Such breathtaking photos this week for Dancing With The Stars courtesy of Adam Taylor. What do you think? To see loads more, see Getty Images.
Three cheers for an opening pro dance that I actually enjoyed! Thought it was cute how they worked in a Halloween theme. At the very least, it wasn’t a bunch of female bumping & grinding & hair-flipping…or Pitbull.
So Len was back, and as I kind of predicted – he was grumpy, and Julianne kind of reverted back to being the level-headed judge. Carrie Ann is still the airheaded judge; I can’t even really remember anything Bruno said. Overall, I don’t feel as though the quality of judging improved much with Len’s return – so I’m fine if he doesn’t want to come back next season. Hell, I don’t really care if ANY of the judges come back next season
Kinda had an inkling that Antonio was toast the minute the judges started laying into him for a dance that really wasn’t that bad, in my opinion – it was probably Antonio’s best, and though he’s still kind of an awkward mover, he seemed to smooth things out quite a bit better this week. But I’m guessing that he just wasn’t connecting with viewers – I felt like we never really got to see the real Antonio. Wish he would have given us more of a peek into his work or family life.
1.) Bethany & Derek – Bethany was given great scores and great choreography this week, but here’s the odd part for me: in both her individual and team dance, there seemed to be moments where she just wasn’t…fully present. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like she went into autopilot both times – not sure if she’s just really tired or burnt out, but she just didn’t seem as invested as she was in her tango last week. Thought the concept and setting of her paso was great, and Derek gave her some great choreo in their team dance – but she just didn’t grab the bull by the horns like she normally does. She wasn’t bad by any means – she was just not as dazzling for me as she usually is. Maybe it was just this week and having to learn two dances – hopefully she’ll be back to 100% next week. But she can leave the Maleficient/Queen Amidala hair – wasn’t loving that.
2.) Alfonso & Witney – I have to commend Witney on giving Alfonso a really solid, pure rumba – definitely a good idea for Len’s first week back. I think the stripped down staging worked well to showcase just how skilled Alfonso is – and I really enjoyed that this week, we got to see how great he is at partnering: he really was there for Witney every step of the way, which is something I look for from the guys I see doing rumba. The rumba is the woman’s dance, so it’s really the guy’s job to deliberately blend into the background a bit and just “be there” for his lady. And Alfonso did just that Another thing I also love about Alfonso’s dancing: he’s a little guy that knows how to move BIG. One of the few things Carrie Ann said tonight that I agreed with was that Alfonso really knows how to stretch his arms and legs and really extend nicely. So well done, Alfonso & Witney.
3.) Sadie & Mark – As I said on Twitter – I see we’re back to Sadie getting underscored and nitpicked. Really makes one wonder if she’s getting a TON of votes…especially since this dance wasn’t nearly as bad to me as some of the judges were making it seem. Did the staging distract from the dancing? Maybe a tad, but I actually thought parts of it were genius – LOVED the section where Sadie was facing the zombies and doing work with her skirt. Thought she maybe had a little too much of a willowy-ness to her carriage, which made the paso look a bit funny on her at times, but overall she handled it pretty well. Definitely did NOT deserve any 7’s – I would have given it 8’s across the board. There was definitely content in it – saw lots of paso basics. Still love Sadie
4.) Lea & Artem – Here’s the thing about Lea: she’s got a lot of natural talent, and the potential to be a really great dancer on this show. She herself just needs to believe it I think that’s the only thing that really held her back in her Argentine tango tonight – she seemed to lose a bit of confidence at times, and what could have been a really sharp, impactful step often came across as a bit soft & uncertain as a result. This was a good Argentine tango – with the potential to be GREAT. Saw some nice leg lines, and some moments were she was really committed to the dance. She just needs to let go and enjoy the experience. Stop worrying about Alfonso, Bethany, Sadie, etc….just do YOU, Lea. You’re good…believe it
5.) Janel & Val – After they finished this dance, I said on Twitter “I bet you anything Len complains about lack of steps in hold.” And sure enough, he did – while I actually enjoyed the overall production of the dance and didn’t really mind the PLL theme, I did find myself saying “Wow…this is a LOT of open work.” Would have liked to have seen a bit more done in-hold, but I didn’t hate what I saw out-of-hold. I also found it to be a bit stop-and-go, which kinda interrupted the flow of Viennese waltz – I think if Val would have upped the in-hold work by about 30% and resisted the urge to stop and have “moments”, he probably could have gotten a 9 out of Len. The 7 was Len basically saying “I’m back, bitches!” and making an example of Janel & Val.
6.) Tommy & Peta – Oh Tommy – he needs his tea breaks to get through rehearsal I’ve gotta say – Tommy seems to have really brought out the best in Peta this season. I was a pretty vocal critic of hers, not sure that she could hack it with a partner that wasn’t as naturally able-bodied or spry as she has gotten in the past. But I think Tommy has brought something out of her that we haven’t really gotten to see yet: she’s just enjoying the experience for what it is. Love the dynamic between these two, and the way she just loves Tommy, flaws and all. And this was actually a respectable effort for the quickstep – sure, it didn’t have a ton of bounce (76-year-old knees, y’know), but Tommy was pretty good in-hold, and seem to be having a good time. Glad Peta kept it simple for him while still making identifiable as quickstep. REALLY glad he didn’t go home this week
7.) Mike & Emma – Honestly, I didn’t really think it was Mike’s time to go until this week, when I saw how stressed out Emma was getting trying to teach him the jive. As I told someone on Twitter – the reason I think Emma keeps getting partners that aren’t so naturally good is likely because she does so well with them – look at Bill. Look at Billy Dee (had he not dropped out, I think he could have gotten the votes to last another week). And really – did anyone think Mike was gonna make it this far? Sure, he hasn’t really improved a ton – but I think Emma has helped endear him to the audience and showcase the (few) dance skills he does have naturally. But watching this jive was really kind of painful, y’all – Mike just seemed so lost, and Emma was just trying in vain to backlead him. Granted, the song was terrible – and it seemed more like a polka than a jive – but I’m afraid Mike has just plateaued in this competition. It’s been a good run – but I think it’s his time to go. Still love these two – just think they’ve reached the end of their journey
Thoughts on the Team Dances:
Ok, here’s the thing: the judges seem to score based on how in-sync the couples are on each team – that seems to be the one factor that really determines the score. That being said – the team that’s most in-sync is not always the team that’s most entertaining to me. And that was the case tonight – while the choreography was clean and cool and edgy and well-executed on Team Itsy Bitsy, it almost seemed a tad robotic to me. Maybe it was the song that did it – but I just found myself saying “Ok, from a technical perspective, that was great – but I just don’t CARE about it.” Seemed like each couple (with the exception of Mike & Emma, who I’m guessing were pressed for time and just rehashed their Argentine tango from last week) kinda did the same thing for their individual section. Was really hard for me to get excited about Itsy Bitsy, although I will say that Lea was 100% the MVP – for someone that was front & center for a good part of the dance, she had a lot of pressure on her shoulders to get every single step perfect…and she did. I only wish she had had that same confidence for her Argentine tango While Team Creepy may not have had choreography that was as difficult or had Itsy Bitsy’s synchronization, I found myself more entertained by them on the whole – everyone just seemed to be having such a good time, and I loved how every couple’s individual section was tailored to them: Antonio & Cheryl were doing lifts (smart, cause that’s what he’s really good at), Alfonso & Witney were doing kind of a hip-hop jive (also what he’s really good at), Sadie and Mark were doing their quirky duck moves, and Tommy & Peta were goofing around and going steps that were quintessentially Tommy I guess the best way I can describe the difference between the two teams is this: Itsy Bitsy was more of a “one-size-fits-all” display of incredible synchronization, while Creepy was more of an offbeat carnival of varied delights. I think Creepy was underscored by about 2 points, though – the lack of synchronization was NOT 4 points worse than Itsy Bitsy, and it was really only Tommy that was out-of-sync.
So those are my thoughts…what are yours? Which team dance did you like better, and why? And who’s on the chopping block for next week?
What an unforgettable night last night! So many great dances and lots to cover! Let’s see what the couples had to say about it in some new interviews below. First, don’t miss heading to ABC7 and the Daily Mail for some amazing photos. Glamour has some backstage fun as well.
Ok, onto the interviews. Note that it’s “Dynaminc Duo” week for Week 8 and the couples also have THREE dances….
-Derek and Bethany will be “Ricky and Lucy” if they can get everything cleared (lots more with them at Pure Derek Hough).
-Lea and Artem have “Bonnie and Clyde” and they mention they will dance to Carrie Underwood’s “Something Bad is About To Happen”. Artem also explains on how the THREE dances will take place next week (be sure to listen carefully to the ABC7 interview).
-Peta and Tommy have “Johnny Cash and June Carter” and they are doing a Paso Doble to “Ring Of Fire”.
-Mark and Sadie wouldn’t say who they are as a “couple”, but, they have a contemporary dance and it will be “beautiful”. Sadie hints that it’s something “she would do”. Mark says it has something to do with “the beginning of time” (wha? Hmm…maybe “Adam and Eve” like some have guessed in comments?).
-Val and Janel are going to be “Romeo and Juliet” and they are dancing to “Everybody’s Free” from the Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet”.
-Alfonso and Witney have “Batman and Robin” and they have a Cha Cha Cha.
-Michael and Emma have a Foxtrot, but, they can’t reveal anything else yet since it’s not cleared. Emma is extremely excited on it if she gets her way with it.
Special thanks to JC Rubio, Allison Holker, George Pennacchio, and Shaun Robinson for doing such an excellent job with these interviews and feeling and getting to the heart of the matter. Be sure to tweet them at twitter and send them some love. Lot’s of great content to take in…
Once again, comment to your hearts contents, as long as you remember the show night rules. If I see any repeat offenders this week, you might find yourself on moderation. I’m serious…the one line comments with no context were ridiculous. Use dancers names – not everyone is reading in real time. I saw improvement last week – please remember the rules.
- Our server gets totally hosed when people sit at their computer and click “refresh” constantly. Post a comment, then walk away for five minutes so that others have a chance…and so that Courtney and I can actually post on the site.
- THIS SITE IS NOT TWITTER. Do not post like you are on twitter. You get one warning and then I put you in time out. We need context and content. Believe it or not there are a lot of people who don’t watch the east coast feed of the show, so they don’t know what the hell you’re talking about when you post a comment that says, “Boy, that sucked.” If you want to say “____ and ____’s dance was not good at all, crappy choreo” that’s fine. That would be context. It is good. Remember, if you post five one liners in five minutes, you’ve broken rule number 1.
Now THAT is an opening number!! Thank you for male pros and Mandy Moore.
Tommy – can’t believe he’s 76! He was pretty damn good. Of course, he had lots of little mistakes, but he amazes me. I can’t imagine doing that at 76. Shout out to Peta – she’s really impressed me a hell of a lot this season. Fantastic job, Peta!!
I just heard Lacey say on All Access that she doesn’t feel like Artem is challenging Lea enough – that he was going for a clean routine. I would have to agree. She has great legs, but the routines are too simple for what I think she’s capable of.
Getting kinda tired of Bethany going in the first half. Really. Good thing the team dances are last.
Of course Len has to hammer DEREK for something that everyone EXCEPT him has been doing all f@#king season. At least he didn’t do his usual “6” paddle. All that said, I thought I saw a couple spots where she wasn’t quite sure. But damn, interesting as hell dance. I was mesmerized.
:::sigh::: Antonio. He’s just not a dancer and he’s not as interesting as Tommy and Michael.
LOL to the clown getting Cheryl. Hilarious.
Poor Emma. Well, he’s not horrible in hold… it’s just the rest of it that was bad.
Lea is wearing her Team Dance costume on All Access and I have to say it’s pretty amazing. Also amazing? Seeing a Nashville commercial with Derek in it while DWTS is on.
20 out of 40 for Michael? He must make it through tonight.
I actually really like that PLL song. But why is Janel wearing those awful boots again?? Is she having ankle problems? Was there enough dancing in that dance? I was distracted. I do too much during the show. I need to stop.
Okay, not just me. Julianne agreed with me. Not that that’s always a good thing…
A peek at the Red Room shows Bethany STILL in the makeup and hair chair – where she’s been since the end of her dance.
Oy Len – a bit harsh with the 7. Not a Janel fan…but a *7*?? I guess it’s good that he’s spreading that behavior over to Val instead of keeping it all on Derek.
Mark makes a REALLY convincing Zombie.
I thought that was a really good rumba from Alfonso. Very nice. I bought it from Alfonso. Well done.
Hmmmm…”whipping out my tinfoil hat”…Ya know, a conspiracy theorist could start to wonder if they already intend for Derek’s team to lose the team dance. Bethany got high scores yet Alfonso is three points lower. So, if Derek’s team loses, Alfonso and Beth are close to tied at the top of the leader board. Very curious to see how Sadie does.
Mark is a nutbar. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. I’m not sure how I feel about that as a Paso – the outfit was kinda wrong. Oh holy crap…I actually agree with CAI a bit. But only a bit – it wasn’t that bad. I adore Sadie. They’re being a bit too mean. Okay, good for Julianne to bring it back to the center a bit more.
Frankly, I think they’ve been screwing Sadie over all season – they owe her one. Mark is PISSED. SEVENS!!??!?!? Are you f@#king kidding me?? I call BS on that one, big time.
It does bring me back to my tinfoil hat theory though….and before anyone says it in the comments, NO, going first doesn’t mean you’re going to lose. Derek has gone first several times.
LOL! Inside Derek’s head when Tom makes the never lost comment: “DUDE, SHUT UP!!”
Okay, I liked Itsey Bitsey, but the music did nothing for me. I think it did them no favors. Nice, intricate choreo and everyone looked in sync.
I predict right now that Team Creepy gets at least two 10s to bring Alfonso up to Bethany.
Okay….All of Team Itsy Bitsey is SAFE!!
So, I think Team Itsy had the better choreo, by a long shot. dancing on both teams was pretty great. But Team Creepy’s song was so much better that I can see them winning just on that. That song makes me happy. Or maybe not.
Huh. I think that a 32 is LOW score for that team dance. I would have given them only 2 points lower.
Alfonso – Safe
Sadie – Safe
Antonio and Tommy last two standing.
Person going home:
HOW Did We Do??
Heidi: Called Michael with Antonio a close second.
Courtney: Called Antonio
Vogue: Called Antonio
Safe to say, we’re killing it this season.
Glamour spent the day with Dancing With The Stars Carrie Ann Inaba. Lots of fun things at this link.
Also, below is something to take in before the show tonight. Hilarious…
Thanks to Lori for the heads up!
Well, this week is interesting. And hard. Why? Well, Michael got a 30. That makes several things uncertain. Is he the weakest dancer left? That’s debatable. Honestly, I don’t think either Tommy or Antonio is that much better than him, although Tommy is equally charming in my book. This puts Antonio at a disadvantage – it all hinges on his fanbase.
But then…some of you remember my analysis of “Jeopardy” I’m sure. Basically, if I remember correctly, about half the time, Jeopardy is actually an indication of who will be going home soon, but ONLY for the person last to be called safe. Usually two weeks after being put in jeopardy and being last to be called safe. This is NOT as true if you are in the semi-final. Anyway, Antonio hasn’t even been in jeopardy, has he? And he’s definitely never been last to be called safe. The other thing that was obvious from that analysis was that it’s hard to tell what their pattern is until the season is over. But, Jonathan was last to be called safe two weeks before he left. Betsey was in the bottom two and was eliminated in week 4. Michael has been last to be called safe a few times now. And Janel was last to be called safe this past week. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. More likely it does for Michael in the near term.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the scores and the percentages. Read more..
Have you all seen this yet? So cute! Thanks to @iamKimmieHo for sending!
Ah, Halloween. Either great or a trainwreck – don’t think there will be too much middle ground. Will be nice to see Janel to a slow dance. Alfonso too, for that matter. Very curious to see how Sadie will handle the serious Paso Doble. Lea and her posture problems combined with an Argentine Tango? Could be interesting.
ETA: For those of you who didn’t read the press release – both Ella Henderson & Nikki Yanofsky will be performing their songs live on Monday night.
ETA2: I love me some Tommy, but isn’t that song kinda slow for a quickstep?? Okay, to answer my own question, I just listed to the version they’re dancing to and it should be okay.
ETA3: The Taiko Drums really DO work for Beth and Derek. Wow.
ETA4: You all remember what happened the last time Mike’s song was used, right??
Janel and Val – Viennese Waltz (Song: “Secret” by The Pierces )
Bethany and Derek – Paso Doble (Song: See PDH)
Alfonso and Witney – Rumba (Song: “Ghost” by Ella Henderson )
Lea and Artem – Argentine Tango (Song: “Necessary Evil” by Nikki Yanofsky )
Michael and Emma – Jive (Song: “Devil Went Down To Georgia” by Charlie Daniels Band )
Antonio and Cheryl – Viennese Waltz (Song: “I Put A Spell on You” by Nina Simone )
Tommy and Peta – Quickstep (Song: “That Old Black Magic” by Louis Prima & Keely Smith )
Sadie and Mark – Paso Doble (Song: “Come With Me” Now by Kongos )
Team ItsyBitsey (Song: “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora )
Team Creep Du Soleil (Song: “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror Picture Show )
Hey…Mark is talking. I consider this a good sign….
And some pix of Team Itsey Bitsey & Creep Du Soleil, respectively…
A photo posted by Dancing with the Stars (@dancingabc) on
A photo posted by Dancing with the Stars (@dancingabc) on
A video posted by Derek Hough (@derekhough) on
Give it up for Lois again. She’s back with another fantastic poem for Dancing With The Stars….
A LATIN LOVE AFFAIR
Definition of a Love Affair:
A romantic, sexual relationship between two people
An intense love or enthusiasm of something
Both were in full array, both a love affair on Monday night!
We have an intense, great American Love Affair
With DANCING WITH THE STARS
LATIN night was a Grand Love Affair in the form of dance
A LATIN LOVE AFFAIR
The opening was a’flame in fiery red, a Pitbull Fireball show
The fires of love burning, dancing girls glisteny and all aglow Read more..
Wow wow wowwww….. this is going to be so cool!! Thanks to @DWTSgossip for the heads up….