This week on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ I got my tissues out ready to go — and after tonight, I definitely feel like I know the cast a whole lot better and dare I say, I have my favorites. (I’ll share those next week, perhaps!)
By week three, these celebrities have been rehearsing with their professionals for seven weeks already and some of them are already so invested into this competition it would crush them to be sent home. And this week for the second elimination and as sad as it is, I think the right couple did go home.
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Ginger Zee & Val Chmerkovskiy
Starting the night off for us, Ginger dedicated her most memorable year to her husband Ben and told us that in 2013 she got engaged and from there she gave birth to her beautiful baby boy. Such a cutie! I love hearing about the family behind these incredible people, Ginger especially always struck me as a wholesome person with strong home values. I throughly enjoyed the contemporary she performed with Val and thought the chemistry particularly deserved a mention. It was beautiful choreography too. I did found it a little safe on her part, I felt her movements were at times cut off and she seemed to limit them, perhaps to keep it clean. Bruno seemed to feel the same as me and commented he would have liked ‘more stretch’. Overall though, a very uplifting genuine performance from one of my favorites.
Doug Flutie & Karina Smirnoff
Sorry Hollywood Life, this one might be a touch on the long side. 2015 was Doug Flutie’s most memorable year and I’m still crying over this. If you haven’t watched it, grab some tissues and watch it. Doug dedicated his waltz to his parents and the day they passed together (the only explanation for his mothers death was a broken heart, I’ve never heard anything as tragically beautiful as this ever in my life). Doug never took his eyes off Karina, and I really believed he was dancing the dance of his parents souls. He really had me during this dance. It’s hard to talk technique when I want to write with my heart here. It was a simple routine but his arm movements were elegant and I believed he danced with more grace than his week 1 foxtrot. People forgive stumbles like the tiny one he had at the end of you show them the true essence of the dance. And he did that. Your parents are so proud of you Doug, we all know it.
Kim Fields & Sasha Farber
Did anyone else laugh out loud when Charlotte Rae made her ‘Still above ground’ comment?! I spat my drink out hahaha! Kim Fields performed her Foxtrot to the soundtrack of ‘Facts of life’ and dedicated her dance to that special time in her life. I know how hard she has been working on this dance, Sash wanted it to be so clean and full of foxtrot content. And it was! I can’t help but be proud of him every time I watch his dances though that’s the kind of thing he’ll kill me for writing when he reads this back! For me, Kim performed this wonderfully, she carried herself so gracefully it made the entire performance very enjoyable to watch. Sasha and Kim constantly highlight how united they are as partners, such great chemistry. My only critique would be to have even more stretch through the upper body to emphasis the shape in ballroom frame.
Von Miller & Witney Carson
Von Miller went next, and his most memorable year is this year! Not surprising because the Broncos win the super-bowl and he was named MVP! The dance was Contemporary for him this week. Great song choice too… Oof Phill Collins gives me the feels. I’m not sure the dance really did though. I thought the sections where Witney & Von danced in sync were the most substantial and quite a lot of the other times he was not dancing as much as supporting Witney. The lifts were stunning and effective but don’t require much finesse so I feel I can’t judge him on that. I think the best part from him was the spin to the knee which I thought he nailed. I’m left wanting more though but I do appreciate doing this show is hard for him. It seems to be more of a challenge for Von because it’s so unnatural for his personality.
Marla Maples & Tony Dovolani
Marla’s most memorable year is 1993 when she gave birth to her daughter Tiffany with former husband Donald Trump. It was lovely to see her daughter support her during rehearsals with Tony. They performed a jive to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams and by the looks of it Marla’s brain must have been bursting with steps because this was wall to wall content! I mean, they danced with the enthusiasm of two candy-filled kids at Christmas! Her energy level was pretty enormous so physically I have to commend her. I think her weight could have been pitched slightly more forward as the jive is supposed to be danced on the balls of your feet to achieve that light feeling. But Good job Marla, now just work more on the style and finesse to make your movements more natural and refined.
Antonio Brown & Sharna Burgess
Alright Antonio Brown!!! YEAH! This is how you come back. On top of that, Sharna and Antonio added a cute little mini me to their foxtrot in the form his son Antonio Jr! I felt like this dance was a bit of a marvel to be honest, did anyone else feel that? Len was WAY too harsh here, are you seriously saying there was no improvement here from last week? No way. How could you give this a 6?!! Argh so frustrating. This was MILES better. Ok I’m not gushing all the way, no it wasn’t a 10 but the quality Antonio came out with in this dance was unexpected for me. Sharna had improved Antonio’s spins and transitions to where this was far more fluid than his other dances. I saw heel leads and lowering of the knees too. What a pleasure to watch this great improvement. This is what the show’s about.
Paige VanZant & Mark Ballas
First up let me say this: my FAVORITE dance this season so far. Mark told me about the theme behind this weeks dance a while ago. I’ve been excited to see what he’s created. We all know Mark is brilliant at creating those unique pieces that are unexpected. Paige and Mark performed a UFC fight inspired Paso Doble complete with an amazing set in the middle of the DWTS ballroom. If you haven’t, please please watch this dance! This COMPLETELY surpassed anything I was expecting. Amazing job Paige and Mark!!! I completely disagree with Len (once again) This one 100% paso and beyond that, it was innovative and exactly what Dancing with the Stars should be striving for. What’s Len on about? Did he forget to drink his tea this morning?! I wont forget this dance for a while, Paige that paso was a knockout girl and I loved your lines!
Jodie Sweetin & Keo Motsepe
For most memorable year, Jodie reflected on the dark years of her life since the wrap of her first TV show, ‘Full House’. I shed a tear with her when she talked about her light being dimmed. Jodie, this dance was stunning. You shared your story and poured your heart out when you danced. So effortless, she looked like a professional dancer when she reached out at the beginning because her extension was so beautiful. I believed that she felt this dance because I saw it in her face. This is the art of the dance, this is why so many people would have watched Jodie at home and been truly captivated by this foxtrot. We lived it with her. Well done Keo for choreographing a gorgeous piece that Jodie could feel free to perform without limitations.
Mischa Barton & Artem Chigvintsev
Next up with a Samba nod to her TV series ‘The OC’, it was Mischa and Artem. It’s safe to say that Mischa probably doesn’t hear music all that well but she sure had more fun tonight than last week. It’s much more pleasant to watch someone who is relaxed and clearly enjoying themselves. I tell all my partners ‘how do you expect the audience to be comfortable watching it if you’re not comfortable performing it?’ And I find that to be so true. So in many ways Mischa’s Samba was much improved from last weeks performance. She still went off time but the movements were easier especially towards the end of the dance. In the end, this was Mischa’s last dance as she was sadly eliminated but I do think it was the right couple to go home. I hope she can look back and reflect on her season with a smile. Well done sweet girl.
Wanya Morris & Lindsay Arnold
I always await Wanya’s dances with so much anticipation. I think he’s wonderful. Bruno is right, this was another a stellar performance. I was especially impressed with seeing the technique of the waltz, Lindsay had Wanya rising onto two perfect straight legs, brushing his feet and then seamlessly lowering onto heel leads. This is so difficult and yet Wanya did it with ease. Everything about this dance worked for me, the national anthem, the red outfits and the wonderful choreography from Lindsay. If I could critique it in anyway, I would say I didn’t feel the dance emotionally as I did some of the others tonight. I missed the moments of subtly ever so slightly. As always, I can’t wait to see what’s next from these two. I bloody love them!!
Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd
Last up was Nyle and Peta. I didn’t know that Nyle was born into a deaf family. His story is so unique, I would love to meet him (not just on Twitter!) Nyle has the hardest task out of anyone in the competition yet doesn’t expect the judges to to take it easy on him. This kind of fire is the same reason Nyle is such a passionate dancer. He commits 100% to the movements which no any other celeb does so far this season (expect Jodie). This tango was so sharp, yet fluid when it needed to be. I appreciated the precision of each step, each cross and arm movement. Peta worked hard on accenting the right counts and it highlighted the expertise in her teaching. Nyle has such presence, pinching his shoulder blades together a little more would improve his top line further. Well deserving, I adored this dance. Nyle, if you are reading this, you are going to go so far if you keep dancing this way. Amazing job!
Thanks for reading my blog guys! I feel like I get to connect with you on your side of the TV every time I get to write this weekly blog so this is tons more fun for me than I imagined. Thank you to those who read and respond, I love seeing what you have to say and hearing your thoughts on this roller coaster season of DWTS! Disney week next week my lovelies, and who doesn’t love good old Walt Disney?? Rhetorical question, obviously!!!