So season 18 – the season of “lots of big changes”, and I’m not so sure I’m liking them. Right off the bat – skeptical about Erin as a cohost. Seems like she isn’t about playing 2nd banana to Tom – felt like she was just waiting for her turn to talk, and was trying too hard to be clever and funny when asking her questions…which, by the way, were exactly what I worried they would be: pointed, uncomfortable, and at times, salacious. Not sure if it’s her asking those questions (or somebody up in the booth feeding them to her), but I’m not liking the gossipy, almost tabloid-y direction the show is taking – suddenly, we have to know who’s dating who, and what their significant others think about their partners, and who stole who’s boyfriend in the past, etc. Seemed especially evident when Erin was needling-er, interviewing Cody & Witney – didn’t really enjoy the tone of that one in particular, as it sounded to me like Erin was throwing some serious shade in Witney’s direction (“Well, I think you’re a distraction!”). Just SHUT UP, Erin – I had my fill of you channeling Regina George back in season 10. Remember: those who stir the sh*t pot should have to lick the spoon.
And then there’s the “rivalries” – ugh. The three major ones that they seem to be pushing are Meryl vs. Charlie, Cody vs. James, and Candace vs. Danica. And while Conrad may have referred to them as “healthy rivalries” in his press release – I would hardly call dredging up 20-year-old drama about stolen boyfriends to be “healthy”. Are we sure the Muppets in the production office haven’t been replaced by high school girls? Because some of this stuff is seriously immature. But hey, if they’re gonna continue pushing the rivalries – guess I’ll do a weekly scorecard of them, too, since these things seem to be UBER-IMPORTANT on DWTS these days. But anyhow…shall I get on with the rankings?
1.) Charlie & Sharna – Can’t say I’m too surprised here, as we had heard that Charlie’s routine was “REALLY good!” and we all kind of expected both he & Meryl to easily handle their routines. Was pleasantly surprised at how well he handled the (pretty short) section of side-by-side contemporary choreography – he seems to really get the “pulse” of contemporary, and knows how to use his limbs properly. He’s obviously SPECTACULAR doing lifts, and he handled the many ones Sharna threw at him without so much as a bobble…but that’s probably my one big critique of this routine: it was very, VERY lift-heavy. Seemed like most of the routine was either prepping for a lift or doing the lift, as opposed to doing any separate steps. Contemporary does NOT mean “do all sorts of lifts!” I would caution Sharna not to get tempted to throw every lift she knows into any routine in which it’s allowed, simply because her partner is quite possibly even a better lifter than Tony. Beyond that, I really enjoyed it, and I’m excited to see what else this partnership can do. Read more..