Our sixth week gives us a walk (or in this case dance) down memory lane with Famous Dances Night! Here we have a chance to see some of our all-time favorite dance moments from films, videos and concerts - all with a fresh ballroom spin! With dances from movies like The Mask to music video performances like “Bye, Bye, Bye” from NSYNC, and musical hits from Hairspray it was a night of high energy, fantastic dancing and fun theatrics!
The opening group number set the stage with a big and flashy rendition of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Dressed in old-fashioned glamour, it was a nod to Hollywood and the silver screen – very fitting for the character of the night. With the film rolling, we jumped right into the competition!
Kim & Sasha – Jive to “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 8 for a total of 24
This was a very fun and upbeat performance! I was impressed with the way Kim moved, especially after sustaining a stress fracture in her ankle. She powered through it like a champ, though I think she could have upped the energy some more. Kim brought character and her steps went well, especially for the pace of the song (it is Jive after all!). The background dancers were a bit distracting, especially since most of them had more energy than Kim. All things considered, it was another consistent and solid performance. Len enjoyed the choreography and thought it was a good blend of the musical and Jive. Bruno was toe-tapping the whole time but commented on a troublesome pass towards the end of the routine. Carrie wanted more dynamics and energy, warning Kim not to disappear into the background.
Von & Witney – Jazz to “Bad” by Michael Jackson
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 8 for a total of 24
Up next was Von giving a tribute to MJ – and what a tribute! It is tough to dance like Michael anyways, let alone in front of a crowd on national television, but Von nailed it! The steps were fairly consistent and sharp, and Von brought a great attitude and flair to the moves. It was exciting to watch, and Von’s energy came forward. The choreography stayed true to the music video, with a ton of iconic and recognizable steps. While there were a few moments he was smooth when he should have been sharp, Von really did an excellent job. Bruno thought Von did a wonderful job hitting those moves, and Carrie was glad to see him bring his own style to the dance. Len said it was bad – the good kind of bad and that the number “didn’t need the wind machine – you have a fan here.”
Jodie & Keo – Contemporary to “Try” by Pink
Carrie – 9Len – 8Bruno – 8 for a total of 25
This was a raw, emotional and hardcore piece! There were a lot of tough emotions to recreate from the music video, but it was all there. There was pain and anger, and it showed a hard side of Jodie. She had injured her ankle in rehearsals as well, but it appears she took that pain and used it while performing. It was definitely an ambitious number to undertake, so kudos to both Jodie and Keo. Even more kudos to Keo for being bold and courageous enough to fall into a table and break it! The performance seemed to lack in some confidence from Jodie, and there was a bit of nervousness from her, as well. Otherwise, the steps, timing and dynamics were spot on! Carrie was amazed at how they took the difficulty of the piece and the emotions behind it, turning it into something beautiful. Len thought they really illustrated the feeling of the song and that it was executed well. Bruno recognized both the physical and emotional demands of the performance and said it even be difficult for a pro to recreate that.
Paige & Mark – Jazz to “Soul Bossa Nova” from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Carrie – 9Len – 10Bruno – 9 for a total of 28
Yeah, baby, yeah – what an outstanding number! Paige really brought the groove of the 60’s to the stage! There was a swinging flair and psychedelic style that paired well with the high energy and silly antics of the movie. The choreography had great attention to detail and everybody was in sync with each other. The steps were on point, and it was tough to find anything wrong with the performance. Outside of some hesitations and minor timing issues, the performance was spotless! Len raised a 10 on his paddle and said there was nothing about the dance that he didn’t like. Bruno thought the details and accuracy of the dance was fantastic, and Carrie loved the high energy and fun of the piece!
Nyle & Peta – Quickstep to “Hey Pachuco” from The Mask
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 9 for a total of 25
With this dance, Nyle continued his streak of awesome performances, but I think he bit off a bit more than he could chew on this one. Whether it was overconfidence or the sheer speed of the dance, he did not seem to flow like his usual self. Nyle did a great job keeping frame, though he lost it at a few points and was not as sharp as previous numbers. Overall though, it was still a fantastic display, with great comedy that embodied the flavor and character of the movie. It was lively, and had great substance. Bruno loved how there was vivacious energy and slapstick comedy while still maintaining Quickstep at heart, and recognized the difficulty and speed of the dance. Carrie developed more respect for Nyle for dancing in a mask, but felt that the performance was not his typical par of crisp and controlled steps. Len loved the performance and was amazed at how great of a dancer Nyle continually proves himself to be.
Ginger & Valentin – Jazz to “Nasty” by Janet Jackson
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 8 for a total of 24
Ginger went for it and channeled Janet Jackson in a new way! She channeled a bit of her inner diva while dancing with all of those fellows. The dancing was clean and well-practiced – she just needed some more character and confidence in the overall performance. There were also some timing issues that led to some less-than-crisp movements. Still, Ginger was sure of her movements and delivered them in a comfortable way. It just was not as explosive as it needed to be. The choreography here definitely lent itself to the number, and made her the focal point, which requires that extra ounce of oomph to make it work well. Carrie was pleased to see Ginger not miss a move, Len thought she was precise, and Bruno felt it was done in great taste. However, all three judges wanted more presence out of Ginger to take her to the next level.
Doug & Karina – Bollywood to “Jai Ho!” from Slumdog Millionaire
Carrie – 7Len – 7Bruno – 7 for a total of 21
I never would have imagined seeing pro football star Doug Flutie doing a Bollywood routine! But, sure as the day is long, there it was. I really admire Doug for going all out in the performance. Despite the challenge of the routine and the adjustment to a different cultural style, he gave it everything he had, like any pro athlete should. Though there were mistakes, a couple of timing issues, and some lack in technique, I totally enjoyed the performance. The steps gave a very good glimpse into the movie and culture, and made it all a great number to watch. Len said how tough the number was and applauded Doug for a job well done. Bruno loved how catchy the piece was and Carrie was happy to see more of Doug come out and have fun in the performance.
Wanya & Lindsay – Jazz to “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC
Carrie – 10Len – 9Bruno – 10 for a total of 29
I think Wanya earned himself a spot in NSYNC with this performance! Wow, what an awesome number! Wanya took his lowest scores from last week and was determined to make sure it didn’t happen again this week. He knocked it out of the park, completely giving into the style and character of the music – I’m sure his Boyz II Men experience only helped with that! He was front and center the whole time, and went for every move with a strong and confident charisma. Wanya appears to have put in the extra time and effort to make sure he gets into the finals! Bruno thought the performance was pop at its most brilliant form. Carrie raved about Wanya’s attitude, exclaiming “This boy is on fire!” Len thought he took a big step towards the finals with his performance.
Antonio & Sharna – Jive to “Footloose” from Footloose
Carrie – 9Len – 9Bruno – 9 for a total of 27
Look out Kevin Bacon, there’s another rebel in town! All drama between Antonio and Sharna aside, it looks like Antonio has his head back in the right place. He delivered an excellent performance, right out in front, showing how capable he is at holding the spotlight. Antonio’s steps were full of vim and he kept with the character of the film, even throwing in a backflip! He could stand to be a bit sharper with his kicks, and he had a misstep right in the beginning. Other than that, the performance was right where it should be and as Carrie put it, “that is the way to bring the house down.” Len and Bruno agree that Antonio came out swinging and has what it takes to win if he keeps working hard.
Now for the elimination – Paige & Mark, Doug & Karina and Von & Witney were the three couples in jeopardy at the end of the night. Doug & Karina were eliminated, and I will be a little sad to see them go. Even though Doug’s dancing was not as skillful as the other competitors’, he seemed like an all-around good guy and gave a lot of heart to his dancing.
Next episode will be Icons Night, with performances set to music from all sorts of amazing and iconic musicians. The dancers will tip their hats and tap their shoes to popular tunes from big names, so don’t miss out on the action! Don’t forget to vote to keep your favorites out of jeopardy for next week’s double elimination! With the scores after this week, it is really anybody’s game! See you soon!