Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dancing with the Stars - Week 5

It is Disney night at Dancing with the Stars. And I am already singing along with the various theme song. The original dance partners are back together. Hopefully it'll be a great night.

Our new guest host is former champion celebrity, Donny Osmond. That is acceptable. At least he has a clue about what's going on dance wise.

So we've had two weeks without any eliminations, so we're in for it tonight. They start of the show with results for the first two couples. Charlie & Sharna as well as Drew & Cheryl are safe.

First up will be Drew and Cheryl dancing a quickstep to "A Friend Like Me" from Aladdin. Number one, quickstep is a hard dance. It is very fast. It's always moving. There's barely a chance to take a breath. Unfortunately, it's kicking Drew's butt. He is working so hard to remember the steps that you can read it on his face. (And there is a lot of them in quickstep) He has been really great with showmanship up to now, but he's had the time to think about it. The quickstep affords no such time. Therefore the technique isn't the greatest. I have to say that his posture is better. But overall I would have to give him a 7 on this one. I'm sure his fan base will keep him around. The judges basically agreed with me. Total judges scores: 28/40.

Charlie and Sharna are next. Based on their costumes I would guess the song would be "It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary," but based on backup dancers it might be "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." As it turns out the second answer is correct. The dance is jazz. Lots of elements reminiscent of the choreography from the movie. They scared me a lot they were tossing a cane and umbrella back and forth repeatedly, and unfortunately he dropped it once. Personally, I would call this a choreography error. Otherwise it was quite spectacular. I don't give scores for jazz. We'll see what the judges come up with. Total judges scores: 37/10, with a 10 from Len, his first for the season.

Next the results about eliminations. Safe are Amy & Derek as well as Danica and Val. NeNe & Tony and Whitney &Cody are in jeopardy.

Danica and Val are dancing a quickstep to "Be Our Guest." Danica is costumed as the Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Val looks like an Austrian Prince. So they have set the stage. This one can't really be compared with Drew's because Val is the Pro, and he's leading, so that instantly makes it easier for Danica. Having said that, it is a beautiful dance that both flows and is very sharp. Danica looks like she's having a marvelous time. The lines are beautiful. Most impressive. The judges will probably criticize that they didn't have body contact 100% of the time. However I don't think that it was possible with that choreography. I would score a 9, bordering a 10. Before a 10, I usually want absolute perfection. The judges were very impressed with Len only grumbling a little about loss of body contact. Total judges scores: 39/40. I think they liked it! ;)

Next, Amy and Derek dance a waltz to Cinderella's "So This Is Love." In the rehearsal footage, Amy talks about feeling like a princess. That's good, but doing ballroom is proving extra challenging on her prosthetics, compared with the Latin dances. As the number begins, it looks very elegant. They are definitely dressed like Cinderella and Prince Charming. There are a lot of tricks and elegant things, but good bad or otherwise, there's not a lot of waltz. I think Derek did a great job putting that together based on what we saw in the rehearsal package. The judges were very complimentary and kind. We'll see is that relates to good judges scores. Total scores: 37/40.

Cody and Whitney dance the Samba to "I Can't Wait to Be King." I've still got some problems with his posture. I'd really like to see him stand up straight. However his mastery of the choreography is impressive, but nothing that resembles samba hip action. Unlike some men I don't think he would be scared to move his hips, so that's not the problem. It was a good show, but I'd have to ding him for technique. I'd score an 8. Judges haven't mentioned posture (which affects dance hold). The judges total scores: 34/40.

NeNe and Tony dance a foxtrot to "Cruella Deville." So, NeNe had some problems transitioning from jazz to foxtrot. The dance was very entertaining. She was totally in character, and the musicality was very nice. However, when they actually danced foxtrot, it wasn't as smooth and elegant. Judges didn't agree. They loved it. I would score an 8 but barely. Total judges scores: 36/40. Tony basically called the producers out for taking their rehearsal footage totally out of context and making it look like they didn't like working with each other anymore. The mischaracterization obviously upset NeNe quite a bit. She was near tears. What you saw there with Tony is a dance instructor being very protective of his student, and I applaud him.

James and Peta will be dancing contemporary to "Let It Go" from Frozen. James is a great partner. His lines and movements are beautiful, but he's providing great support to his partner, which is important. The move and flow. Dedication to character. I imagine the judges comments will be quite a complimentary. (Yes) Total judges scores: 40/40. The first perfect score!

Meryl and Maks dance samba to "I Want to Be Like You." Maks claims to be reluctant to do a comedy themed routine, but he came up with something really fun. (But I don't believe the whole no comedy thing because he danced with Kirstie Alley, who's all comedy all the time.) For me it was one of those that you couldn't tell between the pro in the star. Fast, creative, in character, for the song and character for the samba. Lots of samba content. The judges loved it, and they seem to try to makeup for personal comments they made towards Maks last week. I'm not a total fan of comedy routines either, but that is not the fault of the star, who I'm really judging. I have to give a 10, even if I think she has an unfair advantage. Total judges scores: 36/40.

Candace and Mark dance samba to "Under the Sea." Candace makes a beautiful mermaid. It's unfortunate that she's dancing a samba right after Meryl. It's a hard act to follow. I'm actually very impressed with her hip motion, which in samba can be quite challenging. It's definitely more on display Meryl's was. There's a lot more classic content, which is very impressive for Mark who can have some problems in that area. I'm not confused about who's the Pro and who's the star, but I definitely think that she is giving her all, and it's very cute. As it is continuing, it's more fluid. She really is getting into it. I'm impressed. I would give this an eight. The judges scores: 35/40.

More results, Candice & Mark are in jeopardy, so James & Peta and Meryl & Maks are safe.

But now its time for the final cut. Safe is NeNe & Tony. Candice &Mark are also safe, so Cody & Whitney have been "voted off the island." I can hardly believe it. I really would have thought his fans would have saved him, but I guess that they are just not the demographic that watch the show. It's nice that he ended with such a powerful dance tonight. There are always surprises in the eliminations with this show. It's the best part and the worst part.

Until next week...


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