It's encores and results!
We're about to go from 7 remaining pairs to 5. Before we do that, let's see what we liked from the last 2 weeks of performances. If you read my recap, you'll see that I took some issue with the scoring and threw another stink eye at Len.
There has usually been something awkward to me in a routine danced by Kelly and Val. Not last night. Their trio dance with Louis was outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable. Click here if the video doesn't play.
We think Melissa and Tony are coming on strong. This Tango/Cha Cha Cha fusion from last week mixed the two styles seamlessly. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Derek wasn't able to dance last week, so Mark took his place in a fantastic Tango/Paso Doble fusion that hit on every level and scored a perfect 30. Click here if the video doesn't play.
Sailor suits aside, this Quickstep from Melissa and Tony was another step in the couple's rise to the top of the leader board. They were just 1 point off of perfect for 4 dances over 2 weeks. Click here if the video doesn't play.
I could have included a few more, but these are the dances I thought were the best of the best.
Now I did mention that I threw Len the stink eye, and I'll tell you why. He complained that the trio dance from Shawn, Derek, and Mark was not a true Samba. He's right. I agree that it was more of a free style with some Samba elements. So the routine should have lost a point, or perhaps a point and a half, for not having enough content for the style assigned.
However, I felt that the Samba content was executed at a 10 level. The rest of the performance was also that good. So if you follow my logic and deduct 1 to 1.5 for lack of Samba content, S&D&M earned at minimum 8.5 and at best 9. Len threw a 7 and I think he did it for spite. In my opinion, Len has graded S&D on a slightly different scale all season because Derek has taken liberty with "the rules" against more traditional choreography like Len prefers. The only way the couple has been able to snag a high score from Len is by strict adherence to Len's way.
That's just my opinion. You can judge the dance for yourself. Carrie Ann scored this 10 and Bruno gave it 9. I think it was worth 9s across, which would have rewarded Shawn for her skill and penalized Derek for not giving her more Samba content. To me, that's fair, because you don't penalize a celebrity who has danced what she was given flawlessly just because you're unhappy with the pro and his choices.
Yes, Derek can exercise his creativity while staying within the rules, like Len wants. Instead, in most dances this All Star season, he has recognized the talent in his celebrity and pushed the bounds, creating outstanding and complete performances. That should be applauded, not punished.
Here's a reminder of our leader board after 3 individual routines and the dance marathon over the last 2 weeks:
99.0 Melissa and Tony
93.5 Shawn and Derek
92.5 Kelly and Val
92.5 Emmitt and Cheryl
92.0 Gilles and Peta
91.5 Apolo and Karina
79.0 Kirstie and Maks
Two couples will be eliminated. Kirstie and Maks have a huge gap to make up with viewer votes, so I think they are a likely candidate to be out. But it's anybody's guess as to the other pair to go.
Kylie Minogue is in the ballroom, celebrating 25 years in the music business, singing a cover of a song that is 50 years old this year, Locomotion, with an able assist from our Dance Troupe plus Kym and Tristan.
First results...Melissa and Tony are safe. Shawn and Derek are safe.
I guess I could take back all that melodrama about Mr Cranky Pants, since Shawn and Derek don't have to pay the price for that low score, but I think I'll leave it.
Macy's Stars of Dance features the Broadway cast of Newsies. There are a few SYTYDC alums in there, including Thayne Jasperson (Season 4), Evan Kasprzak (Season 5), and Jess LeProtto (Season 8). Alex Wong (Season 7) also danced in the Broadway company, although he wasn't in the performance here.
Now we have a performance from Ne-Yo. Meh. Sometimes I just have to say it...somebody actually got paid for writing those lyrics.
More results...Kelly and Val are safe.
Kirstie and Maks are eliminated.
I thought so. That 12 point gap was just too much for the viewer vote to make up. Plus she wasn't up to the difficulty level of the rest of the field.
Here's another twist in a season of them. Our pairs pick dance styles and themes for each other for next week, in reverse order of cumulative scores. According to Tom, the theme should make sense once we hear the music.
- Kelly and Val select Caveman Hustle for Melissa and Tony
- Emmitt and Cheryl select Nightrider Bangra for Shawn and Derek
- Apolo and Karina select Mad Monk Merengue for Gilles and Peta
- Gilles and Peta select Big Top Jazz for Apolo and Karina
- Shawn and Derek select Espionage Lindy Hop for Emmitt and Cheryl
- Kelly and Val dance Surfer Flamenco
Final results...Emmitt and Cheryl are safe. Apolo and Karina are safe.
Gilles and Peta are eliminated.
I felt like Gilles was losing steam over the last few weeks, so this doesn't really surprise me. It seemed like he peaked very early and just wasn't improving, while the other celebrities were surpassing him.
So in the semifinals we have 4 celebrity champions - Kelly, Emmitt, Apolo, and Shawn - plus Melissa who finished 3rd in Season 8. We also have 6 pro champions between Cheryl (2), Derek (3), and Karina (1). Tony is looking for his first Glittering Globe of Glory after 14 seasons and 2 3rd place finishes. Val is in his 3rd season after finishing 11th and 10th.
Pretty dang good, if you ask me.