Dancing With The (All-) Stars Week 2: 2009 Maipe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina

Week 2 performances are down and we saw a little Jive, a little Quickstep, and a little in-between.

The Dances

Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani

Jive (Judges’ Score: 23.5)

The Rib: Melissa’s cheerleader background really comes to the fore in the Jive—expected a “hurkie” at the end! It was a good performance, but she seemed to be “run off her feet” a few times. Based on later dances, her scores were a little high.
Stub: While this Jive seemed a bit imprecise at times, I liked the dance a lot. Melissa is an absolute “girl next door” doll. I liked the transitions, the tricks, and the overall picture. And I wouldn’t have minded a “hurkie.” Just sayin’.

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 18)

The Rib: Bristol’s dancing was better than that horrid song and disaster of an ending! Still, I don’t think it was good enough to keep her around. It may be a tight one between her and Drew Lachey, depends on the “swing vote”—see what I did there? A little political humor.
Stub: I didn’t hate this dance. As a matter of fact, I kinda liked it, although it wasn’t really a quickstep per se. She did seem to be a little behind the music and missed a step or two here and there, but those hips of hers were moving! If “shaking it like a Democrat” means anything, Bristol may be the beneficiary of what The Rib calls the “swing vote.”

Helio Castronieves and Chelsie Hightower

Jive (Judges’ Score: 23)

The Rib: Incredible “kicks and flicks!” His technique is top-notch, and they look great together. Solid performance!
Stub: I agree with The Rib: this dance was nice with brilliant technique. However, I felt it lacked a bit of content. Helio and Chelsie do look nice together and this dance was charming as hell.

Apolo Ono and Karina Smirnov

Quickstep (24.5)

The Rib: Great all around performance with really nice footwork! Karina’s arms are awesome! Take note, Shawn: that’s how one wears yellow!
Stub: This dance was full of energy and Apolo had great posture and near perfect footwork. A nice performance, but I’m beginning to think I’m not the biggest Apolo fan.

Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel

Quickstep (Judges’ Score 26)

The Rib: Black Betty? Really? Who is making the set list—a 60 year-old stoner? Is Harold Wheeler having flashbacks? I must say, however, that it worked and worked well. Sabrina’s quickstep had more speed, precision, and drive than Apolo’s! Second best dance of the night!
Stub: Wow! Loved the music juxtaposed with the dance. Great footwork, posture, and overall feel. And that ending really caught my attention—not exactly sure what it was. Best dance of the night…to that point.

Kirstie Alley and Maks:

Jive (Judges’ Score: 21)

The Rib: Thank goodness for the “self help” vote or Kirstie might be looking at the business end of the “bottom two.” She barely picked up her feet! “Big sexy” ain’t gonna keep her around for that long if her dance quality doesn’t improve! Tonight, she looked like she ate Uma Thurman’s character from Pulp Fiction—after the epi pen brought her back to life.
Stub: Sorry, but this old broad still looks great. Maybe it’s the nostalgia for classic TV shows. The sultry stuff was great—I’ve actually had dreams that started off with Kirstie Alley dancing around a pole—turned out I was a stage manager for a production of Cabaret with Kirstie starring as Sally Bowles—and she was Faaah-bu-laahs! As for last night’s dance, it was a bit awkward and the footwork was virtually nonexistent. The Rib is right—”big sexy” will only carry her so far with this group of dancers, but she’s safe for the time being.

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 22.5)

The Rib: “Here kitty, kitty!,” says every man! Great look and fine enough dance, but I didn’t love it and thought it lacked chemistry, which was unexpected. This Quick Step was not nearly as good as Sabrina’s or Apolo’s.
Stub: I thought Emmitt was smooth and had some nice footwork. I’m pretty sure you have to be some kind of cool to pull off that suit Emmitt had on. While I liked the dance overall (as well as the fact that Emmitt was singing along with the music while he danced), his shoulders came up a bit here and there. A small [quick] step backward, but he’ll be fine.

Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya

Jive (Judges’ Score: 22.5)

The Rib: Anna’s costume was smokin’ hot! I am guessing Jonathan asked her to bring that one home, you know, for church on Sunday—can I get an Amen? Oh yeah, and Drew danced fine enough—but then he mentioned that he lived in Ohio. I can’t decide if that gets the sympathy vote (no one should have to go back to Ohio) or underscores why he deserves to go home soon—not this week, but soon!
Stub: Agree with The Rib—I gave Anna’s outfit an 11 before the dance even started. This isn’t a short joke, but I really felt like Drew was “dancing small.” And he leapt again. I advised against this after last week’s performance. I was right. He may be in trouble this week.

Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 22.5)

The Rib: Again, Harold Wheeler, what are you smoking? First, Ram Jam, and now Radiohead? The performance quality was great, but Joey is gonna need the ‘N Sync vote to come out in force or it could be “Bye, Bye, Bye” sooner rather than later!
Stub: The music was the star here: “Creep” with a big band treatment? That was kinda cool. And weird at the same time. The dance was nice, but Len was right—it wasn’t the best dance ever, but Kym really plays to Joey’s strengths as an entertainer. They’ll be fine this week.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough

Jive (Judges’ Score: 25)

The Rib: The chipmunk always delivers fast and sharp but there were barely any kicks and flicks; I think they were WAY overscored.
Stub: This was a decent enough dance with some great synchronized movement, but I felt it lacked a bit of content and energy. That said, Shawn and Derek can go ahead and renew the weekly lease on their talent trailers.

Kelly Monaco and Val

Quickstep (Judges’ Score: 22)

The Rib: Eh… it was a fine enough dance; her head and neck were not good! She looked like she belonged on top of a four year-old’s birthday cake. I just don’t cotton to her at all.
Stub: Kelly’s Quickstep was just so-so for me. The hold was a little awkward (like the package before the dance when Kelly made Val don a bra filled with water balloons. What is this, Cinemax?). A “just enough” quickstep, in my opinion. I think they’ll make it through until next week, but a bottom three appearance tonight wouldn’t surprise me.

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd

Jive (Judges’ Score: 25.5)

The Rib: The good folks at Dancing With The Stars saved the best for last. This dance was bad ass!!!!! Peta’s outfit was awesome, and it was dedicated to his deceased papa…big points all the way around. Thanks, G-eta, for bringing us all closer to the realization that I have, in fact, picked the winner of this season’s mirror ball trophy. Of course, the use of this Queen song convinces me that Harold Wheeler did, in fact, find a little blue pill under this sofa cushion that he mistook for a TicTac.
Stub: Um, o.k. And thank you Mouse network! Hands down, the best dance o’ the night. Precision, style, and super-hottyness! This dance left me a little speechless.


The Wine

2009 Maipe Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina

2009 Maipe Cabernet Sauvignon

So why this wine? There’s always a reason for the choice, right? Yup.

Legend has it (or at least Wikipedia has it) that the Jive was introduced by Cab Calloway in 1934, so we naturally went with a Cab for tonight’s wine. Naturally.

I poured this Argentine Cabernet through the Vinturi into the decanter an hour or so before we tasted.

On the nose, I got some smoke/wood char and a little date or plum. The dark fruits ruled here, with a little black cherry coming through occasionally.

On the palate, this big ol’ Cab showed a lot of tannin and wood. Initially, the fruit on this wine was very sour black cherry. As it sat in the decanter, it smoothed out a bit. The black cherry prevailed, but notes of fig and maybe a little blackberry came through as well. It became more drinkable as it sat in the decanter. If one were inclined to vacuum seal a bit of this wine and have a glass the next day after lunch while writing a review of a dancing reality show, he or she might find this wine to be much better than the night before. Or so I’ve heard.

This is far from the best wine I’ve ever had, but considering a busy Monday necessitated pairing this bottle with a Freschetta Brick Oven Pizza, this wine did the trick. At $12-15, it’s not bad—especially if you have the patience to let it decant for a bit before drinking it—I would say 3-6 hours. I do recommend sipping the Maipe Cabernet with food, but I wouldn’t throw my best cut of meat on the grill for this bottle.



The Rib: Overall, the dancing was much better this week than last. I think Bristol is most likely on the bubble this week and may get back to being a “redneck woman” shortly. As for Brooke Burke’s dress this week, apparently, the designer is less for racy space hookers than racing matchbox cars, since the dress looked like someone glued Hot Wheels tracks to it!

Stub: The dancing was a bit better this week than last. And while Bristol probably should be the next to leave the ballroom, I’m pretty sure Drew Lachey will be making an early exit tonight. On the topic of Brooke’s dress, I was pretty sure she was on her way to be a bridesmaid in a “space wedding” after the show and wouldn’t have time to change beforehand.

Until next week…

Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,

Stub & The Rib

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