Week Six Performance: Stevie Wonder Night
Original Air Date: Apr 22, 2013
JD – Sr. Staff Writer
This week we all got a great treat when the incomparable Stevie Wonder stopped by. He opened the show, got us all in the mood, and then sent us on our way to watch the pros and their celebrity partners dance it out against each other to his amazing songs.
On top of that, we got the first team challenge of the season, with Ingo, Victor, Jacoby and Zendaya doing a Paso Doble, and Sean, Kellie, Andy and Aly putting together a Samba.
Zendaya & Val – ChaChaCha (10, 9, 10 = 29)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Len said there was one word that summed up great dancing: Zendaya. Bruno called it “gobsmacking gorgeous”. Carrie Ann said she was blown away, and called the dance perfection in motion.
My TwoCents: Week after week, Zendaya blows me away, and this week was no different. She seemed a little more serious at times, though in the rehearsal package we saw Val was pushing her harder. It worked. (Oh, and Val is blowing me away too. He’s taking dances that might normally go the sexy route and creating age-appropriate choreography for Zendaya that doesn’t lose any of the punch we’d expect. Out of the shadow of Maks, Val is shining!)
Andy & Sharna – Samba (6, 6, 6 = 18)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Bruno called the dance a “personality-driven, splendid shamble of a samba”. Carrie Ann said Andy was in her heart, but she had to double check what dance he was doing because she couldn’t tell. Len said it wasn’t that good technically, but praised Andy’s effort anyway.
My TwoCents: Andy is certainly no dancer, but I kind of adore him. He tries SO hard, and he IS improving (I think he deserved at least A LITTLE more than three sixes again!). He makes me smile like an idiot, and I would love to dance with him. Maybe not if I was trying to win a dancing competition, but you know…
Sean & Peta – Samba (7, 7, 7 = 21)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Carrie Ann said this was the most bounce she’d seen in a long time, but Sean didn’t match the music well. Len told Sean to set his sights higher than just beating Andy. Ouch. Bruno said the bright side was that Sean could always get a job as a stripper.
My TwoCents: Where were Tristan and Chelsey? I quite like Peta, but I’m not much of a fan of Sean (he’s not bad, he just doesn’t interest me much), and last week Tristan and Chelsey made Sean and Peta’s dance worth watching. No luck for me this time. Sean was sloppy this week too, though that likely had a lot to do with him missing a day of rehearsal. (Also, the costumes and hair were sooo 80s–and all the worst parts–that it hurt!)
Aly & Mark – Foxtrot (9, 9, 9 = 27)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Len said the technique needed a little help, but called it a “real foxy foxtrot”. Bruno praised Aly’s consistency, but said she needed to work on her frame. Carrie Ann called Aly an understated performer heading for perfection.
My Two Cents: Aly had a rough week emotionally, being from Boston and having been planning to be part of the Boston Marathon, and while you could certainly tell she was distracted in the rehearsal footage, you couldn’t in performance. Was it her best dance? Not in my opinion (I don’t know that I agree with 9s!). But it was solid, and she had the added benefit of getting to dance to “Isn’t She Lovely”.
Ingo & Kym – Tango (8, 8, 8 = 24)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Bruno said Ingo had animal magnetism, and held it together. Carrie Ann said she could tell Ingo liked the tango by how well she thought he did. Len said “bingo, Ingo!” He said this dance suited Ingo well.
My TwoCents: Well, I like my tangos aggressive and intense, and this one was awfully happy and smiley. Of course, the music has a lot to do with that. Otherwise, it was okay. I didn’t really see why the judges were so happy. Like Sean, Ingo doesn’t impress me a whole lot. In fact, I think the male celebs this season are all a bit lackluster, if I’m being honest.
Kellie & Derek – Quickstep (9, 10, 10 = 29)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Carrie Ann said everything about it was perfect, but pointed out that there was too much space between Derek and Kellie. Len said it was the best dance he’s seen this season. Bruno called it sumptuous. Both Len and Bruno disagreed with Carrie Ann’s criticism.
My TwoCents: As usual, Kellie was great. I didn’t see her miss a beat, and while I’m usually not one to fawn over her (she’s great, but Derek usually pulls much more emotional depth from his partners), she really drew me in this week! Perhaps it was the whole package: great dance style (quickstep is a favorite of mine), great costumes/hair/etc., and awesome music.
Victor & Lindsay – Rumba (6, 6, 6 = 18)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Len said it was a tough dance for Victor, but he coped well. Bruno said it looked like an airline safety drill, and had no hip action. Carrie Ann agreed there was no hip action, but liked the chemistry between Victor and Lindsay.
My TwoCents: To a certain extent a Rumba is a lot of the woman dancing around the man. Or at least, that’s the easy way out when your male partner isn’t 1) good, or 2) into it. Victor has his moments of decent dancing, but his lack of interest in this dance was ridiculous. His hips didn’t move. He was just going through the motions, and poor Lindsay had to do all the heavy lifting, so to speak. Also? What chemistry, Carrie Ann?
Jacoby & Karina – Quickstep (8, 7, 8 = 23).
The Judges’ TwoCents: Bruno said it was like the Indie 500, and that he enjoyed it, even if there was room for improvement. Carrie Ann said Jacoby made up for his bad feet by surprising her each time. Len said it was like a Beatles medley: he was thinking “please please me” at the start, and “help” by the end.
My TwoCents: I don’t have a whole lot to say about this dance, really. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. I kind of wondered if Karina had them dance out into the audience for so long to disguise Jacoby’s turned in feet, though, considering he refuses to even try to correct them. Also, is the splits going to be his “thing” now? I’m already tired of it.
The night was finished off with the team dances–Team Paso consisted of Ingo, Victor, Jacoby and Zendaya, and Team Samba was made up of Sean, Kellie, Andy and Aly.
Team Paso (7, 8, 7 = 22)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Len thought it was a spirited effort, but awkward individually. Bruno said it was a little like watching wrestlemania. Carrie Ann said Zendaya tried really hard to be the glue to hold it together, but it was a mess.
My TwoCents: It sort of felt like they kept the group bits short, and that was probably a good thing. They fell out of sync a lot, especially near the end, and Zendaya made the men look like boys. Her solo was the only one that stood out (I guess Jacoby has two “things” now, the splits and jumping over Karina’s head), although I hope Val works on controlling those long limbs of hers a little before they do a paso of their own. She looked a bit spidery at times.
Team Samba (8, 9, 8 = 25)
The Judges’ TwoCents: Bruno said the girls killed it, and the boys managed to keep in sync, even Andy. Carrie Ann said there was flow and unity, and called it fantastic. Len called it a pleasure to watch.
My TwoCents: That’s how to do a group dance! The team was together, and the theme was light and fun! For the first time, I think Aly outshone Zendaya–granted, it’s slightly unfair to compare a samba and a paso. This team was a bit more balanced than the other, with Andy being the only truly weak link. They placed him well in the solos, though, so that he didn’t stand out too much. I enjoyed this a lot!
So tonight’s show ended with Kellie and Derek on the top of the leader board with 54 points and Victor and Lindsay at the bottom with 40 points. I’m thinking that sounds about right, and with Victor’s boring performance tonight, it’s time for his trips to the bottom two to actually send him home for good. What do you guys think? Give me your TwoCents!
If you’d like to keep up with JD’s reviews, you can follow her on Twitter at @JDeckerTV