This week the featured dances are for Latin, the Mambo, and for Ballroom, the Quickstep. In my opinion each dance has one element that is surprisingly harder than anything else:
– In Mambo, though the speed and quick turns are hard, what seems to be most difficult for both men and women is the hip action; it should be very loose and almost Shakira-like.
– In Quickstep, for the ladies, it is the head position. Like in most ballroom dances, the chin should be up, face turned away from the partner, neck elongated and shoulders down and relaxed. For the man in Quickstep, keeping the ‘frame’ perfect is most difficult, arms kept up and horizontal, partner firmly but lightly held.
Melanie Brown: Professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy seems to have found a way to work with the Spirited Spicegirl, and they did the quickstep very nicely.
Sabrina Bryan: Professional Mark Ballas and Sabrina quieted all murmuring speculation that she would disappoint in the ballroom portion of the contest with a fabulous quickstep. I was impressed with her handling of the head position; though it wasn’t perfect, it was very good.
Jennie Garth: Professional Derek Hough had some trouble with Jennie this week. The quickstep is not really an overly intimate dance, but she did seem troubled by the necessity for his leg to be between hers at times. She’s going to have to view this in a professional manner and forget that he’s a great deal younger than her. I think they paired them, despite the gap in ages, because he’s very slim, and to go with him they needed a slight woman. He would just have made Sabrina – better matched in age to him – look bulkier, because she’s a very strongly built girl, more athletic. Jennie and Derek did not do too badly, but then they had a devastating fall at the end. I felt bad for them, but they still pulled off decent marks.
Marie Osmond: She had her own rooting section of Osmonds this week, but didn’t really need them; professional Jonathan Roberts (Jonny and Marie, as she put it) and Marie did very nicely, I thought. What I appreciated about Marie was that she really committed to it and went for it completely, as far outside her comfort zone as this must be for a Mormon mom.
Jane Seymour: Professional Tony Dobolani has a great feel for his partner’s strengths. The question was, could the graceful lady get down and dirty with the mambo, and well, the answer is, not really. She made the mambo safe and pretty. I was feeling very critical of her at first for not exploiting the dance, but then I realized that some of her ‘carefulness’ likely has to do with her persistent back problems; mambo hip movements would not do too well for that.
Helio Castroneves: Professional Julianne Hough led the Brazilian driver through the mambo. I thought he might get the hip thing, (being Latin) but he was a little stiff. Still very good, though! Julianne is such a great choreographer that she makes their difficult routine look exciting.
Wayne Newton: I feel sorry for professional Cheryl Burke, I really do. In a Quickstep that now must be renamed the Sluggishstep, Newton drew the lowest score yet, a mere 15. He richly deserved it.
Albert Reed: Professional Anna Trebunskaya and Reed did the Quickstep. They did a good job and drew average marks. I’m still not overly impressed with them.
Cameron Mathison: Professional Edyta Sliwinksa had the tough job of teaching Mathison the mambo. For a soap actor, I thought it could be easier for him to get into and commit to the sexy hip movements, but he fell far short, to me. And then, in the taped piece, there was the very melodramatic ‘overwhelmed’ scene when he threw kind of a hissy fit over how hard it was to fit it all in to his schedule; that seemed straight out of a soap.
Floyd Mayweather: Professional Karina Smirnoff had to teach the lightning fast but uncontrolled boxer the quickstep. I was impressed by his advancement this week; he definitely took to heart judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s advice about treating his partner more gently, and Karina had nothing but praise for him.
Mark Cuban: Professional Kym Johnson got the ‘Cuban’ to mambo! He did very well indeed, and I’m not even a big fan of his. His upper body was much better than his lower body, and he’s really the only one of the men that got the requirement for more stillness in the shoulders.
Who surprised me: Mark Cuban; I was impressed by how he seemed to take the whole thing seriously. I continue to be impressed by Helio, and thought Marie did a great job.
Who disappointed me: Jennie Garth has so much potential, but she needs to get over her shyness. She’s an actress… use that!
Who should go home: Waaaaayne! Please, for the love of god, send him away.
Who will go home: I’m afraid for Floyd and Jennie this week.
Results tonight, and Queen Latifah is going to perform!