Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

And it's the Festival of Tiny Costumes, otherwise known as Latin Night!

I'm a big fan of Latin Night.  Can you guess why?  LEGSSES!!  And shoesses!  And ssexy hip swivelsses!


First round is a Latin dance to Latin music.  You might think that's a given, but there are often questionable music selections.  Here we go gang!

Jacoby and Karina dance Salsa.  He seems most comfortable in the Latin styles because he can be more relaxed and free flowing.  But technique is also important because balance and posture drive hip action.  This choreography had the feel of a club dance.  I thought at first that Jacoby was a little too casual with it, but then I remembered that Salsa is really supposed to have that constant motion and relaxed flavor.  As the dance went on, I began to enjoy the performance more than in the beginning and middle.  I still don't like the way his feet turn in.  I still think he needs to get his backside tucked in a little better.  I thought the transitions were excellent from dance to lift and back to dance.  Nicely done.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Ingo and Kym dance Rumba.  This was actually a credible dance but lacking in heat and steam.  I think that it might have been a better choice to simply let him act the dance and not worry so much about the hips.  I liked the choreography and I think he managed some wonderful lines and shapes.  I don't typically care for a posed Rumba, but this was the time to pull that out.  He tried to get the hips going, and he got a little bit, but it didn't look natural.  I would have liked a bit more flow and musicality.  It wasn't a bad performance.  There was quite a bit of Rumba content.  I just think they should have focused more on Ingo's acting strength rather than trying to bring out technique that he's not going to be able to manage.  Judges say 7,8,7 for a total of 22.

Kellie and Derek dance Samba.  Kellie has a tough travel week and limited rehearsal time.  Love the Samba roll.  I love the depth of her backward stride.  The change of pace in the middle was interesting.  The choreography was cool and casual, but full of real content and difficult steps.  That last spin trick was incredible.  You'd never know they had such a tough week of travel.  I loved how crisp and clean the performance was.  I think Kellie has the right mix of spice and precision.  Start the music and off she goes.  She's got attitude.  She's charming.  She shows how much fun she's having.  And I love the connection between the two of them.  I'm not sure what Carrie Ann is watching, but I have always connected with each of Kellie's performances.  Judges say 9,10,10 for a total of 29.

Andy and Sharna dance Rumba.  Now this could go a couple of different ways.  It's a slower tempo dance, so Andy should be able to control his movement.  But his lack of musicality and natural awkwardness could hurt him.  I like the reprise of the iconic Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse ballet from Singin' in the Rain, although Andy and Sharna didn't have the same sensuality that Gene and Cyd brought to the original piece.  Rather they tried to capture a bit of the comedy.  I think the story and the play acting allowed Andy to enjoy what he was doing and present a wonderful piece of entertainment.  It wasn't a great Rumba for all the reasons - no hip action, no great Rumba steps, no lines or smooth flow.  But it was an enjoyable performance and I appreciate it for that.  Judges say 5,6,6 for a total of 17.

Aly and Mark dance Salsa.  Mark injured his neck during rehearsal.  Henry came in to help with choreography and training.  But Mark was able to go for the performance.  She makes me smile with how much personality she lets loose during these up tempo dances.  I think she did a great job, considering she had to dance with Henry all week and then bring it all together with Mark on Monday.  This dance had a ton of content and so much energy.  I'd like to see her finish off some of the movements though.  Some of the steps were a bit choppy and seemed rushed.  And there weren't very many Salsa passes, as Len pointed out.  But that's picking nits.  I really enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  Whoa.  I thought that was worth 9s across.  I don't know about those 10s, but good for Aly!

Sean and Peta dance Rumba.  Nice trick to bring Sean's fiance into rehearsal.  I actually liked this performance.  He didn't worry about hips and technique.  That's the way Ingo and Kym should have approached it.  Here I thought Sean was able to translate his love for his fiance into the dance.  And that connection makes it OK that his technique wasn't great.  I didn't find him awkward or lacking in rhythm this time.  He controlled the dance and interpreted the music.  He made enough of the romantic connection with Peta.  He doesn't do any element of dance very well, but in this performance he melded enough elements together fairly fluidly to create a nice piece.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.

Zendaya and Val dance Paso Doble.  This is really good gang.  It has aggression and passion and drama.  It even had a bit of mystery.  The choreography was super difficult and I thought it was performed flawlessly.  I predict that this is going to break the tie at the top of the leader board.  In addition to how incredibly well Zendaya danced, I thought the performance also had style and flare.  I'm glad the costume department finally put her in a brighter color.  I like the white.  Oh wait, the judges are picking on her top frame.  I'm not really understanding what they are saying.  I thought the dance had intensity and attack, and was everything you'd want.  But of course that's just a non-professional's opinion.  I'd call it perfect.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  They clearly saw something I didn't. 

Here's our leader board after the first round:

29 Kellie and Derek
29 Aly and Mark
27 Zendaya and Val
27 Jacoby and Karina
24 Sean and Peta
22 Ingo and Kym
17 Andy and Sharna

Second round is a dance off challenge.  But first, highest score gets immunity and we have a 2-say tie at the top.  Per the rules, the pair with the highest cumulative score gets the immunity.  So that's Kellie and Derek.  Everyone else will perform in the dance off.  I won't explain the rules, because frankly they confused me.

Before we get started, International Latin star Juanes performs while our pros and Troupe dance.

OK, here's our dance off.

Aly and Mark pick Andy and Sharna to dance against.  Andy and Sharna pick Cha Cha Cha as the style.  Aly and Mark go first, followed by Andy and Sharna.  Both pairs were a little awkward, but Aly and Mark were better technically.  Judges unanimously select Aly and Mark as the winner of this pair.

Zendaya and Val pick Jacoby and Karina to dance against.  Jacoby and Karina pick Jive as the style.  Zendaya and Val go first.  That could be intimidating, but Jacoby is a competitor.  Those dang feet.  I just can't get past it.  Lots of excitement though.  Judges unanimously select Zendaya and Val as the winner of this pair.

Sean and Peta dance Rumba against Ingo and Kym.  I think Ingo and Kym might have the edge here, but they both danced Rumba tonight so they should be on the style.  Sean and Peta go first.  I thought Ingo and Kym were smoother and more fluid, but Sean and Peta captured the romance.  Judges select Ingo and Kym as the winner of this pair by 2-1.

Here's our final leader board after the 3 points add to the winner of each dance off.

29+immunity Kellie and Derek
29+3 = 32 Aly and Mark
27+3 = 30 Zendaya and Val
27 Jacoby and Karina
22+3 = 25 Ingo and Kym 
24 Sean and Peta
17 Andy and Sharna

Since Kellie and Derek can't be eliminated, we split our votes between Zendaya and Aly.

Looks like Andy might be in trouble.  That's a pretty significant scoring gap to overcome with fan votes.

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

Later gang!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the wrap-up. Was watching til Carrie Ann's 'fart the salsa' comment. I am admittedly stuffy about that kind of thing. GGG

  1. Andy Dick had some pretty strong things to say about the judges Comments

  1. Cherie says:

    Not sure how I missed this yesterday, but I've got to say it. Zendaya was robbed! Though I love Kellie, Monday night, I thought that her samba lacked energy. Totally understandable considering her schedule, so I don't know what the judges were seeing there either.