Just in case ABC thought we should have our regular dancing show back….it’s Presidential Debate Night, so once again, we’re Doing Something Different. Sigh. But then, I’m Doing Something Different this week, too! I’m giving away an amazing Free Stuff Friday Gift Basket sponsored by Gevalia Coffee! Read on for details!
But first? We dance! This week we get two 1 hour performance shows, and no results. And that last part? Iâ€™m good with putting off that part, so there is that.
Here’s the way it’s going to work: Monday night, half of the dancing duos will perform, and the other half will do their Team Freestyle performance. Then Tuesday night, the team folks from Monday will do their individual dances, and the others will get the chance to do their Team Freestyle. So, two sets of scores for each dancer: 1 individual score, and whatever score their team gets as a whole, each duo will add to their individual dance score.
Clear as mud? I thought so. So? Let’s get started!
It’s Guilty Pleasures Week, so each team dances to a song you don’t want to admit you love, but….yeah, you know you do!
1. First up are Val & Kelly (who are so totally doing it, come on, you know they are!): They dance a sexy samba to I Want You Back. And…we don’t have to wonder if they’re doing it, because theyâ€™re pretty much doing it right there on the dance floor. Kelly showed finesses and plenty of smolder, but it was a little bit choppy/sloppy in some places. Still, they have such killer chemistry, and have been high vote getters, I’m thinking going first tonight won’t hurt them. Judges tend to pretty much agree with me. (Gasp!) Scores: 8,8,8.5 = 24.5
2. Then Peta & Gilles come out and ratchet up the already amped endorphines about, oh, a million thousand gazillion degrees. I know, right? Wowza. And that was just in rehearsal. They dance the rumba to Whitney’s I Will Always Love You andâ€ OMG, they killed it smoking hot dead. This was everything to me that the Bollywood number was not last week. And to make it even more impressive, they danced the entire opening sequence to Whitney’s a capella opening to the song, which was both a risky and ridiculously challenging thing to do, but utterly stunning in execution. Quite possibly the best dance of the entire season. Wow and gulp, and please, someone, pass me a fan! The judges concur (except Grumpy Lenny who thought Peta did too many leg extensions – and honey, if I had her legs, I’d be executing leg extensions while standing in line at the grocery, that’s all I’m sayin.) Scores: 10, 9.50, 10 = 29.5
3. Kirstie & Maks charmingly tackle a quick step to Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson. Cute idea and I don’t know what kind of changes they made in wardrobe and makeup staffing, but this is by far, hands down, the very absolute best Kirstie has looked all season. Wow. Nice hair, gorgeous dress. Really, she’s a knock out tonight. And despite a very rough week of rehearsals where she was totally a 61 year old woman in a 25 yr old dominated contest, she came out and did a really good number, looked great doing it, kept up, and the ending kiss behind the screen was adorable. I think, given any lesser dancers have now gone home, this was clearly a do or go home week for them. And while she might still very well go home this week, she can certainly exit with her head held high. That was a very respectable performance with a lot of content and she delivered it well. The judges were super kind to her, and you know? She’s earned that. She’s worked her butt off, never complained, made it funny and entertaining, both for herself and her partner, and for us, despite how hard it all is, so…good on ya! And for that? Scores: 8.5, 8.5, 8.5 = 25.5 Her best of the competition so far…and higher than Val & Kelly. It so takes her by surprise, that she actually tears up. And that’s what I like about her. She doesn’t expect anything except from herself.
4. We end the night’s individual performances with Emmitt & Cheryl: doing the samba to Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, for which Emmitt takes a lot of flack. But honey, if you can samba like that man, I don’t care what song you dance to. Cheryl’s dress is a wow of peekaboo sequins and frabulous fringe, leaving her look distractingly nude in a way I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing (though I’m pretty sure every red blooded man in America has already cast his giant whopping OHYEAH! vote.) Emmitt is looking slimmer by the week, too, but I think the overt yellow lighting diminished their costumes and kind of blurred their movement a little. It was all one big luminous wash of gold. Still, a very solid performance by them both, and he’s always so charming anyway. Judges agreed and were perhaps a bit more enthusiastic even than I was, and showed it in their scores: 9.5, 9.5, 10 = 29 Higher than I’d have given, but hey….it keeps things interesting.
So here’s the Night 1 Score Chart:
Team Freestyle: Team “Call Me Maybe”
Now we’re on to the Team Freestyle for Team Shawn/Melissa/Sabrina/Apolo: Their guilty pleasure song is Carly Rae’s Call Me Maybe, and their costumes have the guys in sequined football garb and the girls in sequined cheerleader outfits and I don’t know….I don’t think the outfits particularly flatter either gender collectively. It’s overkill and too over stylized….just not working for me. I hope I like the dance better. We get a quick blurb on Melissa getting injured in practice – herniated disk in her neck – and a cute byplay between her and Tom, aaaaaaaand, let’s dance!
And you know what? Oh all right already, yes, the song is super infectious, even after hearing it five badillion times and the dance? Super cute, super spunky. The cheerleader/jock thing was totally fun. I loved the combination of partner/ballroom dance interspersed with the more freestyle/cheerleader/gymnastic moves, which totally played to their strengths and the changes between partners were creative and fun. Oddly, it was Karina and Apolo who got the lightest technical dance load of the night (I figured they’d take it easier on Melissa given her neck issues, but no)….so those two are really going to have to bring it in their individual performance. Overall though? I loved it! Very entertaining. Judges comment on how well they blended the pros and the contestants and absolutely true that! Team Score: 9.5, Len finally gives it up 10!!, 10 = 29.5 and you know? Totally, 100% earned.
You know…I have to say, I’m glad that we’re doing the team dances on different nights as it gives each team a chance to be taken on their own merits instead of back-to-back comparisons. I’m liking this week! Who knew?? Looking forward to Part 2! At this point, I have no idea who might be in jeopardy this week! It’s the first week of real nail biting suspense, as, even with Kirstie/Maks still in it…who else might join them in the Bottom 2? If they even land there, which is no guarantee. It’s going to be tough! And just get tougher!!
You know what’s not tough?? Entering this week’s Very Special Gevalia Coffee & Books Giveaway! BABYCAKES comes out October 30, and to celebrate, Gevalia has donated a basket full of yummy coffees and teas and what’s better with coffee & tea than a little cake? Cupcakes that is! In addition to the Gevalia prize package, which features a box of their Signature Blend and Dark Chocolate Truffle coffees, plus a box of English Breakfast and Ceylon Cinnamon teas, you’ll also win signed copies of all three Cupcake Club books: SUGAR RUSH, SWEET STUFF & BABYCAKES!
How awesome is that? Here are the entry details: Contest is open now, through Midnight, EST, Sunday, October 28, and the winner will be announced in Monday’s blog post, on October 29. To enter: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with “Coffee, tea, and ME!!” in the subject line. Winner announced in the Monday’s Oct 29th blog post. Don’t forget to check back!
Good luck! And now….DISH!! What did you think of tonight’s dance performance? Are you still fanning yourself over Peta & Gilles? (I am!) Did you enjoy the Team Freestyle?? (I did!) Tell me allllll about it!