Dancing with the Stars Season 29, Week 8 – Who’s Dancing What…and When??

Double elimination and Relay dances…and of course, I know you were all holding your breath to hear what Tyrant is “walking out” to (FFS, I can’t even believe I have to type crap like that about this show):

The show’s cold open will be a sketch aimed at encouraging people to vote as part of a nonpartisan initiative. Later, Tyra Banks will walk out to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars. In addition, for the first time this season, Relay Dances will find our couples split into three groups, dancing either a Cha Cha, Samba or Viennese Waltz relay. Each group will dance to a different song and the couples will take turns, one couple dancing at a time. One judge will rank the couples within each relay group and give bonus points depending on those rankings. These points will be combined with the individual scores and live voting to determine who is up for elimination.

So, if I’m understanding this overly complicated relay structure, each group of three gets a style of dance and one judge, who ranks them. And of course, they stick samba in there just to handicap three couples. Hmmmm…who will they choose? Will they level the playing field, or give Samba to whoever they want to go home….or better still, group the couples with an obvious winner in each grouping, keeping them safe? You would think that Justina would not have Samba, since that’s her regular dance. You’d also think that Nev and Chrishell wouldn’t get V. waltz for the same reason. But we will see.

And I have to ask, who the HELL is picking these song/dance combinations?? For every one they get right, there is one that appears, on paper, to be a disaster. Only with Derek as choreographer would I look forward to something other than a train wreck when I saw “Viennese Walts to Hound Dog By Elvis” – are they TRYING to kill me?? Here’s who’s dancing what:

Nelly & Daniella – Rumba (Song: “Nobody Knows” by The Tony Rich Project)

Justina & Sasha – Samba (Song: “Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes)

Jeannie & Brandon – Charleston (Song: “Shout” by The Isley Brothers)

AJ & Cheryl – Rumba (Song: “Way Down We Go” by KALEO)

Skai & Alan – Salsa (Song: “Work It” by Missy Elliott)

Johnny & Britt – Foxtrot (Song: “Wonder” by Shawn Mendes)

Nev & Jenna – Viennese Waltz (Song: “Stuck with U” by Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber)

Chrishell & Gleb – Viennese Waltz (Song: “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley)

Kaitlyn & Artem – Jive (Song: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen)

Who danced it better?  I went straight to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen because I was fairly certain it had been used in the recent past…and sure enough, Emma and Drew (and Jonathan) danced Jive to it a few seasons ago. And did a pretty good job at it, too.

There was a pro dance to it a long time ago and when I watch this, I recognize what Mandy Moore was saying about the ballroom pros NEVER dancing in sync. It’s quite glaring in this dance and I think it does kind of ruin it. Don’t choreography synchronized moves if you can’t dance in sync. But then all Mandy ever seemed to accomplish on this show was synchronized bump and grind, so there you go.

As for Magalenha, it’s been used so many times on this show that I know all the words and all the beats. 🙂 Cameron/Edyta, Kirstie/Maks, William/Cheryl, Laurie/Val….and I’m sure many more, including a past DWTS tour. Here are two ends of the Samba spectrum…

Shout by the Isley Brothers has been used as a Jive, by none other than Derek and Amy (and Melissa and Tony)…and it was super campy, because what else can you do with this song? But a Charleston just feels…wrong. This is a wedding or frat party song, to me, and a Charleston is so identified in a different time period. Honestly, I love this song, but I hate in on DWTS.

::sigh:: There is something to what CAI says about the “feel” of a dance…I think she’s on crack, but when it comes to Shout as a Charleston and Hound Dog as a V. Waltz, well, I feel she’s got a point. Hound Dog does not scream V. Waltz…however it wasn’t a horrendous Jive.

Maks and Meryl also used it as a Jive, while Carlos and Witney used a remixed version as a cha cha.