We are rapidly approaching the home stretch of season twenty-three of Dancing with the Stars. Week seven will bring us new individual routines and the usual team dances. The theme this week is “Eras Night” and each dance will pay tribute to a different era in dance history. We will see everything from a 50’s Jive to an 80’s Tango.
Let’s take a look at last week’s poll results. For the first time this season, we have a real battle for favorite partnership. James & Sharna lead with 34%. But coming close to them are Laurie & Val with 24% and Jana & Gleb with 22%. Speaking of Jana & Gleb– the argentine tango last week was the favorite routine of the night with 40% of the vote. James & Sharna took 24%, Calvin & Lindsay with 17%, and Lauie & Val with 15%. For least favorite, that samba from Maureen & Artem had 39% while Ryan & Cheryl took 30%. Also making the least favorite list- Terra & Sasha’s paso doble, with 11%.
85% of you agreed with Amber’s elimination last week, while the episode itself ranked pretty high, between a B+ and an A-. But what about the thoughts of MJ readers about who might be leaving tonight? 63% of you believe that the time is up for Maureen & Artem. 22% of you think Ryan & Cheryl are out. At this point, it seems quite likely that one of those two will indeed be eliminated. I have been personally predicting Ryan for weeks now but he keeps hanging on. This week, I’ll go with Maureen.
Len Goodman returns to the judges table tonight, thankfully. As picky as he can be, it balances out the others and I would rather him than any guest judge, especially the likes of last week’s guest, Pitbull. I’m excited to see the team dances tonight. Each team has some great choreographers on them and a nice balance of good and average dancers. It looks pretty even on paper. So let’s see which couple fully embraces the era they were given and which team reigns supreme.
These are some fabulous costumes to represent the different decades of dance. Everyone definitely looks like they took a time machine to their respective eras. Cool.
Tom welcomes Len back. Erin notes two rounds of dancing tonight. Time to get the dancing started…
Laurie & Val – Quickstep (1960’s)
Laurie has no clue what Val is talking about in rehearsals. She never went to prom, so she is trying to connect with the dance. Val says Laurie needs to brush up on her history. The duo seem to be having fun in rehearsal. Cute! Very appropriately choreographed quickstep from Val. Lots of cheeky moves that are straight out of some awkward prom comedy. Lots of fast movement around the floor, with many recognizable steps one would expect in a quickstep. Lots of fun back and forth between the pair and a nice way to start the show. I have to say though, Laurie needs a big number soon to really go back to the force she was in earlier weeks. Perhaps Val needs to think outside the box a bit with choreography and give her something that has content, yet stands out. She needs a boost to go from great dancing to the winning mix of great dancing and great performance. – Watch the Video
Len is happy to be back. He says dance is a balance between performance and technique. He says a bit of technique was lost. He feels Laurie rushed a bit too much. Julianne calls it amazing. She loved that the dance was all about what a quickstep is. Bruno loved the sporty energy. He says Laurie lights up the room. Carrie Ann loves that it was light but strong. But she is angry that it started and ended with a lift. Carrie Ann plans on deducting a single point because of it.
Carrie Ann- 8
You can vote for Laurie by calling 1-800-868-3407 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Ryan & Cheryl – Rumba (1990’s)
Ryan thought he did amazing last week but Cheryl notes that the dup is still at the bottom. Cheryl wants Ryan to really sell the dance. She says Ryan has to be sexual for the first time. His fiance comes to rehearsal. Alright, so not bad. There was definitely some nice rumba moves in that. The hip action needs work. The rumba is simplistic enough as it is, so everything you do needs to stand out more. All those extensions and movements need to look big and you have to try and fill up a large amount of space even though you are dancing so close together. It was a nice dance, without anything to really groan about, even though there was nothing to get up and cheer about either. – Watch the Video
Julianne found that it should have been more dynamic. She mentions a few technical issues that need work in order to match the “epicness” of the song. Bruno says he wanted more acting out of Ryan because technique isn’t his thing. He feels like Ryan needs to listen to the words and music. Carrie Ann disagreed and felt Ryan did well with the acting. But she mentions that a connection to the music is lacking. She feels like Ryan is just doing what Cheryl is telling him to do. Len has given Ryan an extra point because the dance had no props or other dancers- just right to the dancing. He says it was brilliant but he loves that they didn’t use any of the stuff that gets on his nerves.
Carrie Ann- 7
You can vote for Ryan by calling 1-800-868-3411 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Marilu & Derek – Charleston (1920’s)
Marilu feels as though she and Derek are hitting their stride. She feels the dance this week is in her wheelhouse. Derek is tapping into Marilu’s experience. She played Roxie on Broadway, so the 20’s era is something she is comfortable with. Well, I have a mixed review of this. I loved the choreography and felt Marilu was totally in character. However, the energy level was just a bit under what it needs to be for a charleston. In addition, that tap section revealed some sync issues where you could see Marilu struggling to keep up the pace with Derek. Perhaps exposing Marilu to that was wrong in hindsight. It was an overall fun piece that made me smile but it definitely had some issues. – Watch the Video
Bruno loved the cartoon quality of it all but he mentions something went wrong at the end. He calls it fun though. Carrie Ann says the lifts were okay but getting in and out of them wasn’t graceful. She felt it was lacking looseness. It felt tense and she mentions the out of sync moments. Len calls it fun, entertaining, and energetic. He agrees it lost some sync. Julianne loved the energy and fun of it. She mentions the mistake but says that we should all not overlook that Marilu is the oldest person in the competition.
Carrie Ann- 7
You can vote for Marilu by calling 1-800-868-3408 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Calvin & Lindsay – Jive (1950’s)
Calvin wants to surprise Len this week considering he hasn’t seen him improve. He says no lifts this week because the jive footwork needs to shine. Calvin has ankle issues from football so he is having trouble with the proper kicks and flicks. Wow. That was a fabulous jive. For a variety of reasons. First, it was choreographed to perfection by Lindsay. Truly. So much jive content matched perfectly with the song. Second, Calvin was all in from a technical standpoint and from a performance standpoint. The kicks and flicks were great. It was high energy. The best routine of the night so far. – Watch the Video
Carrie Ann loved it and says Calvin made it his own. She loved it. Len felt it was polished. He compliments how far Calvin has come. Julianne says it was proper jive that was amazing. Bruno loved how spot on it was. He compliments Calvin’s footwork.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Calvin by calling 1-800-868-3403 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Maureen & Artem – Tango (1980’s)
Artem is not familiar with the 80’s. Maureen is embracing the era on her own terms. As usual, rehearsals are verging on frustration for these two. Maureen is learning to speak up more. Oy. Poor Maureen. I don’t know if she got caught up in Artem’s feet or just lost balance but she almost fell and it took her out of the dance a little. It wasn’t going great up to that point but it was serviceable. It needed a bit more vigor. This is the 80’s. And it is a tango. To BON JOVI! Those three things alone scream for something more than Artem put together here and more than Maureen executed. – Watch the Video
Len loved Maureen’s attitude in the dance. He mentioned it had a few blunders but he thought Maureen sold it. Julianne thinks Maureen should take the outfit home. She gives Maureen credit for finishing the dance. She wants Maureen to work on being more grounded. Bruno loved that Maureen went for it. He says that she needs to focus on the positives of the dance. Carrie Ann says people love Maureen for things like this- stumbling but keeps on going. She gives her criticism to be closer when in hold.
Carrie Ann- 7
You can vote for Maureen by calling 1-800-868-3409 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Terra & Sasha – Foxtrot (1930’s)
Terra is a little disappointed about last week. She notes how hard it is this week having to learn two dances. Terra’s children come to rehearsal. She loves her time with them and she wants to show them that they can accomplish everything to the fullest. I have said it before but it bears repeating. Sasha deserves some major kudos for his choreography this season. He just put together a foxtrot to totally suit Terra. Imagine how difficult it must be to have a dance that requires so much hold, good frame, and rise and fall with the height difference. And he did it. And Terra delivered. An elegant, lovely, and era-appropriate routine from start to finish. – Watch the Video
Julianne says Terra is back. She loved the connection and the performance. Bruno found it lovely and says Terra has a knack for getting it right. Carrie Ann loves the commitment Terra makes to everything. Len says it has class, sophistication, and he compliments Sasha on the job he is doing.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Terra by calling 1-800-868-3412 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Jana & Gleb – Samba (1970’s)
Jana felt last week was amazing. Jana is on the road this week on tour and so rehearsals are shortened a bit. Jana feels a lot of pressure this week. She is overwhelmed and it is showing at rehearsal. Samba rolls! You guys know I give points just for that alone. I think it is the first time this season we have seen them. And if I am being honest, had Gleb not used them, I’m not sure I would have recognized this as a samba. I get it had to look like the 70’s but that had a lot of disco in it. Jana, as usual, danced it well. I’m not sure if they were able to keep up the level that was last week’s routine. And I think the genre of dance coupled with the decade was a bit of an issue for these two tonight. – Watch the Video
Bruno loved the shadow rolls. He calls it hot. Carrie Ann mentions lifts (she wants to be fair). She feels like Jana had some issues with musicality tonight. Len calls it clean and crisp. He tells Gleb it needed more samba steps. Len says he is not going to be back until the finals, but he thinks Jana will be there. Gleb talks back a bit at Len and Len proceeds to school him. Okay. Julianne thinks Jana broke out at the right time and she believes in them. She loves that they included funk in the dance because of the era.
Carrie Ann- 8
You can vote for Jana by calling 1-800-868-3406 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
James & Sharna – Jitterbug (1940’s)
James calls last week terrific. Sharna says this dance is pretty much as fast as it comes. Helio calls in. Sharna is stressed over being at the top of the leaderboard. Sharna mentions how this is her 8th season and she has yet to win. If you take elements of the jive and marry them to the charleston, but then have an affair with jazz, you could get the idea of a jitterbug. Fun, funny, fast, and a big concentration on performance quality. Really solid choreography by Sharna, to which James nailed. This is yet another routine that will go down in the memorable column for James- and that’s something that is keeping him above someone like Laurie at this point. – Watch the Video
Carrie Ann loved how immersed James is in his dances. She saw a few moments where things were odd but they were coped with well. Len thinks James is a major contender. He wanted more jitterbug than jive. But he did enjoy it very much. Julianne wanted to see more- in a good way. Bruno loves what James puts into the dance. He says you watch it as if you are watching a film but they had some sync issues.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for James by calling 1-800-868-3405 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at ABC.COM and/or on FACEBOOK (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 11AM Eastern Tuesday.
Round 1 is over. I would say dance of the night goes to Calvin & Lindsay and weakest goes to Maureen & Artem.
Team Past (James & Sharna, Calvin & Lindsay, Ryan & Cheryl, Maureen & Artem) – Freestyle
Ryan was picked last. Sharna says they are dancing to a Scottish folk song. Maureen is very happy with her team. Calvin is excited. Maureen heads off to spy on the other team, and they are already dancing. James notes how the group score counts so you don’t want to let down any of the cther couples. They are still struggling with the steps right till camera blocking. Nice. That was quite a gamble. It wasn’t showy as past team dances have been. It was more content driven. It focused on elegance. I found that to be a gamble worth taking. All the couples shined at various points, and when everyone was together, it looked beautiful. Perhaps they went for this in order to mask and glaring issues for Ryan and Maureen but regardless, it worked. – Watch the Video
Len found it brave and thought no one stood out because it was a proper team dance. Julianne found it clean and loved how it was executed. Bruno found them in tune with one another. He calls it gorgeous. Carrie Ann says it was her favorite dance of the night and looked like a group of all pros.
Carrie Ann- 10
Team Future (Laurie & Val, Marilu & Derek, Jana & Gleb, Terra & Sasha) – Freestyle
Laurie thinks they will make a really good team. Jana notes that they need to pick up the pace. Terra is crying because she doesn’t want to hold the team back. She feels other have to change things for her and it is upsetting her. Val gives Terra a pep talk. Everyone’s schedule is crazy so lots of phone conversations. Terra says the dance must be perfect. The team looks better than team past did in rehearsal but we will see if it translates to the dance. Hmm. Okay, so this team with the idea of having each couple work with their strengths. Jana concentrated on argentine tango. Terra on paso doble. It was odd at first because everyone was doing something different. The parts where everyone danced together were nice but it felt overall like something was a miss. And I can’t really put my finger on it. Marilu fell at one point which took me out of concentrating for a second. I think saying the dance was odd is the best description I have, even though nothing was really bad or weak. It just wasn’t as together as the first team in technique or execution. – Watch the Video
Julianne loved the concept. She liked seeing the more individual performances but does note some out of sync moments. Bruno loved the concept too. He agrees that when the music slows down, the sync wasn’t quite there. Carrie Ann enjoyed the challenge of the dance. The shapes were not matching all the way. She asks Marilu if she is okay. Len thought the standard overall tonight was fantastic. He felt this dance had great imagination. He thought it was a great job.
Carrie Ann- 8
IN JEOPARDY- Maureen & Artem, Jana & Gleb
All others are safe!
And the next couple leaving the competition is…
Maureen & Artem
Maureen says there were times she felt like she was floating. She gives the crew props. They are strapped for time and so Tom sends them to the center of the ballroom. More with them tomorrow night on GMA. – Watch the Elimination VIDEO
Next week is the Halloween show with dance-offs!
In terms of this week result- interesting to place Jana & Gleb in jeopardy after the perfect score last week. Was it legit? I doubt it. They probably want to secure some more votes for them. But that could potentially mean they aren’t doing all that well in votes to begin with. Hmm. As for Maureen, her elimination was expected. I think, regardless of what happened tonight, Ryan’s time has to be over next Monday. We are actually down now (with Ryan as the exception) to the strongest dancers left.
POLLS are coming very soon! I hope you guys enjoyed Eras Night and I’ll see you soon. :D