Color me NOT surprised that the “Raise Your Paddle!” thingie was a total clusterf*ck :-P I gave up after trying and failing to score both Janel & Jonathan…and having my internet spin its wheels nonstop. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. Funny how almost all of the viewer scores basically echoed what the judges gave – kinda have to wonder if they just deferred to that when the server was so overloaded that hardly anybody was able to vote. Hmmm. How did you guys fare with the “Raise Your Paddle” voting? I would love to know if everybody had such as easy time as I had ;-)
So the partner switch is next week. Wondering who got who? Go check out Heidi & I’s prediction post. Sort-of (but not really) spoiler: nobody’s getting sent home next week, and the person that gets sent home in week 6 will be calculated based on the scores and votes from weeks 4 & 5; so this ranking is kind of moot, and could totally change based on what happens next week. But I’m gonna do it anyway :-P
Overall, feeling a bit let down by “most memorable year” week this season – not necessarily by the dances themselves (although there were some real stinkers), but just generally by how cold the judges came off. Maybe it’s just me, but they seemed a bit more heartless than usual…in tears one minute, then just kinda beating up on the couples the next. No me gusta. But god bless Betsey for going out on the high note with such an adorable dedication to her daughter, and being the classy, easygoing gal that she is and thanking everyone for a great run. You will be missed, you cutie you :-)
1.) Alfonso & Witney – *sighing as I cross yet another item off my DWTS Bucket List* So glad I get to rhapsodize about how fantastic Alfonso is and how nights like tonight are exactly WHY I HAVE WANTED HIM ON THIS SHOW FOR YEARS :-D Alfonso, if you’re reading this, I hope you realize just how much joy you brought to this frigid, jaded blogger’s heart tonight, as well as to the hearts of millions of Carlton Banks fans across America – and even if it might not have been your favorite or most memorable year, I can’t tell you how much it mean to us to see that dance :-) I had a craptacular day – woke up with a migraine, struggled to do office work from home, fumbled with blog stuff, and just generally felt defeated – but this dance brought TEARS to my eyes, with how happy it made me :-) As always, the musicality was there – he didn’t waste a single beat, and made me appreciate accents in the music that I hadn’t even noticed before; and then the synchronicity – the way he was just locked in with Witney on some of that side-by-side work with a thing to behold – reminded me of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers doing a big dance number. And man, just the EASE with which he tackles every movement – he doesn’t just “do” the moves; he LIVES AND BREATHES them. Just…aggggghh. I can’t. To quote Mini Alfonso from last week “Tens across the board.” 8-) Couldn’t have asked for a better dance.
2/3.) TIE: Sadie & Mark and Lea & Artem – The two pleasant surprises of the evening for me :-) First of all, I will reiterate: I am SO GLAD that Sadie got Mark as her partner this season – I don’t know that any of the other male pros would have thrown caution to the wind and donned the Uncle Si beard and hunting gear with as much gusto as Mark, and his quirky choreography seems to suit Sadie well. They just WORK together. Thought their routine was both samba-appropriate and Sadie appropriate, and she handled the technique of the samba well – and it was just FUN to watch, and was a good use of Uncle Si, Willy, & Jase as props ;-) As for Lea – WOW. That’s literally all I had written in my notes about her contemporary. I think her performance was a turning point in the evening where everything went from “meh”, to “ok, NOW you have my attention!” Given her background, it makes sense that she would excel at contemporary; but given some rather subpar performances we’ve seen from her the past two weeks, I guess I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. But she managed to handle the technique flawlessly, as well as connecting to the dance emotionally. And seeing what I’ve seen of her possible fanbase in the switch-up voting – I now see her as a possible contender :-) Just hoping she can hold onto her momentum from this week and handle her next dance as handily and she did this one…
4.) Bethany & Derek – Could there have been more rumba content in this? Sure. But do I think that they ever really set out to do a perfect, Len-pleasing rumba? No. I think they achieved what they aimed for: to tell an inspirational story about overcoming bullying, and in that respect, they hit a bullseye. I’m thinking going the more contemporary/rumba fusion route was a calculated risk, and while some of you might be moaning & groaning about “lack of content”, I doubt anyone can really argue that she was completely connected to the message & emotion of her routine, and for the first time so far this season, I feel like we really “saw” Bethany. And ultimately, when it comes down to what we take away from this week and what we forget – I’m willing to bet a lot of viewers remember this routine over some with more content, but less emotion.
5.) Janel & Val – Basically the polar opposite of Bethany’s rumba: lots of content, but little emotional connection for me. Sure, she did a lot of rumba, and she handled it pretty well (although I almost think there was a tad too much content – could have used a bit more light & shade), but I didn’t feel as emotionally shaken by her routine as some of the others we saw tonight. Unfortunately not a whole lot else to say – other than go read Heidi & I’s partnership prediction post, because there’s some interesting revelations in it about who may and may not be getting the votes…and Janel falls in the latter category. Possible “surprise elim” fodder in the coming weeks?
6.) Tommy & Peta – Oh, Tommy :-P Even when you’re screwing up, you’re still making me smile. This was the first week I think we saw a few cracks forming in an otherwise pretty flawless run Tommy’s had so far – jive is unfortunately not a very laid-back dance, and so I guess I’m not totally surprised that Tommy seemed to get a bit off-time and winded. But even when he was off-time and losing steam – it was still somehow fun to watch and kept me entertained. Thought the choreography with the handcuffs was pretty clever, and as always, Tommy seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly…and that’s all I can really ask for from him :-)
7.) Antonio & Cheryl – I think this samba was the most unintentionally hilarious dance of the evening :-P Mama Spence and I were DYING watching the “look at me, I’m trying to be sexy but it’s really coming across as dorky” bopping down the stairs, the “ooh look at mah sexy body” rubbing on his own chest, and the “teehee, gymnastics r smexy” botched somersault. Oh wow…somebody get me a cold shower…cause I’ve overheated m’self cracking up! He handled the samba very slightly better than Jonathan, but that’s unfortunately not saying much – still a lot of stiffness and not much of a feel for the rhythm. And worst of all – I still feel like I’m not connecting to him AT ALL. He’s just not coming across as super-personable or relatable – he’s just kinda…there. But people seem to be voting for this guy, so I’m not sure that we’re getting rid of him anytime soon…but hey, if we get more unintentionally hilarious performances like this out of him, I might be able to tolerate him awhile longer :-P
8.) Michael & Emma – He may not be the best dancer, but dammit – I like him…and I think America does, too, because he’s still here. Actually thought the judges were a tad harsh on what I would consider to be one of his stronger dances – it actually started off quite strong, and aside from a few fumbles in the middle, he kept up with it and didn’t do terribly. Thought he had one of the more heart-rending stories of the night – you could definitely tell how much he misses Dale, and how his win at Daytona was a bit tarnished by the fact that Dale wasn’t able to share the thrill of victory with him. And dammit, Emma must be doing something right – because he IS improving, even if it’s not by leaps & bounds. Still think our buddy Mike has a few more weeks left in him…
9.) Jonathan & Allison – Hate to say it, but I think Allison may have screwed her partner on this one a bit, as well – and now that we’re in week 4 and I feel as though I’ve given Allison a fair shake to prove her worth as a ballroom choreographer, I feel as though I can say this: I don’t think this whole “Let’s take a contemporary dancer and let them teach ballroom!” philosophy is really working out on DWTS. Because not only did I see Jonathan’s weaknesses in the samba tonight – I saw Allison’s, too. Her technique was reminiscent of Lacey’s ballroom technique – it just kinda made me go “yikes”. Not only that, but I agree with the judges that the dance was pretty repetitive and one-dimensional – lots of the same steps, repeated over and over, with a bunch of non-samba (hip-hop) peppered in. No, Jonathan did not master the technique, and he was really, really stiff; but after looking at Allison – I have to wonder: could she even teach him the proper technique? I love Allison as a contemporary dancer; I love her when she’s collaborating with Derek; I love her as a person – but I’m not loving her as a pro on DWTS. And unfortunately, I’m not sure that Jonathan could really afford to have another weak dance like his week 2 cha-cha. It’s hard telling how this week’s votes/scores and next week’s are going to cobble together, but I do think there’s potential for a (slightly) shocking elim come week 6…and I think Jonathan might be a primo candidate.
Ok, so what are your thoughts on “most memorable year” week? And what couples are you hoping to see in the switch next week? :-)