Good Monday Folks…
Another Monday, another night of Dancing with the Stars. You guys ready? Tonight is “Icons Night” which is a very broad theme. It is actually people in the lives of the celebrities who have influenced them. But famous folks, not regular people who may hold a special place in the hearts of the remaining seven. We have dances inspired by Stevie Wonder, Marc Anthony, and Coldplay to name a few. Making things even more interesting this week is the immunity/dance-off battles that will go down.
The highest scoring couple in round one of individual dances will receive immunity from being eliminated. It is unclear though whether the immunity is for THIS week or NEXT. It makes things a bit murky. If it is for this week, does that mean that the couple that may have been eliminated could potentially be saved? If it is for next week, does that mean the winning couple has a whole week of rehearsals not to worry about a looming boot? I have seen both possible scenarios laid out by the show in different press releases, so I really hope Tom and/or Erin make this clear at the start of the night.
The dance-off battles will be between the six remaining couples who do not win immunity. They will face off and America along with the three judges will vote on the winner. Can we expect the show to try hard to put Carlos Vs. Alexa? Perhaps Bindi Vs. Tamar since the producers know Derek and Val are the two pros the fans get heated about with one another. It isn’t like me to call manipulation by producers easy but this week is damn prime for the show to do what it wants to get a certain outcome. I appreciate when things are a bit more transparent, but what can you do?
Let’s take a quick look at last week’s poll results. Nearly 38% of you voted Bindi & Derek as favorite with 28% of you loving the Team “Nightmare” routine. No other routine was in double digits. Almost 47% of you disliked Tamar & Val last week and just about 17% of you didn’t enjoy the Team “Who You Gonna Call?” dance. Again, no other double digit votes.
Yet again, Bindi & Derek, Alek & Lindsay, and Nick & Sharna are the top 3 favorite partnerships. Bindi has the highest percentage with the other two neck and neck. This hasn’t changed much at all in weeks so it is looking more and more like we could have our potential finale with those three couples. 57% of you think Tamar & Val will exit this week. 19% believe it will be Alexa & Mark and 15% believe Alek & Lindsay. Interesting. Could immunity mess all that up? Finally, in the closest poll of the night, it is almost a 50-50 vote split on the elimination of Hayes. Half of you believe it was right while the other half believe his boot was wrong.
This is an almost impossible elimination prediction to make. It all depends on the immunity rules. For argument’s sake, let us say the winning couple gets immunity next week. I think this week’s elimination comes down to Alexa (again), husband Carlos, and Andy. I think Tamar (despite the attitude and last week’s package) may have a nice amount of fans backing her and I can’t see hero Alek being in trouble of going home just yet. Everyone else should be safe. It is tough and again, it will be a sad goodbye. The remaining seven are fabulous in their own respective ways.
I think that’s enough yapping from me (LOL). Obviously, we have a lot at stake this week and many questions to be answered. Let’s hope the dancing is great and we all have a good time. I’m ready. You guys are ready. So let’s do this…
OOO. What an ominous opening package. Who will survive tonight? And we have an extremely high energy opening featuring all the pros and troupe members (including pros who have left us this season already). They are dancing to “River Deep Mountain High“. Mandy Moore is responsible for that choreography. Erin is back. Here come our celebs. Everyone looks happy and psyched to dance.
Okay- clarification finally. Immunity is for THIS week. Got it. It would be really cool if the show would reveal IF the immunity-winning couple would have actually gone home. They will not but eh, I can always hope for some transparency.
Carlos, despite being Latin, has never danced a Salsa. Carlos was inspired by Marc Anthony. Marc actually invited Carlos & Witney to a concert and he is giving him some advice. Marc says his Latin dancing has to be in there somewhere. Witney jokes about being a white girl from Utah teaching a Latino how to Salsa. Well, you can’t deny that Carlos is Latin. Some really good steps here. A little tentative at the very start but once the rhythm and music get going a bit more, Carlos is really into it. Lots of tricks and lifts here. Oops. Carlos misses a lift but thankfully, Witney is a beast who can completely hold her own. Carlos is shirtless and for the final 3/4’s of the routine, pretty much owning it.
Julianne definitely thinks Salsa is in Carlos’ blood. She loved that it was free and improvised. She wants him to work on his hips, using them from his lats. Bruno liked it a lot. He liked that the routine had a lot of arm movements. Carrie Ann thought the start was rough but by the end (after the error), it went to another level.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Carlos & Witney by calling 1-855-234-5605 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
*Plug for the DWTS Tour.
Alek is paying tribute to the American sniper, Chris Kyle. Alek wants to show that he was just having a bad day (week) last week. Alek got the chance to go to the World Series this week and Lindsay hopes it helps him recognize how heroic he is to people. Alek is doing contemporary for him- which is perfect for him. He gets to show his strength and he doesn’t have to worry too much about hold or technical ballroom specifics. A solid contemporary routine here. Another lift mishap. What’s up tonight? Lindsay almost fell coming down from a lift when Alek nearly missed catching her. That was…short? I don’t know. It was good but I am a tad underwhelmed because I wanted to see more. I think a contemporary routine based on feeling like a hero could have been so much more from a dancing perspective. For sure though, these dances are better for Alek than ballroom ones.
Bruno talks about how hard it is to judge a dance after knowing the person. Bruno talks about Alek almost missing a lift but he did think the dance was moving. Carrie Ann thinks Alek rose to the occasion. She didn’t see a mistake. Instead, something about her toe being caught in his neck. She did feel though it was a bit simplistic. Julianne feels Lindsay worked with Alek’s strength but she wanted to see a bit more side by side.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Alek & Lindsay by calling 1-855-234-5601 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Andy picked Stevie Wonder this week. But this dance is dedicated to his mom. TEARS in the package. Aww. Andy really misses his mom. This is sweet and genuine. Andy describes this as one last dance with his mom. Dang. You can really tell Allison is with child. Sweet dance. One of the things I hope Allison works with Andy going forward is his habit of start and stopping instead of gliding from one step into the other. It makes the dance look less precise and more by the numbers teacher teaching student. Andy is definitely excelling in performance quality here. And how could he not based on what the dance is in tribute to? He is doing well on heart and being in this for all it is worth but you can tell Andy is back to that level of a few weeks ago when he needs some extra rehearsal to make it look effortless.
Carrie Ann felt emotion. She thought it was beautiful to see. She did think that the dancing suffered. She wants Andy going back to his basics. Julianne agrees with the negative but wants to talk about the positives. She says Andy should be very proud. Bruno think the intentions were right but the execution wasn’t as exact as it should be.
Carrie Ann- 8
You can vote for Andy & Allison by calling 1-855-234-5603 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Alexa picked David from David & Goliath. Yes, from the Bible. She has felt like each dance is her giant. She wants Mark to look like a huge shadow in the dance so she can slay him. Mark notes the steps need to be perfect regardless of the visual. Alexa wants immunity badly. How cool. I love Alexa’s energy and vigor here. Lots of passion. Dang it. A small misstep in the middle has thrown Alexa a bit off her game. She is trying desperately to get her flow back. She has for the most part. Mark really needs to be given kudos here for the choreography. He took an idea and really ran with it. I wish the mistake didn’t happen because this was going in epic fashion.
Julianne saw the intensity in Alexa’s face but she did mention the two slips. Bruno loved the beginning but we are at the point in the competition where mistakes show. Carrie Ann didn’t think Alexa skipped a beat- she thought it was epic.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Alexa & Mark by calling 1-855-234-5602 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Sharna gives Nick pointers about his dance last week- what was lacking. Nick’s icon is his wife. They have been trying to have a baby and it has been difficult. They had a miscarriage. But smiles… SHE’S PREGNANT. 16 weeks! So this dance is special to Nick. This is the contemporary I was looking for from Alek earlier in the night. A mix of emotion and lots of dancing. Julianne should be pleased with the side by side dancing too. Nick and Sharna are, if you will excuse me, painting very pretty pictures here. Very good routine. Best of the night thus far. Nick goes to plant a kiss on his wife. And his wife is joining him for the judging. Odd. But okay.
Bruno thought it was a love poem visualized through dance. Carrie Ann is crying. But she thought tonight was Nick’s best dance ever. Julianne thought Nick showed that he is a dancer. Nick’s wife is joining him now backstage with Erin. This is all a tad awkward as she just stands there throughout the whole thing. Poor girl. Nick is in tears.
Carrie Ann- 10
You can vote for Nick & Sharna by calling 1-855-234-5610 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
*OOO. We are about to learn the sex of the baby. Nick and his wife do not know. And they are having a boy. All smiles and kisses. Congratulations to them.
*Tom notes that if the final two couples (or even one of them) get perfect scores, then immunity is based on the cumulative scores of the season. In other words, should Bindi get a perfect score, she will win immunity. Tamar, even with a perfect score, cannot win immunity now. And Nick can only win it if Bindi scores lower than a 30.
Bindi picked Grace Kelly. Bindi feels she can relate to her. Derek notes how people are saying Bindi is the one to beat but it is a lot of pressure. Bindi has bruising and swelling on both her knees and her toenails are falling off. Her blisters are crazy. Ouch. No complaints though from Bindi. This is an exciting and totally wild foxtrot. I’ve never seen one choreographed like this. Think of a broadway number mixed in. Creative and memorable for sure. If Len was judging, I bet he would be grumpy and say it wasn’t totally proper. I thought it was fabulous though. Bindi is perfect for this type of dance. It was funny, sweet, and exciting. Great stuff.
Carrie Ann notes that Bindi is full out, 100% throughout all her routines. Julianne is trying to find something wrong but she can’t. The one thing she did find is that in hold- Bindi sometimes she sticks her chin out and her shoulder comes in. But she says Bindi is in a class of her own. Bruno thinks Bindi has a Hollywood sweetheart feel. He mentions the shoulder as well.
Carrie Ann- 10
You can vote for Bindi & Derek by calling 1-855-234-5604 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
*So Nick wins immunity because even if Tamar gets a 30, she can’t have a higher cumulative score than Nick.
Val is pissed that Tamar is being edited the way she is. Tamar is not happy either. A bit of a redemption in her package here. Tamar picked her sister Toni. Tamar is having trouble in rehearsal connecting to the dance. But she doesn’t want to fall into the feeling of being defeated. Words of encouragement from Val. I thought this was an odd song for this type of dance but I was wrong. It has that staccato notes that match what you need in a paso. Tamar continues to be a bit disconnected from Val (not sure if the chemistry will ever be totally one hundred percent on point) but this paso is strong. Some really nice choreography from Val. Tamar is definitely on the upper tier of the dancers left, regardless what you may think of her as a person.
Julianne says Tamar looks stunning. She compliments the choreography. She does say that Tamar has two sets of arms. She needs to work on only having one and using both do the same thing- stretching and extending. Bruno loved it from start to finish. Carrie Ann gives her props but does mention a lift- so… life police.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Tamar & Val by calling 1-855-234-5612 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Nich has immunity. So, now we get a package talking about how the dance-off will work. So, Nick earns 3 extra points for the night.
Bindi & Derek pick Carlos & Witney and they all agree on the Jive. Derek basically asked who wanted to dance a Jive.
Tamar & Val pick Alexa & Mark. Alexa & Mark pick cha-cha-cha.
Andy & Allison and Alex & Lindsay are left with the samba.
Interesting. The final dance-off is the only one that could potentially go either way. I have to think Bindi and Tamar have their respective battles in the bag. Carlos can’t compete with Bindi and I doubt Alexa is going to be able to keep up with Tamar. It should be interesting as heck to see how America votes on these.
Dance-Off #1 – Bindi & Derek Vs. Carlos & Witney
This is difficult to judge having to watch two different routines at once. Bindi is performing a bit more Jive while I’m not entirely sure what Carlos is doing at the very start. Once it gets going, Carlos looks really strong. Then I glance over at Bidni, and she is slaying. Tough. Very close. This could be a preference thing.
Julianne feels it was very close but it unsure if Carlos should have played into Derek’s strategy. Bruno calls it thrilling and unpredictable. Carrie Ann was impressed how into it Carlos was from the beginning and then how Bindi got into it. She loved the sportsmanship at the end.
Carrie Ann picks Carlos & Witney
Julianne picks Carlos & Witney
Bruno picks Carlos & Witney
America went with Bindi & Derek with 64%.
Dance-Off #2 – Tamar & Val Vs. Alexa & Mark
OOO. I think Alexa is doing better with this. It looks more like a proper samba with accurate steps and hold. Tamar is going for more of a seductive vibe with this. It is good but I’m not sure if it can beat what looks like a very good samba from Alexa. If I had to give points to Tamar over Alexa in this, it would be that some of the in-hold moves look more precise on her side as compared to her opponent. Again, kinda close for this one.
Bruno found them both sexy. He loved the hips and the cheekiness. But somebody had an edge. He won’t say of course. Carrie Ann thinks one had more flavor and one had more tradition. Julianne felt she was back in England in a competition. She did prefer one over the other.
Carrie Ann picks Alexa & Mark.
Julianne picks Tamar & Val.
Bruno picks Tamar & Val.
America picks Alexa & Mark with 76% and they win due to that.
Dance-Off #3 – Andy & Allison Vs. Alek & Lindsay
I love Alek to bits but without a doubt, Andy has this. Just more samba. Alek kinda looks confused at times. I’m not sure what Andy decided to do at the end there (the worm?). All in all, for two couples having never done the samba, it showed but what can you do? You got to judge the dancing and for me, we had more dancing (and somewhat proper dancing) from Andy here.
Carrie Ann says both need to go work on their sambas. Julianne actually thought they did a good job. Bruno thought Andy managed to put the bounce in there. He does say Alex, as always, is so involved with his partner.
Carrie Ann picks Andy & Allison.
Julianne picks Andy & Allison.
Bruno picks Andy & Allison.
America picks Andy & Allison with 54% of the vote.
Racing against the clock here so ELIMINATION time has come!
Derek & Bindi
Tamar & Val
Alex & Lindsay
Alexa & Mark
So… in this, week 8 of the competition, the couple leaving us is…
Andy says it is fitting he left on the night he dedicated his performance to his mom. He’s such a sweet guy. He met some awesome friends and the show treated him lovely. At the request of Tom and Erin, he does one more handspring into a worm. LOL. He will be missed.
He was arguably on the weaker end of the dancers left (with Alek) so the competition gets even more fierce now. The six dancers that are left are going to bring it hard next week and I bet we see a new level of competition.
Judge Leaderboard After Week Eight (Out of 33 due to 3 points for immunity and 2 points for dance-off winners)
Nick & Sharna- 33/33
Carlos & Witney- 29/33
Bindi & Derek- 28/33
Tamar & Val- 28/33
Alexa & Mark- 27/33
Alek & Lindsay- 25/33
Since we are in week eight, I have eight polls for you guys to particpate in. Okay, that wasn’t planned. Just a coincidence. But they are fun and if you might be interested, head on over to the a new POLLS post that will be up very soon. For now, I’ll say so long on here and thank you all for once again watching with me. Until next week! :)