Dancing with the Stars – Season 16 – Week 6

Welcome to week 6 of season sixteen of Dancing with the Stars. After tonight, only one month remains until the finale! Last week, we said goodbye to Comedian and actor D.L. Hughley and his professional partner, Cheryl Burke. D.L. was a pretty bad dancer throughout his run on the show but his fans kept him in all the way to the half point. Despite that, it isn’t like he really caused the elimination of anyone who was going to make it to the end of the show, so no real loss or foul here. As I have said before, we are just counting down the days (and eliminations) until Kellie, Zendaya, Aly, and Jacoby battle it out for three spots in the finale. I guess the main questions for this week are who out of those four will top the leader board and which bottom to middle of the pack couple will improve. Suffice it to say- Andy, Sean, Victor, and Ingo should all be prepared to bring it because they are on the chopping block.

Tonight’s theme is “Stevie Wonder Night.” The great Stevie Wonder will be on hand to perform as each couple dances. He will also be joined by Country superstar Hunter Hayes. As usual, the couples must perform any unlearned genre of dance. In addition, we have our first team dances. It will be “Team Samba” versus “Team Paso Doble.” Team dances are always fun and this go around, we have pretty even teams with both strong and weak celebrities so the routines should be interesting. Will the appearance of Stevie Wonder result in some nerves on the dance floor or will everyone be able to bring their “A-game”? With eight votes for each couple up for grabs (extended through Facebook in addition to the usual methods), let’s see who shines this week. Here we go everyone… :D

The show stars with the great Stevie Wonder performing as some pros and troupe members dance. Hunter Hayes comes out to join Stevie. This is probably the best dancing we are going to see tonight. (I kid, sort of). But really, fantastic job all around. Stevie sounds great. Hunter is cute and sounds okay.

Zendaya Coleman (Dinsey Channel star) & Valentin Chmerkovskiy – (Cha-cha-cha)
Zendaya has the moves for a cha-cha-cha for sure. She is doing everything as she is supposed to and has the connection but something for me is off with this dance. I’m not quite sure what it is but I think the “wow” factor was evident more in previous routines, especially last week. I don’t mean to critique the dance at all because I am pretty sure everything in that dance was perfect but it just hit me differently. It might also be an issue with the choreography. I guess I have seen so many cha-cha-cha routines on this show that I expected Val to come up with something a bit different. Sometimes, dance is identical to art. You just interpret it how you will. Fantastic dancing yet again from a girl heading straight for the finale.

Len says Zendaya is one word that means great dancing. He loved everything. He did mention one little moment in the dance but not a big deal. Bruno loved the entire thing. Metaphors galore! Carrie Ann mentions how hard it is to go first but Zendaya blew her away. She called it perfection in motion.
Carrie Ann- 10 Len- 9 Bruno- 10 for a total of 29/30
To vote for Zendaya & Val, call 1800-868-3406. You can also text “VOTE” to 3406. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Andy Dick (Comedian and actor) & Sharna Burgess – (Samba)
LOL. I’m sorry but some of Andy’s samba steps are purely hysterical. This is very fun and entertaining but the steps are not really on point. I appreciate that Andy actually practiced some of the steps this week and attempted them. You can tell that latin dancing is just not Andy’s specialty. He does better with slow routines. This type of fast-paced dancing with all the technical elements you need just exposes his limitations. Sharna tries her best to always fit the choreography to what Andy can do. But once again, he tries his best and he is never boring. I would take an Andy dick routine that is mediocre over a boring routine that is marginally better any day.

Bruno calls it a personality-driven shamble of a samba. It didn’t quite make it all the way to Brazil. Bruno called it very entertaining but he couldn’t make out the samba steps. Carrie Ann loves Andy but she didn’t know he was doing the samba. Carrie Ann says he needs to dance more outwards. Len disagrees because he thinks samba should be fun. He says it wasn’t good technically but Andy has climbed mountains.
Carrie Ann- 6 Len- 6 Bruno- 6 for a total of 18/30
To vote for Andy & Sharna, call 1800-868-3411. You can also text “VOTE” to 3411. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Sean Lowe (Reality television star) & Peta Murgatroyd (Samba)
And this is what I am talking about when it comes to Andy. While Andy wasn’t technically as strong as Sean (not that Sean was great), Andy is fun while Sean is rather boring. He also still has issues with looking very awkward while dancing. Latin dancing does him no favors in that department. His moves and attempts at a sexual and fun dance just come off so odd. Of course, the shirt comes off. Okay. He deserves a point for the body. But of course, this is a dancing competition. Nice to look at will only get you so far. Sean did much better last week. Since he and Andy did the exact same dance and Sean even mentioned Andy in his rehearsal package, I am giving the samba to Andy overall. That might be an unpopular opinion but like I said, entertain me if you are lackluster instead of just being there.

Carrie Ann is happy with how much bounce Sean had but he needs to pay attention to the music. Len says Sean needs to set his sights a bit higher if he only wants to beat Andy. Len says the bouncing was off, no hip action, and no musicality. He also doesn’t understand the need for Sean to take his shirt off. Bruno says Sean could get a job as a stripper. He says that Sean needs to lighten up and listen to the music.
Carrie Ann- 7 Len- 7 Bruno- 7 for a total of 21/30
To vote for Sean & Peta, call 1800-868-3407. You can also text “VOTE” to 3407. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Aly Raisman (Olympic gold medal gymnast) & Mark Ballas – (Foxtrot)
Aly, from Boston, was really knocked for a loop over the events of the last week. She was even supposed to be at the marathon. So, this dance is dedicated to Boston. Nice! This is a very cute routine. Mark did well here with the choreography. Aly is in character and dancing well. This whole routine is keeping me smiling. I especially love the moments when Aly and Mark are not in hold. Really adorable stuff here. And yes, thankfully, I feel the connection to Aly in this dance which is something I have found issue with in the past. I think Aly really nailed this foxtrot- from the tone of the dance to the execution.

Len loved the performance quality but he admitted that the technicality needed a bit of work. The little things he sees pleases him but work a little more on the technique. Bruno called it lovely and says Aly is consistent. Bruno mentions her frame and tells her to keep her bum in. Carrie Ann mentioned that she felt Aly connected well. She says Aly is an understated performer but heading for perfection.
Carrie Ann- 9 Len- 9 Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30
To vote for Aly & Mark, call 1800-868-3408. You can also text “VOTE” to 3408. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

A break from the dancing to enjoy a live Stevie performance with appearances by the female pros and troupe members. It seems we have a little extra time tonight to fill with only eight regular routines and two dance numbers. But of course, Stevie is enjoyable as always.

Ingo Rademacher (Soap opera actor) & Kym Johnson – (Tango)
It is Ingo’s birthday. Another celeb wants to take down Andy this week. What’s with the going after Andy so much? I do appreciate that Ingo mentioned that he, Andy, Victor, and Sean are the bottom dwellers who need to break out. This is a much better dance for Ingo than we have seen in previous weeks. He is really strong with his hold and frame. Kym is also very strong at choreographing a dance to her partner’s main strengths. A few obvious incidents throughout the dance that once again make Ingo somewhat awkward. It is his feet that were the issue here at moments but I loved Ingo’s tango attitude. Being an actor definitely pays off with a dance like the tango. The only thing this dance needed was a little refinement. It was Ingo’s best dance for me and with some more rehearsal, it would have been even better.

Bruno loved the animal magnetism. He loved that Ingo kept control throughout the dance. He mentions the few little incidents. Carrie Ann is singing. When Ingo likes a dance, it shows, says Carrie Ann. She finally welcomes Ingo to the game. Len says bingo, Ingo and tells him it was sharp and crisp. He says it had rough moments but the dance suited him.
Carrie Ann- 8 Len- 8 Bruno- 8 for a total of 24/30
To vote for Ingo & Kym, call 1800-868-3403. You can also text “VOTE” to 3403. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Kellie Pickler (Country music singer) & Derek Hough – (Quickstep)
WOW! Kellie is moving. Look at her feet with Derek. They are perfectly in-sync. I mean, not a misstep at all. They are just going crazy around the dance floor. This is quickstep perfection. The mood of the dance is great and the steps are so good. Kellie is delivering one of the most quality quicksteps I have seen on this show in quite some time. I really have nothing to critique here. I want to compare her to Zendaya only because both were technically perfect to me tonight but with Kellie, I thought it ALL came together in a much better package. Bravo!

Carrie Ann says perfect posture, nuance, and synchronicity. She does mention a little space in hold that was bugging her eyeballs. Len says that was the best dance he has seen on season 16! Len says it is impossible for a couple to dance at that speed and not occasionally lose contact. Bruno mentions that even the professionals lose it sometimes. Bruno calls it dancing of the best quality.
Carrie Ann- 9 Len- 10 Bruno- 10 for a total of 29/30
To vote for Kellie & Derek, call 1800-868-3401. You can also text “VOTE” to 3401. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Victor Ortiz (Professional boxer) & Lindsay Arnold – (Rumba)
Oh boy. From one of the best routines of the season to one of the weakest. This a rumba, right? That means the male partner is supposed to have hip action, a connection to his partner, and the dance is needs sensual feeling. I don’t see any of it. Victor is hardly moving his hips at all. Lindsay is doing all the work. At a few point during the dance, Victor is basically walking around looking almost clueless. We have seen so many romantic and perfect rumba’s on this show that the difference in quality here is so obvious. Again, give me Andy and his memorable routines over this- which is basically a failed routine that isn’t even entertaining. And I do like Victor’s personality and actually find him pretty darn charming but the dance quality just isn’t there.

Len gives Victor props for coping with the dance. Bruno compares it to an airline drill. He mentions many things that were wrong with the dance. Carrie Ann agrees that there was no hip action but she likes the chemistry with Lindsay.
Carrie Ann- 6 Len- 6 Bruno- 6 for a total of 18/30
To vote for Victor & Lindsay, call 1800-868-3402. You can also text “VOTE” to 3402. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Jacoby Jones (NFL wide receiver) & Karina Smirnoff – (Quickstep)
Nice! Another strong quickstep where the partners are in-sync. Jacoby isn’t as on point as Kellie was but he is pretty darn close. I didn’t appreciate the going into the audience at the beginning because I think it does a disservice to showing off Jacoby on the ballroom floor. But that’s Karina’s decision. Jacoby always brings such an amazing spirit to his dancing. His entire package can bring a smile to your face. I have a hard time finding the issues with Jacoby’s feet as the judges do but I am no dance expert, so that might be why. To me, his feet are fine. They look especially fine when doing in-sync steps with Karina. Let’s face it- even if the judges continue to harp on his feet, he will never be in any trouble when males like Andy, Sean, Victor, and Ingo are in the competition. I think Jacoby has enough good will and a strong enough fan base to overcome the judges.

Bruno loved how quick Jacoby started. He says the frame and footwork could be better but he really enjoyed it. Carrie Ann says that Jacoby’s feet are a little funky but Jacoby always surprises her. Len didn’t like it very much at all. Len says the dance doesn’t suit him. He is scared though of Jacoby’s mother- who is pissed (in a funny way) in the audience. He likes and admires Jacoby and says it wasn’t his best dance but wasn’t his worst either.
Carrie Ann- 8 Len- 7 Bruno- 8 for a total of 23/30
To vote for Jacoby & Karina, call 1800-868-3412. You can also text “VOTE” to 3412. Finally, register at ABC.COM to vote online.

Stevie Wonder is back out to perform as Anna and Tony dance. Lovely! We have the team routines coming up next.

Team Paso Doble – Zendaya & Val, Ingo & Kym, Jacoby & Karina, and Victor & Lindsay
Well, this team exposed the good from the bad without question. The solo parts absolutely gave away who is doing well and who isn’t. Zendaya and Jacoby were aces. Ingo was okay. Victor was not very good. The team parts were decent for sure. All eight came together nicely but it didn’t come together when you add in the individual solos. I also thought the choreography overall left a bit to be desired. I expect more when four pros come together to come up with a routine. It was a basic attempt at a paso but unfortunately, the weak members of the team resulted in the stronger ones never reaching full potential here.

Len thought it was a spirited effort. The group part was tight but the individual routines had awkward moments. Bruno thought it was like watching an episode of WrestleMania. But be careful of the sync- which was lost a bit times. Carrie Ann called Zendaya the glue to hold the team together but together, it wasn’t so good. Val interrupts her to congratulate his team but Carrie Ann calls it a bit of a mess.
Carrie Ann- 7 Len- 8 Bruno- 7 for a total of 22/30.

Team Samba – Andy & Sharna, Sean & Peta, Kellie & Derek, and Aly & Mark
Nice start. Sean and Peta out first for their solo and Sean (like in his own Samba) is awkward. Aly and Mark come out strong next. Andy is out next and actually does a decent job and of course, brings the humor. Kellie and Derek finish off the individual routines on a high. Together at the end, the team does well and remains for the most part, in-sync. In my eyes, it was somewhat better than the other team but I didn’t find it to be a blowout. Both teams have strong and weak members which result in good and bad moments throughout the entire dance. But this dance did have better overall choreography.

Bruno thought the boys lost it a few times in the solo but the girls killed it. Carrie Ann thought they all killed it. Len said they had fun and was a pleasure to watch. He gave all of them kudos.
Carrie Ann- 8 Len- 9 Bruno- 8 for a total of 25/30.

Final Judges Leaderboard (with team dances added in):

Kellie And Derek- 54/60
Aly And Mark- 52/60
Zendaya And Val – 51/60
Sean And Peta- 46/60
Ingo And Kym- 46/60
Jacoby And Karina- 45/60
Andy And Sharna- 43/60
Victor And Lindsay- 40/60

Now, head on over to a new thread for POLLS! Oh, and you can tweet #samba or #paso for the team you want to see do the encore tomorrow night!