So You Think You Can Dance, June 24th, Top 16

June 25, 2009

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

Once again, I am going to rank the Couples on So You Think You Can Dance in 3 categories because I really didn’t have a favorite.  There were 4 routines that I absolutely loved and they will all be in my Most Impressive Couples Category.

I am ranking the following couples in the Most Impressive Category:

Ade Obayomi & Melissa Sandrig: 
WOW, that was hot and steamy.  I thought they were both phenominal and I loved the Choreography.

Evan Kaspirzak & Randi Evans:
Well, of course, I loved the choreography.  I love stuff that is weird, quirky and entertaining.  I thought they both danced it extremely well.

Brandon Bryant & Janette Manrara:
I was extremely surprised by both of them.  They both danced hip hop way better than I thought they would.  They both had attitude.  They were relating to each other.  They were together.  I thought it was great.

Kupono Aweau & Kayla Radomski:
I loved the choreography.  I thought Kayla was breathtaking to watch.  I think this new partnership is a good one.  They seem to dance really well together.  I thought Kupono could have danced a little more masculine, but, overall, did a great job.  I really enjoyed watching this routine.

This week, I am placing 3 couples in the Middle of the Pack Category.

Phillip Chbeeb & Jeanine Mason:

I loved the choreagraphy for this dance too.  I thought Jeanine was awesome (a class act).  I thought Phillip was much better this week than last week, however, I thought he was dragging her down.  I really hope Phillip will be able to improve on these other dance styles because I would really love to see him do more hip hop and popping.  I don’t want to see him go home yet.

Vitolio Jeune & Asuka Kondoh:

I thought she was really fun to watch & I was impressed by her dancing.  I wasn’t getting as excited about him, though, and I am not sure why.  I know the judges were really pleased with him, yet, when I compare him to Ade, for example, I think Ade is leaps and bounds ahead of him.

Jason Glover & Caitlyn Kinney:
I thought she was phenominal.  I thought he was lacking posture and rigidity some of the time.  I got the impression that he needed more time to prepare for tonight. 

In my Not Quite-Up-To-Par Category, I am placing 1 couple:

Jonathon Platero & Karla Garcia:
They were not in synch.  They were not dancing together.  I got the impression that they were not comfortable with dancing hip hop.  I was disappointed because I thought the dance they did last week was really incredible.  Many of these dancers have not been able to get the hang of hip hop this year.  It seems like Phillip Chbeeb is the only one this year who can dance anything like Twitch did last season.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca


So You Think You Can Dance, June 17th, Top 18

June 18, 2009

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

The couples I thought stood out above the rest were:

Max Kapitannidor & Kayla Radomski:
     I think she is phenominal.  I thought he did a fantastic job, but, didn’t quite keep up with her.  I thought he wasn’t dancing quite masculine enough.  I totally loved the choreography.  It was weird, quirky and interesting.  This routine grabbed and held my attention.

Brandon Bryant & Janette Manrara:
     As soon as they started dancing, I thought, Brandon is a natural at this style of dance.  He looks like this is what he has been doing for decades.  I assumed there would be some phenominal lifts in this routine because he is so strong and she is so petite and there was.  I thought she did a great job, but, Brandon was the one who really impressed me.

Jonathon Platero & Karla Garcia:
     I thought this routine was totally awesome.  They both looked like this is the style of dance they are experts at.  I thought they danced very well together. 

Ade Obayomi & Melissa Sandrig:
     I thought this routine and how they danced it was awesome.  I thought it was great that Sonya gave the man a role that was challenging and he did a lot more than just lead her.

For me, the middle of the pack couples were:

Evan Kaspirzak & Randi Evans:
     I really enjoyed watching this routine, but agreed with the judges when they said Evan’s smooth dance style wasn’t appropriate for this routine.  I loved it when Evan jumped over Randi, I didn’t even see that coming.  I thought Randi did a great job.

Vitolio Jeune & Asuka Kondoh:
     I thought she was flawless.  I thought he was not quite smooth enough.  I did think they both did a great job with throwing emotion into the dance.

The couples who I thought weren’t quite as good as the rest:

Phillip Chbeeb & Jeanine Mason:
     I thought Jeanine was awesome.  I have always loved watching people dance ‘The Tango’ and I thought the choreography for this one was exceptional.  I was really glad Phillip had the opportunity to add his personal flare in the routine toward the end.  Unfortunately, Phillip didn’t dance as well as he should have.  I was disappointed, because, last week, he seemed unstoppable.  After last week, I was thinking, he would probably be one of the last ones standing in this competition.  I hope he will be able to shine in other ballroom styles.

Kupono Aweau & Ashley Valerio:
I thought she did a really good job, but, he wasn’t keeping up with her.

Jason Glover & Caitlin Kinney:
     I enjoyed watching them dance this routine and I thought they both danced it well, however, it didn’t really seem very hip-hoppy to me.  It seemed kind of goody-2-shoes and cheerleader-like to me.

Dawn Perucca

So You Think You Can Dance, June 10th, Top 20

June 11, 2009

By:  Dawn Perucca

I had every intention of ranking the 10 couples on So You Think You Can
Dance tonight, but, I really didn’t have a favorite.  I absolutely loved 6 of the 10 routines.  I think I will just list my favorite ones in one category and the ones that I thought weren’t as good in a different category.  I am extremely impressed with all of the Top 20 Contestants.  Each of them has obviously put a lot of time, effort and passion into dancing.

The Dance Routines that I thought were phenominal:

Phillip Chbeeb & Jeanine Mason:
Phillip was extraordinary.  He certainly adds extra fare and personal style to the steps that have been given to him and I loved it.  Jeanine really did keep up with him. 

Evan Kaspirzak & Randi Evans:
I thought both of them were phenominal and they danced really well together.  They were both (non-boring).  They each added their own personal style to the steps they had been given.

Jason Glover & Caitlin Kinney:
I loved last years Ballywood routine and I loved this years Ballywood routine.  I hope there are more Ballywood routines this season.  They are so interesting to watch.  I thought they both danced this extremely well.

Kupono Aweau & Ashley Valerio:
When I heard they were going to be dancing as crash test dummies, one broken-up and one new and sparkly, I was thinking, how the heck would someone dance like a crash test dummy, but, Wade is my favorite Choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance and I knew his choreography would be spectacular.  It was, and Kupono and Ashley danced it extremely well.

Ade Obayomi & Melissa Sandrig: 
That was gorgeous to watch.  She was exquisite.  He had the strength to support her.  Everything flowed well.

Max Kapitannikor & Kayla Radomski:
Considering the fact that she has never danced Ballroom before, she was super-incredible.  I looked at her more than I looked at him.  I noticed he was doing his thing.  She was a firecracker.

The dance routines that I thought weren’t quite as good:

Vitolio Jeune & Asuka Kondoh:
I was thinking for a Broadway Routine, there wasn’t enough umph.  The entire dance was too much even-keeled.  I kept hoping for some spectacular moments, but, there didn’t seem to be any.

Jonathan Platero & Karla Garcia:
I thought she did a really great job, but, I didn’t think he was keeping up with her.

Tony Belissimo & Paris Torres:
I think I would have liked this one better if I hadn’t seen Phillip and Jeanine’s Hip Hop routine first.  I thought they did a really good job, but not nearly as good as Phillip and Jeanine.  I liked the choreography in Phillip and Jeanine’s Hip Hop routine much better than the choreography in this routine.

Brandon Bryant & Janette Manrara:
The judges seemed to really like this routine.  I thought Janette was spectacular, but, I thought Brandon was boring.  I realized his strength was helping Janette be able to do all of those incredible lifts, but, I kept thinking he should be doing more.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca









American Idol, Season Finale, Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen, May 19, 2009

May 20, 2009

When American Idol, Season 8, was selecting the top 36 Contestants, this Season.  I thought Adam Lambert was going to do really well, but, I thought, he was going to dress and sound about the same each week, and after a while, he would be bland, even though he is extremely entertaining and different.  He has not been bland at all, he has been extremely versatile.  He taps into lots of different emotions when he performs.  Variety, an unbelievable amount of talent and the ability to deliver in a way that will delight those who witness him are what he is made of.  I thought Kris Allen wasn’t going to make it into the top 12.  I thought his 1st performance that was among the 1st group of 12 was not a standout performance.  I remember that Kara DioGuardi commented that she knew he could do better than that because he had done better than that.  As the Season progressed, I thought, he had some really great performances and some that weren’t so great.  I always think in the back of my mind, however, that Sanjaya stayed in the American Idol, Season 6, way longer than I thought he should and I figured he must have been appealing to the young female voters.  During American Idol, Season 8, I kept thinking, Kris Allen is going to be in this competition for awhile because I think he is going to be the one who will appeal to the young female voters.

I was surprised that the final 2 Contestants were not Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey.  I thought Danny Gokey performed significantly better than Kris Allen during the Season overall.

Before tonight’s show, I was thinking there is no way Kris Allen could beat Adam Lambert, he doesn’t stand a chance.

After Adam Lambert performed his 1st song, I thought he did an incredible job and there would be no way Kris Allen would be able to top him.

Then Kris Allen performed and I thought he sang way better than I thought he would.  I did not agree with Simon Cowell.  I did not think he out-performed Adam during the 1st round, but, I thought he was in the competition and I could see why people would be voting for him.

After, Adam’s second song, I was thinking, “Oh, Yeah”, top that one Kris.

Then Kris sang and I thought he sang his 2nd song really well, however, his performance was not nearly as exciting and filled with anticipation as Adam’s song was.  I kind of knew how the entire song was going to be dilevered after the 1st few words were sang.  His song was kind of predictable.  Adam usually creates suspense.  I never know what he will do next, but, I always know he likes to add the element of surprise to whatever he does.

When Adam was singing the 3rd song, I was thinking.  I don’t really like this song.  I was expecting to like the song much more.  People have been raving about Kara’s abilities as a song writer, and this is what she came up with?  I guess Adam is doing the best he can with it, but, I am just not getting into this song.

When Kris sang the 3rd song, I was thinking, I guess he is doing the best he can with this song, but I still don’t like the song.

I am expecting Adam Lambert to be our Season 8,  American Idol.  If he is not, I will be extremely surprised. 

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

Dancing with the Stars, Season Finale, Final 3, May 18, 2009

May 19, 2009

I thought all 3 Contestants, Gilles Marini, Melissa Rycroft and Shawn Johnson did a fabulous job tonight.  My recap of the entire season for Gille is that he came out of the gates very strong.  I thought he was fabulous every time he did a dance that involved romance and / or alluring a woman.  I thought he didn’t do as well when he was doing the jive or any dance that involved lots of quick kicks.  My recap of the entire season for Melissa is that she is an extremely impressive dancer, especially when she is doing lots of kicks with her legs.  She did way better than I expected her to on the 1st night of competition, especially since she only had a couple of days to prepare.  I think her height and long legs give her an advantage over Shawn.  My recap of the entire season for Shawn is that she is very precise and technically correct, however, many of her dances, especially during the beginning of the season were very cautious and too slow.  Toward the end of the Season she was getting into gear and has become an extremlely impressive dancer.

I don’t know if more women vote than men, but, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case.  If there are more women voters, I think that will give Gilles a big advantage.  I have a feeling Gilles Marini will win.  I think Gilles deserves to win, but, I don’t think he has a big lead over Melissa or Shawn.

I ranked tonights performances as follows:

1.  Gilles Marini
     I think he is a phenominal male dancer who definitely takes the lead and provides
     a fabulous frame for his partner.  He knows how to connect with his partner.  He
     is even modest.

2.  Shawn Johnson
     I thought Shawn out-danced Melissa by a little bit tonight, but, when I compare
     Shawn and Melissa over the entire season, I think Melissa has out-danced Shawn.
     I think Shawn is an incredible dancer when she adds speed too her routines.

3.  Melissa Rycroft
     I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching every one of her dances this season.  I think
     she has enourmous potential.  She obviously puts a lot of time and effort into
     being as good as she can be.

I think the winner will be Gilles Marini.  I think the runner-up will be Melissa Rycroft.  I think if the results are different than that, it won’t be a huge upset, they are all deserving of great rewards.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

American Idol, Week 10, Final 3, May 12, 2009

May 13, 2009

I thought each of the Final 3 American Idol Contestants had brilliant moments tonight.  At this point, I think Adam Lambert should be our next American Idol.  I won’t be surprised if he isn’t, though.  I think Kris has been collecting the votes from the young females.  I think Danny has been collecting votes from the conservative people who like singers who are kind of gentle and somewhat predictable.  I think Adam is so unique and eccentric, that some people won’t appreciate him.

My analagy of tonights performances is as follows:

1.  Adam Lambert
     I thought his 1st song was truly phenominal.  I thought he was incredible during
     his 2nd song, however, I was not a big fan of the song he chose to sing.  I know
     the judges think that style really suits him, however, I would be more interested
     in listening to an Adam Lambert CD that had a mixture of some ballad type of
     singing mixed-in with some of the more erratic and dramatic singing than an 
     Adam Lambert CD that was all heavy, loud and dramtic.

2.  Danny Gokey
      I thought his 1st song was really nice, but, I wasn’t blown away by it.  I thought
      his 2nd song was his best performance this entire season.  I was blown away by
      it; I was sold after just the 1st few seconds of hearing it.  I was extremely
      impressed with his second song.

3.  Kris Allen
     I thought his 1st song was really nice, however, it was too much like the original
     song.  I wasn’t really getting into his 2nd song.  I was surprised the judges were
     so pleased with his 2nd song.

If the Final 2 American Idol Contestants are not Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey, I will be disappointed, but, I won’t be that surprised.  I think a large percentage of the people who send in votes for American Idol contestants are young females.  I think Kris Allen has been capturing a large percentage of the votes from the young females.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

Dancing with the Stars, Week 10, Final 4, May 11, 2009

May 12, 2009

I thought we saw some really hot performances during tonights Dancing with the Stars Semi-Finals!!!

1.  Gilles Marini
     What more could you ask for?  I thought he was steaming.

2.  Melissa Rycroft
     She’s a beautiful dancer.  I think what the judges were trying to tell her is that
     her dances tonight, lacked some umph and precision.  Shawn Johnson had umph
     and precision during her 1st dance.  Even though the judges didn’t give her 10’s
     I really enjoyed both of her dances and thought she did an excellent job.

3.  Shawn Johnson
     I was extremely impressed with her 1st dance (The Tango).  I thought she
     out-danced Melissa during the 1st round of dances.  I really loved the lifts they
     did.  During her second dance, I loved the outfits, I thought she did a great job,
     however, I kept noticing how much Mark Ballas was out-dancing her.  It seemed
     like they weren’t matching each other enough.  I loved watching Mark dance the
     2nd dance, but, I thought it made her dancing look like it wasn’t up to par.

4.  Ty Murray
     During his 1st dance, I kept thinking his movements looked jerkey.  He severely
     lacks fluidity.  I would have rather watched Lil Kim dance.  During his second
     dance, when he started trying to shake his hips, I thought it looked like he was
     wearing a girtle that was too tight and he was just trying to get the girtle to stretch
     out and be looser.  It was humerous, but, not impressive for me.

I really hope the 3 that make it into the Dancing with the Stars Finals are:  Gilles Marini, Melissa Rycroft & Shawn Johnson.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

Oatmeal Recipes for Lowering Cholesterol

May 7, 2009

Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds

Prepare 1/2 cup of dry slow-cooking Old Fashioned Oats.

While still warm, stir in:

* 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
* 1 cup skim milk
* 1/4 cup slivered almonds
* 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed

Garnish with blueberries and almond slivers if desired.

Oatmeal with Pecans and Yogurt

Prepare 1/2 cup of dry slow-cooking Old Fashioned Oats with 1 cup of orange juice that has been fortified with stanols.

After cooked, stir in:

* 1/4 cup of pecans
* 1 cut-up banana or 1 cut-up apple
* 1/2 cup low fat or fat-free yogurt


Oatmeal with Pumkin

Boil 1/2 cup skim milk with 1/2 cup of water.

Stir in 1/2 cup of dry Old Fashioned Oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 7 minutes or until desired consistency.

Stir in 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 1 Tablespoon maple syrup.

Place in a serving bowl.

Oatmeal + other Grains Crockpot Delight

Mix all of the following ingredients inside the crock pot, then cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir before serving.  Add water before serving if necessary.

* 3 Tbsp uncooked barley
* 3 Tbsp uncooked millet
* 3 Tbsp uncooked cornmeal
* 1/2 cup dry Old Fashioned Oats
* 6 Tbsp uncooked brown rice
* 1 cup dried fruit (you choose which type / types of dried fruit:  raisins, dates,
   prunes, cranberries, apricots)
* 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
* 4 1/2 cups water
* 1 Tbsp. vanilla

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

American Idol, Week 9, Final 4, May 5, 2009

May 6, 2009

I thought Adam Lambert blew everyone else away tonight.  I was totally shocked last week, when he was in the bottom 3 and in the bottom 2.  If he is in the bottom 2 this week, I will be completely confused.

1.  Adam Lambert
     I think he is ready to record this song for sure!!!

2.  Danny Gokey
      I really liked it.  I was extremely impressed.  I was really glad he was doing
      something a little different than his usual.

3.  Allison Iraheta
     I really liked it, however, I thought the song was a little too boring for her.  I
     thought she should have chosen a different song.

4.  Kris Allen
     I thought the way he sang it was too much like the Beatles version.  Since his
     competition is extremely innovative, original and unique; I think he also needs to
     be inventive.  He has been very inventive and original before, tonight,
     I thought the version he sang lacked imagination.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca

Dancing with the Stars, Week 9, Final 5, May 4, 2009

May 5, 2009

I thought ranking the Contestants this week was more difficult than it normally is.  For me, none of them stood way out ahead of the others.  I thought Melissa Rycroft, Shawn Johnson and Gilles Marini were all outstanding, but, I do think I should rank them, so, I am going to go with which one wowed me the most.  I think I have to give the #1 spot to Shawn Johnson this week.

1.  Shawn Johnson
     I was really surprised that during both dances she was full of energy and gusto.  I 
     think she usually dances cautiously and conservatively.  This week, however, 
     I thought she was dramatically more bold.  I felt like she was really going for the
     trophy this week and abandoning her shy tendencies.  I thought her second dance
     was really awesome.

2.  Melissa Rycroft
     During her 1st dance I thought she was dancing beautifully, however, she was
     dancing conservatively and cautiously compared to what I have seen her do in
     the past.  I assumed she was dancing a tame version of the Waltz because of her
     injury.  During the second dance, it sure didn’t seem like she was injured.  I
     thought she really nailed that dance.  That dance was incredible.

3.  Gilles Marini
     I thought he did an awesome job tonight, especially during his second dance.  I
     thought Cheryl Burke did an awesome job, this week, with the Choreography for
     both dances.

4.  Lil Kim
     During her Waltz, I thought, she danced it beautifully, however, there were many
     times when Derek Hough was outdancing her, therefore, she was not
     matching him that well, and she did stumble a little bit.  During her second dance,
     I thought she did a really nice job, however, I thought it was not as memorable as
     the dances I saw from Shawn, Melissa and Gilles.

5.  Ty Murray
     I was surprised he did as well as he did during his first dance.  I thought he was
     even starting to look like he is a dancer.  During ‘Dancing with the Stars, Week 1’, 
     I thought, he was going to be one of the Contestants who was going to be
     eliminated very early in the show.  He really has improved unbelievably.  During
     his second dance, I was thinking, It’s amazing that he is still competing on this 
     show.  I thought the second one appeared amateurish.

Dancing with the Stars has been very interesting to watch this Season.  During the 1st few shows I was thinking Gilles is going to win this easily.  Somehow, Melissa, Shawn and Lil, all upped-their-game along the way and have all proven they could be
Contenders for the Title. 

At this point, I don’t have a good feeling about who will win.  I am kind of thinking it will be Gilles or Melissa, however, I do think there is a chance that mirror-ball trophie could be snatched by Shawn or Lil.

Written by:  Dawn Perucca