|Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy do the perfect dance of the night. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.|
First, it was Party Anthem Week. Which meant, basically, this.
|Women of the troupe and Redfoo getting their party on. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor|
|Sharna Burgess and Charlie White.|
This episode proved how hard ABC is trying to work to get younger viewers to this show. Lotsa EDM music and techno beats. Fun! When all else fails, throw in some Day-Glo®. Woo hoo!
But in the midst of all of the neon and confetti, we also had this:
|Candace Bure, Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Drew Carey. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.|
That, to me, represents the real Dancing with the Stars. It’s posited as a competition, but everyone lucky enough to be on it is a winner. Although some, heartbreakingly, go home sooner than others.
And we saw little glimpses into the jealousies behind the scenes. Some pro dancers having multiple Mirror Balls, others having one, others having none. Yet.
So let’s get back to the competition at hand.
We did have this.
|Mark Ballas and Candace Cameron-Bure do a cha cha.|
Not so with the emboldened in a negative way NeNe Leakes, who, after dancing with Derek, seems to have thrown rules out the window and wants to dance her own way every week. I predict she and Tony will be next to go. (Sad because I really do like Tony. He really does go the extra mile for his partner every week. At least it seems so from here.) But NeNe I’m really done with.
So now we’re down to the real final five contestants of the competition. Alphabetically: Derek, Maks, Peta, Sharna and Val. What these five do in the next weeks is what’s truly going to be interesting to watch.
|Peta Murgatroyd and James Maslow, obviously having a lot of fun doing a quick step.|
Charlie and Sharna do too, but I really dread seeing him doing a Latin dance this week. Happy and fun are his forte. The serious “character” dancing doesn’t seem to come to him as easily.
Then we have what I hope are the three semi-finalists.
DEREK HOUGH AND AMY PURDY
|Derek Hough and Amy Purdy doing a jive.|
VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY AND DANICA McKELLAR
|Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy do a cha cha. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.|
But what I found most interesting, starting from this show in Week 6, is this.
MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY AND MERYL DAVIS
|Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis do a tango.|
What is this ephemeral thing that causes people to win? What is it that pushes them to the top? Maks has been so close. He thought he should’ve won (and publicly said so) with Kirstie Alley. I thought he should’ve won with Erin Andrews.
But this time, this show, just before he goes on to do a mind-blowing, perfect-scoring tango, he talks very vulnerably about how much he wants to win, and how humiliating it is to have danced all these seasons and not yet won. And you know? He’s right.
Maybe Maks finally realizes that it was himself getting in his own way previously (with his arrogance), and that’s why he’s toning it down and actually becoming vulnerable on camera. No, I want this, he says to us. It’s certainly a strategy he hasn’t tried before. This time, it just might work.
When these two ice dancers with gold medals came on this show, it appeared certain that one of them would win this. After all, America loves them.
I am really hoping beyond hope that the one who wins is Meryl. With Maks, the chastened fallen hero, returned to vanquish and get that Mirror Ball finally. It would be a great ending to this season.
|Artem Chigvintsev in the Macy’s Stars of Dance segment.|
Also, every week for several weeks now, they’ve been having guest judges. I haven’t been mentioning it (like last week’s Donny Osmond, this week’s RedFoo) because I mostly see it as a stunt thing. The DWTS judges are Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno, to my eyes.
What I am suspecting is happening is that Len is going to step down, and one of these “guest” judges will then take over his spot. So far this season I haven’t seen one I’d want in his place, though I suppose Donny Osmond comes close, cause he has seen a lot of dance over his career, and he was fair and honest in his judging. And certainly we need someone somber to keep the air in the room (between Carrie Ann and Bruno, sheesh). Julianne Hough is a little too mean (and not in the Len kind of way). Plus, I think someone with some distance from the participants would be better.
Robin Roberts? No, too easy on everyone. RedFoo? Heck no. Way too much wackiness in that scenario. Plus, he doesn’t really seem to know dance.
This week is Ricky Martin. Well, he does know dance, and Latin dance in particular, so we shall see.
Also coming up this week? The Team dances. In the history of Team dances, Derek’s team has always won, and I promise you, will win again. Bet me. (Also, in DWTS history, the losing team is always the one with someone going home. That will be true again tomorrow. Bet me on that too.)