Dancing With the Stars 21: Who Won?

Okay ballroom dancers, I’m back.

It definitely should have occurred to me to start a live blog an hour ago, but I was fixing my hair so I forgot.

Highlights so far? DWTS in The Grove has accomplished is make me want to move to LA. So good to see Victor! But why do his hips move so much HAHAHAHA

I LOVE Elle King and Exes and Ohs!!! Sounds even better live. Also, not that it matters, but why’s Jenna been suddenly front and center all season? And why does she lip sync when she dances? That even drove me crazy when Dasha did it.

Hayes on the DWTS tour is a brilliant audition – they likely just tripled their ticket sales with that announcement.

‘Twas the Night Before the Finale is too funny for me to handle. Whoever wrote that is a genius.

The Backstreet Boys FINALLY showed up! Where have you dudes been all season?!

Chaka Khan and Andy Grammer singing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is an adorable idea and I’m loving the foxtrot! REAL ballroom! There’s no reason the whole season can’t be like this…sheesh.

I wonder if doing all this in a live show is as smooth while you’re doing it as it looks on television. I doubt it.

Is it me, or is Len’s accent suddenly way thicker? I love Len as much as the next person, but what’s he coming back for? On the other hand, Julianne’s dress right now has to be one of my favorite red carpet gowns ever…but where’s the rest of Carrie Ann’s dress? Her bun looks great though.

Nick & Sharna – salsa/tango, what a crappy combination. I loved Sharna’s dress and wish she’d kept the skirt on, but really glad Nick took the jacket off because maybe now that I think of it, the swinging jackets haven’t done his dancing many favors. But hate when a fusion consists of a half and half split between one dance and the other.

Alek & Lindsay – rumba/tango fusion? Why would you stick him with that? Basically they already screwed him. Their transition between the two dances, very smooth. Alek on the tour? He’ll draw good numbers. Victor in the background is cracking me up. Alek got a 27, okay, so unless he’s getting millions of votes that the other two aren’t (which is very likely the way they’re scoring him), he’s definitely in third tonight.

Bindi & Derek – cha cha/Argentine tango. He’s already done this fusion, but I guess you can only do so many before you have to repeat. But he’s used so much of the same A.tango choreo since season 11…but I’ll forgive him because I really think it’s over for him. There will never be another Derek, and a young lady like Bindi can change the world.

Saying this sounds like actually sacrilege because I’ve always been Team NSYNC, but Nick sounds so good! The collage is making this a pretty special moment.

BINDI AND DEREK WON!!! I’m thrilled for them. It was all about Bindi. What a lovely end to the season. They’ve touched all of us.

DWTS 21, the Winners!

DWTS 21, the Winners!

Dancing With the Stars 21: The Finals

Literally JUST published that last entry. Trying to get this one up before the winner is announced, because then nothing makes any sense in this life.

Speaking of which, I’ll try to make more sense in this entry than the last one. I have a feeling I’ll go back and read it at some point and be like, “what the hell does this mean?”

Dancing With the Stars season 21: The Finals

Dancing With the Stars season 21: The Finals

Meghan Trainor looks beautiful. But what’s with all the horrible random videography this season? Erin does look better than the trophy, haha. I wish I were like Tom, he is so clever.

I’m actually really excited for Judges’ Choice. I hate the “favorite dance” round – it’s useless. At least if you do a redemption dance or judges’ choice, it’s something new and you can see a growth arc!

Carlos & Witney – this is a fantastic song. I think Carlos did dance way better. Still a little airy, but much more fluid and some very pleasing shapes.

Alek & Lindsay – am I on dog food or is this song a Viennese waltz instead of a rumba? Love Linds’ dress and hair, though. I feel like Alek was kind of doomed from the start with a rumba now because obviously he was more connected to a rumba with Emma.

Peta danced gorgeously with Artem in that Meghan Trainor song. I had no idea Peta had so much speed.

Nick & Sharna – oh, Julianne’s a pretty good teacher, huh? How did she get him to get those kicks and flicks? This jive was a million times better than his first one! See, I don’t know about you, but THIS is what I was expecting to see when we heard Nick Carter was going to be on the show.

Bindi & Derek – the judge she got bodes well for her. Carrie Ann has a pretty good track record. It sucks that Derek still feels bad about Shawn. I didn’t think that abiding by the rules that time would have helped him, because the writing was pretty much on the wall. Oh, Derek sounds gross; I cringe every time I hear a cough. The connection! I don’t know how she did it. Carrie Ann’s critique made me tear up because that’s the same way I feel when I watch Bindi dance!

See, they keep making a really big deal of the freestyle, which I actually don’t put much stock in anymore. Ever since they made the team dances “freestyle” and have had huge productions throughout the season and then made jazz, contemporary, and Charleston part of the regular DWTS repertoire, freestyles no longer feel so special as they did 10 seasons ago. It either feels like a couple is trying really hard to be out of the box or it’s something they did already.

But that’s just me. And aside from that, this is where the judges begin to get wishy-washy and score everyone the same – or one contestant gets less than everyone else. (Likely Alek.)

THE FREESTYLE ROUNDDDDDDDDDD!
Carlos & Witney – I’m only supporting him in this round because this song is currently my life. The use of Paula, Hayes, and Alexa didn’t really change anything, but I liked the intention behind it. I read somewhere “I doubt anyone was super shocked that the Toker 4 Jesus left”…now, it isn’t funny, but it made me laugh.

Alek & Lindsay – wow, he did that lift way better than Carlos did. That was awesome – now, THIS dance, I’ve never seen before. MAJOR props to Lindsay for coming up with this one, because it was perfect for Alek in every way and a totally new dance that has never been done on the show.

That Hayley/Alan/Keo bumper was fun.

Oh yeah, let’s just all talk about Derek’s five trophies. I know I don’t act like it at all, but it is not about him.

Bindi & Derek – he needs to stop crying, because it’s impossible for me to watch. I’ve never noticed until now, but Bindi has GORGEOUS feet. Bindi danced with everything she had, and so did Derek – I’ve never seen him dance like this. I’m also getting the feeling that Derek is finally done with the show. If so…it’s been an honor and a privilege, Mr. Hough. I would be surprised to find a dry eye in the house. I really wish I was more like her. I hope she wins. WHY DID ERIN TELL US THAT DEREK JUST THREW THAT PICTURE UP?! I just started crying all over again.

We’ll see after the first round what’ll happen.

OOOO derf, Nick has to dance too. Who would even care about anything after that dance from Bindi? I’ll just take this opportunity to point out that Bindi went last in round 1 and Nick went last in round 2. That’s never happened before – and what exactly is the point?

Nick & Sharna – she hit the nail on the head with “it can’t be what people expect” – I learned with Donald Driver, THAT is how you win the freestyle round. I was kind of underwhelmed by that freestyle.

Anyway, like I said, we’ll see after the first round in tonight’s finale what will happen. If in the 24 hour fusion Alek gets a lower score and Bindi and Nick both get perfect scores, then that means Alek gets Noah’d and automatically loses. If they all three score the same, then the chips are being allowed to fall where they may and Nick likely gets third place.

This is a really hard one to call because the contestants all have such different things going for them. Nick is the boy bander we all know with the huge fanbase. Bindi is the best dancer, but also the ray of light you fell in love with no matter how hard you tried to fight it. And then Alek the hero comes in at a time where the world is in upheaval and makes hope come out of your fear.

We will see.

Dancing With the Stars 21, week 9 & 10

HI AGAIN, DANCERS!

Ok, to be quite honest, I’m writing this immediately after posting about last week’s episode. But I’ll post it tomorrow morning…hopefully.

EDIT: I started to write this immediately after posting about week 8. And the finale aired yesterday and the winner will be announced tonight. So I’ll do weeks 9 and 10 and then the finale in a separate post, but I’ll try and keep it short.

Onto the show.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 9

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 9

Alek & Lindsay – HAHAHA! I love how guys always think they’re so tough and when they have to do things girls do regularly they turn into screaming babies. I like the little samba section she put in there. Alek didn’t have much hip action, but this is the most in the zone and the most fun we’ve seen him have.

Alexa & Mark – DAMMIT! I’ve been wanting for MONTHS to dance to that song! But my motif, if you will, is actually way more morbid. This was super brave of her and I’ve never seen her dance with such ardor. And I love that Mark was in all black so all you saw was Alexa!

*a week later*
Carlos & Witney – Argentine tango to Justin Bieber? Um…okay. Not a great routine and didn’t even look at Carlos once. What’s with the HUGE hip hop section?

Bindi & Derek – that package was painful. HELL, another one – I’ve always wanted to a dance blindfolded. Love her iridescent dress and the stretch she’s getting out of her lines! I’ve always loved Derek’s vwaltzes, but this is rivaling Nastia’s for my favorite. What just happened there?! MY hands are shaking!

Tamar & Val – what is this, steal from Annelis’ mind night?! I’ve been wanting to do a contemporary to Wicked Games for months! They didn’t even dance to that song…it’s the rehearsal so there isn’t much to say.

Nick & Sharna – “I haven’t won yet” theeeerrre it is. His section with the boys in the beginning was fantastic and he did great on the character – until he got in hold, then he became a nerd. I do see a huge improvement. But he didn’t have the same confidence in his second section with the boys at the end.

Duets:
Alek & Carlos – I want to go on this cruise ship. Dual star lifts, impressive. All I can say about that dance is, “okaaayyy….” Is it wrong that the boys’ choreo made me laugh a little bit? It was all a little out of left field, but it was cool. The guys were in sync and enjoyed themselves.

Alexa & Bindi – I’ve been looking forward to this one. WOW that was awesome, like watching Chicago in two minutes!

Nick & Tamar – pneumonia is no bull, and then she has blood clots?! Her dedication is amazing, but I’m surprised she would risk her health like this over a $40 trophy. I think she and Nick partner together oddly well. She should have just withdrawn and let Alexa continue because Alexa being eliminated and then Tamar withdrawing is just a weird series of events.

Onto week 10!

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 10

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 10

Loved the opening number. Derek’s quality of movement, though…amazing.

Bindi & Derek – wow, she’s got a gorgeous long neck. What a perfect song and dance for her! I’m impressed that he’s used some of Shawn Johnson’s choreo and Bindi did it all!

Alek & Lindsay – oh, her gown is just gorgeous. Oh, I see Alfonso in the audience. He looks just a teensy bit locked in – in the “I want to do great in this dance because of what it means” – but this is probably his best dance. I love watching him in the ballroom dances.

Carlos & Witney – good thing they danced with all the gusto they did, becauseΒ  I’ve seen literally every single part of that routine before.

Nick & Sharna – WOW, Aaron looks horrible. He is dancing this tango like he’s afraid of something. I’m curious as to whether that pause mid-dance was choreographed. Don’t think it was. It was my favorite part – so real.

Dance-Offs:
Alek & Carlos – a chest-off, indeed. Alek was so fun to watch.

Bindi & Nick – yaaaaassss, good girl, Bindi! The ending of Bindi’s was awesome, what the heck? Nick looked SO good, but unfortunately Bindi looked GREAT.

Trios:
Bindi/Derek/Mark – admittedly, I know they’re good together, but I’m really tired of Derek picking Mark every time. Ok, I didn’t quite “get” this number, but it was really cool. Even though it did feel like it took forever to get started.

Alek/Lindsay/Emma – this whole Emma thing is still annoying. Wait, this song is 1, a swing, 2, sung by a girl. I can forgive it, Alek was great and Lindsay’s legs are everything. Loved everything about this number (except when the swing beat dropped – the arrangement was great when slow).

Carlos/Witney/Karina – see, THIS is who I would pick for my trio! Karina is a goddess. I didn’t even look at the other two.

Nick/Sharna/Peta – aw, it’s nice to see Peta again. Her practice outfits are cute. He’s dancing light on his feet in the wrong way. He’s pretty in control of the girls, but Peta was FIERCE in this dance. Really fun to watch.

Random thing that really bothers me – only ONE time for the trio, someone has picked a pro that’s the same gender as their celebrity. I wish this would happen more often. That’s just something that really grinds my gears. It’s probably different because I guess a lot of the celebs don’t LOVE dancesport, but if I were in DWTS, I would want a woman (KARINA!) for my trio. First of all, someone to learn from, second, all the more impressive if I were able to match her! I remember when Karina picked Sasha for her trio with Apolo. I was incredibly impressed because Apolo was so in sync with Sasha at some points that it was hard to tell who was who.

Just my two cents. I know I wasn’t very productive…haha. Oops. Finale next!

Dancing With the Stars 21, week 8: Personal Icons

Good day, dancers. Happy Thursday!

Again, crazy busy all week. I know I have two episodes to cover. I’ll probably do them both today and then post about this week’s episode tomorrow.

Theme weeks are actually just cheesy and unnecessary: Personal Icons week? We’ve already had Most Memorable Year and Hometown Glory, both of which were already the same thing. Anyway, I already know who’s been eliminated in both these episodes I’m going to post about – sad for them both, but I guess we’ll see.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 8

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 8

That opening number was…eh, quite frankly, lame. EEK! RIKER’S IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!

Carlos & Witney – I kind of get it – Latin families Americanize themselves when they’re in the vast minority. But Marc is amazing, and I’ve seen him live – he really does have that voice and he puts on a great show! He’s been sounding very contrived – really, he acts like he’s running for office – and I hate to say it, but I think playing to the Latin community here might have been what kept Carlos in the competition these last couple of weeks. OH, I LOVE THIS SONG! He really danced this like a Latino – a lot of us by default for some reason have great body movement but don’t have the maximum hip action they could because they never straighten their knees. I’m actually glad he took his shirt off, because wearing that huge thing you couldn’t see a damn thing. He got shy at the end though, I guess because of the lift sequence.

Alek & Lindsay – love this story. I actually really liked this arrangement of the song better than the original. Not much to say here – he really is just ROCK. He’s amazing at lifts and while I admit he hasn’t had a huge margin of improvement, he is just a good partner, I think.

Andy & Allison – I know they went home after this, aww. How does Allison look sooooo pregnant all of a sudden? And how did she not burst into tears during her talk with him? Oh dear, his shoulders are shooting up to the ceiling, I guess he’s trying a little too hard for the rise and fall. That dance actually was just lovely. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing they went home – it seems to me like working on the show during her pregnancy might just be frustrating her.

Ooh, Artem was just dashing in that Argentine tango bumper with Jenna.

Alexa & Mark – interesting story she picked. Mark’s topknot is kind of ridiculous. I love the use of the screen. Separately, I wasn’t crazy about the costumes or the song or the beating-her-chest choreo, but as altogether? It all worked beautifully and told the story in a really cool way. A few slip-ups, but I don’t think it really was a big deal.

Nick & Sharna – this was just a GORGEOUS routine – what beautiful choreography. The gender reveal was so scripted though.

Love seeing Karina in bumpers – every single time, she proves herself the goddess of the Latin division.

Bindi & Derek – that costume looks absolutely stunning on her. She’s just like Derek – steadfast and graceful under pressure. See, this is exactly why knee spins are a horrible idea. Another routine done so creatively – the group section with her in silhouette at the beginning and the song was a great choice! I’ve always loved Derek’s foxtrots – very big band and heavy on the Broadway influence. LOVED this!

Tamar & Val – wasn’t digging that package. But I like Val’s costume. Tamar is great at hitting accents and her arms move and create shapes beautifully. This dance wasn’t bad at all, but didn’t wow me either. She is actually a really great natural mover, but doesn’t have much natural performance factor.

Dance Offs:
First of all, why would they have them both on the floor at the same time? Don’t mind at all how they have America voting with the little chart in the back.

Bindi vs. Carlos – cute how they ended it together. I thought they were pretty evenly matched in performance quality, but Bindi had way more content and spent more time actually doing jive – HOW did Carlos win this? Especially when 64% of the voters picked opposite…well, that’s not sketchy at all.

Tamar vs. Alexa – Alexa’s dress is super cute, but she is obviously doing way more dancing here – and with 76% of the votes, Tamar still won? WHAT THE HAIL.

Alek vs. Andy – neither couple has danced samba, which is one of the hardest? Why did anyone even allow this? Okay, that was pretty painful to watch. Andy did significantly less samba than Alek did, but Andy won it too. Uh…I guess.

Dancing With the Stars 21, week 7: Halloween Week

Good morning, dancers! Happy November.

Another busy week. I took a mini-vacation Friday and got to relax a little bit. Fortunately, I’ve had a few days off and now I can get this entry up before tonight’s show airs. EDIT: I wrote this last night and meant to publish it this morning, but I forgot as I was running out of the house as always. But here we are.

I already heard who won the team dance last week. I’m unsurprised, but at the same time they’ve basically made it exactly the same storyline for what, 16 seasons? So at least they’ll shut up about it. And I heard that Hayes went home, sadly. I’m interested to see what else transpires.

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 7

Dancing With the Stars season 21, week 7

That opening number was cute, but cheesy. But Witney’s dress was beautiful! The perfect horror movie ingenue. OH MY WORD, RIKER IS IN THE HOUSE! Yes, I still have a massive crush on him.

Nick & Sharna – what is Carrie Ann’s problem with him? I feel like it usually doesn’t end well when the dancers listen to the judges. Ahh, Sharna’s stitched face makeup is the love of my life. I did the same thing for work on Halloween night. What a beautiful set. Weird, but in this dance, Nick looked kind of clunky. But that “windmill” lift was absolutely stunning. But why did they suddenly have to use that song as an Argentine tango when it was always a paso?

Hayes & Emma – werewolf is actually a good look for him. He is going to grow up to be a very handsome young man. See, this is an odd thing. When dancers new to ballroom do ballroom dancers, their frame always ends up looking so long because they can’t seem to figure out how to round out their arms. Really cool idea for this dance, though, with her hiding the dagger.

Alexa & Mark – 1, how are they going to dance with those claws he’ll have for hands? 2, Mark knows what’s happening there and he’s trying his best to help her be seen as a contender, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do. She could relax her shoulders a bit, but this is a great dance for her. Her footwork is great and she is owning her dress (cape?). Finally, she got some 9s!

Tamar & Val – she actually fell for the producers’ inflammatory questions, not a good look. I love the dress of whoever the girl in the fun house is. Was that Jenna? They all look alike now. How does Val always find a way to open his shirt? He’s selling himself short. She and Val were really close together in hold. It made it look odd. She’s obviously dancing way better now, though.

Loved the dance with all the girls in the white lace dresses. So likely this season’s winning pro is one of the ones that was in that number.

Andy & Allison – she all of a sudden looks sooooo pregnant and it might be wearing on her. He could have more fullness in his movements and a little more shape on the twist turns (actually in general), but he performed the paso doble way better than I thought he would. Even though like Julianne said, his top half was weird and so was his bottom half, but it worked and he sold it! And I’m also with Julianne on this, dark Andy was super hot.

Bindi & Derek – oh, I can’t stop laughing at her running around the studio trying to scare people. OOOO, she was creepy in her entrance. *covers eyes* She was terrifying through that entire dance! What the heck?! That was amazing! Yes, Tom! Keep the scary Bindi! I loved that she pulled off that menacing character! Yes, Bruno. A masterpiece. Perfect score, well deserved. The whole ballroom is still in shock from Bindi’s performance!

It’s hilarious when Sasha does the pranks. Tamar was so funny. But frankly, I’m stillΒ  so happy about last year when Alfonso smacked the taste out his mouth (was it him?). Mostly because it’s what we all SAY we would do in that situation, but none of us ever actually do it.

That dance by Hayley and Alan was lame.

Alek & Lindsay – looks like he got the bad edit. Artem is being a really good coach. But why would Carrie Ann tell Alek to go to Artem for showmanship? Whatever. A great return to form for him, but I think that has more to do with him being back to ballroom than anything else. Why was Artem with them for their scores? AHAHAHAHA! Alek’s impression was spot on.Β  But Leah needs to stop smacking people in the face because that is extremely disrespectful. Now I’m pissed off.

Carlos & Witney – paso is hard, yes, of course, we’ve all been there – but the cape is making it harder? Really? That’s a new one…and if you recall, NO ONE new to ballroom has used a cape before they learn the paso doble. The camera blocking and the smoke did zero favors here – I couldn’t see a damn thing. But I like the Phantom concept.

Team dances.

Team Nightmare: I do love these rhinestone pinstripe outfits. Love how everyone has the zombie way of moving and they altogether look like a giant spider in the group sections. I want to know who choreographed this – the choreography just looks like Allison (with an assist from Sharna, because I saw some of her in there too. Guest appearance by Allison’s baby bump). I call Hayes Team MVP.

Team Who You Gonna Call: WHO gave Bindi that wig, ew! WOW, Okay, I see right away why they lost: Alek. Very brave of Witney to have Carlos flip her up while he was on the hoverboard. Odd, I know Derek’s choreography so well I knew what moves he was going to do before he and Bindi even came out. It started out pretty weak, but ended strong. A pretty good showing, but Team Nightmare easily won this match.

Overall, the big screwup of the night was the smoke machine. And maybe Hayes telling his followers to get him trending instead of telling them to vote for him! Sad that he went. Anyway, I feel like pretty much anyone from this point on will be a shocking elimination. There are no bad dancers left (and I don’t think Hayes was one).

Sorry I rambled, my mind just kind of ran with this show. In the next few days, we can talk about the latest competitions – Nino and Anna have gone into competition and there is a new dance partnership that I’m really excited about! Can’t wait to talk about it with you!