Ok, so “best year of my life” night wasn’t quite the emotional trainwreck I was thinking it would be – I was actually pleasantly surprised at the honesty and vulnerability of many of the dances. However, I was also just downright confused by some of the dances. Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
1.) JR & Karina – Say what you will about JR “playing to people’s emotions” (ummm…didn’t everyone kinda do that tonight, to a certain degree?), but he was the only one tonight that I though even came close to having the proper hip technique, and he made me feel the emotions behind his dance more than anyone else. Was Karina dancing around him? Maybe a bit, but I did see him actually attempting to “be there” for her at every turn – reminded me a lot of Chris’ rumba last season. I wish Karina would have given him a bit more to do, but I think the way he let his face “talk” in the dance was captivating. The guy has had a heartbreaking backstory – let him tell it without writing it off as “playing the sob story card” (actual tweet I read – some people really do have garlic in their soul like the Grinch!). Emotion aside – it was still a pretty damn good rumba. I grow to love JR more and more each week, and based on what I’ve seen from him so far – I can only assume the best is yet to come Thankfully, he tied for the 2nd highest score, and had probably the most memorable dance of the night, so I’m sure we’ll get to see what he has in store for us!
2.) Ricki & Derek – Admittedly, I thought this one was overscored at first – but then I watched it again and realized that they were the ones who best combined choreography, technique, storytelling, and connection to the dance tonight. I felt like they actually managed to tell a story through their movements, and the choreo wasn’t overly dramatic – it was simple & stripped-down. Technique? Eh…I thought JR & Chynna both had better technique than Ricki, but hers wasn’t bad. The rumba’s a tricky dance, so I’m not really expecting any of the couples to really nail it at this point. Was a little thrown by their song at first – all I could think of was Mia’s drug addiction piece from SYTYCD – but by the time they got through it and told their story, I kinda got it. High score of the night, and a pretty good rumba in a sea of less impressive ones…I’d say they’re pretty safe, especially with such a drop-off in points further down the scoreboard. Read more..