Jazz, Jive and Quickstep!
Hector here! Dancing with the Stars Season 16, Week 2! Here we go again folks! Going down the roller coaster with mixed emotions! First week is like we’re going up and up. This week we’re alternately thrilled and downbeat, euphoric for some, sad for others. Jayne and I are going to break it down…so let’s get to it!
Kellie and Derek – Jazz
Hector: Euphoric, ecstatic, enervating, elysian, excellent! No use hiding my bias! Help me, Jayne, pick on Pickler for something not to like about this performance. Is being halfway objective a critical requirement? You say what’s bad! I won’t spoil my fun with finding any fault! Let me be happy and totally upbeat! This couple hit it out of the park! The ethereal fog, the stylized lovely extensions, the wondrous beauty of the human body in motion! Am I seeing a pro performance like the Whiz Kid did with Allyson Holker? An 8 from Len, what’s his problem? I don’t really care who wins, I’ve reached a pleasure zenith on week 2! So, what do they do for an encore, week 3? Kellie and Derek have a tough problem! I’m sure Derek will find a glorious answer, have us soar some more, still! Sure thing: I’ll be there to witness their 3rd, 4th, whatever! I want MORE! Like that scene in Harry and Sally, I’ll be having what she’s having! Miss Pickler dances as well as she SINGS!
Jayne: Pick on Pickler? Well Hector, I’ll have a hard time doing that. Not much about this lady to pick about. I found her and Derek’s performance to be quite amazing, even though just by viewing I would not have been able to say what style it actually was! This Jazz category seems to be all over the place, through no fault of the dancers! Never mind I didn’t understand the style category, you can’t deny the showmanship of their performance. The added glow sticks and fog machine set the stage for an artistic in-sync rhythmic adventure. Making the mark once again this week, looking forward to more creativity from this duo! As an aside, I always wondered if the fog machine made the floor slippery in any way. Check back next week for the answer to that one! =)
Aly and Mark – Quickstep
Hector: Can’t believe how much Aly has improved! Did I say we can trust Ballas the Sorcerer to work his magic? He can, he will, he did! Saw a lot of Mark’s dad in Mark tonight, the dapper, light footed dancing giant Corky Ballas (and his lithe and beautiful mom Shirley, too)! Quien lo hereda no lo hurta, as is said in Spanish, or liberally translated, The apple does not fall far from the tree! Remember, these are the parents that trained Derek, too! Aly delivered a light hearted, beautiful performance, but still, I could not take my eyes off a delightfully comedic Mark, dancing heartily and thoroughly enjoying it, dragging us along in the great fun of joyous dancing! A dramatic, comedic choreography, with their joyful rapid steps like they floated and carried us with them! Would I not love to dance with them, but just in my mind! I could never be that quick! The great gymnast is already showing us how good she can be, and how she can breeze through the Quickstep like a piece of cake!
Jayne: Aly and Mark succeeded in bringing the party to the dance floor! Their Quickstep was a hustle of snazz and sass! Aly improved on her expressions, not allowing Mark to have all the fun this week. She was also a formidable partner, keeping up with his pace. Receiving one point higher from each judge than the previous week, this couple continues to climb the scoring ladder. Hopefully their direction will continue to surge!
Zendaya and Val – Jive
Hector: The front runners aced it again! Zen and Val were light, cute and carefree! Seemingly effortless routine, quick and complicated steps, adorable performance! Zendaya has had amateur dance lessons, but she obviously has great natural capability! She has great extensions and can handle the footwork deftly and quickly! Val keeps delivering great choreography and doubles the fun with his special Val vibe! He’s making Zendaya reach new heights! Not only is she technically proficient, but with Val, this couple is creating lively and charismatic performances!
Jayne: I cannot believe that Zendaya hadn’t had on her high heel dance shoes before this week, at least just to break them in! Aside from the balance issues, were her feet not bleeding?! Oh, the joys of youth! And as much as I would have imagined her looking like Bambi on ice, she instead owned those shoes when she hit the dance floor. This girl has it all..she is truly gifted. Their long section out of hold really showed that Zen had the dance down and didn’t lose track of Val. Two of the judges increased their score from last week, leaving them in a tie with Kellie and Derek for the evening. Having now danced Contemporary and the Jive, I will be interested to see how she tackles something with a more Latin flair.
Jacoby and Karina – Jazz
Hector: This was a dance perfectly suited to Jacoby! He attacked it with great energy, passion and delight in dancing! It worked beautifully for both! The judges were right on their Jacoby comments, even Len! Jones doesn’t need refinement for this dance, but he showed on both occasions he’s not high on refinement! Len is telling J he better get some polish and elegance for the waltz and such! Was this jazz, though? How can this jazz concept compare to Derek? The jazz definition seems to me to be too broad and open. Again, I wonder how consistent can the judges be when they try to apply certain genre rules, when the definition is so undefined and broad?
Jayne: There was something about Jacoby that struck me the wrong way at first, but he is beginning to grow on me…slightly. That being said, I believe that he and Karina had a great showcase for his talent…the Jazz selection fit Jacoby’s style and talents. He seemed to be in his element here. No question he is great with lifts, but he was also able to run through the individual sections with skill while not in hold. Moving up in score from last week, we’ll have to keep an eye on them to see if their rise continues!
Andy and Sharna – Jazz
Hector: Why are the judges not more pleased and excited about Andy Dick’s dancing! I loved watching him! He was even better than the first time! These are show-worthy performances! He’s using his face, his body to create dancing comedy. I bet the viewers are enjoying his charismatic performances as much as I am. Yet all the judges care about is whether their little rules are heeded! They lose the forest for the trees! We need some showbiz pizzaz to keep the public interest, avoid boredom and raise the ratings! A little exercise on whether the dance genre was rightly depicted, and all the rules score keeping do not an interesting dance make. Besides if they are gonna go by the rules, they should be consistent! Do the judges think the public does not notice that the “lift” rule is applied capriciously? That the genre definition is so undefined that it seems to us the judges are not being fair but capricious! There is not one parameter where official judging has been consistent, which is very confusing! Getting back to Andy, I thought this was such a total and complete performance, with attention to concept, costume and detail. Andy and Sharna rocked!
Jayne: This routine was my favorite of the night. Fun and exciting! Sharna set the stage for what she is going to become known for…choreography and costumes. The look and feel of this dance was new and refreshing. Andy brought the goods and showed us personality, along with lovely steps. He appeared more confident yet still stunned when they were declared safe. I hope the judges and voters agree to allow Andy to continue to appear. His personal journey as well as growth aptitude for dance is keeping me tuned in.
Sean and Peta – Jive
Hector: I find this guy Sean quite the charmer! He was so not depending on his hunkiness, just making a real earnest effort to put in a good dancing performance! It worked for me! Apparently not as much for the judges, who again keep focusing on technique over performance. One point I consider when evaluating a dancing couple is does one catch my attention more than the other? Or is it both? I found Sean’s performance so strong and appealing I was more pleased to watch his honest jive over Peta’s pro antics! Sean may not be a polished natural dancer, but he has true performing charisma. One likes him! If he keeps improving as much as he did over last week, working on his footwork and timing, he may have a fighting chance!
Jayne: Sean and Peta’s Jive seemed to work well for them. Although I thought this performance was better than last week, I still have yet to be excited about what they are providing. I would really like to see them do something to stand out and break themselves out of the middle of the pack. Sean has a winning personality, a likability…and I want to like him! But so far, as a dancing pair, I just haven’t been won over.
Ingo and Kym – Quickstep
Hector: Yes, they have much improved over last week! Quickstep is more suited for him, as it requires a pattern of mostly hold that he can learn & follow, then work on posture, technique and polish! The disastrous contemporary experiment was a violent imposition thrust upon him! A beginner will look lost and ridiculous, and so he did – last week! Not now though! He and Kym did pretty well! Very dapper and dignified!
Jayne: Here was our opportunity to see Ingo in a more traditional dance. Interestingly enough, he and Kym garnered the same judges score as the previous week. Ingo and Kym are a striking pair and I believe that given time, they will continue to improve. I had prior conceptions of his ability due to his athletic prowess which in the first week was difficult to determine. I’m looking forward to something with a Latin flavor, as well as a Waltz…Ingo just has that romantic leading man look about him and I think it’s something that would help pull them out of the middle of the pack, given he has command of the technical aspects.
Dorothy and Tristan – Jive
Hector: I was so distressed at Dorothy and Tristan’s 2nd performance! My favorite performance on the first week going down, down, down! What happened? No attack, no flame, did not deliver! Len’s harsh words were sadly, right! Many mistakes not as good, said Bruno! Lose the fear, you have a great quality of movement, Carrie Ann adds. All three were correct! It seems they just added more grief and terror to our lovely Dorothy! Yes I found the routine tame, hesitant, lacking security! Was she scared to death because of her back injury or was she terrified of not having the health to live up to expectations? Maybe both! So sad, she was so inspiring! America’s eternal sweetheart! Such radiance and luminosity! It filtered into that first memorable performance! It was not to last, as we learned of her decision to leave on the results show! OK love! Sad what could have been. But we had a nice sample! Sad to say goodbye to such a class act!
Jayne: Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a Tristan fan. And this season with Dorothy, I was really feeling like he was going to have opportunity to stay in the competition for quite awhile. Given that I am a fan, I keep up with Social Media information and online articles and such. It became apparent that Dorothy had sustained an injury, but just how serious was difficult to say. After watching the performance Monday night I knew that things were unfortunately on the serious side. Once it was made known of the injury, it was said that the couple had only been able to get in two days of practice. There is no way they could be competition ready within that amount of time while also nursing an injury. If Dorothy had chosen to remain in the competition, it would not be at any strong type of level. Dorothy made the right choice in stepping down. It allowed the other dancers another week of opportunity to keep striving and growing, and her personal health must really take precedence. She will be missed, as I felt she was a bright light and well loved by everyone. I was happy though, to see that even with their low scores, the fans DID manage to keep them out of the bottom. We REALLY wanted to see Tristan. Oh, and Dorothy of course. =)
Wynonna and Tony – Quickstep
Hector: Will Wynonna gain enough self-confidence and break out dancing her heart out? If she does, she has a lot of good will stored in the viewing public, she has so much charisma! She didn’t do it (break out) 2nd time around, but she more or less slipped through! Not a disaster, not a memorable Quickstep! She’s crying too much – bit of sympathy in that yes! But what we want is for her to deliver the goods like a scintillating badass mama! No tears, no excuses! Just project that big hearted personality and put it into dance! Like your champion Kirstie Alley, will Wynonna metamorphose like Kirstie did? I sure hope and pray she does! Go Wynonna! Do whatever Tony says! She has the perfect and nicest possible partner, reigning champ Tony Dovolani.
Jayne: I’m happy to see that Wynonna is hanging in there. Some may have wanted to dismiss her at the start, but I’m happy to see that she is proving them wrong. Quickstep is a dance that requires stamina to be able to carry the tempo and movement throughout the entire dance. I believe it was a great accomplishment for Wy to pull off this performance this early in the competition and to remain steady by receiving the same score as last week. Tony pulled out all the stops in their costumes and the couple provided a fun and decent dance.
Lisa and Gleb – Jive
Hector: With glam surnames like Vanderpump and Savchenko, I hate to use their first names. They were a lot more in sync in this second performance, looser and more fun-loving. Not clicking yet, though! These two are so individually charismatic, the Joan-Collins-revival Vanderpump with the hunky Tom-Cruise look-alike Savchenko! If they should merge their charismatic presence into one dancing couple, wow!
Jayne: I expected Lisa and Gleb to be in the bottom since the beginning of the season. Lisa is the type that is cast more for her personality as opposed to any ability they suspect may be achieved. With that being said, I have been impressed by her work ethic and her attitude. She is class and has fun doing it. Gleb is certainly not shy at expressing his personality and giving us opportunity to get to know him better. Although they were in the bottom two this week, I’m not counting them out yet. And for how ever long these two stay around, I certainly will enjoy watching them.
Victor and Lindsay – Jive
Hector: Yes, they have youthful energy sweet projection, great flashing smiles! This all helps the dancing and gains votes, but still missed steps, lack of rhythm, too slow, not with the music? Better shape up Victor or you’ll be shipped out! Not a lot of improvement over that first performance! Plus, beware, D.L. Hughley is improving!
Jayne: So, Victor was one of the dancers I picked prior to the show airing to be one to watch. Even with Lindsay being a newcomer, I still felt that Victor had what it took to move them along in the competition. Being in the bottom two this week, and very possibly the actual bottom, and could have gone home if not for Dorothy stepping down, I’m still not quite ready to give up on them yet. There is a lot of potential there. Victor comes across as an enthusiastic performer, but I think the biggest concern they face is not so much their technique or connection between each other, but a solid fan base. It may be lack of votes due to not enough fans that strikes them out as opposed to lack of votes over their performance.
D.L. and Cheryl – Quickstep
Hector: Yes, he improved a lot! Quickstep doesn’t seem like his cup of tea, and he not exactly put on the Ritz, but hey he did it! And he didn’t flub much! Bit wooden, bit stiff! But he did follow the routine in happy quick little tidy steps! A funny guy, but unlike Andy, his dancing’s not fun! I don’t predict a lasting DWTS life, but one can never tell just exactly how the public will react!
Jayne: I like D.L., for the most part. I think sometimes personality-wise he doesn’t come across on camera as intended…like he’s not in sync with the audience. He’s just a little bit off. But, he is improving in his dance skills and that’s what we like to see. He still needs to loosen his body up some, he seems awfully restrained for a comedian. That being said, he was not in the bottom two, so it’s anyone’s game still at this point. Week 3 should give us a little more indication as to how he is fairing in the overall competition.
Well, that’s it for this week, folks! New dances on Monday. Remember, it’s up to you to vote for your favorites!