Karina Smirnoff was on The Better Show today!! She talked of what it was like growing up as the only child in her family and how she became so motivated. She also talks a little about Dancing With The Stars, her favorite dance partners, her dream partners, and more. She looks so pretty. Check her out… …Read more
In case you missed Karina Smirnoff on The View today, she talked about “relationships” with Whoopi, Sherri, and Barbara. They ask her about her two engagements. Karina explains how they didn’t work out and why she gave the ring back. Karina also adds that this is one of the subjects she writes of in her new book and everything she learned from those experiences. Most importantly, she learned to be a “better person”.
Karina does great job at co-hosting. She’s full of heart, sincere, and fun….and she’s radiating in yellow too. You can watch more of Karina in this episode in full at The View.
Speaking of Karina, Charlesg315 You Tube recorded her dancing with Maks Chmerkovskiy in Forever Tango. This is fun too. Thanks to @DWTSMaksimFans for this find…
ADDING: Thanks to Jimmbboe, here is the first segment for International viewers….
Do you think pro Maks Chmerkovskiy misses Dancing With The Stars? Wow, I’m shocked (but, I guess I shouldn’t be)at his answer…which is a “no”. In a new interview with the NY Press, he tells them why. Maks also tells them if he was guaranteed a winner and a trophy, he’s not sure he would do it. More in detail below….
Do you miss Dancing with the Stars?
Because I think I’ve done it long enough. I think there’s nothing there for me to prove. I’m at the point where I need to set up my future. And if I don’t do it now by cutting the cord and trying to reinvent myself, I may never be able to after this comes to an end, which at one point it will. Or I’ll get old and won’t be able to dance. And at that time I want to be able to fall back on something that I’ve built. I want an extended career in this industry just because I can, unless someone tells me that I can’t. That’s why we’re trying my hand in acting. I’m curious to see how that’s going to work. It’s fascinating to study and learn a new skill.
I saw you on All My Children.
I hope you didn’t. But the point is that I’m not missing Dancing with the Stars because I think it’s unnatural for me to miss it. I’ve been there for 13 seasons. It’s been eight years. How long can I do this thing and miss it? If I did it once and never again, I’d miss it.
So will you go back to DWTS one day?
If they guarantee me a winner and the trophy’s mine, I’m going to look at it and go, “I don’t know if I have it in me to stay with somebody for three months and be into it the way I’m supposed to be.” And I don’t want to be unfair and jeopardize someone else’s chances.
Your brother Val also dances on the show. What’s it like being an older brother?
It’s a lot of responsibility, but I went from him being my student first. He was my best pupil. And it’s not like I have to say it. He was never a teacher’s pet. He was in his family-owned studio and never jumped out and was always part of the class. The problem was coming home; I just wanted a brother, and he was staying a pupil. So we had a bit of a transitional period maybe four or five years ago, and since then, we’re just best friends.
To read the full interview which includes questions on Forever tango and Karina Smirnoff, visit the NY Press. Thanks to @DWTSgossip for the find.
My thoughts: Sad. I kind of thought (and hoped too) we’d see Maks back for Dancing With The Stars Season 17, but, now I have to wonder? Also, I’m not sure I want him back now if he doesn’t miss it or have the heart. Maybe he’s destined for other things.
Let’s see what Heidi thinks….
Heidi: I think that if that’s how he feels, he better not be on the show. If he’s on the show now, he’s just admitted that he doesn’t have it in him. And good for him if he’s tired of doing it and wants to do something else – the alternative is being like Cheryl. Or possibly Mark. Both seem like they’ve moved on in their hearts but don’t want to quit. But part of me is afraid this is a negotiating tactic on Maks’ part. I hope not. But in any case, good luck to him.
Our pros seem to be everywhere right now!!! For starters, if you go to this Getty link, you’ll see new photos of Maks Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff with Val Chmerkovskiy and Zendaya at their Forever Tango show over the weekend.
Kym Johnson and Sharna Burgess have been helping to put on “Dance With The Pros” in Niagara Falls. Sharna has been performing while Kym judged. You can view loads of Instagram photos at former Dancing With The Stars Edyta Sliwinska’s twitter account. Sharna has been tweeting out some pics as well occasionally.
Then we have Tristan MacManus and Anna Trebunskaya performing in Ballroom With A Twist. I just love this picture of the two of them dancing in this advertisement. You can also see more pictures and read a fun new interview with Tristan at MacManiacs.Org. Below is just a little teaser from the interview for what he answered about Dancing With The Stars. Be sure to read the link for way more.
Season 17 is coming up soon and while nothing is finalized yet, one of our site members was curious about your thoughts on the various theme weeks. If you could choose one Theme Week for Season 17 (one already used in a previous season or a different one), which would you choose?
I’m not really a fan of the themed weeks too much to be honest, but they seem to work so I guess we will just wait and see. I don’t mind them in moderation, I think, but not every week. I did enjoy the Halloween Week and Rock Week though. I like to theme each dance, and I prefer to see everything different than all the same because it’s too hard to compare anyway as it is, so it may as well be individual styles and just judge it on individual performances if that makes sense.
If you were a judge on Dancing With the Stars, what things would you look for in order to award a perfect 10?
For me, it’s just pure entertainment – I for sure want to see people try hard, but I would prefer to see them being able to enjoy it. In my opinion, you can only take the memories away from it so they may as well be good ones and not stressing over getting your feet tangled up. That’s really what people want to see – improvement each week and the realization and enjoyment out of improving every week. No matter what people say, their personal opinions of certain people will always cloud their judgment so when I’m watching, I take that out of it and ‘judge’ whether I enjoyed it or not. I always know when people smile because they are supposed to and do certain things and say certain things because they have to, but all I want to see is individuality and be entertained.
Peta Murgatroyd was seen shopping in Los Angeles, California yesterday(Monday) in some cute shorts and her hair pulled up. I wonder if she’s getting ready for another Red Carpet premiere? I hope so! 😀 Note: Peta will be joining the Ballroom With A Twist cast in August along with Val Chmerkovskiy. Adding: Derek Hough will also be joining the cast.
Also, Gleb Savchenko has been sharing some beautiful videos of Australia at his twitter account. They are beautiful and a must see!
And that is all for now except to send you a really fun heads up on Derek Hough. If you head on over to Pure Derek Hough, you can read about his upcoming “Symphonic Singing Debut”! This is going to be interesting to say the least for how this event will go down. One of the readers at Pure Derek Hough called Derek “The Modern Day Song and Dance Man”. Isn’t that the truth! Go Derek!
Ok, more later Dancettes!! 😉
This is an interesting week. Latin week isn’t a new concept… but normally it would be the Samba and the Rumba… This time around “Latin Week” has an Argentine Tango, the Samba, and the Salsa… Umm oook. Anyway you’re hear to see the predicted scores, not my mini-rant about TPTB changing things up this season… so ONWARDS!
As a REMINDER we are in Week 5, which means that the data that the following predicted scores are based off of, are from the middle third of the previous seasons. If you’re wondering what this means see the following breakdown:
– First “Third”: Weeks 1 through 4
– Middle “Third”: Weeks 4 through 7
– Last “Third”: Weeks 7 through 10
This is to keep the progression as accurate as possible. So if there is a dance that happened in a previous season but in a later week (like Week 9), it wouldn’t make sense to consider it in the predicted scores because the skill level is different between Week 5 and Week 9.
I’m gunning for accuracy here people… well as accurate as subjectivity can be.
– Age: 24.000
– Occupation: 21.000
– Professional Partner: N/A
Predicted Score / Rank: 23 / 9th
Comments: The Salsa hasn’t been done all that often in the past seasons (only Seasons 8, 9, and 12), the only other actress in their 40s to have done the Salsa was back in Season 9: Debi Mazar with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, but that was a Week 1 dance and they got a 16… so not a very good comparison. Season 12’s Kirstie Alley also did the Salsa with Maksim in Week 8 and got a 25, so it’s fair to say that Melissa would be rather close in score if not a point or two below that of Kirstie’s which would equate to the predicted score.
Dance: Argentine Tango
– Age: 24.429
– Occupation: 21.500
– Professional Partner: N/A
Predicted Score / Rank: 23 / 8th
Comments: Considering that the Argentine Tango has only been around since Season 8 and not all celebs have gotten the dance… the data is pretty scarce. The only other NFL player in their 30s to have done the Argentine Tango was Season 10’s Chad Ochocinco with Cheryl Burke and they got a 24. So knowing that I think Donald could get about the same score… since his predicted score is about the same. But considering that Donald seems to be hitting his stride I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls off a better score than predicted.
“You come out and show me a proper dance. I’m fed up, Maks, with shirts coming off.” – Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman
Remember that one? LOL I am so missing this show, are you? It’s the “calm before the storm” though. I can feel it.
So, first up in some weekend updates, a reminder to watch “Miss America” Saturday night on ABC. Brooke Burke will be helping to host. Tony Dovolani will be one the judges. He’s going to have his work cut out for him. You can see some of the contestants below presenting themselves on the Las Vegas Strip outside of the Planet Hollywood with Boys To Men as the Master of Ceremony.
Cheryl has been so busy. Along with her “Forever Tango” tour, she’s also offering free dance lessons for local teens at Burke’s Mountain View, California ballroom on Jan. 12th. More details below and a promotional picture of her from Mountainview.patch.com. (are her shoes not cute, or what? )
Keep your dance card open for Monday, when “Dancing with the Stars” two-time champion Cheryl Burke and fellow dancers from the hit musical Forever Tango will appear at her Mountain View ballroom. From 6-11:30 p.m. Burke and her troupe will host free dance classes for teenagers from local schools. This fundraiser will benefit “The Dance Club Mountain View,” a program developed by the nonprofit Mountain View Police Activities League and Cheryl Burke Dance Mountain View.
For those of you missing Alec and Edyta like myself (cries, please bring these two back!!), here they are opening the show for the Everett Dance Competition in California last month.
Mark was interviewed by The News Herald this week in promotion for his new album “HurtLoveBox”. He also mentions dancing which you can read on below. Be sure to read the link for the full story and interview.
When asked what dance he would perform to each of his solo songs, Ballas graciously said “Faith” would be a rumba, while “The Way You Work” would be a tango. Welcome to Ballas’s world, where despite his best efforts to get his music career off the ground the reality is his popularity orbit remains steadfastly “Dancing With the Stars”-based.
There’s something about Ballas’ personality that has allowed him to become the go-to professional dancer for contestants with, if not baggage then, interesting pop culture history.
“I try to not pay attention to the media,” Ballas said. “When I meet the person I go in with a clean slate and just meet them and take them for what they really are and who they really are rather than what people perceive and write about them. So I had great partners. I’ve never had one rude or obnoxious.”
Mark also taught a “Master Class” for “Dare to Dance” in Cincinnati, Ohio while he was there this past week. The donations went to help his foundation which helps suicide preventation and mental health awareness.
And just a mention on Paula Abdul’s new show “Live To Dance” for those of you who watched the show this past week and were discussing it in other posts. Apparently the ratings weren’t very good on the second night. This source is calling it a “flop”. From Robot Celeb.
On Tuesday night the show debuted to 10.3 million viewers. That is about half the size of the audience that American Idol gets, but still it was a decent number and not a terrible starting place. On Wednesday the show aired the second half of the premiere and finished off the first round of auditions. It also lost about 23% of its audience. Viewership plummeted to around 8 million viewers. It finished fourth in its timeslot behind The People’s Choice Awards, Modern Family and Law & Order: SVU. Worse yet was its collapse in ratings among the much coveted 18-49 year old demographic. Here it dropped about 25% from a 2.4 rating on Tuesday to a 1.8 on Wednesday. Essentially, that means that almost all of their loss in viewers was in the 18-49 age range. Not a good sign.
I would expect it to get worse in coming weeks. In two weeks the show will play head to head with the much anticipated debut of American Idol. That will most likely draw more of her viewers away.
If there is a silver lining to the clouds it is that that Live to Dance is just a short run show scheduled to end in mid-February so the odds are that they won’t cancel her mid-season. No matter how badly things could get they will probably let her finish out the full season. They have already committed much of the money by building her the dome building and finding the contestants. What is left will be pretty cheap in comparison.
I don’t know that this loss is ratings is the announcement of the death of Live to Dance, but it certainly proves one thing for sure. Paula Abdul clearly didn’t have the much of an influence on the success of American Idol.
Ok Dancettes, that is all for now!! Have a super weekend! 😉 xxx
Hi Everyone! How was your Christmas? I hope it was everything you hoped for. In just a few media things to share with you, here is Mark Ballas Singing “O Holy Night” at the Second Baptist church in Houston Texas on Christmas Eve. Beautiful!! Wow, the more I hear him sing (especially his new material), the more I am becoming a fan of his, musically speaking.
Cheryl Burke is receiving rave reviews for her performance in “Forever Tango”. Here is one of several reveiws out there from the Stark Insider. Be sure to read the link for more.
Tango does well to keep things moving swiftly. There are no monologues, filler or, even, attempts at theatrics. The dance is, thankfully, the thing, and the only thing. It serves the production well which establishes a vibrant pace that doesn’t let up until the intermission some sixty minutes later.
For a show about dance, however, the stage does somewhat constrict the performer’s room to move. The orchestra takes well over half of it, resulting in a narrow band in front that the dancers use, albeit effectively. It would’ve been nice to have some depth to the stage. Instead, at times it can feel a bit like a tennis match: dance to the left, back to the right, then left, right, etc. Also, by the end of the evening some of the dance numbers felt slightly repetitive, and the drone of the bandoneon reminded me too much of a vuvuzela.
While I’m not a huge fan of dance productions, it’s pretty evident that this show won me over, and I enjoyed it more than I expected. For those that love the tango, are fans of Cheryl Burke or enjoy a thrilling and authentic experience should walk out of Forever Tango thoroughly entertained.
Carrie Ann gives some advice on how to look your best during the holidays. Here is a take from Bella Sugar.
“It’s been quite an intense year, as you saw with Dancing With the Stars,” she said. “We had an incredible season. It’s a nice way to wrap up the year, say thanks to all my friends and family, and maybe welcome the new year a little early.” So to see Carrie’s tips on getting your shimmer on, what false lashes she thinks are the best, and more, just just reading.
BellaSugar: Tell me about shimmery makeup for the holidays. What’s your take on it, and do you have any advice on how to wear it without looking tacky?Carrie Ann Inaba: I think shimmer is good for the holidays. I think that’s what the holidays are for . . . But if you’re going to go with shimmer, just stick with neutral tones, like gray and charcoal. For me, because I’m from Hawaii, I like to focus on my skin. So I think trying to make yourself look like you have a healthy glow rather than looking like a Christmas ornament is probably the better way to approach things — so, a little shimmer on your cheeks, a little shimmer under the eyebrow. For me, because I have a tiny little nose, I put a little shimmer on the bridge of my nose just to make my nose look a little more pronounced. So anywhere you want a little more “ta-da,” that’s where you put it.
BS: So are you more of a bold lip or a bold eye kind of girl?CAI: Oh, bold eye!
BS: I thought you were going to say that!CAI: Must have false eyelashes; must have liquid liner. One of my favorite lashes is the MAC number two lashes ($14). They’re just so pretty, and so long. And oddly, I don’t know how, but somehow they just look natural even though there’s no way in the world they could be.
It sounds like all the dancers are having a wonderful Christmas. Here are a few of their tweets.
I love white lights. What is he talking about? Funny as I have a good freind who says the same on them. lol
Ok, that is all we have for you for now. Remember, it’s not too late to ever get your jingle on. More soon. 😉
Ugh. Can I just say that, with the exception of maybe 3 performances, I felt really let down by this week? All the hype about it being acoustic & intimate & passionate – forget it. Music sounded the same to me (and most of it was positively sucktastic), the stage seemed to really throw some couples off, and I still hate the whole 2-score concept – seemed like it gave the judges an excuse to be even more cockamamie in their scoring. But anyway, here we go…
1.) Jennifer & Derek – FINALLY – for the first time this season, I feel like they were scored properly. So clean, so committed, so clever – this was some more stellar Argentine tango choreography from Derek, and some near flawless execution from Jen. I honestly got a little worried when I saw her struggling so much during the package – but for no reason. This was spot-on, and one of the few I really enjoyed tonight. I liked that they opted to forgo they super-high, impressive lifts, and just stuck with very well-executed simple ones (in which Jen was securely supported ;-)). Loved the little bit with the piano at the beginning. Safe
2.) Audrina & Tony – Ok, valiant effort by Audrina – but I’m still seeing ceiling eyes, and still a certain tentativeness in her movement. She moves well, but not with the same conviction I see from Jen; I almost get the feeling that she’s kinda looking to Tony for visual reassurance after each move, like “Am I doing this right?” Nevertheless, this was a pretty hot tango…really liked the dip at the end. I agree with Len, though – the music kinda threw me, and felt more like a paso than an Argentine tango. But they did get the pimp spot and a good score, so I’m willing to bet they’re bringing in the votes.
3.) Brandy & Maks – This one is really a head-scratcher for me. Brandy’s dress was my favorite tonight, and I think they got the music best-suited to rumba – plus it’s just a bloody GORGEOUS song. However, she kinda wavered in this dance for me – parts of it I loved (the dramatic dip, the eyes closed while embracing Maks), and parts of it left me going “WTF?” (mainly the laying down at the beginning and end, and her arms – which are still flaily & pretty damn bad). I feel like she was a bit overscored on technique, as she just seemed to be walking through her steps at times. However, she did seem to convey the dramatic, over-the-moon-in-love feeling of the rumba the best of all the couples tonight. They got the crap spot, and it seems like support for Brandy is waning (which I don’t quite understand, but oh well – it’s happening nonetheless), but I think we still have another week or two of eliminating bad dancers before we have a “shock” elimination.
4.) Kyle & Lacey – I actually have to give both Kyle and Lacey props tonight – the former did a decent job of improving his technique (although it was still a bit jerky) and conveying the mood of the rumba, and the latter managed to choreograph something very age-appropriate and well-suited to Kyle’s abilities. Thought they were a little underscored on performance. And I will repeat – Kyle’s charm is becoming less potent to the judges by the week, and they are beginning to nitpick about technique. I worry he may not be improving fast enough to keep up with some of the other couples that are making bigger strides. Decent running order (top of the 2nd hour), and decent score, so I’m calling these two safe.
5.) Rick & Cheryl – *sigh* Big letdown from these two this week. For as accomplished as Cheryl claims to be in Argentine tango, this one didn’t any different than her A. tango with Chad last season – she did most of the dancing, and he was just kinda “there” for her. Which sucks, because the few big moves he did pull out seemed pretty good – was impressed by how a guy with such long legs and big feet was still able to do some decent gaunchos. However, I felt the same disconnect from him that I felt from Audrina – he never quite got into the groove of the dance. Luckily for him, he’s pretty and the ladies love him, and there’s still crappier couples that need to go home first.
6.) Kurt & Anna – Felt bad for these two – feel like the judges really came down hard on them for what really wasn’t a terrible performance. Yes, Kurt still is struggling with his arms; and yes, this was a pretty basic routine without a whole lot of flashy moves. But I feel like he managed to stay on time, and overally it was an appropriately clean, sweet performance from a guy who felt uncomfortable dancing so “intimately” with a woman who wasn’t his wife (awwww :-)). Hopefully they’ll get a ballroom dance next week, because I think Kurt’s better able to connect with the ballroom dances. Good running order position, not the worst score of the night, and the NFL vote still in effect – safe.
7.) The Situation & Karina – Maaaan…were these two like the judges’ punching bag this week? As “chaotic” as this tango may have been – Sitch didn’t let me down, and he DOMINATED those lifts. Yes, the few simple steps he did were pretty shaky, but on the whole, I actually really enjoyed this performance – the whole steamy, sleazy feel of the tango seems to suit him well. Plus his pecs looked great – seriously, they should have a name of their own, since his abs are the Situation…maybe we call his pecs “The Seduction”? Who knows 😛 Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here, but I’m calling these two safe – maybe bottom 2 material, but I don’t think they’re going home. The points spread seems pretty close, and I think Bristol’s fanbase might be waning a bit…and people just might be getting tired of awkward moments with…
8.) Florence & Corky – Clearing God was smiling upon me tonight when he decided to make my DVR cut out nearly all of this rumba 😀 The last 20 seconds or so, which I did catch, didn’t surprise me much – awkward, icky, and inappropriately sleazy for someone like Florence. Maybe I missed some really great part of it, which is why they were scored so much better than both Sitch & Karina and Bristol & Mark, but I can’t imagine they were really that great. And if what you guys are saying is representative of most of America, then their schtick seems to wearing on everyone, and I doubt they’ll last much longer.
9.) Bristol & Mark – Not terrible, but definitely the non-event of the evening. Bristol is just so – calm. No real emotion; no real commitment to any step. This just seemed like a rumba “stroll” – no real hard-hitting steps (unless you count Mark doffing his shirt – GIMMICK ALERT! Boy must be desperate.) Now while I don’t have any personal beef with Bristol or her family (and for the love of god, guys, please don’t turn the comment section into a gripefest about her personal life – I’m tired of hearing everyone bitch about everything except her dancing), I think this may have been the final nail in the coffin for her…she really needed to own this performance this week, and it didn’t happen. And Mark’s act of desperation didn’t help, either. Bye bye, Bristol the Pistol!
Talk to me, kids – were you as let down by Acoustic Night as I was? Who’s going home? Who’s getting the encore? And who else is as pumped as I am for Goo Goo Dolls & Forever Tango tomorrow night on the results show? 😀 And have you all gotten your entries in for the week 3 caption contest?
Your Dances for the week are Argentine Tango and Rumba! And I imagine it will be a very telling week, for some. As for the dance order, I’ll add it when/if I find it.
Brandy and Maks – Rumba
Jennifer and Derek – Argentine Tango
Audrina and Tony – Argentine Tango
Kurt and Anna – Rumba; Dancing FIRST
Sitch and Karina – Argentine Tango
Florence and Corky – Rumba
Rick and Cheryl – Argentine Tango
Bristol and Mark – Rumba
Kyle and Lacey – Rumba
As Vogue mentioned earlier, it’s double score week (in addition to Acoustic in the Round night – anything else, producers??) – this could be the kiss of death for someone. There are some scores that popularity and votes will not overcome. Here’s a sketch of how the Ballroom is supposed to look – someone tweeted it to me so I can’t give you a source.
ETA: Chelsie and Dmitry and dancing Rumba tonight as well.
Well, I think that Kyle and Bristol are going to have issues with the Rumba due to youth and a lack of real technique. This is not a dance were Kyle can use his goofy personality to get ahead. Bristol? Well, her novelty may be wearing off. We will see. But by having the double score, it will be the double death for both of them – but maybe more so for Kyle. He won’t able to shine personality-wise (unless miracles happen) and he’s not had great technique so far. As for Bristol, well, she may fare better in technique, but the rumba is going to require more than she may possess in terms of performance.
Florence – don’t really want to watch that particular rumba but I will do it for you guys. She will probably do well performance-wise, but I imagine the technique will suffer. It’s a hard dance and she’s not a young woman.
In terms of Rumba, that leaves it between Brandy and Kurt – Brandy SHOULD have the edge and win the rumba group easily. But…well, I’ve been calling Brandy a winner all season to this point and I have yet to be proven right. Her Samba was an improvement over her previous 2 dances, but the rumba? I can’t wait to watch, for sure. As for Kurt – well, my mother and 2 sisters are in town visiting and they have all fallen in love with Kurt. In their eyes, he wins. I imagine Brandy will win the night over all, for Rumba.
The Argentine Tango group could be much more competitive, with Jennifer, Rick and Audrina all going head to head. Frankly, I think it’s going to come down to Jennifer and Rick. Jennifer has shown that she’s got what it takes MOST of the time and Rick has Cheryl, who is recently trained in Buenos Aires in Argentine Tango and will be touring with Forever Tango once the show is over for the season. She has a leg up on the competition. Of course, the Pro’s superb skills don’t always translate to the celeb, but I think they have a serious shot. As for Audrina – well, this is where the rubber meets the road for her. She has to be obviously passionate and SHARP. She certainly has potential, but if she doesn’t bring the passion, look out. I think Jennifer will do well both in technique and performance, but I’m really not sure in terms of Rick and Audrina. I can’t wait to find out.
As for the Sitch – well, that boy is just in a league all his own. I love watching him. I enjoy him. But….well, you know. Double score, performance and technique? The Sitch could be dead after this dance, figuratively speaking.
Well, that was a pleasant little finale night – not terribly exciting, but pleasant nonetheless I found that, for the first time, all three of the freestyles felt a little bit…recycled to me. They were still nice to watch, but none of them jumped out at me as something totally fresh and never-before-seen. I guess we’re reaching that point in the lifespan of the show where “it’s all been done”, but still – sometimes I miss that sense of wonder of the early seasons, when “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” was the most innovative freestyle ever, or when Apolo & Julianne danced “Bust a Move” blindfolded. *sigh* It’s bittersweet.
Can’t say I’m too surprised at anything the judges said or any of the scores they gave – still think they’re pulling for Rumer to win and have pretty much ensured that Noah won’t run away with the MBT, but I think Riker stands a decent chance at playing spoiler to the “Valenrue” pimping machine we’ve seen all season. Will be interesting to see how things shake out tomorrow night, for sure. For tonight, I’m just thankful that I managed to get all of my phone votes in already, and that the show was only an hour long – got a cheesecake to make and a new MAC eyeshadow palette I want to play with 😉
3rd place: Noah & Sharna
Had Noah not slightly bungled his redo Argentine tango, I think my rankings could have looked different tonight – but alas, by handicapping him 8 points behind both Rumer & Riker, I think he’s gonna have a pretty tough row to hoe in order to get any better than 3rd place – and that’s even though I think he’s getting a LOT of votes, still. I have to commend him, though – the commitment I saw from him in the first 20ish seconds of his Argentine tango was the most comfortable and in the zone as I’ve seen him all season…he was dialed in, no doubt. I think he maybe got slightly off-time on one step, though, and it seemed to throw him a little off his game for the rest of the dance – a bit of a bobbled lift, and he also seemed to lose the confidence he started with. Not sure I would have docked a whole 8 points for it, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised to see the judges take advantage of the chance to give him a bit of a handicap against Rumer & Riker by doling out straight 8’s. His freestyle was lovely, though – and I was floored at how well he handled that star lift. No bobbles there, and he only had 1 arm to support her! Overall, I don’t think Noah placing 3rd is anything to be ashamed of – the dude overcame some pretty ridiculous odds to make it all this way, and I daresay he’s proven that he’s a decent dancer, PERIOD…and not just a decent dancer, for being an amputee. And I’ve loved watching every step of the journey
Runner-up: Rumer & Val
I think the fact that these two kinda went the safe route on a night when another couple (Riker & Allison) took more risks may ultimately relegate them to 2nd place. Honestly, kinda shocked that the judges (or Rumer & Val, or whoever picked the redo dances) picked their foxtrot for them to redo – I wouldn’t exactly say that it was their most impactful dance, nor was it particularly well-executed or interesting to watch. I found it kind of odd & flaily on premiere night…and I found it odd & flaily tonight, too. Just…hmmm. Also, food for thought: for last season’s redo dances, those who picked their week 1 dances to redo (Alfonso & Bethany) were required to add an extra 30 seconds of content in order to make the dances longer, since the week 1 routines are so short. They didn’t make that requirement this week…why? Just something to contemplate. As for their freestyle – eh. Felt like a garden-variety Argentine tango – and part of me wonders if they were just so set on doing Argentine tango at some point (remember, they thought they had it last week for the judges’ choice!) that they just reworked their original routine a bit in order to turn it into some semblance of a freestyle. I get that Val was going for the “stripped-down, back to basics” look (hehe…where have I heard that before?), but in the process, I think they lost a bit of what makes the freestyle special: that knock-your-socks-off performance value. This was nice to watch – but it didn’t leave me feeling forever changed or dazzled.
Winner: Riker & Allison
I think these two came into the finale with the right strategy: knock ’em dead with 2 showstopping dances. God bless that pirate paso doble – I think Riker could have easily slayed any dance that Rumer may have redone with this number…it was THAT good, and he was even more on-point doing it tonight. As I mentioned on Twitter – I kind of love how committed Riker is to the character of Captain Jack. When that costume goes on, he’s 100% Jack, and his technique is flawless. And then the freestyle – it felt like a bit of a riff on Alfonso’s freestyle last season, but I loved that dance so much that this really felt like almost a sequel or a remix. A really nice combination of the old and the new, and Allison killed the choreo…even saw a few signature Twitch moves thrown in 😉 And that bit at the end with Riker dancing with the guys in the troupe? A few times, I thought I saw Derek up there – he’s got that same great quality of movement and sense of ease onstage that D has. When it all boils down tomorrow night, I think Riker may have played all the right cards – because I think full-out and flashy won out against simple and stripped down tonight.
So what freestyles did you enjoy the most/least? And who do you guys think will win?