We are officially more than halfway through the season – doesn’t seem like it since we still have 8 contestants, but we are! And it’s Stevie Wonder night….AND it’s the first week with two dances for each couple! This is the week where things can get overwhelming….so let’s break it down!
Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy – Cha Cha – Let me start by saying, the Cha Cha was the hardest routine for me to learn and perform – but Zendaya made this look easy! Boy, she had that costume movin’ and a shakin’ the entire time! It can be intimidating starting the show out, because it sets the tone for the rest of the show – and Zendaya and Val started things off in a huge way. To start the show with 10’s makes it pretty hard for anyone to keep up! I keep waiting for a routine this girl can’t do...and I’ll just have to keep waiting...
Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess – Samba – I had such high hopes for this one! Sharna’s adorable dress...Andy as a police officer....their flare for comedy and entertainment...etc. In their defense, it is very hard to do a Samba to a slower song. I think Len nailed it on the head: We want to see Andy bring the ‘fun’ to the dance floor. I love that he is taking this seriously – that’s why we fell in love with him – but he lost his comedic flair this week. I hate to see him at the bottom of the leaderboard again, but hopefully your votes will help pull him through to the next round. I personally want to see more of these guys!
Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd - Samba - Seeing the rehearsal footage, I was expecting a hot mess of a Samba...but this pair really surprised me! Technically not perfect, but, boy, is he trying hard! I smiled with every shimmey and shake (and no, not because his shirt was off, ladies....) because he looked adorable out there – he looked like what my husband and all our guy friends would look like out there. I give credit for attempting the shimmies and shakes, but have to dock some of those points for the stiffness and footwork.
Aly Raisman & Mark Ballas – Foxtrot – Watching her dance, you’d never know how stressed out she was during rehearsals. This is where being a Olympian really helps: she has the ability to work so well under pressure, and to not let stress affect her performance. Aly and Mark keep getting better week after week, and that’s what we love to see. I think they’ve proved they are a force to be reckoned with, and the others should keep an eye on these two.
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson – Tango – Ingo is another one who has steadily been improving week after week. I’ve been waiting for a ‘breakthrough’ week from Kym and Ingo, and I think this was it! There was nothing overly ‘wowy’ about it, but it was crisp, precise, and very clean. The Tango was the perfect routine for Ingo to break out of the middle of the pack – his scores were very well deserved this week!
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough – Quickstep – Let me start by saying that I love this look on Kellie! The hair, the romper, the red lips! Girl looks good! Now onto the Quickstep...This dance was great! It’s what we’ve come to expect from Kellie and Derek. The footwork was fast, her position was great, and she definitely held her own. To get Len to say that this was the best dance of Season 16 is HUGE!! Kellie has amazing natural ability, and we all know the choreography of which that Derek is capable. This pair certainly hasn't slowed down yet, and it seems to be full steam ahead for these two! And, Kellie, I think Derek kept it together alright this week...
Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold – Rumba – Victor and Lindsay need to do well this week – they’ve been in the Bottom 2 too much this season, and need to break out! And….this unfortunately was not it. Lindsay did more dancing around Victor than anything else. I want so badly for these guys to wow us, because I really like Victor. He brings such determination to the dance floor, and he really gives it all he’s got. Finding himself at the bottom of the leaderboard again, it’s going to be up to the audience to keep these guys in!
Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff – Quickstep – Now I know Len said Kellie and Derek had the best dance of the season with their Quickstep, but Jacob's Quickstep was my favorite of the night. Jacoby did what Jacoby does: He had fun, and because of that, he makes it fun to watch. I would much rather see a fun and entertaining dance than one that is boring but technically perfect. I have to say that I totally disagree with the judges scores for Jacoby tonight – he was very underscored.
And now the team dances!! Team dances are so difficult. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, there’s a lot of people trying to put ideas in, and there are a lot of personalities trying to come together.
Team Paso Doble – Zendaya, Jacoby, Victor, Ingo – Great start. Love the black and neon, and love the song! It was a little messy at times when the whole group was together, but the individual parts were good. Umm...Jacoby jumping over a standing Karina?! Uh-mazing!! I thought it was a great effort for the first group dance of the season.
Team Samba – Kellie, Sean, Andy, Aly – Started out great! Love the energy (and LOVE the outfits….!!) I thought this routine was very cohesive and well put together. It looked like a group of 8 people dancing, rather than 4 couples. Of the two team dances, this one was my favorite…It just came together much more nicely!
I think this was a great night of competition, but we didn’t see any major shake-ups on the leaderboard. It’ll be up to the audience to save those at the bottom…Who do you think is heading home this week??