I didn’t watch anything except Bones while I was away, and that only because one of my uncles happened to be watching and called me in when it was on. So, to recap Dancing, Week 9: Last week’s dances were downright electrifying. Goodbye, Jennie. You needed that cha-cha-cha breakthrough a little sooner than week 9, although it was a hell of a great breakthrough. Sabrina and Mark had a very polished and interesing rhumba to Avril Lavigne. Tell me, anybody who keeps up with current pop music, does Avril always try to sing that much out of her range or did she just have a cold or something?
I do not understand the fuss over Helio. He seems to be a very nice guy, but his dancing success is due to a) an adequate sense of rhythm, b) a megawatt smile, and c) having Julianne as a partner. Why does Len consider them the standout couple? He is way too stiff to do Latin dances properly, and after I watch tonight’s finals, I am going to break my promise of not voting in protest for Sabrina’s ouster in order to give all my votes to Mel B. She deserves it, by far. Marie has serious chops to have made it this far, but stumbles in footwork at this level are unacceptable.
On to tonight’s dances.
Mel B and Maks, cha-cha-cha: Starts off unpromisingly with a scamper across the floor and a tacky husband drama. Hmm. Still not her best dance, although she took some hand-position lessons from watching Laila’s last year’s videos, I think. Judges say: Len doesn’t like the off steps, as usual, but otherwise liked it. Bruno: stunning. Carrie Ann: Uncertain, like me. Not enough excitement. No kidding. Compared to their paso dobles, it’s just flat. Nine-nine-ten.
Marie and Jonathan, samba: Uhoh. These dances they do because the judges wanted to see them improved on reminds me of vocal boards in college, when an adjunct professor I had no particular liking for looked down my list of songs and chose the one I hadn’t managed to memorize. Why would they do this to the stars on finals night? It’s like Letterman’s funniest item in the Top Ten always being at #2. As long as they do it this way, the second-to-last week will always be the most exciting. Add to that that I hate the freestyle because they always put in way too much hip-hop garbage, and the finals are not the most fun for me at all.
Anyway, samba: Cute, but still a bit stiff and even a tad slow. The judges are going to grill her on lack of content–too many still poses, Jonathan. Bad samba rolls! Judges say: Bruno, with the truth, uhoh. Heart and soul but technically lacking. No kidding. Carrie Ann and Len agree. Eight-eight-eight. That has to hurt.
Helio and Julianne, jive: Watching Julianne act awkward is painful. HE BOTCHES HIS FOOTWORK. I told you. I hope I don’t have to watch this trophy go to another one of Julianne’s partners based on pluck and attitude and little else besides her, although I will say Apolo had the ability more than Helio does. Judges say: Carrie Ann, fun and adorable, but she doesn’t let him off the hook. Len: Messed up everything–a disappointment. Wow. I’m glad he didn’t let his previous opinion of “standout couple” stop him from that honest assessment. Bruno agrees, pretty much. Eight-eight-nine. Good.
Freestyles are always a letdown, and Mel and Maks’s, because their standard was previously so high, is the worst letdown of all. Carrie Ann agrees: Didn’t show what she could do. Right on. Len liked more of it, but still lacked flow. Bruno’s fine with it. Nine-nine-nine.
Marie and Jonathan: Starts out well, but if she doesn’t drop the stiff-puppet thing soon it’s going to bomb … nope, she doesn’t drop it enough. Why does everybody want to do lifts, lifts, nothing but damn lifts all day long, just because they can? Where’s the fricking dancing? That was not a pretty dance. Judges say: Len says good idea, bad execution. I totally agree. Marie, keep your mouth shut. Len says, didn’t happen. Bruno says it defies criticism, but then says it’s not a dance. True enough, that. Carrie Ann: Risk taker, but … odd choice. Eight-SEVEN-SEVEN. I’m appalled, but honestly those are appropriate scores.
Helio and Julianne: Cute with the race driver idea, but he can’t even keep in step with her while walking, much less dancing. Did I mention how much I hate freestyle? This dance made Julianne look ugly. Judges say: Bruno applauds the difficult lifts. Carrie Ann says he has both technique and entertainment–hello, did we forget the technical drubbing he took not fifteen minutes ago? Len says best freestyle of the night, by miles, but let’s face it that’s not a hard standard to beat. Nine-ten-ten. Travesty.
I’m off to vote for Mel now. Aside from the fact that she is the best left standing, by a mile, I would love to see Maks win. Hot.
Update: What with getting vacation laundry in the machines and making breakfast, I missed the voting window. I had forgotten my password and abc.com still hasn’t mailed it to me, 12 hours later. What kind of technology is that? Anyway. I suck. I hope everybody else didn’t and that Mel B wins tonight.