Dancing with the Stars Season 22 Week 3

Round 3 brought out the emotional side of things with the “Most Memorable Year” theme.  If you aren’t in the know, this traditional week is a chance for the audience to get to know the competitors a bit more and explore their life stories.  From love and death to life and recovery, each dance the contestants performed reflects a special memory they hold dear from a specific year.  I was very interested to see what dances would be done, though I did miss having an opening performance from the professionals.

Ginger & Valentin – Contemporary to “Home” by Phillip Phillips
Carrie – 7Len – 7Bruno – 7 for a total of 21

Ginger chose to honor her husband and child with her contemporary dance.  It seemed like she was thinking a bit too much while performing and some of the movements could have been a bit smoother.  However, Ginger clearly cares for her family and it was evident in her performance as she poured out her heart.  Overall, it was a nice performance with Len looking for more fluidity in her arms, Bruno wanting more extension in her movements, and Carrie enjoying the story she told.

Doug & Karina – Waltz to “Rainbow Connection” by The Muppets’ Kermit the Frog
Carrie – 7Len – 6Bruno – 7 for a total of 20

It was a pleasant surprise to see Doug with some smooth footwork!  Doug is keeping things consistent, delivering solid performances each week while adding more and more to his style.  He dedicated the dance to his deceased parents.  Despite the simple choreography, Doug utilized it with great passion and feeling.  While he could still be a bit more balanced and sure-footed, he brought elegance and quality to the floor.  Bruno was pleased to see his smooth side, and Carrie really felt the emotion and applauded the dedication to Doug’s parents.  Len mentioned that it was unstable at some points, but he was happy to see the grace and class that unfolded.

Kim & Sasha – Foxtrot to “Facts of Life” Theme Song by Gloria Loring
Carrie – 8Len – 7Bruno – 7 for a total of 22

Kim gave a fantastic display with her Foxtrot!  Her memorable year was 1976 when she achieved her first professional acting gig in a syrup commercial.  Like Len said, the dance “was like maple syrup, smooth and tasty.”  Kim and Sasha were definitely in sync and were able to match there steps splendidly.  There were a couple issues with frame as it seemed a smidge tense at times, but otherwise another solid performance under Kim’s belt.

Von & Witney – Contemporary to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
Carrie – 7Len – 6Bruno – 7 for a total of 20

Von’s special memory was winning the Superbowl in 2016.  Von is another competitor who brings consistency to the competition.  Each week he shows that he can dance, with more personality and comfort starting to shine through.  It is fun to see Von so light on his feet, but there were some poor foot placements that made it harder to get around.  Len admires the effort that Von gives with each dance, always giving 100%.  Bruno was impressed with Von’s “twinkle-toes” but suggested working on his turns.  Carrie thought the dance was well done, but it left her wanting more.

Marla & Tony – Jive to “happy” by Pharrell Williams
Carrie – 7Len – 7Bruno – 7 for a total of 21

Yet another player who brings consistently good performances!  Marla danced for the year 1993, when her daughter was born.  It is tough to take on a Jive, but Marla nailed a lot of the steps and kept up with the lively tempo!  Every now and then her balance was off and she got caught a bit behind, but overall, her energy and devotion to the mood of the song won the audience over.  Bruno warned her to be careful of being flat-footed, and Carrie was happy to see all of the spirit Marla put into it.  Len simply said “you are happy, I am happy,” which pretty much sums it up!

Antonio & Sharna – Foxtrot to “7 Years” by Lukas Graham
Carrie – 7Len – 6Bruno – 7 for a total of 20

I really enjoyed this performance, despite some missteps and what seemed to be skips in the choreography.  Antonio performed the routine for his son (who received a perfect 10 from Carrie).  I continue to be a fan of Antonio, believing he is a diamond in the rough – he just needs some time and pressure to make his dancing shine.  Carrie and Len saw some refinement, but wanted even more polish.  Bruno saw all of the effort and feeling Antonio put into the number, but found he got too excited and began to lose his finesse.

Paige & Mark – Paso Doble to “300 Violin Orchestra” by Jorge Quintero
Carrie – 8Len – 7Bruno – 8 for a total of 23

This piece was a high point of the evening!  Happy to have Mark back from his back injury, Paige came out fighting – and in a ring no less!  While I agree with Len, who thought it didn’t look like a Paso Doble, the performance power and creativity of the piece was electric.  There were some progressive choreography choices that shot the other judges through the roof with excitement, driving Bruno to go so far as to call Paige “Wonder Woman.”  For the flavor and theme of the week, it was a job well done!

Jodie & Keo – Foxtrot to “Rise Up” by Andra Day
Carrie – 8Len – 7Bruno – 8 for a total of 23

Jodie took her performance as a chance to celebrate her sobriety.  I admire her for her courage, as it takes guts to talk about that struggle on national television.  Jodie took her inspiration and let it blossom forth into her steps.  I was impressed with her smooth transitions and footwork, which certainly made it her best performance so far.  Bruno, Carrie and Len all thought she did a wonderful job, and thanked her for sharing her story through dance.

Mischa & Artem – Samba to “Party in the USA” by Miley cyrus
Carrie – 6Len – 6Bruno – 6 for a total of 18

Mischa has made improvements from last week, but is still can’t quite seem to find the beat.  Her movements were more fluid, and she appeared more relaxed.  However, with timing issues and some unsure footwork, it made for a mediocre performance.  Carrie was pleased to see the progress Mischa has made.  Len said it was her best dance so far, and Bruno felt she was more engaged and maintained a good attitude throughout the dance.

Wanya & Lindsay – Waltz to “National Anthem ’96 Olympic Ceremonies” by Boyz II Men
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 8 for a total of 24

Wanya really delivered on the choreography and painted the emotions of the song with his expression!  It had an effortless flowing feel with genuine purpose with each step.  There were times that he became too emotionally involved and made some minor mistakes, but he drove the performance home with poise.  Len noticed his posture slip a few times, however, Len was impressed and thought it was delightful.  Bruno loved the grand and open feel, calling it a stellar performance.  Carrie was captured by the movements and the music, comparing Wanya to “the rockets’ red flare.”

Nyle & Peta – Tango to “Verge” by Owl City & Aloe Blacc
Carrie – 8Len – 8Bruno – 9 for a total of 25

What better way to end the performances than with the best dance of the night!  Nyle knocked it out of the park with a vivacious Tango and the passion to back it up!  The vigor and speed of the dance really brought a challenge.  Despite losing his hold and position in frame a few times, Nyle kept up with the pace.  There were a few times where he seemed to become too involved with the movements and lost his showmanship, and I do not believe it warranted a 9, but it was still a skillfully executed performance.  Carrie thought Nyle was “better than Superman” and the dance made Bruno feel like he was going to explode with excitement.  Len took note of the higher skill level the choreography called for and told Nyle “You are proof that anyone can do whatever they want.”

With the performances over, the couples in jeopardy were Doug & Karina, Mischa & Artem and Jodie & Keo.  The couple to be eliminated was Micha and Artem.  Though it was a nice to see her give each dance her all, I think she was the right choice to be eliminated.  With the way things have been going, my next prediction for elimination is Doug & Karina.

All in all, I feel that this week was an insight into the performers of the group and helped some folks shine a bit brighter and get recognized for that over the dancing.  When it comes to a heart-felt piece, I can definitely understand how people are moved over the expression rather than the execution.  However, I definitely still appreciate Len’s comments the most, as he is not afraid to say what needs to be said and despite the emotional atmosphere.  This is a competition after all, so judging with your head rather than your heart is the best way to go.  You can still give an emotionally charged performance without letting go of technique.

The highest caliber of dancers all build from the ground up, with footwork, placement, timing, motion and other technique before adding in the last elements of performance style.  Like the saying goes, you can’t build a house from the top down – you have to build a foundation and framework before you can even think to paint and decorate.

Remember to vote to keep your favorite couples out of jeopardy!  Next week is sure to be a magical evening – it’s Disney Night!  I can hardly wait to find out what is in store for us!  See you then!

Happy dancing!