DWTS 14 Week 7 Power Rankings

If there is one take-home point I want you guys to glean from this season, it’s that THEME WEEKS OFTEN SCREW THE COUPLES! No exception here – I think only two couples managed to churn out something worthwhile from the pieces of music they were given, and the rest either muddled through or failed miserably.  Consequently, I find myself cutting some breaks tonight, just due to some really bad music selections.  And let’s just say there was some “creative” storytelling going on this week…warriors & mannequins & vampires, oh my! 8O I am beyond relieved that it’s back to business as usual next week…no wacky themes to throw couples off their game.  So there’s also going to be no excuses for subpar performances…game on, kiddies ;-)

Thoughts on the team dances: I thought Team Tango (aka Team Tiny Hat :-P) was quite a bit better than Team Paso (aka Team No Shirt, No Problem ;-)).  I saw no timing issues or missteps on Team Tango – everything was in synch, and aside from a couple of small wobbles from Jaleel & Maria, I saw no glaring mistakes.  I also thought they had the more interesting floor patterns  – lots of visually-pleasing shapes and transitions.  I do think Derek was right in his claim that more couples = more interesting patterns.  It can be a good thing, if you can manage to get everyone in synch and on time…and I think that last thing is the real challenge.  I would hearby like to dub Roshon the MVP of Team Tango – the boy was a revelation tonight.  He came out with such determination and attack, and he KILLED his solo on Team Tango.  Zero mistakes, 100% commitment, 100% attack.  Bravo, Ro! Hell, I would even go so far as to say that he was the overall standout in terms of both teams – he was really the only one that made me sit up and go “WHOA!!! Where did that come from???!”  As for Team Paso – I thought they had the more exciting piece of music and had more theatricality and drama than Team Tango, but they suffered in terms of synchronization and just overall cleanliness of their choreography.  I kind of anticipated those two problems, as they had the added challenge of throwing in a lot of open work that Team Tango didn’t really have to worry about.  I loved the parts of the guys’ cape section that were actually in synch (which I must say is a pretty impressive feat), but the parts that were out of synch just kind of reminded me of my cousins playing Zorro as kids – it was a little chaotic. I could’ve done without the shirtlessness (more on that later), but I can’t say I’m surprised that they did it.  If I had to pick, I’d say Donald was the MVP of Team Paso – I loved how much control he showed in his solo, and his choreo was clean.  In the end, I’d say the scoring was just about right – I might have deducted a point from Team Paso, since the objective of the team dance for me is to stay in synch, first and foremost, and they seemed to struggle with that a bit more.

1.) Maria & Derek – I think these two were the only ones who managed to really OWN their individual dance tonight, and not get pwned by the song they were given.  I can’t say that I was wild about the vampire storyline (between Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, etc., I’m kinda over the whole vamp thing…), but they did make it work for them, and overall the choreography was clean, exciting, and a good representation of paso doble.  Did it deserve a 30? I think so…with all of the overscoring we’ve seen this season for dances that I thought were nowhere near as good as this paso (or at least had nowhere near as much content as this paso), I can’t say that I think the judges were too far off in giving it the first 30 of the season.  Given tonight’s spread, I think these two are safe.

2.) Katherine & Mark – I’m told their rumba was Game of Thrones-inspired, but as someone who does not have premium cable (and whose regular cable it only intermittently available these days – thanks again, AT&T!), I actually thought it looked more gladiator or Roman-y.  Whatever it was – I’m afraid the costuming made Katherine look kinda out of her element, and although I thought her legs looked FANTASTIC and she was at least flirting with some nice hip action, I never felt 100% commitment from her, and the routine never felt super romantic or rumba-y to me.  It tiptoed near being a good rumba, but never really reached it – and Katherine had another week of “deer in the headlights” eyes from time to time, I’m afraid.  I also have to raise a bit of an eyebrow to some creative camera work I noticed – seemed like they changed the shot so you couldn’t see Kath’s legs whenever they went for a move that might possibly get called out as a lift.  Possibly a “if the viewers can’t see it, they can’t get mad at Carrie Ann for not calling them out on it!” strategy? Who knows…but it just seemed a bit fishy to me, especially given a few other things I noticed tonight.  Overall, I think these two are probably safe this week – but I’m starting to see some cracks in her facade.  She’s not as flawless as the judges initially thought, methinks…

3.) Donald & Peta – This was the only other couple I thought really handled their piece of music well tonight, and I thought their “royalty at court” kinda theme was a cute interpretation.  Although Donald gave it a valiant effort and I did see some really good moments (especially when he was out of hold), he did seem to have some footwork issues (a problem all of the VW’s this week seemed to have), and I thought I saw him get off time once or twice.  Then again, it was hard to tell whether someone was on or off-time this week, as so many of the pieces of music had some wacky tempo changes.  I wish Carrie Ann could have just praised them, instead of bringing up some non-issue about a lift that she herself didn’t see but thought might have been there anyway (seriously? WTF??? Just score what you saw and shut up about things you didn’t!), but I think the judges were about right in their scoring.  I think Donald’s pretty safe, but I think he still has some work to do on his ballroom frame if he wants a shot at the finals…

4.) William & Cheryl - I’ve gotta say, William gained a few points in my book this week – I kind of loved it that he was not cool with doffing his shirt for the Team Paso :-) I think what really impressed me thought was his reasoning for it - he wanted to make it “about the dancing” and not about the gimmicks…which is what many of us have been saying for WEEKS.  We want to see William the dancer, and not William the hot piece of ass! Kinda cool that Donald backed him up, too – even if Cheryl & Maks ultimately won and they doffed their shirts anyway.  Anyway! His Viennese waltz…like Donald & Jaleel, I don’t think it was necessarily bad, but there were some issues…chief amongst them, the footwork.  All of the guys that did VW this week seemed to vacillate between being too flat-footed to being too tippy-toed in their footwork…and consequently, I think all of them missed the mark a bit.  I don’t think William messed up any steps, and overall the dance was clean and fairly-well executed…but like Katherine’s rumba, it just wasn’t 100% there.  I still get a bit bothered by the fact that William appears to be kinda disinterested when he dances…he could be totally invested, but the look on his face says to me “Meh.  It’s ok.” Also have to point out that the smoke monster seemed to be very present in the first 20 seconds or so of his dance – which may have conveniently hidden some of the footwork problems I mentioned.  At the end of the day, I bet they’re safe, but the judges do seem to be cracking down on him…guess we’ll see what transpires in the next 2 weeks!

5.) Roshon & Chelsie – I still think he got a bit hosed this week, although not nearly as bad as last week, and the poor kid did have to contend with a very non-classical song (sorry, but having an orchestra play “Bad Romance” does not make it classical) and a wardrobe malfunction from his partner, that likely cut out one of the more dramatic parts of his routine.  He did seem to have a few wonky moments of footwork, but overall I was impressed by how well he kept up and how he dealt with some of the lifts.  And you already know how I felt about him in the team dance :-D So the question is: does he have enough to keep him out of the bottom 2 tomorrow night? *sigh* I wish I could say for sure, but only one point separates him from Jaleel – and on a night like tonight with 2 dances, one point may as well be zero points.  However, I’m gonna venture a guess that he gets a bit of a boost from being in the bottom 2 last week – likely not a huge one, as those of us who were voting our fingers off trying to keep him out of the bottom 2 last week were still not enough; but maybe just enough that he can edge out Jaleel and stay out of the duel this week.  But I’m afraid it will probably be curtains for him next week, with the double elim and no dance duel to save him :-( I think there’s a slight chance that Melissa could squeak by this week, and leave Roshon & Jaleel in the duel…in which case, all bets are off, and I’ll probably end up losing my mind.  :-)

6.) Jaleel & Kym – Yet another victim of bad Viennese waltz footwork.  And a strange song, too – still trying to wrap my brain around that one.  I mean, it was pleasant to watch, and it was smooth, and there were no mistakes – but when it came down to it, I found it a bit repetitious, and like some of the other dances tonight, I didn’t sense that he was 100% in the zone.  When it comes down to it, I think Jaleel kinda got lost in the shuffle tonight in both dances, and that will ultimately kick him down into the duel with Melissa, as opposed to Roshon.  And just like last week, this duel will likely be a no-brainer – Jaleel will emerge victorious, only to be sent home in the double elim next week.  Unless he somehow manages a comeback dance like he did last week…

7.) Melissa & Maks – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think Melissa was the weakest dancer still left in the competition – and based on her scores, I’d say there’s a decent chance she could end up in the bottom 2 tomorrow night…and if that’s the case, then I think we can pretty much kiss her goodbye, because I don’t think she stands a chance against any of the other dancers left.  But I will say this: while her Argentine tango was not the greatest, I daresay it wasn’t nearly as bad as the judges made it out to be.  I actually thought the lifts were pretty cool – that one in the beginning was amazing.  Took some serious cojones to do that one! I hated their song – far too much going on, tempo-wise, for a decent A. tango, so I do have to cut them a break there.  All in all, I think they got pretty shafted tonight – but in the end, I don’t think there was much they could have done to prevent it, as I got the feeling that the judges had already decided at least half of the bottom 2 before the show even started tonight.  I think Melissa’s had a great ride, though – she survived far longer that I personally anticipated, and I do think she’s got a cool vibe about her.  Will be disappoining to see her go…if that’s indeed what happens…

Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t shake this horrible feeling that tonight’s scoring may backfire a bit and result in a bottom 2 that the judges’ didn’t intend…I think the two most likely candidates are Jaleel & Roshon, based on the fact that both of them have made an appearance in the bottom 2 within the past 2 weeks; but I still think there’s an off-shot that we could get a BIG shocker, and have William or Donald end up there, as they’re only 1 point above Roshon.  Donald, I honestly doubt, just based on popularity; but have William’s fans gotten complacent? Who knows.  But I have to guess, so I guess I’m gonna go with Jaleel & Melissa in the duel, with Melissa getting the boot.  But if it’s Jaleel & Roshon…who knows.

So what did you guys think of Classical Night? And who do you think will end up in the duel tomorrow?