And tonight, ladies & gentlemen, is a prime example of why week 2 is TOO DAMN EARLY TO DO THE JIVE! Ranting post to follow later this week ;-)
Tonight was a disappointment, overall. Disappointing performances, disappointing judging, disappointing scoring – just…meh. Seem like the quicksteps fared SLIGHTLY better than the jives with the judges, but not by much. This cast is “surprising”, no doubt – suprisingly mediocre thus far, minus a few standouts. And you already know it’s gonna be an off-night when the judge that annoys me the LEAST is Bruno 8O
1.) JR & Karina – It’s nights like tonight that make me wanna kick Carrie Ann in the mouth…and kick Len in that old sausage he was going on about earlier in the night. Could those two have looked like bigger assholes after this jive??? The whole crowd, plus Bruno, is on their feet & cheering – and these two look like someone just commented on their mother’s bedroom prowess. Lighten the f*ck up, ya killjoys. This was the only jive of the night that delivered on both execution & entertainment for me – JR was the only celeb of the night that really kicked and bounced correctly, and managed to look like he was having the time of his life while doing it…and Karina did, too! Carrie Ann’s hung up on the “lift”? Good grief, I’ll swallow a lift or two if it means I actually get to see a decent jive! Len’s pissed that there was “too much Lindy”? Who the hell cares, since there was also some legit, well-executed jive in there, too? Honestly, with some of the truly unremarkable dancing I saw tonight – I’m more than a little pissed that these two got so hung-up on stupid stuff. But thankfully, 22 is still pretty damn good (given that their still tied for 2nd highest score, and the points spread drops down to 17), and JR was given the pimp spot for a reason ;-) As long as these damn judges can resist the urge to storyboard, I can still see him easily taking the MBT this season. :-D
2.) Ricki & Derek – High score of the night, and a fun jive. But the best? Errr…maybe not. It seemed awfully slow to me, and Ricki still seems to be working on getting comfortable out on the floor. I was also a little thrown by how sexual it was – I’m no prude, but I’m also not used to jives being so…saucy. ;-) Content-wise, it may have been a litttle fluffy, but I’m completely disregarding content right now because tonight, content did not necessarily equate greatness. But I will give Ricki props for being bubbly and excited, which is more than I can say for some of the other couples tonight. Not a ton to say here – other than if they keep working hard and improving week after week (and the other couples continue to only do marginally well), they’ll likely make it to the final as well.
3.) Chynna & Tony – This started out strong & had some promise – but Chynna seemed to chicken out a bit and get rather hesistant on her kicks & flicks. If JR KILLED the jive tonight…Chynna was just kicking it in the shins. :-) But man – she had attitude to spare! I was honestly pretty impressed by how well she played the vixen in this one…and Tony really seems to play off of her well. Content-wise, there was a good amount of jive, but as I said before, Chynna didn’t really attack it with the energy I expected her to – she can do better. I think they were probably scored about right, but there were other couples with the same score that I thought were much worse. Overall, I think these two have potential, and seem to be trying to make an impact…they just need to try a bit harder ;-)
4.) Nancy & Tristan – Do I think this was a good, 21-worthy routine? HELL NO. But I think these two were fortunate in that Len was likely trying to make a point and decided overscore them in order to illustrate his preference for good, in-hold content. Nancy was unusually vulnerable this week – it was nice to see her drop the tough facade once more, but this week seemed a bit over-the-top at times…I honestly felt a bit bad for her, the way she was having to try so hard to keep from crying. It was a very SLOOOOOW quickstep – and both she & Tristan seemed to move through it tentatively, as if they were quickstepping across broken glass. And their height difference was painfully obvious to me this week :-( But, they muddled through nonetheless, and they did manage to stay in-hold and do good, basic quickstep figures. I do think Nancy is making an impression on the audience – going 2nd to last isn’t a running order position reserved for couples that TPTB feel lukewarm about, and I’ve heard numerous comments about how Nancy is much more pleasant than everyone expected :-) There’s something to be said for setting the bar low, eh? I think these two probably have another week or two left in them, while there’s still weaker links to weed out…
5.) Hope & Maks – Another couple that I don’t think did particularly well, but I think these two are probably able to get by on fanbase alone at this point in time – although it seems like the dew is wearing off the rose a bit where Hope is concerned. You know a dance is bad when even diehard Maks fans are saying “WTF was that?” and commenting on how Hope really was not doing well at all. She kept losing time, and, like Chynna, she barely seemed to move her legs on the kicks & flicks. I think she also forgot her choreography a couple of times, which forced Maks to change what he was doing to copy her (nice save :-)). I won’t even comment on the costumes :-) I think Bruno really nailed it when he told her “You really need to devote more time to learning the dances.” Seems like Hope has been travelling an awful lot, so I don’t really think it’s Maks’ fault if she’s not better at this point – I think the lack of focus is on Hope. Kinda stinks for Maks, because he seemed ot have such high hopes going into this season – and Hope seems to have been a bit of a letdown. If I were her, I’d start cancelling appearances to focus more on practicing…because after some of these less popular couples are gone, her number will be up unless she improves vastly.
6.) Kristin & Mark – Ok, Kristin is showing promise with her dancing – she was better than average this week and last. But the poor girl just seems to fade into the wordwork for me – maybe it’s the plastered-on, deer-in-the-headlights stare she gets when she’s dancing, maybe it’s her lack of balance on turns, maybe it’s the fact that Mark can’t seem to resist out -dancing her at least once per routine. I dunno…but her quickstep, while pretty and not the worst of the night, didn’t really leave much of an impression on me. She still seems stiff and very nervous. And running order is not really doing them any favors – they went 3rd last week and 2nd this week. Statisically, not very good positions to be in – which makes me wonder if they’re just not pulling in the votes like some of the other less skilled (but more popular) couples. I’m still waiting for her to really “wow” me with a breakout dance. Mark has actually been pleasantly restrained this season – although I still see shades of Devil Mark whenever he can’t fight the jimmy legs and has to do a backflip or wear some spats ;-) If there were a “surprise” elimination anytime soon, I think it could very well be them – so let’s hope Mark helps her find her attitude in the coming weeks…
7.) Carson & Anna – Everyone’s favorite fabulous gay Mick Jagger seemed to lose a bit of his appeal this week, which I’m going to blame more on a dance that didn’t allow him to ham it up quite as much. I think being stuck in-hold hindered his performance value a bit – he had to focus on Anna and the steps, rather than playing to the crowd. Not to say he wasn’t trying – because I do think Carson was genuinely giving that quickstep 110%. Maybe he’s just not a natural quickstepper :-) Anna was smart to keep it very preschool-y and simple – I doubt Carson could have handled much more, step-wise. The costumes were, of couse, FAB :-D, and although it paled in comparison to their cha-cha, I still think he holds quite a bit of appeal with viewers – top of the 2nd hour is likely the 2nd most coveted running order position next to the pimp spot. He should be ok for a few more weeks, but let’s hope next week gives him another dance that he can really play into!
8.) Rob & Cheryl – As much as it pains me to say this – I actually liked Rob’s jive :-) It was cute, it was fun, and dangnabbit, he actually managed to stay on time and do the flicks and kicks with some authority! I like to think Rob “pulled a Romeo” this week – he managed to shed some of the tough-guy facade he had up last week, and really let loose and allow him to have fun. And in turn – he actually manged to connect to the audience, methinks. An audience that, thankfully, did not contain any of the 3 Kardashian Hags-er, sisters ;-) I’m still having my qualms about whether Kardashian fans are actually motivated to go vote for him, but I daresay he probably gained a few votes this week from some people who may not have voted forhim otherwise. He likely won’t last a whole lot longer, but if he manages to drop the facade altogether in the next couple weeks and really let himself have fun – he could likely eek out a bit more time than we initially expected.
9.) Chaz & Lacey – *sigh* Poor Chaz. I really wanted him to knock this one out of the park like he did his cha-cha. But alas, injuries happen, and they often happen at inopportune times – and this was one of them. Chaz & Lacey both seemed to move through this quickstep (or rather, a slightly faster foxtrot) so tentatively that it made me nervous – and Chaz’ Achilles’ heel seems to be his dance frame, which alternated between stiff as a board and limp as a noodle. Overall – a very unimpactful dance, and with a pretty “meh” score. Thankfully for these two, though, I think they have quite a following – some people seem very invested in seeing Chaz do well on this show. I’m one of them :-) So this could spur those invested individuals to really vote hard for their guy…so I’m tentatively calling these two safe for next week, despite their low score. Remember: we’re still early in the competition, where the points spread is close and you don’t usually need a deluge of votes to stick around ;-)
10.) Elisabetta & Val – Perhaps the most gross overscoring of the night, IMO – seriously, a 21??? Granted, it was better than her cha-cha – but not 6 points better. Maybe 4 or 5, tops. I really felt that Elisabetta was just kinda going through the motions on this one – not a whole lot of connection with either Val or the audience, and she seemed thankful when it was over. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exciting – it was a pleasant non-event for me. I don’t think the fight in the package beforehand did them any favors either – didn’t paint either one in a very flattering light to me. Seriously – these two cannot afford to have ANY missteps right now. Their fanbase is one big question mark – yes, Elisabetta managed to stick around last week, but that could be due to the fact that Ron was so disliked, rather than Elisabetta getting a ton of votes; and I’m still hearing murmurings about vote splitting…and one thing I’ve noticed about vote splitting is that if they think one of their guys is safe, they won’t throw as many votes their way and will give it to the other guy instead. This could produce a (slightly) shocking elim, if these two go home despite a much better score than last week. We shall see, I guess.
11.) David & Kym – Ooh. If Kym is upset – you know things must be baaaaaad. And while I think this jive was maybe slightly better than Hope’s, it was definitely a bit manic…David seemed like he was madman at times, just flailing about haphazardly. He had the energy, no doubt – but it wasn’t focused energy, it was restless energy. He’s also still seems a bit disjointed and out of it when he’s talking – like he’s having trouble forming a complete thought. It’s not so much endearing for me as it is a bit unsettling. Add to that the 2nd lowest score of the night and a crummy running order position, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster – and I’m not sure it’s a disaster his fanbase can pull him out of. I’m still curious to see how many people will go to bat and vote for David despite his transgressions – seems like a lot of ladies at my office have written him off as a “cheating bastard”. Things could get weird tomorrow night, based on how bizarre they were tonight; so I’m not even totally sure that David is a guaranteed goner. But I have to pick someone, so I’m going with David – hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.
So what did you guys think of tonight’s show? Were you as disappointed as I was, or did you love it? Did you think the judges were on-par or on-crack? Let’s hear your predictions…they can’t be any worse than mine ;-)