Can I just start off by saying that this season’s celeb ladies seem to be miles ahead of their male counterparts??? Aside from only 2 real duds that I can think of (see below), the rest of the ladies seem to really have a shot at doing well – I was far more impressed with the dancing tonight than I was with the dancing last night. The boys are going to have to really step it up if they want that trophy!
And on an unrelated side note – Tom Bergeron is, quite possibly, the best reality tv show host EVER. He’s funny, likeable, and thinks on his feet – only he could diffuse a dogfight between Len & Bruno with such wit. Remind me again why Jeff Probst won the Emmy for Best Reality TV Host…
Anyway, onto the rankings…I still have the 2nd half of House to watch and haven’t even started CSI: Miami! :-)
1.) Joanna & Derek – Someone is probably scraping Heidi off the ceiling right about now, cause these two were on FIRE tonight. Two VERY energetic routines – the sexiest salsa of the evening, and a very nice foxtrot (can’t say that I thought it was the best, but we’ll get to that later). They definitely have chemistry (can’t wait for the rumba!), and on top of that – Derek is a total ham, and Joanna seems to play off of that. Now here’s my problem with them: I don’t think Joanna’s technique is nearly as good as Mya or Kelly or even Natalie’s, and I noticed (especially during their salsa) that she seems to look to Derek for reassurance after each step – a sort of “Did I do that right???” look creeps over her face and detracts from her expression of the dance. I think their scores were a bit too high, and I can already see them becoming the “Judge’s Pets”, much like Brooke was in Season 7 – they can do no wrong in the eyes of the judges week after week. Oh well…straight through to the final with these two…and a happy season for Heidi, hehe.
2.) Kelly & Louis – I hereby retract any statements I made previously in which I doubted Kelly’s dance abilities. These two emerged as my favorite couple of the season tonight…why? 1 – Kelly actually has some of the best technique out of the girls, 2 – She can laugh at herself when she messes up, and 3 – She had the time of her life out there tonight, and it showed. She has definitely matured from the bratty, foul-mouthed teenager of The Osbournes into a classy, charming, media-savvy young woman – and who can really hate on a girl who absolutely loves her family? Aside from being downright lovable tonight, she actually has great dancing chops – her Viennese waltz was light & graceful, and she even had some great interaction with Louis at the beginning (which, despite Louis’ crush on my boyfriend, seemed to work for me!). Her salsa was fun and energetic – yes, she flubbed a few times, but she laughed it off and made up for it with some great leg work – she’s the only girl I saw that really closed her thighs together properly to really get good hip & leg action. Is she better than Mya? No, but she’s definitely more memorable, and that might keep her around longer.
3.) Mya & Dmitry – I stand by my statement that Mya would be the best dancer out of the girls this season. Her technique is IMPECCABLE…her turns were clean and butter-smooth, and she has the best arm extensions I’ve seen out of any celeb, male or female, on DWTS. What she has in technique, however, she lacks in expression. I think a lot of it has to do with her whole R&B singer persona, which I noticed in her lead-in – Mya was cool and slick, and probably wasn’t used to showing the kind of emotional vulnerability that one needs to exude in romantic dances like the Viennese waltz. But that same slickness & sexiness worked to her advantage in the salsa – I barely noticed Dmitry because Mya was the one stealing the show! Great energy, great technique – I just wish she’d let down her guard a bit more. If she manages to do that, she could be the wild card in the finale – the one that slips through at the last minute after a rollercoaster season.
4.) Natalie & Alec – What an athlete! This girl is strong, and it shows in her movement – she really “finishes” each move, and punctuates it well. I actually think her & Alec’s foxtrot relay was better than Joanna & Derek’s. Her salsa was great in some parts (she’s really getting the hang of the leg action), and not so great in others (she tends to let her arms get a bit flimsy, which makes her look awkward). And, on like Mya, she seems to have a hard time connecting with the audience – although I think Natalie’s struggle is more motivated by nervousness…she tends to really get into her head too much and overthink the steps, and forgets to have fun. But that smile of hers is glorious, the few times it does creep out – if she can couple that with her great technique, she might stick around to the semi-finals.
5.) Melissa & Mark – I like Melissa, I really do. But she just kinda faded into the background for me tonight :-( Both of her dances felt too “soft” – she never really got grounded in the beat, and tended to move very small. It was especially noticeable in her Viennese, which is supposed to really move across the floor, while Melissa just seemed to stroll across it. Her salsa was equally as unmemorable for me, but I blame that more on Mark – none of the choreography really seemed to “pop”. Like Natalie, I think she gets too focused on the steps and the result is a rather bland performance that doesn’t really leave an impression. But Melissa is the girl next door, and people like her – and Mark seems to have the same teenybopper following that Derek does (no Heidi, this is not a dig on you – I have just seen too many BHB shows where the majority of the audience was squealing 13-year-olds!). Don’t know if that popularity is enough to keep them around, so hopefully Melissa will step it up and learn to relax on the floor.
6.) Debi & Maks – I have to say, I respect the heck out of Debi’s work ethic – she really seems to want to do well on the show. However, that same drive to win and attention to detail tends to seep into her dancing, which results in her looking like she is, to quote Len, “muscle-ing through” each move. She appeared very tense & stiff in both her salsa & foxtrot. But all is not lost! I see glimmers of good technique in there – her footwork is actually very good, and she is the only lady that did actually manage to do a traditional feather step with heel turn in her foxtrot (which is actually a step in international foxtrot, which is quite a bit harder than the American version!). Her focus & attention to detail is fantastic. Now she just needs to channel that focus into loosening up!
7.) Macy & Jonathan – Erm, I think Macy would be a shoo-in for the trophy if they awarded it based on eccentricty! I didn’t quite know what to make of her most of the time – she seemed fidgety and aloof during the lead-ins, and then a bit feisty and goofy while dancing (she had her mouth open like a large-mouth bass most of the time!). But unfortunately, mostly just aloof. While she pales in comparison to the apathy of Master P, she really doesn’t seem like she wants to be there – she even admitted it in a roundabout way during her intro, when she said she was doing it “because her mom wanted her to”. Alas, poor Jonathan – he seems to have gotten stuck with another stinker this season. But Macy does have 2 things going for her: she actually stays on time while dancing (er, if you can even call it that…it’s more like “grooving”), and she got bleeped on live tv. The folks at “Vote for the Worst” are probably jumping for joy right about now – they just found this season’s Cloris. While she lacks Cloris’ energy and boldness, she still is quirky. That might be just enough to get her through this week!
8.) Kathy & Tony – The curse of the models continues. While Joanna seems to have escaped it, Kathy is unfortunately fitting into the mold that most of the models that have done the show have formed over time: awkward, timid movers that don’t seem to be comfortable moving with their height. For someone with legs as long as hers, she was moving so small – 5’2″ Kelly was moving far more than she was, and Kathy is 5’11”. Her foxtrot was much better than her salsa – but it was still nowhere near as good as Joanna’s or Natalie’s. She also seems to have inherited the same blank “deer in the headlights” expression that so many of the models have developed over the years – painted on smile with nothing behind it. I don’t know if anyone else noticed it, but she also seemed to come across as a bit pageanty and rehearsed when interacting with some of the others – maybe it was just me, but it was a bit off-putting. Either way, I don’t think she was memorable enough to stick around this week…sorry Kathy :-(
So officially, my predictions for who’s getting booted during the double elimination tomorrow – Ashley & Edyta and Kathy & Tony, regardless of whether or not it’s a male and a female or just the bottom 2 vote-getters. Feel a bit bad that Edyta seems to be getting shafted again – she either is the one that almost wins it, or the one that gets sent home the first week. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this sentiment *cough*John*cough…oh well, maybe next season…