Sunday, October 27, 2013

DWTS Week Six: No One Goes Home

Here are some good things about Season 17 so far. The opening numbers, usually stunning pieces, with both pros and troupe members dancing, are just incredible. This week’s was from Lacey Schwimmer and her brother. Mesmerizing, and a great use of these fabulous dancers.

Pros and the troupe dance the opening number. Choreographed by Lacey Schwimmer and her brother this week.
Just stunning stuff. Don’t miss the opening of the show anymore. (Early on, they had the “celebs” trying to keep up.) So glad they’ve disposed of all that nonsense. Celebs just stand there and wave as they are introduced, while the dancers get a vigorous workout.

Also, during the show, there are dance segues in between ads and the show. Wonderful bits of dance magic, and no labored “here is the troupe” introductions attached to them. Just dancing. Great stuff.

The fact that the show is only one day now means lots of belabored hooha gets disposed of. The singers (blissfully) are kept to a bare minimum (I think they should be dispensed of entirely). The other labored dances seem to have gone away. It’s just this magical stuff at the beginning, and the dancers who are competing.

Well, most weeks. This week, we also had some craziness where four couples danced (and competed against each other). Their scores would be added to their total. Blah blah. Hated all that nonsense.

We also had the, “Oh, let’s pretend to be sending someone home, but really we won’t cause there was a computer glitch," cruelty, that actually caused Emma (the last person standing) to cry. Can we please avoid such brutality in the future? Oh my, was it mean.

But let's just skip all that and get to the actual dancing, shall we?

Now, I probably shouldn’t admit this to the reading public, but every week (since I’ve been watching DWTS), I have kept a log, separated out into four quadrants, I rate the dances. The top is FABULOUS! Second is Great. Third is OK. Last is Sucked. Many teams fall into the “Sucked” category every week (sad to say). Or many get into “OK.” Few land in the “Fabulous” category. This week, no joke, I had no one in either “OK” or “Sucked.” For the first time ever. The dances were all that good.

Look at this, for example.

Corbin and Karina. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.
The dance above was to the theme song of Game of Thrones. I get the feeling that Corbin has watched every episode. Let’s just say he’s WAY into it. Karina said she had never watched an episode.

The judges (especially Len) were less than wowed. Personally, I think it’s their best dance all season.

Karina, in their package says, “Is what I’m wearing too revealing?” She has so obviously never seen Game of Thrones. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Nice costume, Karina. No, really.
While I am still reeling (seriously) from Mark Ballas and partner no longer being part of the competition, I really like all of the remaining dancers. Cheryl (“oh so beautiful”) Burke and Jack Osbourne are even fun. They accused him of not being able to get into character. So we had this.

Cheryl Burke and Jack Osbourne.
I even really enjoy Bill Engvall. He and Emma Slater are really fun to watch. She comes out and says that this week they are dancing to “Beef Burger in Paradise” by Jimmy BuffAY. He rolls his eyes (in a nice way) and says, “No, that's ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ by Jimmy BuffET.” It was cute.

“That’s Jimmy Buffet, Emma.”
Seen a lot of dances in these 17 seasons. Sure have never seen anyone fighting over a cheeseburger. And so, you’ve gotta love it. I know I do.

Brant and Peta tango. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.
Brant and Peta, our resident Will-They or Won’t They? couple of this season served up a steamy tango.

But I wanna talk for a bit about my favorite two couples (that are remaining).

Derek Hough and Amber Riley samba. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.
My friends, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Derek Hough samba with Amber Riley. Complete with more than one samba roll! It was unbelievable. Derek through in all sorts of great samba moves, and Len shot him down by calling said moves “repetitive.”

Whatever, it was a great dance. Truly wonderful to watch. Seriously. Samba rolls. Wow.

But my favorite couple, still, is Val and Elizabeth. Let me say this about that.

I was one of those audience members who just rolled my eyes upon hearing that Elizabeth “Showgirls” Berkley was doing this show this season. I hereby take every bit of that back.

She came on this show, at least partly, to redeem her battered image. And while DWTS has the hokey “My Most Awesome Year” contrived segment (which this year fell mostly flat), Ms. Berkley has been doing her own waltz down memory lane for us. It’s almost like she’s dancing with a ghost, or chasing ghosts out of her past.

We had the “Saved By the Bell” flashback, complete with Mario Lopez in the audience last week. This week, although she didn’t dance on any poles, it was pretty much in-your-face to “Showgirls.”

Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Elizabeth Berkley. Courtesy of ABC/Alan Taylor.
She is subtly, but effectively, saying: “Here’s what you thought I was. But here’s what I am.” Week after glorious week, she’s showing us that she’s a dancer to be reckoned with.

Hollywood loves a sob story, but even more than that, it loves someone who bounces back. Who won’t take no for an answer. I really really hope she wins this thing.

Her fierceness and her drive are inescapable. Mixed with Val’s brilliant choreography, it’s a very heady combination. And Val winning a mirror ball trophy is long overdue.

Val and Elizabeth.


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