Sunday, April 26, 2015

DWTS Week 6: This is a ballroom, not a bedroom... and other mishaps of Spring Break Week

Rumer, Val and dancers doing Bootylicious.
The mechanism of Dancing with the Stars, when working properly, should be like a well-oiled machine. Though hundreds of people work behind the scenes every week to bring us this magic, we shouldn't really see or think about any of them, if things are running properly.

This week, there are a few that need to be put in the position above and administered a few spankings.

First, the problems with the music.

There are two issues (to me) with the music (music chosen, music performed). One is lack of relevance to the theme. This week's theme (for whatever reason) was "Spring Break." What on Earth does the above song ("Bootylicious") have to do with Spring Break? That's the first problem, that the songs presented in a show are all over the damn place. They used to have a cohesion and unity. Maybe when they did the overhaul of the music department they threw out the person or people who had this job.

Well, that person's absence is noticeable.

Second, and much more problematic, was presented to us this week via their incredible editors.

Mind you, the dancers are working their butts off, from the moment a show ends till the next one begins. This week, they had two dances (a regular one and a Team dance) to choreograph and rehearse and make perfect.

And the dancers work even if they are injured, even if they don't feel like it. They present every single week.

Given that high level of perfection, it is INEXCUSABLE that Dancing with the Stars had such a high-profile train wreck as they did this week. Namely, their dancer, Allison Holker received a song (and further, why aren't the dancers themselves choosing the songs? or at least suggesting them? boggles my mind). Holker rightly heard her chosen selection, Missy Elliott's Work It, and knew... since she was thinking and all... that it was a heavily sexual song, and it not only "wouldn't work for Riker" (as she said in the package), but sure as hell wouldn't fly at ABC and Disney. (Are you kidding me?)

Maybe it's got a good beat (I don't know the song, but I have since read the lyrics... HOLY CRAP!). Completely inappropriate.

(As it is, Len called out the song that Val and Rumer performed to, "Bootylicious," by saying, "It's a ballroom, not a bedroom." I think Len should take that up with whomever is picking these songs, not poor Val and Rumer.) But I digress...

Allison (and I love her more each time she does things like this) said, "Um, no, you losers, we are not performing that overtly sexual song, pick something else, please." OK, I'm paraphrasing. Mind you, the show is performed Monday nights. Pretty much Tuesday morning, they should know their next song and get into gear with it.

How is is possible in this well-oiled universe that Allison didn't get her next song choice until THURSDAY? Are you kidding me, DWTS? How is this happening?

Now, I do understand that the web of music rights is a difficult one to tread (all the more reason to have one person whose entire job it is to do this). These dancers can't perform a song unless its rights have been cleared. And even then (ask Val about West Side Story)... it may cause some heart attacks right up until show time.

But it is absolutely appalling to me that when you have the dancers working at such a high level of perfectionism that you don't have the music stuff worked out further in advance. Like before the season starts. Week 6 Spring Break, what songs can we get for that? How hard is this? Do we have professionals in this job? UGH.

Amazingly, Allison and Riker pulled out an incredible samba anyway. (Best dance of the night, to my eyes.)

I love their dancing. Bruno, after this dance, called Riker's dancing "the future of dance." Personally, I think it's Allison Holker's choreography which is the future of dance. And if she can survive working with these morons who pick her music at DWTS, she'll go far.

Ah, but let's release the anger at the people who aren't doing their jobs well to enjoy the summery madness that is Spring Break.

Also, um, when was the last time women covered their mouths to whisper something? Bizarre.
Allison and Riker performed my favorite dance. Rumer and Val, even though crotchety Len was offended, were my second favorite. Val's choreography continues to stun. What bugged me about these particular dancers doing Bootylicious was not the salaciousness of it, but that the three (women) chosen were all dancers, with dancers' butts (aka small). Ain't no "booty" going on there...

And Mark Ballas, who often performs the best music on this show... sometimes I think he works out the rights himself, sidestepped the whole music rights issue by performing Tequila (which must be public domain by now). Maybe Allison should have a chat with him about this?

And Mark actually utilized the theme of Spring Break in his dance concept. It was joyous, and while his previous dances were a whole lotta stagecraft, this one was just straight-up dancing and fun.

Who could not have fun when dancing a salsa to Tequila? Great lifts packed in there, too.

Chris and Witney, amazingly hanging in there, had great costumes and sets to work with.

They did a Viennese waltz to Hopelessly Devoted to You. It was nice. Chris seems to be learning about this rhythm thing. The camerawork during their number was superb.

Derek and Nastia. What to say? They are now another couple who did the tango this season. Quite nicely, too, even if Len thought it was "too fast."

People who go on this show are just crazy. They think they can just slide it into some segment of their lives, when really, what they are committing to is horribly exhausting, even if all you are doing is that. So we have the saga of Derek doing 10 shows a week on Broadway, plus this show. And Nastia, going to school at NYU, plus this show, and both of them flying back and forth each week.

Nastia says in her package this week: "I just didn't think it would be this grueling."

*eyeroll* So whatever on them. It may not have affected their dance (or their Team Dance, but it sure seemed to.)

However, with this maddening schedule, something does have to give, and it did this week. Derek had an injury which caused him to drop out of his Broadway commitment (good for that). The Universe sometimes works in good ways. They have not yet announced if the injury is so serious that he'll also be dropping out of DWTS (I kinda doubt that, given his work ethic).

Guess some people just like to add high levels of stress to their lives. But sheesh...

And then, at what is now the bottom of the pack, we have Noah and Sharna.

They seemed to have (in their package) some tension because Sharna is bossing him around. I do gotta believe this man isn't really used to having women give him orders. They tried to brush it off later as, "well, it was only 10 minutes out of a whole week, and really, we're good. It's all good." Blah blah. Have I mentioned how much I love these editors this season?

Sharna's choreography of this rumba was really beautiful, though.

And then we have maybe possible lovers maybe not Kym and Robert. Really, I think they should leave this show, and go off and have a grand affair together... but that's just me.

The thing that you don't realize in most of their dances is that he's really rather pigeon-toed. This couple is not long for this dance floor, I promise you. (They danced to Surfin' Safari, also probably in public domain.)

Oh, and then, we had the couple leaving on this night. Have you noticed that thus far this season, every couple who has left the show has also danced first?

Also, note to potential Dancing with the Stars' "celebrities": If they have you dancing with multiple people, you likely suck at dancing. Every single week, Patti LaBelle has had a team of people up there on stage with her. Personally, I am so glad she is gone.

However, before she left, there was this.

Team Trouble
In addition to being Spring Break week, it was also Team Dances week. As we all know, Derek's team wins. Derek's team ALWAYS wins. Also, the losing team is always the one from which someone goes home.

This week (I believe the first since they've been doing Team Dances) is the first in which both teams tied. And someone went home from the team that wasn't Derek's team.

I loved, loved, loved Team Trouble's dance.

But in all truth and honesty, Derek's team, Team YOLO, also didn't live up to the normal Team Derek dance choreography and flash.

Just wasn't up to the normal Derek Hough standards, of Team Dances in the past. IMHO.

Oh, and since this is Bitch Column from Hell, what was up with the audio in this episode? And the sync?

Julianne's audio was awful. She was wearing some kind of dress where when she moved (which she does), it muffled the audio. I've done podcasts with better audio. Horribly unprofessional.

Then, later in the show, the whole show got out of sync. (Starting from when they did the reveal at the Team Dances about who was going home. Until somewhere in the middle of the first Team Dance.)  STOP THAT! Awful, awful, awful and very unprofessional. And it went on for MINUTES. Ugh.

Aside to Tom Bergeron: Man, I love you. That "hot pockets" joke still has me laughing. You save so many moments over the weeks. I so appreciate everything you do.

Aside to Erin Andrews: You rock so much too. I loved when you told the dancing crabs to take a hike. That was awesome.

Or, as Tom said, "If we've learned anything this week, we've learned that those crabs are going to be with us all season." We can hope not.

Tom, later, to Sasha, who was in the crab outfit: "Sasha, how many times you been in this crab outfit this season?"

Sasha: "Five times."

Tom B: "You need a better agent, buddy."

Classic stuff.


1. Allison and Riker (samba)

2. Val and Rumer ("jazz")

3. Mark and Willow (salsa)

4. Derek and Nastia (tango)

5. Witney and Chris (Viennese waltz)


1. Kym and Robert

2. Sharna and Noah


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