Last night on So You Think You Can Dance—er, Dancing With the Stars, we saw new styles of dance never before seen in the ballroom performed—some with success, others not so much. It was exciting to see something different, but have we forgotten what show this is?
Sure Kelly Monaco proved she really can dance in her emotional contemporary routine with partner Val Chmerkovskiy (despite a few missteps), but where was the ballroom? I’ll tune into SYTYCD for barefooted, emotional dances performed in underwear.
And let’s not even talk about Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff’s hip-hop routine! Actually, let’s talk about it. In 15 seasons this may be the most uncomfortable we’ve ever seen a pro! Smirnoff was pretty up-front with her discomfort and displeasure for their selected style, and in a very unpro-like fashion, it showed on the dance floor. Smirnoff did not attack the routine with her usual passion and all but lost it when there was a mic pack slip-up. Luckily Ohno carried on and the judges basically gave them a free pass, with Carrie Ann Inaba saying, “The beauty about tonight is that everyone is outside of their comfort zone.”
Last night revealed that some celebs and pros thrive outside the comfort zone while others just don’t. Let’s take a look at how the performances stacked up.
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Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Alley brought the fun back with this high-energy Charleston (she popped out of a cake for goodness sakes) but, as the judges pointed out, it needed to be “cleaner and tighter.” The first performance of the evening proved to be the lowest scoring.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Dance: Rock and roll
Oh boy, Palin did improve this week, as all the judges commented, but Ballas took his over-dancing to a whole new level! The pro seemed to be doing tricks around his partner in this sock hop-inspired performance, yet the judges still scored the duo two points higher than Alley and Maks.
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel
Having been saved from last week’s elimination, these two hit it hard. Bryan danced her booty off while Van Amstel stepped it up with the choreography. The judges seemed a bit nitpicky about this routine but ultimately awarded a solid 35.5 points.
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Having never been trained in the slow Cuban bolero, pro Burke called in reinforcement to get the routine right. It must have worked as the pair brought home 39 points. We wouldn’t know since their footwork was all but obscured by the smoke machines!
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Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Pro Murgatroyd did what she could to get Bollywood right, bringing in experts and choosing “Jai Ho,” quite possibly the only Bollywood song recognizable to the DWTS audience. Marini appeared to have a great time and leapt his way with ease to the front of the pack.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
This spunky jitterbug was packed with lifts, some great, others not so much. Judge Inaba said, “You have an amazing way to make it look effortless. You are an amazing dancer. You had a few problems with the lifts. You went for the difficulty, and I appreciate it!”
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
Inaba said they are the team to watch, and I agree. While last week’s quickstep was amazing, it was packed with so many lifts and stunts that it was wonderful to see so much dancing in this week’s performance.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
This awkward routine involved an awful lot of running around on stage and concluded with a crying pro. Maybe hip-hop should be left to shows like SYTYCD and ABDC. That said, I hope to (and think we will) see Ohono and Smirnoff returning next week.
Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Despite a broken toe, Monaco put her heart and soul into this performance, saying that it’s not about dancing but the people and the journey. I don’t know how you could not be in love with this couple after their performance. Watch the video below, you’ll be smitten!
Who do you think will be eliminated? Will it be back-of-packers Alley or Palin, or will their fans save them yet again? And what did you think of the new dance styles? Keep or back to ballroom?
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