Fortunately, we didn’t lose power during “Superstorm Sandy,” so the Dancing with the Stars actually ended up on the DVR—but I had to watch this one solo due to The Rib being super-important and having to report to super-important people for work. Being that we’ve been together for at least 9 ½ Weeks (it’s been a little longer than that, but a certain type of passion still burns hot—I know: Aww! or Eww! depending on your perspective, I suppose…), I figured the best way to report on last night’s dancing performances was to give my thoughts on each dance and take a stab at what The Rib would have said about each performance. Here goes…
Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd
Cha-Cha-Cha (Judges’ Score: 27.5; Cumulative: 84/90)
The Rib: Wow! Nice costume, Gilles! I know I’ve quoted Ron Swanson several times in recent weeks, but once again, I said: “Please and thank you!” before the dance even began! There should be a law against this much hot on the dance floor at one time! I certainly “felt like a woman” after watching that dance! Not my favorite dance I’ve seen G-eta perform (maybe because I hate that song), not the best Cha-Cha-Cha I’ve ever seen, but it was pretty to watch! As usual. And again, if I smoked, I would have taken an early-in-the-episode cigarette break…
Stub: Well, every woman in America got what they wanted from Gilles last night—a see-through shirt. Congrats, ladies! This certainly wasn’t the best thing I’ve seen this couple do on the dance floor, but there was a fluidity and sexiness to it that I found appealing. But the fact that it reminded me of that Saturday Night Live bit where the French Kids dance at each other in the cafe, I figure it was a bit over-scored…unless those kids can dance way better than I think…
Sabrina Bryan/Louis van Amstel
Rumba (Judges’ Score: 30 Cumulative: 88.5/90)
The Rib: This little firecracker brought the sexy tonight! Sabrina and Louis even showed flashes of actual chemistry! The Mouse has really gotten its money’s worth out of her over the last two weeks! For once, she didn’t “over-dance” during this great little Rumba—but it wasn’t better than Shawn and Derek’s Rumba from last week.
Stub: Emotional video package aside, this Rumba was nice! It was moving, lyrical, and just—well, beautiful. I agree with The Rib, though—not sure it was better than Shawn and Derek’s offering last week, but it had me mesmerized from start to finish. Sabrina looked great, danced a beautiful solo to open the routine, and showed some nice vulnerability and strength here. I can’t disagree with three “10s,” but it highlights the underscoring of Shawn and Derek’s Rumba from last week.
Kelly Monaco/Val Chmerkovskiy
Tango (Judges’ Score: 27 Cumulative: 78.5/90)
The Rib: This song sucks! Kelly’s tango seemed a bit rushed to me and didn’t have that “stiffness” that makes this dance “pop.” Given last week’s score, I think Kelly should start packing her trailer this afternoon.
Stub: I agree with The Rib—this Tango was a little bit of a mess. It just didn’t come together well. I have seen “Gone With The Wind” and this dance was no “Gone With The Wind;” however, Kelly may have the opportunity to go where the wind blows her following tonight’s elimination show.
Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani
Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 29.5 Cumulative: 86/90)
The Rib: This was a nice little Viennese Waltz. Melissa floated across the floor and hit some amazing lines. Like Stub, I’m waiting to see her “break out” a bit, but this dance was more than enough to keep her in the ballroom for next week.
Stub: I loved this Viennese Waltz! I kinda feel like this was a “breakout” dance for Melissa. She’s just so fluid, beautiful, and expressive on the dance floor. I hope this isn’t “too little too late,” but The Rib is right—Melissa will stick around for next week after last night’s dance(s).
Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough
Cha-Cha-Cha (Judges’ Score: 28 Cumulative: 84.5/90)
The Rib: As Len says: “Too much ‘messing about!’” This was a step backward (see what I did there?) for Shawn from last week. Shawn had great leg extention, but I felt like her hip action was a little light. That solo wasn’t “stiff,” it was just lacking. She’ll be fine for next week, but this Cha-Cha-Cha was far from her best.
Stub: I just didn’t like this Cha-Cha-Cha a whole lot. The Rib is right—Shawn’s legs were amazing, but this dance didn’t really deliver. While I sympathize with her over reinjuring her knee, simply throwing a few gymnastic floor exercise moves in there does not a dance solo make. That said, I’m still of the opinion that Shawn is the celebrity dancer to beat and I’m confident that next week’s “fusion dance” will not only put her back at or near the top of the leaderboard number wise, but also back at the top of the leaderboard in our hearts…
Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Rumba (Judges’ Score: 27.5 Cumulative: 82/90)
The Rib: Oh, I’m sure Stub loved this one! “Big Sexy” brought “the sexy,” even though “the sexy” isn’t quite as “big” as it was when the season started. This was easily Kirstie’s best dance and will likely save her from elimination. Too bad for Kelly…
Stub: Wow! Rebecca Howe anyone? To quote The Rib (via Ron Swanson): “Please and thank you!” Pretty sure this dance proved what I always say: a cougar never disappoints! I really liked this dance. And while I’m a mark for a cougar, Kirstie has objectively come into her own on the dance floor this season. I’m not sure she’ll last past next week, but this amazing Rumba, combined with a larger fan base, will likely cause Kelly to use the proverbial “Country Week” boots for the purpose they were made—walking out of the ballroom.
Apolo Ohno/Karina Smirnoff
Viennese Waltz (Judges’ Score: 30 Cumulative: 86.5/90)
The Rib: While I could have done without this particular song, the Viennese Waltz was Apolo’s best dance of the season. He and Karina flowed across the dance floor, although he seemed to dance a bit small at times, failing to fully open up his chest. He may end up in the bottom three tonight, but this effort should guarantee him a spot in next week’s show.
Stub: I enjoyed this Viennese Waltz from Apolo and Karina and totally agree with The Rib—his best dance this season. Not sure it deserved a “30,” but it was very good. You should all know by now that Apolo’s not one of my favorites, but that Olympian ability to step up (pun intended) when it counts has really come out over the last few weeks.
Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke
Foxtrot (Judges’ Score: 26.5 Cumulative: 82.5/90)
The Rib: What this dance lacked in technique, Emmitt more than made up for with his beaming smile and infectious charm. It was decent, but far from his best. The solo seemed disconnected from the rest of the dance. This wasn’t a great Foxtrot, but it sure was entertaining!
Stub: What the hell? That solo was crazy—not in the best way dance technique-wise, but entertainment-wise! I agree with The Rib—Emmitt has given us better dance performances, but coupled with the viewer vote, this Foxtrot-like dance will prove more than enough to keep him in until next week.
2 Bonus Points Go To: Kirstie & Maks
Stub: I decided that The Rib and I would have similar thoughts on this one, so I won’t even attempt to differentiate our analysis. This dance was a hot mess from the get-go (or “git-go,” as it were on “Country Week”)… I had a hard time keeping up with what was happening. And a few of those solos looked like the couples were “playing chicken with a train” themselves. While Kirstie gave us a fun little break (that was danced fairly well), I think the judges were being a bit generous. As much as I hate to admit it, the group dance bonus points should have gone to Kelly and Val or Apolo and Karina.
2009 Chateau de Cruzeau, Bordeaux, France
This is a nice Bordeaux blend (Cabernet Sauvignon- 55%, Merlot- 43%, Cabernet Franc- 2%) from the Pessac-Léognan appellation. The Rib and I have enjoyed several bottles of the 2005 vintage over the last couple of years, and the 2009 did not disappoint—even with a quick “pop and pour.”
On the nose, dark fruits were immediately noticeable—blackberry and cherry mostly. There was also a slight oak, some cream, and a nice spice (mostly anise).
The palate brought the fruit (again, black cherry and blackberry). The cream and spice came through, too. There were also some earthy notes in there, but they lessened a little as the wine sat in the decanter for a while. The acid was a bit sharp on the first sip, but this wine came off as very well-integrated after only a few minutes open. The mouthfeel was soft and elegant, but this wine held up to and paired beautifully with a grilled medium rare/medium beef filet.
For $25, the 2009 Chateau de Cruzeau is a steal. This wine could use a little cellar time, but with a proper decanting (4-6 hours), it drinks well right now—even “popping and pouring” worked out well for us. I’ll be stocking our cellar with several bottles of this wine.
Stub: I’m going with a single final analysis here, too. I was surprised by a few things: 1) It took way longer into the show than I expected to have Drew Lachey’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” performance from Season 2 explicitly mentioned; and 2) There were no cast members from the freshman ABC drama “Nashville” in the ballroom to promote their show on Dancing with the Stars “Country Week” (you can see my thoughts on that show here). Very odd from the network that wrote the book on “synergy.”
I was also not surprised by several things: 1) Drew Lachey’s “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” was mentioned; 2) the “country” music was in fact the Nashville-ized pop that has come to represent the genre; and 3) Taylor Swift will be performing on tonight’s results show. Will “Brad and Carrie” be there to introduce her? We’ll have to wait until 8/7 Central to find out…
As for the actual dancing, I think Kelly’s second turn in the ballroom will come to an end this evening. She’s brought us some great routines and exceeded our expectations, but it seems that she may have checked out this week. Her low scores from last week, combined with Kirstie’s fan support, will likely be her ultimate undoing. Now git!
Until next week…
Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,