Web LogChris has promised us a final show weblog, but she's been busy with a plethora of post performance publicity and parties, plus paying back her sleep debt. It will hopefully be up next Monday (14/11)
Chris's Weblog #08 - 3/11/05
What a wild, fun ride this dancing thing is! Trenno reckons this week was like a Greek tragedy in reverse. We were convinced we'd be leaving, especially after we bungled that 10 or 15 seconds or so around the start of our quickstep! And then Dicko pulled out a beautiful waltz and we thought we were gone.
But the quickstep did prove something of a milestone. For the first time during a routine, Trenno actually spoke. Well he didn't really speak...he just groaned loudly as we bumped our way past the judges like two Russian schoolgirls dancing a polka. His half strangled moan nearly made me giggle. I was thinking - 'just stay with me Trenno until we get to the contra check thingy (wow, 16 weeks and the jargon's coming out...scary....anyway, it's kind of a whiplash back bend neck pulling move) and then we'll get back on track.' It's exactly what we did, but the 10 or 15 seconds it took to get there seemed interminable. Then, as I watched him career toward the judges' podium at the end, I had to hold back the urge to shriek "LOOK OUUUTTTT!" or "INCOMING".
All things considered, I think the judges were quite generous with their scores for that little number.
As we transformed ourselves from quickstep manglers to rumba readiness, Trenno told me we'd have to pull one out of the bag. "NO GIGGLING CHRISTINE," he said. But there were a couple of points in the rumba where it was very difficult not to giggle. Firstly, just after we did a flick each others' hands away type thing, Trenno pulled this move that looked like Fozzie Bear in ecstasy. He'd never done it at rehearsal and I recall thinking 'Geez...go Trenno...where'd that come from?' and bit back the urge to snigger. Then during a
back bend, somebody in the audience yelled "Yeah baby!", Austin Powers style. And another urge to giggle was suppressed!!!
We were very, very happy with the judges' comments afterwards, but when those scores came up, we were beside ourselves. A mate reckons I looked like I'd won the showcase on "The Price Is Right". Not a very mature response to jump up and down I know, but it's not every day you get a perfect score for anything! Even then, we weren't sure we'd get through the elimination, but felt that going out on a high like that could never be a bad thing.
When the elimination didn't happen, I'm not sure which couple was more shocked. Dicko was incredibly gracious and made another magnanimous speech, like the one he made on camera, during the after show festivities. He embodied the best of the spirit that makes this show such fun.
There's been a bit of fallout over the splits. I've copped a bollocking from friends. I doubt I'll ever live it down. But YES GIRLS, THERE IS LIFE AFTER CHILDBIRTH!!!!
I'm dedicating the move to all the Mums out there!! Especially all those Mums who have been helping me and Trenno get over the line.
Ada and I decided while chatting at the end of the show that we are just going to have fun during the Grand Final. The decision on who wins is really made this week by the public, seeing the phone votes override the judges at the end of the day. In a way, it seems to take the pressure off a bit. We're both really looking forward to seeing everybody else from the cast for the final ep, showing off few moves while our families are in the audience (Denis and Darcy will be there) and enjoying ourselves.
I'm off to rehearse our three dances and see if Trenno can choreograph a freestyle showstopper. He's promised more splits. Hopefully the pins will hold up long enough.
Thanks for all your support and a big thankyou to all those who've contributed to this website, especially the people I don't know.
Chris's Weblog #07 - 28/10/05
This week Trenno upped the ante in the costume department, demanding I leave my pants behind and get the legs out for our Jive. Weeks ago, there's no way I would've done it. But at this stage of the competition, I'm more prepared to trust him and throw caution (and my duds) to the wind. If it's good enough for Malcolm Fraser, it's good enough for me! Thankfully I found my pants in time for the flight back to Sydney from Melbourne on Wednesday and I didn't have to streak through any hotel lobbies.
Sadly the jive we were so eagerly anticipating, proved a tad catastrophic at the start. We bungled the lift at the bottom of the stairs (something that never happened during rehearsal) and then weren't sure where we were in the phrasing of the music for a little bit, but somehow got back on track. You'll probably see just what it was SUPPOSED to look like in the package before our dance on this week's forthcoming show. Anyway, maybe the judges didn't think we were enjoying it, but once we got onto the floor and brought it back from the brink, we had a ball. I'm still a little perplexed that Todd could see the Babs Streisand within Trenno - thought I was the only one who could see that. Very pleased though that somebody else can see the superstar inside him!
Amazingly the Vietnamese Waltz (sorry but "Viennese" just doesn't seem to cut it) was good fun too. It felt like ice-skating. Maybe copping a bollocking from Todd after the Jive helped me relax into the waltz and gave our dancing that "que sera sera" element. Whatever it was, it felt good whizzing around the floor with everybody. Perhaps we found some solace in the company!!!
This week it's Quickstep and Rumba. We are dancing our butts off at rehearsal. Quickstep is like a dance explosion. It's a pretty physical experience. I take my hat off to all the celebs who had to do it early in the peace. If I'd have done it earlier, we would've needed a defibrillator on stand-by!!
As for Rumba, well it embodies every anxiety I ever had about ballroom dancing. It'll be interesting then to see if the judges think our Ep 9 Rumba is better than our Ep 2 effort. I think last time they said it was "too aggressive and hard", so we're working on a softer, more romantic version this time around. Let's hope sex sells!!! Hopefully we'll be able to show that we really have improved over these past few weeks. I certainly have less hang-ups about the whole dancing thing at the very least. We've been desperately trying to follow the judges advice, but remain baffled as to how to get personality out of my feet rather than my mouth!!!
Whatever the case, we plan to give Ep 9 everything we've got and if our best ain't good enough, then for God's sake vote for us and get our sorry butts over the line!!! Please help give Trenno just one more episode to get Barbra out and singing.
Thanks again for your interest and support
Chris's Weblog #06 - 21/10/05
Hi there and my apologies for the delayed posting this week!
Since Tuesday night's foxtrot, life has been rather frantic, with no time to reminisce about things ballroom. Bizarrely, I've been busy in another ballroom at Sydney's Star City Casino, MC-ing a conference for Group Training Australia, a fantastic not-for-profit organisation that places and nurtures thousands of apprentices and trainees with employers across the country. No sign of Daryl singing Barry Manilow tunes, but managed to get Federal Vocational Education and Training Minister Gary Hardgrave up on stage for a bit of samba! He does a mean bacciacata (sp???). Didn't get a chance to test out Bomber Beazley's foot work, although he did a very pretty quickstep towards the stage when called upon to speak.
Now for Tuesday, and congratulations to the gorgeous David Campbell for his amazing singing effort. He was so excited the week before to get through the elimination, because he knew he'd be able to sing with his Dad, Jimmy Barnes. Knowing what it meant to him, made watching them on Tuesday night a bit of a tearjerker for the cast. It seemed we were watching Australian rock history and the changing of the guard. We'd all watched the boys rehearse earlier in the day (goosebumps all round) and on the night, watching them sing "Wichita Lineman" again, made our eyes water and all our hairs stand on end, especially Dicko's back blanket.
We were all sad after such a triumphant performance to see David and the lovely Luda go at the end of the show. Both of them have been wonderful mates and a pleasure to see every week. It's going to be very quiet backstage without that Campbell boy. And now none of us will sing our pre-show song in tune (although Dicko and Ada seem to be able to hold notes better than most - look out for their post-show duet album).
As for the foxtrot, I was particularly worried about this dance. We missed a couple of days training last week because of the ankle injury and Trenno kept telling me "it isn't the kind of dance that's easy to master, Chris". Amazing how many of them fall into that category!
I also wanted to do a good job of trotting like a fox, so we could make it through to Jive the following week. I think the band really lifted us on Tuesday night and carved up our song "Nobody But Me" (good choice Trenno and many thanks to Chong and his merry band of musos). We were very happy to get through and ecstatic with our scores!
Jive's coming up on Tuesday and Viennese Waltz. Two dances are going to give the ankle a bit of a test, but it's coming along nicely and is proving to be a more manageable injury than the two dislocated ribs that annoyed the hell out of me through the first four episodes. Why didn't somebody tell us we'd need body armour as well as rhinestones and high heels to become ballroom dancers? The frocks could do with some rugby league-style protection.
Maybe I should ring Brodes while he's in Arizona and ask him to pick up some American football quarterback pads. Although, he's about the only dancer that doesn't need them. We've all seen those abs and those shoulders and those biceps and those rippling lats and those pecs and I'm off on a tangent and I'm reliably informed that during his marathon five dance pre-record effort on Tuesday night after the show, he got them out again. Cynical use of the chest will get you everywhere Brodes. Watch this space for an eyewitness account of Helen's hormones on the loose under the mirror ball (we'll have our high-tech Helen Hormonometer in the audience on Tuesday). She may do more than clutch Toddy's thigh this time round.
We've managed to release Darcy from the cupboard Dicko had him tied up in, so he and Denis are coming to Melbourne to watch Tuesday night's show. Darcy just loves the Jive music that Trenno's chosen and dances around the loungeroom to it every time he hears it.
Thanks again for your support and interest and we're very much looking forward to going "fully sick" (Trenno-ism for dancing like a maniac) during the Jive on Tuesday night. Just hope we don't get fully sick during the Viennese Waltz, which by all accounts and Ian Roberts's experience during Series Two, may well be on the cards. If you're a particularly sympathetic type, get your brown paper bags ready just in case, I'm going to supply the boys with some.
Chris's Weblog #05 - 12/10/05
Hello again and welcome to any new visitors to the website!
Well I have to say a huge thank you to all the people who helped me and Trenno get through last night and the drama of the ankle. But a big thank-you first off to Trenno, who was a legend, as usual. The irony of being able to 'blame it all on the boogie' wasn't lost on him I'm sure!!!
As well, thank-you to our fellow competitors. They were truly spectacular. It really was an amazing indication of the fabulous camaraderie that exists backstage on this show. All the celebs and dancers offered all manner of help, from drug therapy (thanks Brodes for the footballers' friends) to pep talks (thanks Dawnie for the Olympic inspiration and Ada for the mothering) to possible causes (yes Dicko, the ankle did go because of "bad technique" - specially after you threw me down the stairs and David stomped on it).
I'm still not sure exactly what I did. There was a minor incident during rehearsal on Monday night, but nothing of note, just me stumbling about being clumsy as usual in high heels. The following morning, I'd noticed a niggling pain and mentioned it to Trenno, but ignored it.
It escalated but I still ignored it. Afterall, everything hurts when you're on DWTS, so I just figured it was another one of those things! By about 5pm yesterday sitting in makeup, it was clear something was very wrong. The ankle was swelling up and throbbing. I decided to say something.
Voula the assistant floor manager ran for the ice and we whacked it on, but by the time I got out of the make-up chair, I could barely stand on the offending joint. This sparked a mild panic. A doctor was called (thank-you Warwick the Wonder Physio), drugs were taken (legal ones), the opening shots were reworked and it was decided that Trenno and I wouldn't go first as scheduled, we'd go last to give Dr Brodie's generously donated anti-inflammatories time to work their magic.
There was lots of embarrassing melodrama. The gorgeous crew duo of Andy and Marcus carried me onto the floor for the opening shots - they're now claiming compo. Trenno piggy-backed me off again and out the back to get strapped up, then elevated, then warmed up by Warwick the Physio.
My feet are pretty crappy instruments anyway - flat, pronating, calloused, long-toed, blistered things - enhanced only by orthotics which don't slip neatly into ballroom heels. It's not surprising there's been a foot region incident! It was only a matter of time.
Anyway, between the ice, anti-inflammatories, the magic hands of Warwick the Physio and pep talks from the entire cast, the offending ankle was coaxed to cooperate long enough for us to "Blame It On The Boogie" and finish the show.
It wasn't that brave. I'm a stubborn cow. I've been through childbirth - there's no way I let a minute and a half wriggling to the Jackson Five finish me off - especially when I'm having so much fun!
Visited the physio in Sydney tonight. The verdict is: my ankle was probably out of alignment and that's why the ligaments were complaining long and loud. The swelling has gone down considerably - I've been a good icing girl all day, resting as instructed by Warwick the Wonder Physio - and I'm allowed to practice carefully in flat shoes with orthotics tomorrow. So we've lost a day's training but Trenno will no doubt make up for lost time and flog me gently as he begins teaching me to trot like a vixen!
Thanks for your interest and good wishes and may your ankles be good ankles.
Chris's Weblog #04 - 05/10/05
Hello again and thanks for visiting the Bathie Army site!
Wow! Samba night was an absolute blast. The entire cast had a fantastic time and off the floor, we certainly lived the party legend of Samba! My boys, Denis and Darcy had a ball too, in fact many of us had our loved ones with us last night, which made it extra special. It really was a family show.
And the band!! Incredible! How could we not dance our socks off after the efforts of our resident musos, plus a few percussive added extras? They rocked. They certainly inspired me and helped me have a good go at the hitherto unattainable "shaky shaky" buttocks thing. (I'm sure that's the official name of the step where you stick out your derriere and shake it like hell.) Just don't try it in public, or at home for that matter, if you have concerns about your pelvic floor girls!!
Brodie proved a bit of a distraction of course. Sex sells, especially when it's beating its chest and arriving topless on a vine in tiger tights. And we were ALL buying.
I've begun planting a rainforest at home already. Tom who?
Mmmmmm. Brodes was very impressive. I know it certainly put Sonny Kruger in a bit of a lather. Helen was also moved. Todd seemed to be humming a few bars of "Just a Gigolo" but incapable of any other meaningful speech. I was so distracted I was pondering marriage to Daryl. Even Luda, the best Bon Bon shaker in Australia (she's a salsa champion), confessed to Darcy that Brodie made her feel "hot".
He replied, "Well, there's someone on the show that makes me feel warm, Luda!"
"You Luda." He's four, Australian and male. It starts early.
Despite his "fever", Darcy had a great time as usual. During a commercial break, he regaled the audience with the story behind his sartorial splendour. His Gran (my marvellous mother) made him a special suit to wear to Melbourne - pants, vest, jacket, shirt and three different bow ties to choose from. He looked very dapper, if not a little like the obstetrician that brought him into the world.
As usual, he made straight for the girls, spanning generations by courting Dawnie, Masha and Dicko's two beautiful comedic daughters and naturally, his favourites Ada and Luda - and my thanks to her for her splendid maraca work in the play-off after we'd been judged!! Wish I had maracas like that.
But Darcy won't be making another appearance in the DWTS studio until Episode 10, when everybody appears on the show to say goodbye. Dicko has him tied up somewhere.
He won't release him unless we pay him lots of money or sign the adoption papers his lawyers sent us.
Help us start a petition to free him so he can at least watch Mummy attempt the Cha Cha with Trenno next week.
Thanks heaps for voting and watching and laughing with us all!
Chris's Weblog #03 - 28/09/05
Hi there and at the risk of sounding repetitive, thanks for your support!
It's been another very weird but fun few days in the ballroom dancing cult in Melbourne. Last night was pretty tough for everybody. We're a few weeks in, and coupled with a hectic weekend of AFL Grand Final indulgence for some, most of us are feeling a tad fatigued. Then there's the general consensus that Foxtrot is apparently a pretty tough ask for rank amateurs like us and the personal consensus that Paso is quite possibly the most ridiculous dance Trenno and I have attempted so far.
Sadly I was prancing under the misapprehension that it's "the man's dance" (see previous week's posting) and thought I was off the hook. Somehow Trenno managed to choreograph a blistering routine that made me feel like asking the producers for Michael Caton's abandoned oxygen mask. Even Trenno, Lord of the Dance, was puffed after almost every run at it.
Somehow it was always so much better in rehearsal. On the big night, I managed to slip, over-do a turn (I was heading straight for the judges at the time, looking down the barrel of Todd, thinking 'OMIGOD JUDGES!!!!!!'), only to celebrate the last few steps of the routine by kicking the hell out of Trenno. The thing that did seem to work okay, was the finale, when I hurled myself at him to end upside-down, praying the busti would defy gravity and remain firmly ensconced in the frock. The busti cooperated but every other malfunction was duly noted by the unfortunately observant judges.
Personally I reckon their criticism was valid and I need to figure out a way to obliterate the rigid, petrified mess I turn into when I hear "Would Chris Bath and her partner Trenton Shipley take to the floor."
That'll be this week's challenge. Possibly next week's too if we get through Samba!
On a lighter note, I'd like to share some of the other constructive criticism we've received from various quarters for the Paso. Remarks have ranged from the prosaic "Crotch flasher" to the incisive "Bathie, you've got to be kidding!" and "That was a load of bull." All comments very much appreciated, especially the ones that make us giggle.
Samba this week. It's gonna be a tough one for poor Trenno - the newsreader's hip action is better suited to swivelling on the chair in Seven's Martin Place studio. Pity you can't do it in a chair really.
Thanks again for all your support.
Chris's Weblog #02 - 21/09/05
Hello again and thanks for your support.
Well it's the day after the night before and I think both Trenno and I are still in shock. Seems many of our friends are too (except Nana Bath - she's stoked!!!). Half my mates keep leaving messages on my mobile where they stammer out a couple of words, then dissolve into laughter. That's one of the great things about this show - it makes you giggle - at yourself, at the bizarre nature of being in a ballroom cult, at the sheer irony of it all.
Trenno was a tad worried about tango I think. He finished choreographing it on Saturday afternoon and was wondering if I'd ever get the timing right. Until about Tuesday morning, I was pretty sure I wouldn't too! Tango is like whiplash, so it's best to just take off the seatbelt and go for it. After watching everybody at rehearsal early on Tuesday arvo, I think that's pretty much the unspoken consensus me and Trenno reached. In fact, everybody seemed to have raised the bar a notch and we ALL probably thought 'Bugger it! Just go for it!'
In the end, we had a ball (and gave ourselves whiplash). I think just before the end of the routine, we were so relieved that nothing major had been stuffed up, that we started smiling at each other (forgetting the traditional Tango face). Whoops.
Paso is next week. It's another Spanish feeling thing - the dance Paul Mercurio made famous in "Strictly Ballroom". Trenno actually auditioned for the part and got down to the last three!!! Pretty impressive, huh! (He casually let that slip at training today!!) He was only 17 and Tara Morice (the dancing love interest) was 25, so maybe without that generation gap, I'd be without the Toongabbie Twinkletoes right now. Trenton would be judging and I'd be dancing with Paul Mercurio....now there's an idea!!! (Sorry Trenno.)
Well I'm off to Doble my Paso or practice being a bull or a cape or something like that. Trenno says "It's the man's dance, Christine", so hopefully I'm off the hook for this one.
Thanks again for your interest and support.
Chris's weblog #01 - 13/09/05
Hi there and thank you for your support!
It's been a truly amazing week. After working in journalism since 1988, nothing quite prepared me for the "Dancing With The Stars" juggernaut.
If a few weeks ago, anybody had told me that one day I'd dance a waltz in a rhinestone studded frock under a giant mirror ball, showing more flesh than I feel comfortable revealing, while Daryl Somers sang a Barry Manilow tune and two million people watched, I would've asked whether they needed a good lie down!
But it really did happen. The amazing Trenton, dance teacher extraordinaire, got us over the line. It was rather nerve wracking but loads of fun.
Already there's great camaraderie between all 20 dancers. It's like we've all joined a ballroom dancing cult and we're living in a bizarre mirror-balled parallel universe.
So this week, we're doing the Rumba - my worst nightmare. Trenton tells me I'm required to find my inner sex kitten and writhe like crazy on national television while my Nana, four year old son and partner watch. Eeek! Newsreaders just don't do that sort of thing. We're good girls. Even the boys are good girls!
But a Seven colleague has inspired me - her advice on how to get in touch with my aforementioned inner kitten - "Bathie, go find your evil twin sister." So I'm out looking for Elvira, hoping she'll be located by 7.30pm Tuesday night. If you see her, can you please send her to Melbourne? Quickly?
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