It is Cirque de Soleil Night on DWTS! All the dances were inspired by the various shows of the mega Canadian theatrical company and featured some fairly cool elements from each spectacle. The opening was so impressive the sound guy forgot how to do his job (for the second week in a row).
This week saw much improvement from several of the competitors and a few missteps from some others. One couple achieved perfection. With a double elimination hanging above everyone’s head, tensions ran really high for the couples, leading to some breakdowns. If it weren’t for the producers exploiting those tears and arguments for the benefit of some drama, none of us wouldn’t have known judging by the performances.
Going from Lowest to Highest:
Babyface and Allison (Tango inspired by Love) – The Beatles inspired show has Allison a bit stumped when it comes to choreography. They are dancing to “Come together” and using spotlights to highlight their movement on the dance floor which means the steps have to be done perfect or it will show. The pro’s worst fear for the dance were justified as Babyface got off his steps early and the rest of the routine looked as if they were running to “stay in the light” like Bruno’s shouted the famous Poltergeist line at them. What sucks is you could see how cool it could have been if only the nerves didn’t get to the music producer. Score: 18/30
Marilu and Derek (Paso Doble inspired by Kà) – Last week had the actress frustrated. She felt she performed well in the dance off and should have received higher scores. To make things more difficult, her super-memory is getting in the way. Derek will teacher her the routine, then a day later change parts of it. When Marilu becomes tired or frustrated, she defaults back to what he first taught her. Apparently she learned to reprogram her memory because that paso was wonderfully intense. The showmanship of Derek overshadowed Marilu which is why those scores didn’t improve. She needs to bring that extra something to the routine to finally get the judges to give her better numbers. Score: 21/30
Ryan and Cheryl (Viennese Waltz inspired by O) – A water based show has the swimmer happy to bring some of his element to the dance. After last week’s flop, Ryan is eager to improve and he came thru with an elegant waltz. His turns were not as tight as they should be, and there were several turns, but he showed some gumption. Cheryl encouraged him to create a character for the routine and you can tell that helped. He was out of his head and in the moment. Scores: 22/30
Jana and Gleb (Foxtrot inspired by Love) – This time the song choice is “Here Comes the Sun,” but it was not so sunny for the couple. The singer had a jam-packed schedule this week and the lack of sleep made it difficult for her to learn the steps. They managed to pull together and performed a groovy and stylish foxtrot. Gleb’s choreography was full of content and really highlighted how spot on their chemistry is. Scores: 23/30
Vanilla Ice and Witney (Viennese Waltz inspired by La Nouba) – Like Jana, the rapper’s schedule was full of appearances making rehearsal time scarce. Unlike Jana, Vanilla Ice has been struggling with the dances all season. Rehearsals are paramount and the pro feels as if the two are stuck in survival mode. Maybe that panicked desperation works because this is the best dance the couple has turned out to date. The wild and wacky circus theme helped matters. Vanilla Ice feet are too heavy and movements are too wild for a normally elegant dance. Here’s hoping his positive attitude keeps the votes coming in and he sticks around to improve more. Scores: 23/30
Calvin and Lindsay (Charleston inspired by Kurios) – One of the few couples that weren’t feeling the pressure this week, or at least the producers didn’t show it. The retired NFLers dance was a fun and colorful way to start the show. He and Terra have become the two people I look forward to watching each week. The dance was fast, without feeling rushed and that lift was spectacular. It was nice to see the duo taking advantage of Calvin’s size and strength. What was frustrating was since they started off the show and are being graded on a different scale, their scores were so much less than they should have been. Scores: 23/30
Maureen and Artem (Argentine Tango inspired by Mystère) – Wanting to see them move up the leader board, the pro is looking to push the actress further. To quote Artem, “the honeymoon is over.” The couple became snippy at one another to the point of Artem questioning his professional choices. Thankfully that tension was what their tango needed. It fueled Maureen’s fire to push herself beyond her limits and bring that something extra. While she may not ever be at the top of the leader board, she is showing much improvement. Don’t think that dance is better than Calvin’s though. Scores: 24/30
Amber and Maks (Argentine Tango inspired by Zumanity) – The model and talk show host felt shamed by Julianne’s comments from last week’s show. While the two made up, I feel like I see their issues from both sides. I think Julianne probably felt uncomfortable seeing the husband and baby daddy of her close friend getting grinded on, but at the same time last week’s salsa was fun. It helped to bring Amber out of her shell. I’m glad the comments didn’t make Amber retreat, instead she chose to own her sexiness with a tango inspired by a burlesque-like show. The dance itself was really well done, but she never had a huge problem with the movements. It was amazing to see her come alive and show she can be a star in this competition. She should definitely get rid of the wigs and weird costumes and just be more of herself. Scores: 24/30
Terra and Sasha (Samba inspired by O) – Continuing with the theme of struggling, Terra feels like Sasha is pushing her too hard, she is not a dancer she keeps telling herself. I wish she would get that sentiment out of her mind because Terra is an amazing dancer. The reality star came out the gate and owned the stage. There were some struggles towards the end with the turn passes which resulted in lower scores, but overall it was an entertaining and fantastic dance. Scores: 25/30
James and Sharna (Quickstep inspired by Paramour) – Like Calvin and Lindsay, these two have a good partnership that hasn’t show any cracks yet. Though the pro is looking to climb back up the top of the leader board and knows they need to bring something spectacular this week to get there. The duo came through on that promise with an amazing performance that was perfect to end the show with. Very Broadway and super engaging. What was really amazing is through all of the other dancers and acrobatics, James was easily the star of it all. Apparently there was a small misstep, but I sure as hell didn’t see it. Scores: 28/30
Laurie and Val (Jazz inspired by One) – If you are shocked the gymnast was the first to achieve perfect scores, then obviously you haven’t been watching the show. There was some pressure for the powerhouse couple because of Laurie’s busy schedule. It didn’t help their show is based on the music of Michael Jackson. If you don’t get it perfect, people are going to know (just ask Von Miller). Luckily the song was “The Way You Make Me Feel” which doesn’t have too many distinctions attached to it. Working with the videos of the dance Val sent her, Laurie didn’t fall too far behind in rehearsals while traveling. The jazz routine was spectacular and so much fun to watch. We all know at this point Laurie is a natural at dance, but it is really exciting to watch her tap into the confident woman she will become in the future. She displayed a more mature level of sass and fierceness that is not easy for a 16-year-old to find inside themselves. Scores: 30/30
Tonight is going to be a nail bitter as two couples are going to be sent home. Who do you think will get the boot? Will it be the music producer sitting at the bottom of the leader board? Or the struggling Olympic swimmer? Or will we see a shocking departure from one of the shows leaders? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.