Friday, December 7, 2012

DWTS: Season 11, Week 3 Battling for the Top

This week, Audrina Partridge with Tony Dovolani has knocked off Jennifer Grey with Derek Hough from the top spot by performing a beautiful waltz. Two other couples, Brandy with Maxim Schmerkovskiy, and Rick Fox with Chery Burke have tied with with Jennifer and Derek for second place with Kurt Warner and Ann Trebuskaya not far behind. Struggling to get out of the bottom are Margaret Cho with Louis Van Amstel, Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas, and Florence Henderson with Corky Ballas. There were three dances from which the couples had to perform: Samba, Foxtrot, or Waltz. In addition, the dances have to tell a story because this was Story Week. This season's competition lacks a clear frontrunner unlike last season with Nicole Scherzinger. There are a good six couples who are trying very hard to become the early leaders in this celebrity dance competition and no one knows who will win in the end.

Samba Couples

First up were Jennifer Grey with Derek Hough. Their storyline is about a sexy teacher and her lovestruck student. This is where Jennifer, as an actress, shines. Her face is very expressive and when she dances you can see the story unfold. Derek's samba choreography was difficult and imaginative. In samba, you need to flick your hips and bounce well and Jennifer did a great job of doing that, however, since the choreography was intricate, there were a couple of instances where she flubbed. We expect good dancing with this couple, they need to constantly push the choreography in order to continue to amaze the audience. Score: 24
Margaret Cho with Louis Van Amstel continues to dance without any sort of comic touches, however, they did not improve from last week. Their theme was pride so there was a lot of rainbow colors in her outfit but there was no discernible storyline. Margaret's footwork needs improvement and she lost her timing at one point. The samba that she performed had too much bounce in the upper part of the body and not enough in the hips and there were times when the movement seemed awkward because she doesn't have good posture. Samba is a fast dance but it seemed that they were dancing it too fast and excitedly, almost like a jive. They had the lowest score of the night. Score: 18
Brandy with Maxim Schmerkovskiy did a great samba based on the the movie The Bodyguard but the story seemed more about the flirtation between the bodyguard and the singer rather than the bodyguard protecting the singer. So there was nothing much wrong with the dance, it just didn't tell a story. After Brandy being near the bottom last week, she had vowed to shut up and do as Max says which she did, and resulted in what looked like Max bullying Brandy in the rehearsals, so now she has loads of sympathy factor. I don't think she'll be in jeopardy tomorrow. Score: 24
Rick Fox with Cheryl Burke danced a samba based on a storyline where a basketball player didn't score the winning shot and let the team down so he goes to a bar to drink away his troubles. When you watch Rick at first, you are amazed at his height, but Cheryl has put together choreography that minimizes their height difference and shows off his long body as he dances. When he dances, it's clear that he's enjoying himself, has a good sense of rhythm, can bounce his hips, and secure enough to lead Cheryl. Score: 24

Waltz Couples

Florence Henderson with Corky Ballas had a storyline based on a couple who are in love and dance a waltz in a meadow a la The Sound of Music, in fact the song that accompanied their dance was Edelweiss. The waltz is the most classical of ballroom dances, the couple has to look like their gliding; this was something that Florence with Corky didn't do. The main reason was that it looked like dance moves that had a beginning and end and didn't flow from one to the other. You can see that Florence is thinking about her moves and seemed careful and hesitant. Score: 20
Audrina Patridge with Tony Dovolani performed a superb waltz based on the story of a soldier who had died and in the girlfriend's dream, he comes back to dance with her. Their dance had a floating quality and included spins that made for an ethereal effect. Quite lovely. Score: 26
Kyle Massey with Lacey Schwimmer as the youngest couple had the challenge of performing a waltz. You really can't help but like this charming couple, they danced the waltz very well but Kyle's face is too fun to watch because he's such a ham so it spoils the effect, however he still needs to improve his footwork. Their storyline was about two kids who meet and fall in love in a coffee shop. Score: 23

Foxtrot Couples

Kurt Warner with Anna Trebunskaya continues to improve. Dancing a foxtrot requires you to be lighthearted and have a smooth touch. Kurt is much smoother in his moves and is becoming more confident and it shows in their foxtrot. Their storyline is of a stranger who is trying to cheer up another stranger from her bad day. He has great rhythm and has great charm and performs well in front of the audience, however he still has some awkward arm movements and some lumbering footwork but that should be smoothed away over the next few weeks, he is definitey in contention. Score: 23
Bristol Palin with Mark Ballas did not improve, in fact their scores went down as compared to last week. She has to improve on the performance aspect of the dance; she has the dance steps down pat, but she needs to bring flare and expressiveness to her performance. Mark has incorporated more complicated moves in the foxtrot so she continues to be careful and correct but she needs to execute in a more engaging way. The storyline was about a homeless guy and a girl passing by and they decide to dance, there was not that much of a story . She is definitely in jeopardy tomorrow. Score: 19
Mike Sorrentino with Karina Schmirnoff improved slightly over last week but he still does not have any musicality, the footwork is bad, he moves awkwardly but he is trying very hard. Their storyline involves a couple going through a time machine and being a couple dancing. Score: 20
Who will go tomorrow? Even though he's trying, I think Mike Sorrentino aka The Situation should go because he really has to do a lot to improve, but I don't think he'll go yet because he has many fans from his reality show. It's probably going to come down between Margaret Cho and Bristol Palin. Come back tomorrow to find out.

Week 3 Elimination

After week 3, Margaret Cho with Louis Van Amstel will no longer dance. It's unfortunate that the funny lady was sent home. I don't think she was the worst but she probably had the smallest fan base and therefore the fewest number of fans to vote for her. We will see Margaret again at this season's finale.

Originally published 10/5/2010

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