Sunday, November 15, 2015

DWTS Season 21 Week 7: Halloween Scares Up Some Ego, New Team Dance Champs

There are some truisms you can say about a Dancing with the Stars Halloween show. The cast really gets into it, someone plays Halloween pranks on everyone and Derek's team always, and I mean always, wins the Team Dance. (To be fair, last year, Val's team TIED with Derek's. So the record was still never broken.)

This year, we have NEW winners. More on all that in a moment.

The other significant thing about this show (very significant to me) was this statement. Take a guess at who said it. "I'm probably the best dancer in the competition." (It was one of the stars, not the Pros.)

If you guessed...

...Tamar Braxton, you'd be right.

Let me just say this about that. Rampant ego doesn't play well on reality TV. Unless you want all of America to hate you, you don't say a thing like that into the camera.

Val kinda (understandably) went ballistic when that little tidbit aired, but SHE DID SAY IT.

"The best dancer in the competition." :-0  Oh my, oh my. Dear, this is Week 6. There is a long way from here to there (and let me clue you now, she DOESN'T win the competition). Nor would she have.

Don't know about the rest of America, but what that little statement did for me was completely SUCK all the votes which would have gone to her and Val out of my phone-dialing hand.

Oh, another thing about ego, btw. She was on this ego high because they had gotten all 10s last week for their amazing Rhythm Nation recreation. When the judges were commenting on the dance, they said, "Excellent choreography!" And Tamar said, "Thank you." Last I checked, it was Val who was the choreographer here. (And an amazing choreographer at that. The only reason she's ANYWHERE in the competition is that Val is her partner.)

 Valentin is the reigning champion, a dancer in fine peak form, a stunning choreographer. He's a joy to watch and has an incredibly creative mind. Ms. Tamar is only along for the ride here.

And while I'm on my anti-Tamar rant, my other DWTS pet peeve is when stars sign up to do this show and they have ten other commitments as well. Oh, sorry, I have to go do this book tour. Oh, sorry, I'm touring with my band. Oh, sorry, I have to go co-host this daily talk show. WTF? Casting directors? Can't you get people who are out of work, who have the time and energy to devote to doing this show? WTF is up with these losers who try to do six things at once, then bitch on the show about how tired they are?

You don't see folks on Survivor leaving in the middle because they have a book tour or have this obligation in Vegas or whatever.

I have NO sympathy for these folks, and totally vote them down whenever the bitching starts. So Ms. Tamar has a few black marks on my dance card from that. But, for me, Valentin Chmerkovskiy can do no wrong, I will vote for him many times in the future, but Tamar Braxton lost every vote from me, starting with this week. "Best dancer in the competition," my ass. (This week Tamar received 24 out of 30, one of the lowest scores.)

Ah, but let's get back to something positive. The truly best dancers of this week, my favorite of Week 6: Alexa and Mark. (Who did receive a perfect score of 30 from the judges.)

Alexa, is, for my money, at this point in the competition, the one I want to win. Mark Ballas is just a genius with choreography and costuming and story, and every week, I look forward to what they do.

This gorgeous paso doble homage to Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands was just beautiful and so well done. I love watching them, every time.

The person I truly believe is the best dancer in this competition, and very likely to win it is Bindi Irwin. It helps, of course, that her partner is Derek Hough, who can do no wrong with his dances.

But this was a very beautiful and well performed Argentine tango. And those kicks and flicks were kickin and flickin (from both participants). Really amazing. And they received a perfect score for the effort.

Or this...

Alexa's husband Carlos is not shabby in the dance department either. Another paso doble, to Carmina Burana, for gosh sakes! And his ego was the opposite, insisting that last week the judges "overscored" him. Julianne insisted she did not. Refreshing.

The gold standard, though was amazing paso that Mark and Alexa put forth, which was so stunningly good, so this one that Andy and Allison presented was... well, not that.

Where Mark and Alexa's lines were sharp and clear, these... um... ugh.

And Andy Grammar, too, in his package, was commenting about how everyone had pretty much written him off as a dancer at the beginning, and then they got all 10s and... well, NOW we can see... etc. Let's just take a moment to remind Mr. Grammar that they got 10s because the dance (from Singing in the Rain) was complex, involved a lot of props, and is more than the usual DWTS dance. And they performed it well. Still doesn't mean he's a great dancer, cause for the record, I don't think he is.

Turn on the table, then lift up the raincoats, then go up, then down these stairs, then jump on the first couch, then the second... etc. Lotsa steps and things to do.
So, he wasn't as blatant with his ego tripping as Tamar, but it was out there.

This paso doble received only 26 out of 30.

Another rampant ego was from our hero Alek, who went all ballistic because the judges gave him bad scores last week, when he "performed the steps perfectly." Luckily, they brought in Artem to show Alek a thing or two about what he's missing. And his dance this week was much better.

So enough about the petty squabbling about who's better among these fine dancers. Let's get to the important stuff: the Team Dances!

I loved this team dance, from Team Nightmare. Exquisitely done. Every person performed well. Great concept, great music, well done.

They also received a perfect score from the judges. (They performed first.)

Team Who Ya Gonna Call? didn't meet their high bar.

So, for the first time in ELEVEN seasons, Derek's team did not win the Team Dance!!!!

It was quite an evening, all in all.

I really want to echo Derek's stated sentiment, that all of the people who work on the costumes, hair and makeup for this show really deserve to be commended. These costumes and props and sets and everything going on here were just first-rate, the highest caliber.

Could have really done without all the smoke machine nonsense, but other than that, it was amazing.

Lastly, for the past two weeks, Leah Remini has replaced (as in stood in for, she's nowhere near as good) Erin Andrews as cohost. Mostly it's been good. (I can't imagine Erin being willing for Tom to sling her over his shoulder in a Dirty Dancing parody thing. Quite funny.) But I really wish someone could tell dear Ms. Leah to STOP hitting people in the face with a microphone. She did this the last time she cohosted, and it's not only annoying, it's abusive. She needs to STOP IT.

1. Alexa and Mark (paso doble)
2. Carlos and Witney (paso doble)
3. Bindi and Derek (Argentine tango)
4. Andy and Allison (paso doble)
5. Alek and Lindsay (Viennese waltz)


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