnecessarily harsh, especially towards Lacey. I thought it was better than 21.

Next to go are Toni and Alec. I hope she's wearing the same-sized outfit as last week. They're also doing a West Coast Swing routine and Roxy wants her legwarmers back. I don't know what to look for in a West Coast Swing dance but apparently lifts are okay. As are backless dresses that fall off the shoulder. And moonwalking in high heels. I liked it. Even the music. There was a little bit of "counting along", but all in all they did a good job.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

In the three-hole, Susan and Tony are hoping to tap into the rabid soap opera vote and they're doing the hustle. Isn't that the same as disco? They build up the "injury" angle to hand her some votes. At least the music is appropriate. She seems to be moving at less than full speed. Tony did a good job with the choreography; it's not overwhelming, but not is it particularly difficult. Overall, it was a good solid effort, if a little vanilla. The judges are going to rave at them playing it safe.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-8
The High Lord's Score:

It looks like Bruno is the East German Judge this week.

Also doing the hustle are Warren and Kym. I think he really wants to win that stupid Mirror Ball Trophy; don't ask me why. I'm blinded by Kym's dress. They pull out all the stops, including that gawd-awful suit Warren's wearing. One word for this dance: FAB. They just put the other three couples to shame. After a set of disappointing scores last week, we'd better see 9s and maybe a 10 for this. They get in all the tricks and even look good doing it.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 9

8s and a 9? What the hell? The judges are definitely low-balling everyone this week.

After appearing in the first bottom 2 of the season, Cloris and Corky draw a hip-breaker dance (ie-Latin), the salsa. She starts off dancing solo and it's more of the same. Her schtick is again toned down as she tries the dance. Corky's dancing around her a lot. She's gotten better as the show has gone on, but clearly, Cloris is the weakest dancer in the bunch. Of course, to the people who are voting for her, that doesn't really matter.
The Judges's Score: 7-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

There's no way that was as good as Lance. They're softballing her. Because of this, I'd look for Lance to be in the bottom 2 tomorrow because she's getting lot of votes based on her personality. When are the Corky/Cloris romance rumours going to start?

Also doing the salsa are Maurice and Cheryl. They start out fine, but once they leave the stage, they get shaky for the between-the-legs move. She's obviously uncomfortable with some of the stunts, which is odd considering that she's usually fully in command of the dance. It was fast-paced, but I think the couple of flubs early will cost them.
The Judges's Scores: 9-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

Have you noticed that as the shows gone on, the scores have gone up?

The fourth new style is the jitterbug. How's that different from swing? Brooke and Derek are the odds-on faves right now and he knows that they can't get complacent. Hey, Derek, Tasslehoff Burrfoot called and he wants his topknot back. We also find out he knows how to use the Interweb. Is she really the mother of 4 or is she 17? They're right out of Grease (apropos since almost everyone in the cast was 30 and playing someone in high school) and it's good. The stunts aren't too outrageous and the steps are actually pretty good. You wouldn't know that he learned it from The Google.
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-10
The High Lord's Score: 9

It's not a 30, but then again, the scores are down for everyone this season.

Getting the Pimp Spot are Cody and the Future Mrs. High Lord who are right out of I Love Lucy. As she is known to do, Julianne goes for broke with her choreography. It has enough stunts to be entertaining, but also enough moves to be a good routine. she also doesn't ask her partner to do anything that he can't, while at the same time pushing him to be better. I don't think they'll score as high as Brooke/Derek, but they'll be close.
The Judges's Scores: 10-9-9
The High Lord's Score:

With the exception of Lance and Lacey, the music tonight has been very genre-appropriate. Harold Wheeler, who has been known to kill dances with craptastic song selection, did pretty well tonight.

I'd look for Cloris be in the bottom 2 tomorrow, perhaps with Maurice and maybe even Lance. My pick to go home is Cloris, although stranger things have been known to happen.

Warren got the shaft in terms of the judges's scoring; he was better than his number, as was Lance. But we'll see how the voting shakes out.

Remember, if you're not registered to vote, go do it now.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rocco's out

I didn't watch the results show last night. I don't know what it is about the DWTS Tuesday night shows, but this is the second time I haven't felt good enough to stay up and watch it. Maybe I'm having a psychosomatic allergic reaction to the hour long results shows.

In what has been the second biggest non-shocker of the year (Jeffrey getting booted on night #2 being the first), Rocco was eliminated last night. While this means no more Karina (boo!) it also means that Rocco won't be there for any fake cooking-leads-to-dancing moments.

MSNBC has a nice recap in which they call Paula Abul "lucidity-impaired". You should check it out just for that.

At this point, Cloris should be next and then things get tricky. Susan has been on the way up while Cody is treading water. Maurice is hot and cold which means that all things being equal, Susan will probably stick around due to her SOH votes. I'd say Cody will probably be felling the heat next week unless he can tap the Hannah Montana votes. Maurice might have fan-base problems, but if he has a strong dance next week, I see him sticking around for a few more rounds.

I guess we'll all find out soon.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who's going to be the next person to get hurt?

After this year's spate of injuries, who's going to be the next person to get hurt? We've had Jeffrey's eye injury, Karina's twisted ankle, Misty's Achilles, and Rocco shooting himself in the foot. What's next?

With four people gone, here's how I see the field:

Inside Track

Brooke
Warren

On the Rise

Toni

In the Judges's Dog House, But Should Be Doing Better

Lance

Wild Cards

Cody
Maurice

Put Them Out of My Misery

Cloris
Rocco
Susan

As things stand, this season is Brooke's to lose, although Warren is making a strong charge and Toni is quietly getting better. For some reason, Lance has gotten on Grumpy Len's bad side and his scores are inordinately low. Is it Lance or Lacey's choreography? Or is it Len being a jackass? (I'm going with option 2)

Cody and Maurice are in play, although neither has a realistic chance to win. Of the other three, the order doesn't matter, they just need to go home.

In my weekly political commentary, I don't know what the laws are in your state, but if you are not registered to vote, please go down to your county courthouse and see if you still eligible for the November elections. I don't care what your political persuasion is, but this is one of those years where the elections are going to make a big, big difference.

The next president has to deal with two wars, issues with regimes in Iran and North Korea, a tanking economy and a generation's worth of debt that needs to be cleared. Plus, he may have the opportunity to put up to three justices on the Supreme Court. So go get registered to vote and on Election Day, go to the polls (or do early/absentee voting).

Back to the dancing.

We've only got an hour and a half tonight, then it's the season premiere of Samantha Who?, one of the more underrated shows on TV. I'm also stewing because my fantasy football teams are 1-4 this week. For some reason I played Brett Favre instead of Philip Rivers in one league. In another, I played Darren Sproles instead of Maurice Jones- Drew. If I were drinker, I'd be heavy into the the sauce after this week.

The cast is introduced and both the Future Mrs. High Lord and Brooke Burke are showing off the girls (woo-hoo!). And what the hell is Karina wearing?

Tonight's dances are the samba and the tango. First up are Maurice and Cheryl. His kids show up to help him pander for votes. Is he doing the samba or disco? I can't get past the sheer badness of the hair. Cheryl's outfit helps, though. He definitely excels in the Latin rounds. He's still counting along a little; it's not great, but nor is it bad.
The Judges's Scores: 6-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

Next up are Cody and Julianne with their tango. He apparently has ADD. I'd step on him. He's too young for this dance. I just can't take him seriously. As much as I want Julianne to stick around all season, I just can't warm up to him. The music selection is not helping them and the Lift Police are going to have something to say.
The Judges's Scores: 7-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

There's no way he was better than Maurice.

Toni is having a good year. She and Alec haven't peaked but she's got a lot of talent. Unlike Brooke, she doesn't have to fight high expectations and she doesn't have a big mouth like Warren. If she's lurking around in the Top 3, I'd look for her to be in the mix to win. Mrs. High Lord wants to know what happened to the rest of Toni's outfit. I want to know if Mrs. High Lord can borrow it some time. She seems a little off tonight. Either she was missing steps or she and Alec were half a beat off.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-8
The High Lord's Score: 7

Continuing to wear out her welcome is Frau Blücher along with Corky. She may be the weakest dancer, but at least she's trying (Master P, I'm looking at you). They're doing the tango and she's stiff (not in the good way). She tries to be hammy, but she's also dancing. Her technique is improved, if unspectacular. This is overlooked this season, but Corky has been a really, really good sport about all this. He's got to know that he's playing the straight man to Cloris's schtick. He plays to her (few) strengths and knows that he's part of a novelty act. The judges will score them (relatively) high which almost assures the Rocco will get the boot tomorrow.
The Judges's Score: 8-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 7

Hoping to stave off elimination, Rocco and Karina pull out all the stops. Hey, Rocco, Barry Manilow called and he wants his shirt back. They're bad. And not in the good way. I appreciate that he's trying, but he just needs to go. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but he obviously doesn't have any natural dancing skillz (much like me). I think he's a shoo-in to get whacked tomorrow.
The Judges's Score: The Satan Score
The High Lord's Score:

In the six-spot are Susan and Tony. She's getting better, but I just don't think she can keep up with the other dancers. They're doing the tango (probably not as well as Tia, though). She misses a couple of steps early. I'm not wowed. Didn't hate it, though. The judges loved it, which bodes well for her.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score:

Last week, Brooke and Derek set the bar high. It gets even higher when Brooke goes to a Brazilian club and comes out looking super-hawt. If there are any 14 year-old boys watching the show tonight, they just became men when Brooke started dancing. Derek is underrated as a choreographer. He doesn't keep the spotlight on himself (like Edyta does) and he really makes his partner shine. It helps when his partner is Brooke Burke. Grumpy Len didn't like them which means he's either gay or dead. It's a good thing Bruno and Carrie Ann are on the ball. I can't pay attention to Samantha's interview segments; all I can see are the twins.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score: 9

Going second to last are Lance and Lacey. They're also doing the tango. He's got good posture; like quickstep posture. She's doing more dancing than he is. The goth thing doesn't work for me, but that's probably Harold Wheeler's fault (damn you, Harold!). Grumpy Len should like this one. They look like they should be working on the Tower of Terror. It was good; solid but not great.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-9
The High Lord's Score:

Right now, that leaves them tied for the lead tonight.

Warren and Kym finish off the night with the samba. She has whipped him into shape and we haven't heard any man-diva stories in about two weeks. I never understood the charm of the Aussie accent until I heard Kym talking the first time. Now I get it. Or maybe it's the fact that she's not wearing any clothes. Other "big guys" have had problems on this show (Clyde and Evander to name two), but Warren is surprisingly agile. Especially considering that a lot of football players leave the game with their bodies in shambles. I liked the dance, it was fun and playful without being too hammy. The judges are a little harsh.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-7
The High Lord's Score: 8

Rocco will be going home tomorrow. Period.

Cloris may have the lowest combined score, but the fans will keep her around for at least one more week. Rocco and Cloris are tied for the lowest combined scores over the past two weeks, and since Rocco would have been whacked last week if not for Misty's injury, I think there's no question that he's getting the boot.

Next week, Cloris should be going home. After that, I think it's a free-for-all. Susan's star is on the rise, but I don't know that she can make up all the ground she needs in order to catch up to the leaders.

Tomorrow, it's the results and then we're getting ready for Halloween.

High Lord. Out.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

DWTS Results . . . maybe

I'm only half-watching the DTWS results show. I still think there should be a Constitutional amendment that reality show results shows should only be 30 minutes long. That and the balanced budget thing.

Earlier tonight, I watched The Big Bang Theory on the DVR. In case I haven't mentioned this before, but I lurve that show. Anytime someone can work in a good "What the frak?" on a show that's not BSG, my opinion goes up.

I tuned in to see the last part of the Rockettes and then I watched J-Hud singing while Julianne did a kind of creepy dance with her brother. I didn't mind her outfit, nor did I mind seeing Jennifer again, but Julianne and Derek should only dance together in the great state of West Virginia, or perhaps eastern Kentucky.

We see some (more) filler. The segment on injuries is meant to draw out some sympathy, but it also highlights just what a dangerous sport ballroom dancing is. I know some people make fun of it, but the fact of the matter is that if ribbon dancing is an Olympic sport and bass fishing, race car driving and poker are on ESPN, then there should be no doubt that ballroom dancing is a sport.

No, it's not soccer or football, but let's face it, baseball players spend more time standing around than doing anything really athletic. Is bowling a sport? What about billiards? Australian Rules Football? Definitely a sport.

I missed the first 20 minutes of the show. Are they actually going to kick someone off the show tonight? If they do, does that mean they're going to cut the show a week short?

After a commercial break, Tom predictably tells us no one is getting the boot tonight, but they do reveal that Rocco and Karina would have gotten canned. No surprise there. Nor are we surprised to learn that all the scores will carry over to next week. Meaning that Rocco is basically a dead man walking because I don't see him improving enough to dig himself out of the bottom of the barrel.

Cloris might crash the going-home party, but since we don't know if she was in the bottom 2, she might actually be safe for another week or two.

My money is on the following results for the next three weeks. In order, I'm calling for Rocco, Cloris and Susan to get kicked off. After that, it's anyone's game.

All predictions guaranteed correct or your money back.

High Lord. Out.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Is there any suspense left for this week?

It seems that DWTS should change it's name to ERWTS. Apparently, Misty blew out her achilles tendon and Derek fell and hit his head. Is this a dancing show or survivor?

If Misty is indeed out, how will they score this week? You know they're not going to cut the show a week short. I'll bet they combine this week's and next week's scores (judges and voting) to eliminate one person next week, but everyone's safe tomorrow.

While we're waiting on the show to start, I like to begin by asking "what's up with gas prices?" I'm not complaining, but over the past few days, the price here in the great state of West Virginia has dropped from about $3.85 two weeks ago to $3.39 today. Mrs. High Lord and I were in Columbus, OH shopping over the weekend and paid the "bargain" price of $3.22 for regular unleaded.

(As a side not, it's a sad, sad day when I pay $3.22 for regular unleaded and feel like I hit a $100 scratch-off lottery ticket. [sarcasm=on]Thanks, Dubya! Your energy policy is the best! I like you so much better now than when you were elected and gas cost $1.28 a gallon![/sarcasm])

In opening montage shows Misty blowing out her foot. It's kind of amazing that an athlete in such great shape could have an accident like this, but when you think about it, she plays mostly on sand, not on hardwood. Plus, she's probably not used to wearing heels.

Tonight's dances are the jive and the Viennese Waltz. I sure hope Cloris didn't draw the jive because she might break a hip. Tom and UCG (Unintentional Comedy Girl; I'm starting with the nicknames for this show, look out!) get right to it.

Susan and Tony are first; I thought she was doing the Viennese Waltz last week and this week they get the jive. They stage some fake drama and go see the Rockettes. Their timing starts off out of sync. I'm giving them a big aiiiiight. I'm just not feeling it from them tonight. It's like she's moving at ¾ speed and their timing doesn't get much better as the dance goes on. Is she showing off her boob job for Bruno's benefit or for mine?
The Judges's Scores: Lucky 7s
The High Lord's Score: 7

Ballroom rebels Lance and Lacey unveil their Viennese Waltz at a nursing home, which turns into a pretty funny segment. The dance starts with Lance feeling up Lacey, which is okay because he's gay (for those you who didn't know). If this doesn't get them 8s and 9s, something is definitely wrong with the judges tonight. They are elegant and have beautiful, flowing movements. When the season started, I had Lance penciled into the finale and I think this just solidifies his position at the top of the leaderboard.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

The judges are a tough crowd this year. If I were Len, I wouldn't say too many nasty things about Lance because his straight girlfriend might shank him in the parking lot after the show one night.

Going in the three-hole are Maurice and Cheryl with their jive. For the first time this year, he looks like he's having fun. She's dancing more than he is, but it's still pretty good. They don't have amazing chemistry (not Cheryl/Drew or Julianne/Apolo chemistry), but they're still good together. I think Maurice is the main beneficiary of a pro's job as a teacher and choreographer because Cheryl's got some mad skillz.
The Judges's Scores: 8-8-8
The High Lord's Score:

What do the judges have against Lance? There's no way Cheryl and Maurice were better than Lance and Lacey this week.

I hope everyone had a great weekend; Mrs. High Lord and I did our patriotic duty and spent money. We drove up to Columbus where we like to shop. We went to a Japanese market, ate lunch at a place called Akai Hana then went over to Easton Town Center for some hardcore bargain hunting. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of bargains at Easton, but there is The Melting Pot. Unfortunately, they were out of Swiss cheese. What the hell?!?!?!? How is a fondue restaurant out of Swiss cheese?

On Sunday, we drove down to the Prime Outlets shopping mall in Jeffersonville where we knocked out a good chunk of our Christmas shopping. We spent way too much, but got some good deals. I even bought some new shoes.

In the clean up spot are Rocco and Karina. They're the big beneficiaries of Misty's accident; without an elimination this week, he ought to be the next one to get the boot. To his credit, I think Rocco is trying, but he's just not a good dancer. The music doesn't help him; a polka arrangement of "What's New, Pussycat?" is almost painful. I think he's one of those dancers who benefits from low expectations at the beginning of the season, but I just don't see him lasting more than one or two more weeks.
The Judges's Scores: 7-7-6
The High Lord's Score:

If Len is going to wear those glasses, he has no business telling Lance to be more traditional.

Wrapping up the first hour are Warren and Kym, who came out with a 2x4 last week. They're doing the Viennese Waltz and Kym is spilling out of her dress in the rehearsal (not a complaint; if not for Mrs. High Lord, I would soooooooo make out with her). I think this is one of the most boring dances on the slate, so I wonder they they pair it with the jive. As the judges have mentioned before, Warren is surprisingly light on his feet. It wasn't as good as last weeks paso, but it's definitely good, even if they miss a hold or two. The spins at the end are nearly flawless.
The Judges's Scores: 9-8-8
The High Lord's Score: 8

Cody and Julianne are next with the jive. He really annoys me; I don't know if he's really like that or if he's mugging for the cameras, but his interview segments are awful. I like Julianne with longer hair. A lot of tall people have problems with the jive because they have to move their legs so fast and Cody is no exception. They get in a lot of stunts, but I'm not wowed. Carrie Ann says he was counting along in his head and she's right.
The Judges's Scores: Blackjack!
The High Lord's Score:

Looking like she stepped right out of Dangerous Liaisons are Toni and Alec who are doing the Vietnamese . . . er, Viennese Waltz. I'd like to see them dancing in the black pajamas and lampshades. It's good to see that Schroeder can get work, even if it's as techno-Schroeder. Len will probably be grumpy about the music (not Toni's fault) but the dance is very nice. They have a couple of timing problems, and she has the counting-along problem. They should get a bonus point for that thing not falling off her head.
The Judges's Scores: 8-7-7
The High Lord's Score:

I had forgotten Toni was Belle on Broadway; Belle is my favourite of the Disney Princesses. Not only is she a book-nerd, but she is the most under-rated in terms of hotness (Esmeralda is a close second).

If you had asked me which of the dancers was the most likely to get injured this season, the even money would have been on 82 year-old Cloris and Corky. Every time she dances, I'm worried about her rupturing a disc or falling flat on her head. That's she's still standing is either a testament to her athleticism or a minor miracle. The actual dance is awful. Even if you like her, you have to admit that. But that's not what Frau Blücher is about, though. (Unintentionally) losing the wig was pretty funny. Watching them dance is like the giant rolling head you just can't look away from. She should be the one going home, but she won't for another week or so.
The Judges's Scores: 6-5-5
The High Lord's Score: 6

The final couple to dance are the odds-on faves, Brooke and Derek. Do you think he forgot the dance as part of the head injury? They're shown fighting (Can't we all just get along?) and then they do their Viennese Waltz. Mrs. High Lord says Brooke has a nice--and not fake-looking--smile. Brooke smiles? Again, I think this is a terribly boring dance; so much that not even Brooke Burke can get me excited about it. I think the panel will fawn all over them. Giving her daughter a kiss at the end is a nice way of pandering for votes.
The Judges's Scores: 9-10-9
The Judges's Scores: 8

I had a feeling we'd see the first 10 of the season on that one. They're clearly the class of the show this season and as I've said before, she has to avoid peaking too early. If she performs at a high level all year, she can't slip up or an off night of voting might land her in the bottom 2 for an early ouster.

Then we get a sit-down with Misty who will be lost for the season with her Achilles injury. I hope she's got insurance on her leg because this not only ends her DWTS run, but could also end her volleyball career.

What does this mean for the show? I'm guessing no one goes home tomorrow. We get the obligatory recap anyway.

The two weakest dancers are Rocco and Cloris, both of whom are on borrowed time. I think they'll be the next two to go and I have a feeling that they'll be gone in some order with Susan following soon afterward.

I'll be back tomorrow for a no-filler recap.

High Lord. Out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'm a slacker

Sorry.

I wasn't feeling well last night, so I DVR'd DWTS and went to bed early. I'll watch the show tonight and post a full delayed blog. I did, however, notice that it was Kim who got sent packing, although about three other people should be on Elimination Watch.

Full scoop later tonight.