Sunday, October 5, 2014

DWTS S19 Week 3 Bows to Icons Past

Amazing week at Dancing with the Stars. Not only our first perfect scores, but TWO couples received them! (Including Val and Janel, above) But we will get to all that.

First, I wanted to apologize to the cinematographers of this fine show that I reamed in the last two columns. In checking over, doing some research on my phone, and watching the show back at, I realized that, indeed, they had properly framed the screen--IF you have a rectangular TV (as is all the rage now). I, however, still have an older-than-dirt version, and so I couldn't see the four judges on my TV. So I apologize to them.

This business with the photos also frustrates me. I really want great photos to showcase the amazing dancing that I'm writing about, but ABC doesn't offer them (as I've mentioned). I did actually find that Getty offers them now, but you have to pay for them, of course. Which was part of the problem before: some were paying for them, others were just using them. That is the Web economy we have these days.

So they've taken that away, and what will people do? What I'm doing. Use bad screen grabs to illustrate my point. And if that's how you want to promote your shows, fine. That's what we'll do. Just makes me sad.

Two of our contestants on this week's DWTS ran into the same kind of proprietary nonsense, issues with the owner. In Derek's case, Gene Kelly's wife graciously allowed him to perform this dance. In Val's case, the West Side Story owners almost didn't let him do it. Old media MUST realize that in both cases, they were going to get a very respectful homage to the original work being presented, and that, in fact, by Derek Hough and Val Chmerkovskiy performing these on the CURRENT Dancing with the Stars, it actually only increases the value of your brand, because new viewers will be inspired to check out the original. Surely Gene Kelly's wife realizes that. West Side Story's owners almost did not.

Luckily cooler heads prevailed, because we were treated to two amazing dances. Val and Janel performing "America" from West Side Story (my personal favorite of the week) and Derek and Bethany performing to Singin' in the Rain.

Both of these dances received the season's first perfect scores. (Deservedly so. They were both breathtaking.)

Also one of the coolest things of the night was viewing a little clip of Derek Hough at like five or six doing another version of Singin' in the Rain. Classic and quite wonderful. You can see it's been in his blood for a long, long time.

But the other dances were no slouches, either. Tommy Chong's Argentine tango with Peta was astonishing.

Seriously. Wow. Just incredible.

I just love the care with which Mark Ballas handles teenager Sadie (from Duck Dynasty). They performed just a lovely number to Up.

Those were my stellar favorites. Others were also great. Antonio and Cheryl did a great foxtrot. Allison and Jonathan came roaring back from last week's bruising with a beautiful (with lots of content) tango. Alfonso and Witney (who are having a hard time getting back up to the top of that leaderboard) did a nice Austin Powers quickstep (and his son helped!). Betsey and Tony did a contemporary dance to Unchained Melody (from Ghost). Lea and Artem did a nice Back to the Future takeoff. Michael and Emma did a waltz.

Randy and Karina got voted out this week.

Oh, and for bizarre scheduling reasons, DWTS is now back down to one night. *sigh* So the results were somehow also taken from last week's voting.

And in all of these amazing set pieces, you perhaps can tell from the photos, all of the incredible technicians at DWTS deserve a huge amount of credit for recreating these classic moments from movies. As Carrie Anne gushed, "they made it RAIN in here!" It was beautiful. Big applause to all the technicians (sets, costumes, lights, everything) at DWTS. I'm sure it must've been a rough week for them.

1. Val and Janel (West Side Story)
2. Derek and Bethany (Singin' in the Rain)
3. Mark and Sadie (Up)
4. Tommy and Peta (Scent of a Woman)
5. Antonio and Cheryl (Guardians of the Galaxy)

There was an incredible Marilyn Monroe opening number, with Cheryl Burke also as Marilyn (thankfully, no blonde wig). And boys as baseball players.

Comic Kevin Hart was a guest judge, cause Len was still in England. (And btw, Tom, someone doesn't become a "movie star" just because they've been in a movie.) Hart did ok as a judge, basically just gushing and giving out high scores to people he liked. (Which was really nice when he gave Tommy Chong a 10!)

One of the reasons Alfonso and Witney's song didn't work as much for me is that unlike the iconic Singin' in the Rain, or "America" from West Side Story, Alfonso's song wasn't clearly recognized for being in Austin Powers. Here's hoping that Alfonso starts channeling his groove train again soon.


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