Carrie Ann Inaba has written a new blog at Parade. This time, she has something to say about all of the couples. She also defends herself for some hate she’s been receiving. Here is a take, but, be sure to read more at the link.
Bethany Mota and Derek Hough
OK, I’m getting a lot of hate about my score for Bethany and Derek. I score it as I see folks. As I’ve said many times, I think she’s incredible. She’s one of the front-runners in my mind. She’s got a drive that I believe will take her far on the road to the Mirrorball Trophy. She’s determined and when she dances. She really digs into the dances and brings the world to life. Like a chameleon, she is dynamic and intriguing to watch.
However, she does need to drop her shoulders. It’s small-but-critical change. As I remember, I kept telling Drew Lachey back in Season 2 that he needed to drop his shoulders. We all could see the tension in his shoulders and when he did; he took home the Mirrorball Trophy. So, as we head to the finals, I’m very specific in my critiques because I know how hard they have all worked for this, and they all deserve the best shot at winning. I have faith in Bethany that she will be able to make this adjustment and have yet another breakthrough. For her Argentine tango trio, she lacked the intimacy with Tony and some of the transitions were not as smooth as they could have been. The performance as a whole was powerful and had a fire that was incredible to experience, but it’s my job to call it as I see it. She’s come so far as a performer since week one. She’s developed her core strength and her emotional expression and she’s allowed herself full immersion into her characters. I think she’s got a great shot at this, and I’m impressed with her determination. You can feel it when she comes out and dances, and it’s exciting.
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas
Can we just say, stunning? That foxtrot was stunning and I have to say that Mark’s strategy was brilliant. Choosing another female pro to dance and complement Sadie was risky but well worth it. Truly a performance that was classic DWTS. This is the kind of dancing that really speaks to everyone. No matter what your age is, what your creative taste is, this elegant and show stopping foxtrot was undoubtedly perfection in motion. Mark’s choreography was untouchable. Sadie was a super star last night. You could see her future in that dance and I believe her future is bright. She’s elegant, graceful and a bright light in this competition. It makes me smile as I write this with coffee in hand, remembering the fabulous performance. Loved the way Mark maneuvered the girls effortlessly and without a hitch or awkward moment, exchanging partners with ease and artistry. Beautifully performed by all three. This is going into my list of top dances in DWTS history.
Team Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy
I’m getting a lot of feedback that Janel and Val’s performances had many mistakes. However, I have to say, I thank you for your passion and your feedback, but from where I sat, I didn’t see them. Janel and Val had a great night. Out of the girls left, she is the most consistent performer. But she’s a bit older than the other two girls and she has a polish that can’t be denied. Now, veteran viewers will remember that isn’t a sure sign that you will win the competition. What wins this competition is momentum at the end…So, it’s really anyone’s game. I was truly impressed with Janel’s quickstep. The quickstep is one of the most difficult dances to pull off. It requires a lot of technique that must come before the movements. She had great form and delivered the story with movie star quality. She and Bethany have a similar energy on the dance floor. They are determined, powerful and grounded in their strengths, and they have confidence. Sadie has a different energy. She is light and bright. They are all running a tight race with Alfonso. This is a close season, and it’s anyone’s Mirrorball Trophy.