No, I shouldn’t say that. Not after tonight, when Bruno actually behaved for once! Baz was sweet. And young! He must have been 20 when Strictly Ballroom came out?… I’m glad that movie’s mention received the most cheers by the audience. Makes me feel like viewers really do respect ballroom; like this show’s not all about celebrity.
Anyway, I thought all of the dancers did a little better tonight than last week; some — like Melissa — were greatly improved. I think my favorites overall were still Donny Osmond and Kym — he’s just too much fun and so cute! He had all that fast footwork in the Jive so down, from the tricks, the flicks, the kicks, the slides, the character — all of it.
Other favorites were Mark and Lacey’s Quickstep — wow, he can really dance: that high jete in sync, that leapfrog over her head, the runs, the footwork. Very polished, and very athletic. I didn’t expect that from a chef…
I also liked Mya and Dmitry’s Jive. I think she is a natural. She did those turns like a pro
— she definitely knows how to spot. The fast swivels were sharp as well. Yeah, she does have dance training — you can tell. I mean, she said she had tap dance training, right? I don’t know if it means she’s going to win because I think people like to see the contestants struggle and improve. People like the underdog. She’s still fun to watch at this stage anyway. I think she’ll be on for a while.
I thought Tom Delay, dancing with Cheryl, did well again tonight. I wasn’t expecting that, particularly with the Tango, but he came through. Only had that one little flub at the end where he nearly dropped her in the dip. But I think that was because his bad foot buckled. He looked like he was in pain at the end. But the Tango was really unexpectedly polished, those forward walks very cat-like and lightfooted, his connection to her strong, his frame elegant.
Oh, Aaron and Karina were my other favorites. Man, he is good. That Quickstep was so polished, he was like a pro. You’d really think he’s done this before. I love the muppet theme, love his green Kermit suit Love how she called herself “Missy Piggy.” I miss those muppets…
I liked Kelly and Louis’s Tango. I know she had some mistakes — mainly coming out of the spins; it looked like she was going too fast and arrived too early. But overall I thought she still did very well. That footwork was very fast and they danced in closed position the entire time. That’s hard. She had a difficult routine compared to some of the others. Louis is really pushing her.
I thought Kathy and Tony did well, better than the judges gave her credit for. I thought her Quickstep was very elegant. She did seem to glide across the floor, the hops were cute, her final trick — the slide through his legs — ended up looking polished in that she got the legs lines right and all. Throughout, she and Tony were a little too far apart though — which seemed to be a height issue they’ll have to work out.
Melissa Joan Hart was much improved. There was a good combination of tricks and basic dance in that Jive — Mark choreographed that well — and she did well at both. It looked a bit like she smacked him in the crotch at the end though!
I thought Chuck did pretty well with the Tango. It was an odd theme — they were kind of wicked dolls or something. People go so nuts with their Tango and Paso interpretations… But he had the character down, seemed to get all the footwork right, and he had a nice ronde en l’air in attitude at one point — at least I think that was what it was supposed to be… He still looked a bit stiff, but it kind of went with the character of the dance. We’ll see next week if he’s lost his stiffness.
Debi was much improved. Her Tango was much more smooth than anything she did last week. She had her pelvic bone perfectly centered over his — and kept it there throughout; and they remained in closed handhold I think, if I remember correctly, throughout the dance. That’s hard. Only thing was that she needs to keep her shoulders down. Raising them is a sure sign of tension and it both looks bad and destroys your frame.
I thought Michael did better than last week — he did a Quickstep tonight. Anna Demidova’s choreography was cute — I liked the runs back and forth with the body waving up and down. His feet were a bit inward, but overall he looked rather snazzy.
I loved Louie and Chelsie’s Jive. Loved his splits jumps — and he did them so perfectly, which I guess you’d expect of an athlete — but he wasn’t just athletic; he had good dance form as well. Wow, great opening jumps down the stairs and over her. Good slide. And the basic moves — the kicks, the flicks, the basic steps — were very solid as well. He’s a lot of fun — such a little cutie!
Natalie and Joanna were my least favorites. Natalie tried hard with her Quickstep but she looked nervous in the closed handhold — and her pelvis was way too far from his, so their shaping looked awkward and uncontrolled. I dance Standard the same way though, so I can’t be too critical That martini glass frame is a lot harder than it looks. It’s not necessary hard to make the frame, but it’s hard to maintain it when you’re moving so fast around the floor. It’s hard to move as one. It looked like she had to keep reminding herself to smile as well.
And Joanna — her legs were too far apart in the Jive. It looked more like a jazzy Swing — something you’d do in sneakers, not high heels! And it seemed like she was focusing on making sexy poses in between the steps rather than on the steps themselves. And her hair was really overdone — I wonder why they ratted it all up like that? It didn’t seem to go along with the rest of her costume.
I just looked up Baz Luhrmann. He was born in 1962. He’s quite accomplished. I wonder whatever happened to Paul Mercurio and the other actors in Strictly Ballroom… …oh, according to Wikipedia, he’s been serving as a judge on Australian and New Zealand Dancing With the Stars. Go figure!