SEASON PREMIERE MON SEPT 15 8|7c

"Most Memorable Year" Week and the 3rd Elimination

  • By Melissa Rycroft

Most Memorable Week…I love these! This is the week you can really get to know the contestants and some of the hurdles they’ve had overcome, or see some of the highlights of their lives!

Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd – Viennese Waltz – So Sean’s most memorable year was 2012 – the year all the Bachelor stuff happened, and when he met his fiancée Catherine. I admit, 2012 was a pretty big year for Sean, but it would have been nice to learn something about his past this week – instead of reliving what we’ve all already seen. That aside, this dance was nice. It was a great effort. Viennese Waltz is a hard dance, especially for a male celebrity, because of the amount of grace and fluidity it requires, and while Sean did well, I do agree with the judges that there’s still work that needs to be done on the technical side. But, Sean’s not going anywhere for awhile, so I think he’s got the time to improve!

Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold – Paso Doble – Now these are the backstories we like to see. Not because we like to see people’s struggles, but we like to see what they’ve overcome! Looking at Victor now, you’d never know all the hardships he’s had to go through to get to where he is – and you have to really respect that! Now before I address the Paso, can I address the shirtless Victor?! Verrrryyyy nicceee! Ha! Ok, so their Paso had great potential: the story, the song, the dance style itself. And while Victor played the role wonderfully, he did have some mis-steps. It almost looked like he got too into the dance, and almost made himself stumble. Being back in the bottom two, these guys are really going to have to pull out the stops next week!

Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff – Foxtrot – Week after week, I am excited to see Karina and Jacoby dance. And tonight, I realized why: He makes it look fun. I always find myself smiling while he’s dancing, even in a dance like his Foxtrot because he just exudes fun! You can tell he takes the dancing seriously, but not himself – and that is such a great attitude to have! He proved how smooth and fluid he could be during this dance – and who didn’t melt when they showed his son in the audience? I mean, come on! They rocked it this week! And again, can’t wait to see what they bring next week!

Aly Raisman & Mark Ballas – Contemporary - We have a new leader! I think it’s great that there hasn’t been one consistent leader so far, it keeps things interesting, but makes the contestants push that much harder! And if anyone knows about pushing themselves, it’s Aly. Her greatest year is one that most of us will never experience – it’s great to see how much someone so young has already gotten to experience in her life. And this dance portrayed that story beautifully. I think this was Aly’s ‘coming out’ week – she stood out, made herself memorable, and is standing atop the leaderboard! Good girl!

Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess – Foxtrot - Another story that just pulls on your heartstrings. It’s very touching to see a father dedicate a dance to his daughter…especially after all these two have been through. This dance was simple and very effective. It got to the point quickly, and I think had us all engaged from the start. This dance was really nice, and you could feel the emotion coming from it, and sometimes that speaks louder than perfect technique. And can I just ask, does anyone else see the improvement in Andy?! He already looks like a different dancer than he did Week 1!

Zendaya & Valentin Chmerkovskiy – Samba – Is there anything this kid can’t do?!  I ask that question week after week, and she still baffles me with her talent in all the dances she’s performed – different as they all are. This Samba was awesome! I must say, Val is a great choreographer! And she really shines around him! I thought this dance deserved all 9’s, but it was still great! My one thing about Zendaya (and I know a lot of this comes from being in the industry, and not a typical 16 year old), is that I want to remember that she’s 16 years old! She dances so maturely, and presents herself in a way most 20-something people do – and I want to see her let loose, and let that inner 16-year-old-kid out!!

Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson – Viennese Waltz - Who doesn’t love a good love story? We all know Ingo as Jax, so it’s great getting to know Ingo the real person! Now first, I love this song!! I think it’s perfect for a Waltz! And I think he continues to do a good job week after week. Again, I want him to have a stand out week – they seem to continue to get lost in the middle of the pack, and I really think Ingo has the potential to be a big competitor. But he sure is consistent. You know with Ingo, you’re going to get a clean, good routine – but I want to see a great one!!!

Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough – Rumba - I was touched by Kellie’s story. I didn’t know about her parents and her childhood, and it touched my heart while she was telling it. This dance was oozing emotion – especially with her husband singing the song. It was quiet, intimate, and perfect for the Rumba. I think we’ve come to expect a lot from Kellie and Derek, simply because they started the competition off so strongly (both a blessing and a curse!). And you know what, this Rumba was amazing – her natural ability is ridiculous. But (there it is again...) I know they are capable of so much more. I hate to, but I agree with the judges on this one. We’ve come to expect perfection and ‘wow’ from Derek, and I know Kellie can bring it – she’s done it in the past – I’m ready to see that again, though!

DL Hughley & Cheryl Burke – Good. For. You! Boy, can we call him the comeback kid in this competition? Despite his scores consistently being at the bottom of the leaderboard, he has yet to find himself in the bottom two on Tuesday nights. Going back to what I said last week, I think the judges are largely to thank for that. I like DL. I know he’s not the strongest dancer, but boy is he working hard. And to go out on the dance floor and basically tell the judges to kiss his bootay, was a strong and bold move. It got laughs from the audience, and it got praise from the judges. Dancing aside, I like DL’s sense of humor – I crack up every time he says something! I’m not sure how far that will carry him in this competition, but I’m happy to see him stay around and keep me entertained!!

Lisa Vanderpump & Gleb Savchenko – Cha Cha - This week, they really needed something special to pull them out of the ‘bottom two’ slump they’ve found themselves in the past couple weeks. Unfortunately, this schedule is already proving how grueling it really is. Lisa is a busy woman, and you could see the stress taking it’s toll on her this week. After fainting from exhaustion, they lost a day of rehearsal. (And PS, on the fainting note…Gleb: next time woman faints next to you, grab her...quickly!). Now, I’ll be honest, the start of the dance had some promise – she looked lively, her little hips were moving...and then, the lack of rehearsal kicked it. It was a decent dance, it just looked like they needed that extra day or two. And that’s unfortunate. You never want to go home because of an injury/sickness/lack of rehearsal. But I applaud Lisa for going out and even performing – that took a lot of guts, knowing that she knew it wasn’t as good as it could have been.

So, Tuesday, we lost another competitor, and sadly, I wasn’t too shocked to see Lisa. And she was one that I was so excited about! This was just a rough week for her, she was coming back from being in the bottom two, and just wasn’t able to bring the level of game needed to continue competing. But I’m sure Ken, Giggy, and that multi-million dollar home in Beverly Hills will help recoup her back to health! Great job Lisa, and I’m still a huge fan!


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