Photo: ©2008 (ABC)
See ya later, Mario! Last night, R&B singer Mario didn’t earn enough votes to remain on Dancing With the Stars.
I was a little shocked that Mario was shown the door. I thought it would be low-scorer Marissa, but she somehow got more votes. Marissa really connects with the audience, and women love that she’s doing so well and isn’t a size two. I was even cheering when she did that lift. Go Marissa! You looked beautiful and graceful.
At the end of Monday’s program, I was irritated that the judges were so hard on Mario. His waltz was lovely, and despite being crowned “the prince” of the ballroom by judge Bruno, Mario still failed to score a 10 for that routine. The performance earned him straight nines, even with that breathtaking lift with Karina. Crazy! That waltz was beautiful.
It was the jive that really did Mario in. Again, I thought it was fun, entertaining and a blast to watch. However, the judges didn’t love it, criticized the technique, and Len told Mario his feet were “bloody, big ugly ones.” That was harsh. I don’t have the technical eye that the judges do, but that jive was NOT ugly. I wish the judges would realize that what they say does influence voters at home. Mario was such a gentlemen in the competition, always taking the criticism in stride and improving each week. I’ll miss him.
The big upset of the night came from an injured Cristian, who danced both dances with only one arm, due to his ruptured tendon. At the end, he and Cheryl were the high scorers, ousting Kristi and Jason from the top of the leader board. Cristian joked that he should have been dancing all the dances with one arm. Kudos to Cheryl for somehow choreographing routines for Cristian that only involve the use of his uninjured arm. That was impressive, especially the one-armed lift.
The highlight of the evening was the 100th episode celebration. Previous cast members and professional dancers performed and watched from the audience. It was great to see Kelly Monaco, Sabrina Bryan, Stacy Keibler, Helio Castroneves, Mario Lopez, Lisa Rinna and the rest of the gang, and especially pro dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Ashly DelGrosso. I really miss Maks this season. And we haven’t seen the lovely Ashly since season three. I hope she returns next year.
© 2008 (ABC/KELSEY McNEAL)
One of the highlights of the 100th episode was that the judges chose their top 10 favorite dances of the entire series. I had hoped some of my favorites would be on the list, and they were: Kelly Monaco’s famous helicopter lure free-style to “Let’s Get Loud,” Drew Lachey’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” and Mel B’s Paso Doble to “Free Your Mind.”
The judges chose Mario Lopez’ tango to “Whatever Lola Wants” as their favorite dance of all seasons. It’s interesting that the number one spot went to a guy who didn’t even win the competition. I had forgotten how amazing Mario was during his run. I still can’t believe he didn’t win. Emmitt Smith was just too charming that year.
Next week, I’m assuming Marissa will be the one to go home. As great as she is, I don’t think she’s on the level that the remaining contestants are. The final three should be Jason, Kristi, and Cristian in a fight for the trophy. Then again, never underestimate the popular vote. Marissa has won the hearts of America, so perhaps we shouldn’t count her out yet.