Dancing With The (All-) Stars Week 3: 2008 Gabriele Rausse Refosco, Virginia

 

“Iconic Dance” week on Dancing With The Stars? A bit gimmicky if you ask us, but with a redux of celebrity dancers on the floor this season, it makes sense that a redux of dances was coming. Gimmicks aside, week 3 of the competition brought some of the best dances of the season to the ballroom.

The Dances

Drew Lachey/Anna Trebunskaya

Cha-Cha-Cha (Judges’ Score: 24)

The Rib: Drew told Anna to “unleash her inner stripper,” and boy, her hips were on overdrive for this Cha-Cha-Cha! Unfortunately, Drew unleashed his inner “beat boy,” too. I think he will be on the bubble this week to go home in the double elimination. Too bad, we might have gotten to see him reenact a scene from Rad next week!

Stub: Like the theme of this week’s show, this dance was a bit gimmicky (and a little bit off), but Anna’s outfit gets a 10 from me. I fear The Rib is right, here, though—Drew is on the bubble this week. Too bad, ’cause I would have loved to hear Harold Wheeler and the band play “Send Me An Angel” while Drew and Anna attempted to recreate the “Bike Dance” from Rad.

Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd

Tango (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

The Rib: This much hot on one dance floor should really be illegal or, at least, R-rated. I have a feeling that Gilles may have picked up his wife’s copy of Fifty Shades of Grey while in the toilet last week and came up with the concept for this dance—or least for Peta’s outfit. This Tango brought the sexy! In light of the scores given to subsequent dances, G-eta was robbed. An 8 ½? No. More like 8 ½ Weeks! They finished middle of the pack, but they will be safe this week.

Stub: Damn! I needed a smoke and a shower after that dance! Unbeknownst to The Rib, I have already ordered her a replica of Peta’s costume; it will arrive shortly after the new cable and pulley system is installed in the master bedroom. No red walls, though…

Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani

Samba (Judges’ Score: 27)

The Rib: We get the build up for this big trick and then nothing? She seemed rushed trying to catch up with the music. Tony’s beginning foot tricks were cool, but I thought this dance was way over-scored.

Stub: This Samba seemed a bit timid to me after the opening sequence. Melissa was a bit out of sync and behind the music at times on her way to the ending trick of the dance. Not her best effort in my opinion, but a lot of content in there.

Apolo Ohno/Karina Smirnoff

Foxtrot (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

The Rib: The concept was awesome; this foxtrot was sensual and well executed. Apolo looked like he was leading Karina the entire time. Kudos to Apolo, but, then again, he is an Olympian, and they are serious about competing for shiny things! This was one of my favorite dances of the night.

Stub: Excellent, artsy concept for a dance here. And while Karina was way better than Apolo, he held his own during this dance and showed glimpses of “leading man” material. He’s no Christian Grey, er, Gilles, though…

Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovsky

Paso Doble (Judges’ Score: 27)

The Rib: Although this was Kelly’s best dance to date and she hit some lovely lines, I was not as excited about this Paso as the judges were. Val is no Maks. Up side is that this was the first interview in which I did not want to punch her—so big ups for the improvement all around, Kelly.

Stub: This was great! Kelly’s technique in this Paso was almost flawless, but I felt the intensity waxed and waned a bit at times. Absolutely her best dance ever and I will repeat what I said last week—I may have underestimated Kelly a bit.

Kirstie Alley and Maks

Cha-Cha-Cha (Judges’ Score: 24)

The Rib: Finally, Kirstie looked like maybe she had seen the inside of a ballroom before! This Cha-Cha-Cha was cheeky good fun, and Kirstie’s footwork was nice. Much improved, Kirstie, and good hip action!

Stub: Well, I guess Bergeron learned that he wasn’t the member of any elite group as far as Kirstie planting a lip lock on him—perhaps a man should snatch her up with some kind of contract… I loves me a cougar and I loves me some Kirstie Alley! She’s not the best dancer on floor, but she is fun to watch. No wonder Sam Malone was so hung up on her…

Sabrina Bryan/Louis van Amstel

Paso Doble (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

The Rib: This little spitfire was like a whirling dervish—a whirling dervish with enormous tatas!  I believe they started dancing while Kirstie and Maks were still on the floor. As usual, great energy but on the edge of being out of control. Still, this dance truly paled in comparison to and was far more of a redux of its original edition than any of the other dances.

Stub: This was a badass dance! Sabrina does get a little excited at times and will over rotate or over step, but I like the edge that excitement brings to her dancing. That said, Len is a stickler for “controlled aggression,” which is the one thing Sabrina needs to get in check. Maybe the right partner could tame her…

Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke

Paso Doble (Judges’ Score: 25)

The Rib: Emmitt is just so freakin’ charming and charismatic! His upper body was a hair wonky at times, but he danced the crap out of that Paso! They had a badass ending, and Cheryl had badass boots too!

Stub: Loved this one. While the all-time NFL rushing leader isn’t the best technical dancer in the field, his charisma and charm makes everything he does better. The cape work at the beginning was very good. Cheryl’s costume also gets a 10 from me. Cape, boots, and charisma. I’m sensing a theme, here…

Helio Castroneves/Chelsie Hightower

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

The Rib: Helio sure does love a zoot suit and hat costume, doesn’t he? Too bad he tripped on Chelsie’s dress and kudos to them for being able to recover, but all 8.5s? Really? Again, G-eta got robbed!!! Helio was in the bottom two last week with a great routine…I think he may well find himself doing a final dance tomorrow, but not before he gets to redeem himself with a mulligan on this Quickstep. I look for the judges to ask to see it again.

Stub: This dance was just O.K. for me. His ballroom frame was as good as ever, but I felt like Helio was lacking a little bit of his trademark energy. Good thing he’ll be wearing that zoot suit again tomorrow, because I fear there may be a small “riot” in the ballroom when he gets eliminated.

Bristol Palin/Mark Ballas

Paso Doble (Judges’ Score: 22.5)

The Rib: If Bristol did not find herself in the bottom two yet with sub-par dances, I do not anticipate her leaving this week following her best dance to date. This Paso had a really cool concept, although it lacked chemistry. She will live to dance another day. “B” should have gone home last week but did not; so I have no doubt that she will stay through this week too.

Stub: While it lacked a little energy and chemistry typical of the “dance of the bullfight,” this was an oddly “proper” Paso Doble. I actually enjoyed this dance. If Sabrina’s early exit in Season 5 was the biggest shock in Dancing With The Stars history, Bristol’s 3rd place finish in Season 11 is the second biggest, which is the longwinded way of saying The Rib is right—Bristol and Mark will be dancing again next week. The shock continues…

Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 26.5)

The Rib: Great tricks and high-flying, but I thought Shawn’s footwork in the actual Quickstep parts lacked sharpness and precision. Unlike the judges, I was not blown away by this dance. Of course, she is not in any danger tonight and will, almost certainly, be in the final.

Stub: Wow! That was a really cool interpretation of a Quickstep. While I agree with The Rib that some of Shawn’s footwork could have been better, the tricks, flips, and zaniness of the dance more than made up for it. That said, rules are rules and breaking them has to result in some kind of point penalty. Maybe a spanking…

 

The Wine

2008 Gabriele Rausse Refosco, Virginia

2008 Gabriele Rausse Refosco

Why this wine? Well, yesterday was Columbus Day. Christopher Columbus was an Italian that came to America, so we thought we’d pick a wine made by an Italian who came to and makes wine in America. Gabriele Rausse is the godfather of the Virginia wine industry and quite the character to boot. Tasting his wines or chatting him up for few minutes both provide an experience you won’t soon forget.

On the nose, the Refosco was all Fifty Shades of Grey up in here with leather and oak dominating. There was a bit of dark fruit and licorice/black jellybean in there, too, but the leather and fruit dominated. The Rib thought the Refosco smelled like a brand new vinyl shower curtain, which she couldn’t quite get used to past her first half glass. Leather? Oak? Vinyl? Fifty Shades of Grey on the nose? Methinks there’s a Marcy Playground joke there somewhere, too, but I like to stay consistent…

2010 Gabriele Rausse Nebbiolo Reserve

The palate brought the oak and saddle leather, but blackberry and black cherry came through, as well. The tannins were slightly rough around the edges, but weren’t overbearing, even though they stuck with me through this wine’s mid-long finish. I would definitely recommend this wine with food, but nothing too light—this Refosco will overpower delicate flavors. We paired it with a hearty meat sauce and spaghetti and it worked well.

Not being a big fan of the Refosco, The Rib stuck with the second bottle we opened: a 2010 Gabriele Rausse Nebbiolo Reserve, which after several bottles, has yet to disappoint with its bright notes of cocoa, cola, and ripe cherry.

 

Takeaways

The Rib: Although the dances have been of a caliber seen only in finales of past seasons, I largely find myself underwhelmed this year. Maybe my expectations are too high, but I have not really had my mind blown yet…patiently, I wait. Although there were some cool concepts, none of them measured up to the originals. Brooke Burke-Charvet has not disappointed me, however; she continues to raise the bar for space hookers everywhere. For this week’s “Iconic Dance” show, Brooke got in the spirit with an iconic Studio 54 look…if Studio 54 had been on Mars. She threw in a Wonder Woman belt for good measure. Where is Clinton Kelly when you need him?

Stub: The dances have improved from an already a high level over the first three weeks. Like The Rib, I’m not as impressed with this season as I had hoped to be. I’m not necessarily underwhelmed; just merely whelmed. And now that I’ve thought about the “bike dance” from Rad for several minutes, imagine how awesome it would be if ABC “Sent Us An Angel” by casting Lori Laughlin as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars next season! Kirstie and Bristol may be on the bubble after last night’s dances, but I think Helio and Drew are in the most danger of going home tonight.

Until next week…

Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,

Stub & The Rib