Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Our 7 remaining pairs tackle a fusion dance this week, as well as a swing dance marathon.  Should be interesting.

For the individual fusion dances, each couple picked a combination of dance styles for another couple who Tom picked out of a hat.  We started with the lowest cumulative scores and moved to highest to pick.

Ready for it?  Let's begin.

Apolo and Karina dance Cha Cha Cha/Paso Doble fusion, picked for them by Gilles and Peta.  This is interesting.  They start with Cha Cha Cha, and it really fits the song.  But the transition to Paso looked rough.  In fact, the whole dance had a bit of a sloppy look to me.  Apolo mentioned in rehearsal that it felt frantic to him.  That's what it looked like to me.  I thought the Cha Cha Cha section was reasonably clean.  It had the cheeky flavor.  I thought the Paso piece was aggressive.  And the leap was very good.  I clearly didn't see the same dance the judges did, as they raved about it.  Ah well.  Maybe I'll see it differently when I watch it back.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Emmitt and Cheryl dance Rumba/Samba fusion, picked for them by Shawn and Derek.  This seems like a pretty strong combination for Emmitt, because I find that he's much better in the Latin styles.  Cheryl decided to switch up the dance about every 8 counts, which is a bit of a risk.  Just when you settle into one style, there's a switch.  I think it worked pretty well.  The problem I'm having with it is that the song feels too fast for Rumba.  I think Emmitt is dancing the Rumba sections just fine, but it looks a little silly to me because of the faster tempo of the music.  I really liked the Samba sections.  Emmitt is always good at Samba.  I thought they mixed the two pretty well.  The only real problem I had with it was the tempo being too fast.  Judges say 8.5,9.5,9.5 for a total of 27.5.

Kirstie and Maks dance Quickstep/Samba fusion, picked for them by Apolo and Karina.  Now these are both up tempo dances, so that's a plus.  But one is ballroom and the other is Latin, so that could pose a problem.  Now this music seems like it could go with either style.  It's not too fast, so Kirstie does a great job of keeping up with Quickstep in the first section.  I like the transition to Samba, although she didn't dance it as well as she did the Quickstep part.  I enjoyed the way they staged the whole piece.  They tied both segments together through costume and story.  The Quickstep was pretty good, but the Samba just didn't quite get it done.  Her musicality was off and that caused her to lose rhythm.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  

Kelly and Val dance Cha Cha Cha/Foxtrot fusion, picked for them by Sabrina and Louis.  There's something in her posture I just don't like.  I can't put my finger on it, but there always seems to be something awkward that catches my eye.  I like this music a lot for both styles of dance.  And I like Val's choreography and the way he staged this piece.  Other than that inexplicable thing that bugs me about Kelly, I think she has danced this very well.  The Foxtrot was classy and the Cha Cha Cha was cheeky.  Both pieces were well contrasted and also well combined.  I liked her musicality and expression through both pieces.  I liked the performance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Melissa and Tony dance Tango/Cha Cha Cha fusion, picked for them by Kirstie and Maks.  I really like the Tango section.  The choreography is really strong.  I'm surprised that Tony mixed the styles throughout.  With Cha Cha Cha as toe lead and Tango as heal lead, it can get confusing for an amateur.  But Melissa really got it done.  She attacked the Tango elements with crisp, clean footwork and proper posture.  Then she busted out the cheeky and sexy action for Cha Cha Cha.  Each piece was really well defined.  Tony did a great job choreographing the routine and keeping them straight for Melissa.  They danced so well together.  I really enjoyed that routine.  Judges say 10,9.5,9.5 for a total of 29.

Shawn and Derek dance Tango/Paso Doble fusion, piece for them by Melissa and Tony.  Except Derek injured his back, so Mark is going to dance in his place.  The goal this week is to entertain, but also to get the technical elements correct so Len can take off the cranky pants.  And to keep Shawn from losing her mind with input form both Derek and Mark.  The interesting thing about this piece was that both dances were at the same tempo, so the transitions seemed very smooth to me.  I thought Shawn looked comfortable dancing with Mark.  I loved the choreography and the way the steps were combined.  The whole dance had the power and aggression that characterizes both dances, but each style was clearly defined to emphasize the drama of the entire routine.  The music was right for both dances.  I really enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.

Gilles and Peta dance Argentine Tango/Samba fusion, picked for them by Kelly and Val.  These are two styles that Gilles is very good at dancing.  The only potential problem I can see for him is the transitions, because the styles have vastly different tempos and flavors.  Dammit.  I didn't like it.  The judges thought it was good, although Carrie Ann pointed out issues with his arms.  Len thought the dance captured the flavor of both styles.  Bruno thought the Tango was sultry and sensual, while the Samba was sexy.  I'll go with the judges description of the dance itself.  I didn't care for the performance at all.  Judges say 9.5s across for a total of 28.5.

Here's our leader board after the fusion round:

30.0 Shawn and Derek (Mark)
29.0 Melissa and Tony
28.5 Gilles and Peta
27.5 Emmitt and Cheryl
27.0 Kelly and Val
27.0 Apolo and Karina
24.0 Kirstie and Maks

Before the swing dance marathon, we have Cheslie and Mark dancing a modern ballroom fusion piece with some terrific kids from the state of Utah in this week's AT&T Spotlight Dance.  That was outstanding.  And if you look closely, you'll see a few familiar faces from this past season of SYTYCD.  You have to look really quick though.

Now let's have our swing dance competition.  Judges will eliminate couples until we have a winner.  Points will be awarded to each, 10 to the winner and so on down to 4.  I'll just tell you the finishing order.  Kirstie and Maks are out for 4 points.  Gilles and Peta are out for 5 points.  Apolo and Karina are out for 6 points.  Emmitt and Cheryl are out for 7 points.  Shawn and Mark are out for 8 points.  Kelly and Val are out for 9 points.  That means Melissa and Tony are the winners for 10 points.

Here's our leader board after adding the marathon points:

39.0 Melissa and Tony
38.0 Shawn and Derek (Mark)
36.0 Kelly and Val
34.5 Emmitt and Cheryl
33.5 Gilles and Peta

33.0 Apolo and Karina
28.0 Kirstie and Maks

Today is Election Day here in the US, so no results show and no eliminations.  That means we'll have double elimination after next Monday's performances.

No encores or recap tomorrow.  I'll save that for next week. 

Be sure to vote!

Later gang.


  1. Cherie says:

    My favorites this week, in order of appearance, were Apolo and Karina, Kelly and Val, and Shawn and Mark. I was expecting double elimination next week. I'm glad they're doing it that way rather than what was originally planned, a la last season's SYTYCD. Though I hate the reason that they're doing it.