Sorry, am compelled to call DWTS the Mark Ballas show now, because whenever he dances, it is so all about him. Mark! Can the man ever learn to be the frame? “Oh baby, what’s wrong?” he says to Shawn in practice, before hugging her. Oh Mark — just melt me. But it’s nice to see a pro not beating up on his amateur, unlike Cheryl, who gave Gilles more hard times this week… Anyway, I thought Mark and Shawn’s Quickstep was great fun, but again, was only watching him. The quintessential ham. Seriously, though, he’s an excellent performer, and an excellent dancer… which is rare I think. And I love that half-Texan half-British accent. Shawn seemed to do very well.
Chelsie’s taking over and making it all about her with Ty isn’t as bothersome, I guess, since the woman is supposed to be the picture.
But, yes, that Argentine Tango really showcased her strengths as well — those gorgeously powerfully swift hooks, the pretty legs lines in the lift. And she made it a bit Cha-Cha-y up front, with those fast swivels. Perhaps a little too cutesy for A.T., but none of the judges said so. I totally agree with Len regarding Ty. He was splendid handsome polished perfection, as he was in the group dance A.T. last week.
Derek and Lil Kim’s Waltz was really nice I thought. The judges were critical but, funny, I didn’t see any fumbles. Her footwork looked totally on! Her frame and posture were excellent — she almost never came out of that closed handhold and she didn’t look at all stiff or awkward. It’s hard to do that, to keep in that tight frame with your partner, if you never have before.
I love that Cheryl took Gilles to the Emerald Ball! I thought their Foxtrot was a bit boring though. Did anyone else think that? Just missing a certain pizazz. Glad Len mentioned the too-bent knees. I thought something looked awkward but couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.
I’m very happy that Mayo and Anna are two of the remaining pro contenders. My two favorites.
Melissa was really lovely in her Viennese Waltz. She’s such a ballet dancer — excellent, full-bodied rondes, developpes, arabesque, and that continuous spin with several different legs positions was really nice. Her form was so perfect, so solid, and her arms were beautiful. She was like a feather. I tried to focus on her feet to see what Len’s been on about with her lack of heel usage, but I really couldn’t — her overall form was so captivating. I believe Len though, and that is part of the dance so…
Onto the Latin round:
Okay, Mark apparently hasn’t heard Bryan and Carmen‘s Blackpool lecture on Paso: that the dance really isn’t dramatizing the slaying of a bull; that the woman really isn’t an animal. Anyway, so Shawn FINALLY has a solo! Yay Shawn! And she proved she can really nail those Paso poses! Gorgeous! Excellent shaping. And the whole dance was really very good — great precision, perfect footwork, excellent shaping throughout. I felt again like he outdanced her and she looked nervous and like she was trying to keep up with him. But she did. I disagree with Len that it wasn’t exciting. I thought it was far more exciting than Gilles’s Foxtrot.
Aw, so sweet how Ty pulled Jewel up out of the audience at the end of his Rhumba solo and kissed her! He deserves a standing o for that He’s so into his wife, so not a flirt. So refreshing. I love the costumes — love the powder blue color, made this a nice lyrical rhumba not a sexy hot one. But yeah, Ty’s right about not being a rhumba king — his hips weren’t there at all, good attempt at the cucharachas but too much booty-swaying and no connection between the hips and the lats and legs to properly ground the movement. He is a very strong partner for her though — he held, swung, whizzed her around like she was a barbie doll.
Okay, now it’s turning into the Derek Hough show. Wow, Lil Kim’s Salsa, or I guess I should call it “Bionic Booty” solo rocked! I liked it because it was so much more than just lightening-fast booty shaking. She moved her whole body — those full body rolls were perfect, seemed to use all the muscles not just the most obvious ones — and some great floor moves — splits, kicks — much better variety and fuller movement than I was expecting based on the practice discussions. And the partnering part of the routine was just as good. I did see a couple of foot flubs, but it looked more like she was just dancing faster than the music for the most part.
“I just cannot wait to show that Latin looover, that is inside me,” says Gilles, melting the whole audience. Does he look like a monster, as Cheryl says in practice? Hmmm. Well, the cucharachas were good, better than Ty’s anyway. But I didn’t care for those sliding steps he took at the end of the solo. Made him look rather feminine. Oh, okay, Carrie Ann’s picking up on what I saw that was odd. As is Len. Yeah, the rolling around on the floor over and under her at the end of the routine was a bit much. They really didn’t need to go that far. Bruno would have to bring up Showgirls. Gilles did look better in Rhumba than most men new to Latin that I’ve seen, but he does need to turn his feet out more and just make it look more grounded. It looked like he was walking on his tip toes. He needed to put more weight on the heels and really press his lats down into his hips, forcing the hips to push the legs down, down down into the ground. I might be wording it weirdly, but people new to Latin need to work on making it grounded, not so light so you look like you’re tip toeing. Rhumba emanates from slave women carrying heavy loads atop their shoulders, not daintily tip toeing around.
Melissa’s Samba solo was really short. But she moved better than I expected, for Samba, I have to say. She did well with the shoulder shakes and the bachachatas, but I thought the rest of it was too weighted toward the ball of the foot, which made it too bouncy. Bouncy in a jumpy, tennis ball sort of a way not a proper Samba way. The judges loved it though. All tens? I like her a lot but I don’t think that was deserved at all.
Lovely to see Louis van Amstel again, in the opening pro numbers! Paired with Lacey, was he? Hmmm, wouldn’t have thought of that as a partnership but it seemed to work well. Ooh, and we’re told after the spicey Latin number that he choreographed. No wonder I liked it so