Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dancing with the Stars - Week 6

Welcome back to another week off Dancing with the Stars! We are past the halfway point. That usually means that the judges start expecting more. This week's theme is "party anthems." That should mean a lot of disco and upbeat Latin music. This week's guest judge is Redfoo. I have no idea who this is. I guess that means I'm old. lol

First results are that NeNe and Tony are safe. They're also dancing first tonight with a Salsa. It definitely has more of a club vibe, but it's super sexy. I really like it. It look like tons of fun. I would score an 8 or an 9. The judges are encouraging her to focus on technique but agree that it was entertaining. I loved Redfoo's comments. He was very upfront about the fact that he's judging on entertainment only, and he did it was a lot of style. The judges score 33/40.

Next set of results: James & Peta are safe. Candace & Mark are in jeopardy.

Candace and Mark are dancing ChaCha. She is bringing out her actress chops and is going to play the sexy girl even though she says she's not comfortable with it in her own personality. The dancing is pretty good. She's really trying to work it. She may be learning that you can be sexy without being raunchy. I wish she could have started doing this a couple of weeks ago. I think that she would feel more comfortable with it now if she had. It isn't that it looks forced. It just looks a tiny bit stiff. But, she had fun with it, and she has a nice sparkly costume. I think she had a lot of fun. I would score her a solid 8. Total judges scores 32/40.

James and Peta dance Quickstep on party anthem night. How's strange will that be? This is one of the aspects of Dancing with the Stars that's just a little bit weird. They often use songs that normally go with a completely different dance. They make it look good, but it can be very confusing for people newer to ballroom dance.

Really nice top line. That's very important in Quickstep. It's such a precise dance that bad posture is instantly recognizable. The footwork is fun and clean. It looks easy, and that is a trick of the eye because footwork in the Quickstep is very intricate and tricky. Nice execution. I would score a solid 9. Really good. After giving him straight 10's last week, the judges were very picky in their comments. Total judges score 35/40.

Next set of results, Meryl & Max are safe, while Danica & Val are in jeopardy. There's something to remember about this jeopardy thing. When it comes down to it, the only couple that really is guaranteed to be at the bottom is the person that is eliminated. They always have a disclaimer about how the couples "in jeopardy" don't not necessarily have the lowest combined judges scores and viewer votes. So, they may be in the bottom group, or it could be that the show producers are putting her "in jeopardy" to create false drama. We won't know until the final elimination at the end of the show.

Danica and Val dance ChaCha. Her technique looks pretty good. The dance looks sharp, and she's getting into it. Still not confusing her with a pro though. Maybe it's because her face looks like she's having too much fun, as strange as it sounds. ChaCha is supposed to be hot and sexy, not like a carnival ride.  Maybe it's that she's not in character enough. Also at least as far as I can see, it might not be quite sharp enough. There's a slight fuzziness to it. I want to give her a 9. I really liked it, but I want her to lose the girlish look on her face. I say that, and Len says that it's the best dance of the night so far, so what do I know. lol Bruno said that Val's choreography was very difficult, and she rose to the challenge. He is a great choreographer, and the fact that I really didn't notice how difficult it was is a testimony to what a great job she did. Total judges scores 36/40.

Meryl and Max dance the Tango.That girl can hit some lines, and she is such a great actress. She is totally in character. I think that this is her greatest advantage from ice dancing. Ice dancing gives the impression of a ballroom dance, but it's the technique of skating, of course. However, on the ice it still all about character. This Tango is so strong so fast. It's totally professional. I don't know what the judges are going to say, but I would give that across the board 10s. Amazing. The judges were totally blown away. Their total scores 40/40!

Drew and Cheryl dance the Tango. He is pimping it up with his "Super Freaky" Tango. He has a red suit with tiger stripe lapels, awesome! The first thing I can say about his dancing is that his posture is much better. Yes, he has been working very hard this week. That is clear. He is really working it, and a really good strong lead as always. Great improvement. I would say this is his best dance thus far. I would score him an 8. Total judges scores 32/40.

Charlie and Sharna dance ChaCha. And they've been working on Latin hip action; watch out! Naturally, when his hip action could have been most accentuated, the camera cut away. Really fun dance routine. The patterns were really difficult, and Charlie did a great job. Completely entertaining., but I didn't see the hip action that they were talking about. That aspect definitely looked better in practice. I would score a 9. The judges were less harsh than the last time. Total scores 36/40.

The last dance of the night will be Amy and Derek dancing the Jive. This would be a difficult job for anybody. I love the concept. We had a little bauble in the middle, but Amy recovered very well and went on as if nothing had happened. It's what you have to do in sports all the time if you want to be successful, and she did it. Wow! A cartwheel at the end. Very impressive. I have to give it a 9 because of the bauble. Almost wanted to give an 8, but the rest of it was so strong. Total judges scores 38/40.

The last group to know whether they're safe or in jeopardy: Drew & Cheryl are in jeopardy, so Amy & Derek as well as Charlie & Shana are safe.

The couples in jeopardy this week are Candace & Mark, Drew & Cheryl, and Danica & Val.

The final result is that Drew and Cheryl are going home. Another surprise week for me. I really expected Drew's fan base to keep him here. I'm going to have to review the rules and see if they've changed the relationship of judges scores to viewer votes. It has been 50/50. However, to be fair he probably is the weakest dancer of the stars who are remaining. I am really proud of Drew. He did a fantastic job, and he is becoming a good dancer. I hope it's something he continues because it doesn't have to be this showstopper stuff. It's really about having fun. I'm sure that his significant other would love to ballroom dance. I have not met the woman who does not want to dance with her man.

I really enjoyed guest judge, Redfoo's commentary and enthusiasm. He never pretended to be an expert, but he knows what he likes. He wasn't afraid to express it. I can live with that.

Now, we come to my thoughts about Erin as cohost, six weeks into the season. I have not warmed up to her. I think that she is too personal and too interested in embarrassing the pros on camera. She knows them from when she was a contestant. I don't think that she would do that sort of thing with a football player on the field after a game. Not sure whether it's artificial drama or passive aggressive behavior. Completely unnecessary as far as I'm concerned. Bring back Brooke! Luckily, it doesn't affect the dancing.

Next week is Latin night and Ricky Martin will be visiting the ballroom. See you then!

ETA: I tried to look up the rules on how the show is calculating the rankings each week. The best I could find is the vague reference of combination of judges and viewers. In past years, I've been able to find the exact calculation, which was weighted equally between judges and viewers. Their ambiguity leads me to believe that they've changed it in some way that gives more weight to the judges scores. It's a good thing that the dancing is good this season because I am not pleased with the many changes they've made this go around.


Just thought I'd drop by and let you know I think your commentary is terrific. I always appreciate your perspective because you know what these dances are supposed to look like.

Festival of Tiny Costumes next week...aka Latin night! Can't wait!

Travis: Thank you! I had a really good commentary teacher. ;) I think I figured it out with Danica. If she could go from happy puppy face to sly kitty face, she'd be just about even with Meryl with the women. Enjoy Latin night. :)

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