Well thanks to the majority of tonight’s performances, I now have red, puffy eyes and a runny nose – and no, the show did not give me a rhinovirus Even though I tell myself I’m not going to, I still get verklempt each season when personal story week rolls around, and end up a big, blubbering blob of hormones that is willing to overlook some pretty glaring technique errors and overall mediocrity & lack of content :-P
Tonight, however, I refuse to overlook to continual over/underscoring and favoritism by the judges, and what I felt to be a rather contrived display of emotion on one individual’s part. Shall we get to it?
1.) Katherine & Mark – I always find myself without a whole lot of notes on these two. What more can I say, other than that she’s beautiful, a great dancer, and an overall likeable person? Thought Katherine danced a lovely waltz, and it’s becoming clear to me that the ballroom dances are really going to be her forte, and perhaps the rumba as well – any dance where she can really show off that posture and those gorgeous arms. Was there a lot of actual waltz steps in this one? Well, no, but on the whole, I don’t think anyone had a TON of real content and syllabus steps in their routines tonight…so I guess I really can’t fault anyone too much for that. With the points spread being relatively close tonight, I can’t say for sure that ANYONE is truly safe…but I think Katherine is probably safe this week. I think she is growing her fanbase, and seems to have kept Mark relatively calm this season. I enjoy watching these two dance
2.) Donald & Peta – I don’t think they had the best routine of the night (or even the best rumba), but man – Donald is endearing himself to pretty much EVERYONE, myself included I don’t think I’ve heard a single unkind word about the guy from any of the regulars here, and the fact that he has managed to go from dancing 3rd, to dancing 10th, to getting the pimp spot in 3 weeks tells me that he is proving to be a force to be reckoned with - he’s probably pulling in quite a few votes. And I do see him improving each week – I love that he devotes himself 100% to his performance each week, and is a joy to watch, but the guy is legitimately improving as well…his arms, legs, hips, and posture have all gotten noticeably better with each week. And I think if last season was any indicator, we shouldn’t underestimate the ones that slowly & steadily improve each week, as they’re the ones that could sneak into the finale out of nowhere…I think I’ve finally decided that he is indeed our dark horse this season Watch out, Katherine, William, Jaleel, & Maria!
3.) William & Cheryl – Grrrr….I can’t believe we’re in week 3 and the over-the-top tongue bathing is still going! This was an ok-to-moderate salsa – I wouldn’t say it was stellar and I wouldn’t say it was bad, either. But a 28??? C’mon, one point less than the top scorer, who did one of the best waltzes I’ve seen on the show to date???! I don’t get it…I just don’t get it. William doesn’t miss steps, and he stays on time; but I also feel like he never truly gets into the dance, and always dances so apprehensively, like he’s afraid he might hurt himself. Cheryl needs to take time out from her busy schedule of designing atrocious costumes from herself and actually bring him out of his shell a bit more, and work on his range of motion. Luckily for them (and not so luckily for us), I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon, with all the judges blindly worshipping his every step. Ai ai ai. Read more..
Chaz/Any dance from Chaz – 3 (Another one I’m tempted to throw out, because this seems a bit mean-spirited…and it doesn’t follow the directions)
Hope & Maks’ paso doble – 2
Elisabetta & Val’s cha-cha – 2
Ricki & Derek’s samba – 1
David & Kym’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s freestyle – 1
Rob & Cheryl’s samba – 1
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 1
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Too many to list – 1
Courtney: Again, no big surprises here – looking back, I really do think Ron/Metta & Peta’s cha-cha was pretty hard to watch…and just kind of bizarre. Hope & Maks’ tango, while very “clunky”, didn’t seem as bad to me – she was at least trying, where I felt like Ron just said “f*ck it” and was out there just winging it. I have to give Nancy & Tristan’s jive a bit of a free pass, considering they got what I think could be the WORST jive song in the history of the show. Chynna had a brain fart – yes, it was hard to watch her crash & burn out there, but after seeing their encore performance during the finale, the dance itself didn’t seem quite so bad. I would say that Rob & Cheryl’s Viennese waltz the first week had the potential to be as bad as Ron’s cha-cha, but Cheryl is such a pro at this point, I think she managed to conceal more of Rob’s flaws with backleading than Peta did with Ron’s. JR & Karina’s cha-cha – yeah, it was a pretty hot mess, but I found that JR’s dancing in the finale was generally not up to snuff with the other stuff he had done all season…chalk it up to injury, I guess. David & Kym’s jive was another hot mess, but again – he at least looked like he was trying. It’s funny how effort can make or break a dance for me – a dance can be a hot mess, but I tend to cut it a bit of a break if I feel like the celeb is at least TRYING. Likewise, a dance can be pretty good, but if I feel like the celeb is not really trying or doesn’t really care (think Kate Gosselin) – I cannot bring myself to like it, no matter how great it may be. Rounding out the write in category, I’ve got to raise my eyebrows at some of the responses, unfortunately. Regardless of how one feels about Chaz’ life decisions, I don’t think all of Chaz’s dances were the worst ones this season, by any stretch – in fact, his cha-cha and samba were both pretty good, in my eyes. And regardless of how one feels about Ricki and/or Derek, I don’t think any of their dances came close to being the worst, either – I think they may have gotten excessive praise for a few of them, but I don’t think any of them are inherently bad. Hell, I was actually surprised that no one brought up their 80′s foxtrot – if any of their dances seemed even remotely qualified to be the worst of the season, it was that one…but again, I blame a crappy song and theme. It’s funny that people bring up Hope & Maks’ rumba – with all the drama that followed it that week, I think it may have colored some people’s opinions of that dance for the worse; however, I actually kinda liked it, because Hope actually seemed to let go and show some vulnerability that week. I just hated those damn flat boots she had to wear
Heidi: Heh. I forgot Ron was even on this past season, so it would be difficult for me to call him the “worst” – maybe being utterly forgotten is worse than being the worst. I always laugh when someone throws in Ricki and Derek for a “worst dance” category. She was not Derek’s best partner ever, but worst out of this group? LOL – I think a bit of envy is at play here. I will also freely admit that Maks’ and Hope’s behavior toward the end of the season completely colored my thoughts on their dancing and, frankly, them as people. But you know what? That is the risk you take when you persist in that type of behavior with no apologies. You have to own it. Be responsible for it. Like it or not, you’re on TELEVISION and what you do will have an impact on people, either positive or negative. Now, I’ve had a negative opinion on Maks before and he turned it (and me) around with Kirstie. He may be able to do it again. But how many times can one keep making the same mistake before they just get written off? So, at the end of the day, that is likely what you’re seeing in the number 2 ranking for Hope and Maks – unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV) I’m rarely alone in my opinions or reactions. I’m just not that unique. As for Tony and Chynna – I think people are very sympathetic with someone just blanking on someone and then feeling awful about it. Sympathy plays a huge part in this show, as we’ve said time and again. Plus, I think most people can see the difference between forgetting ones steps and being a “bad” dancer. I don’t think she got voted out for blanking, I just don’t think she had a fanbase to begin with and her previously good scores had been protecting her from elimination.
Vogue: Wow, I’m shocked to see Maks and Hope’s Tango scoring so high for worst dance? But, looking back at it again, I was quickly reminded of her “attitude” which was turning a lot of fans off at the time including myself. I also thought Tony and Chynna’s Tango would have scored higher as “worst dance”. In the end, I agree with who won in this catagory. Ron didn’t even seem to care and Peta seemed to have given up as well on him which I didn’t fault her a bit. If she comes back this next season, I really hope she gets a good partner. I’d really like to see her given a good chance to teach.
You guys voted…now it’s time to reveal your picks for the bests and worsts of season 13!
Other responses (keep in mind I am paraphrasing, as there were some…creatively-written responses ):
JR & Karina’s freestyle – 11
JR & Karina’s waltz – 7
Nancy & Tristan’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s rumba – 4
JR & Karina’s 1st jive – 4
Ricki & Derek’s rumba – 3
Ricki & Derek’s quickstep – 2
JR & Karina’s instant jive – 2
Rob & Cheryl’s tango – 1
Elisabetta & Val’s quickstep - 1
Ricki & Derek’s paso doble – 1
Ricki & Derek’s portion of the team paso doble – 1
Rob & Cheryl/JR & Karina’s instant samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s samba – 1
Kristin & Mark’s quickstep – 1
JR & Karina’s “Vietnamese” waltz – 1 (I assume you meant “Viennese”? )
Chynna & Tony’s rumba – 1
Derek & Mark’s dance w/Charm – 1 (one of the results show dances)
Chaz & Lacey’s rumba – 1
Carson & Anna’s Vogue – 1
GET NANCY OFF THE STAGE – 1 (I have half a mind to toss this one out completely…)
None really impressed me to say they were the best – 1
Courtney: Can’t say I’m too surprised – choreographically, I think Ricki & Derek’s tango was really the strongest dance of the season, and the execution and performance value were there as well. It’s also a great example of how a less-than-desirable song/theme isn’t necessarily a death sentence, if put in the hands of a creative pro – in fact, a challenging song can often push a pro to really rise to the occasion and crank out something incredible. JR & Karina’s samba was fun & well-executed, but maybe not quite as creative; ditto for Rob & Cheryl’s samba. Gotta say – I was kind of rooting for Carson & Anna’s cha-cha. It has yet to get old for me Nancy & Tristan’s foxtrot and Hope & Maks’ quickstep were both fun & light, but I actually think Hope & Maks’ foxtrot was a stronger dance, both performance-wise and technique-wise…but I feel like it got overlooked because it was wedged between two weeks where Hope didn’t do so great. The quickstep happened during her “breakthrough” week, so I think it comparison it may have appeared better than it really was. Hope looked to me like she was holding on for dear life in the quickstep, but seemed much more at-ease during her foxtrot. I dunno…it is what it is. Other responses: I liked JR & Karina’s freestyle a lot, but for some reason (which I can’t really put my finger on), it’s lacking a certain something for me that would really qualify it as the best dance of the season. I have to raise my eyebrows a bit at the fact that 4 people (or rather, 4 different IP addresses ) really thought Nancy & Tristan’s rumba was the best dance of the season…I mean, the dirty glance Tristan tossed Carrie Ann’s way at the beginning was hot, but other than that…Nancy was kinda lifeless in that dance, at least for me. As I recall, the judges weren’t too keen on it, either.
Heidi: I think JR was up and down an awful lot for someone who won the show, actually – and their freestyle?? I know we discussed it at the time but I can’t put my finger on it either. There was nothing really technical in it beyond the one or two lifts – I always seem to prefer the freestyles that stick to a lot of ballroom moves but break all the rules in terms of lifts and hold – which explains why I am a Derek fan. He generally puts a lot of ballroom in his freestyles. Tristan and Nancy?? Just no. I liked them as a couple, and Tristan is a cutie – but the jury is still out on his choreo skills. Nothing I saw from them was “wow” – although I adored the Spamalot dance just cuz it was Spamalot. And I’ll give credit to Maks’ fans for being loyal at least. Best dance of the season? Nope. Their dances were just too awkward looking most of the time.
Vogue: I don’t think I’ll ever forget my jaw dropping during and after Ricki and Derek’s Psycho performance. I love it when that happens. I’m a huge fan of theatre-like dance productions anyway being a huge fan to Madonna and Lady Gaga. Derek covered all of his bases not only with the dance itself, but, with the costuming and the brilliant backdropping. This performance will go down as one of the ‘most memorable’ on Dancing With The Stars. I’ll never forget it. I also loved Maks and Hope’s Quickstep. I felt they were both finally starting to find their element with this dance. It was good to see her finally relaxing. Whatever the case, their Quickstep gets best costuming.
Keep watching in the coming weeks as we reveal more of the results of your voting!
So I’m guessing the judges either got laid or did shots in between JR’s paso and Rob’s samba, because they rather inexplicably got very generous very quickly with the points Definite overscoring of some parties going on tonight, although I don’t think there was so much underscoring – I thought most of the scores were right-on or kinda cushy. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, tonight’s episode of DWTS was brought to you by the reused song (if I remember correctly, all but the pasos and the cha-cha relay song were repeats) and patterned tights
1.) Ricki & Derek – Ricki was (quite literally, in her samba costume) the judges’ golden girl tonight, and managed to deliver 3 very clean, well-executed dances. Can’t say that the choreo in any of the 3 was particularly genius, but I think Derek was probably smart to keep the steps much simpler than the usual fare we see from him. Ricki’s been struggling the past few weeks, and I think it was wise to give her simple choreo that she could do well than really try to wow the judges with complex stuff. Their samba was cute, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much content it had – I think samba is my least favorite dance on DWTS, and even Derek’s choreo doesn’t usually impress me because he seems to do a lot of side-by-side, open work as opposed to real samba steps. But this actually had plenty of real samba! I liked the mood & execution of their Argentine tango, but felt a little let down by the choreo – again, I guess I’m just used to seeing dynamite A. tangos from Derek, so this felt a little…light. Their cha-cha, too, was rather simple; but compared to Hope & JR, who both looked rather sloppy to me, Ricki’s clean-and-simple cha-cha really worked tonight. Thankfully, there is a pretty good-sized points margin tonight, which should keep these two safe at the top of the leaderboard. And I’m glad – I think they very much deserve a spot in the finale. However, I don’t think they’re going to be able to go with “clean & simple” next week – with Rob busting major moves and JR likely on the road to recovery, they’re going to need to stand out.
2.) Rob & Cheryl – Gotta agree with some of you that the judges made it pretty clear tonight that they REALLY want Rob in the finale. Some definite overscoring going on here – his samba, while cute, energetic, and much better than I was expecting out of him, was just not 27-worthy. 25? Maybe. But I LOVED that he looked like he was having so much fun out there! I also give him an E for effort, for attempting a barrel roll – it was stiff, but he gave it the ol’ USC try. I was a bit more torn on his A. tango – it’s a dance that definitely seems to suit him well, and he was a good leading man with clean footwork. But I don’t think he had as much content as JR, and was maybe not quite as invested as JR, either. I will say that I think he probably had the best combination of content & execution in his cha-cha – Ricki may have had the better technique, but I think her choreo was bound to look a bit simple & boring next to some of the flashier stuff Cheryl gave Rob. In the end, though, overscoring or not – I do think Rob belongs in the finale, based on his dancing. He’s still somewhat lacking in the performance department for me, so he’ll really need to hone in on that if he makes it through to next week – and I think he will, given the margin of points.
3.) JR & Karina – I really felt bad for JR tonight – he seemed like he was in a good deal of pain after each dance, and I do think it negatively affected his performances. I’m afraid I set my hopes too high for his paso – I was so excited about him having that song, that I felt a bit let down when he really didn’t knock it out of the park. He wasn’t 100% in the dance like he usually is, and I gotta say – the choreo felt a bit repetitive to me, too. LOVED his Argentine tango – I do have to credit Karina with not going too easy on him due to his injury. She gave him a lot of difficult footwork and lifts to do, and I think of the 4 A. tangos tonight, his probably had the highest level of difficulty and the most content. And he handled it well, for the most part – caught him wincing in pain a few times, but he still managed to give a pretty damn good performance. It was just sooo fluid – where Rob & Hope seemed to have a few stops and stutters in between steps, JR didn’t. His cha-cha was just ok – I think by that point, he had soldiered through about as much pain as he could have, and was just tired. It seemed a little stiff, but again, I’m thinking that had more to do with his ankle than any lack of ability in the cha-cha. If he can knock the samba out of the park, he can handle the cha-cha, no problem. When it comes down to it, I definitely think JR belongs in the finale – he’s been consistently good all season long, yet has still managed to improve a bit each week as well. Knock on wood, I think his fans alone will keep him safe this week, and he may also get a few sympathy votes due to what looked like a pretty painful injury. His biggest hurdle heading into the finale will simply be healing – right now, his injury seems to be the most inhibiting of the remaining contestants. Hopefully this is something that he can shake in the next 24-48 hours!
4.) Hope & Maks – Well, tonight was unfortunatley an example of how overscoring a couple earlier in the competition can lead to a rude awakening later on when the judges decide to get serious. Hope stuck out like a sore thumb for me tonight – all 3 of her dances paled in comparison to those of the other 3 remaining contestants. Her paso doble seemed to take forever to get started, and once she started moving, she seemed to get wobbly in her turns and ended up on the floor for several counts while Maks danced around her…again. Did it feel like the team paso all over again to anyone else? Her Argentine tango was a bit better than I expected, but man – those KNEES. They’re always bent, even when she’s mid-lift! At one point, my mom even asked “Are her legs supposed to look like that?” If she had been doing a lindy or a jitterbug, it could have looked cool and flapper-esque; but in her tango, it just looked awkward. I thought she made a decent effort in her cha-cha, but once again, it looked like she powered through it so hard that it looked awkward – those arms could be lethal weapons, the way she flings them out when she finishes a turn! I think the judges were spot-on in scoring her – I have to think to myself “What score would this have gotten at an earlier stage in the competition?” Part of the problem a year ago with Bristol was that I think she thought by making it to the semifinals & finals, she automatically deserved to be getting 9′s & 10′s…and I’m of the opinion that just because it’s the semifinals, does not mean the judges should just be throwing up the 9 & 10 paddles left & right. If it’s deserved? Absolutely. But just because it’s a certain phase of the competition? No. Sorry Hope fans, but up against the 3 other couples tonight – Hope looked pretty amateurish to me, and it will only get worse in the finale. She simply has not improved enough in 9 weeks to deserve a spot in the finale, IMO. I want a finale that’s going to be as entertaining & competitive as possible – and for me, that’s going to be best achieved with Ricki, JR, & Rob as the finalists.
So we’re one step closer to the finale!!! Who do you guys want to see advancing this week? Who should go home? And is anyone else as excited about the Muppets as I am???
Well kids, I’m afraid tonight was a prime example of how theme nights can really sabotage some (or most) of the couples – because I feel that almost every single couple was negatively impacted by their song assignments this week. Yes, it was kinda “fun” to have a Halloween week – but making the dancing suffer in order to fit theme? No thank you. But praise Jeebus, this week was the final theme week of the season – back to business as usual next week! Well, about as “as usual” as you can get when you’re thisclose to the finale
Thoughts on the team dances: I agree that team paso had the stronger routine of the two, however – I don’t think team tango was as terrible as everyone seemed to think it was. I think team tango was indeed better in their group sections – everyone managed to stay very in-synch, although there were a few spacing issues; team paso seemed a bit less in-synch when all 3 couples were on the floor at the same time, and it almost seemed like they tried to avoid a lot of synchronized work, which was probably a good idea. I was also a bit bothered by the fact that team paso seemed to have quite a few spots of what I like to call “empty space” in their dance – moments where, due to the phrasing of the music, they seemed like they were just waiting or stalling until the next accent or big move. I think team paso better captured the aggressive, haunting feel of both their music and their dance, but probably had the song with the more difficult rhythm; team tango had the song with the easier rhythm, but probably suffered due to the fact that it lacked a lot of the theatricality necessary for the tango. Team paso was leaps & bounds stronger in the individual sections – Ricki & Derek were their usual showstopping selves, Hope managed to keep up (although I could have done without such a long count of her on the floor while Maks kinda danced around her), and oh man – ROB. Rob was the MVP of team paso for me - he impressed the hell out of me with the way he kept up not only with Cheryl, but with Maks & Derek as well. I was shocked at how much better JR looked dancing the tango with his team than he did individually – guess it’s a testament to how a bad song can throw even the best dancers off their game. David seemed a bit wobbly, but was still looked decent to me; Nancy was clearly the weakest member of team tango, but man – she was out there giving it her all. Overall, I think the scoring was about right, and likely won’t cause a huge upset when all is said & done tomorrow night.
1.) Ricki & Derek – Alone at the top of the leaderboard once again, and she thankfully did pretty well on a night where everyone seemed to have a bit of a slump. I must say, I wasn’t completely wowed by her paso; I could kinda tell she wasn’t dancing full-out and seemed to be babying her rib, which I can’t really fault her for – I’ve bruised a couple ribs in the past and was in so much pain I could have sworn that I had collapsed a lung. I think Derek probably went a bit easier on her with the choreo as well, as it wasn’t exactly the same level of paso genius I’ve come to expect from him. But once again, when you’re working with a theme like Halloween – you’re kinda forced into thinking inside the box, because they’re expecting something spooky/scary/eerie/etc, and they want to see Halloween archetypes like werewolves, vampires, ghosts, etc. Add an injured partner on top of that, and you’re pretty limited in what you can do. Overall, though, a nice effort with a pretty good payoff for these two – I think it will be enough to keep them safe tomorrow night. Read more..
So at this time last season, I did a run-down of what we can expect in the final 4 weeks of the season. You guys seemed to like it, so I did it again And this time I’m spilling who’s on what team for the team dances! Read on…
A good mix of Latin and ballroom left for JR, and he’s fortunately gotten some of the harder dances (samba, Viennese waltz, jive) out of the way early. Not that I think it would really matter, give his popularity and skill , but it just reduces the likelihood of a potential “Ralphing” from the judges…that is, giving a celeb a cruelly low score on a dance that they struggled with but weren’t necessarily terrible at, in an effort to oust them. I guess my only concern for JR going into these last few weeks is the more aggressive dances – tango & paso doble, and moreso the latter. So far, he’s only had to be silly & energetic (jive, quickstep, foxtrot), sexy (samba), or romantic & vulnerable (Viennese waltz & rumba). We’ve yet to see a very aggressive JR – can he muster it? I think so, but at the same time, he just seems like such a nice guy. I could see the judges pulling a “well, the steps were there, but I didn’t feel the power and anger behind them” or some nonsense like that. Those frakkin’ asshats.
The one potential problem that jumps out at me immediately here is the samba – it’s problematic for just about everyone, but for whatever reason, it’s the one dance for which Derek’s choreo doesn’t always “wow!” me (although there have been very few sambas on this show that have actually wowed me), and that the judges seem to get particularly nitpicky about. “There wasn’t enough content”, “You guys weren’t in sync”, “Your footwork was messy”, yadda yadda yadda. I can just hear them bitching now If they’re going to attempt to set Ricki up for an “off” week again, I would almost bet they’re going to do it with the samba. I’m mildly concerned for her paso, for the simple reason that I just don’t see her being terribly aggressive; but thankfully, that’s a dance that Derek seems to thrive on, so it could work in her favor. Waltz & cha-cha? Easy dances – no biggie
Ummm, yikes. Samba is the obvious troublemaker here, and the jive is probably not going to do Nancy too many favors, either. One requires a fairly significant amount of technique (which I’m not sure she can muster); the other requires stamina, which I also have yet to see from Nancy. So far, she’s kinda lucked into getting much slower, easygoing dances; she hasn’t really had to haul ass in a dance, which is why I could also see the Viennese waltz being problematic. She just seems to move soooo slooooow sometimes…I’m having nightmarish visions of her losing time in both her Viennese waltz and jive in several places. And then there’s the tango. *sigh* We saw how well she did the first time she had an aggressive dance – her paso looked more like a leisurely stroll in the park than a bullfight. But who knows – maybe she can summon her inner tart for the tango, now that she’s shaken her stuff in the group dance But MacGrace fans, I’d buckle in for a rough few weeks ahead – because I think Nancy may have the toughest group of dances to deal with, out of the remaining couples
David & Kym – remaining dances: waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, samba
The dreaded samba strikes again! I could see poor David stumbling through that one with a bit of a “deer in the headlights” look on his face – no doubt, he’d give it his best shot, but I’m not sure he’d succeed. He probably will be fine with the waltz & foxtrot, since he seems to be doing better with the ballroom dances; he could falter a bit with the cha-cha, since Latin hip action seems to evade him – but I daresay it wouldn’t be as hard on him as the samba. Honestly, if he can soldier through the samba, I think he could have a decent shot at the finale…if he keeps up the improvement we’ve seen from him in the past few weeks, and can avoid being…well, creepy.
Rob & Cheryl – remaining dances: waltz, tango, quickstep, samba
Again, the big red flag here is the samba – somehow I don’t see Rob getting his hips moving like JR’s, or with as much energy. The samba, to me, is the dance that truly separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls – it’s hard, and as I said before, the judges seem uneccessarily nitpicky about it. However, I’ve also noticed that they might tear a samba apart in their critiques, but still give it a halfway-decent score. Maybe someday I’ll look at the scoring closer and see if they maybe cut breaks on the samba, points-wise. Anywho! I could see Rob really doing well at his remaining ballroom dances – from what I saw in his foxtrot, he seems to have a flare for the ballroom as opposed to the Latin. Quickstep could be a potential problem if he can’t come out of his shell a bit more, and he may need to intensify his blank stare in order to succeed in the tango…but I could see him having a shot at the finale, too. Interesting indeed.
Yet another couple who still has the pesky samba to contend with. Hell, at this rate, the samba could be the deciding factor in who gets that coveted 3rd spot in the finale – whoever manages to muddle through it alive could be a possible candidate! Haha. I know a lot of Hope fans have been saying “Just wait till she has the paso, she’s gonna be awesome!”, but I’m still skeptical – especially after watching her muscle her way through that tango. Yes, paso requires strength and aggression; but it’s still a dance, and it still requires some degree of finesse and restraint. Can she muster it? I’m not sure. Waltz could also be problematic, since it requires a grace I have yet to see from Hope – and because it’s so slow, any potential snafus are going to stick out like a sore thumb. Quickstep? Could go either way – if she’s able to let loose and have fun like she did in the foxtrot, I think she’ll do well; but if she goes stiff and tight like she did in the jive, it could be disasterous.
So what’s going on with the team dance? It’s this coming week (Week 7) and the teams are Ricki & Derek, Rob & Cheryl, and Hope & Maks vs. JR & Karina, David & Kym, and Nancy & Tristan. Ricki’s team is doing a paso doble; JR’s team is doing a tango. Heidi will reveal the songs in her “Who’s Dancing What?” post on Sunday. Now while I’m somewhat relieved that they’ve taken a break from the team cha-cha, I’m a bit concerned that this won’t necessarily be an evenly-matched face-off – the same two dances were the team dances in season 9, and team tango basically annihilated team paso. Then again, team tango also had Derek, who thus far is undefeated in the team dance, and choreographed a dynamite team paso in season 7. I’d say Kym is probably the 2nd most successful (2 team dance wins, and 1 tie), followed by Cheryl (2 wins, 1 loss). Quite possibly my biggest concern: the dynamic between the pros on team paso. Derek & Maks worked great together on the team Apolo cha-cha in season 11; but in light of some of the conflict this week, is it going to create any friction? I would hope not, but you never know. Will be interesting to see how Tristan fares in his first team dance, and on a team with his main squeeze, no less I’m tentatively saying team paso will take this one, just based on the pros on that team having previous experience.
What about the marathon dance? Sorry, not gonna be one this season. The group dance basically replaced it, which I’m actually kind of thankful for – the marathon dance seems to favor those with particularly high endurance, so I’m not sure Nancy, Chaz, or even Rob would have fared well in it. At least the group dance was just a fun little ditty that let us see the couples in a new light.
When are they gonna do the Argentine tango/salsa? Not 100% when, but they are coming. If I had to guess, I’d say they’re probably going to follow the pattern of last season, and they had these dances in weeks 8 & 9. And if my spidey sense is correct, some of the couples with only 1 Latin dance remaining (like Rob & Cheryl) COULD end up with salsa as their instant dance. Also in the vein of last season: for the couples who still have the standard tango remaining, they may end up doing the Argentine tango instead, and skipping the standard one altogether – that’s what happened with both Chelsea & Kirstie last season. However, if a couple has already done the standard tango, I’m thinking they’ll probably do Argentine tango as well – that’s how it played out with Hines. And then he ended up never doing the regular waltz. *shrug* Go fig.
Are they going to do the “Instant Dance” again? Yes, in week 8. And as always, it will be a Latin dance – so that week, the remaining couples will likely all do one regular ballroom dance, and then an instant Latin dance.
Do you know if the “Winner Take All” dance is coming back? Praise 8 lb 10 oz baby Jesus, it is NOT COMING BACK! Apparently it was wildy unpopular…can’t imagine why. *snicker* But I do like to think Heidi & I had something to do with its demise, since Heidi was the one that first noticed what a crock of crap it was, and I just basically shouted it to the heavens. But just because there isn’t a WTA dance, don’t assume that everything is going to be business as usual – I could see them rehashing the smackdown or medley dance, just to fill time and have something “different”.
Vogue here adding some video footage of the Teams practicing 4 hours after the Results show last night:
COWABUNGA!!! I don’t know about you guys, but I sure had fun during 80s night 8) I love how it brought out the fun side in all of the couples. Plus it felt like I was listening to the 80s mix on my iPod. Always a plus
Can’t say I’m terribly surprised at how things stacked up tonight, although I hope that the voting does help a few couples who I’m not quite ready to let go of yet. Gotta say – song selection tonight really seemed to trip some up and help others out. Hope it’s not the final nail in the coffin for a few couples!
1.) JR & Karina – I definitely breathed an audible sigh of relief about 15 seconds into this dance when I realized that JR was gonna slay it, instead of going down in flames like I thought he would with that wretched song It was one of the better sambas I’ve seen on the show – JR managed to cut loose and really get his hips working in a way that most celebs attempting the samba can’t. The bounce wasn’t quite there, but he more than made up for it in sheer energy & fun. The dude even managed to do SEVERAL samba rolls in a row! Quite a feat, considering my bf doesn’t even like to do them in competition…let alone teach them to newbies. And best of all – it was nice to finally see him getting proper credit from the judges, both in comments and in critiques. No wishy-washy “8″ paddles, no “Well, it was pretty good, BUT-”…just a sincere, “Well done, JR!” Considering the kinda crazy points spread tonight, I think the likelihood of them being in danger is about the same as Len doing the Safety Dance tomorrow night
2.) Ricki & Derek – Wish I could say these two conquered their crummy song the same way JR did, but unfortunately Heidi & I’s qualms about “Easy Lover” as a foxtrot weren’t unfounded – this dance felt awkward & disjointed, although not necessarily terrible in the technique department. The judges were right about one thing – the parts in hold were actually quite lovely, and were indeed a proper foxtrot. The parts not in hold weren’t quite so lovely, but in the same token, why harp on someone for doing the Roger Rabbit if it’s freakin’ 80s week? It’s not like they did it for a very long time, and I felt like it was in the character of the dance, with the “80s prom” kinda theme it had going on. It’s the same beef I had with the judges last season when they ripped apart Ralph’s “Sweet Home Alabama” samba – honestly, what did you expect them to do, given the song & the theme? *sigh* Whatever…I kind of expected them to manipulate things so that Ricki had an “off” week, so I can’t say I’m shocked and awed. Just annoyed, as usual I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re completely safe (the points spread this week is looking pretty precarious…), but I will say that I think there are couples more LIKELY to head home. Besides, they might benefit from a bit of rage-driven power voting this week, since the judges decided to be asshats Read more..
Lot’s to still cover! First up, below is a recap and a review on the night with Louis Van Amstel on Good Morning America. See if you don’t agree with him? I thought he did a super job and I pretty much agree.
Louis also reviews the couples in his new ABC Dancing With The Stars blog >>>>HERE if you are interested in checking it out. He nailed it for how I feel on Kristin and Marks’ dance…
I’m watching the package and I wonder what the personal story is? Kristin looks hot, hot, hot, and is very feminine, but I wish she would actually believe it and express it more internally.
Let’s get right to all the new interviews after the dances last night and who better to do it with than George Pennacchio of KTLA and On The Red Carpet!
First up, Maks and Hope!! Maks is so happy and proud of Hope. He doesn’t plan to buy into the “I’m not sexy” stuff that Hope is always saying. Hope says the sexiness is deep inside and it’s taking a ‘special someone’ to pull it out of her (she points to Maks!)
Next up, Carson and Anna! They are totally excited with the results of their dance. The Tango is “who he is”. They talk of collaborating on their costume designs. They are so glad to be here and that he is getting more confident and more relaxed. They show off George’s CIA notes!
Chynna and Tony talk of all the cool support they are getting. She talks of her personal story and is thankful for a standing ovation. George talks of how much Billy Baldwin is helping them.
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..