For me there is no lack of conversation pieces after Monday night's episode of "Dancing With The Stars". I went into the night dreading the idea of doing a breakdown of the show because of this week's theme. When asked to put the most important year of a life in a dance, you're asking a person to expose a part of themselves. That is what the arts are about – music, acting, painting… DANCE – They're all about self expression. That's why so many people turn to them in one form or another, but that also makes it hard to judge in my opinion.
My thoughts as the night started and my thoughts by the time it ended were completely different. By the end of the night I had a lot of thoughts and a lot to say. There were plenty of surprises and gripes for me, however, the elimination wasn't one of my surprises. More on that in a bit.
I do have to take a moment to address something, though. After Julianne Hough sat in for Len Goodman last week, I'd heard that Mark Ballas wasn't happy with a "jab" she made at him. In case you missed it, the comment was also made mention of during Monday night's show. That comment was that sometimes when you're dancing with Mark, you have to stand in front of him in order to get noticed. Mark took offense to that, but that comment is something I have been saying through several seasons now. Mark has this habit of taking the attention away from his partner and drawing it to himself with facial expressions, over-the-top movements, even clothing choices. Last night is a prime example. Christina's outfit, despite some pink and green fringe, was a nude color. Then out comes mark in black with a blazing, fluorescent green vest. I went from watching Christina to having to fight to keep my eyes from fixating on Mark. He just stood out over her. Now, is that intentional on his part? I can't answer that, but it is something that has been happening for awhile now for me.
With all of that being said, I'll get started with my thoughts on the dances.
Christina Milian (Cha-Cha): Granted, I have my grip as far as costuming went, but I thought this was a fantastic dance. I think Christina really shined and showed off her moves. For me she looked more confident than she has in previous weeks. I really can't say anything bad about her performance. Judges' Scores: 9-10-9
Jack Osbourne (Waltz): Hearing Jack talk about the meaning of his dance had tears welling up in my eyes. It made it hard to judge his dance with a critical eye when you heard all of that, but I have to say that he really did do a great job. I think this Waltz was one of his strongest dances. He seems to be much more comfortable in ballroom style with being in hold. When he is on his own he seems to be a little more awkward. Judges' Scores: 9-9-9
Leah Remini (Contemporary): There are so many things to say about this dance. I'll start by saying that I loved the concept for this dance, but the execution didn't quite get there. I adore Tony Dovolani, he is one of my favorite professionals, but he admitted that he'd never done contemporary before. I think it would have been a benefit to both Leah and him to bring in someone to help them with the routine… another professional or an outside choreographer. We've seen it done plenty of times, and I think that would've made all the difference this week for them. Contemporary simply isn't in his area of expertise, and that's to be expected for some of these pros. I just wish they would've asked for help. That being said, though, I was surprised by the scores. The judges had been scoring on the high side, so I expected 8's here. Judges' Scores: 7-7-8
Corbin Bleu (Fox Trot): Corbin sucked you in talking about his sister and her grace in battling scoliosis, and he delivered on the dance floor. I thought this Fox Trot was simply amazing, especially when some Fox Trots can become rather mundane. He had me welling up with tears all over again. I was upset that Carrie Ann docked them a point because of a "suspected" lift. Judges' Scores: 9-9-10
Bill Engvall (Viennese Waltz): I say this every week, I know, but Bill just amazes me. I never thought this comedian would come out and be able to move the way he does. Sure, he got off time in a few instances, but it was barely noticeable. He has surprising grace, and I thought this dance was a beautiful tribute to his wife. I thought for sure there would have been a 9 from Bruno. Judges' Scores: 8-8-8
Nicole Polizzi (Jazz): This may be unpopular, but I've got to say it. I wasn't a fan of this performance. For me there simply wasn't enough Jazz to it – I saw more hip-hop than Jazz. She performed the dance well, don't get me wrong. I was just left disappointed, and I was really surprised by the high scores on this routine. Judges' Scores: 9-9-9
Brant Daughterty (Contemporary): I had tears in my eyes before this dance even started, but Brant delivered with his Contemporary dance what I didn't get from Leah's. Every move he made, I felt and saw through every inch of him. What disappointed me were the scores. I couldn't believe that no one gave him a 10, especially considering some others that received 10's or simply all 9's. Judges' Scores: 9-9-9
Amber Riley (Fox Trot): This is another dance that had me ranting Monday night. I thought the dance was executed wonderfully. I'm always excited to see Amber perform because she is fearless when she comes out onto the dance floor. What upset me was Derek. Earlier I commented that Nicole's Jazz number didn't have enough Jazz, well Len commented that Amber's Fox Trot didn't have enough Fox Trot. I'm not going to argue that point, although I felt it had more Fox Trot than Nicole's had Jazz. What upset me was that Derek knew, admittedly so, going into the night that Len would make that comment and in turn would score them lower. Despite knowing that, though, he preceded to go ahead with the choreography. I was disappointed, although, I couldn't believe that Len docked them so much. Judges' Scores: 9-7-10
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Jive): This may not win me too many points with "Saved By The Bell" fans, but I was kinda let down by Elizabeth's Jive. Let me state that I was a huge "Saved By The Bell" fan. To this day I'll watch it if I find it on TV, so when Elizabeth announced the song choice ("I'm So Excited") I knew exactly what episode it was referencing. However, I wasn't a fan of Elizabeth and Val doing the little "skit" at the beginning of the dance, and I thought the Jive itself was a little sloppy in spots. So the fan girl in me enjoyed the performance, but the critic in me was let down. Judges' Scores: 8-9-9
The audience erupted in boo's when it was revealed that Christina Milian was eliminated, but I really wasn't surprised. She was on my "short list" for upcoming eliminations. When Tom and Brooke announced at the beginning of the night that without judges' scores factored in it would be a female going home, I knew it would either be Nicole or Christina.
Many people have expressed their disappointment over this, but it goes back to what I've said before about the fan vote. Being a good dancer isn't enough. You have to have the fans to back it all up. Maybe she has the fans, but they simply didn't vote. I'm not sure on that level, but I'll simply say that if you have a celebrity you want to have stay in the competition you need to vote for them. Vote for them every way you can, as many times as you can.
So who is going to go home next week? I think it's going to be another female. My prediction is either Leah or Nicole. Nicole's scores may save her from going over Leah, but Leah's fan base could keep her from going. All I know for sure is I hope you voted!
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