After the stunning revelation of Maria and Derek’s vampire Paso Doble, it was sad to say goodbye to Jaleel. Despite Dancing with the Stars’ duels and the attempt to keep good dancers on longer, stars with a fan base can manage to stay out of the bottom two and remain on the show. It’s true that Jaleel probably would have gone off shortly any way but I like to see the more talented stars like Roshon and Jaleel stay on longer rather than seeing a star to whom I gave the lowest score of the evening stay on due to fan votes. DWTS in some ways is still a popularity contest, I guess.
Katherine & Mark. Rumba. My mark 9.
Some stunning moments and exquisite lines. However, I thought this piece difficult musically for rumba style. The legato, sensuality and romance of rumba had to play against the running notes underlying the entire piece. Despite this, there were moments when I thought Katherine would break through her restraint – which I want so much for her to do to grow as a performer. She had a glow just about to carry her to a new level and yet never quite made it there. I may be wrong but I think the music, as glorious as it was, would be difficult for a seasoned dance artist to interpret to create transformative moments and Katherine doesn’t yet know how to do this with dance. I need to see more from her emotionally, and Mark needs to help her find the avenue through which to bloom.
I want Katherine to soar with it – sing it like a light beaming to lost souls. She has it in her.
Melissa & Maks. Argentine tango. My mark 7.
It had the passion of tango and some of the steps and I’m a fan of Melissa Gilbert actress too, but – a tango to Mozart? Yikes. I think Melissa gave her all as did Maks; however, the speed and much of the choreography made her look awkward and ungainly. If she and her fans knew about dance, she would know that. Her butt stuck out at times, ruining her line and posture. She looked as though she could barely keep up with Maks. Her performance unfortunately reminded me of a child wearing her mother’s high heels and then trying to run in them. All I could think was – am I glad I didn’t have to choreograph or dance to that music.
William & Cheryl. Viennese Waltz. My mark 10.
Exquisite. Full of feeling. William’s lines were beautiful. When I heard they were doing a Viennese Waltz, I couldn’t conceive of him doing it well so I was in awe at his performance. His ability to create mood – to bring emotion out of his body into the dance is profound and wonderful. The music in this case helped them and it’s the first classical piece of the evening that did. Cheryl really gave the dance all I was looking for choreographically. Well done.
Roshon & Chelsea. Argentine tango. My mark 8.
I saw Roshon’s attempt to bring the style and masculinity to this number and I thought Len and Bruno brought insight to Roshon’s weaknesses – which I saw as the choreography drawing attention to Roshon’s feet. What popped into my head was, “What large feet you have.” Roshon had trouble managing those feet this time in the flicks, twists and more dynamic use of the legs so his feet looked slow and he looked like he couldn’t articulate them well. He is a tad ungrounded and I think that’s coming from his hip and pelvis. He may be at a point agewise where he isn’t always able to make his body do what he wants – it happens to limber people and those still growing physically. I’d love to see these two practice Argentine tango some more to see how it improves though this might not be “his” dance.
Donald & Peta. Viennese Waltz. My mark 8.
When they waltzed face to face turning about the dance floor, I loved it and I thought the dancing was done well. When Donald used his arms solo as in the introduction, he didn’t have the innate sense of line or the knowledge to sustain slower adagio movements. Peta might work on those areas with him. I thought some of his other performances this season were stronger than this one.
Maria & Derek. Paso Doble. My mark 10.
Can I give them an 11? Woo hoo – that was fantastic on so many levels. So musical, dramatic and riveting! Plus the underlying humor – a vampire story for these two vamps – so original and Maria – wow – she sustained the strength and character of the music and style throughout. I don’t know how Derek did it but the choreography captured both their personalities in a fashion that made them seem like sneaky amigos. Amazing!
Team Tango. My mark 9.
Team Paso. My mark 8.