Wish I could say I had a blast watching the show tonight, but unfortunately, I found myself counting down the minutes until it was over :-( With the exception of a few bright spots, I was left with an overall feeling of “meh” tonight, and there were a few cringeworthy moments. But I will say this: I commend all of the stars tonight for actually looking like they had FUN :-) Seriously, it seemed like every single one of them enjoyed themselves out on the floor, even if things weren’t so rosy off the floor.
Thoughts on the group dance: First off, a shout-out to Amanda, a fellow Blockhead who reminded me that Kevin Maher, the guy who choreographed the group routine, has also worked with NKOTB, namely choreographing their video to “Single”. Instant points in my book :-) Anywho! I think I enjoyed this dance more than any of the other group dances in the past, for the simple reason that it felt more theatrical and also less-obviously structured – the ones in the past have always driven me nuts with the whole “Ok we’re dancing as a group, in unison – now here’s this couple doing a solo bit, and then this couple, now this couple, etc etc etc”. Nancy stood out for me – loved that she seemed to be having a ball. But really – how could any dance go wrong with Carson as the creative director? ;-)
1.) TIE: Ricki & Derek and JR & Karina – Obviously they’re tied in terms of score, but there were specific things I enjoyed about each performance. I thought Ricki & Derek’s was a bit cleaner and better-executed, but I thought JR & Karina had the more eye-catching, theatrical choreography. Loved Ricki’s fearlessness in just attacking the dance head-on; loved JR’s fun-loving, energetic attitude. I really love both of these couples, and I’d be fine with either winning…although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pulling for JR a bit ;-) I think it would take some pretty eye-popping voting going on by fans of the other couples to topple either one of these couples this week, but Martinoff & Drickilous fans beware: the judges could try to pull the ol’ storyboarding act in the weeks to come in order to keep things “interesting”, and it could be to the detriment of one of them. Keep voting!!!!
3.) Nancy & Tristan – FINALLY! We get a routine out of these two that’s equal parts meat-and-potatoes choreo and carefree fun :-) Definitely the cutest, most upbeat routine of the night – and Heidi got her Spamalot! wish! :-D It was the most relaxed and uninhibited I’ve seen Nancy, and I loved it. Loved the little hop-steps Tristan threw in – a nice, very Monty Python touch. I’m glad these two were finally able to get out of the funk they’ve been in the past few weeks. I’m thinking they’re probably going to be safe, given that they’ve had a breakthrough week and got a comparatively good score.
4.) David & Kym – First off, I’m soooo glad Kym opted to go the “hand jive at the dance” route with their theme, rather than the iconic, done-to-death Sandy-in-tight-leather-and-Danny-in-a-black-tee route! That was my big worry – another cliched Grease routine. But I love the understated look they both had – although I have to wonder if it kind of subdued David a bit this week. Not sure if he was just super-focused on the dance, or is getting more comfortable, or what, but he almost seemed a bit sedate during their dance this week. I’m gonna assume he was just very focused on the steps, because he actually managed to keep his topline level and his footwork decently clean. I guess I just wouldn’t have minded a bit more of the “flare” we’ve gotten accustomed to from David ;-) But overall, I’m really growing to like David these days, and I’m definitely pulling for him to get the 3rd spot in the finale now. His dancing is improving and his personality is kinda growing on me. Hopefully America agrees, because he makes me giggle ;-)
5.) Hope & Maks – A part of me almost wishes these two would go home tomorrow night, because each successive week seems to take a bigger and bigger toll on both of them emotionally. It wasn’t the dance itself that was hard for me to watch – Hope actually seemed to let go and show some vulnerability, although I HATE when the girls don’t wear heels to do Latin in! – it was their rehearsal package and the subsequent verbal spat Maks & Len had that made me squirm and just kinda feel…sad. Which is strange, because it’s not my typical go-to emotion…but I guess Maks’ very vocal frustration with the show is just driving the point home for me that he likely won’t be around next season (and Derek likely won’t, either), and it’s kind of the ending of an era on the show. But that’s neither here nor there – I was actually pleasantly surprised by Hope’s rumba, not for the technique (lord knows there was no hip action there), but just the fact that she finally seemed to relax a bit. Just wish that Maks hadn’t taken the bait and engaged in a proverbial chest-beating contest with Len, to Hope’s possible detriment. That’s where I’m really a bit torn tonight – I would say that 2nd to last with only a point separating them from the bottom is a very dangerous place to be, given that the guy in the bottom has proven to be the Little Engine that Could Get The Votes to Stay for several weeks now. But at the same time, for as many folks as I saw on Twitter that were disgusted with Maks’ behavior, there seemed to be just as many who were behind him 100% and praised his honesty. Granted, what I saw was a very narrow cross-section of the viewing audience, but it does make me wonder: how will the average viewer take it? Will his rant be a deal-breaker? I’m honestly not sure…but I do think that these two should not be surprised if they end up “in jeopardy” again tomorrow night, for nothing more than to scare their fans into voting harder.
6.) Rob & Cheryl – I actually think Rob did pretty well tonight, and his cha-cha was cute – he smiled, he moved, and he looked like he had fun, although I daresay he’s still a bit too timid for being this far along in the competition. But I think he is improving :-) The question is: is he getting the votes to stick around and improve some more? I can’t say for sure without looking at the previous scores this season, but I don’t think Rob’s ever been this close to the bottom with people with arguably bigger fanbases than he has. Seems like he’s been a bit shielded the past few weeks, thanks to Carrie Ann’s va-jay-jay. ;-) But I’m gonna venture a guess that he might just have enough of a margin over both Hope & Chaz to stay safe, even if he’s not getting a slew of votes. The bigger problem will be in the coming weeks – he needs to make a splash, because he’s running the risk of getting lost in a sea of much bigger personalities. And the only person that seemed to be struggling with the same thing (Nancy), has suddenly had a bit of a breakthrough. Wake up, Rob – time to summon your inner Carson, if you wanna stick around!
7.) Chaz & Lacey – Well, unfortunately for Chaz, I think the judges probably dealt a death blow with their scores this week – not that they weren’t deserved, because Chaz didn’t really seem to do a whole lot in his tango, although I did enjoy some of the theatricality of it. I’m afraid Chaz has gotten by the past few weeks on the fact that he’s the underdog, and has been improving just enough that people feel the need to vote. But is it enough for yet another week? I really don’t think so, especially since the only other person close to his skill level (Nancy again) has suddenly improved by quite a bit. If they had scored the group dance, I might have given him a fighting chance, as it would have decreased the margin a bit; but I don’t think Chaz can compete with angry Hope fans power voting, or the higher scores of anyone else. But smile and hold your head high as you walk out, Chaz – yours has been quite the amazing and inspiring journey to watch ;-)
So how did you guys feel about Broadway week? Who were your stand-outs and your duds? And if there is indeed an encore (seems like they’ve been jam-packing the results shows with all sorts of other stuff the past few weeks…), are you as gung ho as I am about seeing Nancy & Tristan dance again? ;-)