DWTS 15, Week 5 Power Rankings – Part II

So now that we’ve seen everybody dance both their team dance & individual dance, I can finally start to get a snapshot of where things stand heading into week 6.  As I promised in part I, I’ve really just taken my commentary on last night’s dances, copied & pasted it here, and added any additional notes I found pertinent to go along with my commentary on tonight’s dances.  I know many of you have already read the spoilers we posted last night for tonight’s show, so there aren’t probably any huge revelations for you; for those that haven’t, I doubt there are any huge revelations for you, either…it became pretty clear to me that they put the stronger individual performances on Tuesday night and the weaker ones on Monday night, perhaps in an effort to increase viewership for Tuesday night’s show.  As for the team dance – I think you guys can probably guess where I stand ;-) And the other thing that became quite evident after tonight? They are really doing their damndest to protect Gilles and ensure he sticks around.  Gilles gets the high score of night 1; 3 of the 4 couples on night 2 get the same (2.5 points lower than Gilles’) score, and the one person that even comes close still falls .5 points short of Gilles, despite dancing one of the most beautiful waltzes I’ve ever seen on the show.  The message is clear: protect the whiny, egotistical Frenchmen at all costs.  Gag me.

Speaking of week 6 – it is country week, and each couple is doing an individual unlearned dance and a group dance.  The group dance will not be scored, except the couple that does the move that impresses the judges the most will get two bonus points – which is practically nothing, in the great scheme of things, since we’re taking all of the points from this week and all of the points from next week and adding them together.  It’s gonna be a fanbase battle royale…hope you guys voted hard!

1.) Sabrina & Louis – I was skeptical about Sabrina being able to carry off such a soft, romantic dance, since she seems to hit everything so hard – but this was actually quite lovely.  She showed a lot of control and some of her lines were just beautiful – at a couple moments, I honestly thought she would fit right in on a dance floor filled with American Smooth professionals.  I even believed adoring looks she was giving Louis – and while I agree that vulnerability may not be Sabrina’s strong suit, I thought she absolutely showed it tonight in this waltz.  Funny how you call her out on it, Carrie Ann, and then give her a 10 anyway.  If you aren’t gonna nut up, then you gots to SHUT UP.  Loved the theme, loved the choreography, loved the execution – and love that someone from Team Call Me Maybe was able to give Gilles a run for his money in the individual dance round :-)

2.) Gilles & Peta – Well, guess I can’t really get too mad at the overscoring of this one, since it’s kind of become par for the course this season.  I actually thought Gilles had some really nice lines in this rumba – he was actually extending both his arms and his legs nicely.  But my big problem was that I still felt like Peta was doing all the work…and it got a little repetitive.  To concur with Len, I got tired of the leg extensions and displays of flexibility really quickly, and it seemed to slow everything down just a little too much.  It was a time-waster in an already shortened routine.  It seemed like the first part (the a cappella part) was nice, and then once the crescendo hit with the instruments it was all overwrought emotion from there on out.  I would have probably given it a 28, tops, because I felt like there just wasn’t as much content as there should have been.  29.5 is an awfully cushy score. Adding in after Tuesday night’s show: I wasn’t so upset about this score last night, but now I am, considering that Shawn & Derek did what I would consider to be a FAR superior rumba, both in terms of technique & performance, got reamed by the judges, and ended up 2.5 points less than Gilles.  The pimping is obvious now, and TPTB (and Gilles himself) seem hellbent on changing the name of the show to “Dancing with Gilles Marini!…and some other people”.  But I do feel a bit vindicated knowing that Gilles’ magnum opus of a team freestyle got called out for being a ridiculous mess and got 2.5 points less than Team Call Me Maybe…that really must chap his ass, as does the fact that Sabrina is now at the top of the leaderboard ;-)

3.) Shawn & Derek – Seriously, on nights like this, I just want to MAIM Carrie Ann.  I don’t know what her problem was, but she seemed to have a bone to pick with just about everyone on Team Call Me Maybe – so Shawn wasn’t vulnerable (like Sabrina…think CA was running out of complaints?), and she and Derek dared to insult CA by including a “lift”? Riiiight.  And Len said there was no hip action??? You know that the judges are out of their gourd when the one making the most sense is the flamboyant Italian with ADHD.  I thought their rumba was gorgeous – lots of content (unlike Gilles’ rumba…), some great execution from Shawn (I thought her hips were pretty damn good), and best of all – we got to see a more mature, emotional Shawn.  I don’t know WTF Carrie Ann was talking about – but then again, does anyone really? :-P

4.) Melissa & Tony – I just love these two this season – low drama, good dancing, legit choreography.  I just wish they could be a bit more impactful, because I’m a little worried that these two may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle (and nonsense) of tonight.  But I did think their tango was cute and appropriate, and Melissa stayed on time and seemed to embrace her sexy Britney character.  As I usually find, though, her legs were a little on the soft side, and she seemed to place her feet just a bit too gently for a tango.  She also seemed to have a few frame issues – but I actually feel for her on that, not only because she is likely still babying her neck injury, but because she and I have the same problem doing tango: our arms are so long that we have to really bend it at an extreme angle in order to get a good point of contact – and then our frame goes a little wonky.  The same long arms that make lines so pretty in Latin and the smooth dances? They’re a b*tch during the standard dances.  :-P But overall, I thought she did great this week, given she was dealing with such a painful injury…hopefully she’s feeling quite a bit better next week.

5.) Apolo & Karina - I would reiterate my earlier rhetorical question about what CA’s problem is, but it’s just becoming redundant at this point – I thought Apolo had more content and real samba steps than both Kelly AND Emmitt, and more stage presence than Emmitt – and yet he’s still two points behind Emmitt, and has CA taking little jabs at him about lacking chemistry or not being where she thinks he should be.  Pssssh.  She can go…do something inappropriate, which I doubt John would appreciate me spelling out here.  ;-) Anywho, I actually thought Apolo had some great hip action here, and seemed to really have fun out there – even moreso than Emmitt.  I would even say his hip action was better this time around than with his first samba with Julianne that got him a perfect score.  I still think Apolo is on-track to the finals, but I’m seriously getting irritated with the judges (CA in particular) for just nitpicking with him.  At this point, I think they’re going beyond being constructive, and are toeing the line into Ralph territory…let’s hope Apolo just absolutely blows them out of the water next week, so they have no choice but to compliment him.  I hope CA’s head explodes.  Bwahahahaha!

6.) Emmitt & Cheryl – Lack of hip action and excessive shimmying aside – I actually ended up really liking this routine :-)  Probably my favorite individual routine of Monday night, as Emmitt just seemed to be having a ton of fun to a really cheesy song.  I got a little worried at the beginning when I saw Cheryl doing a lot of shimmying around Emmitt, thinking that this would be a repeat of their bolero where Cheryl just did a lot of dancing around him.  But once they got into the routine a little more, I thought he did a pretty good amount of moving himself, and there actually was a considerable amount of samba content in this routine (you listening, Val?) Could have done without the giant inflatable parrots, but hey, we can’t always get what we want ;-) Adding in after Tuesday night’s show: Still the best individual routine of Monday night, IMO, but pales in comparison to Apolo’s samba. Wayyyy overscored, considering I thought Apolo had far better bounce, hip action, and content, and got 2 full points less. 

7.) Kirstie & Maks – Technically, I think it was the best routine Kirstie’s done so far this season, but I just ended up feeling kind of “meh” about it – probably because both Kirstie & Maks looked uncharacteristically cheerless in it.  Seriously, between the black costumes and their intense, focused expressions, I thought they were quickstepping at a funeral.  Did Mrs. Robinson die at the end of The Graduate? I’m confused :-P   Guess after I heard what song they were dancing to, I was expecting this dance to be as camp as Christmas – but it was just too tame.  I think she started off strong and had a good frame, and then maybe got a little bungled up on the bouncing sections, but overall I liked the choreography.  Just wish they would have remembered to have fun with it :-P  If we were basing this week’s elim solely on this one dance, I’d say Kirstie should probably be a bit worried – but since she’s got the team dance (and next week’s dances) to give her a boost, I wouldn’t be too worried…yet. Adding in after Tuesday night’s show: I take that back – I’d be worried if I were Kirstie, as she really blended into the woodwork this week amongst some far more memorable routines.  Even Kelly’s sh*tty samba was more memorable than this! I hope Kirstie taps into some of her inner entertainer next week, because she’s gonna need it if she wants to remain relevant and stick around. 

8.) Kelly & Val – Anyone else think they may have phoned it in on this samba, given how stressed and busy they were showing Kelly to be in the reheasal package? :-( I don’t feel like Kelly or Val really got 100% into this routine, and for the first time since week 2, I saw Kelly get a little bit intimidated and unsure of herself out on the floor.  She also seemed a little wobbly, and I saw some funky arms & legs…a few “Bambi on Ice” moments.  I could have done without all of the touchy-feely-sexy-ooh-look-at-how-much-chemistry-we-have stuff at the beginning, and I would have liked a little more meat & potatoes samba in this samba, but that kinda goes without saying.  Len & I were surprisingly like-minded in regards to tonight’s show :-P But again, I have to wonder if Kelly & Val had a rough week between her work schedule and the team dance rehearsal, and maybe knew they were kind of half-assing it – because neither one looked very surprised or upset by the critiques or scores they got.  Perhaps they took a calculated risk in a week they knew wouldn’t matter too much? If I were Kelly, I would be slightly worried after this routine – for the simple reason that it seemed to really expose her weaknesses. Adding in after Tuesday night’s show: Not much to add.  Still looks half-assed to me, next to some really great routines we saw tonight.  I think Kelly should be worried, as I think she & Kirstie would easily be in the bottom 2 this week, if there were an elimination. 

Thoughts on Team Gangnam Style:

*picking jaw up off floor* Now I had been hearing how truly trainwrecky this dance looked since Wednesday…and yet, nothing could prepare me for how shockingly BAD this dance was.  I would even go so far as to say that this was the worst team dance in 8 seasons of dancing with the stars – worse even than the infamous “Single Ladies” mambo, complete with men in leotards.  I think every single pro & celeb that participated in this nonsense should be mortified – because that did nothing to show me how great their dance skills are, or even how entertaining they are…all it showed me is that they didn’t have qualms with going for the lowest common denominator and just acting like complete fools for shock value.  We got one section of half-assed, out-of-context cha-cha, a lot of copied moves from the “Gangnam Style” video that were neither done correctly nor in synch, breakneck transitions, wardrobe malfunctions (notice that the other team knew better than to futz with a costume change mid-dance), and just general flash, trash, and asshattery during each of the couples’ solos.  I think Kirstie fared the worst, as she seemed totally lost during her solo and seemed to get flustered; Kelly’s face told me that she likely felt like a complete moron; both Emmitt & Cheryl seemed like they knew they had blown it; and then Gilles, king of the douchebags, and Peta, his doormat partner (who I’m beginning to dislike for the simple reason that she doesn’t have the sense to reign in her partner’s obnoxious behavior), prancing out onto the stage like a couple who just decided to do crystal meth together…while taking a shower.  I couldn’t even enjoy this dance in an ironic, “pure fun” kind of way – because it wasn’t even amusing to me.  It was just…pathetic.  The only couple I kind of felt sorry for was Emmitt & Cheryl – and really, moreso Emmitt – because I got the vibe from the rehearsal footage that this was NOT a routine that Emmitt enjoyed.  I daresay he probably wished he was on Team Call Me Maybe, where the football theme would have made him feel right at home.  I think they should be thankful they got a 27…because I probably wouldn’t have given this any more than a 23.  Not enough content or display of legitimate dance skills for me to give much more than that.

Thoughts on Team Call Me Maybe:

As I said on Twitter, this routine was so stinkin’ cute :-)  But with a song like that, can you go any other route except cute? :-P  I thought the theme was genius: it fit the mood of the song perfectly, capitalized on the celebs strengths (3 girls with cheerleading skills and one guy that is just cool…and hot ;-)  ), and made for some cute costumes and scenery.  Loved the stepping portion at the beginning with the guys; thought the group sections were a nice combination of freestyle moves and enough proper ballroom to please Len – they were also sufficiently synchronized, given that some of the moves (like the leap frog over their partners) are hard to really do 100% in synch.  I also thought the individual sections were nicely reflective of each partnership – Sabrina got to be sassy with Louis, Shawn & Derek got to be fun & cheesy, Melissa got to be “pretty” and move smoothly with Tony, and Apolo & Karina got to make up for their hip-hop mishap last week :-)  At the end, I was left smiling and feeling proud of them – they could have gone totally crazy and gone for shock value rather than technique, but they managed to throw it a lot of real dancing along with a great deal of entertainment value.  I would be pissed at CAI giving them a half-point shy of a perfect 30, but we all know she’s saving her 10 paddle virginity for Team Gangnam Style this week.  :::eye roll::: Oh well – at least they can only hope to get a half point more than Shawn’s team, tops.  That’s good enough for me ;-) Adding in after Tuesday Night’s show: Team Call Me Maybe still reigns supreme, by far – and I am just so darn pleased to see the egomaniac get 2.5 points less than Call Me Maybe, despite all his waxing poetic to anyone that would listen about how “hot”, “epic”, and “incredible” his team’s freestyle was going to be.  Would you like some au jus  to make that foot taste a bit better in your mouth, Monsieur Marini? 8-)

So I guess that wraps up Guilty Pleasures week, kids – what did we learn, besides the fact that Carrie Ann is a bitter woman, Gilles is so in love with himself that he can’t even see straight, and that a bad song isn’t necessarily a death sentence…and that a good one doesn’t guarantee success? ;-) Let’s hear it!