Sunday, April 23, 2017

DWTS S024, Week 1: Quite a Bit of Crazy, Quite a Bit of Sublime


The big question on the first episode of any Dancing with the Stars season is: What kind of looney-tunes do they have on this season? And, also, who are the ones who are going to take our breath away?

Well, happily (and sadly) we got the answers to both of those questions in this episode.

Let's start at the beginning, though, shall we?


The season kicks off with a splashy red carpet simulation, the highlight of which is Maks kissing Len on the cheek.


Everyone pairs up with their partner, and the judges come out, all to the opening number dance. Very nice. Bows to the wondrous Mandy Moore for the choreography.

First up in this mega-star parade of dances is our returning champion, Valentin Chmerkovskiy and his new partner, Normani, whose day job is singing in some band called Fifth Harmony. (That was sarcasm, people, don't send me emails.)


"This is going to be like a hybrid of old-school and new-school swagger," says choreographer extraordinaire Val. And this quickstep is indeed that. Beautifully executed, and they look great together.

Tom calls it, "a high-octane start to the season," although Len (back for the full season this time, YAY!) disagrees. "It was a bit long-winded getting started and getting down on this dance floor." (And later, he gives it a 6, which makes Val wince.) Len also said, "You've got to get a bit more body contact going."

JUDGES' SCORE: 27 out of 40

Next up, Artem pairs with figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. We do love Nancy Kerrigan, but it has been awhile since her skates captured our minds and hearts.


They dance a Viennese waltz to Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman." It ends with flakes of snow tumbling down, and a real skating type of twirl. Nice.

The judges mention her skater's focus, instead of dancer's focus.

JUDGES' SCORE: 28 out of 40

Tom mentions that this show is the 400th! (Congrats, #DWTS!) "But we don't look a day over 380."


And here, we have our first trainwreck. First, Witney is not the smartest of the bunch. Great dancer, but wow, her lack of knowledge sometimes! She has NO IDEA who Chris Kattan is. She says she's never seen an episode of SNL. (Yikes.) And not like Mango is so indelible anyway.

I pretty much like this couple the least of all the ones performing tonight. Did I mention he can't dance either?

One of Carrie Ann's "favorite things in life is goofy bad dancing." So she loved Kattan's routine.

Len takes it further, "If you were trying to do 'goofy bad dancing,' you pulled it off. The best thing about that cha cha is that I haven't got to watch it again."

JUDGES' SCORE: 17 out of 40    :-0

Let's keep another score. Chris Kattan dances... well, "dances," despite having broken his neck earlier in life. Bonner Bolton, the bull rider, also had broken his neck. Luckily for us, he dances better.


Sharna is just cha chaing away in her cowboy boots. This dance was a fun one, and more than one person mentions their chemistry.

Carrie Ann says, "It was like watching Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise."

Bruno: "How can you resist a cowboy with a killer forward thrust?" (as he's saying this, he's miming a...Ahem...forward thrust... one that makes everyone blush.) I think Bonner got Bruno's vote. Sharna looks beyond embarrassed at what Bruno just said.

Tom: "Seek out the safety of the skybox..."

But in the skybox... Erin, "Carrie Ann mentioned 'oozing,' there was a lot of oozing..." (She says, very slowly...)

Bonner mentions his hat got in the way. Erin, "Oh honey, no one cared about the hat..."

Bonner then thanks his coach, Sharna, "She's been drilling me hard, and working me hard, and cracking that whip." (I so wish I had a picture to put in right here of Carrie Ann's face when he said that!)

JUDGES' SCORE: 22 out of 40


Then, another train wreck. Charo. You remember Charo? She's truly got to be like 100 years old. But she's had a lot of work done, so it's really hard to tell. Charo's schtick, for those who aren't hip to it, is to purposely speak bad English that turns out really sexual in the translation, "I got bumps all over my goose," she says in the package, as she's gyrating her (ancient) crotch. She is an entertainment force of nature (whose time has passed).

Nonetheless, she is now on the show, and she bops through a salsa with Keo and her mile-high hair. As they wait for the judges' scores, she is not patient. At one point, she attempts to charge Bruno, and Tom stops her. Then, when she gets her bad scores, she says: "Why?" in Spanish. (Even though each of the judges has just detailed why.) Tom has quite the ordeal to keep her from going back and punching the judges. "I'm not getting paid enough for this," he pleas.

JUDGES' SCORE: 21 out of 40


Then, we have the most recent Bachelor, Nick Viall, now spreading his ABC franchise coin by trying this Dancing with the Stars thing. *sigh* But, he's paired with Peta Murgatroyd who has been proven to whip a silk purse out of a sow's dancing ear, so who knows? And Peta says she's "defending her title," since the last time she was on the show, she took the Mirror Ball. Then Val won it in between, while she was off having Maks' baby.

But I'll say this right now. People have counted Nick Viall out before, and been dead wrong. I am predicting right now that he goes far in this competition. Much further than many think on the first night.

As he says in the package: "Look out, Mr. T." and "Maks' partner?" Peta: "She was Beyonce's back-up dancer." Nick: "It's gonna really suck for her when we get better scores." Peta laughs. I'm not laughing. He's a very determined man.

Peta: "You'll be like the best Bachelor, that's ever been on the show." Nick scowls and says, "I hope I can aim higher than that."

And indeed, their cha cha was much better than what went before. Course, what went before was Chris Kattan and Charo, so... *shudders*

As they finish, the camera makes a quick cut to our lovely Jenna... who is IN THE AUDIENCE!!! WTF? She's not dancing this season? :-(  That is an extreme bummer.

JUDGES' SCORE: 24 out of 40


So, it's about the halfway point of the first night here. Let me explain something about Dancing with the Stars (if you don't already know this). How it's supposed to work is that you get rank amateurs, who've never danced before, but are famous in SOME OTHER WAY, and prove that they can actually dance.

Somewhere along the way, people decided that they really wanted to see good dance, after all, and those rank amateurs aren't going to do all the flips and spectacular moves that normal people would do, so DWTS has been slowly morphing into something else. It has become about six completely out of the running has-beens who make for good comedy in the beginning, and six actual competitors. USUALLY.

This time around, and I'm always suspicious when this happens, we have A FOR-REAL DANCER. Heather Morris, for those who don't know, was on Glee. However, she was hired onto Glee because SHE'S A DANCER. They already had a bunch of great singers. They needed a great dancer. And she is.

So Julianne and everyone tries to downplay this at the beginning. Oh, BEING BEYONCE'S BACK-UP DANCER is a different kind of dance, it's not BALLROOM. Yeah, um, ok. Shut up.


If there is such a thing on this show as putting one's thumb on the scale, that thumb is Heather Morris. And she's paired with Maks, arguably one of the show's best dancers.

Maks gives Heather a word of encouragement in the package: "Even if you sucked, and this was all a facade, you would have been amazing anyway, because it's ME teaching you."

And it's true. Their Viennese waltz is just a thing of beauty, right out of the gate. Truly miles above anyone else who has just performed. (IMHO)

But Carrie Ann hits on this team's only real drawback: Heather is not a star (like many others on this season are). She's a BACKGROUND dancer. That's what she's good at, supporting others. What will determine if she can win this is if she can step up and own her stardom.

Carrie Ann: "I feel like we got to know everyone else who danced. I don't feel like we got to know you."

Best thing about it: the Tom pinch is back! (Maks likes to pinch Tom's butt.) I missed that!

JUDGES' SCORE: 28 out of 40


I don't know about you, but for me, one of the highlights of last year was the Chicago Cubs being in, and WINNING the World Series. I'm still on a happy high from it, honestly. And anyone who watched knows David Ross for his game-winning homer, in that magical last game. That kind of magic takes you far.

And well, he wanted it to take him to Dancing with the Stars, apparently. Luckily for him, he's paired with the wonderful Lindsay, who does take people quite far, indeed. And David Ross is the first baseball player to compete on DWTS.

They perform a quickstep, fittingly, to the song you heard EVERYWHERE during the Series last year (and in the park in many other years): "Go Cubs Go!" Their names at the opening are on the Wrigley scoreboard. It was so fun.

They also cut to the Cubs at spring training in Arizona, who were watching and cheering David on. That was nice.

JUDGES' SCORE: 28 out of 40


I'm pretty convinced after seeing Gleb awhile now, that his wheelhouse is the sexy thing. That's where he parks it, that's what he does. So this season kicks off with a unicorn (no kidding) and a long-haired blonde with big boobs. Oh joy. There is certainly trepidation on my part, with that shower Argentine tango from last season still burned into my brain, I'm not expecting much.

But Erika Jayne! Wow. Never seen her before, but she is certainly a force to be reckoned with. She does, however, perform this first week to her own song (*Yuck*). "It's Expensive to Be Me."


Not surprisingly, the judges are predictable. Len thought it was "too raunchy." Julianne wanted more salsa content (as did Len). Bruno loved the sex. "It felt like a night in Caligula's palace." Carrie Ann wants her to "go out of your comfort zone. Go more in the elegant zone next week."

JUDGES' SCORE: 24 out of 40


Emma Slater is a hard-working dancer on this show who REALLY deserves a break. She's been saddled with all kinds of people: old, fat, can't move. Never really had a winning combination yet. This one may change that.

She pulls out the "24-Carat Magic" song from the end of last season to do this great cha-cha. It's got attitude, it's got verve. It's a winner.

It starts out with this circle of gold light, that it appears that he's showering in. Gold everywhere. Gorgeous.

Julianne: "I think you've got the magic to make it all the way." She calls it "the dance of the night."

Bruno: "That was the revelation of the night. You were sparkling with star-quality all the way through. I can't believe what I've seen."

Carrie Ann: "You've got the moves, you've got the magic, but now you've got all of our attention. Cause that was killer."

Len, of course, is the wet blanket.

JUDGES' SCORE: 31 out of 40  (Best score of the night so far)


Another one of the joke celebs, especially after that sublime cha cha from Emma and Rashad... It's not even worth talking about this one realistically. Though I do love Kym. Good to see her back.

Len: "The T doesn't stand for 'technique.' "

JUDGES' SCORE: 20 out of 40



Our last competitor follows in the footsteps of last season's winner, Laurie Hernandez, her teammate Simone Biles. They were/are both young, and inexperienced in the ways of the other sex. "Is this the first time you've ever looked into a boy's eyes?" asks Sasha. "Well, you're welcome." (I personally think Sasha is very dreamy.)

They broke out all the stops for this one, with really cool lights.


Incredible tango. For Len, THIS was the dance of the night.

JUDGES' SCORE: 32 out of 40 (highest score of the night).

And at the end, in the closing credits, you see a star for Florence Henderson with "Season 11" at the bottom. Nice.

Here's the way I see the season breaking down from this point.  You have the Chmerkovskiy families (Maksim, Peta and Val) vs. the Farber families (Sasha and Emma).

Those are honestly the ones I see in the final five. Going to be interesting to see who wins.

MICHE'S FAVORITE DANCES OF WEEK 1
1. Rashad and Emma's cha cha
2. Heather and Maks' Viennese waltz
3. Simone and Sasha's tango
4. Normani and Val's quickstep
5. Nick and Peta's cha cha
6. Bonner and Sharna's cha cha
7. Nancy and Artem's Viennese waltz
8. David and Lindsay's quickstep

Yeah... Heather has NO dance experience... *eyeroll*
IN IT TO WIN IT
1. Heather Morris and Maks (seriously?)
2. Normani (from Fifth Harmony) and Val
3. Emma and Rashad
4. Simone Biles and Sasha Farber
5. Nancy Kerrigan and Artem
6. Nick Viall and Peta

Sharna and Bonner
JURY'S OUT
1. Sharna and Bonner
2. David and Lindsay
3. Erika and Gleb

PLEASE GO HOME NOW
1. Chris Kattan *shudders*
2. Charo *shudders*
3. Mr. T

Look who's in the audience? The woman who won (Laurie Hernandez) and the woman who shoulda (Terra Jole).

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

DWTS Season 23 Finals, part 2: It's Val and Laurie!


The Grove shopping center is right next to where Dancing with the Stars films. So it's a natural backdrop for their finale, especially around holiday time. I love it. The holiday finales are some of my favorites of this show. So we open on some of the pros dancing through the sparkling, glittering Grove.

Thankfully, the whole concept of "everyone in the cast gets to do a dance" went away with the previous director, and we only SEE each of the season's cast members. Some of whom you had probably surely forgotten were on this season. (Who's that guy with Jenna again?) What is weird though, is that SOME of them do get to perform "their favorite" dances. Others don't (Amber bails on what she said during the show was her least favorite dance, and we get to see the wondrous Jenna dance it instead.). Others have their partners bail inexplicably (see Marilu at the beginning with Derek; when she dances her dance, with Terra and Sasha inexplicably, Marilu is paired with a troupe dancer, and Derek is nowhere to be found). Just weirdness like that through this whole thing.

Tom does his usual spiel, and says that "for the first time ever, the final three are all athletes." Really? A racecar driver counts as an athlete? Hmmm.

So, the scores, they tell us in a nicely done recap of last night are: THIRD PLACE: Lindsay and Calvin with 75, SECOND PLACE: James and Sharna with 77, and FIRST PLACE: VAL AND LAURIE with 78.

Now, in my experience, it's really not often that the addition of the scores from America changes much at this point. (And, indeed, these end up being the final rankings.) But we have this whole finale to go through. So here we go!

First, a look back at the season that was. Back to the first week, and the whole mess with Ryan Lochte, which sadly overshadows that great opening number at Griffith Park. Week Two, TV Night. Week Three and that crazy Face Off nonsense. Then, we have a song (inexplicably) by Andy Grammar. It is notable only for the dance that goes with it, by the wondrous Allison Holker and Keo Motsepe.


You will remember, of course, that when Andy Grammar competed on the show, Ms. Allison was his partner. Always wonderful to see her dance, so this was beautiful.

Then, they start the recap dances, for no apparent reason.

We have Calvin and Lindsay's beautiful Argentine tango (to "Hotel California"). Then Maureen and Artem do a waltz or something (to "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)," surrounded by other men from the season.

Then, the always fun blooper reel from the dress rehearsals.


Then, not clear why, Maks dances with women of the troupe. I just realized that this was the dance that Amber so memorably was bitching about having to dance in heels, down stairs. Maybe this was meant for her to dance? In any case, our lovely Jenna did a fine job, having no problem with said heels, or said stairs.


Then, Maks and Val and Laurie do their Trio from the semis, which was wonderful. They improv with Maks and Val together at the end (instead of with Laurie, which is how it was originally), which is funny.

Erin, now outside at the Grove again, talks about the bond that Vanilla Ice and Rick Perry formed on the show (true story). Ice and Witney do their dance to "Ice, Ice Baby," and Rick Perry joins them at the end.


Then they show a bunch of the celebrities and pros who visited Children's Hospital LA, which they've been doing for eight years now. Very nice moment.


Wisely, they chose to not have Babyface dance again, but do what he does best: sing. His lovely partner, Allison, danced with Alan. Beautiful number.


This number was some fun here. Some (not all) of the men of Season 23 and the male pros and troupe members, having some fun with their jackets open. "Yes, please!" as Erin would (and did) say. Although it's unclear why the number was "24 Carat... something" and they come out in silver jackets instead of gold...?

They recap Week Four, which yes, had a double elimination, but what we will always remember as the night that Sasha proposed to Emma. Then Week Five, and Week Six.

Then, Jana and Gleb do that hokey Argentine tango with the water. I didn't like it the first time around. It certainly (to me) wasn't "the hottest Argentine tango ever." (Remember Mark and Paige's Argentine tango? Just sayin'...) Just the wettest.

Then they run through Week Seven through the Semifinals, all of which includes the Team dances, and Halloween, and Sharna's injury, and Jenna filling in. (Props to those who edited these packages. Really nice stuff.)

And now! It's big, it's fantastical, it's choreographed by Mandy Moore. It's a Macy's ad in the middle.


This was truly magic. Part in camera tricks, part amazing dancing. Really stunning stuff. Reminiscent of those big holiday ballet epics, but with a unique #DWTS spin on it.

Then we had a promo for the big DWTS tour, which follows this show in cities across America.

This great photo of Emma and Alan isn't from that dance, but let's just say it was..
Then, we have a judges' look at the final three competitors. Basically, any of these three can do it.

Then, by way of competition, since we really do have three of the best choreographers on the show, we have a fusion challenge (where they combine two styles of dance in one song). Previously, Derek Hough and Mark Ballas were masters at this. I haven't really seen any choreographer match their level yet, although Sharna and Val do come close.


JAMES AND SHARNA
Fusion Challenge: Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz
Scoring: Perfect score (40 out of 40)

I admit it, I always judge competitors by how they react to the final wall when they do this last dance, because the production staff decorates their regular rehearsal rooms with pictures of them throughout the season. The couples who react the best to those items are the ones I most want to win. In this case, Sharna reacted much more to the photos than James. Course, she knows what it means.

Their fusion dance was beautiful.


CALVIN AND LINDSAY
Fusion Challenge: Jive and Quickstep
Scoring: Perfect score (40 out of 40)

Lindsay seems more wowed by the pictures than Calvin. He notes how he had difficulty in the beginning wearing all the sequins that are standard issue at #DWTS.


LAURIE AND VAL
Fusion Challenge: Foxtrot and Argentine tango
Scoring: Perfect score (40 out of 40)

They have many great pictures, and Laurie makes somewhat of a show about how hard it is to not be working with Val anymore. That is short-lived, however, when Tom announces after they dance that, indeed Laurie is going to be joining the aforementioned DWTS Tour, so she'll still be seeing plenty of Val.

For those keeping score at home, based on Judges' scores, the ranking STILL is:

1. Laurie and Val
2. James and Sharna
3. Calvin and Lindsay

Now, the audience votes have to be factored in. Guess how it turns out?

Well, they shuttled the three finalists over to The Grove. Mind you, when they had that "Winter Wonderland" song (that Babyface was singing), they were pumping out the fake snow for a wintry effect (you know it wasn't snowing here in SoCal). It appears whatever they used was slippery, so dancers were slipping, and right before the big announcement, one of the cameramen went flying. Noble Val jumped to help him out.


So, Tom and Erin announce that Calvin and Lindsay have taken third.


This lovely couple took second place.


Oh, and look who won! Congrats to Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy. Well-deserved.


Season 23, a great season of truly amazing competitors.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

DWTS Season 23 Finals, part 1: And Then There Were Three


It's finals time at Dancing with the Stars. We have four remaining couples at the beginning of the first night of finals (the three above and Jana and Gleb).


First up, Calvin and Lindsay dance a Viennese waltz.


I didn't like Lindsay at first, but season after season, she's grown on me. I really appreciate the professionalism she puts into her numbers, and this Viennese waltz was just packed with content. Plus, her and Calvin dance well together. Of all the people this season, I was really glad that they got into the finals. Her choreography is a main reason why.

Also, by and large, they seem to have a decent choice of music.

Carrie Ann deducts for Lindsay bringing her foot off the floor (no lifts!). (Carrie Ann is the Lift Police.)

Then, they continue the seasons-long trend of surprising Calvin by bringing out his two-year-old son from Atlanta. Very nice moment.


So, Gleb is very sick with flu during this finals week. He and Jana have the tango as their Redemption Dance. (She was in pain the first time they did it, he is in pain now...)

Personally, I really don't like Gleb and Jana, so this dance and its crappy music did nothing for me. But Bruno thought "it could give night sweats to a saint."


This girl, Laurie Hernandez, came into this competition, rolling with her medals from the Olympics, a shy girl of 16, not confident in expressing her womanhood in this crazy world of dance. And Oh My Goodness, look at her now! Their Redemption Dance was the paso doble (from Week 5). She is sure in a different place now.


What an incredible display of dance! This paso doble was amazing, and blew away the previous two competitors.

Then, Cheryl Burke dances with Artem, and Alan and Keo and some other troupe guy to a song by Train. Oh yeah, they perform it. Such beautiful costumes, such a beautiful dance.


Oh, I just love Sharna and James so very much. (See the tape on his glasses?) This foxtrot was just so wonderful. And the choice of music ("It Had to Be You") was also perfect.

And BEST OF ALL, they didn't rip off her sexy schoolmarm outfit during the dance. At the end, they are sitting and laughing and reading "The Hinchcliffe Code" on the bench. Very nice.


It's going to be a sad sad day when James Hinchcliffe is no longer on Dancing with the Stars. He brought so much joy this season.

Just noticed a cut to Florence Henderson in the audience. I do remember she was supporting the show up until the end. :-(

Tom Bergeron says to James: "Give up this racing and become an actor." Although James says, "I don't know about that," Tom knows what he's talking about. He's been around actors, and James SURE has what it takes. He could be a very successful Cary Grant-esque comedian and actor, if he wanted to. He's got such an easy flair for comedy.

Then, we had an amazing paso doble bumper with Keo and Allison, and Emma and Sasha. Wonderful.

MICHE'S FAVORITE FINALS DANCES

1. Val and Laurie's paso doble

2. Sharna and James' foxtrot

3. Lindsay and Calvin's Viennese waltz

Next, the most exciting part of the whole season: The Freestyle Round.


Two things I'm really OVER on this show (well, besides Jana and Gleb) are songs from SIA and contemporary dance. I really really hate it. This was a ballroom show, and somehow all this contemporary has snuck in.

Also, the hokey devices which don't really mean anything (being attached during the dance) do nothing for me. When I watch this dance, I see the same basic thing I saw in their first ever dance, whereas the other three competitors have really (to me, anyway) grown and changed and matured in their dancing.

The Freestyle round is supposed to be spectacular. It's supposed to remind people of your journey during the entire season. Whether that is by using troupe members or just doing your own thing, it's supposed to take our breath away.

Everything about this Freestyle says that Jana and Gleb should be the next to go. It just seems like any old other dance, given on any other day, not a Freestyle.

And, they messed it up (made a mistake during the finals!). They got all 9s from the judges, which was overly charitable. But it's the first time in a LONG LONG LONG while that a finalist didn't get all 10s for a Freestyle.


Lindsay Arnold, OTOH, has been around this rodeo a few times. She knows that you have to pull out ALL STOPS for a Freestyle dance. She's got "jazz, jive, lindy, tricks and lifts." It's big, it's got troupe dancers, it's ASTONISHING.

They are rocking the Motown music for the Detroit guy, it's just wonderful on so many levels. Did I mention working treadmills? This dance could NOT have been more different than the last one. There were breathtaking lifts (ON THE TREADMILLS! while they were MOVING!), there were great costumes, there were amazing troupe dancers. Just an astonishing and memorable Freestyle.

OF COURSE, they get a perfect score from the judges.


Do you remember back in the beginning of the season, when they shot that incredible opening number at Griffith Park? And there were all these dancers, and swirling cameras and it was just an incredible spectacle, a love letter to LA? Well, it turns out that Dancing with the Stars and the almost-Oscar-winning Best Picture La La Land have something in common: its choreographer, Mandy Moore.















































Mandy Moore has been creating spectacular dances for Dancing with the Stars for many years now, it's one of the reasons why #DWTS is a must-watch show, frankly. So, that opening number (on the first episode of Season 23) was spectacular and amazing. But we are also graced, in these finals, with an homage to La La Land, using the dancers of #DWTS, plus some others whom I wish were in the troupe regularly. Incredible.


The dancers, the production staff, the costumes, the music from La La Land (with Ryan Gosling singing!) all made this number just incredible to watch.


So let's just take a moment, shall we? to honor and applaud the wondrous force of amazing dance that is Mandy Moore. We are so very thankful for her talents, on La La Land, and most especially, on DWTS.

And remember that with all the stuff that happened this season, this was also the season that began and ended with love, and had an engagement on air in the middle. *swoon*

OK... then, back to the Freestyle as scheduled.


Now, Laurie and Val dance to a fun, energetic song called "Brand New." They have a playground, complete with slide, balance beam, and spinny thing. They jump and twirl and do cartwheels (incorporating a lot of gymnastics, but also dance moves; so skillful is Val's choreography). And the dance, like Lindsay's did with Calvin, incorporates much that is Laurie Hernandez as we know her, and her journey on this show.

But her main asset is that she's young and she can do anything, and this wonderful dance reflected that. Stunning.

Carrie Ann: "You brought tears to my eyes, just because I was so happy."

Not surprisingly, a perfect score from the judges.


James and Sharna take a different approach with their Freestyle.

James Hinchcliffe, a racecar driver, had suffered a horrific accident, which nearly killed him before he was on this show. He speaks in their package of blacking out during the crash, and that it was like a page in the book of his life which was blank. With this dance, they attempt to fill that page.


I have mentioned earlier my disdain for contemporary dance. What saved this somewhat was that it had balletic elements. It was really beautiful. I found James' voiceover at the beginning and end to be a bit hokey, and I much preferred the two previous Freestyles, which just relied upon song lyrics to get their messages across.

However, the judges were all gobsmacked with this one, giving all kinds of rave reviews.

Perfect score for James and Sharna.

Couple exiting tonight (and not a moment too soon for my taste): Jana and Gleb



MICHE'S FAVORITE FREESTYLES

1. Lindsay and Calvin

2. Val and Laurie

3. Sharna and James

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