We’re back for the second week of dancing! I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like it’s been much longer than a week since we last saw these guys dancing. I’m dying to find out who’s going to go home tonight. I’ve got my prediction (Kim), but we’ll see! Let’s get on with it!
Nick and Sharna (Jive)
Nick grew up in a sort of bad neighbourhood of Tampa Bay, but he had a really great teacher to help him along the way. He basically credits her for all his fame, so he’s dedicating his jive to her. It definitely isn’t as good as last week. He slips a little at one point (and no wonder—those things have no treads at all; shouldn’t they have some sort of traction?) and his footwork isn’t quite there, and you can see his disappointment on his face. But he’s still not bad. All the judges basically say he was rough, but still good. I don’t think he has to worry about being sent home
Paula and Louis (Rumba)
Paula hails from Savannah Georgia. She’d opened her first restaurant there, so she wants to do her home city proud in her dance. She’s okay. It seems really slow at first, and she almost loses her footing at one point, but it picks up in the second half of the dance when they start spinning around. Overall, it’s a little boring. All the judges are impressed with her improvement but Carrie Ann says she needs to work on her turns.
Hayes and Emma (Foxtrot)
Last week’s most popular Star on twitter is from North Carolina and grew up with motocross and jet skis and boats. It sounds like he’s always loved adventure, and dancing is definitely an adventure. He and his mom are super close, so they’re both pretty emotional tonight. In fact, after his dance, Hayes actually cries a little when he talks about his mom. I think it’s sweet. I think the dance kind of average, but it’s smooth and graceful, so he gets points for that. All the judges praise his dancing, though Julianne tells him he has to work on not dropping his moves. Bruno says Hayes reminds him of a young Tom Cruise in Risky Business and that he has the arms of a ballet dancer.
Chaka and Keo (Foxtrot)
Chaka isn’t going to let a bad night get her down. That’s not how you do it in Chicago. Her scores weren’t great last week, but she’s ready to make up for it this week. The song reminds her of her father, so she’s dancing for him. It’s not bad, but it’s kind of boring, and Keo really does most of the work. Plus, she forgets some of her steps again this week, which Carrie Ann comments on. They all say she’s made an improvement, but she needs to remember her choreography tomorrow night. I think she might be in trouble tomorrow.
Andy and Allison (Jive)
Andy is from New York and wants to do his home state proud. He talks about traveling to the city to do open mikes and begin to develop as a musician. His dance is definitely high energy and and full of fun and enthusiasm, and judging by the audience’s cheers, they loved his performance. All the judges praise him and say that he’s got potential, but that his footwork was off. Julianne says it started off strong, but then he lost his timing.
Kim and Tony (Quickstep)
Kim was very disappointed in herself after last week, so she’s ready to show everyone that she can do this. She comes from Connecticut, but she considers Atlanta home, since that’s where she met her husband and raised her family. Her dance is definitely an improvement over last week. She looks like she’s actually present this week, and her moves are a lot better. All the judges are happy with her improvement, and Julianne tells Tony to keep pushing her to grow. Bruno says she’s top-heavy at times, but it’s still really good. She still makes a bit of an excuse when she says she did better this week because last week was a much sexier dance, and she didn’t know Tony that well yet. I still think she’s doomed to go home tonight.
Alek and Lindsay (Jazz)
Alek is from Sacramento, and he’s dancing for his friends back home who were on the train with him. Their jazz is really impressive. It’s full of lifts, and he hits them all as if she’s light as a feather, and as if he’s been dancing for ages. Julianne tells him that he’s on par with Lindsay but that he needs to relax his fingers. All three judges were blown away by his dancing, and I was too. He was really, really good.
Alexa and Mark (Salsa)
Last week, her husband got a better score than she did, so this week, Alexa is ready to beat him. She and Mark hadn’t connected quite enough last week and she’d been distracted because her husband is also competing. Now she’s ready to win! She’s got salsa in her blood, and it shows! Her dancing is incredible. She’s graceful, even with all the quick moves. The judges all love her dance.
Victor and Karina (Jive)
Victor grew up in Mexico on a farm with a big family, and now he’s ready to tame his audiences! If it’s not completely obvious, he’s a very positive person who never looks back, which is probably good, because his performance last week wasn’t great. This week, in my opinion, isn’t much better. His footwork is very simplified, especially compared to Karina, and I think that the fact that her moves are so much more complicated just amplifies how much slower he is than her. But he’s very enthusiastic, and that works in his favour. The judges barely acknowledge his poor moves and mostly just praise him on his enthusiasm and energy. This is what I don’t get about this show. The dancers at the low end of the spectrum tend to get more praise and not much constructive criticism, even though they could use it, and the better dancers seem to get scrutinized more. I’m still trying to work out whether or not I think it’s fair.
Tamar and Val (Cha Cha)
Tamar is also from a big family. She grew up in Maryland, and it looks like she and her sisters are all very close. Tamar is having a little trouble with the dance this week, as they’re dancing to We Are Family, and the dance has a lot of thrusts in it. I’m not sure why they chose this song if she didn’t like thrusting while thinking about her family, but the dance goes well anyway. She’s very smooth and graceful, and both female judges agree that when she’s dancing by herself, she really shines. But then her eyes go kind of dead when she starts to dance with Val. I’m guessing she feels a little uncomfortable around him still, but she’ll loosen up as she gets to know him better. She’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Gary and Anna (Foxtrot)
We find out that Garry grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a dad who played football, so football has always been in his blood, and that’s a good thing, because he swears he gets sense memory flashbacks of football moves when he dances. He’s going to need that deep seated memory to get through the next few weeks if he wants to stay, because dude is still crazy. His dancing actually isn’t bad, especially compared to last week. It starts off a little slow, but he gets some good, quick footwork in there. Once again, the judges praise him, with Julianne commenting on his energy. She thinks he looks like a twelve-year-old boy when he dances because his eyes just light up, and he’s clearly excited to be on stage. I agree. He does have a bit of that childish nature to him.
Carlos and Witney (Foxtrot)
We see tonight that Carlos grew up in Missouri with a very supportive father, which is really nice to see. Tonight he’s dancing for him, and his dad couldn’t be prouder. He’s already declared his son the winner, with Alexa as a close second. He’s a very graceful guy, and he and Witney have great chemistry together. Carrie Ann says he’s a contender, and that his dance was delicate and sophisticated. Julianne tells him that he’s got great natural ability but that he needs to squeeze his shoulder blades together.
Bindi and Derek (Tango)
Bindi lives in a zoo and wakes up to tigers roaring and birds chirping. How amazing is that? She tells us that she actually loves heavy metal music and that AC/DC was a favourite she shared with her dad. So naturally, their tango is very upbeat and full of energy. Bindi and Derek really work well together. They look like they’ve been dancing together for ages already instead of just a few weeks. All the judges love her, though Bruno doesn’t want her to throw away her frame. Julianne wants to see her do a more traditional tango next time. And there will be a next time, because she was amazing. I think he’s going to be the one to beat this year.
And now we get to the elimination part of the series. I’m not sure how I’d feel about having to learn two new dance numbers if I knew I was going home tonight. For one couple, learning those routines is a waste of time, as the doors will close on one of them. The two couples in the bottom two are Gary and Anna and Chaka and Keo. And the star going home first is Chaka. She’s extremely graceful in taking the news, and actually, she seems more upset for Keo than for herself. This is a great woman, guys.
I have to say, I’m shocked that Kim didn’t even make it into the bottom two. I thought for sure that she’d be the one ousted from the competition, especially after last week’s terrible performance and poor excuses. But, she’s safe, at least until tomorrow night. Who will be the one to go home next? I’m going to guess either Gary, or Paula or Victor, as their scores were on the low side, and the fans have already proven that they’re not so into Gary. Message with your predictions, and we’ll have a conversation about it. Until tomorrow, have a good night!