Tuesday, March 25, 2014

'Dancing With the Stars' - March Madness

First things first - surprise! Double elimination! Evil, "Dancing With the Stars." EVIL. Also, the double elimination could happen AT ANY TIME - they're sharing results throughout the show! Also, they are going to switch up the partners at some point.

They're really trying to change the format this season, which is not a bad thing. It kind of keeps us on our toes, even though it's a little weird. It worked tonight, but I hope they don't do anything too crazy later in the season.

Anyway ... on to the recaps!

Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke were immediately declared safe. Then they performed a jive to some kind of late-50s jive sort of song. The thing that Drew really has going for him is that he is really energetic and has a great personality and stage presence. He really uses his cool-dork persona to its full advantage. He wasn't perfect on his dancing - he was a little ploddy and just a tinge stiff - but overall he was just a lot of fun to watch. Len liked his mix of steps and fun, as well as the entertainment. He did encourage him to work on his footwork and posture. Bruno also loved the way he plays to the crowd, and that he covered his mistakes well. Carrie Ann thought it was a big risk, but really loved his vitality, even though he had some mistakes. Score: 21.

Then, Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater were declared safe, along with Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy and Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy. I approve! 

Next to dance were Danica & Val with a samba to "All Nite." Danica was probably a little too chipper and smiley for a super sexy samba with Val Chmerkovskiy (though I'd be smiling too, if I were dancing with an open-shirt Chmerkovskiy!), but she did a really wonderful job. Her steps seemed very good, although a few times she looked a little out of her depth. It wasn't the absolute most insanely compelling dance, but it was very good and quite sexy. Bruno said that she is doing well, but needs to get the details right. Carrie Ann thought it was very sexy and that she had some solid samba movements and techniques, even though she got lost. Len told her to keep going, and that it was "fantastico." Score: 24. 

Next was Billy Dee and Emma with a tango to the Peter Gunn theme. Billy Dee was more comfortable this week, and he definitely knew his steps better. He's never going to dance super fast, but he was having more fun (especially because he was dancing with not one, but three pretty young girls). I know he's never going to get great scores, but he was much improved! Carrie Ann thought Billy Dee handled the choreography well, but that he needs some more content in his dances. Len thought it didn't have enough attack, but he told Billy Dee to keep having fun. Bruno also enjoyed the dance. Score: 15. 

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy were up next with a swing dance to "Big and Bad" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It was super high-energy and very, very fun. They did a lot of throws and lifts, but I never felt like they were resting on that. There was a LOT of content in the dance, and all of their side-by-side dancing was pretty darn flawless. It was a really wonderful, fun dance, and I loved it! Len thought the dance was really great, and he also complimented the music (which was great!). Bruno thought it was an "extravaganza," though he saw some mistakes. Carrie Ann liked seeing Maks working so hard, as well as Meryl's athleticism. Score: 25. 

Then it was time for some more results! Amy Purdy and Derek Hough and Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas were safe. But Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov were sent packing! But first, they got to dance their cha-cha-cha to "Move Your Feet." It was really cute, and I'm sorry to see her go home. Diana isn't a great dancer, but she has personality, and I would have liked to have seen her get a few more weeks of dancing! Still it was not a big surprise - she just didn't have the fan base she needed!

Candace and Mark were up next with a rhumba to "Say Something." They're trying to manufacture drama with the fact that she doesn't want to do anything too sexy, which is fine even though it means no shirtless Mark Ballas (thank goodness she's not with a Chmerkovskiy). Still, I must say her dance got across what she wanted it to - sexy but not raunchy. It was a very, very passionate dance, and she did a wonderful job with her steps and with getting the emotions across. Carrie Ann thought it was too contemporary in styling, with less rhumba than she wanted in the dance - though she did love to watch her. Len did not like her arms, and thought it was a bit aggressive. He thought she did well overall. Bruno loved the fact that she danced from her heart, but thought there wasn't the continual motion that rhumba needs. Score: 21.

Next up were Amy and Derek with a swing dance to something very quick and kind of modern. Her biggest drama is that her legs could fly off when she dances, which has to be a new one on the Dancing With the Stars stage! I like that she has a sense of humor about it. Their dance was fantastic in its theatrics, as Derek's dances always are. She messed up once on an arm pass, but her footwork was great and her personality is nothing short of fantastic. It was a really fun dance! And her legs didn't fly off - bonus!!! Len thought it was amazing and well-choreographed. Bruno loved the dance, and Carrie Ann thought their synchronized movement was fantastic. Score: 24. 

More results were up next! Charlie White and Sharna Burgess and James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd were both declared safe. 

James and Peta danced next, with a salsa to "Follow The Leader." The dance was really good, and James had a great personality. He is also incredibly good-looking, which doesn't hurt either. Their dance was very cool and super sexy. It didn't have any big elements that were crazy-awesome, except a flip at the end, but it was solid and fun to watch. They're solidly in the middle of the pack, but it was really fun. Bruno said he "came out of his shell," and complimented his dancing as well as his abs. Carrie Ann really liked the salsa, and thought he joined the Sexy Dancer Hall of Fame. Len thought it was "full-on" and "full of attack," even though he lost some hip action. Score: 25.

Charlie & Sharna danced next with a tango to "Addicted to You." Charlie learned some arrogance from Maks, although he was still a little bit too much of a prim nerd. I'm liking Charlie though - he moves well, he's a good dancer, and he works really, really hard. His tango was another dance that wasn't too crazy memorable, but it was super solid and fun to watch. I really enjoyed it! Carrie Ann liked his command of the dance, and his power. Len thought it was a terrific number, but dinged him for breaking hold and, therefore, breaking the rules of the dance. Bruno loves Charlie when he's bad, and loved his killer instinct. Score: 25. 

NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani were up next with a jive to "Do My Thing." It was a really, really fun dance. NeNe was super lost on the actual jive content, though, esepcially at the beginning. She has the sass, and on the clubbier moves she gets it, but she was on her heels way too much and didn't get bouncy enough for a jive. It's not entirely her fault - she's a tall woman with a short partner, and she needs a better bra so she feels like she can jump up and down more - but I wish I would have seen a better jive from her. Len thought it was a cute routine, and said he hoped she's back next week. Bruno loved her sass, but said she needs to be sharper on the footwork. Carrie Ann thought it was fun, but that she needs bigger arms. Score: 21.

Next up was Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff with a salsa to something salsa-y and Latin. I felt like Sean was still kind of awkward and weird, but he is more comfortable this week with his moves. He did impress later in the dance, when he got some fancy footwork going. He's kind of inconsistent, because sometimes Sean is kind of ploddy and looks bored, but then suddenly he'll do something super light on his feet and get this happy little grin on his face. I am intrigued by Sean, and I hope he comes back next week. Bruno liked a lot of things, but said he needs to get his hips going. Carrie Ann thought his dance was very authentic, and liked his rhythm. Len thought it was a fun, good dance. Score: 21.

Finally was Cody Simpson and Witney Carson with a tango to "Yeah 3x." It was a very cool, traditional tango to a modern dancy song. I liked the interpretation of the dance a lot, and I love Cody's very loose, too-cool-for-school style. He moves very effortlessly - maybe too effortlessly at times - but he projected strength and arrogance along with his coolness in this dance. It was really, really solid in my eyes. Carrie Ann loved the way that he stylized things, and that the dance came together well, even though his frame wasn't perfect. Len thought it could have been tighter, but he was impressed by his fitting a moonwalk into the tango. Bruno thought it was hypnotic at points, and really liked the content. He did think the frame was a problem, but overall really liked the dance. Score: 22. 

So that was the end of the dancing ... time for another elimination! The only people in danger were NeNe and tony, Sean and Karina, and Cody and Witney, and as much as I liked all of them, I could see any of them going home. But the unlucky couple is Sean and Karina, which is disappointing. Sean had a lot of potential and is very, very intriguing. I wish I could have seen more of his dancing! I think he had a ton of potential. 

Overall, though, I think it was a night of great dancing and an unsurprising, un-upsetting pair of eliminations. I can hardly wait until next week!!

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