DWTS13 Week 3 Power Rankings

Ok, so “best year of my life” night wasn’t quite the emotional trainwreck I was thinking it would be – I was actually pleasantly surprised at the honesty and vulnerability of many of the dances. However, I was also just downright confused by some of the dances. :-P Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

1.) JR & Karina – Say what you will about JR “playing to people’s emotions” (ummm…didn’t everyone kinda do that tonight, to a certain degree?), but he was the only one tonight that I though even came close to having the proper hip technique, and he made me feel the emotions behind his dance more than anyone else.  Was Karina dancing around him? Maybe a bit, but I did see him actually attempting to “be there” for her at every turn – reminded me a lot of Chris’ rumba last season.  I wish Karina would have given him a bit more to do, but I think the way he let his face “talk” in the dance was captivating.  The guy has had a heartbreaking backstory – let him tell it without writing it off as “playing the sob story card” (actual tweet I read – some people really do have garlic in their soul like the Grinch!).  Emotion aside – it was still a pretty damn good rumba. I grow to love JR more and more each week, and based on what I’ve seen from him so far – I can only assume the best is yet to come ;-) Thankfully, he tied for the 2nd highest score, and had probably the most memorable dance of the night, so I’m sure we’ll get to see what he has in store for us!

2.) Ricki & Derek – Admittedly, I thought this one was overscored at first – but then I watched it again and realized that they were the ones who best combined choreography, technique, storytelling, and connection to the dance tonight.  I felt like they actually managed to tell a story through their movements, and the choreo wasn’t overly dramatic – it was simple & stripped-down.  Technique? Eh…I thought JR & Chynna both had better technique than Ricki, but hers wasn’t bad.  The rumba’s a tricky dance, so I’m not really expecting any of the couples to really nail it at this point.  Was a little thrown by their song at first – all I could think of was Mia’s drug addiction piece from SYTYCD – but by the time they got through it and told their story, I kinda got it. High score of the night, and a pretty good rumba in a sea of less impressive ones…I’d say they’re pretty safe, especially with such a drop-off in points further down the scoreboard.

3.) Chynna & Tony – In this “night of a thousand rumbas”, I dub Chynna the “master of the legs” :-) If JR had the best hips and Ricki told the story the best…Chynna schooled them on how to properly place one’s feet and extend one’s legs.  Just BEAUTIFUL.  Too bad her hip action was non-existent and I didn’t really feel much of a connection to the song, which seemed much too fast for a rumba.  I’m definitely much more impressed with Chynna’s dance skills than I ever thought I’d be, but the impression I’m getting of her at this point is somewhere between an Audrina & a Mya – very pretty lady, definitely a good dancer, but running the risk of being forgotten because she can’t really connect to the dance.  I’m not sure what dance they have next week, but I hope it’s something that really allows Chynna to take on a “character” – because she needs to make a splash, and SOON.  As long as they keep dancing well, they ought to remain safe for the time being…but if they want to make it to the finale (which I think they deserve to), they’re going to have to pick up on the performance aspect of the dances.

4.) Hope & Maks – Sorry to my Maksinistas, but I’m gonna be blunt: this was probably my least favorite dance of the night, because it just felt lost & confused to me.  I couldn’t even find a cha-cha beat to that song – and I’m sorry again, but I find that song VILE, and Heidi can tell you I’m not a prude in the slightest ;-) It boggles my mind that the US Womens Soccer team had a song about a guy telling a girl he’s gonna screw her tonight as their theme song.  What happened to “Firework”? :-( Aside from an icky song with no cha-cha beat, I also had a hard time finding cha-cha steps – really & truly, it felt more like a samba to me, both in beat & some of the choreo.  Had they called it a samba instead, I may have liked it a bit more, methinks.  I just felt gypped on my cha-cha, hehe. As for the execution…errrr.  I’m beginning to think that Hope is just a very awkward mover – legs and arms all over the place.  I don’t think I even saw Maks, because I kept hissing “Close your feet! CLOSE YOUR DAMN FEET!!!” to Hope over and over again through the tv.  The bit with the chair at the beginning? That was probably the sexiest part of the whole dance, and I would have said “Just keep doing that!” if I knew that it wouldn’t piss off Len for “too much fussing about at the beginning” – and I do think he called them out on that.  It may have been Hope’s best dance – it was kinda nice to see her cut loose and really have fun – but unfortunately, she’s still miles behind a lot of the other contestants in terms of technique. :-( That said – she and Maks still seem to have a ton of support from their fans, and in the great scheme of tonight – 24 ain’t a bad score.  I’m just praying Hope manages to knock it out of the park next week with a ballroom dance, so I don’t have to completely write her off as a bad dancer…

5.) Carson & Anna – As I said to someone earlier today, “Carson may be an awkward mover, but he could sell a ketchup popsicle to a lady in white gloves in July!” And sell this tango he did – the faces he was pulling and the way he was strutting around like he owned the place had me ROLLING the whole time.  A definite improvement from last week’s quickstep, even if there were still a few awkward moments where he may have gotten off-time or lost his footwork.  Anna was wise to really work the fashion theme here…Carson played it to the hilt, and even got to play on his shoe obsession at the end J LOVES IT.  Is Carson a great dancer? Of course not, although he is improving a bit each week.  But he is 100% fun, and I think that’s going to be an edge that he has over the rest of the contestants – he can completely screw up a dance and still manage to have the crowd cheering and the judges grinning from ear to ear ;-) I wouldn’t be surprised if he edged out one of the less “showy” contestants (maybe even Hope & Maks?) for a shot at the semifinal. And really – 23 isn’t too shabby a score, when you’re as popular as Carson! 8)

6.) Rob & Cheryl – Yeah yeah yeah, Rob’s a jerkface for what he said about affairs last week, I know.  But for as douchey as he may be off the floor – he keeps redeeming himself for me on the floor.  This was by no means a “terrible” foxtrot – the kid stayed on time & in the pocket, struck a couple rather impressive poses, actually managed to get some rise & fall, and actually looked like he enjoyed himself. Plus, I actually kind of appreciated the fact that he decided to go the “happy” route with his dance, rather than the sad, mournful one – it was a very pleasant, upbeat “Miss you dad, this one’s for you!”-type performance.  As much as what I’m about to say may piss some of you off, I’m gonna say it anyway…Rob could very well be this season’s Romeo: the guy that started off kinda jerky and “too cool for school”, but ended up letting down his guard and actually having fun.  I’ve already seen improvement from weeks 1-2 and weeks 2-3. Will he make it as far as Romeo? Likely not, but I daresay he could last far longer than any of us expected.  Danced at the top of the show, got a pretty good score, and has couples below him that are far more screwed…

7.) David & Kym – I am baffled as to why this dance was “pimp spot”-worthy, as I didn’t find it particularly show-stopping in terms of technique or entertainment value.  But I do wonder if there’s some incentive for TPTB to keep him around (Courteney in the audience? The drama from his recent troubles and his efforts to “get his  life back on track”?), since they made a point of letting us know he was in the bottom 2 last week, and gave him their ratings “golden ticket” tonight: going last.  I guess this rumba wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be (David does have a nicer torso than I expected!), but I found some of the faces he was pulling a bit creepy and I think Kym just kinda danced around him, for the most part.  But they still managed to pull out a 24 (and some slightly suspicious gushing from the judges) and the pimp spot, which does have magical powers.  Do I think he’ll go home this week? Probably not, just due to a large points spread and some possible rebound voting from some of their more rabid fans.  But tinkering from the higher-ups can only keep a couple safe for so long, if they don’t manage to pull themselves up in the next week or so…I dunno how much longer they’re gonna last.

8.) Kristin & Mark – Once again, I find myself saying the same thing: such a pretty girl, and not a bad dancer, but there’s just not a whole lot about her performances that stick out in my mind.  She didn’t suck at the samba, but there also wasn’t a whole lot of meat & potatoes samba here – there were a few runs peppered in amongst a slew of hair flips and moves stolen from “Single Ladies”.  I don’t know that I’d necessarily blame Mark, because this felt totally odd as a samba song to me anyway – felt more cha-chaish.  Hope & Kristin should have traded songs :-P Plus, she didn’t really have a strong story to play off of. But I will say this: Kristin’s got good energy, and always manages to keep smiling no matter how lost or unsure she feels.  And she OWNS the hair flip ;-) However, I don’t think TPTB are doing them any favors in the running order department, as 2nd, 3rd, & 4th are statistically all pretty bad places to be.  Some of you may think we’re reading too far into it, but the proof is in the pudding – those dancing in the first half of the show (aside from those that go first) are much liklier to get sent home than those in the 2nd half.  Twelve seasons worth of data doesn’t lie…and be honest: how much of Kristin’s performances really stick with you? Do you remember being wowed? Do you remember the song? Do you even remember her costume? Overall, her biggest Achilles heel is not her dance skills (because she does have some) – it’s just going to be sticking out in viewers’ minds.  I’ll say it again: if there is a “shock” elim in the next few weeks, I would put money on it that it’s Kristin.  Thankfully, she’s probably ok this week, with others further below her…

9.) Nancy & Tristan - I like Nancy & Tristan, I really do – I love the way they interact, and I love the simplicity and calmness of their dances.  However – they’re beginning to border a bit on boring.  I know Nancy isn’t the tallest and doesn’t have the longest limbs or the biggest athletic prowess of all the celebs on the show this season, so that’s obviously going to limit the choreo Tristan can throw at her.  But as heartfelt and pretty and smoothly-executed this waltz was, it didn’t really excite me – and Len really seems to be the only judge that can appreciate very simple, rule-abiding choreography that starts off in-hold.  A connection with the mommies of the viewing audience is only going to carry her so far – she & Tristan need to step up both the choreography and the entertainment factor in order to stick around.  21 is the second lowest score; however, it’s still 3 points above Chaz, who I fear may be in trouble this week.  Nancy may be “in jeopardy”, but I think she might have another week left in her yet…

10.) Chaz & Lacey – Chaz really needed to knock it out of the park this week, and unfortunately he didn’t – this was just kind of a non-event rumba for me.  The song was too fast, Chaz barely moved, and Lacey pretty much just danced around him.  I really don’t have a whole lot to say about this dance – like Nancy, it was just unremarkable.  Sweet story behind it, but that’s about it.  18 is a pretty damn low score, especially when the next score up is 21 and everyone else is in the 23-24 bracket or the 26-27 bracket.  Add to that a crummy running order position & a fanbase that we’re still not quite sure about – I fear tomorrow night we’ll be bidding farewell to Chaz.  :-( And while I wish we could see a bit more out of him, maybe it’s good that he gets sent home early, if his knee is really bothering him.  He’s already proven quite a bit to America, methinks :-)

Alright kids, so sound off on “storytelling” week: who were your favorites? Who were your least favorites? Who do you think could be in trouble? And who do you think will get the encore? I’m leaning towards Rob & Cheryl – the fact that he’s doing well now seems to amuse the judges :-)