Okay, here’s part 2 – be sure to watch part 1 so you can get the full history.
Part 2 could be called the “Hough-Ballas-Johnson” Section. What I notice about Derek and Mark’s early Freestyles is that they craft something exciting but they still get a lot of actual dancing in there. I remember critics saying it was all lifts and no dancing….crack is wack, ya’ll. Looking forward to seeing both freestyles from them this Monday as they’ve both matured so much in both style and choreography.
Season 7 – Brooke and Derek. I loved this freestyle. It’s funny to watch now as Derek is a good bit smaller – you’ll also note that this is the beginning of his recurring back problems. What I loved about this freestyle is that, from Brooke, it was unexpected, I think. She was the best dancer this season and I remember thinking that there was no way she was beating Warren the showman – I think this dance might have done it for her.
Season 8 – Shawn and Mark. Shawn is just the cutest thing ever. A great dance by Mark – lots of gymnastics and I seem to recall people picking on both Mark and Derek for having gymnastics when dancing with Shawn, but what people still don’t get today is that the show is about the celebrity and, just like all the previous freestyles before them, it’s about making it so that it not only shows off your celebrity in their best light, but that they have FUN with it. Gymnastics, yes – but Helio had his racing car, Emmitt’s fit his personality, Brooke danced to a song from her favorite movie…the list goes on. That is the key.
Season 9 – Oh how I miss Kym Johnson. Donny Osmond was the massive ringer of Season 9 and one of the biggest ringers in terms of fanbase in the history of the show. This was a good freestyle, and it fit Donny to a tee – and it was pretty darn good, as I recall. I like it better now than I did at the time. Donny was pimped to high heaven by Entertainment Tonight – he was everywhere all the time and his fans were obnoxious as hell. So, it was a bit tainted at the time….but it’s gotten better with age. Note that Donny said that his perfect score was the first time that season. This was before they handed out tens like candy.
Season 10 – Nicole and Derek – great dance, ‘cept for that little bobble in the one lift. Oddly, for Nicole and Derek this wasn’t my favorite dance of theirs. They had earned the trophy the week before with the 50’s Paso. That dance, along with the Pretty Woman Tango, the Buble Foxtrot, Lady in Red Rumba and many others which all could be in the list of best dances ever. Their dances up to this point had been so amazing, so memorable that this amazing freestyle was actually a let down. Now THAT is saying something about a season.
Season 11 – Derek and Jennifer – now this is probably the most perfect winning freestyle for a celebrity ever. Why?? It was tailor made for Jennifer from the opening bit. Priceless. I remember the whole internet screaming “She carried a watermelon!!!” The whole dance was an homage to Dirty Dancing. It’s about Jennifer, yet not what people were expecting. It wasn’t the best danced freestyle, I don’t think – but it was what a freestyle is supposed to be.
Season 12 – Hines and Kym with a freestyle that still makes me smile. Kym was always great a freestyles, and making them all about her partner. Football player dancing to a marching band playing the Jackson Five while wearing an “S” for steelers on his chest. She pretty much covered all the bases.