Well first of all, I’m happy to report that for once, “best year of your life” week was NOT the night of a thousand rumbas!!! It was, instead, the night of a thousand (ok, THREE) Viennese waltzes, and this episode of Sesame Street was brought to you by the awkward men’s Viennese waltz solo OH! And be still my heart…did Carrie Ann actually cop to being remiss in her lift policing the past few weeks???? And then promptly make herself look rather like a douchebagette, when sternly chastising Gleb for carrying a sick Lisa down the stairs? Yeah…that happened. But let’s just get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?
1 & 2.) TIE: Kellie & Derek and Zendaya & Val – Both ladies had strong showings tonight, yet both of them seemed to have minor technical issues that kept them from being 100% on-point. Loved Kellie & Derek’s rumba – very simple, intimate feel, and Kellie does have some fantastic legs. But I do agree with whatever judge said that she seemed a little bit “clipped” tonight – I don’t know if it was the segueing from very slow, fluid movements to rather fast, crisp ones, but things got a bit jerky from time to time. As for Zendaya – I love watching that girl dance, and she’s obviously right at home on the floor…just the right amount of attitude to really carry off Beyonce, and the dance chops to back it up. But once again, she seems to be having trouble with those long legs – Len was right, she was a bit too bent in the knee, and needed to really straighten those legs out in order to get more of a bounce. She also seemed to get a bit off-balance in some of the faster turns, which I noticed in her Viennese waltz & jive as well. Long legs are great to look at – but when it comes to ballroom & Latin, sometimes the ladies with shorter legs have it a bit easier, just because it’s easier to move quickly & crisply when you have less to extend. Also a bit of a warning to Val – there seemed to be an awfully high proportion of jazz-y, hip-hoppy type-moves in that samba. I know it’s tempting to really go wild when you’ve got a Beyonce song (and a partner that can do those kinds of moves), but if this continues week to week, you’re going to be butting heads with Len A LOT. Overall, I think I was probably more entertained by Zendaya’s dance, but I was more touched emotionally by Kellie’s. Enjoyed both, and I doubt either of these ladies are going anywhere.
3.) Jacoby & Karina – I still think this guy is gonna walk away with the trophy when all’s said and done – and the fact that he actually handled his first ballroom dance quite masterfully just makes me believe it anymore. I was mentally preparing myself for a trainwreck – crummy frame, messy feet, missed beats, etc. But I was actually impressed at how well Jacoby held his frame – his neck & shoulders looked great, almost hyperextended, although he did stick his butt out just a tiny bit…which I’m sure Karina’s going to chastise him for later, because ballroom law dictates that the man never slouches down to accommodate a shorter lady – it’s the lady’s job to rise up to the man’s height :-) But this guy never missed a turn, stretched those arms out nice & wide, and best of all – he was totally uninhibited, and really gave that solo his all. And can I just add that his little guy is beyond precious??? And one other thing I have really begun to appreciate about Jacoby’s dancing? He’s there for Karina EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. No fumbling to get turns straight, no near-misses with tricks, no missing getting into frame – the dude is on-point. Read more..