Okay, I have a confession to make. I missed the live competition show. I don’t even recall why, but I realized it was 10 PM and uttered a few mild expletives. This is where ABC’s Full Episode Player becomes a life saver. I watched the Results show last night and watched the Competition show this morning. So I can comment on all of it without having to fudge anything.
The semi-finals of this season are the best of any season. The casting staff did an incredible job this season of finding stars who could rise to the level of the pros instead of forcing the pros to come down to their level. They also did a marvelous job of matching pro to celebrity.
Each couple performed 2 dances of their own choice this week, one ballroom and one Latin. They were all well done.
Marie & Jonathan performed the Quickstep and the Mambo. The Quickstep was exquisite – Fred and Ginger could not have done better (judges: 29). The Mambo was definitely fun, as it is supposed to be (judges: 27). Total score for the evening: 56. Marie is a consummate show-woman aided by a lifetime spent on stage. She makes being an “older woman” look really good. And she looks great, by the way, having dropped significant weight since the season began.
Jennie & Derek had their best night of dancing of the season. Jennie finally broke through her self-doubt and hesitance to shine in two fine performances. The first dance was the Tango, a passionate and dramatic dance that was well received (judges: 28). The second dance was the Cha Cha. In contrast to her first effort, Jennie was able to deliver both fun and technical skill in this dance. She finally got out of her head and into the music (judges: 30). Total score for 2 dances: 58. Jennie had grace and beauty from the beginning. She has finally added the fun as well.
Mel & Maks are an incredibly dynamic pair. They never seem to lack passion and drama. Their first dance was the Viennese waltz, which was lovely (judges: 30). Their Latin number was another go at the Paso Doble, which they had gotten a perfect score on in a prior episode. Of course, this one had new choreography and even a whip for Mel. Talk about dominatrix! But it was as good as their earlier effort and earned a similar score (judges: 30). Total for the evening: a perfect 60.
Helio & Julianne were up to the challenge. Their first dance was the Fox Trot. I think this was the first time I’ve seen Helio really relaxed during a dance. He had his trademark smile and charisma, but there was also genuine pleasure showing in his eyes. Very sexy. Terrific Fox Trot, too – very precise (judges: 30). Their second dance was the Cha Cha, which was hot and fast (judges: 30).
The result show began with an encore of Jennie & Derek’s Cha Cha. I think they chose her because she had finally gotten a 30 and had worked very hard to get there. Also, she’s the only one who hadn’t had an encore all season.
Avril Lavigne was the guest singer. She performed 2 songs. I have not really seen her perform before and found her understated, unpretentious manner refreshing. While her voice is not “perfect,” it is very interesting and strong. I enjoyed her numbers.
During her second number, Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas performed a dance number. They will be in the Dancing with the Stars tour and were there for the publicity, obviously. Sabrina has improved even more. It’s still a shock that she was eliminated so early – way too early!
The guest dance great was one of the greatest in my mind – Michael Flatley. He performed with a dance troupe that stepped in time so precisely that I couldn’t believe I was seeing it. Wonderful!!
Kenny Mayne did a comedy sketch on “Dancers’ Rehab” – for those contestants who can’t leave the drive to dance behind. It was okay, but I think Kenny Mayne thinks he’s funnier than he really is.
We found out that Marie & Jonathan were safe first. That’s when I knew that Jennie & Derek would be done. The second couple safe was Mel & Maks. They will be one of the “contender” couples in next week’s finals. Finally, Jennie & Derek were eliminated and Helio & Julianne will dance in the finals. They will be the other “contender” couple.
I can’t wait to miss the finals. Got your attention, didn’t I? That’s right, after a full season of watching the best celebs so far, I have a meeting next Monday night. I know I won’t be home by 8:00. So I guess I get to watch the finals on ABC Full Episode Player. Thank you, whoever invented this. It will be better to watch than read about the dancing.
Watching late will be better than watching never.