Our first couple, Jacoby and Karina, opened with a little conga playing from Jacoby, followed by perfect timing and steps down the stairs and into a high level Salsa. This Salsa was NOT made in “New York City”! It was Serrano-Jalapeno HOT! Karina’s costume was white and lacy. (Some bright COLOR for Salsa would have added a little “bang” to the dance.) Fantastic, featured moves included a jump-over (Jacoby) with Karina catching his legs as he flew over her, into a back drop. They executed some red-hot lifts with excellent exits, and a remarkable, shoulder-pose ending. Jacoby never ceases to amaze me with his floor-searing footwork. In spite of being pigeon-toed, he is right on the beat—never missing a step! His joy for dancing comes out in EVERY dance and performed an absolutely scorching Samba tonight!
“……..the right FLAVA!” Carrie Ann raved. Three 9’s - 27 total
It’s Rumba time for Ingo and Kym. Rumba is described as more “passionate and sexy” than “romantic”. They opened with a sizzling scene from a Spanish Harlem type Sidewalk Café. Warm colors simmered through the room. Golden yellows, oranges, purples and reds poured through their café. The judges wanted smoother hip action, but thought his form was nicer this week—good lines and content. Two 7’s; One 8 Total 25
Red Hot Chili Pepper Kelli had 3 concerts this week and still had to learn 4 dances: 1 Latin Dance plus 3 more, 44 second, dances for the Dance Off Challenge. She won my vote for Best Costume: a sassy red and white ruffled top and skirt with flowers in her hair, which was the perfect accent for their crackling hot Samba moves. Derek danced shirtless to add even more sizzle. They went into a perfectly synchronized “slow motion segment” that gave the dance a nifty twist with added imagination—but then, that’s Derek! There’s always an extra touch of spice in his choreography. Their streamers-from-the-ceiling ending was a breathtaking finale. “BAM!”…… in Emiril Lagasse style! Carrie Ann wanted more emotional connection (less “thinking”) scoring them with a 9, but Len and Bruno disagreed commenting it was BRILLIANT and rewarded them with scores of 10s. Total score: 29.
Andy gave it his best, once again, and attempted a sexy Rumba in bright yellow vest, striped shirt and the cake box straw hat which he took from Sharna’s high heel. Sharna came up with some very cute choreography and creativity with a Diamond bracelet as a taunting incentive for Sharna, until she finally won it at the end. But, Andy has difficulty with fluidity, which is a MAJOR aspect of Rumba. The judges (and I) all agreed: they had great enthusiasm, entertainment value and receive “Gold Stars for Effort”. Their total score was 17. I thought they should have scored a bit higher on this one because he was better—not great, but MUCH better--in this performance.
Aly and Mark missed a few days of rehearsal because Mark seriously sprained his back during a lift in practice. Henry was Aly’s substitute partner for rehearsals but Mark performed (miraculously) on the show! (I didn’t think he would make it!) Mark always leans toward the hotter, brighter colors on the stage as well as in costuming, and tonight was no exception. Pretty blues and glowing Fluorescent greens highlighted their Green-Chili-hot Salsa. Their dance demonstrated the differences in styles in Salsa, leaning toward a more “Samba-ish” look and feel. It was a scorching, Habanera performance! Aly was openly more filled with the joy of dance. She was “peppy” with “action” at a level we haven’t seen from her before. I would like to see her just SMILE more! Nevertheless, this dance was FIREY and earned two 10’s and one 9! Total 29.
Peta enlisted Catherine (Sean’s fiancé) at rehearsals to emphasize the “love connection” in their Rumba, and IT WORKED! Sean was gentler, softer, smoother and definitely communicating more emotion as they danced through the dreamy, steamy fog on the floor. His musicality was much improved. The judges thought he was seductive and that his arms were not quite right.
“50 Shades of Sean….” Bruno commented. Three 8’s Total 24
Zendaya was so sweetly costumed in her youthful, sparkling white dress with a full, white satin skirt. She opened with an effective, Flamenco, castanet sequence. (I wanted to see MORE of that!) She gave the appearance of a bird of prey when she held her skirt out to the side and stepped as if in a calculated attack mode. Her intensity with Val, required by the Paso Doble styling, was perfect. I know this was difficult for a young girl, but as she said, she IS and actress! She can assume a commanding characterization with professionalism! Val’s “strong suit” is intensity, so if anyone can teach and communicate power, it’s Val! I felt that Val “muscled her” a little too much here and there which detracted from her own empowerment just a tiny bit. The red curtain behind them fell from the top and crumpled on the floor at the end. Another Emeril moment “Take it up a notch………BAM!!!” Very effective! Three 9’s Total 27
DANCE OFF CHALLENGE
RULES: One couple gains immunity and cannot be eliminated this week.
The remaining couples (according to scores) choose a couple to challenge. The couple challenged chose the dance to perform: Cha Cha Cha; Rumba; or Jive.
This required each couple to be prepared to do any one of the 3 dances.
Kelli and Derek won Immunity for their Salsa. (Highest total combined scores).
Aly and Mark were next highest and challenged Andy and Sharna.
Andy and Sharna chose the Cha Cha as the dance style.
This Challenge won Aly and Mark an additional 3 points leaving them with a total score of 32!
Zendaya and Val challenged Jacoby and Karina, who chose the Jive. (Jacoby’s favorite.)
2 judges voted for Zendaya and Val; Bruno liked Jacoby and Karina.
This was a GREAT Dance Off! Evenly matched competitors. They both did great!
The points went to Zendaya and Val making their total score for the evening: 30
We are at the point where dancers are becoming weary and must dig deep for energy to accomplish good performances over the next few weeks. Those who hesitate will be lost.
The Results show will feature Adrianne Haslet-Davis who was injured during the Boston Marathon bombings. Her left leg was amputated below the knee. She is determined to return to ballroom dancing and teaching. It will be an emotion-packed show, so don’t miss this one.
until next time………..