|Dance of the Night: Amy Purdy and Derek Hough do an Argentine tango|
This Week 8 of Dancing With the Stars had the best-ever opening number (Mark Ballas performing a song he’d written) and the worst-ever guest judge. I had heard the moans and groans when this particular guest judge was announced, but wasn’t sure why. No, I am not on the edge of my seat every week watching Dance Moms—in fact, I had not heard of either the judge or the show until they were talking about “next week’s guest judge.”
I realized in the aftermath of this week’s show how crucial it is (if they are going to be retiring Len and bringing in someone new) that the cast RESPECT that person’s dance acumen. After all, they are the best of the best here onstage. They are pushing dance boundaries. They deserve someone better than someone on a reality show with no dance (respected) background herself.
All of the cast members pretty much took what the guest judge said, but Maks, when asked, said that he doesn’t respect “anything the woman said.” And I respect Maks’ dance judgment a lot. He seemed to say outright what all the other cast members were only thinking.
So all that tension was interesting.
Then there was this. Bruno said in his vote on this dance that he would be “devastated” if these were the two people voted off. And they were. And I shared that sentiment. I cannot believe it. But we are in the realm of all of the remaining dancers are amazing, so it really does shock each time someone wonderful goes home. Danica and Val were the first of that for me this season.
The other thing that’s happening is that those on the bottom whom you’d think would be going home are fighting hard for their survival. Candace Cameron-Bure (whom I would’ve thought would be gone by now) is turning in amazing dances suddenly. She and Mark Ballas were as surprised as anyone to hear that it wasn’t her this week.
|Candace Cameron-Bure and Mark Ballas are elated to not be going home.|
|Candace Cameron-Bure and Mark Ballas do a foxtrot.|
Also, Peta and James. Bottom of the leader board. Peta was in tears, when they were deciding between the two couples in jeopardy. I seriously thought she was going to have a breakdown if it was them. And then, it wasn’t.
|Peta Murgatroyd and James Maslow do a Viennese waltz. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.|
We also had a poignant, story- and content-filled rumba from Maks and Meryl, which I loved.
|Maks and Meryl do a rumba.|
|Sharna Burgess and Charlie White do a beautiful quickstep. Courtesy of ABC/Adam Taylor.|
Amy and Derek danced a jive with James and Peta. Meryl and Maks did a samba with Danica and Val. But (for me) the breathtaking one of these dances was this amazing heartfelt passion play, done contemporary, where Sharna and Charlie and Candace and Mark played couples. And in the midst of their dance, infidelity reared its head, so you saw this poetry of Charlie and Candace dancing together poetically, while the two other couples were fighting (through dance). Amazing work. Stunning choreography. And Candace and Charlie took my breath away.
|Charlie White and Candace Cameron-Bure do contemporary.|
|Mark Ballas debuting his new single, with help from Derek Hough and Cheryl Burke.|