DWTS 21, week 6: Famous Dances Night

EDIT: I swear I had this written last night, I just had such a busy morning I forgot to post it before tonight’s show.

Hey there, dancers!

I didn’t think I would get this entry done ever because I’m still so busy all the time (not to mention I was feeling like utter crap yesterday), but eh. Let’s do this.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 6

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 6

The opening pro number was pretty cool. Karina was STUNNING. Aww, I love seeing tWitch in the audience. Ooh that’s right, Olivia Newton-John is here. A lovely lady with a gorgeous smile. You can tell by Leah Remini’s look that she’s friends with J.Lo – since they became friends again, now Leah does her makeup and dresses exactly like her.

Hayes & Emma – “What’s that?” SERIOUSLY?! Emma makes a super sexy Sandy – I love her playful take on it. A super cute routine and Hayes was adorable as – I remember someone said John Travolta has a sweetness that comes through no matter what he plays, and that’s exactly the case with Hayes. I think that made him a perfect Danny. But I think the 32 was appropriate.

Andy & Allison – Patricia Kelly is a stunning woman, so naturally poised. This is easily his best dance. It was a lot, but I think he did incredible with it. Not much else to say except I don’t know if Allison calmed or if Andy just upped…himself because they finally matched each other and looked very good together.

Alexa & Mark – what the hell is Mark wearing? I can’t believe they actually used the snake, and that begs the question, why didn’t they have Bindi introduce her? And what kind of cha cha is this? Alexa’s making this dance a little too cute, IMO, but she did VERY well in the actual cha cha. She fell a little off time in the bellydancing section and I actually don’t think it really needed the snake. And the choreo was more hip hop than cha cha, but it’s understandable given the music…oh, Leah with the microphone stick is cracking me up. And she wore that costume well.

Bindi & Derek – JENNIFER GREY IS STILL IN AMAZING SHAPE. I was always stupidly jealous of her flexibility. Oh, Derek looks intoxicating in that outfit…I’m trying to watch Bindi but I can’t keep my eyes off his shoulders. Love the rumba section in the beginning. She looked a little stiff in the dance, though. But props to Bindi keeping a smile on her face while Derek’s arms were shaking like that, but I’m incredibly impressed by how long they held it. And she really looked like a mature young lady in it. I’m interested by the piping in her dress.

Paula & Louis – her undies said Louis? HAHAHAHA! Truth be told, Paula didn’t do much of anything here.

What is it about this show? No one can stay on the same timing during the group numbers!

Carlos & Witney – a Magic Mike rumba? WTF…I like that one-legged backward worm. I remember the guys did it in that dance on Muppet week and how good Derek looked when he spun and dove backward into it. See, he overreacted. This isn’t anything super raunchy, but Carlos looks so incredibly uncomfortable that I just feel weird seeing this. And sadly, him talking about his religion comes off disingenuous to me. I actually liked the rumba in the routine (even if it was awkwardly placed), and Whitney looked stunning. I do love the song though.

Nick & Sharna – interesting that Sharna told Nick that John Travolta is all about thrusting his hips forward because that’s actually how Matt taught me samba bounce. Actually very impressed with Nick and the choreography – tons of samba but also tons of disco – seamlessly. Not sure what was trying to be accomplished by not giving it a perfect score – if ANY, this is the one that deserved it.

Alek & Lindsay – WOW, really underscored last week. GEEZ, Elvis Presley was sexy. Literally LOLing at his Elvis costume!!! I actually like the Elvis voice. But how many times are they going to do Jailhouse Rock on this show? At least they didn’t do the same thing everyone else, criminal and cop. He was lacking the flexibility he needed and didn’t look very light on his feet. But he got better and looked like he was having fun.

Tamar & Val – I do NOT like her attitude when she got her score last week. To be fair, I’ve sounded exactly like her more than once in the past month. Val actually looks really good covered up. She did incredibly well considering that she lost two days of rehearsal, but her stone face lacked Janet’s intensity. I also didn’t see the precision that made this iconic in the first place. I wonder how come she dances so much better in side by side than in partnering.

Sad that Alexa and Mark were in jeopardy. That poor girl. Mark was NOT happy.

All in all, it was a really weird night of dances – most of them weren’t even much of their assigned dance styles. But Halloween night should be fun – the production alone is usually worth the “trip”. Right? …or am I just crazy?

Dancing With the Stars 21, week 5: The Switch-Up

Fellow dancers! I know, I know! I’m so late! But my new job has had me crazy busy and even on my two days off a week I’m still doing stuff! I got so many incredibly necessary errands done last Thursday, though. Laundry, cleaning…all stuff I would prefer not to do but that’s life.

I’m going to go work out tonight so we can talk about Switch-Up week today and most likely on Thursday I’ll do this week’s show. What was it, movie week? Iconic tv week? Something like that.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 5

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 5: The Switch-Up

The opening number with the doors was pretty cool. I actually like seeing the pros dance with each other and seeing how they are on Cuban motion and technique…Mark definitely has a very unique way of dancing! Maks is back…I will probably still skip the judges’ criqitues. He looks nice though.

Why all the trash talking? Whatever.

Tamar & Louis (Val) – hmm, I usually don’t like feathered dresses but I actually really like this one. WOW, even in the rehearsals you could tell he did too much. Oh dear, the blank face is back and he dragged her through half of it. But even if she had some unsteadiness, she actually handled it very well considering how overpacked the routine was.

Hayley is really popping in these troupe numbers. Why is it that contemporary dancers always look so long and gangly next to ballroom dancers? Is it the core thing?

Hayes & Allison (Emma) – aaahhh her gown! OH HIS VOICE CHANGING IS SO CUTE. See, this a dance for a young man. The song’s pretty fast for a vwaltz, isn’t it? Or maybe it just seems that way because of the choreo. I think it would have been a better foxtrot. That routine had so much in it I didn’t know what to watch. It was a lot of arms. I’ll be glad to see him back with Emma.

Allison doesn’t feel she’s been robbed of the mirrorball? But she definitely was last season. OK, at first I was wondering why they did a lie detector but that was hilarious.

Paula & Mark (Louis) – I’m SO excited for this one. Mark is a riot. Aww, I missed clean-cut Mark with his crazy faces. HOW did Mark do it? This dance looks like a jive! OHHH this was the most perfect Switch-Up partnership. I couldn’t stop laughing. Love how proud Louis was.

Alek & Emma (Lindsay) – I don’t know if this is a real thing, but I haaaate when the show decides to push showmances. They do look like they really connected. I feel like she has really odd arm styling. I saw barely any hip action but he is a rock. Kind of like Robert Herjavec was with Kym – there for her every step of the way. I do like Alek better in ballroom dances, though.

Bindi & Val (Derek) – I was excited for this one. I’ve always wanted Val and Derek to trade because they have such different styles. Dying laughing at the snake thing. I like it! It’s a very symbiotic relationship. And that was NOT his first animal metaphor! He used the duck thing all the time in class! That was a very difficult routine. It looked like Bindi almost lost balance on a few of her accents, but that looks like it’s because Val’s lead was super strong at those moments. That was adorable! I have NEVER seen Val have fun on the show. Loved that about this dance. Okay, that moment after the dance where he thanked her was so sweet. I want to see his Val more often!

Carlos & Lindsay (Witney) – WOW, his body looks even more insane when he stands correctly. Love their costumes. How did Lindsay improve so much as a pro from her first time around?! Loved everything about the routine but…why did Carlos look so much better with Lindsay than with Witney? Wow, and it looks like Wit knows it.

HAAAAAAA! Nick isn’t sexual? Derek thinks Bruno is the sexiest judge? Val listens to Justin Bieber? I’m literally LOLing.

Alexa & Derek (Mark) – NOT liking his manbraid. Interesting costumes though, they’d be really good for Halloween week. OUCH. Seeing those things from last week, Mark might not be the best one for Alexa. I’m okay with this switch-up though, I’ve always wanted to see Derek with a Latina. WHO IS CALLING ME WHEN I’M WATCHING DEREK WORK?! Ok, ok. She really needed his positive reinforcement. THIS is what people were expecting to see from her when they heard she was going to be on the show. She OWNED that tango. Completely in the dance, in the character and her frame was ROCK. Perfect score well deserved. Hope she can dance like this with Mark.

Andy & Sharna (Allison) – what a STUNNING dress, but I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of finger curls on her. See, this dance is further proof. Allison does too much – this dance was intricate at the right times and he DID the damn thing! I don’t even know what it is I want to say about this dance other than everything was just the right fit for him. It was a different Andy. His post-dance interview was hysterical. 36, YAAASSS!

Nick & Witney (Sharna) – we know he’s intense, but what just happened? When did he start teaching? She’s horribly intimidated by him and not hiding it very well, and he picked up on that REAL quick. When did his shoulders start hunching up to the ceiling? The way he danced the choreography made it look like “pop”. I don’t know, it probably wasn’t the choreography, but the way that he danced it that kept it from looking like paso doble; hardly any real paso technique and he really overdid it.

I loved that they dedicated the show to him, but it’s so sad about Tom’s father. I don’t know how he was able to get back to work right away.

So in conclusion, to me, Switch-Up Week was one of extremes. Most new partnerships either did amazing or fell totally flat. I’m choosing to focus on the positive: Bindi and Val, Alexa and Derek, Carlos and Lindsay, Nick and Sharna. It’ll be interesting and very, very telling to see how they did with their original partners in this week’s show. It could be anybody’s game at this point!

International Championships 2015 and Slavik & Karina

Howdy, ballroom dancers!

I’ve had a really productive day so I wanted to finish it off with posting one of the blog entries I promised. And since I think it’d be corny to write about Dancing With the Stars two entries – let alone two days – in a row, the 2015 International Championships it is.

Sadly, I’m unable to find a ton of media from the competition. I’ve spent the past half hour just looking for photos of the finalist lineups and have barely been able to find any media at all!

Here’s some of the tiny bit of media I found for you! First, the final rumba. I love how the Italian men are so romantic!

So, onto the results!

Pro Latin
(1) Riccardo Cocchi & Yulia Zagoruychenko (USA)
(2) Mauricio Vescovo & Andra Vaidilaite (Canada)
(3) Stefano di Filippo & Daria Chesnokova (USA)
(4) Troels Bager & Ina Jeliazkova (Denmark)
(5) Evgeniy Smagin & Polina Kazachenko (Russia)
(6) Neil Jones & Ekaterina Jones (England)

Here’s the other really nice one I found – Riccardo and Yulia’s honor dance!

Pro Ballroom
(1) Arunas Bizkoas & Katusha Demidova (USA)
(2) Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva (USA)
(3) Andrea Ghigiarelli & Sara Andracchio (England)
(4) Valerio Colantoni & Monica Nigro (Italy)
(5) Domen Krapez & Natascha Karabey (Germany)
(6) Alexander Zhiratkov & Irina Novozhilova (Russia)

Amateur Latin
(1) Nikita Brovko & Olga Urumova (Russia)
(2) Morten Low & Roxy (Denmark)
(3) Fernando Iannaccone & Yulia Musikhina (USA)
(4) Klemen Prasnikar & Alexander Averkieva (Slovenia)
(5) Manuel Frighetto & Karin Rooba (Estonia)
(6) Damir Haluzan & Anna Mashchyts (Slovenia)

Amateur Ballroom
(1) Sergiu Rusu & Dorota Makar (Poland)
(2) He Chong & Shan Jing (China)
(3) Lukasz Tomczak & Aleksandra Jurczak (Poland)
(4) Diego Arias Prado & Ekaterina Ermolina (Russia)
(5) Kyle Taylor & Izabela Skierska (England)
(6) Fedor Isaev & Anna Zudilina (Russia)

I don’t really keep up with Ballroom as much as I should, but OUCH that the USA had no amateur international finalists.

On another hand, I’m intrigued by Manuel and Karin’s placing 5th in amateur Latin. I remember an Embassy Ball a few years back (I want to say it was 2012) where that same couple entered and placed 5th behind the likes of Pasha Pashkov & Daniella Karagach and Denys Drozdyuk & Antonina Skobina. Not to put down Manuel and Karen’s result here, but given the previous evidence, I’m guessing that not a ton of amateur couples went to this competition?

I also somehow feel the pro Latin field looks so much different even from just a year ago! Last year, the champions were Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis, Riccardo and Yulia were second, and Stefano and Dasha were fifth. It is, however, so exciting to me that new couples are coming up!

Speaking of new couples, I’m going to jump over to the other end of the spectrum and show you an old couple that we all love. We’ve found out from her instagram that Slavik and Karina are working together again! I’m guessing they’re practicing for some new shows. In succession, a cha cha, samba, and paso!

I thought their showdances at the Kremlin Cup were beautiful, so I can’t wait to see the legendary shows that come out of this go-around! Are you as excited as I am?!

Dancing With the Stars 21, week 4: Most Memorable Year

Hey dancers! Long time, huh? Least it feels like it.

Sorry I skipped it, but my new job has had me pretty busy and I took a little vacation to Boston so I had no time to do this post last week. I’m sure “Most Memorable Year” was a good one though, it always is. I’ll go through it really quick before this week’s episode airs.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 4

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 4

Alexa & Mark – I’m sure Alfonso didn’t mean his “You and Carlos cannot both win” comment the way Alexa took it – he’s right, isn’t he? Ok, ok. I love the color of her dress! The dance felt like it took a while to get started. I didn’t think this would be the case, but I hate to say her frame is ghastly, like I swear a waitress could walk between her and Mark. Moreover, the hair and glasses didn’t do her any favors, though. Love her shoes though, and the choice of music! Not what I expected.

Gary & Anna – what exactly are they dancing? It sounded like a foxtrot, but I think it was supposed to be a jive, but was really a swing. Yeesh. Guess I’m not surprised that he was the one to go.

Oh, Bruno’s Most Memorable Year was hilarious.

Tamar & Val – I could do with seeing this side of Tamar more often. She could use a little more core in her movement, but she danced beautifully – I completely forgot about Val. And her song was absolutely gorgeous. I LOVED her look for this dance.

EEK! I saw this on Instagram – Allison’s pregnancy!!! I’m as thrilled as if I were pregnant and married to Derek Hough. Except now seeing Allison say it and how happy tWitch was is making me tear up. I love them together – they are so obviously soulmates. I also think it’s great to see a beautiful and happy couple!

Hayes & Emma – maybe I’m old, but internet fame weirds me out. Sweet kid, though. And I must have said it before, but I don’t “get” contemporary. He could use a little more extension and length – ya know, “dancing OUT”, but he’s so good! I’m looking forward to seeing even more from him.

Alek & Lindsay – why did they have to make THAT package? GEEZ, poor Alek. I can’t believe they took cameras back home with him. Kudos to him for pulling it together enough to get through this dance. Not his best, but I’m guessing they didn’t have a lot of practice time. One more thing – if I found out our armed forces are full of men like him, I would sleep a lot more soundly at night. A gentleman and a true warrior.

Nick & Sharna – I must say it, how FABULOUS to see the rest of the Boys. AJ was the choreographer? I like dances like these. Everyone usually goes super dramatic for personal story week, and that’s great too, but I like seeing stories of triumph over tragedy. Sharna was the centerpiece here, and she looked stunning in her costume. Nick was awesome whenever I watched him, though. Loved the choreo. Saw Julianne’s I ❤ Nick sign by accident. This is acceptable. But I am slightly disappointed that they could only get one Backstreet Boy to come watch him, WTF. And what was up with the camera work?

Oy, Hayley in that troupe bumper. Beautiful girl, but really looks like a contemporary dancer doing Latin.

Carlos & Witney – geez, what’s Carrie Ann’s problem? I bet she’s mad because he’s married and happy with his wife. Aww, he found Alexa at church. I love it. Wonder if the glow off their costumes was intentional. It strikes me as the type of thing that just ended up happening and they decided to go with it. I’m not mad at it though. I liked it. Not much else for me to say.

It drives me crazy when I see couples practicing right before they dance – this applies to dancesport competitions, too. I guess because when I did plays in high school, we always rested the day before opening and I think that gave us “more”. I’m of the firm opinion that if you don’t know it already, you can’t improve immediately before.

Paula & Louis – I like the story of her rebuilding her life after divorce. I feel like it’s a reason a lot of people stay in relationships that aren’t good for them – they think it’s been too long and they won’t be able to do anything anymore. GEEZ, Paula! I really think this woman has exquisite legs and feet. It’s occurring to me that if she were Alexa’s age, this would not be a fair competition.

Andy & Allison – these stories make me sad; I can’t imagine what I would do without my parents. I wonder why Allison always wears those boots for Latin dances – I’m starting to think she can’t dance without them. But her technique is way better than it was in season 19. I also feel like he hasn’t improved much, especially because Allison keeps not only outdancing him, but outdancing him to the extent that she does – her one speed seems to be Mach 4. She’s FOUR MONTHS PREGNANT?! WHERE?!

Bindi & Derek – just seeing images from their rehearsals and knowing what song they chose makes you burst into tears; I don’t think I’ll even make it through this dance and be fine. Ok, so it begins. Oh man, the picture of Steve and Baby Bindi, I can’t do this. Even the unflappable Derek had a hard time holding it together. This is one of those dances you can’t really say a lot about. It really did look like a little girl dancing with her father. Lovely all around.

MADE IT! This week’s show starts in 10 minutes. It’s Switch-Up week and has Maks as guest judge. I hope he’s fun. Though I’m feeling it may be an audition for him to join the judging panel permanently.

Oh, here are the pairings:

Alexa & Derek
Hayes & Allison
Alek & Emma
Andy & Sharna
Carlos & Lindsay
Nick & Witney
Paula & Mark
Tamar & Louis
Bindi & Val

Also, I’ll write another post in a day or two about Brentwood’s International Championships that happened last week. And of course, my thoughts on this week’s DWTS eppy. See ya then!