Dancing With the Stars – Hometown Glory: Pro Edition

Welcome back to another night of dancing! Last night we focused on the Stars’ hometowns, and tonight we get to see where the pros are from. It’s kind of cute, seeing pictures and videos of the pros in the opening sequence. I actually kind of wish we could see a little more of that. But we’re not here to take a look at the past! We’re here to see celebrities dance! So let’s get started!

Hayes and Emma (Quickstep)

Emma comes from Tamworth in England and has a twin sister. Both sisters loved Are You Gonna Be My Girl, when the song came out, so she chooses this song for tonight’s dance. I think it’s really good! I can’t believe this kid has only been dancing for a few weeks so far. It’s high energy and very well done, and the judges agree. There isn’t much they can criticize him for, except that he needs to tuck his butt in when he dances.

Score: 23

Carlos and Witney (Cha Cha)

Witney grew up in Utah with Lindsay and another childhood friend, and the three of them loved to dance. They watched DWTS together starting at age 11, which just reminds me how young she is. Wow, I feel old. I wasn’t a huge fan of this dance. He wasn’t bad, but I didn’t like the music. I didn’t feel like it matched the set or the dance. Carrie Ann wasn’t impressed either. She knows that he can do much better. Julianne and Bruno were easier on Carlos. They both called him squatty and told him to straighten his legs, but they praised him as well. Even with the poorer performance, I don’t think he’s in danger of going home.

Score: 21

Gary and Anna (Paso Doble)

Anna comes from Russia and says she didn’t feel like she had a hard life because she didn’t know any better, but that she’s not sure what she’d have done if she hadn’t had dance in her life. Their dance isn’t so hot. Gary seems to have forgotten a lot of his moves, so he spends much of the dance stomping around with his arms up while she dances around him. Once again, everyone praises his enthusiasm, though Bruno says he was like Frankenstein out there on the dance floor. They’re all very positive though, wanting him to last in the competition. I think he’s in trouble. If he’s not out tonight, I think he might be out next week.

Score: 15

Andy and Allison (Contemporary)

Allison comes from Utah but feels her home is in L.A with her husband and kids. It’s great getting to see her husband talk to Andy about their dance. He seems like a really great guy. The dance is really good. There are a lot of lifts and leaps, and Andy really seems to have it down tonight. It’s definitely much better than last night. All the judges praise him for his improved performance and his commitment to the dance, though both Julianne and Bruno caution him on his arm work. This guy isn’t going anywhere. He’ll be around for a while.

Score: 23

Alexa and Mark (Rumba)

Mark’s parents were world renowned Latin dancers, so he grew up around dancing, and now he wants to honour them by dancing with Alexa to the same song that his parents last danced to as a married couple. I think it’s so sweet. I think the dance is beautiful and graceful and romantic. Alexa is a terrific actress, so she sold the performance with more than just her dance moves. You could almost believe they were really in love. The female judges criticized her stiffness in the beginning of the performance, and Julianne says at times her upper body was too far forward, but they all think she did a good job. I think her score should’ve been higher.

Score: 22

Paula and Louis (Tango)

Louis comes from Amsterdam and loves the mix of history back home. When he was young, he moved to New York to do Broadway and ended up becoming a ballroom instructor. In fact, he was the teacher of several of the pros! Paula reminds him that he’s the oldest pro, but I don’t think it shows. Or it might not, if he had a different partner. I found there were a lot of pauses, and Paula missed a couple of moves, which she herself pointed out as soon as they were finished. Once again, the judges praise her, even though her dance wasn’t great. And yet the better dancers get criticized even when their dances are amazing. I don’t get it, but I’m not a fan.

Score: 18

Bindi and Derek (Waltz)

Derek was born in Utah but moved to England when he was a preteen. This waltz they’re doing tonight reminds him of his younger self, and I think it’s beautiful. Bindi is very graceful, and her moves are beautiful. It’s a very romantic routine, one of the best of the night in my opinion. Bindi and Derek obviously work very well together. Julianne praises them for their connection to each other; they were dancing as one tonight. She also loves that Bindi has so many different sides, and that she’s not afraid to show all of them. Carrie Ann says it was stunning, but points out that Derek had lifted her at one point which apparently is not allowed. I believe this affected their score.

Score: 23

Kim and Tony (Foxtrot)

Tony grew up in Kosovo and had to live through the war there. Dance was his only escape from the war, so he really appreciates what it can do for someone. It can unite people from all walks of life, and that’s an amazing thing. Kim says she feels more comfortable with this dance, and that seems true throughout most of it, though she seemed a little bit uncomfortable at the end. All the judges say she’s improved, but they want her to push it and to keep her energy up. Kim doesn’t really seem to like it when she’s told she needs to push herself more.

Score: 18

Alek and Lindsay (Quickstep)

Lindsay comes from Utah (wow, like half the cast comes from here. Is that all they do in Utah? Dance?) so she’s an all American girl and she wants their dance to reflect that. It’s definitely very American. I think it’s pretty good. He’s light on his feet, and he makes it look easy. The judges are a little harder on him. Actually, Carrie Ann is especially hard on the good dancers tonight. I’m not sure what’s up with her tonight, but I think she needs to knock it off. They acknowledge that he’d made a couple of mistakes, but Julianne notes that he’s very mature for his age and says he’s got a real presence to him.

Score: 22

Victor and Karina (Rumba)

Karina was born and raised in Ukraine until she was 14, and then her family moved to America, when there was a change in government. It was a culture shock, but I think she got through it alright. Tonight, they dance the rumba, and Victor needs to show that he can lead Karina instead of the other way around. Honestly, I’m bored with the whole thing. Karina is beautiful, and her moves are graceful as always, but she does most of the moving. His moves are very simple, and he doesn’t look super comfortable. But the judges have absolutely nothing but praise for him. Not even a little bit of constructive criticism. I don’t get it. They apparently think he was commanding, but I didn’t see it.

Score: 21

Nick and Sharna (Foxtrot)

Sharna grew up in a smallish town in Australia. She very clearly misses her family, because, although her mom gets to come and visit her in California, her dad and grandmother are too sick to travel. They’re both on dialysis for kidney failure. I definitely feel for her, but I’m not sure why they can’t come anyway. There are dialysis units in the States. I know, because my mom has had kidney problems my entire life, and though there were a lot of restrictions when I was a kid, it’s easier now to travel and dialyze. But the point is, this song is a little bit emotional for Sharna. It’s an absolutely beautiful dance. They’re both very graceful, and the connection between them is obviously very strong. It’s an amazing performance. All three judges are very positive. Carrie Ann says there was power and passion in their performance. Julianne commented that he wasn’t in his head tonight. He was just there for her. Her only criticism is that he needs to lift his head more.

Score: 4

Tamar and Val (Charleston)

Val’s parents came from Ukraine, but he was raised in New York. He’s definitely got the New York confidence. He and Tamar are both headstrong, so they argue a little over the story line of their dance, but once they’re on the dance floor, they work exceedingly well together. The dance is full of energy, and she’s absolutely amazing. She looks like she’s been dancing for years. She makes it look effortless. The judges have nothing but praise for her, and she deserves it. It was definitely the most interesting dance to watch. Last night, they’d lost a bit of their connection while they danced together, but you’d never know it tonight. As Julianne says, it was seamless.

Score: 25

And now, it’s time for the tough part – the elimination. My prediction for bottom two would be a combination of Gary, Victor, and Paula, and I’m right. Gary and Victor are in jeopardy. And who goes home tonight – everybody’s favourite jockey, Victor. The audience is full of boos, but hey, it’s largely about the votes, so obviously they didn’t vote enough. I’m not surprised, and I’m not super upset about it either. I’ve found him a little uncomfortable to watch, so I’m not sad about not having to watch his dances anymore.

So that’s it for tonight! I still think Bindi and Nick will go right to the end, but now I’m including Tamar in that group too. She’s really stepping up her game, and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next. Which pairs do you like? Who do you want to win? Who do you think will win? And who will be the next out? Let me know! And we’ll see you next week!

– Rebecca

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