Everyone is tired. Rehearsals showed the dancers making that “hump week extra effort” to do a top notch performance. The Semi-Finals are next week, so they are digging deep for energy and strength. The Judges argued and fought over nearly every performance tonight. The “big Melt Down” came in the 2nd half of the show(Trio dances). Hands down, this was the most intense disagreement we have ever seen from the Judge’s Stand.
Zendaya & Val opened the show with Zendaya in a beeeeeautiful tea length, floral, dress for their Fox Trot. Zendaya looked as if she had stepped right out of a Garden Party to tantalize and encourage Val to “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. It was lovely, flowing dance.
Len: “the longer the competition goes on, the STRONGER you get.” Loved it.
Bruno: “Breath of fresh air!” Carrie Ann: “you took my breath away!”
A mild exchange between the Judges ensued arguing with regards their “weak” opening.
Two 9’s and a 10 from Len! Total 28
Sean danced with a “Tango Bride” (Peta) in a white, cut-away front, wedding dress—complete with bouquet--and Sean in a Tux. He remains a bit heavy-footed and lost some footwork. He also struggled with dancing to the music. But overall, the performance was very nice. Len thought overall the dance was a little bit “ugly”. Carrie Ann challenged his word, “UGLY?!” Three 7’s Total 21 I felt like it was a little better than 7’s, but he DOES need to step softer.
It’s Viennese Waltz time for Jacoby and Karina. Jacoby can “tear it up” on the quicker dances, but has had some difficulty with the slower tempos and styles, so I wasn’t sure how this would go. But, he danced elegantly to the Waltz! He pulled his shirt open toward the end in “It’s a Man’s World” style. The audience “gasped” and cheered. His waltz was smooth and fluid. He was amazing! Three 9’s Total 27
Ingo gave us a bit of “Gene Kelly Fox Trot” styling (as Len even remarked), strutting down the stairway in his gray vest, gray bow tie and hat. I thoroughly enjoyed THAT! I also loved Kym’s rose, sequined bodice and white feathery hemline. BEAUTIFUL! In rehearsal, he was aching and sore (the plight of Week 8 exhaustion), but he “pushed through the pain” and danced stunningly. I wish we could get Ingo to step just a little lighter and smoother. His styling is so good, his lines and expression are a joy to watch. If we could get that Heel Lead just a bit gentler he could hit it “outa the park”! Three 8’s for a Total of 24
And here comes another lovely Viennese Waltz from Princess Kelli and her Imperial partner Derek!
Derek had worked through some memories with Kelli during rehearsal to bring more emotion to her dancing. Her royal dress had feathery, flowing cap sleeves to accent her perfect arm lines. The smoky fog lingering across the floor enhanced the fairytale quality of the dance, and kept us spellbound.
They ended before a huge Cheval Mirror with Kelli on the floor, alone. Carrie Ann complimented Kelli’s emotion. Len thought it was lyrical and lovely. Bruno said, “….not a Princess but a QUEEN!” Two 9s – one 10. Total 28
A dark, laced Tango graced the floor with Aly and Mark holding us completely transfixed on their every, exact, precise move. Aly danced the part of a seductress/harlot and successfully conquered this passionate tango! (A character very much out of her comfort zone.)
After the dance, ANOTHER argument began in the Judges panel. Len and Bruno objected to Carrie Ann’s observation of a little awkwardness on the exits of Aly’s lifts which caused raised voices and open disagreements. One 9 and two 10’s!!! Highest score of the night – 29!
Zendaya (the “Mayan Princess”), Val and Gleb (“Security Guards”) gave us one red-hot Salsa!!! It was sooooo much fun! Zendaya seems to completely capture the essence every dance style and the accompanying emotion that she attempts! She sat with regal beauty on the Gold plated throne for the opening. Another superb characterization from Zendaya!
Imagine assuming the air and aura of a Mayan Princess at 16 years old! What an actress/dancer combination! Her all white satin and jewels were accented by a dangling Mayan-look necklace. Val and Gleb were in open-front, white satin shirts and white pants. The choreography was extremely effective in showcasing Zendaya. SUPERB!
I think we can watch for Zendaya to do wonderful roles and Academy Award winning movies in her acting future. I can’t imagine ANY role she couldn’t conquer-in true Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta Jones style! Two 9’s One 10! Total 28
Sean, the Magician, (“I”ve Got the Magic In Me” song) brought his beautiful assistant/dance partner, Peta, out of a magic box to joined Sharna and perform a Trio “Jazz” number. His Top Hat and tails were “dashing”. The ladies wore thigh-high red, vinyl boots and red, sequined bustier tops. Neat costumes! Cute dance but Sean was “off” on his footwork and lines were not the best. Three 7’s 21 total.
Cheryl joined Jacoby and Karina for an outstanding Paso. Golden yellow trimmed in dramatic black lace was a bold, eye-catching combination. The full, flowing skirts were designed to offer a bullfighter, “cape effect”.
Jacoby performed his famous “jump-over” – this time, over 2 ladies – and ended with a torpedo slide through the legs of BOTH ladies. His “Toreador” lines were great and his expression was superb. Impressive background and stage set! They danced in front of a FIRE-FILLED stage, and more magnificent flames projected onto the floor! Great special effects for this “burn-the-floor” trio! Len commented that he had become a “Contender”. Two 8’s; One 9 25 Total
Ingo and Kym chose Lindsay to join them for their Trio “Jive”. Ingo was the object of competition between the two ladies. He sported a “50’s Nerd” look in checked pants, pink vest, bow tie and 3D glasses. Cute opening: Ingo sat in the audience, popcorn in his lap, and the ladies came and pulled him onto the floor. They were very 50’s cute in cotton-candy pink costumes. I thought he handled Trio moves quite well, moving back and forth between the 2 ladies competently and smoothly. Carrie Ann liked the “heart and fun” of the dance.
Three 8’s Total 24
Tristen was the 3rd member of the Kelli and Derek trio, for their smoky Paso. Dark red, low-level lighting and black costumes gave the number drama. Derek and Kelli were on the Light Side of the universe and Tristen was enticing them to the Dark Side. The Mirror they used in their earlier dance, made a dramatic 2nd appearance in the Trio Paso, with Kelli positioned on the floor in all white, before the mirror. Tristen smashed through the glass to reach Kelli, attempting to pull them to his world. He pulled them trough the mirror to the “Dark Side” and
Kelli pulled off her white dress revealing all black. Bright flashes of “Lightning” flashes accented the drum beats of the song and pose-type choreography throughout the entire number.
Bruno: that was Masterpiece Theater – high art high drama – from angel to demon. I could feel the blood pumping through me! I wanted to be a part of it! So engrossing! So entertaining!
Carrie Ann squealed and ran around the Judges table to hug Kelli, “You took my breath away! You are in it to win it—I’m so proud of you!”
Bruno followed suit and hugged the team and began swirling his arm around “Paso-style”.
Len: I was expecting more than flashing lights and crashing music. It was a hodge podge of moves just out there to titillate the taste buds. Where’s the twist turns? Where’s the recognizable Paso Doble? I can’t believe it. This girl is so talented. I wanna see more than flashing lights…crashing music.
And the “melt-down” began. All 3 Judges standing up and raising their voices—all talking at once. Carrie Ann insisting that “it was amazing. Len is wrong!” with big arm gestures, and doing the “crazy” motion with her hand. All the while Len barked, “you know who knows about this stuff. You know I’m right!”
Bruno told Len, “that is rubbish. That is pure rubbish”.
Len stood back up and said, “you….you can’t talk without standing up!” And, even included a swear word, bringing a gasp/shriek from Carrie Ann.
Score: Carrie Ann = 10; Bruno=10; Len=7 27 total.
The argument continued, even after the dancers left the floor, behind Tom’s comments. Whew! What do you think? Week 8 intensity?
Aly “Jived” with Mark and Henry in red vests and hats with red bands--Broadway style. “Hit The Road Jack” began in old-style, Broadway, jazz dance chairs. Aly had a red garter, fringe and long pearls to complete the Broadway Jazz look. There were some fun Jazz steps incorporated into the choreography—good imagination from Mark creating a fun Jazz-Jive. They intertwined their trio moves beautifully. I liked this dance a lot! Good energy and fun!
Three 9’s! 27
We lost Sean. Okay…..that wasn’t a huge surprise. BUT……Kelli and Derek were in the “Jeopardy Group!” THAT WAS A SHOCKER!
Sean certainly accomplished a tremendous amount and we all know where he began! He attempted some difficult dances but just never reached the level of the other contenders. He can be very proud of his acquired skills and his efforts on this Season. He left with wonderful comments, thrilled to have made many new friends and loving every minute of his experience.
NEXT WEEK – SEMI FINALS! (TWO WEEKS LEFT!)
The Twitter audience will choose the dances for our couples. The dances will be unusual for Ballroom dancers: Afro Jazz; Flamenco; Lindy Hop; Hip Hop; Charleston; Disco. We better be ready early so we don’t miss a thing. This is going to be fun!