Dancing with the (All-) Stars: Weeks 7 & 8: The Show Must Go On…

 

Sorry about the delay in reporting on Week 7 performances. The Rib and I were both super-busy last week (you can see the fruits of my labor here, where I did a special tribute to the United States Marine Corps), election coverage dominated the airwaves and the interwebs (to include my CorkEnvy Town Hall 2012 before the election), and there wasn’t an elimination after last week’s Dancing with the Stars performance show, so we decided to combine the last two weeks of critiques into a “megapost” this week.

Given the length of today’s performance analysis, we’ll forego a formal wine critique this week with this caveat: we opened another two bottles of Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (2007 & 2008) last week to celebrate the 237th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps and they were (once again) fabulous! I can’t ever seem to come up with enough words for how great Fielding Hills wines are. If you ever get a chance to try them, do it!

The Dances

Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough

Paso Doble/Tango Fusion (Judges’ Score: 30)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 8)

Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 29.5)

Trio Samba w/Mark Ballas (Judges’ Score: 26)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 93.5

Shawn and Derek

The Rib: Shawn’s Paso Doble/Tango fusion was unreal; her Viennese Waltz was sublime, and her primal Trio Samba (although arguably light on Samba) was a work of art. Take one part chipmunk and one part badass athlete; add the faux “Devil’s threesome” element with Mark Ballas appearing in two of the last three dances; and you have yourself a sexy little firecracker that I am convinced is most likely to win this whole thing! I am beginning to think she may be unbeatable.

Stub: The Rib is 2/3-ish right: Shawn’s Paso/Tango fusion with stand-in partner Mark Ballas was stupid good; but the Viennese Waltz was a little too “strong” for my liking and the fact that I was thinking of puppies and kittens on death row (due to the song choice) probably didn’t help my liking of this dance; and the Trio dance was definitely great, but a Samba it was not—it was more of a “Macy’s Stars of Dance-” type performance. She’ll make it through to the semifinals, but Derek should know better than to go so far out of the box and save that type of awesome for the freestyle dance in the finals.

Apollo Ohno/Karina Smirnoff

Cha-Cha/Paso Doble Fusion (Judges’ Score: 27)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 6)

Tango (Judges’ Score: 29.5)

Trio Jive w/Sasha Farber (Judges’ Score: 29)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 91.5

Apolo and Karina

The Rib: Apollo’s guns have been blazin’ for the last two weeks, and Karina has looked ah-mazing! While there is no question that a fire has been lit under Apollo, he lacks the charisma to take it all the way. He dances very well, but I never feel it in my “happy places.” Sorry ladies, but Apollo may be on the bubble in the double elimination—if not this week, almost certainly next week.

Stub: Apolo’s Cha-Cha portion of the fusion dance was great, but the Paso was a bit rushed and not quite as sharp as it could have been, although his “Paso leap” was great. The zipline entrance for last night’s Tango was cool, but again, I felt like Apolo rushed this dance a bit and it wasn’t as “rigid” as it should have been. I will give him credit for hanging with a pro during his Trio dance, which was a “proper Jive,” but I agree with The Rib—he’s on the bubble this week. On a side note, I ordered a Red Metallic Catsuit inspired by Karina’s Jive costume as a stocking stuffer for The Rib (Shhh! It’s a surprise!). It’s good to be me…

Kirstie Ally/Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Quickstep/Samba Fusion (Judges’ Score: 24)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 4)

Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 27)

Trio Paso Doble w/Tristan MacManus (Judges’ Score: 24)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 79.0

Kirstie and Maks

The Rib: Well, when Kirstie goes home tonight, at least she will have done her best dance—the Viennese Waltz in honor of Veterans’ Day. She was elegant; she looked fantastic, and the song was perfect. However, I don’t think even her snow leopard (that’s two generations beyond a cougar!) fan base can save her when two out of three dances were that rough. Thanks for the laughs “Big Sexy,” but it is time to exit—stage right! Sorry, Stub, you will just have to survive off re-runs of Cheers.

Stub: Kirstie’s Fusion Quickstep was pretty good, but that Samba portion was a “hot mess” as the kids started saying a couple years back. Now her Viennese Waltz last night was great! She looked amazing, had some nice, flow-y arm extensions, and hit some damn fine lines. The Trio Paso was a cool concept and not altogether horrible, even if it was a bit light on content and lacked the obligatory “Paso sharpness.” This hot cougar may be number one in my heart, but she’s last on the leaderboard, and I’m guessing The Rib has nailed it: I’ll have to stick with Cheers reruns or reality programming to get my “Kirstie fix” after tonight.

Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovskiy

Cha-Cha/Foxtrot Fusion (Judges’ Score: 27)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 9)

Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 28)

Trio Jive w/Louis van Amstel (Judges’ Score: 28.5)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 92.5

Kelly and Val

The Rib: You all know by now that I am not the biggest Kelly fan—although I must admit she is a far better dancer than I gave her credit at the outset of the season. And while I did not like last week’s Cha Cha/Foxtrot or this week’s Viennese Waltz, I thought her Trio Jive was one of the best dances of the night. Kelly looked fantastic, and Louie brought some energy and personality that took her dancing to the next level. At least she got to execute a great dance before leaving the ballroom, which she is guaranteed to do either this week—most likely—or next. I guess Val will have to try to get a bit part on General Hospital—what? He already has—aahh, isn’t that cute? They are already planning how to spend time together once she gets the boot!

Stub: Kelly’s Fusion Dance was fine enough, but I didn’t feel it in my “happy places” (to borrow a phrase from The Rib). While we all know I’m still holding on to the hope that Melissa can somehow eek out a mirror ball trophy, Kelly got robbed on the Swing Dance Marathon—she and Val should have taken the full 10 bonus points. Kelly’s Viennese Waltz was the second best first-round dance of the evening. The Trio Jive with Louis was effin’ amazeballs! Len was right—it had the “F-Factor” for sure and was the second best Trio Dance of the night. Despite Kelly having “brought it” in the last couple of weeks, she’s on the bubble tonight. She should absolutely stay for next week’s semifinals, but there’s a good chance she will be joining Kirstie for a last dance by 9/8 central tonight.

Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd

Argentine Tango/Samba Fusion (Judges’ Score: 28.5)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 5)

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 29.5)

Trio Salsa w/Chelsie Hightower (Judges’ Score: 29)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 92.0

Gilles and Peta

The Rib: All I have to say after that “Top Gun“-inspired number is that I would like to be inverted! The last two weeks have been replete with shirtless numbers…well-played DWTS producers! Whoever wins the mirror ball trophy, the real winner is “Mrs. Gilles.” And as if G-eta isn’t enough pretty to make you consider taking up stalking as a hobby, they add Chelsea for the Trio Salsa? ¡Por Favor y Por Favor y Gracias! Added points for thanking U.S. troops for liberating France!

Stub: After that Fusion Dance, I found myself craving Kiwi Crepes. And a smoke. That was fantastic! Gilles displayed some brilliant footwork in last night’s Quickstep, but I felt like his left shoulder was a bit forward in hold. And that Trio dance? I needed a smoke before that Salsa even started! And another one after. I think it’s safe to say that Gilles will make the finals, even if he just stands in the middle of the dance floor shirtless while Peta gyrates around him.

Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke

Rumba/Samba Fusion (Judges’ Score: 27.5)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 7)

Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 28)

Trio Salsa w/Kym Johnson (Judges’ Score: 30)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 92.5

Emmitt and Cheryl

The Rib: Emmitt has what Apollo does not—charisma and style that captivates the audience. I love Emmitt as much as the next wife married to a good son of the Lone Star state, but great hip action can only get you so far. I think he was overscored on the Trio Dance; it didn’t stir me like Emmitt’s dances usually do. However, I do want to thank him for adding Kym to the mix last night in the salsa—that will give Stub “new material” to last him the next several weeks…think about it, folks!

Stub: While Cheryl nailed the choreography, making the Fusion Dance a true fusion of the two styles, and Emmitt did a great job of the bouncy/smooth transitions every eight counts, he did have the wrong hips going here and there. I liked the Viennese Waltz, which was charming (as always) and sweet. With maybe my two favorite lady pros on the floor, Emmitt’s Trio Salsa didn’t blow me away, but I liked it—a lot—The Rib may be right here… I’m pretty sure Emmitt is safe and will step it up a bit for next week’s semifinals after being accused of playing it safe the last couple of weeks. Nothing like a pep talk from a Moose to motivate, right?

Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani

Tango/Cha-Cha Fusion (Judges’ Score: 29)

Swing Dance Marathon (Judges’ Score: 10)

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 30)

Trio Paso Doble w/Henry Byalikov (Judges’ Score: 30)

Cumulative Score Week 7-8: 99.0

Melissa and Tony

The Rib: While I thought Melissa and Tony’s Cha-Cha/Tango was way overscored last week and did not think they should have won the Swing Dance Marathon, they redeemed themselves this week with two phenomenal dances. I think Melissa may be the only dancer that can give Shawn Johnson a run for her money. Even though the Paso Doble was the best dance of the night by far, Melissa playing the role of a Dominatrix? Really? The only thing less realistic would be seeing Shawn Johnson dressed in leather—although she does appear partial to that Devil’s Threesome…

Stub: I enjoyed Melissa’s Fusion, but I felt like the Cha-Cha lacked a bit of energy. Between the pre-dance video package and the post-dance skybox interview, it seemed that both Melissa and Tony were preoccupied last week, although that didn’t stop them from winning the Swing Dance Marathon (even though I personally think Kelly and Val should have edged them out). Bring on last night, though! Melissa and Tony nailed that Quickstep, which was hands-down the best first-round dance last night. And that badass Trio Paso was hot, Hot, HOT! Melissa is “girl next door” cute and dorky, but can pull off the sexy dominatrix bit, too? Please and thank you! Best Trio Dance of the evening, though I could have done without the screams in the middle break. It appears that Melissa may be peaking at the right time and has a legitimate chance of challenging a certain “sexy chipmunk” for the mirror ball trophy this season.

Takeaways

Well there it is. It seems that both The Rib and I think Kirstie, Apolo, and Kelly are on the bubble tonight. We both agree that Kirstie is a lock to get called to the floor for a final dance; The Rib thinks Kelly is out, too; I think Apolo will be the other ousted celebrity dancer tonight. We shall see soon enough who gets the opportunity to dance in next week’s Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars semifinals.

Until next week…

Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,

Stub and The Rib