Last week we rejected World Peace... or Metta, or Ron, or that guy who couldn’t dance, or whatever you want to call him. This week we’re down to eleven contestants, and the show threw two of the hardest dances at them, the jive and the quickstep. Let the dancing newbies start slow and build up, you say? Never!
Hope Solo (goalie for U.S. women’s national soccer team) & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Scores: 6, 7, 6
Len said it was crisp and sharp, but she lost her timing a bit. Bruno said all of her power was not enough, but she had to be precise and accurate too. He said it looked like she hadn’t put in enough time to perfect the routine. Carrie Ann thought the performance was good, but she messed up a few times and needed to relax into it.
So much for the advantage of the athlete. I was shocked that Len was the easiest on her of the three judges! Right out of the gate, Hope was off. She was totally out of sync with Maks, and looked really awkward. I was hoping the rehearsal footage (in which Hope sort of....flailed around) was going to be misleading, but it wasn’t. Not a good start to the show at all, and it’s worrisome for my favorite pro.
Kristin Cavallari (reality star) & Mark Ballas
Scores: 8, 7, 7
Bruno said he’d been bedazzled by the blonde bombshell, but she needed to hold her frame better. Carrie Ann said it was stunning and sophisticated, a complete transformation from the week before. Len said she looked fantastic, but the dance wasn’t as good as she looked.
There was something I didn’t like about this dance. Like it wasn’t quickstepy enough. That doesn’t even make sense, I know, but it felt that way. Kristin did act a bit more this time, and for the most part it worked for her. The end went a little off sync, but it was overall good. I think Mark might be heading for the top five, at least.
David Arquette (actor and producer) & Kym Johnson
Scores: 6, 6, 6
Carrie Ann said that Carson had competition, and she loved the enthusiasm, but he got a little too loose. Len said he was almost speechless, and that any connection the dance had with the Jive was a coincidence. Bruno said David was like a runaway train on the verge of derailment, but that he was glad David was starting to develop a persona.
Another mediocre jive at the start of the show. I must admit that I am a fan of David’s. He makes me smile, and genuinely seems like a sweet and silly guy. But there was something self-conscious about this dance. Jive is so hard, though, and the show always throws it at the stars so early. I think secretly they want someone to crash and burn for ratings. I can’t say I blame them, either. Everyone likes to watch a good train wreck.
Elisabetta Canalis (model and actress) & Val Chmerkovskiy
Scores: 7, 7, 7
Len said it wasn’t great, but it was better than last week. Bruno said the gears were grinding and the engine was hot. Carrie Ann said Elisabetta overcame the dance after a difficult week in rehearsals.
By now in this episode, I was starting to get bored after three ‘meh’ dances, and maybe that was a factor, but I disagreed with Carrie Ann and Bruno. Elisabetta and Val were out of hold a lot, and while I’m not a stickler about that kind of stuff like Len, Elisabetta is still just uncomfortable looking out of hold. This week, though, she looked uncomfortable in hold, and their body language coming out of the dance was tense. They bickered a lot in the rehearsal footage, but most of the time that doesn’t seem to hang in the air outside of the rehearsal studio. But really, they just don’t seem to like each other much.
Rob Kardashian (reality star) & Cheryl Burke
Scores: 7, 7, 7
Bruno said Rob started to blossom, and his timing was excellent. Carrie Ann said that Rob was officially a better dancer than his sister. Len said was a proper performance, and a great improvement.
Wow, me and the judges are not agreeing on this episode. There was nothing especially wrong with this dance, but it seemed like he was going through it in his head, and looking to Cheryl for reassurance through the whole thing. It was still the best Jive of the night so far, though.
Carson Kressley (fashion commentator and former star of ‘Queer Eye’) & Anna Trebunskaya
Scores: 6, 6, 6
Carrie Ann said she saw improvement, but she wasn’t sure what happened to it in the dance. Len said if he held his knife and fork like Carson held Anna, he’d starve to death, and that the trouble with this show is that the worst dancers were the most fun to watch. Ouch. Bruno said it was like Pee-wee Herman went to the prom.
This dance started out a lot better than I expected. Carson really worked on technique this week and it showed. But Carson isn’t naturally inclined toward this kind of stuff. It gradually got more and more off as the dance went on, and it was lacking some of last week’s personality to cover for it. And I actually forgot it was a quickstep, and started thinking it was a jive, though the music and costumes were better suited for jive, so it was kind of confusing. It was still a great effort, though.
Ricki Lake (actress and talk show host) & Derek Hough
Scores: 8, 7, 8
Len said there were a couple of steps that “disturbed” him, and he didn’t like it, but said it was enthusiastic and had the attack it needed. Bruno said Ricki was the first person of the night to do the kicks and flicks correctly, and she did incredibly well. Carrie Ann said simply that it was the best jive of the night so far.
Finally a good jive! That had the energy and fun that jives are supposed to have, and Ricki actually hit almost every note. I was really impressed. How the heck does Derek always get so lucky with his partners?!
Chaz Bono (author, activist, and son of Cher and Sonny Bono) & Lacey Schwimmer
Scores: 6, 5, 6
Bruno said Chaz was likable, and it was like watching an ewok dance with princess Leia, but that it needed to be much faster and more energetic. Carrie Ann said that she could see Chaz was in pain, and that his charm takes him so far, but doesn’t cover the fact that he wasn’t moving very well. Len admired Chaz’s determination, but the bottom line was that it was too slow.
Well, Chaz is already having knee issues. I can’t really talk, because if I were doing this show, I would probably be so whiny, but having this problem so early is not a good sign, especially for a larger person. The dance wasn’t bad, but it was slow and very basic. You could definitely tell that Lacey took out a lot of the harder choreography to make things easier on Chaz.
Chynna Phillips (singer) & Tony Dovolani
Scores: 7, 7, 7
Carrie Ann said she liked watching Chynna, and she had natural grace, but wondered if Chynna was injured because she thought she played it a little safe. Len said it was good, but not great. It needed more excitement, and it was too polite. Bruno said it needed more va-va-voom.
Another great jive! I really would not have expected Chynna to be as good as she is, but she nailed it. I think the judges were expecting too much from her. A jive on the second week? Come on; she did great! I’m not sure if I liked her jive or Ricki’s the best, but there is something about Tony and Chynna’s chemistry that really works well for me.
Nancy Grace (TV host and journalist) & Tristan McManus
Scores: 6, 8, 7
Len said it was refreshing that Tristan followed the rules of the dance, and said it was a proper quickstep. Bruno said she was a little top heavy, but it was great to see her performing. Carrie Ann said she saw improvement, and she loved the teamwork that came out of their rehearsal difficulties.
Nancy actually did better than I expected her to in this dance, especially after her rehearsal meltdown. Her feet were moving really well. I just thought her upper body was too loose and bouncy. She needs to work on frame and posture. I cannot believe Len gave her an 8!
J.R. Martinez (actor and U.S. Army veteran) & Karina Smirnoff
Scores: 7, 7, 8
Bruno said he was charismatic and athletic, and had a feel for the music that came from within. He called it the most satisfying dance of the night. Carrie Ann said it was fantastic, but was unhappy with the lifts at the beginning. Len said it was more of a lindy hop than a jive, but it was great.
J.R. said in the rehearsal package that he felt like he needed to work harder because he wasn’t very well known, but honestly, I think he stole people’s hearts last week. He definitely stole mine. And he came out with a great jive this week, probably the best of the night, and a great way to end the show. I kind of wanted to get up and dance too. Granted, they got a great song, so that’s a huge help. What was up withe the lifts at the start, though? Maybe Karina thought he was doing so well that they could afford to loose points on that, but I think it’s too soon for that.
With the exception of J.R., Ricki, and Chynna, last night was sort of a let down. I think you go into week one with lower expectations, so I was impressed last week. This week, my expectations were higher, and almost all of them improved, but it was still a mostly disappointing night.
I think Elisabetta, Rob, Nancy, and Chaz are in trouble this week. I should probably include Carson in that list, but I’m being hopeful. He wasn’t good, but he put more hours in this week than anyone else, so I think he deserves to go on a little farther just to see if his determination pays off. Plus, I love him. He got all my votes this week.