Dancing With The (All-) Stars Week 5: 2009 North Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

 

Well, the Mouse treated us to two nights of Dancing with the Stars this week to ensure good Americans, who are not fortunate enough to have DVR, did not have to choose between civic engagement and cheeky good fun. We were all able to watch the presidential candidates square off on foreign policy AND see our favorite couples kill it in the ballroom! God Bless America!

 

The Dances

Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovskiy

Samba to “I Want You Back” (Judges’ Score: 24.5)

Kelly and Val

The Rib: This Samba was “eh.” Her Samba rolls—my personal favorite move in the Samba—were great, but the dance lacked emotional connection and energy. Sorry, Kelly, but I do not ‘Want You Back’ next week. She is on the bubble for elimination unless she blows our minds next week, and even that may not save her.

Stub: Well at least Kelly looked great. I felt like the music took away from her performance. Can’t agree with Len on the “too raunchy” comment, but I do agree that this Samba was not great. I hope for Kelly’s sake she comes back strong next week.

Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd

Rumba to “I Will Always Love You” (Judges’ Score: 29.5)

Gilles and Peta

The Rib: I was incredibly excited when I heard G-eta was doing a Rumba, which is essentially vertical sex on a dance floor, to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Peta, Gilles, and Gilles’ arms were beautiful; however, I have to say that I was not left in an expected state of post-coital bliss after this dance. Don’t get me wrong—it was very good—it just didn’t floor me (at least not literally as it did for Carrie Ann!). It was a bit too fast for my taste, but they are not in any danger of going home.

Stub: The promise of this dance was way better than the delivery—it was neither “breast-taking” nor responsible for any baby making. I even liked the post-dance comment section better than the dance. I will give Gilles a “10” for playing bodyguard when Carrie Ann fell out of her seat, though. It was nice enough, but didn’t deserve more than a 27; probably had something to do with Gilles covering up a little too much…

Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Quickstep to “Mrs. Robinson” (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

Kirstie and Maks

The Rib: Kirstie looked amazing and was really channeling the Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson to Maks’ boy toy character. I know my mother and many women of her age group were supremely thrilled by this homage—so ladies, a word of caution, keep your young men clear of your mothers for a couple of days just to be safe. This was Kirstie’s best dance of the season by far; she was light and foot-sure. Since we have largely cut the sub-par dancers—a point Maks diplomatically made when he referenced Bristol’s departure—Kirstie is likely to be on the chopping block from here on in, although she should survive Kelly due to her (and Maks’) fan base.

Stub: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a cougar never disappoints. That assertion held with Kirstie’s Quickstep. She did look amazing and floated across the floor. There was one section of footwork that was a bit awkward, but overall this dance was very good. Here’s to you, Ms. Alley… You can try to seduce me anytime! Just don’t tell The Rib. Or the mother-in-law…

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Samba to “Copacabana” (Judges’ Score: 29)

Emmitt and Cheryl

The Rib: Emmitt’s Samba to Barry’s Manilow’s Copacabana was awesome. He just oozes charm.  He mastered the Samba bounce, and his hips were in overdrive. Big fun, high quality of dance, and charm—”who could ask for more?”

Stub: Sad. This was the best dance of Monday night—great hip action, great swagger, and that classic Emmitt charm. And an awesome song! If Gilles received a 29.5, Emmitt deserved a 33 for this amazingly fun Samba.

Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani

Tango to “Toxic”

Melissa and Tony

The Rib: This ‘Toxic’ Tango was not really a compelling dance to me; for some reason, I found her silver skirt to be very distracting. This dance was just okay for me, but it is more than enough to get Melissa through to next week.

Stub: I think Melissa could have been more “stiff.” That said, she and Tony brought a more lyrical Tango to the ballroom. I feel like they were trying to channel Gomez and Morticia Addams; if so, they fell a bit short. Overall, this was nice, but I’m getting more and more anxious for Melissa to step it up a bit.

Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough

Rumba to “My Heart Will Go On”

Shawn and Derek

The Rib: This Rumba, without a doubt, was the best dance of the night and, probably, one of the best of the season. It pains me greatly to admit that Shawn and Derek out-danced G-eta, but they made G-eta’s Rumba look like a couple of teenagers fumbling around in the back of a Chevy—there just was no comparison. To add insult to injury, they danced to the theme song to one of my most reviled films. I—along with my lobster, Stub—proudly bear the distinction of never having seen the movie Titanic. And yet, Shawn and Derek still killed it, and I cannot begin to understand what Len was thinking nor why Carrie Ann deemed Shawn’s jump as a lift—Boo!! Shawn will, no doubt, be in the final, and unfortunately, she may now be the frontrunner to win the whole thing.

Stub: I really want to hate anything even remotely related to this song. Can’t stand it. That said, this dance was amazing! Derek Hough is the man that made a woman out of our little Olympic chipmunk! Beautiful extensions, exquisite lines, and she looked like a grown-ass woman! This was the best dance of the season. Shawn deserved way higher scores; if Gilles got a 29.5, Shawn, like Emmitt, deserved at least a 33. An 8? Ponderous.

Apolo Ohno/Karina Smirnoff

Samba to “Give It To Me Baby” (Judges’ Score: 27)

Apolo and Karina

The Rib: They danced a Samba to Rick James, Bitch! Apolo’s hips were ah-mah-zing, and Karina looked great. I think Carrie Ann either hit her head when she fell out of the chair during Gilles’ dance on Monday night or they damaged her brain when they pinned one of those feathers into her hair. Either way, I don’t know how she did not appreciate this performance.

Stub: This was absolutely Apolo’s best dance. He really carried them through and looked like he was leading. Hips were nice. Apolo isn’t one of my favorites, but I have to give it up for his Samba. I think he deserved to be scored a little higher. 28.5, maybe?

Sabrina Bryan/Louie van Amstel

Waltz to “So This Is Love”

Sabrina and Louis

The Rib: The Mouse really got its money’s worth out of Sabrina tonight—she is not only a Disney creation herself, but she was portraying Cinderella as well in this most elegant Waltz. While I am not sure it was a ’29,’ Sabrina floated across the floor like Ginger Rogers—simply divine—sweet and elegant. Good job, girl!

Stub: This was a nice little dance. Very sweet. I felt like the chemistry wasn’t quite there and I didn’t for some reason love the “dip” mid-dance. I enjoyed this “proper Waltz” and it even managed to move me a bit. But a 10? Not sure it was perfect.

Team “Call Me Maybe”

Freestyle to “Call Me Maybe” (Judges’ Score: 29)

The Rib: This team was phenomenally talented, and this routine was smokin’ with hot chics, huge tricks, and fantastic choreography. Despite my disdain for this insipid song—a guilty pleasure indeed—this dance was amazing!

Stub: Sorry, but this song is stupidly infectious; and being that we’re laying all the cards on the table this week—is a guilty pleasure song for me. Who doesn’t love a cheerleader? The choreography (which looks like Derek Hough deserves the credit for) was amazing. Did I mention that I love this silly song? ‘Cause I do! This dance deserved every bit of the 29.5 judges’ score and Melissa Rycroft proved in the post-dance interview why she deserves Brooke’s job.

Team “Gangnam Style”

Freestyle to “Gangnam Style” (Judges’ Score: 27)

The Rib: Full disclosure—apparently, I am the only human in Western Civilization that had not previously heard this song or seen the dance craze sweeping the world. I did dial up the video and laughed hysterically. This team had the swagger and sex appeal to pull off an incredibly entertaining—if not wild—team dance. Despite the judges’ comments to the contrary, I thought the synchronization between the couples was good, and their individual dances were great! It was the MOST fun! Of course, I will endorse anything that results in Gilles prancing around in a towel or briefs—again, as Ron Swanson says, “Please and Thank You.”

Stub: Well, it looks like the show runners for Dancing With The Stars saved the guiltiest pleasure of guilty pleasure week for last! Unlike The Rib, I know what’s going on in the world and had seen this stupid dance and heard this stupid song more times than I can count, which is one more time than I ever wanted (I watch Ellen, after all). That said, I loved this routine. It was silly, but danced well. The synchronized parts of the dance were fairly good. As for Gilles, his performance has me rethinking my entire worldview. This indulgent team dance deserved to be scored higher.

 

The Wine

2009 North Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc Reserve, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

2009 North Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Franc

We picked this bottle up blind at a tasting room off the interstate sometime last winter. I’m glad we did! In my opinion, this is one of the two red wine varieties Virginia winemakers should be focusing on (along with Petit Verdot), so a blind buy of a Virignia Cab Franc didn’t seem crazy.

On the nose, a slight smoke and licorice hit me immediately. I got some floral notes, but really spicy floral notes, not perfume-y notes that can sometimes be a dead ringer for Cab Francs. Oddly enough, my sniffer picked up something along the lines of bacon fat—which I admit is odd—but I couldn’t get it to be anything else. There were big, ripe berry notes in there, too.

On first sip, pepper and blackberry dominated. There was a slight licorice, too. Only a few minutes in, the fruit really came through—mostly blackberry and plum—and reminded me of the juiciest piece of fruit ever, bursting with flavor, but not overbearing. The tannins were strong, but still “feminine.”

On the whole, I really enjoyed this wine. I have to admit it is my first foray into the North Mountain Vineyards portfolio. Based on this tasting, I can’t wait to try more. I paid $22 for this bottle and I’m hoping I can get my hands on a few more of this limited production (196 cases) wine. It’s a winner!

 

Takeaways

The Rib: Brooke Burke Charvet must be eating a lot of McDonald’s lately, because both nights she looked like she belonged at a McDonaldland birthday party. On Monday night she looked like she was either going to a space hooker Halloween party dressed as a sexy 80s prison inmate or an escapee from the Hamburglar’s haram. On Tuesday night, Brooke, donning a purple dress, looked like the betrothed of Grimace (what the hell kind of creature was he anyway?). At least we did not have to endure those wretched fake bangs!

Stub: This was the best week of dancing yet. I really enjoyed the team dances and all but one or two of the individual performances impressed. I’m guessing next week will bring another “double elimination?” And it’s “Country Week!” I’m hoping we get some actual country music and not some “Nashville-ized” pop with Telecaster guitars, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m also very glad that Drew Lachey is gone, ’cause I’m not sure how I would react to another rehash of his “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” routine from Season 2; I bet we see a glimpse of the video anyway, though.

Until next week…

Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,

Stub & The Rib