Welcome to Peace Week, Day 2 - Cue that theme music!

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Travis Cody in

It's live from Hollywood!

It's another high octane performance from our pros and Troupe to lead off the show.  The piece was choreographed by Mandy Moore.

We've got team dances plus our regular individual rounds. And since no one was eliminated last week due to the voting snafu, we're adding scores from this week to last week's totals. 

Here's a reminder of the leader board after last Monday's performances.

32 Elizabeth and Val
32 Amber and Derek
31 Brant and Peta
30 Nicole and Sasha
28 Leah and Tony
27 Jack and Cheryl
27 Corbin and Karina
24 Bill and Emma

You'll recall we had those points added for the Switch Up challenge.

Now that we're all caught up and settled in, let's have some dancing!

Elizabeth and Val dance Quickstep.  Val is working hard on frame...head position, shoulders down, proper facial expression.  I don't like the set up for this piece.  They have a lot of space between them in hold, and it makes Elizabeth looks like she's leaning into him.  I like the choreography once they got into the piece, but I think they had some trouble with execution.  I was really conscious of her height this time because it looked like she was leaning way forward.  It was very fast and the choreography was full of content.  But I didn't really care for it.  Hold, frame, body contact...all of those things were sub par for me this week.  I think I prefer a slightly slower tempo in a Quickstep so the celebrity can master the technique.  I enjoyed this overall performance, but I think it was a miss in terms of technique for Elizabeth.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27. 

Brant and Peta dance Jive.  I like this tempo for Jive.  It's quick but it's not too fast.  I like the way Peta introduced the character and flavor with the staging.  And there wasn't too much introduction, which I appreciate.  I think Brant did a credible job with the kicks and flicks.  I think he was a little behind the music even at this tempo.  Then he slipped on Peta's costume, which was unfortunate.  He recovered well and kept going, but the timing was even further thrown off at the end of the dance.  The choreography was challenging, and forced Brant to go full out without worrying about the steps.  I think that helped, and also hurt just a little.  I thought the transitions could have been a little cleaner.  For me, I thought Brant's performance was strained due to all of the content.  But that's just a personal impression.  Overall I enjoyed the performance.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.  I'm not sure about the the 9s across.

Leah and Tony dance Salsa.  I like to see her dance with confidence...the real kind of confidence, not the acting kind.  She threw herself into this Salsa.  Tony didn't hold anything back and Leah attacked every movement.  She looked fantastic.  She had her Latin hips going.  She had her attitude.  She had her feet hitting every step.  Her musicality was excellent.  Salsa is supposed to be a dance of continuous flow, and they never stopped moving.  Seriously gang.  That was outstanding work.  I couldn't spot a flaw.  Tony gave her such a difficult piece and she delivered.  She was fearless.  Judges say 9,8,9 for a total of 26.  She apparently has a rib injury, but you couldn't tell by the way she performed.  Those lifts were quite tricky and she went for it.

Oh for Pete's sake Len.  This is for you for that 8.

Jack and Cheryl dance Jive.  Jack is struggling a little in rehearsal, hitting some performance overload and fatigue.  I like this Jive.  His feet are turned in just a little bit, but he's getting them in and out and back and forth with tempo and sharpness.  I don't know about running up those stairs at the end of the piece.  I would have preferred another 15 seconds of dancing.  His leg work for the flicks could have been just a little more crisp.  I always enjoy his musicality.  I also enjoy his personality.  He's a charming young man and that comes through in everything he does.  I thought he captured the flavor and character of the Jive quite well.  Plus I always appreciate that Cheryl uses so much classic Jive steps in her choreography.  Judges say 10,8,9 for a total of 27.  I have no idea why Carrie Ann threw a 10.  I enjoyed the performance and thought Jack did very well, but I didn't think it was perfect. 

Amber and Derek dance Paso Doble.  Derek says he is giving up pleasing Len.  I don't blame him because Len has been so inconsistent.  Both Amber and Derek have discomfort this week...backs, knees, shoulders, necks.  Tough week for both of them.  And Paso is unforgiving.  I like that the music is classic.  Derek's steps are full of classic Paso shapes and lines.  I think Amber has done a terrific job of refining her Spanish line, except for a couple of times when her shoulders drew up.  There is attitude and aggression.  Every step is crisp and clean.  Dang that was good.  I think not worrying about what Len is likely to say is a good strategy because that performance was without apology.  They threw down and danced without worry about the score.  Amber attacked every step.  The performance had nuance and subtlety along with the drama and passion.  That was pretty close to perfect in my eye.  Judges say 10,10,9 for a total of 29.

Bill and Emma dance Quickstep.  We're going to Vegas with Elvis and the Quickstep.  Bill nearly always gets the steps in the correct order.  He got most of his steps right in this dance too.  Towards the end I thought the dance kind of got away from him a little bit.  He either got tired or lazy with his posture and frame so that it looked a bit like skipping instead of dancing.  They seemed to go around and around without the pauses for footwork.  Maybe a few more of those actual quick steps would have given the piece a little more interest.  As it was, I thought Bill just looked tired and more focused on the silly parts at the beginning and end when he got to do a little Elvis impression.  Not one of the better efforts.   Judges say 8,7,8 for a total of 23.

Nicole and Sasha dance Samba.  I don't like that she kept sneaking glances down at her feet.  No wait...I take it back.  Sasha was doing the same thing, so that must have been by design.  OK.  She gets a pass on that, although I do think she had some trouble getting into the flow.  That could be a function of being tired.  The little opening solo looked contrived and forced.  Even so, once she got into the dance she had some good Samba hips working.  I liked the choreography in general.  There was some good Samba bounce, once they finally found the groove.  I didn't think her musicality wasn't as good in this piece as it has been, and she was dancing a bit ahead of the beat.  I'd like to see her find the pause in the movement.  I think that will help her connect everything better and not lose track of the rhythm.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27. 

Corbin and Karina dance Cha Cha Cha.  Karina actually struggled with what she wanted to do.  She kept tinkering all week.  Whatever you land on for Cha Cha Cha, just make it cheeky and fun.  It was cheeky and fun.  But it also looked a bit hectic and disjointed to me.  Karina seemed so determined to come up with a theme for the dance.  I would have thought that when in doubt, go back to one.  In other words, go strictly classic.  I think what the crowd reacted to was the energy of the piece.  Personally I didn't care for it.  I recognized a lot of Cha Cha Cha movement, but it just didn't feel complete to me.  I'll have to watch this back.  I just didn't really see anything I liked the first time through.  Judges say 10,9,10 for a total of 29.  I don't see the 10s personally.  I either totally missed a great dance, or the judges gave it better than it deserved.

Here's our combined leader board after the individual dances.

61 Amber and Derek
59 Elizabeth and Val
58 Brant and Peta
57 Nicole and Sasha
56 Corbin and Karina
54 Leah and Tony
54 Jack and Cheryl
47 Bill and Emma

Team round is up.  It's freestyle, so pretty much anything goes.  I'm not sure I like this idea.  At least with previous team challenges, there have been specific Latin styles so I knew what to expect.  With freestyle, there's a risk of the routines being too tricky or gimmicky.  We'll see how these groups approach it.  Each pair shares the score, so the leader board could flip again.

The teams look pretty even to me.  You never know how they'll do until you get them in the groups. 

Elizabeth and Val are captains.  They select Nicole and Sasha, Leah and Tony, Bill and Emma.  They have selected a Halloween zombie theme.  Wow that had a lot of energy.  I thought they did a great job.  I loved the concept.  Very entertaining.  Well done.  Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.

Amber and Derek are captains.  They select Jack and Cheryl, Brant and Peta, Corbin and Cheryl.  The team embraced that song literally.  They had fun with it.  It was silly and creative.  It was bizarre and wild, and it worked in a totally weird way.  The fox was in the details, I'm telling ya.  Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.

I think the only difference in the two teams was the quality of dance.  Both concepts were excellent and both routines were entertaining.  But the second group was slightly better overall in execution.

Here's our leader board after all scores from last week and this week are added up.

91 Amber and Derek
88 Brant and Peta
86 Corbin and Karina
86 Elizabeth and Val
84 Jack and Cheryl
84 Nicole and Sasha
81 Leah and Tony
74 Bill and Emma

Results...Amber and Derek are safe.  Brant and Peta are safe.  Corbin and Karina are safe.  Jack and Cheryl are safe.  Elizabeth and Val are safe.  Leah and Tony are safe.  Bill and Emma are safe.

That means Nicole and Sasha are eliminated.

I'm actually surprised by that result.  I thought she had a solid fan based to keep her going, and I didn't see how Bill could overcome the deficit.  But that's the way this show goes. 

Tune in next week for a treat.  Len goes back to the UK for Strictly Come Dancing.  Cher will join the panel as a guest judge, and she'll also perform.


Later gang!

It's a long Peace Week, Monday to Monday.  You've still got time to get over to Mimi's and grab a Peace Globe template, decorate it, and post it with your thoughts on Peace.  If you haven't joined us before, find a couple of minutes and give it a try.  I guarantee you'll be glad you did.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.  
Mahatma Gandhi

Reason 5: Because today's reality need not be tomorrow's.

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.

Join us.  You know you want to.

I believe that words have power, so this matters. 


  1. Cherie says:

    Dance of the night for me was Amber and Derek again. I don't think I've seen a Paso quite like that before, and yet it was very classic. I liked the balance of not worrying about Len, but staying within the rules. I think it can also help that they had Paso and could imagine stomping on Len's head. Take That and THAT! lol

  1. I hope that words have power. I surely do.