Old – DWTS 10-18-10

Each week brings a different couple to my attention. Yet there is starting to be a consistent win vibration to several of the teams: Brandy and Maks, Jennifer and Derek and in the judges’ eyes Rick and Cheryl and Audrina and Tony.

Brandy & Maks. Quickstep. My mark 8+
Wonderful quality. Brandy was more relaxed and confident. She glowed! The dance was quite engaging and Maks put such nice touches in it – a playfulness, the natural and vivacious beginning, and the blossoming relationship between the two of them. It looked like Maks has gained a new perspective of Brandy and personally, I like this new gentler side to him.

Brandy needs a bit more articulation in her body – more crispness – for me to give the team a 9 but I’m rooting for these two since last week’s breakthrough. I love to watch a team grow before my eyes and I’m always a sucker for the celeb underdogs like Brandy, who seems to have connected to a new sense of confidence, worth and presence.

Florence & Corky. Tango. My mark 6.
I have to admit I have some difficulty enjoying their dancing so if you’re a Florence Henderson fan you won’t like what I have to say. She walked a lot of this dance at the same sort of pedantic tempo. The music as much of a favorite as it may have been, was an odd tango and didn’t lend itself easily to Latin flair. It didn’t feel like a tango.

Florence lacks finesse and sometimes doesn’t know how to place a foot and the choreography sometimes doesn’t flatter her. She often looks slow or frantic. If I look at her upper body I’m less distressed. There were moments when she flowed and looked elegant, when the steps were medium tempo and Corky led her about the stage. I just don’t enjoy this couple and it’s unfortunate.

Kurt & Anna. Rumba. My mark 9.
He’s a big lug sometimes but this dance was so entertaining, bubbly and so well danced by this beginner that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I almost gave them a 10. He’s so at ease and charming and Anna is so cute with him. Her nose twitch fit her and added magic. Their interaction and this nuanced dance truly bewitched me.

Audrina & Tony. Rumba. My mark 7.
She has beautiful movement and line and I can see she’s worked on her technique. Unfortunately, the dance itself lacked a spark and I wasn’t very moved by it. She improved and she’s now articulating her feet and hands. I saw a lot of stopping and starting with a lack of flow. Whether that’s Tony’s choreography or how the dance got pieced together, I can’t say. What I feel however is that Audrina never really let herself go or let herself love the dancing, love the music, love dancing with Tony. If she can get that with all the improvements I saw, then we’ll be taken in and involved. I want to be transported. Let’s see if they can achieve that.

Kyle & Lacey. Foxtrot. My mark 7.
I think this Angel’s number was a spoof and for this rather odd foxtrot soundscape, Kyle danced well. It was smooth and technically sound and he kept his character and performance quality throughout. At moments they were funny. However, I didn’t really “get” the dance and wasn’t taken in. It seems to me it was the choices made from the music to the steps to his wig. I gave them a 7 because I thought Kyle’s technique and performance deserved an 8 while the choreography and concept were a 6.

Rick & Cheryl. Rumba. My mark 7.
He danced it fluidly and I saw rumba. Yet my expectations have been high from the moment he appeared this season. Rumba can be boring or it can be love poetry. This dance held nothing special choreographically. I kept feeling the dance was so square, even and unnuanced. Nothing zinged, sparkled, or surprised me. This made me wonder what was going on. Cheryl seemed to be dancing without a partner sometimes. I focused on her and then went to him and there appeared to be some kind of disconnect. If he can engage with Cheryl and she can achieve a sense that she belongs with him, they may move back into being contenders.

Bristol & Mark. Jive. My mark 6.
Great attempt and Mark danced his butt off. I think the monkey suits could have been worn the entire time. She’s slow though graceful and natural. She doesn’t know how to articulate at all. The dance fell apart as soon as she took off her costume. The costume allowed her to have fun. Without it, her face went blank and I noticed things that I don’t want to focus on – like her weight or her blank look which this time implied she’d forgotten the choreography.

Jennifer & Derek. Foxtrot. My mark 10.
YES! Loved the styling – so perfect, so beautifully danced and so 50s T.V. Not only well-danced but the choreography had the brilliant subtle nuances that are Derek’s forte. The way each of them held and used their hands – that attention to detail – set them apart and established the period for the dance. I have no idea how Jennifer achieved the “held in” sparkle she had. Wonderful – I really enjoyed it and am glad I recorded it so I can watch it again.