Friday, December 7, 2012

DWTS: Season 11, Week 2 Contenders

This week, the fast dances continue to weed out the contenders from the rest of the pack. The Jive and Quickstep are fast dances which require agility, musicality, precision and endurance to execute well, especially endurance. The couples that are contenders are Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough (who again has the high score this week), Audrina Partridge and Tony Dovolani, and tied for third place are Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer and (Surprise!) Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas. For week 2 of the competition, Sarah Palin was in the audience so the security must have been unbelievably tight that evening.

Couples Dance the Jive

Rick Fox and pro partner Cheryl Burke started the competition with a cheeky performance and shows Rick able to dance well in spite of his incredible height and weak tendons that had effectively ended his basketball career and will continue to hamper execution of certain dance moves that will stress that area. Cheryl did a very good job of choreographing a dance that still enabled Rick to dance well enough to please the audience and the judges. Score: 21
Brandy and Max Schmerkovskiy are two very strong personalities that are already butting heads. It's obvious that Brandy wants to win badly and has the talent to do it. During their dance, Max choreographed a solo for her and did it well because she is a great performer, however their combustible partnership left an unfocused impression during their dance, it could have been a little tighter and more in sync. Score: 19
Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower had the worst performance of the night. It is true that Michael was stiff but I blame that on Chelsie's teaching ability. I don't think she is a good teacher or a good choreographer. However, Michael needs to relax more and enjoy the process instead of feeling so awkward. It's clear that he's not a smooth dancer but he's not as bad as Kate Gosselin and I think the judges scored him too low. Score: 12
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough had a wonderful night of dancing an exuberant Jive with many difficult moves. At the end of their performance, it was all they could do to stand up and in fact they just sat down during the judges' assessment. Jennifer is 50 but she danced like she was 30 years old and it was wonderful to see her really sink herself into the dance. The audience booed the judges because they thought the score was too low. The audience was right. Score: 24
Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel redeemed themselves from last week with a Jive that was done without any comedic touches whatsoever...thank goodness! Margaret can dance and did a fairly good job of doing the moves fast enough but needed to have more precision but it looked like she and Louis had a great time performing. Score: 18
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya did all right on the jive. However, he is an athlete and the dance shows his endurance and agility but also his lack of grace. He needs to improve on that to be a contender and has the ability to do so. Score: 21

Couples Dance the Quickstep

Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas performed a Quickstep with comedic touches. It's clear that Florence has great dance ability and she also showed endurance. However the difficulty in executing the Quickstep is remembering all the steps and doing it fast. Agility was a problem (she is 76!) and she forgot some steps but she is a very good performer and the couple is fun to watch. Score: 19
Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani performed a wonderful Quickstep. Audrina is graceful but she needs to be more confident of her abilities which I think will grow as the weeks progress. Score: 23
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer continue to be a favorite with the public because they are so darned cute together as a dance couple and so much fun to watch. Kyle's youth, exuberance and energy are well suited for the lively dance but he needs more precision in his footwork and needs a little more control when it comes to ballroom dancing. He's a great ham and needs to tone it down for ballroom. Score: 22
Mike Sorrentino (aka The Situation) and Katrina Smirnoff as a couple don't really mesh well together. He is pigeon-toed(!), lacks grace and precision, and lacks the elegant frame for the dance. It is Katrina's strictness when it comes to teaching that carried him through the dance. Score: 18
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas continue to do well. In fact, Bristol, as a dancer is such a pleasant surprise. She is refreshingly unassuming, and shows grace under pressure and performed very well for someone who is a normal person and not a performer. I'm sure that there are many in the audience and the public who want her to do badly because of who her mother is, but it doesn't faze her. Go Bristol! Score: 22
Who do I think should be eliminated? The Situation should go but he has many fans, more likely it will be Michael Bolton but we'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Week 2 Elimination

This week the couple that was eliminated was Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower. Frankly, I don't think Michael should have gone. He wasn't that bad in his second week of dancing and I don't think he deserved the mean words and low mark of 3 from Bruno Tonioli, one of the judges. I think Michael also suffered more from the bad teaching methods of Chelsie Hightower. Chelsie herself has been disrespectful towards her celebrity trainee on previous occasions and doesn't know how to present the strong points of her celebrity trainee.

Originally published 9/28/2010

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