Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DWTS Week 6: Pitbull steams up the ballroom

To show how much Switch Up week affects people, this week (back with partners week) was crazy and mixed up. Two of the worst dancers (Jonathan and Michael) had their best dances ever. Two of the best dancers (Derek and Alfonso) had their worst dances ever. Crazy nuttiness.

The special guest performer/judge was Pitbull, so you know ABC was all about pumping up the hotness/sexiness quotient. We had all kinds of rumbas, salsas, sambas, all over the place. This, for example, was the opening number.

Sharna, Pitbull, Witney. Courtesy of ABC7.
However (I just found this pic), this was the action LAST WEEK. I say Jessie J has Pitbull beat.

Getting all steamy up in here... Artem with Jessie J and Val.
Ahem... now where was I?

Oh yes. Week 6. It started banging out of the gate with Allison and Jonathan, who later in the show were voted off :-( (so sad). Their number on this night was stunning to watch, took my breath away. I really hope she's back again next season.

Sadly, theirs was the only number I really LOVED this week.

Then we had a whole lotta missteps, for various reasons. Derek and Bethany (whom I love normally) had to fly to Australia, and didn't have a lot of practice time (to my eyes, it showed, though the slavering judges still gave Derek huge scores). Derek said in his package: "It was the least practice time I've ever had." Enough said about that.

Alfonso and Witney, so good to be back together again, also (to my eyes) seemed to fall down. (Witney literally falling down and hurting herself in rehearsal.) Alfonso noted that doing the Carleton had hurt his groin. So both were injured. Ugh. Perhaps it's cause I just don't like hip hop music, but man, did I dislike their dance this week, overall.

Antonio is also bugging me (although that may have to do with the Jesus-filled Instagram he posted earlier in the day, which caused me to unfollow him immediately. Ugh. People, INSTAGRAM IS FOR PICTURES. Not long sermon treatises. Sheesh.) So I was not thrilled with their dance either. Also, Cheryl just works her heart out covering the fact that Antonio really can't dance. Big hat notwithstanding.

Janel, in the worst costume all season, and Val. Courtesy of ABC.
Janel and Val, whom I normally love, had one of the worst costumes (on Janel) on this show in a long time. WTF was that? Horrible. Could barely watch the dance, that outfit was so bad and distracting. And Val even had his shirt unbuttoned and I couldn't concentrate on it. Ugh.

Lea and Artem, whom I also normally like, suffered a lot from it being Artem's first season as a pro. He forgot (as the judges pointed out) that it's all about the pro focusing on the star, and making THEM look good. Lea looked too much like she was chasing whatever goal Artem had set for her, rather than being her own best self. And their dance, nice enough, suffered as a result.

Madness, I tell you, madness all around.

But then, we had others getting sanity back. Michael Waltrip, a racecar driver, went to race cars. His friends there told him how much they were rooting him on. And he and Emma returned with an amazing Argentine tango. As the judges noted, it was truly his most vulnerable dance.

Emma and Michael do an Argentine tango.
It was really nice to watch. His best dance, for sure. If he'd been doing this all along, he might not be going home soon.

As all the kids were going crazy, flying to Australia for YouTube events... ugh... the oldsters were getting real. Tommy Chong brought Peta to a tribal sweat lodge. It was awesome. I wish I could've been in there with them. I needed a good sweat after watching some of the night's craziness.

Tommy Chong and Peta sweat it out. Courtesy of ABC.
It's kind of sobering to realize that really Tommy Chong might be one deeply spiritual guy. So, of course, I loved his dance. It seemed really centered and flowing. Their sweat lodge sojourn served them well. (I threw all my votes at him at the end.)

Peta and Tommy do a foxtrot. Beautiful. I loved it.
Lastly, certainly not least, let me first say this: MARK BALLAS GOT HIS FIRST 10 THIS SEASON! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!

OK, it was by guest judge Pitbull, not one of the normal ones, but STILL. He got one. I'm so glad.

Also, as we talk about pros who do this show right, ones who highlight and focus on their celeb, cater to them, make them look good, there are plenty of examples. Derek with Amy Purdy last season, for example.

Mark Ballas, for whatever reason, seems to be perpetually saddled with the crazies, the controversial, the religious, the prudes. Perhaps one of the reasons he is is that he deals with them SO WELL. He doesn't seem to care about what anyone else says. He's there for his partner.

In Season 19, he happens to have an 18-year-old girl from (let's just say) conservative parents. Now that is a difficult thing. (Although Val also danced with a teen when he was partnered with Zendaya, and there were no wardrobe issues there.) In any case, this particular girl named Sadie, is mindful of what kind of wardrobe her parents would accept. OK, fine. We don't quite get the shrouds from the last two seasons, but we don't get the proper costume either. Fine.

But there is a boggle. Some of the dances they have to dance are sexual dances. They just are. The rumba, the most sexual of them all.

And how do you do a stunning rumba when you are partnered with a very conservative 18-year-old girl? Who doesn't seem very enlightened in the ways of sexuality? How do you dance the sexiest dance of them all?

You hope and pray you have Mark Ballas as a partner.

Mark Ballas and Sadie do a rumba.
It was pretty, it was sweet. It was nothing her parents would be ashamed of. And mostly, I was just applauding the care with which he dealt with Sadie.

Sexuality, in any context, should only be displayed when one wants to, and is ready to. I respected Mark's choices, in this dance, and all season. Heck, with all the women he's been partnered with. He is an amazing dancer who puts his partner first.

So glad that Julianne finally saw that, and commented on it. Now if she'd only give him a 10 too!

1. Jonathan and Allison (jazz)
2. Mark and Sadie (rumba)
3. Val and Janel (samba)
4. Tommy and Peta (foxtrot)

1. Antonio
2. Michael

Next week, we have the Team dances, and there is a chance that Derek's Team MIGHT not actually win this time. Seriously. Look at the teams.

Team Creepy for Week 7.
Team Itsy Bitsy for Week 7. 
Did we mention it's also Halloween Week?


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