Welcome to the quarter finals! I can’t believe we’re here already! The first thing we notice is that Tamar doesn’t come out with Val because she was taken to the hospital during dress rehearsal for unknown reasons. Tom assures us that we’ll find out more as information becomes available, but at the moment, we don’t know if she’ll be back for her performance. After the pairs’ regular dances, the stars will have to pair up and dance showstoppers taken from Broadway, Vegas and traveling shows. I feel bad for whoever is paired with Tamar if she doesn’t make it back in time. For now though, let’s see how our pairs do!
Alek and Lindsay (Salsa)
Alek knows that he doesn’t have the sexiness down yet, but he’s got to pick up his game this week, since the salsa is very sexy. Carlos tries teaching him a thing or two, but I don’t think it works. He’s not really comfortable with his body, so the girls help him out by waxing his chest. He definitely looks good as he steps out onto the dance floor, but I’m not too impressed with the dance. Lindsay dances beautifully as usual, but Alek looks stiff and uncomfortable. His lifts are great, but as the judges remind him, he has a lot of trouble with his hips. I completely agree with them.
Alexa and Mark (Contemporary)
Alexa shares with us that for years, she dealt with bulimia. It was something that she’d kept hidden for a long time, but she wanted to come out and come clean about it to show that people can overcome eating disorders. So this week’s dance is a representation of her struggle with bulimia, and it’s incredible. You can see her failure, at first, to break free from the disorder, and by the end, her determination to escape and leave it behind. Mark is incredible too, as the personification of the disorder. The judges all love the performance, all of them even giving her standing ovations. Bruno says she dances like a woman possessed, and Carrie Ann says it was more than just a dance; it was healing.
Carlos and Witney (Argentine Tango)
This week, it’s Witney who is feeling a little insecure, because she and her partner were eliminated in this week last season. Her confidence is wavering a little bit, so Carlos is the one, this week, who tries to boost her up. He needs her if he’s going to beat his wife in the competition. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen this week, based on judges’ scores. The dance itself is good, but I’m super bored throughout the whole thing. The girls agree, though Carrie Ann isn’t able to put her thoughts into words. Julianne explains it better: it was good, but it lacked passion. Exactly! Bruno disagrees. He liked the depiction of the dysfunctional relationship.
Bindi and Derek (Viennese Waltz)
Derek is having the same kind of problem that Witney’s had this week. He’s unsure of how to choreograph the dance because he wants to do so well for Bindi, so his confidence has taken a bit of a hit. Bindi, of course, is voice of optimism and cheers him up. She starts off the dance blindfolded, but from start to finish, it’s incredible. It’s elegant and emotional and graceful, as always for Bindi. I’m not always a fan of waltzes, but this one may have changed my mind. The judges all give her standing ovations. Julianne says she loves Bindi’s grace and beauty and has loved watching her grow throughout the season. Bruno says she’s shown what an accomplished dancer she’s become. Carrie Ann says it was like watching a sunrise and that she’s an extraordinary being.
Tamar and Val (Contemporary)
Unfortunately, Tamar isn’t back from the hospital yet (she’s apparently got pneumonia), so the judges have to critique her and Val’s dress rehearsal instead. That sucks for them, and I definitely feel bad for them. Tamar’s schedule is nuts. Absolutely nuts. She’s flying here to there all week long with her other responsibilities. It’s not surprising that she’s gotten sick. The dress rehearsal is a good indication of what the performance could have been. It looks very emotional and elegant, but as the judges agree that though it was a good dress rehearsal, it’s clear that what they were watching was a dress rehearsal. Val is clearly upset about what’s happened, and I feel really bad for him. I actually didn’t think it was as bad as they thought it was.
Nick and Sharna (Quickstep)
Sharna has realized this week that she’s one of the only pros left now who hasn’t won a mirrorball trophy yet, so she’s feeling the pressure to perform. The problem for these two this week, is that Nick can’t rehearse as much as usual because of hip pain. It looks like they spend as much time trying to work out the pain as they do rehearsing. However, you wouldn’t even know there was any pain at all when he’s out there on that floor. His movements are sharp and precise, and he looks totally badass, both when he’s with Sharna and when he’s with the other two guys on stage. I’d been afraid he’d slip this week after the amazing performance he gave last week, but I had nothing to worry about. Carrie Ann criticizes the fact that he was a little out of sync at the end, and Julianne says that he was straight from Broadway when he was out of hold. Bruno says he was very Guys and Dolls and that he was dancing, matchmaking, movie heaven.
And now it’s time for the showstopper team up challenge! The six stars pair up to perform songs from Broadway, Vegas, and a cruise, and the pairs are Carlos and Alek, Bindi and Alexa, and Nick and Tamar. Let’s see what they’ve got!
Alec, Lindsay, Carlos, and Witney (Paso Doble)
This foursome has chosen to go on the cruise and to dance to a song from We Will Rock You, which is an amazing musical based on Queen songs (seriously, I would recommend this show to everyone). So the four travel to New York for the cruise and seem to spend just as much time having fun as they do in rehearsal. Actually, maybe they should’ve skipped the bumper cars or the surfing and practiced more like the girls wanted. The dance is entertaining, and they had an incredible lift, but overall, parts of the dance were a little boring. However, I disagree with Julianne about being disappointed in the stars-only dance. I thought it was entertaining, and the paint and drums at the end were fun to watch. Julianne loved the lift as well, but Bruno says they needed to be bolder.
Alexa, Mark, Bindi, and Derek
This foursome heads to New York to take in the Broadway performance of Chicago. There seem to be a few issues, as Derek is stressed about how things are progressing. Alexa is a little stressed too. When she forgets her moves, she’s always got Mark to help her through it, but there will be 30 seconds where she and Bindi will be on their own. They don’t have anything to worry about though. The silhouette work at the beginning is incredibly on point and precise, and the rest of the dance is just as great. It really feels like we’re watching Chicago. As Julianne says, they’ve got the characters down flat. Carrie Ann says it was reinvention at its finest and praised their teamwork. Bruno says they were right on the money.
Nick, Sharna, Tamar, and Val (Rumba)
We’re notified just before the commercial that Tamar has made it into the building, but will she be ready to dance with the rest of her team? Yep! She just makes it! I honestly don’t know how she does it with freaking pneumonia! But they do a good job. They start off with just Nick and Tamar, and they do very well together, which is a little surprising considering how long it took Tamar to become comfortable with Val. Then they go into the group dance, and while there is a lot to look at (and the person hanging and flipping from the ceiling kind of takes my attention away from them for a few seconds) it’s well done. The judges are all very positive, all praising Tamar for her determination and praising Nick for supporting her and being a great leading man. Bruno calls the performance a celebration, and they all agree that it’s all about love.
Now it’s time for elimination, and when it comes down to it, Carlos and Alexa are in the bottom two. One of the married couple will be going home, which kind of breaks my heart. And the couple to leave is Alexa and Mark. Both Alexa and Carlos are in tears, but Carlos is the one really crying, and it makes me want to cry too, especially when he tells her that he wishes it’d been him instead. I call bullcrap on this, since she’s a really great dancer and should’ve made it to the end of this competition, but I guess this shows that the votes really do matter. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if the judges scores even factor into things at all, since she was in the bottom two one week a little while ago, and she’d had a perfect score from the judges. Plus, Alek consistently has mediocre scores, and yet he’s always safe. So, since votes matter so much, we’ll end it here. I’ve got to go vote for Nick and Sharna!