DWTS - Week 7, Season 14

"Classical Night" on DWTS seemed out of sync. The music seldom went with the dance it was chosen for. However, it was a joy being able to listen to Jackie Ivanko's fabulous voice, which did make up for some of the "wrong music" frustrations.

Date added to ADN: Wednesday, May 02 2012
Originally Published: Wednesday, May 02 2012
By Phillip Stephens

Dancing With The Stars

Season 14, Week 7, 4/30/2012

This critique is provided by Championship Adjudicator and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Fellow and Examiner Phillip Stephens. Direct any comments or inquiries to philtex44@aol.com

Classical Night. Truly enjoyed the three couples from the DWTS troupe in “classical” garb who danced so beautifully to the violinist’s music. Anna Trebunskaya did a fine job of choreographing that routine.

What is this horrible stripe-across-the-bust outfit Brooke is wearing for this show??? Makes her look like a Guernsey milk cow in a restrainer of some sort!

Well, Derek was bare-chested and Mark Ballas was bare-upper-body. I’m assuming Mark and Katherine are dancing something related to Mark Antony & Cleopatra. I’m surprised they found enough makeup to cover up all of Mark’s tattoos. So – I was wrong. It’s from Game of Thrones the musical and they DIDN’T cover up all his tattoos

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas – Rumba

Hmmm – So Mark was not bare-upper-body ENOUGH? Katherine HAD to remove that teensy little cape to reveal even MORE of Mark’s upper-body and tattoos? What’s classical about tattoos? This didn’t sound like a Rumba to me. I kept waiting for the ballet troupe to show up on the stage. Their dance was pretty - Katherine does dance beautifully, but this performance did little for me. Rumba is a base-filled and earthy type of dance; this music didn’t have that quality and didn’t go with the dance. On top of that, the dancer’s movements – though beautiful – didn’t go with the music in a way to make me feel it.

Len – Thought it was a classic Rumba; Bruno – Thought it was technically superb; Carrie Ann – Didn’t think Katherine’s “passion” was authentic enough. 9+9+9 = 27

Melissa Gilbert & Maks Chmerkovskii – Argentine Tango

Maks has a cyst in his ankle but is not wearing a support nor has he wrapped the ankle and he is practicing in tennis shoes that will not turn easily on a wooden floor? Grr. This outfit was not very flattering to Melissa. Except for legs over shoulders, head nearly on floor, the lifts were nicely chosen to go with the music, but had bad entries and exits. This was a nice routine and was performed reasonably well, but it was not exceptional and was another performance in which music and dance didn’t match.

Bruno – Thought they were brave for attempting to keep the tempo of Mozzart (like they had a choice in the music?); Carrie Ann – Thought it went horribly wrong and produced a lift-fest; Len – Thought the lifts went with the crescendos in the music but that the dance lacked in quality in their effort to produce quantity. 7+7+7 = 21

William Levy & Cheryl Burke – Viennese Waltz

His ankle is bothering him. As Michael Schedler said: Wrap it and/or get him a brace! William’s shoulders looked extremely tense and were up too high in closed position. His rise and fall was rather like my first attempts at making gravy – lumpy & bumpy. William looked nervous and uncertain and his head was not in a good position during many of their moves. Still, it was a good performance to a beautifully sung song. Why doesn’t Cheryl teach him to dance?

Carrie Ann – “That” was what she was looking for? “That” was true content? (I thought it lacked a lot); Len – Liked it; Bruno – Felt it was on par with what a professional dancer could produce&##0133;. Hmmm – I don’t think those comments were at all validated by that performance. 9+9+9 = 27

Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower – Argentine Tango

Their outfits were good for this dance. I’m glad they didn’t put Roshon in something that showed a lot of skin. His kicks and flicks and some of the lifts were a bit off, but he did a nice job with some tough moves, and we must remember that he’s a fairly small guy to be hoisting Chelsie around in those lifts. He still doesn’t point his feet. He did look steadier in some of the moves than he often does. This was a very intense performance to strong music and I feel that he exceeded the quality level of his previous performances handsomely.

Len – Liked transitions in the lifts, but would like more tone in feet and legs; Bruno – Very clean, but feels Roshon needs to work on feet and legs for more stability; Carrie Ann – OK, she missed the boat. Roshon WAS steadier on his feet in many places, but he was NOT steady on his feet in the lifts and some of the quick moves. Len and Bruno were right, she was “off”. 9+8+8 = 25

Donald Driver & Peta Mergatroid – Viennese Waltz

Talk about classic - Peta is gorgeous in that outfit. Donald is doing reasonably well, but his posture is bad and he looks as if he has no neck. His footwork on the Flekrl (if that’s what that abomination was supposed to be?) and its exit was dreadful. He did a good job, especially considering the music and the singing he had to work with, but I would not give high marks for this performance.

Bruno – Felt it displayed the right stuff; Carrie Ann – A lot of over praising; Len – Thought the footwork was spot-on, but did note the bizarre flekrl. 9+9+9 = 27

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough – Paso Doble

What was with the water-works? She got all teary because she’s not a dancer and he’s had partners in the past who were??? Where does this stuff come from? A smashingly beautiful outfit for Maria. Derek produced fabulous choreography for this routine and music. Maria danced with superb intensity and portrayed the dance beautifully. Even from a technical standpoint, this was a great performance. For me, this was the best routine of the night.

Carrie Ann – Thought Maria was SO ON FIRE; Len – Fantastic! Bruno – Dubbed her Queen of the Night. Thought the partnership interaction was superb. 10+10+10 = 30. These scores were positively and absolutely warranted. It is unfair that the others who produced mediocre performances often received 9s, which detracts from Maria’s superb performance

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson – Viennese Waltz

Kym looked particularly elegant in that dress and in her portrayal of this dance. Jaleel looked good, but he also looked uncertain with his head down and shoulders up and looking at Kym at inappropriate times. This was a lovely song, beautiful music and a nice routine, but Jaleel did not perform as well as I would like to see. He always seems to try so hard that it overshadows any improvements that he’s made in underlying dance techniques.

Len – As a performance he liked it but thought it was lacking in technique; Bruno – Thought it had a lot of content, but was lacking in technique; Carrie Ann – All she could come up with was a lame comment about his arm styling??? 8+8+8 = 24

There were some very nice outfits in tonight’s line up. Roshon, Maria, Kym, Jaleel, Peta, Cheryl and William wore nice outfits. The rest were sub-standard at best. The music was good for three numbers and crappy for the rest of them. If you’re going to choose classical music, you should at least make sure it matches the dances being portrayed to it.

That Jackie Ivanko is a FABULOUS singer. What an incredible voice! Karina and Trystan did a lovely lovely and restrained performance to Jackie’s singing.

It bothers me to see such poor taste displayed by the clothing that these people wear for rehearsals and teaching. I’d like to see a bit of professionalism now and then.

Team Tango – Too much drama and cussing during rehearsal. Katherine and the other ladies look FINE in these outfits for performance. Plain ol’ Tango is not Derek’s best dance – I never like his posture for it. Except for his pivots with Fallaway whisks segment, Jaleel was dreadful in his solo. Mark and Katherine looked less well rehearsed than norma.. Chelsie and Roshon did a great solo – possibly some of his best dancing. Exceptionally nice group entrance and ending for the team.

Len didn’t like it overall; Bruno noted the great choreography for the beginning and ending. Carrie Ann praised Jaleel – who danced pretty badly - so I’m wondering what’s up with that. 10+8+9 = 27

Team Paso Doble – Nice that they didn’t feel the need to curse during rehearsal. A very nice entrance. Melissa looked lost in her solo and was out of sync with Maks during the syncopations. William’s solo was not so pleasing to me. Donald seemed to have the best Paso character and danced his solo exceptionally well. Though it didn’t go smoothly, I liked the cape work. A good ending. The music reminded me of an Indiana Jones movie – the one where he recovered the stones and all those evil people chanted while the bad guy pulled beating hearts out of chests?

Bruno raved. Carrie Ann raved. Len raved. The worst comment was a little loss of synchronization in the cape twirling. 9+8+9 = 26

In many cases, scores were high tonight for the quality of the dancing.

Results Show – 5/1/12

Derek and Maria were fabulous again tonight and I enjoyed their surprise alternate ending!

What a sad and yet also happy story about Steelo, the street dancer who went through such a traumatic situation. It is a miracle that he has survived and that he has overcome so much. It is fantastic that he has recovered to the point where he can now dance again and move on with his life. Sometimes we just don’t realize how lucky we are. Stories like this one give me such joy to be alive and to know that there are people who not only don’t sit around and whine about their situation, they overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that land in their laps.

Hmmmm&##0133; Gavin Degraw’s music is not really my cup of tea. I think he was better as a dancer. And I didn’t know what to think about that rather frenetic performance by Louis and Karina. It seemed too fast for the music.

Ballroom Battle – An intriguing concept. It would be interesting to know who paid for all the training these couples got from those very expensive pros&##0133; I hope these young possessors of all that raw talent realize how lucky they are to have received the training from those extremely talented pros. Well, all 3 couples were terrific. A tough job to decide who is best, but I think couple 2 was my favorite. Well, Cheryl’s team was good so did deserve to win as much as my favorite.

I’m sorry that Roshon is in the dance duel again. I’d have put Melissa in with Jaleel. I really hope Roshon wins. During the first segment, I feel that Roshon did more dancing than Jaleel. All the way through, I felt that Jaleel tried too hard and looked rough where Roshon looked smoother, more sure of himself and more in control. I also liked his musicality and the fact that he created better and more finished lines than did Jaleel. Roshon, Roshon, Roshon. I am REALLY glad to see that young man get the reward he deserved. And I’m JUST as happy to see Jaleel leaving.

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