'Dance Your Ass Off': The Semi-finals

Alicia_danceyourassoff_290 Our Final Four had a busy week on "Dance Your Ass Off" - makeovers, photo shoots, and a special Ballroom tutor on top of regular rehearsals and workouts. But only three can make it to the finale...

After the surprise of no elimination last week, the Final Four get professional makeovers and a photoshoot for Life & Style magazine. The stylist is Rachel Zalis who's worked with a lot of big names. Ruben's gasp at hearing he's wering a Hugo Boss suit was adorable. Pinky nearly started crying when she realized her dress was a size 8, the first time she's been that size ever. I just want to squeeze her!

This week, our remaining contestants have two technical Ballroom dances to learn - the Cha Cha and the Viennese Waltz. Ballroom champ and former "Dancing with The Stars" pro Nick Kosovich comes in to help everyone with their technique. Hopefully he gave some tips to Mr. Lucky too because he was not so much last week.

"Live" in the studio, host Marissa Jaret Winokur introduces our ever-present Judges On The Halfshell Mayte Garcia, Lisa Ann Walter, and Danny Teeson. As it's been for the last few weeks, the first round of dances are in random order with the weightloss and Bottom Two revealed in the second round.

Round 1

1. Shayla & Mario
Style/Song:
Cha Cha/"Gimme More" a la Britney Spears
Shayla, who confessed at the begining of the series that she carries the majority of her weight in her chest, has gone from a 38H(!) to a 36DDD much to her delight. It's a crazy difference. Seriously, having a chest that ample is no fun. One thing about her routines is that she's never afraid of thrwoing in difficult moves. Besides Ruben, her numbers have been the most consistent in terms of high content. Great extensions, several split moves, and it was sassy. It was a little low energy but that's my only gripe. Mayte called it sexy but wants her to let go a little more. Lisa Ann loved it from beginning to end. Danny recognizes that now that she's more in shape, she can really let go and do the things she's wanted to do 8 weeks ago.
Score: 9.7 (9-10-10)

2. Alicia & Italo
Style/Song:
Viennese Waltz/"The Trouble With Love" a la Kelly Clarkson
She talks with Dr. Rob Huizenga, M.D. about how she's dealing mentally with losing all her weight and not "recognizing" herself in the mirror. The content was fine and Alicia pulled a very nifty sit-spin, but there was something off in her posture or balance or both. She didn't look comfortable in the routine. Mayte wanted a little more traveling but loved the extention on the spin. There wasn't enough time in hold for Lisa Ann and pinpointed all the problems I saw but had no words for. Danny called it beautiful but saw a lack of confidence.
Score: 7 (7-7-7)

3. Ruben & Hilary
Style/Song:
Cha Cha/"Waiting For Tonight" a la Jennifer Lopez
Ruben's hitting this routine hard. The technique is very good, his frame is great, and he's a fantastic partner as always. That lift was effortless. The facial expressions are a little over-the-top but a life of Broadway-style performing will do that. Mayte loved the energy but wanted him more on the toes. Lisa Ann dug the hip action and partnering but it took a little long to get going for her. Danny loved the presentation and thought the content was great.
Score: 8.7 (9-8-9)

Pinky_danceyourassoff_290 4. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Style/Song:
Viennese Waltz/"I'll Be" a la Edward McCain
Claps for Mr. Lucky for improving so very much this wee. No real knock against him - Ballroom is hard and it's clearly not a specialty of his. Pinky was very elegant and floaty, she embodied the dance very well. Good extension too. Mayte was all hearts and puppies over the movement and the connection between the two of them. Lisa Ann loved the quality of the partnering. Danny called it absolutely beautiful and complimented all her improvements.
Score: 9.7 (9-10-10)

Round 2

5. Alicia & Italo
Style/Song:
Cha Cha/"Can't Get You Out Of My Head" a la Kylie Minogue
Definitely an improvement over the first number but the footwork was inconsistant, Alicia needed to be on her toes more. She didn't seem uncomfortable like before. Was I more uncomfortable? Yes. But this isn't about me. Mayte thought it was really good work. Lisa Ann called it "sexy and fun." Danny also drank the Kool-Aid and thought it was more fabulous than it really was.
Score: 9.7 (9-10-10) - 8.4 overall
Weightloss: 1.62% (-3.5 lbs)
Total: 10.02

6. Ruben & Hilary
Style/Song:
Vienesse Waltz/"Ordinary Day" a la Vanessa Carlton
At first Ruben wasn't in the competition for the money but he found out last week that they cancelled his partner's insurance. Ugh! I'm totally on Team Ruben now. Everyone else has been fabulous but come on. There's a slight lack of connection but that's my only issue (which I often have with Waltzes). Great choreography, excellent technique, and, once again, great lifts. Mayte was all kittens and puffy stickers. Lisa Ann complimented his technique but wanted bigger movement across the floor. Danny loved the finesse and poise.
Score: 9.7 (10-9-10) - 9.2 overall
Weightloss: 2.79% (-7.1 lbs)
Total: 11.99 - this means he's automatically in the finale

The Bottom Two
They both need to score high than Alicia's 10.02 to make it to the finale which is very doable.
1. Pinky & Mr. Lucky
Style/Song:
Cha Cha/"Just Fine" a la Mary J. Blige
She's is wroking that little silver dress, honey. She's pretty consistantly on her toes which is why her hip movement was so great. The footwork was a bit muddled once or twice but it was full of attitude, she attacked the choreography, and her legs looked killer. Mayte could tell she's more comfortable in her heels and also complimented her on her improvement in her lines. Lisa Ann loved all of it but on occasion it was a little stompy for her. Danny didn't think she could win the whole thing until now.
Weightloss: 1.17% (-1.9 lbs)

2. Shayla & Mario
Style/Song:
Vienesse Waltz/"Fallin'" a la Alicia Keys
There was something about the way it was shot that made me feel like I didn't get a good grasp of the number. Her lines were fabulous and it had an air of ease but I couldn't tell if the footwork was off or not. She was very good in hold and had good posture though. Mayte liked that she improved her arm extension but felt she needed more. Lisa Ann was thrilled they were in proper hold but wanted more content in hold. Danny thought it was a very good dance but wanted more fire.
Weightloss: 1.19% (-2.1 lbs)

Shayla's scores come first - an 8 from Mayte and 9's from Lisa Ann and Danny which give her a 9.2 overall and, more importantly, a 10.39 total and a spot in the finale.

Now it's down to Alicia and Pinky, the latter of which needs an 8.9 average to escape elimination. Mayte gave Pinky a 9 and Lisa Ann gave her a 9. It's down to Danny's score to be the deciding factor. After some encouraging words for them both, he gives her a 10 thus eliminating Alicia. Pinky's total of 10.67 puts her in second place this week. A sobbing Alicia gets a standing ovation, deservedly so after losing 45 pounds.

Next week's finale features a return of the past contestants as well two more dances for the last three standing. Per the preview, it looks like Pinky hurt her foot badly at some point. No!

Your thoughts on this week's episode? Care to guess the winner? Were you surprised the makeovers were pretty understated? Anyone you're especially looking forward to seeing again next week? Also, was it just me or was the karaoke style music especially bad this week (except the Britney song)?

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