Ooh dear, poor Julianne…
I am absolutely stunned by Marlee Matlin’s Jive. I can’t believe it. Fabian must have taught her some kind of counting method to keep them in sync because at the beginning he wasn’t leading her; she was dancing around him, and she still ended perfectly on beat. Perfectly. He simply jutted out his hip and she began. Well, her counting skills are excellent, that’s all I can say. Her kicks weren’t that high, but it’s hard when you’re starting dance as an adult, to have that kind of flexibility. Anyway, awesome.
Strange thing, though: I recently finished reading “Schuyler’s Monster,” (which I wrote a bit about here) about a little girl with a brain abnormality that prevents her from being able to speak. Because the same disorder prevents her from having fine motor skills, such as are needed to make some of the more intricate sign language hand formations, Schuyler learns to “talk” through a computer-type device, where she types words and a voice speaks them. Rob Rummel-Hudson, Schuyler’s father, remarked in the beginning that the voice in her first computer — a male one, just didn’t “look” like a little girl. With her next, more sophisticated computer, he made sure the sound of the voice could be controlled, so they’d have different choices. They finally got a “little girl sounding” little girl. It just reminds me of that when I hear Marlee’s translator speaking! I keep thinking, wait, who’s that, she doesn’t sound like that!
Steve and Anna’s tango: eh. I’m not a Standard dancer, but Tango is getting boring; there’s only so much you can do with it. It’s a dance that really inherently lacks creativity, I think. But I’m not a Standard person. Anyway, this was pretty basic – that little sequence where he rattled her shoulders about was cute — the rest typical. But, now that I’m listening to the judges, yeah, he did well with it, he really did. I guess if I’m bored it means there was nothing noticeably out of line in the dance. Gimmicky though to have Jonathan practicing with Steve in Anna’s sickness-induced absense. The supposed funniness of two big guys dancing a sexy dance together, oh no that’s never been done before… Still all my problems are either with the producers’ or the tango itself; Steve’s still adorable.
Wow, Cristian just blew me away with his jive. Those jive kicks — and Cheryl put in a lot — are damn hard, especially for a beginner. He did them nearly perfectly. And he got some good height on those side kicks. Cute routine; a bit too many sliding through the legs tricks though. Also, I hated that little Sea World excursion. This is what I dislike about shows like this — the phoniness. He needs to learn how to relax and let loose, so she takes him to visit her “friend,” a sea lion. Through the ocean creature, he learns to let loose and have fun with dance, as the lion flaps about on the wet cement, and, miraculously, Cristian does well.
Oh gawd with that Karina / Mario tango. Actually, I felt the opposite as I did of Anna / Steve’s tango. This was weirdly kind of cool because it was so bizarre, and I disagree with Len and his “bitter disappointment.” I always like the Argentine hooks / ganchos. I really couldn’t take my eyes of Karina with that getup though, and kept wondering what she was thinking until I realized she’s supposed to be a prostitute and he her savior. Her dark knight of a savior. But what an odd musical interpretation by the band too, right? Creepy. But I still prefer creepy and weird to typical and boring.
Derek was adorable. Shannon’s jive was okay. She’s tall and skinny and jive is difficult for people with that body type. The judges are eating her up though, so I guess I missed something. I thought it lacked polish, finish on some of the moves. It looked like she was struggling to keep up at points and ended up having to rush some of the steps, which goes along with the height issues. The kick-boxing thing in practice: made more sense than the Sea World and man on man tango. It seemed like a understandable way for her to learn jive kicks.
Oh excellent tango, Julianne!! Bravo! Loved the 50s theme, loved the costumes — his frilly shirt, her dress, her hair — Adam shut up about the gay guys in costumes! Those gay guys — and Julianne — just made your routine! Shut up! I loved the ochos (stylized forward criss-cross steps) over his outstretched leg, the promenade runs, the ending deep dip. This was a classic interpretation of Standard and Argentine and it suited him remarkably well. Julianne is a genius choreographer. Adam needs to stay on because she is the show’s greatest artist. Bruno’s imitation of Len with his “seVEN” was cute. Bruno’s growing on me, which is kind of scary. Wait, what did Adam just say??: “My mom always told me in order to find out about Argentine tango and prostitution and pimps, just go to a Mormon.” No comment.
“Tony’s a fabulous dancer, but he cannot tell a joke,” says Marissa, laughing like the typical sweet girl at the corny but cute guy. Tony is a goof and his jokes are silly. But they’re from the heart, which makes him lovable. Wow, sweet jive. I think this is Marissa’s best performance! I love the ending gaze upward — very Hairspray. Again, I totally disagree with the judges. “It was like a jive on cruise control.” Bruno DOES come up with his lines beforehand. He does! The turns were really good — some of the best American spins I’ve seen; she knows how to spot. Understandably, Marissa sounds like she’s about to cry though upon hearing the judges’ remarks. I don’t get their nastiness either, Marissa! I thought she was really cute.
Wow, another great classic from Louis for Priscilla. This Tango was almost entirely Argentine. I loved the handhold, I loved the forward ochos, I loved how they both developped up their legs, his slightly higher than hers, and how he then snaked it around hers into tricky sexy gancho. She’s dancing beautifully. She kind of reminds me of Jackie Kennedy; royalty. And he treats her with such respect. He and Julianna are the show’s two genius choreographers.
“One thing I’ve learned in football: when you don’t know something, you should keep your mouth shut and your ears open.” I love Jason. Edyta slowed down his jive substantially — it was a very slow, almost west coast swingy jive, which was smart because he seemed to be having some problems with the intricate footwork and keeping up with the kicks. He’s very large — again, it’s a hard dance for someone so tall. Interestingly, he did well with the toe / heel swivels though. But the routine had flavor and personality and charm and bits of cute choreography — like the shadow swivels — and he tries hard and is really respectful of her.
Hehe, how funny was that when the announcer developed a sudden case of laryngitis!? Is that bad of me to laugh? I’m sure it’s not serious…
Did they just say Alvin Ailey was going to be on tomorrow night? I’d heard they were going to be on the show at some time in the near future, but didn’t know it was so soon?! You guys, I’m so excited — now everyone can see my favorite dance company, not just NYers!! Woo hoo!
See, Tom Bergeron’s talking again; it wasn’t serious.
Okay, well in contrast to most of the other Tangos we saw tonight, Kristi and Mark’s was a real Standard ballroom tango, as opposed to Argentine. I prefer Argentine, but this was a pretty perfect Standard, at least technique-wise. Very precise. I do agree with the judges on this one: while it was technically excellent, the emotion was one-dimensional. It bored me, though I love Kristi. That’s a real ballroom hairdo too.
So, who do you guys think it’s going to be tomorrow night? I’m afraid it might be Marissa, though I think she’s a blast.