Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's Week 5 from Hollywood!

Our remaining pairs tell in dance the story of a memorable year in their lives.  This is typically a pretty emotional night, and it has often brought out the best in our celebrities. 

Before we get to dancing, we have a guest appearance by someone called Aloe Blacc accompanied by our pros and our Troupe, choreographed by Derek Hough.

They don't typically do this, but as of now based only on viewer votes, one of the ladies is in danger of elimination.  I don't like that they reveal that before the dancing. 

Christina and Mark dance Cha Cha Cha to tell the story of her daughter's birth in 2010, and also her divorce from the child's father later in the same year.  This is a celebration for rebuilding her life as a strong single mom.  I like the solo at the top of the piece.  I think she's a terrific dancer and I think Mark is giving her difficult, pro level choreography because she can handle it.  There was so much classic Cha Cha Cha content.  She has great Latin hips, excellent upper body carriage, and terrific attitude in her performance.  She definitely got her message look adversity in the face, kick its backside, and get on with your life.  This was a great performance.  Judges say 9,10,9 for a total of 28.  Well!  I don't know if it was worthy of the first 10 paddle of the season, especially from Len, but it was definitely a terrific performance.

Jack and Cheryl dance Waltz to tell the story of 2012 when his daughter was born and shortly after he was diagnosed with MS.  I can't imagine how frightening that kind of news is, coming right after the joy of bringing your first child into the world.  I'm glad he finally gave a little grin during the dance.  This is beautiful choreography and he should be dancing it with expression in his face.  Concentration and focus is important, as is portraying the character of the style.  But I need to see some emotion too, especially in a Waltz.  There was wonderful flow to their movement.  Jack had good extension in his arms and excellent lines.  He still has some stiffness in his hands, but it was softened a bit by the whole package.  His posture was tall and he kept his shoulders down.  His footwork was fantastic.  They floated across the floor.  It was like butter.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  Definitely well deserved.  I'm telling you...these personal stories bring out the best in our celebrities.

Leah and Tony dance Contemporary to tell the story of 2012-13 when she took control of some unspecified challenges in her life that she attacked and overcame.  She didn't state what her challenges were, but the inference was that she escaped an abusive relationship.  Suffice to say that she found strength to overcome scary changes.  I love this staging.  She's a marionette and Tony has the strings, but then she leaves the strings behind, breaking away from his control.  This dance was all about attitude.  Tony put some strong lifts into the choreography and fell back on a lot of ballroom style movement to emphasize Leah taking control of movement.  I think she did well with what she was given and I think Tony did well working in Contemporary, which he hasn't really done before with a non-dancer as a partner.  The concept was excellent.  But I think the weaving together of the lifts with the dancing was just a little disjointed, giving it a contrived feel.  There wasn't a lot of flow.  However, that disjointed flavor sort of mirrored the journey of escaping the relationship and forging a free life, so I appreciated it for that.  Judges say 7,7,8 for a total of 22.  I think that's a fair score, but there was certainly potential in the concept for something special.

Corbin and Karina dance Foxtrot to tell the story of his relationship with his sister Phoenix, who was diagnosed with severe Scoliosis at the age of 12 in 2011.  This is an elegant and joyful Foxtrot.  I like his posture and extension.  The choreography had a little bit of Waltz to it as well.  I like the little kiss he blew to his sister during the dance.  Those little touches personalized the piece even more.  This was really well danced.  I thought Corbin's musicality was wonderful.  He understands the character of the piece, and his performing background allows him to act through each dance without over playing it.  I like his control.  I like the style he brings to his work.  Too bad Carrie Ann is going to focus on lifts rather than how wonderful the whole of the dance was.  Judges say 9,9,10 for a total of 28.  And because Carrie Ann called a lift at the beginning of the piece that wasn't a lift, she knocked a point off to drop them into a tie rather than to give them high score.  I watched it back...Karina's foot never leaves the floor, and that's the rule for a lift.

This one's for you, Carrie Ann!

Bill and Emma dance Viennese Waltz to tell the story of 1982 when he married his wife of 30 years.  I've watched his stand up and seen how he brings stories about his marriage to Gail into his act.  It's hilarious and he mostly makes himself the butt of the joke.  You can tell it comes from deep love and commitment.  As for the dancing, he never really puts a foot wrong in getting the routine correctly organized.  He's not the most graceful of dancers, but he manages to get it done.  There was nice rise and fall in this dance.  It was full of so much romance and fairy tale.  Hey gang...every man should learn how to dance just like that to honor his lady.  Yes, he did have a few issues with timing and his musicality was off.  But I don't really care with this performance.  This was a beautiful bit of emotion played out to music and that's good enough for me.  Judges say 8s across for a total of 24.  That's a fair score.  He didn't make any footwork mistakes, and the timing issues were well compensated for with how sweet and honest the performance was. 

Nicole and Sasha dance Jazz to tell the story of 2012 when her son was born.  She overcame the challenge of a very public pregnancy and all the ridiculous negative criticism that came from people who thought they knew her from reality television.  This seems a little more hip hop than jazz, but then jazz comes in a lot of different forms so I'll take this as Sasha's interpretation of Jazz choreography.  I think Nicole did a good job dancing what she was given.  But I think there was too much of a club flavor to the routine and I'm not sure I liked it.  It did have lots of energy.  It was dynamic.  I think it got her point across, which is that you can grow up and turn your life into something special for someone special.  I just don't really know if the piece qualifies as jazz.  Evidently it doesn't really matter to the judges.  They enjoyed the performance for its vibrancy and attitude.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  I wouldn't give it that high of a score, but that's just a matter of my personal likes...or in this case, my personal dislikes.

Brant and Peta dance Contemporary to tell the story of 2009 when he lost his father to cancer.  His father encouraged Brant's dream to become an actor and he started to have success shortly after he returned to Hollywood after his father passed.  This style really suits the way Brant moves.  He seems to understand it.  The emotion is sunk deep into the choreography and the movement.  The shapes are terrific.  There was both sadness and joy in the piece.  It looked very cathartic for Brant.  This was a thorough performance.  It had pauses, it had contraction, it had both explosions of motion as well as subdued stillness.  Each emotion drove a piece of the dance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  I don't know.  The judges have brought out the 10 paddles, and I think this performance deserved a couple of those.

Amber and Derek dance Foxtrot to tell the story of 2009 when she went from a clerk at Ikea, to being turned down for American Idol, to winning the part of Mercedes on Glee.  Have I said this yet?  She makes me smile.  There's so much attitude and sass in the way she performs.  This is not a traditional Foxtrot, although I thought there were some classic steps combined with some modern funky bits.  I think she is gradually getting her lower body into sync with her upper body.  Her shoulders and her posture are always solid, but sometimes her legs get a little loose and awkward.  I don't think that was the case with this piece.  She and Derek have meshed so quickly and completely.  Len is picking on Derek for not putting enough time in hold.  Derek knows it and told Amber it was coming.  There will be times when Derek wants to make a particular statement and he'll take the penalty for it to get that statement made.  It's only a problem this week if Amber was the one who didn't get enough votes to stay in the competition.  Judges say 9,7,10 for a total of 26.  Bruno made up for the ridiculous extra point Len took off.  The complete performance was good for a 9...he only needed to take one point off to make his statement about lack of time in hold for proper Foxtrot.  What he forgets is that Derek did put enough traditional Foxtrot steps into the routine.  He just made a choice to step away from hold for a few seconds longer than Len likes.  I'm used to that by now.

Here Len.  You can have this one.

Elizabeth and Val dance Jive to tell the story of 2012 when her son was born, and to 1989 when she landed her role on Saved By the Bell.  She wants her son to know that it's OK to dream big.  How sweet is that little boy...spinning around with Val and saying Mama during rehearsal.  The start of the dance was a little cheesy for my taste.  She also lost her balance on that first solo pirouette.  But then she got her feet under her, found her timing, and the rest of the dance was mostly back in control.  It was high octane energy with a lots of 1980s influences, from the leg warmers to the big hair to Val's MC Hammer pants.  I think Elizabeth got just a little ahead of herself a couple of times.  She worked hard to hold onto the kicks and flicks.  She's tall, and in Jive it can be tough for a taller person to get the kicks sharp enough.  I thought the dance was good, but not one of her best.  Judges say 8,9,9 for a total of 26.  I have to watch this one back because that balance problem on the opening pirouette was a bit much to justify those 9s.

I don't know who this fellow Aloe Blacc is, but I've enjoyed his performance snippets throughout the show.

Here's our leader board:

28 Christina and Mark
28 Corbin and Karina
27 Brant and Peta
27 Jack and Cheryl
27 Nicole and Sasha
26 Amber and Derek
26 Elizabeth and Val
24 Bill and Emma
22 Leah and Tony

And here are our results...Corbin and Karina are safe.  Amber and Derek are safe.  Bill and Emma are safe.  Jack and Cheryl are safe.  Brant and Peta are safe.  Nicole and Sasha are safe.  Elizabeth and Val are safe.  Leah and Tony are safe.

That means Christina and Mark are eliminated.

That's really a shame.  I enjoyed her progress and I thought she was certainly a contender based only on her dancing.  But as you know, this show is also about connecting with the people who vote.  If they don't know you to start with, you have to find a way to get them to pick up the phone for you.  It's too bad she wasn't able to do that.

Tune in next week and check back here for encores tomorrow.

Remember I'm counting down the days to Blog Blast on 4 November with 30 days of Peace Quotes and Reasons to Blog for Peace.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.  
Thomas Sowell

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We speak on one subject with one voice on one day.  Won't you join us?  You have a voice; how will you use it?  Check in at Mimi Writes or at the Peace Globe Gallery for all the details you need to make your Peace Globe and join your voice to the movement.

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  1. Cherie says:

    I didn't like how they started the show with the announcement that one of the girls had the lowest viewer votes. It was a distraction through the whole show. There's always going to be someone with the lowest viewer votes who without an adequate judges' score will be eliminated. I can only think that Christina was so behind the pack that it was practically a statistical impossibility for her to catch up since she was still eliminated with such a high judges' score.