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Shannon Elizabeth Report: Week 5
Shannon Elizabeth survived elimination this week despite a downswing in her scores that left her in the bottom half of the pack.
It turns out that being a hot tamale on the big screen and in the poker world doesn't necessarily translate to sexiness on the dance floor, and this week's Latin dances were all about the sexiness.
Shannon Elizabeth delivered what Len Goodman called a "competent" performance, but she didn't look comfortable with the dance at all.
In contrast to her graceful Viennese waltz from last week that put her in the top three for scores, she looked awkward with the samba and returned to the problem of not really having complete control of her limbs.
What was most notably lacking from her performance was the hip action. The samba is all about the rolling hips, and Elizabeth admittedly doesn't have much for hips and couldn't find a way to make them roll and swivel, at least not that anyone could notice.
Her saving grace is that even when the dance is getting the best of her, Elizabeth still gives it her all. Even Carrie Ann Inaba commented that she goes for it 100% whether she looks awkward or not. So she needs to keep up that attitude but work on some of her "shapes" for the dances.
Her resulting score from the judges was a 23, putting her just above Priscilla Presley and Marlee Matlin and tied with Cristian de la Funte for fifth place.
It was enough to keep her out of the bottom two once the viewer votes were tallied as well. Tuesday night's elimination came down to Presley and de la Fuente, but Presley didn't get enough support to move on for another week on Dancing with the Stars.
Here's how Presley and the others made out during Monday's performance night:
After a rule violation last week, Presley needed to find a way to bring her scores back up again. At least with the rumba there was no danger of accidently doing a lift, but the slow Latin dance did nothing but leave Presley's dancing flaws wide open for even the layperson viewer to see. Len Goodman called the performance a disappointment, and it certainly wasn't a wow of a performance this week.
For the first time in the competition it was obvious Matlin couldn't hear the music. She may have a good sense of rhythm, but the samba has much more complicated movements to go with that rhythm, and Matlin had a couple stumbles and a few times where her timing was off the music. Each judge brought up how amazing it she does so well despite her deafness, but that probably wasn't much consolation for Matlin.
Cristian de la Funte
Even though de la Funte continues to improve this week, the judges still had criticism for his rumba. It was one of the better performances of the rumba for the evening, and de la Funte has gone from mechanically performing the steps to a dance to really getting into the flow and movement. However, Carrie Ann Inaba thought he lacked chemistry with his partner this week and Len labeled the dance as merely "competent."
Marissa Jaret Winoker
Winoker may have been the biggest surprise of the evening. Compared to the other female celebrities in the competition, she's probably the contestant you'd least expect to pull off a sexy Latin dance like the samba. However, this was the first time Winoker looked like she actually felt confident and sexy on the dance floor, and it showed in her dance. Inaba called it her best routine yet, and she was right.
Mario managed to put himself back in the good graces of the judges this week with his samba. He still needs to brush up his footwork some, but Goodman called it his best performance so far. This week Mario looked more controlled and polished on the dance floor in contrast to what Goodman called his "wildness" in weeks past. It also helps that the samba seems made for Mario, giving him a chance to be smoldering and sexy and to take advantage of the hip movements and freedom of the dance.
It's becoming less and less of a surprise each week that Taylor has moves on the dance floor to match what he can do on the football field. His was probably the sexiest rumba of the night, and the nitpicky judges couldn't even fault him for poor footwork and heel leads. Bruno Tonioli said the football player had the look of a "love god" during the rumba, while Goodman complimented him on his naturalness. Yet his scores dipped a little from the 29 he earned last week.
Once again, Yamaguchi really had nothing to worry about going into Tuesday's elimination night. Her rumba had much more expression than her previous dances, though it didn't quite have the heat and passion you'd expect for a rumba. Inaba told her she made the right choice sacrificing a tiny bit on technique to achieve more emotionally with the dance, and Len gave her a "fab-u-lous."
The remaining seven celebrities will be back on the dance floor Monday on Dancing with the Stars and the next elimination will take place on Tuesday. Come back Wednesday, April 23, to see if Shannon Elizabeth continues in the competition or if she'll be sent back to the poker tables.