That basically sums up my feelings about tonight. I was expecting to be really “wowed” at every dance – and I was indeed wowed at certain moments – but overall, I kinda just feel lukewarm about tonight’s performances. Disappointing :-( Hopefully tomorrow night will be much more rewarding! But alas, I still must rank – for the last time this season. So without further ado – the final predictions for season 10.
1.) Nicole & Derek – I am placing my faith in humanity on this one! Personally, I think Nicole’s performance throughout the season (and tonight especially) makes her the most deserving of the trophy (go ahead and disagree, cite “no growth” and “previous experience” as reasons you won’t vote for her – but she’s been the most entertaining this season for me, and the reason I’ve looked forward to each show!). That rumba – now THAT is a redemption dance. It’s nights like these when I truly loathe Carrie Ann and her ridiculous “lift policing”, because her harping really seemed to overshadow her praise of an otherwise perfect dance. A little confused with Len’s complaint of Nicole not looking confident – so, the rumba is all about vulnerability, but it has to be confident vulnerability? Seems like a bit of a contradiction. The line at the end was just gorgeous. I actually think I liked their rumba better than their freestyle…which was still great compared to the other two this evening. The energy and execution (aside from the botched lift at the end…there was a collective “oh no!” at my house when it happened) were unmatched, and while there wasn’t necessarily a “theme”, I think the costumes and choreo worked well with the song. After tonight’s show almost cast Evan in a bit of a bad light (and brought Erin up to tie with her), I’m beginning to think Nicole might really have a shot at this, despite Heidi & my skepticism…fingers crossed :-D
2.) Evan & Anna – Oy. These two were definitely off their game tonight. While the Viennese waltz was a definite improvement from the previous one, I almost feel like Evan was overcompensating for lack of chemistry by flailing around the floor dragging Anna along with him. It certainly didn’t help me much that they were dancing to “Piano Man”, quite possibly one of my least favorite songs ever written (sorry, music can ruin a whole performance for me ;-) ), and one that doesn’t necessarily have a romantic undertone to it for Evan & Anna to play to. The freestyle…eh. It was high-energy, yes, and Evan looked like he was having a blast – going with a jive-like routine was probably a good idea – but I have to agree with the judges: they were out of sync and you could tell Anna was not happy with it. I didn’t think the lead-in package did them any favors either – after quite possibly being the most harmonious couple so far this season, I don’t think their breakdown could have come at a worse time – then again, maybe this will get Evan’s fans to rally. Overall, I’m left with a feeling of blah from these two tonight – kinda forgettable. Again, hopefully Evan can square off with Nicole in the final 2, because I do think he deserves to be there, but I’m starting to think that he may not be the voting juggernaut that we think he is…
3.) Erin & Maks – I’m left on the fence about these two in both dances – parts I loved, parts I hated. The samba was a definite improvement – this was the first time I’ve seen Erin truly “let loose” and have fun, even if she did still struggle with the runs a bit. Thought the bit at the end with the grinding on the judges and kissing Len was silly and a waste of time – but that seems to be Maks’ M.O. these days, throwing in fluff at the end to fill in the few remaining bars of music. But overall, a fun dance that showed growth. Ok, now as for the freestyle – I actually loved the idea of it. While I may hate “Piano Man”, the show redeemed itself when they used “Alone”, which is in my top 10 favorite songs of all time (god, I <3 Heart!), and I loved the idea of doing something slower & more artsy as a freestyle. However…I thought the overall execution of the idea just missed the mark completely. The choreography felt extremely frantic and messy to me – and I’m not sure who the blame for that lies with…could be Mandy, could be Erin, because Maks seems like he let those two take the reigns this time, out of lack of experience in the contemporary style. Thought the couch at the beginning was completely unnecessary, and they relied too heavily on the bed choreographically. I really had a hard time not comparing this to two different routines from season 4 of SYTYCD – Mandy’s lyrical to “Alone” for Will & Jessica, and Mia’s contemporary bed routine for Twitch & Kherington – because that’s really what this felt like to me…those two routines combined, but not as good as either one. I definitely give them props for taking the risk – this is routine I will definitely remember as a standout – but it just fell short, which is what I’m thinking will happen with Erin tomorrow night…she’ll just fall short of Evan in terms of votes, and will likely get third.
And with that, I lock in my predictions for season 10, and hang up my ranking hat until September :-) But the best part of the rankings is the feedback, so troops, SOUND OFF! How do you think things will play out tomorrow night?
P.S. I know I’ve been shamelessly plugging Purdue for the past 2 weeks in the college competition, but I’m gonna do it one more time: VOTE FOR ‘EM! Yes, they will likely get their butts handed to them by Utah Valley (seriously, they’re like robots…how are they that in sync???), but let’s at least make it close race, mmmkay? ;-)