Who will be the champs for this season of Dancing with the Stars, and could we be in for a surprise upset? With Maria and Derek rising, Donald and Peta and William and Cheryl going strong, and Katherine and Mark, beautiful yet lacking consistency, anything could happen. Although Roshon got tens and Melissa had her strongest dances, I expected them to go off this time. Why? Roshon because of fan base and Melissa because she was the weakest dancer. So glad these two left with a strong showing though. They performed their hearts out.
Donald & Peta. Tango. My mark 9.
What incredible intensity! These two are the dynamic duo. I found myself riveted when I watched Donald from the waist up. If I had only seen that they would have gotten a ten. He had a great frame and held it throughout. He was so in sync with Peta. Then I watched his legs and didn’t quite know how to judge this because his legs didn’t seem strong as far as attack and precision. He’s so long legged and slender so I thought that was contributing. While I was amazed by how he controlled his kicks and his powerful persona, I kept getting this reading of incongruity from his lower torso. This reading ran the gamut from Peta seeming too short for his comfort in partnering (but she isn’t really) to him seeming to take steps that were too large for him. Since I tend to see feet in ways that others don’t and I wanted to be fair, I really didn’t know what to do. I have some leeway here because I’m not a “real” judge and I’m not on the show – lol – so I didn’t give an 8.
Maria & Derek. Viennese Waltz. My mark 9.
Romantic, moving, fluid and well-danced. I think as good as Maria is she could be more in it, and maybe she’s in it as deeply as is possible for her since I often sense this underlying fun-streak in her that makes her seem – at least to me – incapable of deep, reverence to the moment. Also, her injury may keep her somewhat aware of pain or discomfort and that too can keep her from being totally immersed and focused on the movement. At this point in the season, however, I’m not sure that dancers can have that kind of excuse and win the championship. But this was a beautiful dance and Maria and Derek created a lovely and evocative mood. The trick for Derek now may well be to use this mischievous imp persona even in the lyrical dances to help Maria sparkle and entice – hint hint.
Katherine & Mark. Viennese Waltz. My mark 8.
Enjoyed the long fluid section in hold. Katherine was lyrical and beautiful though there were a few bumps at the end. I keep feeling that Katherine doesn’t let herself go and maybe she can’t. I sense something in her that I want to see more of – a vulnerability, a spirituality. I think though that Katherine hasn’t danced long enough to be able to share that yet. She does create beautiful lines and has great technique. I would have thought waltz would be her vehicle – and her breakthrough dance. Not sure why it wasn’t except that there might be some underlying worry or tension Katherine has that gets in the way of dancing more freely and exuberantly. I actually am surprised by my next comment – but – I’d like to see Dmitri Chaplin choreograph a lyrical piece for Katherine and Mark before the season ends. There’s something about a different sensability or ability to create a mood piece for them that I want and as wonderful a choreographer as Mark is he may not be able to find it.
William & Cheryl. Foxtrot. My mark 10.
William had the extra something – that razzle dazzle that I hadn’t yet seen on May 7th. Until one sees it, it’s nearly impossible to say to others that this is what they’re missing. I doubt it can be taught though so I guess it’s tough luck for other competitors. It’s an extra sparkle – it’s technique and power and performance. It’s also heat. Kudos to William and Cheryl – you truly gave us your all and embodied foxtrot.
Donald, Peta and Karina. Jive. My mark 9.
A few subtle timing issues but oh so enjoyable and exciting to watch a threesome! Donald sparkled and thrilled in it. He sustained tempo, dynamics and partnering the two gyrating and gorgeous pros. Loved it!
Maria, Derek and Henry. Samba. My mark 9.
Originally I gave them a ten and said another 11 as a mark. This number was so fun and so Maria. Derek again captured Maria’s bubbly persona, creating at the same time an ingenious performance showcase for the three dancers. I saw no slip ups so can’t mention them. I saw samba in Maria’s upper body; however, there wasn’t much else that was samba stepwise, so I took 1 point off. Taking more off for such a fantastic number – choreography, performance and technique – would be wrong. I’d love to see that one again.
Katherine, Mark and Tristan. Cha cha. My mark 9.
This number started off so exceptionally as a ten. The black and white unified it and Katherine really exuded strength and personality. Unfortunately the wardrobe malfunction (that Katherine handled beautifully) put a damper on the rest of the piece. What else contributed to that? Well, I thought the three looked more riveting all in pants with the black and white theme. Her stripping into the dress didn’t really add much (and it certainly caused a problem). I felt the choreography (and music) went a bit long and the choreography didn’t sustain my interest. Also Katherine had problems with some of the turns and seemed off her legs as the piece continued.
William, Cheryl and Tony. Paso Doble. My mark 9.
Exciting, nuanced and attacked. William held his own. All three sustained the tension of Paso throughout. The out of sync part commented on Monday night I saw as a stop and start. I think Cheryl made a wise choice for this kind of dance to have two men, with her as the centerpiece. This number held my attention and I felt it to be quite strong.