I focused more on highlights last week so thought I’d share comments on the individual dances this time ’round. So let’s get into it . . .
Leah Remini (w/ Tony Dovolani) – I’m enjoying seeing Leah get more into character and show facial expression when she dances. Her dancing improved this week and that’s the name of the game. She comes across as a tough cookie in her rehearsal packages but I think she and Tony are actually developing a good rapport.
Corbin Bleu (w/ Karina Smirnoff) – Everyone knows that Corbin can dance so I like that Karina is throwing challenging choreography at him. Corbin had to dance the Quickstep this week which put him in hold with his partner. His feet were flying but his posture let him down a bit. Technicalities aside, it was fast and furious and he kept up.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (w/ Val Chmerkovskiy) – Head judge, Len Goodman, said this number was “like chicken soup to the eyes, delicious and satisfying”. For once I agree with Len; it’s exactly what you want the Foxtrot to be; classic and sophisticated. I’m still trying to get a read on Elizabeth’s personality. I wish they would have shown footage of her 1 year old son’s visit that I know happened last week (thanks to Twitter). Val’s hair was the highlight of their rehearsal package and as good as it looked, we need more.
Brant Daugherty (w/ Peta Murgatroyd) – Despite being mugged during the week and dealing with a sprained ligament, Brant gave a surprisingly good performance. With the high score of the night (27 out of 30), he is showing that he’s an excellent student. I was glad they took a week off from the Showmance in rehearsal footage. It’s either going to evolve naturally or it’s not. Don’t ram it down our throats.
Valerie Harper (w/ Tristan MacManus) – It was a mess of a Cha Cha routine but Valerie never lost her composure. You can’t disregard how difficult it would be to perform with a smile when you don’t remember the steps. I do think she’s likely going to be the one eliminated next week as the show starts to focus on good dancing vs. the inspirational stories.
Bill Engvall (w/ Emma Slater) – Bill continues to surprise everyone by giving solid performances. The Paso Doble routine suited him and he played the Lone Ranger character with enthusiasm. Bill reminds me of the dad at the wedding reception who’s out on the dance floor cutting a rug and starting the line dance – fun!
Amber Riley (w/ Derek Hough) – It was an entertaining routine and I liked the funky music choice for their Charleston. The judges picked apart Amber’s lower body movement saying it was disconnected from her upper body. Amber’s scores seem to be moving in the wrong direction. Maybe the judges are just trying to make up for their over exuberant scoring week 1 and bringing everyone back into line a bit.
Jack Osbourne (w/ Cheryl Burke) – Jack’s hips don’t do Cha Cha at this point. After good solid performances weeks 1 and 2, he looked rigid last night. That said, I’m enjoying his personality and he and Cheryl’s rehearsal packages. It was also fun hearing his sister, Kelly’s thoughts when Tom Bergeron asked what she thought of her brother’s dancing. She said, “I love seeing my brother in pink fluorescent; it’s like a dream come true”.
Christina Milan (w/ Mark Ballas) – Like Amber and Derek’s Charleston, I thought this number was entertaining. Christina fulfilled the character and supported Mark’s theatrical approach to the dance. The judges liked it better than Amber’s, scoring it a couple of points higher. As far as personality, I feel the same way about Christina that I do Elizabeth. She lands on the quieter side compared to some of the bigger personalities which is fine except when you’re trying to get votes. I feel like they both need a compelling story. Let’s face it, this show is as much about popularity as it is about dancing.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (w/ Sasha Farber) – Snooki handled the Quickstep much better than I expected her to. You can tell she’s trying hard and wants to do well. I have to say that she and Sasha’s rehearsal footage is usually one of my favorites. Whether he realizes it or not, Sasha is a good straight man to the off the wall stuff Snooki says. She may not have a leg up in the dancing but she is a reality television star so she knows how to work her personality for the cameras.
Bill Nye (w/ Tyne Stecklein) – We say goodbye to Bill Nye the Science Guy this week as he was the 2nd celeb eliminated. Despite the judges comments, I thought this was his most entertaining dance. He tore his quad (ouch!) at the end of his routine last week and was told not to dance at all. Tyne came up with creative choreography that allowed him to dance like a robot and keep his injured leg straight. The fact that he danced at all shows that he’s got guts.
Reasons to cheer: Opening number, Music (band did a great job last night), overall flow was much better this week.
Reasons to jeer: The “Word Cloud” created by names trending on Facebook shared by host Brooke Burke (umm…pointless graphic)
On to week 4 . . .