WOOHOO!!! I finally feel woken up from last week’s snoozefest. Now had a lot of the couples channeled the many innuendos & saucy one-liners from this week into their dances last week, we might have actually had some passion. But this week was fun, and finally we’re separating then men from the boys (and the women from the girls ;-) )…although I must say it’s actually getting harder to rank some of the couples because they’re so tightly packed in terms of progress…
1.) Nicole & Derek – Nice to see these two bounce back after such a ho-hum performance last week. I cringed inwardly when Heidi told me that they had gotten “Pretty Woman” as their tango – that song is not a tango. But man, did they make it work – aside from Nicole having fantastic technique and a good connection with both Derek & the audience, I think they also did a really good job of striking a balance between portraying the movie & doing the dance (which, unfortunately, is a balance some of the other couples did not achieve). And compared to Evan & Anna, I feel like this performance had more of a “pulse” – Evan, while quite good technically, is still feeling a little disconnected to me. I think people will rally around them this week, and going in the second half of the show did seem to help with being memorable. And they were a mere point away from a perfect score – *sigh* oh Len. I’m fairly certain these two will get the encore this week (if there is one – it sounds like a pretty packed results show) and will sail easily into next week ;-)
2.) Evan & Anna – First off, I gotta give Heidi props for calling this song choice – she had it pegged, while I was still holding out for Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away”. Oh well – maybe next season. Ok, now admittedly, I missed about the first 20 seconds of this rumba because my DVR froze (conveniently, on Evan’s hindquarters…hehe), so yes, I realize I didn’t see the whole thing. What I saw though was pretty good – Evan definitely seems to nail the sweeping arm motions of the man, while still being there to support Anna. But I’m still feeling like he’s not 100% “in” the dance – like there’s a small part of him that’s so focused on what he’s doing that he loses some of the emotion of it. I also think he plays better to an audience (probably due to his skating background) than he does to his partner – but Anna, while I adore her, is admittedly a bit cold. So I guess we’ll see as the weeks play out – at least they got the two most passionate dances (rumba & tango) out of the way early. These two aren’t going anywhere (and I won’t even say the “R” word this time – but I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with zinger), but I think Derek & Nicole might get a bit more press than Evan & Anna this week.
3.) Pam & Damian – I agonized over whether or not these two deserved 3rd or 4th place, but I ultimately chose them over Erin & Maks because I think the latter are starting to overdose the media with their “showmance” and interest in that will likely wane a bit. But anyway – VIVA LA PAM!!! She’s surprisingly light on her feet. I thought this was an adorable dance, and it seemed oddly apropos to have Pam channeling Dolly Parton ;-) I’m really starting to appreciate Damian’s choreography too – it’s simple & “meaty” enough to satisfy Len, but also lends itself nicely to some fun, memorable moments. I also snickered a bit when they did Jake & Chelsie’s “up the stairs & down the stairs” move from last week on the table & chairs – and they did it better ;-) I’m hoping that more people are starting to hop onto the Viva La Pam bandwagon, especially those who are starting to tire of Krabby Kate and want to throw their votes behind another mommy. I know that all the votes in my house went to them! I’ve got a feeling that Pam is getting safer & safer with each passing week, as the “dark horse” in her starts to emerge – she could be this year’s Kelly.
4.) Erin & Maks – Ok, really? An entire package of these two fake screaming at each other in a sort of warped flirtation? I just don’t find it cute anymore – I find it kind of annoying, actually. I’d rather see Erin just LISTEN to Maks (gahhh, can’t believe I’m saying that) and hopefully strengthen her skills. This jive…was alright. Erin is still doing something wonky with her arms, and I just couldn’t help thinking about Apolo & Julianne’s jive to this same song in season 4 and how much better I liked it. Kinda surprised that the “powers that be” decided to reuse this song, really. And maybe this is a petty gripe on my part – but why the hell did they have Erin in a blonde wig??? MIA WALLACE HAD BLACK HAIR!!! And I like my Vincent Vega’s to have ponytails! The Tarantino fan in me is just crying inwardly right now. These two ought to be ok, based on their coy banter during their interview with Brooke – but I recommend they find a new gimmick, and FAST, because this whole “are we or aren’t we?” act is wearing thin, and I’m not sure that Erin can measure up to Evan, Nicole, and maybe even Pam.
5.) Jake & Chelsie – Ok, another movie-related gripe: where were Jake’s sunglasses? Tom Cruise wore sunglasses when he was strutting around in his skivvies. I know some of you will argue “Well he couldn’t dance with them on!” – so take them off and toss them in the audience, dude! Now while I didn’t want to like this – I did. I’m not sure whether it’s Chelsie’s skill or Jake’s enthusiasm that’s making them so fun to watch, but whatever they’re doing seems to be working. But Jake does have a problem: he gets so excited and into the dance that he fouls up. He’s kinda like a puppy that isn’t quite housebroken yet: really energetic & trying his best, but gets excited and pees on the rug. And as we weed out some of the weaker dancers, it just makes Jake’s voting fanbase seem that much smaller – he’s gonna have to bust out a great routine next week, or he may run the risk of falling into the dreaded “middle of the pack” – not getting sympathy votes like the low-scorers, and not getting the volume of votes like the high-scorers.
6.) Chad & Cheryl – Another showmance I’m just getting sick of hearing about. Seriously, at this point, I do not care whether they’re doing the horizontal mambo or not. It’s just getting old. And with as weak a dancer as Chad is – they, like Erin & Maks, need to find a new strength to aid them in this competition. Now while his quickstep was miles better than his foxtrot, he just holds his body so awkwardly, especially his head (I still blame the height difference between these two). Going 2nd didn’t seem to help their cause much, either. Oy…still such a disappointment, these two. I’m actually gonna say that either Chad or Kate could end up in the danger zone this week – it’s kinda hard to tell. Either way, I don’t see him sticking around for more than 2 weeks.
7.) Kate & Tony – Ok, I’m actually going to give Kate ONE compliment this week: she managed to throw in the occasional (weak) smile while dancing. But I about put my foot through my flat screen when she was questioning Tony’s choreo at the beginning of the package – never, EVER question a pro’s choreography. PERIOD. No matter how dorky or silly it may seem (unless you’re Mya and Dmitry is choreographing a crap freestyle for you) – you do it and you trust your pro. Now from some of the chatter on Twitter and the DWTS message boards, it seems like the “Keep Kate” campaign that idiot George Lopez is spearheading might not be so successful this week – sounds like a lot of “trainwreck” fans are now abandoning ship because they’re sick of her. I’m hoping they gravitate towards Pam ;-) , but as long as they’re NOT throwing extra votes Kate’s way (and are instead throwing those votes to another couple), I’m ok with it. I daresay that infernal Lopez and his campaigning will prolly have enough juice to keep her around this week, but next week – she’s kaput.
8.) Niecy & Louis – I’m afraid these two just fell victim to bad running order and bad song choice this week. Granted, Niecy’s jive wasn’t particularly energetic or hard-hitting, but it was fun, and those two are fun to watch together. I’m just afraid it’s not going to be enough to carry them through. In their defense though – La Bamba? C’mon now – the movie wasn’t all that memorable. Lou Diamond Phillips channeling Richie Valens? It was an ok (but forgettable) flick – which is why I don’t think this song did them any favors. It’s been a nice run, Niecy, but I’m afraid your jiggly parts just aren’t enough to keep you around any longer.
And so begins the debating! Who do you guys see coming out on top and who do you see getting kicked to the curb? Still got votes left? Throw them to ANYONE but Kate ;-) And you guys better brace yourself for this week’s Cheesecake Awards – I have a feeling they’re gonna be a doozy! :-D I’m off to pick up the bf at the airport…he better have brought me back something fun from Vegas!