If you read my blog and you are are a fan of DWTS, then you might recognize the people in this photo. From left to right is Marietta Nedyalkova-Dishileva, Maksism Chmerkovskiy, and Ivan Dishliev, my instructor.
I post this photo just for fun because Maksism is on DWTS. If you continue to tune in to my posts over the next weeks, I’ll share a few more pictures with a more DWTS professionals.
So tonight I had the pleasure of watching DWTS with my dear mother-in-law as is our customary ritual on Monday nights, but I also had the pleasure of sharing dinner (delicious spaghetti with homemade sauce and salad) with my husband and father-in-law.
After a decadent meal, even more appreciated and enjoyed because I didn’t have to make it and because Debbie is a phenomenal cook, we settled into the home theater and turned the volume up for our favorite dance show.
It was Latin night and I actually liked Brooke’s dress for a change. I guess the new format is to open with a little routine from the dance troupe. They shook their booties to the legend Santana. It was immensely enjoyable to watch. However, if I were to name this opening number, I’d name it “banana split.” Why? Did you see the couple in yellow? The gentleman jumped into a spread eagle and did a trick, catching his lady between his legs. I was like, WOAH! That woman has some serious guts! I don’t know how I’d react if some guy was flying through the air toward me, his crotch eye level, the force of his pelvis soaring toward my face pulling me backwards into a back bend, but I’d probably freak out. Yeah, just a little. No. A lot. That is some serious trust, I must say! I’ll leave that move to the professionals!
First up was Kym and Jaleel doing the Samba. The fire was pretty captivating, but in my view, it outshone the actual dancing. I have to admit that Samba is one of the most difficult dances to master. Although the judges gave the couple three 8’s, I found the routine a little bit lackluster and wished Jaleel (and even Kym) had more hips. Jaleel was certainly on the beat and I give him props for that. The man can move well. I may be a tough critic, but I just wasn’t that impressed. However, I was very entertained by Len’s comment that Jaleel’s bum was moving like it was “chewing toffee.” TMI, Len, TMI.
I guess for me the thing about Jaleel is that I’m not emotionally connecting with him. His movement is pretty good, and I acknowledge that. I just personally prefer emotional dynamics, even over excellence in dancing. For instance, I love Gavin, but technically Jaleel is a better dancer. Whatever. To each his own. The man did well. This is just my opinion.
Next was Team M & M – Maksism and Melissa, that is. First let me say that I want the pink sparkly shoes Melissa was wearing. Such a pretty color. Look, I admire Melissa’s gumption. I love that she “got back on the horse” and asked Maksism to put the same trick that went awry last week in this week’s routine. I’m super glad to see that she is okay. But dance-wise, I think the judges had it right with three 7’s. It just isn’t that technically strong. Melissa hopped around a bit, and still has areas of stiffness in her body. On the flip side, I agree with Carrie Ann that it is wonderful to see her beginning to embody her womanly power and sexiness. She is hot and cold, with moments of great movement and lines, and then moments of hot mess. I think she is adorable overall but don’t think she is going to win the Mirror Ball.
On to Maria and Derek dancing Salsa. So much amazing stuff to write about with this couple (the kiss in the routine NOT being one of them). First off, my heart jumped into my throat when Maria hit the floor and hurt her chin. I’m so glad that she seems to be somewhat recovered from her injuries and that they weren’t made worse by this week’s rehearsal mishap. Second, I loved the practice session with full-body bubble wrap plus the helmet! LOL. Third, wow, Dr. Drew got a show tonight! I about lost it when Maria began the dance, slithering in front of my favorite Hollywood rehab doctor like an unmanned fire hose! But the gimmicks in the routine, like Derek shedding his shirt, and the prolonged kiss, were probably entertaining to the masses, but I found them cheesy, kind of annoying even. I’m a sucker for authenticity, and although I felt like Maria enjoyed what she was doing, I didn’t think it deserved a score of three 9’s. Maybe like a 9,8,9 or something. It just wasn’t “all that” to me – especially reflecting upon routines debuted later in the evening.
Holy crap this is turning into a long post! And I thought I didn’t take many notes on the episode tonight! Ha ha.
Okay, so Mark and Catherine danced an exquisite Argentine Tango next. I knew this would suit Catherine because of her beautiful ballet feet and legs, and I was right. With a score of 10,9,10, they tied with William and Cheryl for the highest score of the evening. The drama was there. The intensity was there. The gorgeous dancing was there. I just wish they hadn’t danced in pink. A weird detractor for me, I know, but pink isn’t a fiery, passionate color to me. That, seriously, was my biggest criticism (which is pretty weak – indeed, I felt like they deserved three 10’s). Mark and Catherine were sharp, on time, and in sync. They created the exact same lines side by side. I really thought Catherine looked as good as a professional dancing this number. So just as with Mr. Bruno, this number made me “tingle.”
Oh sweet baby Jesus. Gavin and Karina. What shall I say about you? Samba, or “Shamba,” or “struggle” as touted by the show, Len, and Gavin, respectively, I can only say that Gavin, you are a “white boy” if ever there was one. First off, he looked pale next to tan Karina, and it didn’t help. Secondly, the cool effect of him rowing in the canoe in the beginning of the number pretty much upstaged the actual dancing. Thirdly, I kept wondering why Gavin’s shirt was so dirty – it was very distracting for me. As my mother-in-law mentioned, Gavin looked like “a fish out of water” doing this dance. But the thing is, I enjoyed it! I just see Gavin’s personality shining through and for me that trumps technique. Gavin comes across as self-deprecating, humble, joyful, and charming. I hope to see more of him, even if I think it is unlikely. Scores of 6,6,7 are probably appropriate.
Okay, we are reaching the home stretch now.
How did the show have time to fit all this in? Next was a number with Anna and Louis which was FANTASTIC and FAST! I sincerely yelled aloud, “Stop!” they were going so fast! I was amazed with the dang footwork and in wonder of how the human body can move that speedily….actually, I am wondering if it is even possible for my human body to move that fast. So far, that has not been the case. They were Ah-maze-ing.
Back to the Pro/Am couples and William and Cheryl were next up with an Argentine Tango. Talk about sex, intensity, and good dancing. I didn’t write many notes for this number because I was so mesmerized and engaged in the performance. It may seem weird, but I was particularly captivated by the intensity with which William threw away the towel they were using. I observed William as playing the part exceptionally well and having sharp, staccato movement. It was fantastic and the scores tying for the top spot on the leaderboard were appropriate.
Now we travel to Irelenad and Motown – Tristan and Gladys. They are cutie patooties, no matter how you cut it, both of them! Gladys’ personality never fails to radiate through her dancing out to the farest reaches of the audience. She is genuine and a born entertainer. She has great musicality. However, the scores of 7,7,8 I agree with. The movement was simple, the technique is lackluster, and she just can’t move like William, Donald, Catherine, or Maria. I really enjoy watching her, but again, don’t think she will ultimately win.
On to my least favorite couple – Roshon and Chelsea. This is just my bias, but I just don’t like the kid. I think it was horrible to try and make him be “sexy” in the Samba routine. He’s about as sexy as a beanpole. He did generate great excitement with his movement and he is very quick, very sharp, and on time. But I agree with Len – he dances like a young man with his first car…a bit out of control and overly confident/cocky. Scores of 9,8,9 position him appropriately in terms of dancing, in my mind, but again, I’d have liked a bit lower scores. What I saw lacking were fluidity, hip movement, and dancing down into the floor instead of hopping atop it. Sorry Disney fans – this is just my personal appriasal. I acknowledg that it is not “the truth.”
And last, but not least, Granny Sweater and Peta. OMG, Peta is Ah-maze-ing. I will say it again, I want to grow up to be her. I wrote nothing but “Holy Shit” for this number because I was watching their captivating Argentine Tango every second. I couldn’t even look away to write something. I felt like Len was a poopy pants giving them a 8. They are positioned high enough that I think they are safe and I personally hope to see them in weeks to come. I agreed with the audience as they booed the overall scores of 10,8,9. This score put them below William and Cheryl and Mark and Catherine when I feel they were on par with those two couples. I’d have preferred to have seen a three-way tie. However, I am no Argentine Tango expert. Perhaps Len was justified in his scoring. I rarely see much of the basic AT step (which I do know) in DWTS routines.
If you’ve read this far, you are awesome. So far my word count tops 1700. I know this is a long one!
Please feel free to opine! Whether you agree or disagree, the point is to generate discussion!