Week 2 in full force! We saw some couples rise to the challenge, and we saw some tumble a little…Here’s what happened from my point of view:
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson – Quickstep – How charming was this dance?! I found myself smiling the entire time! Ingo has already shown such a range in his abilities between the Contemporary he had in week 1 and this Quickstep. His technique is there (I thought his ‘hold’ and ‘frame’ were great…regardless of what the judges said….), his charm is there, and he just seems like a genuinely good guy! This Aussie Team is definitely one to watch!
Dorothy Hamill & Tristan MacManus – Jive – Hmmmm....not what I was expecting, to be completely honest. Dorothy came out and WOW’d us all last week and I expected the momentum to continue in Week 2. You hate to see an injury occur so early in the season, and I guess we’ll have to wait to see if it will be one that this team can overcome. As I know from experience, sometimes you can practice all week and fake your way through the performance on Monday....Unfortunately, we could tell that they weren’t able to rehearse much this week. Not sure how I feel about the scores either – they were VERY low, but not sure you could justify much higher ones….That being said, I am still a Dorothy fan and want them to make it past this week, manage her injury, and go further in this competition.
Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff – Jazz – For the first Jazz of the competition, I thought this was great! These guys might be the team to beat in terms of entertaining! Entertaining aside Jacoby is a naturally good dancer! Even my husband recognized Jacoby’s talent for dance in their routine last night. He makes the routine fun to watch which is so important in this competition. And what about those lifts?! Whew! He looks like he can just fling Karina around easily without even thinking about it! Personally, I thought the scores were a little low – there should have been an 8 or two in there…BUT, more importantly than scores, these guys proved they have their game faces on…
Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold – Jive – I hate to say this (and don’t hate me….!), but I was a little disappointed in their routine. I expected these guys to be top contenders week after week. Victor is an amazing athlete, with a mega-watt smile and matching charm. Maybe his frustrations in practice got in his way during the performance, or maybe Jive just isn’t their dance (personally, it was my least favorite and weakest dance), but something just didn’t click this week. I don’t think they deserve to be the first to go, so I hope they make it past this week and can come back for a killer redemption dance next week!
Wynonna Judd & Tony Dovolani – Quickstep – I think Wynonna has such a inspirational backstory, and the potential to have a journey of growth throughout this competition. Their Quickstep was….safe. Technically all was good: Her form, her hold, her footwork were all very nice! But she needs to push herself more. She’s capable of having ‘Wow’ moments on the dance floor, if she pushes herself past the ‘safe’ zone. But it was a good Quickstep, and I hope to see her advance in this competition so we can all watch her grow! (And PS – what did you think about Tony’s mustache?! Ha!)
Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy – Jive – This little one did it again! You never want to jinx anything (heck, it is early…), but I can totally see these guys in Top 3! She showed amazing grace and maturity last week and proved she can do it all by going upbeat and fast this week. She is a little dynamite! What was that she was saying about not being able to walk in high heels?! Pa-shhhh! Ummm…I didn’t see any struggle in those heels. She rocked that dance, and I can’t wait to see what these two bring to the ballroom next week! And kudos to Val on his choreography – FANTASTIC!
Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess – Jazz – I am still giggling about this routine – in a good way! This dance was the perfect way for Adam to redeem himself (at least with the judges….) from last week! This performance was right up his alley! And props to Sharna for the amazingly unique choreography! I really enjoyed this dance – and I’ve made it no secret I’m rooting for Andy to do well in this competition. I love a good comeback story and I love the effort he’s putting into it all. Anyone else smell a little more confidence coming from Andy this week?!? Good for you!
Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd – Jive – Really, judges?! Really? I didn’t agree with them tonight on this one -- Sean did a great job on this Jive! For a guy as large as him (and I mean that complimentary), he can move fast! Those feet were going 90 nothing! I thought the theme was cute, the dancing was good, and the charisma was oozing. He definitely upped the ante from last week. Sean has a natural charm about him and I personally like watching those contestants without natural dance ability/dance background rise and grow in this competition. Nicely done, Sean!
Aly Raisman & Mark Ballas – Quickstep – I think she is a-dor-able! What a fun little personality! I could watch their rehearsals all the time. And she has more talent in her little finger than I have in my whole body! This Quickstep was great and technically she’s going to be hard to beat. Reminds me of Shawn Johnson: those girls train for perfection. Aly’s lines are beautiful, her hold/frame is perfect, and her footwork is spot-on. These guys are definitely a couple to watch – I predict she’s going to rock it for awhile in this competition!
Lisa Vanderpump & Gleb Savchenko – Jive – Oh Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. It’s never quite fair to judge a woman 50+ doing a Jive against a 16 year old doing a Jive. It wasn’t Zendaya’s Jive, but I thought it was good! I love the presence of pink (which I think we’ll see her entire stay), and her delicate gracefulness! I agree with the judges that she needs to be a little sharper, and bring a little more pizazz – but I am still a huge fan! It is hard to compete against teenagers and 20-something’s, but she’s definitely doing a great job and holding her own.
DL Hughley & Cheryl Burke – I have to start by saying I hate when the pre-dance packages show fighting or frustration. I feel like it leaves a bad taste in the audience’s mouth before the dance even starts. And to be honest, it was a moment that took place during the 25-30 hours of rehearsal time. I cringed a little when I saw the spat between DL and Cheryl, but it made me want their dance to be that much better than we all expected, to make up for the package. And I must say, it was definitely an improvement from last week! Score-wise, these guys are on the bottom, and I feel like a lot of people predict them to be the first to go. I love Cheryl and I want D.L. to be proud of himself, so I don’t want them to go, but numbers-wise, they do have a lot to overcome.
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough – WHOOOAAAA!! I’m going to say it: One of the best dances I’ve ever seen in the ballroom! This was the Derek Hough-amazingness that we’ve come to love!! He really is brilliant when it comes to creativity and choreography. And he has a little muse this season that suites him perfectly! Kellie has an incredible ability to move and dance in a way that looks like she’s been doing it for years! Did you see how high she help her leg up?!? What?? Had this dance taken place a couple weeks from now, it would have been a perfect score. Kellie and Derek certainly didn’t disappoint, and I think made the competition a little nervous…
So there we have it! Eliminations tonight. I hate to make predictions (and I always hope I’m wrong!) but I think it might be D.L. tonight…His scores might be too much to overcome. But, I’m so proud of everyone! This is shaping up to be a greatly competition season! And with Eliminations now in play, Game On!