Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

Welcome to Stevie Wonder night.  Our 8 remaining pairs will each dance an individual routine to a Stevie Wonder song.  Then we'll have Team Paso Doble vs Team Samba for extra points.


Stevie kicks off the show with a kid named Hunter Hayes, accompanied by our pros and our Dance Troupe.  The dance was choreographed by Sasha Farber.  Excellent.

Zendaya and Val dance Cha Cha Cha.  Val has stepped up the pressure on Zendaya to really focus on getting the technique exactly correct.  I like how relaxed and cool this dance felt.  I loved those final spins.  She had great interpretation of the music and the flavor of Cha Cha Cha.  She looked gorgeous in that shimmery silver, gold, and black dress.  I'd give it a 10, but I do see Len's point about her legs.  I can't say legsses about Zendaya because she's only 16 and that wouldn't be appropriate.  But as to her legs, I agree that the one thing she can work on is tone and control.  That's a minor nit to pick and doesn't mean much of anything except to a dancing judge.  I enjoy Zendaya's dancing more every week.  Judge say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  That's going to be tough to follow.

Andy and Sharna dance Samba.  He works hard and he has so much enthusiasm for what he's doing.  That's endearing and makes me root for him to do well.  The problem is that his awkwardness is way too evident in the Latin styles.  To his credit, Sharna put a lot of classic Samba content into the choreography and he mostly got the steps right.  Unfortunately, he didn't have true Samba hip action or bounce.  His personality was stamped all over the performance and I appreciate that.  He didn't have enough musicality or rhythm.  He's not going to be among the best dancers and he's not going to improve enough technically to be credible in the Latin styles.  But he's enjoyable to watch and that's good enough.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.  That's OK.  He's not going to win and we're at the stage where his scores need to be put in proper perspective against the rest of the couples.

Sean and Peta dance Samba.  I'm surprised that he managed the bounce fairly well.  He danced with abandon and confidence, which was also surprising.  He had decent hip action in a couple of spots.  The problem was just didn't exist.  Also, his feet were a bit heavy.  He still needs to work on control and finesse.  I don't think it was a horrible performance.  I just think it was very heavy and clunky.  I thought the transitions from movement to movement were strained.  I think Sean is getting some of that smooth flow in the ballroom styles, but he needs more work in the Latin styles.  Judges say 7s across for a total of 21.  Yeah, I'd say 21 is an average score and that was an average performance.

Aly and Mark dance Foxtrot.  She looks terrific this week.  She struggled with her emotions in rehearsal, but she was able to put that behind her and come up with a light and carefree performance that was pure joy.  Her footwork was wonderful, but the thing that drove the performance was her sweet and charming presentation.  She did have some trouble holding her frame.  I like the way each week she lets more of her personality come out in her performance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  She danced with a lot of confidence this week, but I don't think the 10 paddles will come out for her until she corrects what the judges see as deficiencies in her posture and frame.

Ingo and Kym dance Tango.  Happy Birthday Ingo!  I think this can be a good style for him, just based on the things I see as his strengths.  He's very comfortable in hold, and that's what Tango is all about.  Oh rats...he lost his balance in the first third of the dance and that ruined his timing.  But he danced through the mistake with barely a pause and didn't let it ruin the entire performance.  He had more control than I've seen thus far and he didn't over dance it.  I thought his musicality was good and he really seemed to enjoy the choreography and the style.  He had some of the stalking quality that I like in Tango.  Without that bobble, I would have thrown a 9 on it.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  Well done.

Kellie and Derek dance Quickstep.  I always enjoy her lines and the shapes she makes.  I thought this was a very fast Quickstep and I don't think she missed a step.  Her posture was strong and her frame was incredible.  Len excused some of the loss of body contact by acknowledging the speed of the routine.  I'm excusing it as well.  This Quickstep had everything you want.  It had classic choreography.  It had speed.  It had difficult steps.  It had musicality and great presentation.  This was such a wonderful and complete performance.  I loved it.  Kellie stepped up to the gauntlet Zendaya threw down.  Judges say 9,10,10 for a total of 29.  Yes!  They got the first 10 from Len.  Sweet!

Victor and Lindsay dance Rumba.  Oh boy.  Step here.  Step there.  Extend an arm for Lindsay.  Step.  Step.  Turn.  Step.  No connection to the music.  No rhythm.  No hips.  No passion.  No emotion at all.  And too many mistakes.  I don't think he deserves a "well done, good try" at all.  I appreciate that this is a difficult dance for him, and honestly for a lot of guys.  But you have to at least try.  I didn't see any effort.  In fact, I saw defeat.  It looked to me like he didn't feel the dance, he didn't think he could do it well, so he didn't bother to really try and do anything.  Maybe I'm being a little harsh.  It wasn't the absolute worst Rumba I've ever seen.  It just wasn't much of a dance.  Judges say 6s across for a total of 18.  I think the difference between this performance and Andy's is that I can see Andy enjoy what he's doing and really try, but I can't say the same for Victor.

Jacoby and Karina dance Quickstep.  I don't mind if he decides that his feet are his feet and he's not going to worry about trying to turn them out.  But I think he has to realize that if that's going to be his decision, then he's not going to be able to fix his frame or his posture because properly turned out feet are the foundation of great balance.  He's going to try to overcome that deficiency with personality and charm.  That's OK, but Quickstep does require a little more focus on technique to make it look right.  And this dance just didn't look right to me, pigeon toes or not.  I didn't care for the performance.  Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.  Tough score, but I think it does make the clear statement that frame and posture are things you have to pay attention to regardless of how charming you are.

Here's our leader board after the individual dances:

29 Zendaya and Val
29 Kellie and Derek
27 Aly and Mark
24 Ingo and Kym
23 Jacoby and Karina
21 Sean and Peta
18 Andy and Sharna
18 Victor and Lindsay

It pains me to say this, but I could have done without Stevie warbling his way through one of my favorite songs, My Cherie Amour.  Anna and Tony were wonderful.

Now let's have our team dances.  As I've said in the past, I have a hard time really commenting on the team dances because the floor is crowded and I can't see it all.  So I'll just give you my overall impressions and the scores.

Team Paso Doble is Zendaya and Val, Jacoby and Karina, Ingo and Kym, Victor and Lindsay.  I thought the group parts were a little sloppy and not very good technically.  Zendaya and Val were great but I thought the others struggled.  Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22.

Team Samba is Kellie and Derek, Aly and Mark, Sean and Peta, Andy and Sharna.  Now that was great!  Loved the energy and bounce.  Loved the synchronization.  There were some issues with Sean and Andy in the individual sections, but overall I thought the performance was fun.  Judges say 8,9,8 for a total of 25.

Here's our updated leader board after adding scores for the team dances:

54 Kellie and Derek
52 Aly and Mark
51 Zendaya and Val
46 Ingo and Kym
46 Sean and Peta 
45 Jacoby and Karina
43 Andy and Sharna
40 Victor and Lindsay

The leader board can really be turned upside down after team dances.  Zendaya and Val got a couple of 10s in their individual performance, but the team score dropped them to 3rd place.  Even with that the top three continue to be Kellie, Zendaya, and Aly.  We split our votes among those ladies again this week.

You know the drill.  Tune in tonight for results and check back here tomorrow for my results and encores post.

Later gang.


  1. Cherie says:

    Naturally, I loved Stevie's performance despite some imperfection because I felt like he was serenading me personally. ;P I voted for Z- because I think that she needs the most fan base help. We've certainly gotten to the point where we've seen a part of the pack separate between the ones that are really thriving and the ones that still look like a student working with a pro, even if it looks like a good student. We will see what we shall see. :)